Social Enterprise

Laid off: Fight the urge to vent

If you've been let go from a company, it's hard not to let your feelings take over. But if you find yourself venting publicly, you may be shooting yourself in the foot.

If you've been let go from a company, it's hard not to let your feelings take over. But if you find yourself venting publicly, you may be shooting yourself in the foot.

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Getting let go hurts. It hurts whether it comes in the form of a disciplinary firing or a "cost-cutting" lay-off. For a great many people, hurt feelings translate into bitterness which in turn manifests in the form of angry actions.

In the old days, angry actions were limited to sarcastic diatribes at Happy Hour about the horribly mismanaged atmosphere of the company from which you were let go. These were usually just harmless steam-letting exercises. But what if seated at the table next to you during your rant were ten CIOs from the top companies that you planned to apply to after you sobered up?

That's a nightmare scenario that is not too exaggerated in a world where a person's actions and feelings are out there for public consumption via Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, etc.

We all know better, or good gosh by now I hope we do, than to vent about past employers in interviews with prospective employers. It's a most unflattering behavior that serves only to alert the interviewer to your lack of discretion. But the same people who know don't know that recruiters are trolling social media sites all the time for information about you. Companies are searching such sites to vet potential new hires for everything, including a bad attitude.

If it makes you feel better to vent, do it with your Friday night bowling team. Resist the urge to debase your former company online.

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

62 comments
prosenjit11
prosenjit11

when a lay off is justified it is agreed, but when it is under A CONSPIRACY THEN IT CHANGES PEOPLES LIVES. FOR NO REASON SOME BIGGIES IN THE ORGANISATION FIGHT AND THE AXE COMES TO THE ONE WHO EXECUTE JOBS. DISCIPLINARY ACTION IF SHOULD BE TAKEN SHOULD BE DONE WHO HACK COMPUTERS AND PERSONAL EMAIL ID AND PEEP INTO WHAT ONE IS DOING? THIS COULD BE TAKEN OUT IN PUBLIC WHICH IS THERE IN THE MANY SERVERS IN AMERICA RUN BY THE COMPANIES IN INDIA AND NEIGHBOURING COUNTRIES. WE ARE ALL PROUD TO BE A PART OF AN ORGANISATION. IT IS NOT VENT BUT LETTING THE HIGHER MANAGEMENT ACROSS ORGANISATIONS KNOW AND TO AVOID SUCH GAMES BEING PLAYED.

myobfool
myobfool

You may want to change your medication. It was really hard figuring out just what you were saying

AV .
AV .

It never feels good though, no matter why it was done. When I was laid off several years ago, I went through all kinds of negative emotions. First I was sad, then I was angry, then depressed. Certainly not job interview material. I vented, but I did it privately with friends. It took me about a month before I could get over the negative emotions I felt. At that time, sites like MySpace and Facebook didn't exist either, so my family and friends got to hear it all. I can see how people would want to vent online today. Anonymously is ok. If you're talking MySpace or Facebook and using your real name, its absolutely not a good idea to vent negatively there - especially knowing that recruiters and employers search those sites for information about you. Personally, I don't have a Facebook or MySpace page for that reason. I don't see why any potential employer should have access to my private life and decide whether I'm fit to hire based on what they find. I think that its always better to vent privately and try to keep up a more positive image publicly. No one wants to hire negative person. AV

jdclyde
jdclyde

It is never appealing to have someone crying about how life isn't fair. Grow up and move on. Don't mix emotion with business.

petermcc
petermcc

Wow. Some interesting responses here Toni and some that seem to miss the point or the folk have the luxury of not being in the job market. A friend of mine was harshly dealt with by Telstra many years ago. He would come back from interview saying "I really stuck it to Telstra when they asked about my last job." From an otherwise fairly switched on guy I was amazed he couldn't see why he was out of work for a year. From what looked like an obvious statement we see some "interesting" responses. I hope the "tell it like it is" folk have a nice nest egg to feed their kids until they catch a break.

a.southern
a.southern

It's like you're mate in a pub who bad mouths the absent mate, then next week bad mouths a different absent mate. You may laught the first time, but then you know next time you're not at the pub, he'll be bad mouthing you. My time with a company that unfairly showed me the door is now five years in the past, and a fair few contracts behind me. It effects you so deeply, and even now I still harbour resentment. You might see it from time to time, but I make sure I don't vent my frustration or feelings of betrayal in interviews. It's hard enough getting on without being a whinger and getting on. If asked directly about it (seldom) I'll say "I was a contractor, there was a full time member of staff that felt threatened by my abilities and enthusiasm, so my contract wasn't renewed." I don't mention the current contract was terminated because the a-hole stabbed me in the back with the R&D director, who knew very little. There it is.....

