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Hi, I've got fired today by megacorp...Looking for help...
Old 09-05-2017, 10:55 PM   #1
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Hi, I've got fired today by megacorp...Looking for help...

Hi,

I've got fired today (to be specific - asked to submit resignation, which I did) from a megacorp. Reason for being fired - ethics / code of conduct mumbo jumbo (not porn or stealing or things like that). I am not even 100% sure what the exact company rules I've violated, but I've probably did violate some megacorp rules. So, I have nothing to blame the megacorp for.
Worked there for 10+ years and always received great performance reviews.

I am currently under shock and would really appreciate help and wisdom from this board to let me overcome that and somehow move on.
Our current situation: myself and wife are in early 40s, kids are 10 and 14 in public schools. Wife has been staying home and could not find part-time accounting job for the last several years.
I've had continuous employment since age ~21 till today. S/w development... C++ / Scripting / GUI / etc. Latest salary was ~140k.

I will post my financial info in the next post in this thread, but I'd like to ask for help with specific questions first.
We were planning vacations to Europe in early Oct. (Fall Break in schools) for a week and all reservations are already non-refundable and has been paid for (food and attractions are the only expenses that are left).

Questions:
- Should I start sending resumes everywhere and try to get any low level job ASAP?
- Or is it better to wait till after vacations and after getting my mind back after the shock?
- What should I say about reasons for "currently unemployed"? My manager told me that if somebody would contact megacorp then they would just say that "I've resigned".
- Any other wisdom on moving forward?

I have not been to an interview in 10+ years (yes, I know, complacency is very bad, but what has been done, already has been done) and I am pretty clueless on how to proceed.

I know that this is not a job search board, but I've been reading this board on & off for years and was hoping that my introduction would look like "Class of 20XX" rather than this post.
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Old 09-05-2017, 11:17 PM   #2
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Financials...

After today will be the first time in 20 years that I won't receive a paycheck, so it is scary to think about financials, but we have always been savers (except travel).

401K + Rollover IRA + wife's Trad IRA: 573k
Roth IRAs: 177k
Taxable Brokerage (Vanguard): 473k (100% stocks - Total Stock Market / Total International / VEA/VEU/VTI/...)
EE bonds (with maturity in 15-20 years) - 103k
I bonds - 172k
Taxable CDs/Mango/Insight/Netspend/2.5% checking accts - 87k

Total: ~1,585k (that includes unpaid taxes on brokerage & 401k). Stocks/bonds - ~54%/46% (all stocks are Vanguard funds/ETFs).
(in addition to that, we have 529s for kids with ~50k each).

House is paid off and worth ~200k (maybe less, not sure).
No debt. Cars are pretty old - 17 years and 12 years.

I have not been tracking expenses lately, since I was not expecting to be fired, but guessing - ~20-25k / year, not counting medical and dental and excluding travel that we did in the last few years and that can be cut.
On medical - I've been given a choice for COBRA today for ~1.3k / month. Coverage is pretty bad, but we have not used medical in the last few year. Of course, now that we've already been hit, we might not by lucky anymore.
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Old 09-06-2017, 03:25 AM   #3
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I am sorry to hear about your job loss. The good news is you have significant assets and have done a very good job of saving. Based on the house value. its paid off status and the age of your cars it looks like you are also good at LBYM. Your savings and LBYM skills will help while you find a new job.

The red flag is the reason for your dismissal. While the company will indicate you resigned, a new employer will look to you to supply a reason for leaving. Personally, you will need to address the reason for your dismissal and ensure it does not continue at a future job.

Based on your savings, if you can keep costs down on your trip, I would probably complete the vacation. But, I would begin my job search immediately. I do not see the value in waiting.

Don't panic. It appears you have good financial skills and this will help during this difficult time.

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Old 09-06-2017, 04:35 AM   #4
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I would start quickly and land something to stay employed. A long gap can become an issue in itself. Search online for tips on resume writing and interviewing. There is a lot of material on it. Good luck.
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Old 09-06-2017, 04:41 AM   #5
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Sorry for your job loss, but it looks like you have significant financial assets to weather a period of unemployment.

I would wait until after vacations to send resumes and begin job search in earnest. But until then you can research what job openings are out there.

