Fired last week - Feel like my life is done

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-23-1999
Fired last week - Feel like my life is done
6
Tue, 02-26-2013 - 2:18pm

Hi all,

I need help.  I was fired, quite unexpectedly, last week, told that 'my performance was no longer a good fit for her team' and 'I didn't have product knowledge she was comfortable with.'  I don't want to go into War and Peace, so I'll try to summarize briefly.

5 months ago, 'anonymous' employee survey results were released and discussed with our division.  I had noted, in my survey, that my supervisor was extremely difficult to get specific direction from, as well as to just get ahold of (She's in a different city and I didn't work directly with her.)  If you were in her local office, you got plum assignments.  If you weren't, just depending on how interested she was in your project.

Two hours after the department meeting, I was called into a one-on-one with her,. and was given a verbal warning on my 'lack of productivity', and my 'lack of communication.'  I was floored.  I went to the bathroom, where another member of my team was crying - she,too, had been critical of our boss in the survey for similar things, and turned out she was also given a 'warning.

My boss moved me to another department to help out, where my coworkers in that department praised me, and I know made mention to my boss how pleased they were with me.  A month ago, I was told that I had to give a presentation to her to demonstrate my product knowledge.  Never told my job would hinge on her satisfaction with it, never given any written second warnings...I just figured it had something to do with which project she would place me on.

I worked on the project, ran it by two senior members of my team who gave it high praise.  I presented it to my boss two weeks ago.  She gave me no indication of her satisfaction, questions - she simply said she had some 'notes' she would discuss with me later.

A week passes, and she set up a meeting with me over the phone.  I call her, and am told  I dont' have the product knowlege...blah blah blah, and I'm terminated, effective immediately.

I am still in shock.  I got laid off 4 years ago from a job I'd held for 9 years (mass layoff - not much I could have done.), and took short term contract jobs until I found this one.  And now, I'm out the door - and I don't even know what I did wrong.  I feel like my work life is over - I was a week shy of being there a year, so I didn't qualify for severance.  I'm just so scared and lost right now, and I don't even know what I honestly did wrong:  I was never given a specific instance of anything I screwed up.  I had no idea I was that close to the chopping block, so I couldn't get the IM's she ignored/meeting requests she never responded to off my work computer.

I just have no idea how I'm supposed to go back into the workforce as 'damaged goods.' I feel like a complete failure, and now, no health insurance to even try and seek counseling.  I just want to disappear.

My fiance is working and is very supporting, but I feel worthless.  I feel like a giant failure, and I don't even know what I did wrong to get fired, so I can't correct it.

Advice is desperately needed.

TY!

Avatar for xxxs
Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010
Tue, 02-26-2013 - 2:54pm

  Perhaps she just did not like you.  A good fit means many things.  Companies have politics.  That survey was a trap.  Now that you know, apply for unemployment,seek career counseling,see what the separation package amounts to and get those resumes out to employers that seem to be a better fit.  Apply as soon as possible for unemployment.  Depending on the state you might qualify.  Also seek out temp agencies many employers hire from temp agencies.  A temp assignment can let you see from inside what the work and politics are.

Goldfish

Community Leader
Registered: 01-03-2004
Tue, 02-26-2013 - 7:32pm
  1. Hi,
  2. First piece of advice: NEVER, EVER say what you really think on one of those "anonymous employee surveys." As you learned, they aren't anonymous. We just had one of those at my place of work: left all those "comment" sections blank as the broadside of a barn. Management all ready knows what the issues are - if they really want to know - and I'm not going to tell them. Neither should you.

That said, it still sucks to get fired, especially when it feels personal. Well, bully for your ex-boss! She'll just turn her attention to her next target. You, my dear, were just the first. 

Don't waste time wringing your hands and wondering "why me." I agree with Xxxs that she probably didn't like you. Nothing you can do about it and nothing to be gained by going over and over how unfair it is, etc. 

You no doubt have good transferable skills, a huge network, and with a little help and encouragement, you'll find another job you're good at. Sooner you start looking the better you'll feel. Good luck!

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-23-1999
Wed, 02-27-2013 - 11:12am

Thank you for the responses.  I am just so scared about who the hell is going to hire me now:  I was fired.  Doesn't that scream 'horrible employee?'  I don't even honestly know the specifics:  How can I frame any answers to the question of why I left?

I still am just in shock.   Never felt so worthless in my entire life.

Community Leader
Registered: 01-03-2004

Hi,

Getting fired can either scare you into a hole and you never come out, or it can propel you forward into something new and great you never would have dreamed was possible. Your choice. 

As far as your job hunt goes, when asked "why did you leave your last job" take a page right of the Queen Bee's book: "There was a change in management and I decided it wasn't a good fit for me."

Notice two things about the above statement: You never say you were fired. Two, turn it around and say it wasn't a good fit for YOU.

You don't say what you did in your last job but it sounds like you had some kind of sales experience or expectation. Well, if you're good at sales, you can get a job selling - anything you want. It doesn't have to be a product or item in a box. It can be an idea, a program, a book, a concept. The sky's the limit. Start thinking like that instead of curling into a ball and you'll have  job quicker than you can hit "send."

I highly recommend the book, "What Color is Your Parachute" by Richard Bolles. He updates it every year. The 2013 edition is out there. Turn to the table of contents and go to the "flower exercise" which is on DVD now. Do it. It will tell you tons about what you need to do.

Good luck. Getting fired isn't the end of your professional identity unless you let it be.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-03-2009
Sun, 03-10-2013 - 12:00pm
Hey Kiki, sorry this happened to you and welcome to the board. Getting fired does not mean that you were a horrible employee and many future employers know this. They know that many times employees are fired because management doesn't like them, there are budget cuts, or management wants to go in a new direction and doesn't want to bother retraining. When you hit the pavement looking do not harp on the fact that you were fired. You hadn't been there a year so you can certainly reframe your experience there and state that after much thought you realized the position was not a good fit for you as wisdomtooth describes. You can still sell the skills you gained and perfected there and talk about the types of projects you worked on because all of those things are true. I agree with the other posters that it is time to shake yourself off, revamp your resume, and start tapping your network, the job boards, and temp agencies to get yourself working. Remember two things: 1) This was not your fault and 2) Never ever fill out anonymous employee surveys with honest answers because they are always a trap.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-22-2013

Hang in there, it has happened to most if not all of us at one time or another.

I was going in for a review at one employment, and instead of getting a rocking raise like I thought I was (and deserved!), was given termination papers. I was utterly in shock, as so were my coworkers.They told me I didn't "work well" with them HA! they were and still are good friends of mine. It turns out that my manager was the one didn't like me and that was all it took to fire me from a job I had worked my butt off at for 2 1/2 years!

Today I am stronger and smarter for it, but give yourself time to grieve just like you would any loss.

And YES you will be hired somewhere else, I went in for an interview and poured my heart out to the hiring manager who appreciated my honesty and hired me on for it.

Today I can happily say that I don't have to deal with Bully managers and office politics, I work from home and I don't plan on ever going back to the other again. 

Good luck, keep your head up, treat yourself well and give yourself time to reflect and move on!

In Success,  Katherine at