chas_2
chas_2

I think Ms. Bowers' advice about "venting" is ill-conceived. Sure, it's possible that someone in a big suit may overhear you, but I think the expression of displeasure is something that should be done, as long as it's politely but firmly. None of us are cyborgs and pretending not to have feelings of hurt, anger or resentment and slapping a happy face on won't convince a perceptive manager that you're okay with being let go - people are smarter than that. I think if you can "vent" in a way that's, somehow, constructive, do it. Management won't really learn about the effects of what they're doing unless they see the results of their actions - ALL their actions.

gormanwvzb
gormanwvzb

Despite one's feelings, making a jerk of yourself after getting fired is a losing proposition. I was at a big conference on Tuesday and Wednesday and talked to an old colleague. Turns out he is assigned to work with my company. It really is a small world. I read a great article about this called "The Graceful Exit." It talked about the dos and don'ts of quitting. Here is the link: http://managerqanda.blogspot.com/2008/06/graceful-exit.html

major.malfunction
major.malfunction

An idiot is an idiot regardless if they were my former boss or not. Why all this political correctness? If I got laid off becuase the CEO's idiot nephew "could do no wrong" as my manager, I have EVERY right to talk about it. We have this ridiculous double standard system where where we heap praise on people that do their job well BUT if we talk about someone else that we all scratch our head trying to figure out how they keep their job, we're mean. I don't get it. If we all think someone stinks and is incompetent, where does it become incorrect to talk about it? I'm not for airing dirty laundry at a job interview, but if I am asked about my last job and the landscape I worked it, I'm going to tell it like it is. If my new employer is too thin skinned to hear critcism and simply wants a yes-man, then I don't even want to work there.

caperspark
caperspark

I agree with this. I sent a letter to my now-former supervisor explaining some of the decisions that were made that severely affected what we were doing as customer service agents. I basically stated that the current supervisor was incompetent and did nothing to try and earn our trust and respect (that has to be earned and not forced). I was let go shortly thereafter, and this indicated that they would not tolerate any criticism of any kind. When I went for job interviews after being let go, I basically tried not to say too much about it, but I would tell them the truth about what happened, no matter if it resulted in my not getting the job. I'd rather work with people that can be reliable and dependable with each other (even the supervisors) than work with people who will ignore you at every turn.

sevenex
sevenex

I have no problems with HR screening a person's website or other online submissions for negative behaviors from a potential hire which could impact my future business, provided it is limited for this purpose. The major issue I have with interviews are those HR people who ask "Have you had any problems with past employers? Tell me about them" and are encouraging a potential hire to hang themselves as such interviews are generally considered private, it does not necessairly indicate the person will publicly tarnish their previous employer, and the HR's resulting decision to deny further consideration based on the applicant's answer would at least be indirectly considered as violating the applicant's confidentiality and trust! Frankly, with my future business, I will carefully screen and keenly inform my HR person that their initiation of such a question will NOT be tolerated or they'll be on the street, and I have no problem of my thoughts on this being publicly known!

doogal123
doogal123

I believe that HR is not really for the employee's benefit, it is for the protection of the company that pays them. So, consider your words to them.

Steve Romero
Steve Romero

This is a great post in that it has generated so much passion and some great stories and ideas. I think it misses the mark by characterizing the situation as "to vent or not to vent" - because that is NOT the question. Anyone that needs to take this advice has a greater problem - the propensity to vent in the first place. I would argue if somebody has this tendency then it may have contributed to their losing their position in the first place. (Contributed! Not caused.) Consider the nature of "venting." It is an emotional response to a situation and it is likely comprised of judgmental statements, gross generalizations and negative labels. Now consider the alternative - speaking with fact. And deliver those facts with passion, as opposed to emotion. This approach enables anyone to directly address the subject at hand, no matter how negative or unflattering it is to the past-employer. Granted, some folks may still "shoot the messenger." This is very unfortunate because facts speak for themselves, not for the people stating them. Steve Romero, IT Governance Evangelist http://community.ca.com/blogs/theitgovernanceevangelist/