Prospective employers will ask you why you resigned and contact your former employer for information. It's normal for employers to be mum on reasons for dismissals/resignations. Tell prospective employers that you had some personal things to take care of and you couldn't get time off work - so you resigned. Just don't tell them that you violated company rules or you won't find a job.
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Old 09-06-2017, 05:21 AM   #6
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IMHO, this is an excellent opportunity to consider something else: consulting, self employment, PT job which offers flex schedule-semi-retirement. Find something you would love doing to get you to late 50's and early WD on retirement savings. Good luck.
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Old 09-06-2017, 05:23 AM   #7
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The red flag is the reason for your dismissal. While the company will indicate you resigned, a new employer will look to you to supply a reason for leaving. Personally, you will need to address the reason for your dismissal and ensure it does not continue at a future job.
Yeah, I call b.s. on the "I don't know why I was fired", I'm guessing you know, you just don't want to admit it. Which is understandable (I've been there!), but you owe it to yourself to be brutally honest with yourself and figure this out.

And "code of conduct/ethics mumbo jumbo" generally means that the company decided it was a legal liability to keep you around. This is a big deal, and needs to be addressed. It may not have even been at work - what's your social media like? Someone may have seen something you posted on FB or Tweeted. Did you fib on your LinkedIn profile, a la James Damore?
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Old 09-06-2017, 05:37 AM   #8
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Yeah, I call b.s. on the "I don't know why I was fired",
I've been in software development most of my career, and we engineers typically don't get the subtleties that others do. We need to be explicitly told. Likely your managment chain has been hinting for a while that something you were doing was unacceptable and you just didn't hear between the lines because they didn't explicitly lay it on the line. The big soft/non quantifiable reasons are 1) people who won't stay with the times, want to do things the old fashioned way like when they were young, who won't get on board with new initiatives or 2) people who make racist, sexist, ageist remarks that may have been sort of acceptable (or at least not firing offenses) which no longer are. Or who harass people under the guise of "teasing".
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Old 09-06-2017, 05:41 AM   #9
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Yeah, I call b.s. on the "I don't know why I was fired", I'm guessing you know, you just don't want to admit it. Which is understandable (I've been there!), but you owe it to yourself to be brutally honest with yourself and figure this out.

And "code of conduct/ethics mumbo jumbo" generally means that the company decided it was a legal liability to keep you around. This is a big deal, and needs to be addressed. It may not have even been at work - what's your social media like? Someone may have seen something you posted on FB or Tweeted. Did you fib on your LinkedIn profile, a la James Damore?

Another one who calls BS... there is NO WAY I would resign a position unless I knew why... and I agreed with that position....

Maybe you got some parting benes you would not get if they fired you... but I do not see any upside to resigning... they can hold that against you when you apply for UI...
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Old 09-06-2017, 05:56 AM   #10
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+1 Not sure if it is BS or a spin because of embarassment over what happened.

Water over the bridge but you probably should have consulted with a lawyer before you resigned.... it sounds like you were railroaded into resigning but whether it was justifiable or not is unclear. If it wasn't justifiable then you might have had a wrongful discharge claim. I guess it would not hurt to consult with a lawyer at this point.

I would go ahead with the vacation given that most of it is paid for. Until you leave, update your resume and proceed with your job search as if the vacation wasn't planned... if you have an interview you can explain about the already planned vacation.

Since you have some spare time, do an analysis of your expenses for the last couple years to get a good handle on what they are.... it would be rare that a household earning $140k spends only $20-25k a year excluding medical/dental/travel but you may be that rare bird.

If you find that you really only do need $20-25k excluding medical/dental/travel to live you might be in a position to semi-retire if you want to... perhaps do some contract work during the school year and enjoy summers?
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Old 09-06-2017, 06:02 AM   #11
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I guess it would not hurt to consult with a lawyer at this point.
+1

Sounds like a possible "constructive discharge" situation and worth consulting an attorney with labor law expertise.
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Old 09-06-2017, 06:04 AM   #12
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Interesting... never heard of constructive dismissal but it makes perfect sense.

I'm guessing that if an employee was in a meeting with HR where they were being pressured to resign and the employee says "I need a time out to consult with my lawyer" that it might change the tenor of the conversation.
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Old 09-06-2017, 06:16 AM   #13
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I do not understand the reason for resigning. If you resign, in most places, you are ineligible for unemployment coverage and it's very unlikely you get any severance. If you are laid off or fired, you likely do get some kind of severance, you are eligible for unemployment, and if you are a protected class (such as over 40) the company must be very careful they don't violate rules and risk an employment discrimination claim. If you resign, you are treated as a voluntary termination and there are no protections nor benefits.

A few fields still hold a "firing" as a black mark on an employment record but are less critical of a resignation, but as far as I know software isn't such a field. When "managing someone out" of an organization, getting them to resign is often a corporate goal since it is so much better for the company (no severance, no bump to future unemployment insurance, no risk of discrimination claim) and no real benefit to the employee.
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Old 09-06-2017, 06:17 AM   #14
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... it would be rare that a household earning $140k spends only $20-25k a year excluding medical/dental/travel but you may be that rare bird...
The OP does appear to be a LBYM type: owning two old cars (17 and 12-year-old), having home paid for ($200K). That explains how he has decent assets in both before and after-tax accounts.

