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Old 08-11-2011, 08:40 PM   #21
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The problem that I have with that version is that it is a lie. He didn't leave for personal reasons, he was dismissed for questionable reasons by his prior employer.

While some might view giving the impression that one left voluntarily vs being dismissed as a little white lie, I think if is just a lie. Once the new employer finds out the truth, they will not trust their new employee who lied to them to get in the door. I wouldn't.
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Old 08-11-2011, 08:59 PM   #22
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This sounds very similar to another recent thread; I don't know if it's from the same person. In any event, I think it foolish to come out and tell a prospective employer the details of your termination; as you've already experienced. that honesty tactic is a virtual guarantee you won't be hired.
"Downsizing" especially in the current economy is a credible answer, and likely to NOT generate a follow-up question on the matter. I suggest you use the downsizing as reason for termination, and then the interview will move on to the substantive issues of your qualifications.
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Old 08-11-2011, 09:08 PM   #23
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If I was interviewing you for a position and you told me the real reason why you were fired I would never recommend you be hired as I would question your integrity.

It's a bit ironic but the truth is not going to work if you ever want to get hired again IMHO. Saying you were downsized may be a lie but you gotta do what you gotta do.
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Old 08-11-2011, 09:12 PM   #24
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The problem that I have with that version is that it is a lie. He didn't leave for personal reasons, he was dismissed for questionable reasons by his prior employer.
Not a lie or a misrepresentation. He is not saying he left voluntarily and he is not commenting on the reasons. He is simply saying that he is not sharing the reasons why he left. The prospective employer is free to check with the previous employer, and the precious employer is fee to share such information as allowed by law.
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Old 08-11-2011, 09:19 PM   #25
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The problem that I have with that version is that it is a lie. He didn't leave for personal reasons, he was dismissed for questionable reasons by his prior employer.

While some might view giving the impression that one left voluntarily vs being dismissed as a little white lie, I think if is just a lie. Once the new employer finds out the truth, they will not trust their new employee who lied to them to get in the door. I wouldn't.
In his first post on this thread, the OP said,

Quote:
I called HR to see what they would say and was told they would give out general information about dates and salary. The director also suggested to say I left for personal reasons and to tell potential employers that everything has been resolved.
He was advised by a HR executive to say this.
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Old 08-11-2011, 11:12 PM   #26
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Welcome joecaf53...and sorry for your trouble but now you have learned from it and must move on.

I would not tell perspective employers the truth. I also would not use "downsizing" as it may be to easy for them to check ....but that depends on how large your old work force was.
I would not use "personal reasons" and leave it "sitting like an elephant between you and the person interviewing you. Most know it is an "avoidance" type tactic.

So...what I would do is as some others have suggested and put a totally different spin on the entire thing.

Example: For personal reasons....(and then elaborate a bit) something like..."I had applied to advance my education and "gave notice" at my job thinking I was going have a full class load. As it turns out due to a financial downturn in my personal finances, that isn't going to happen. Unfortunately my old position had been filled by the time I knew this. The good part is that it has allowed me the chance to seek out opportunities...etc.etc.

-or-
I had been offered another job by XYZ company...gave notice at ABC company and had actually left the company for a 2 week vacation. Then they called me from XYZ company to tell me they were sorry but they were not going to fill the position due to unforeseen budget deficits. They had already filled my original position at ABC company..etc..etc.

You have to come off strong, motivated and "in your favor".... not as a victim. If you tell the truth...you will come across as a victim with poor judgement. Yes I know it is not telling the truth..but I'm afraid you may not get a job any other way.

The goal of your interview is to GET the offer and it's a dog eat dog world out there and you have to do what you have to do. Just my two cents.
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Old 08-15-2011, 08:46 PM   #27
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Bestwifeever - also in the first post the OP said:

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In the meantime, I paid a fine and cleaned everything up within a week. After 2 weeks, I received a termination letter in the mail.
Maybe I'm reading his post wrong, but it sounds to me like he was terminated and did not leave voluntarily. It seems to me that if he lies and tells a prospective employer that he left voluntarily that there is a risk that the new employer will eventually find out that he was terminated (the night has a thousand eyes) and might view his deceit unfavorably. I would have trouble trusing the new employee in those circumstances.

Just because the HR executive at his former employer advised him to lie doesn't make it right or a wise thing to do.
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Old 08-15-2011, 10:16 PM   #28
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You may also want to talk with an attorney as to whether you might have a case for a wrongful discharge claim against your former employer since your scrape with the law had no connection with your employment.
I have to agree with seeking the advise of an attorney. You should know your legal rights and proceed accordingly.
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Old 08-15-2011, 10:33 PM   #29
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I have to agree with seeking the advise of an attorney. You should know your legal rights and proceed accordingly.
He had already checked into that (see below):

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I want to thank everyone who replied. I live in Massachusetts which is an at will state and the employer is an at will employer, which means you can be let go for no reason. I checked with an attorney who said I didn't have a case.

I recently found out that the sales supervisor has stepped down and now has my territory, so I am not sure if she wanted the territory all along.
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Old 08-16-2011, 02:14 AM   #30
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Maybe I missed something from the OP. Fired can be for cause or just because we don't want your services anymore in an "At Will" state.