J Alley
J Alley

I agree with Steve. In particular the statement that people with a tendency to vent in the inappropriate places may contribute to their demise is likely to be controversial but I see some truth in it. We work in a competitive environment - lots of talented people seeking jobs. All things being equal, if we have two people with similar skills, the person who can manage their feelings and deal with facts will do better (be more hireable, be preferred to keep on) than one who reacts by venting in the wrong places. This is not about being a patsy - it is about the role of emotions vs facts and showing an understanding of the larger picture. Though recently laid off, as a hiring manager, I would rather have a person who can convey their message using facts. Someone who vents shows me that emotions are over-riding facts. We need to practice a leaving story that we can deliver without emotion that tells why we were laid off. A good leaving story can even add to our apparent value by showing that we have a grasp on the business strategy. This is the difference between venting and explaining. We also need to understand that the senior managers contribute a lot to society by keeping their organizations solvent and in hard times it requires some very hard decisions. They aren't all perfect, we can see their mistakes in hindsight. But, they do better to let a few people go and keep the whole operation running, perhaps to grow again in the future, than risk bankruptcy. My story about the importance of being positive is that the person who decided to terminate my position sits on the Board of another organization I'd like to work for. By understanding that his organization didn't need me as an executive project manager if the projects are put on hold, I can tap into his contacts and maybe even get a leg up in that organization. The story isn't over yet but it IS looking promising.

byron
byron

Well said J Alley. With regards to your point, " All things being equal, if we have two people with similar skills, the person who can manage their feelings and deal with facts will do better (be more hirable, be preferred to keep on) than one who reacts by venting in the wrong places ..". I'd have to agree with you, and actually take it a step further: After nearly 18 years in the industry, I've found that I'd actually prefer -- a good bit more --- those who deal better with facts and can look at complex situations more holistically in difficult times. I've found it's a lot harder to expect others to grow/evolve emotionally, than to sharpen a technical skill routinely. An experienced, curious individual with a good attitude and sense of self can sharpen tech skills fairly easily. As difficult as it is to swallow rejection, both emotionally and financially, it's pretty empowering to know that, in reality, our lives change infinitely faster than these experiences immediately before us. Victor Frankl [1] talked about that in much of his writing. In these troubled economic times, I've found it's helpful to reflect inwardly. Having a small group of confidants and a large professional network who know what you're about (at the core) is a tremendous asset. Good luck building the bridge into the other organization. I'm sure the Director will be an advocate for you. And best of luck to the passionate technologists in job transition on this thread. Byron Kennedy http://www.linkedin.com/in/byronkennedy [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viktor_Frankl

Ed Woychowsky
Ed Woychowsky

Last spring when I was laid off it was from a company that flamed-out in a rather spectacular way. The interviewer only got out, "Why are you... Um, never mind." The way I saw it was that the Wall Street Journal covered it better than I could, therefore the flame-out was common knowledge and I didn't need to say a word.

sboverie
sboverie

In the blink of an eye, everything changes; you go from being happy to a loss and then the healing to recover from the loss. Ok, getting laid off or fired takes longer than a blink but the result is the same. Recovering from the trauma of being unemployed takes time. It is human nature to vent about events, just do it with people who are safe. Venting to strangers can make your problems worse. The important place to be calm, cool and collected is in that initial job interview when the interviewer asks why you left your job. What ever you say must be said with as little bitterness as possible, body language and voice tones and phrasing can wreck the interview. Being unemployed sucks, it is a nasty roller coaster ride that swings between delirious highs and gloomy lows. Just remember that the end of the ride is a job.

artLinkletter
artLinkletter

Do all your venting here: http://www.jobvent.com/ Of course, be careful to leave out certain details so you don't expose yourself to those who know of your situation. Vent to your friends, certain "trusted" co-workers, and jobvent.com. Jobvent.com will allow others to decide if taking that job at your ex-employer is worth it. Do your best to keep it as professional as possible whenever writing, leave out names, specifics to your situation, etc. No employer is perfect and some are more than well deserving of an honest online 'vent.' Of course, it's been my experience that many ?lay-offs" are really firings under a facade to protect the employer from legal trouble. I?ve also known a few $100k employees, who think that if they just show up for work, they're deserving of their paycheck. One in particular actually had scheduled off-hours work and then never showed up ? yet he thought very highly of himself. Another person was on-call, received a problem, and told the caller that they were out shopping and to call someone else (who was not on-call). On the other hand, in this economy, I also believe, especially in the IT field, that many organizations are using the economy to unload staff. And they're not necessarily doing it to reduce costs, but rather to rid themselves of difficult personalities, mediocre performers, or long time workers with pricier benefits - not necessarily those deserving to be let go. Many laid off staff receive packages, if you're one of the lucky ones, then it's highly probably after a few months you'll feel differently about your layoff, especially if the employer tried to make the situation a little easier to swallow by providing extra severance, etc. Of course, no one in this situation leaves unscathed - and to find that you're not wanted or needed is a blow to anyone. It does encourage the adoption of a "no loyalty" policy, which I find more and more prevalent with each new hire (and I don't blame them). Losing a job is like getting a divorce.