Quote:
Questions:
- Should I start sending resumes everywhere and try to get any low level job ASAP?
- Or is it better to wait till after vacations and after getting my mind back after the shock?
- What should I say about reasons for "currently unemployed"? My manager told me that if somebody would contact megacorp then they would just say that "I've resigned".
- Any other wisdom on moving forward?
You can afford to go ahead to take that vacation in Oct. I do not know what the job market looks like right now, and it looks like you don't know either. You do not have to wait till after the vacation to research that.

With the low expenses, you have enough money to last a while. People who live paycheck-to-paycheck would really panic, but you will survive.
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Old 09-06-2017, 06:21 AM   #15
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The OP does appear to be a LBYM type: owning two old cars (17 and 12-year-old), having home paid for ($200K). That explains how he has decent assets in both before and after-tax accounts. ...
I agree but even very few LBYM live on less than 20% of what they earn so I'm skeptical that his expenses are really that low but concede that it is possible.
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Old 09-06-2017, 06:24 AM   #16
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I think that's what his essential expenses are; when in hunker down mode, having no car payments or mortgage helps a lot if all your monthly bills are for food and utilities. He did say that the $25K excludes health care costs.
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Old 09-06-2017, 06:52 AM   #17
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Yeah, I call b.s. on the "I don't know why I was fired", I'm guessing you know, you just don't want to admit it. Which is understandable (I've been there!), but you owe it to yourself to be brutally honest with yourself and figure this out.

And "code of conduct/ethics mumbo jumbo" generally means that the company decided it was a legal liability to keep you around. This is a big deal, and needs to be addressed. It may not have even been at work - what's your social media like? Someone may have seen something you posted on FB or Tweeted. Did you fib on your LinkedIn profile, a la James Damore?
Sorry, I intentionally was not 100% clear on the reason (who would want to disclose that? ) in the open post in order for that info not to be traceable.
I've opened CCs to get travel bonuses and did MS (manufactured spending, everything pretty much from the front page of flyertalk MS forum) + international family vacations have triggered red flags for government, since I've had clearance. Government notified the company and I've had a meeting with government & company several months ago about this issue. I've promised to stop MS and did stop it. As far as I know government has decided that they don't have an issue with me and I continue to have a clearance. But company has decided that my behavior was unethical and asked me to resign.
None of that had anything to do with my job performance and it is anybody's guess why this is unethical.
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Old 09-06-2017, 07:03 AM   #18
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IMHO, this is an excellent opportunity to consider something else: consulting, self employment, PT job which offers flex schedule-semi-retirement. Find something you would love doing to get you to late 50's and early WD on retirement savings. Good luck.
With the OP's low expenses and assets, I would also consider going this route. And doing this would pretty much eliminate having to explain the reason for his 'resignation'. If it did come up in a PT job interview, he can always say he wanted a more flexible schedule and/or a less taxing mega corp position. It will be hard to get around questions concerning his resignation when looking for full time positions.
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Old 09-06-2017, 07:12 AM   #19
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Yeah, I'd love to get PT job and semi-retire, but I've not yet seen any ads for such jobs in my area.
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Old 09-06-2017, 07:18 AM   #20
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Sorry, I intentionally was not 100% clear on the reason (who would want to disclose that? ) in the open post in order for that info not to be traceable.
I've opened CCs to get travel bonuses and did MS (manufactured spending) + international family vacations have triggered red flags for government, since I've had clearance. Government notified the company and I've had a meeting with government & company several months ago about this issue. I've promised to stop MS and did stop it. As far as I know government has decided that they don't have an issue with me and I continue to have a clearance. But company has decided that my behavior was unethical and asked me to resign.
None of that had anything to do with my job performance and it is anybody's guess why this is unethical.
This still sounds suspect to me. Were you under an employment contract which prohibited certain things like buying gift cards for points and then selling the cards? Ultimately it's none of my business (or anyone else's on here), but as a person who's hired quite a few people, I can tell you you'd better have your ducks more in a row with prospective new employers or they'll run away from you. Among other things, you're wishy-washy even at the philosophical level -- "nothing to do with job perf" and "anybody's guess why this is unethical" but then also "have nothing to blame megacorp for".

Can you pick up freelance/consulting work? Generally there is a shortage of developers and you may be able to clear your old gross pay with 20-30 hrs/week. It also provides a plug for employment gaps. At least in my area, most of these types of jobs never get posted -- you may have to network.
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