Sunday, April 20, 2014
Fired for Making a Flip Comment
I was recently (1/20/14) fired from my job due to a post I made on a friend's Facebook page. I loved my job of eight years and the shock of losing it is still with me. I tried to explain to my employer that my comment was not an attack but only a flip comment and I did not mention the employer name. I have had two other job terminations in my past 30 year work history (1988--7 years of employment and 2005--4 months of employment). I am struggling how to explain the three terminations. Do you have any suggestions? Thank you in advance.
I am so sorry to hear you were fired from your job. I know it is a tough lesson to learn, but you have to be careful with what you post on Facebook. I've written about this before see: being terminated for a Facebook post.
The best advice I can give you is to explain honestly why you were fired. Be prepared to talk about what you've learned from these experiences and how you've grown and changed.
Here are a few suggestions:
Take down your Facebook account.
If you can't bring yourself to do that, at least remove all of your posts and unfriend everyone who is not in your immediate circles. Do not post on anyone's page including your own until after you have a new job. Then be very careful what you write and who you friend.
You will most likely be asked to explain what you wrote on that Facebook page. Be honest and practice what you are going to say. Here is an example:
I wrote that my boss was a jerk. I didn't really mean that, I was anxious about an upcoming deadline and just letting off steam. I didn't realize what I wrote would be read by others. I've since taken down my Facebook account and have begun working on more positive forms of stress reduction.
Do not say even one bad thing about your former company or anyone who worked there:
I once interviewed a woman who had been down-sized or fired six times. While asking about her experience, I decided by job number three I would never hire her (really it was after job one and by job three I was looking for a way to end the interview). Every manager was incompetent and all of the companies were horrible places to work. No they weren't, she was difficult. Instead, discuss what you enjoyed about your former companies and jobs.
I'd consider leaving job #2 off your resume:
You only worked there 4 months. If it isn't absolutely necessary, I would consider removing this job from your resume. Though, this one should be an easy explanation; most likely it was a bad fit.
Explore the reasons behind your firings:
Are there patterns? Usually if a person is fired multiple times there is a common element. Review previous performance reviews. Do you need to update your skills or do your soft skills need improvement? Take personal development classes or become a member of Toastmasters. Talk about your new skills and what you are learning in your interviews.
See a therapist:
I know someone who grew up in an extremely abusive household. He now has a job managing huge global projects and a staff. In his first performance review he was told his staff found him difficult to work for. A therapist has since helped him realize criticizing his employees today then acting like nothing has happened tomorrow (behavior he grew up with) was not acceptable. His therapist also told him if he didn't change he would lose his job.
Tap into your network:
You need your network more than ever before. Contact former co-workers and managers who no longer work at your former companies. You need someone who can vouch for you. The employee fired for having a bad attitude in this post found employment at a former manager's new place of employment. The pregnant employee fired for not passing the insurance exam in this post was rehired for a job she held in college. She is back to where she started, underemployed and not using her degree, but she is employed.
Play up your positive work experiences:
I am assuming you've held other positions in addition to the three jobs you mention. Be sure to talk up those experiences.
Seek out temporary work:
I'm not sure how many temporary positions there are out there, but this used to be a great way to get into a company without having to interview. The employer sees how great your work is and offers you a job. Apply at every temporary employment agency in your area.
Good luck to you. The job market is still challenging and three firings are going to make it more difficult. Don't be afraid to volunteer or to work at an interim job until you find something in your field.
Do any of you have additional suggestions to help this reader explain her terminations?