dcolbert
dcolbert

I honestly believe that attitudes like this are regressive, submissive, and hopelessly outdated. Employers like to remind workers that "a job isn't forever, anymore", that a "career generally doesn't consist of staying with one firm your entire life, anymore", and other modern corporate observations about the employers obligations and comittment to employees. They like to remind workers in most states that they work as non-contractual, at-will employees who can be let go at any time, for any (non-discriminatory) reason. And yet, as workers, we are discouraged from any activity which is seen as organizing or leveraging any strength we may have as employees. I'm not talking about formal Unionization. I'm talking about self-empowering ourselves as employees rather than being voiceless corporate cogs. I mean, isn't this attitude basically that we, the corproate serfs of the world, should be happy that the corporate barons, dukes and princes see fit to let us toil in their fields? It makes me question why employers feel such a need to keep employees censored. What are they afraid of, what do they have to hide? Why wouldn't they want workers discussing their culture, their philosophy, their hiring and lay-off policies, in public? Intel certainly encourages this, and understands that there are those who leave their company with a negative perspective. Why not have those discussions? If it prevents someone from applying at Intel, that person probably wasn't Intel material in the first place, after all. It saves a company money to have the HONEST truth about their work environment out there in the public eye. And if former employees aren't talking about it, then who is going to be?!? I'll tell you what, I'm not just a former employee of Intel who was laid off during a "involuntary separation program" - but I'm also a share holder who has a vested business interest in the decisions that Intel makes. So I feel perfectly justified in questioning their long term business strategy of growing in Asia and India, which turned out to be a huge growth market in Atom and other embedded processors that are low margin. At the same time, their layoff decisions set off ripple affects through the United States, where their highest profit margin core sales are traditionally located. I'm *critical* of this decision, because Intel preaches "doing what is best for the company", but I don't think the bean-counters in executive management who made those decisions actually contemplated the big, long term picture. Modern corporations are right, it is an at will environment and it is unlikely that I will spend my entire career with one company. I'm a free-agent, and my skills and experience speak for themselves, as does my confidence - and my outspoken nature. I want to work for companies that are confident, with a strong sense of who they are and what they do, that are not intimidated by a lone employee like me and are willing to have that constructive conflict when necessary. Companies like Intel. There were a lot of things I liked about Intel, there are a lot of ways that I think Intel is one of the best companies to work for in the United States, certainly in the tech industry. That doesn't mean that working at Intel is a flawless experience that can't be criticized in any way. Everything ELSE has changed - why should I be expected to act like a "Lifelong Company Man" from the 1950s; like Darwin from Bewitched? If a company can't handle my outspoken nature, I'd rather that they be able to see the public record of my conduct and that they didn't hire me, because it probably would be unsatisfying. I'm skilled enough that it is their loss, and some other company, perhaps a more progressive competitor's, gain. Toni, the problem with this attitude, is that on the surface it seems so logical, "speak no ill about a former employer, lest you scare off a potential future employer"... But once you scratch the surface, it is not only counter-intuitive, but it is counter-productive. It is the "State Worker" mentallity of "Don't rock the boat, new guy - just maintain the status quo". And if ANYTHING... this kind of stale-corporate backwater is the inertia that keeps business from moving forward, that stifles innovation, competition and productivity. When I think of attitudes like this, I think of State Government, I think of Detroit Auto, I think of... I think of very dysfunctional businesses. Is that REALLY what you're promoting here?

minstrelmike
minstrelmike

The problem isn't a business problem; it's a people problem. Think about going on a first date. Being totally frank and open, you tell the woman you hope to end up having sex that night. It probably won't happen. Or maybe you know that won't work, but try telling her all about how your old girlfriend was a horrid witch and see how well the date goes. The only dates that work out are ones where _you_ are a good date, not the ones where you are obviously a bad date. People don't change just because they become bosses or own companies. Human behavior is fairly consistent in all areas of human activity.