Just what was the exact reason for being suspended ?

From my understanding ,Terminated without cause is a ticket for up to 99 weeks of un-employment insurance.

Something here doesn't add up.
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Old 08-16-2011, 10:52 AM   #31
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The termination letter the OP received may not describe the reason for termination. There are notices that must be given for COBRA, for example. I would still go with the advise of HR, focus on the great appraisals and if pressed simply state that the termination had nothing to do with anything that happened at the workplace or associated with his duties (assuming that was true). Line up a couple of references from individuals he worked with.

Heck, someone could be terminated for 'personal reasons' because you dated a manager's daughter who disapproved, or if a manager who opposed alcohol consumption found that the employee consumed a beer (for example) in an at-will state.
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Old 08-16-2011, 11:00 AM   #32
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Heck, someone could be terminated for 'personal reasons' because you dated a manager's daughter who disapproved, or if a manager who opposed alcohol consumption found that the employee consumed a beer (for example) in an at-will state.
Have seen it happen for much more inert reasons than those you posted. It is more prevalent in small businesses where the owner is the "king".
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Old 08-16-2011, 12:06 PM   #33
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When you say you dumped some trash..... was it your trash or were you dumping company trash (like old sales records)? If it was the latter, I could understand them giving you notice.

Regardless, I would strongly recommend that you NOT mention dumping anything, anywhere. People are highly sensitive about the environment these days. Also, as interviewers, we assume that people gloss over the the worst stuff - so if you admit to dumping "trash", I'm going to assume you mean used nuclear fuel rods (slight exaggeration). Although I don't want to judge you as a person, I would also be reluctant to hire someone who did not use a more common sense approach to disposing of garbage.

Listen to the HR person. It will be damaging enough that all they will give as a reference is dates and salary. That is another red flag for me - it smacks of legal advice.

I would tell prospective employers that there was a restructuring at the organization and leave it at that.
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Old 08-16-2011, 12:26 PM   #34
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Today NO SMART employer will provide information beyond period of employment and pay. Do not assume that this practice implies anything about an x-employee's conduct or performance. Often the employer will prohibit supervisors and managers from giving references externally under any circumstance. That is why those written evaluations can be precious.
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Old 08-16-2011, 12:51 PM   #35
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I'm not sure if OP is even seeing the various replies. But I reiterate my first suggestion to just say he was downsized. Goal is to get another job and prove one's worth to the company. Honesty about what happened won't get him hired. "Personal reasons" is too vague, and implies at best that he left for a bad reason. As Brat just mentioned, prior employers just give dates of employment and salary.
For what it is worth, I really was downsized from my previous job. I interviewed with some 6 companies before getting an offer, and at each interview I was asked why I left my previous company; I explained I was downsized and there never was a follow-up question about it.
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Old 08-16-2011, 01:23 PM   #36
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I'm not sure if OP is even seeing the various replies. But I reiterate my first suggestion to just say he was downsized. Goal is to get another job and prove one's worth to the company. Honesty about what happened won't get him hired. "Personal reasons" is too vague, and implies at best that he left for a bad reason. As Brat just mentioned, prior employers just give dates of employment and salary.
For what it is worth, I really was downsized from my previous job. I interviewed with some 6 companies before getting an offer, and at each interview I was asked why I left my previous company; I explained I was downsized and there never was a follow-up question about it.
Gotta be careful if you are in sales and you start telling everyone you were down-sized, NONE of the salespeople I ever knew who were downsized were the top performing salespeople at their company..........so it depends on the business.........
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Old 08-16-2011, 01:50 PM   #37
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Mistake is something we all make once in a while but what you did (throwing trash over a period of time) was not a mistake but a character flaw that your former employer decided not to take a chance with so they terminated your employment.

At any rate, everyone deserve a second chance.
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Old 08-16-2011, 02:01 PM   #38
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Yeah, I wonder how they tracked him down to the place of employment? Was the trash dumping during working hours?
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Old 08-16-2011, 02:17 PM   #39
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. . . the city found out and a city representative came to my place of employment along with a police officer and asked for me. . . .
This would set off many small business owners.

One little fly-by-night place I w*rked in actually had an employee handbook they downloaded from the internet. After they deleted the part about your privilege of bringing your dog to work would be revoked after three "accidents" they added a paragraph saying they did not ever want to be bothered with garnishing wages for any reason, implying that would be a reason for termination.

Also, many small fly-by-night places do not do written evaluations -- shoot, not even verbal ones, unless you can call a public verbal a$$ chewing an evaluation.

There are a lot of little "kingdoms" out there.
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Old 08-16-2011, 02:23 PM   #40
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Yeah, I wonder how they tracked him down to the place of employment? Was the trash dumping during working hours?
We would have sheriff's deputy come to my former employer during my time there; it's the one place that they knew they could contact an "offender" to serve legal papers (for whatever reason). BTW, we had over 600 people at our location, so there was often a sheriff's car in the visitors parking lot .

Rather than serve papers at a residence (where people could just not open the door) it was easier to do so in a public area, when the chances that one was at wo*k was more of an occuance.
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