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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Time to Find Another Job

Dear Evil HR Lady,
I have been let go from a small community bank were I worked as a personal banker and I am not sure if I was fired or laid off. I loved my job and co-workers I never made "critical" clerical errors, never called in and I had customers waiting in line just to be assisted by me. There was no trail of write ups or warnings from management not one. I documented myself for something that occurred two and a half years ago. Anyway, what I am trying to say is I have been assured by the President himself and the SVP glowing referrals. They just said that I should seek another profession. Should I put their names on applications or not. I am not planning on trying to get them for wrongful termination but what happened to employee rights. I think that I am a great Banker.

Did you apply for unemployment insurance? I hope so. If it was granted, you can consider yourself laid off. If the company fought against your claim, you can consider that they fired you for cause. However, their willingness to give you a "glowing" recommendation indicates you were not fired for cause.

You think you are a great Banker. They said you should seek another profession. They may be dead wrong. However, it is very rare that a manager will actually sit down with an employee and say, "you are in the wrong job." I wish managers would do it more often.

Since it takes me a few weeks to respond to questions, there has been some considerable cooling down time. Call up the SVP who promised a glowing referral and say, "You said I should find another profession. Now that I've had time to think about it, I'd like to take your advice. Can you please help me understand what you observied as strengths and weaknesses? I thought I was doing a great job as a banker, but we're often blind to our own weaknesses. I'd like to be able to find a career that best matches my skills, and I thought you could give me some insight."

If he's willing to have this conversation with you, you will hopefully learn things about yourself. You may not. And be prepared to be ripped to shreds. But he may say, "you were really liked by all the customers, but your volume was considerably lower than your co-workers. You really are a people person, rather than a numbers guy."

As for a wrongful termination suit, that would only apply if you'd been fired for a reason protected by law. Being fired from banking when you are a good banker doesn't meet those criteria

Good luck in your job search. You may land in a new bank, and you may find out that you really would be better off doing something else.


Just another HR lady... said...

Unfortunately (or fortunately?) that is true, you can be fired for any reason, but it is unlikely that a person is terminated for "no" reason.

Clearly, you think you are a great banker, they don't. I wouldn't put them on a reference until I found out why.

Now that you have had some time away from the situation, I don't think it would be a bad thing to contact your former employer and ask why they felt you should seek another profession. In any case, it would be best to find out their thoughts before using them as a reference, particularly if you are applying for another personal banking role.

However, as Evil mentioned, if you ask, be prepared to hear some difficult comments about yourself, and to accept the comments with grace and an open-mind. Their honest comments (if they are willing to give them) might keep you from being terminated from your next banker job.

Hmm...I think I sound a little evil this afternoon too? lol!

Anonymous said...

Two thoughts:

1. Although it would have been hurtful because of the implication I was doing a lousy job (when I wasn't) I wish someone had pointed out that I just would have been HAPPIER doing something else. I am now in a different part of the same industry and I am MUCH happier.

2. Someone in our office once interviewed a woman and then called the woman's references, one of which was a former boss. The interviewee said the former boss had volunteered to be a reference but when called, former boss trashed interviewee up one side and down the other. What kind of sociopathic witch would do that? (I guess I just answered my own question.)

But definitely find out what ex-employers would say before encouraging anyone to call them.