bus66vw
bus66vw

Venting is pointless, but it's just part of the normal reaction to being dumped. The "why me" pain is just as real as a physical injury. Everybody deals with it in their own way. Doing an exorcise program, building a positive daily routine, and adding in volunteer work is the best fix for replacing your missing work day.

pam.rickey
pam.rickey

A few years ago, I took a risk and moved into a newly created position that did not really have the backing of the higher ups, in hopes that I could build a new business unit. As time went on, I became more worried about my job because I was never given the resources I needed to succeed. Last year, I considered applying for other positions within the company, but my boss assured me that I was too valuable to lose and he would make sure I had a position even if he had to create one for me. Then, last June, I was told my position was being terminated and given two weeks notice. My boss was not allowed to create a position for me, as he had promised. He tried to get one of the managers under him to hire me for an opening, but they chose not to (maybe because I was twenty years older than them and more experienced???) and he wouldn't force the issue. Considering this was not a mass layoff--I was the only one affected--and considering all the sacrifices I had made for this company, it would have been easy to be bitter. They could, so easily, have let me know much sooner and given me time to find another position. I was told in writing that I was "encouraged to apply for open positions for which I was qualified." I applied for several, but was not hired, even for one that for which I knew I was much more qualified than the person who got the position (who was a friend of the owner.) I applied other places, but found myself in a worsening economy competing against dozens other professionals for the same job, always ending up in the top three, but not quite getting there. It got even tougher not to be bitter. However, I kept trying. I kept in touch with my former boss and other friends in the company. Although it was hard, I kept a positive attitude. My story does have a happy ending. Finally, after more than six months, I was interviewed and hired for a position with my former employer in a different area of my former company, with the help of a great recommendation from my former boss. On the other hand, the company decided to close one of their branches. Unlike with myself, they gave those people much more advance warning. The first person to be eliminated (although with much longer notice than I had), was so bitter she ranted to everyone and burned all her bridges. Again, unlike with me, the company tried to find them other positions. She had a chance to interview for a better position within the company and canceled the appointment. Who knows where she will find a job now, with the way things are? Unlike her, I kept my hurt feelings to myself, and ended up in a much safer position that will be difficult to eliminate (in fact, they plan to hire more of us). I am making $12k more than I was before, and have great co-workers that I enjoy working with. Moral of the story--don't burn your bridges and keep your network intact. No company is perfect, and, in any large company, there is always someone in authority somewhere, who doesn't treat everyone fairly. Such is life. Overall, this is a good company to work for, and I am happy and grateful to have a job.

TheSwabbie
TheSwabbie

Good for you Pam, I'm glad you came out on top on that one. Too many times we lash out when thing like this happen and set fire to those bridges..its understandable though. Some people just dont have the maturity to NOT let go like that. She just hurt herself, thats all. People think that companies are a big one eyed monster, they arent. They are just a jumble of things, like "Replicators" on Stargate :)

Asia Trails
Asia Trails

I got "let go" in a very brutal manner after 9-11 - aerospace industry so to be expected. Kept a journal for a while then got hired and relocated by a good company and life is good.

nickp
nickp

I am leaving IT for good when the market recovers. Having been laid off in 2000, 2002 and 2008 - i've had it with greedy firms.

Process Analyst
Process Analyst

As someone else here said, everyone's had unfair treatment in the workplace. If the person who hears of your vent or if you tell him/her plainly in an interview there was a parting of the ways, the only person who's going to be put off is someone who is likely very autocratic, yes? Just so long as you're not still red in the face when you convey your information...

Process Analyst
Process Analyst

Sure, why vent? It's not very results-oriented. But what is one's recourse if a former client (you're working contract and rely on references) states that they are extremely pleased with your work, and then at the end of the contact tells you that as a matter of policy they don't serve as a reference (while they're still being effusive about you to the headhunter that placed you)? Then, a month later, the client asks you to come back in because the staff member you trained to use maintain and update a tool you designed left after less than a year on the job, the replacement staff doesn't even crack open the step-by-step instructions you left the client with for the tool you designed, and they want you to train 3 or 4 people (the number is always changing) and make all the changes they want to the tool for far less time than their request would require, amounting to an expenditure on their part of $300 for what requires two weeks' work? And when they're told the timeframe is inadequate to the task, they cease speaking to the headhunter? You now have no reference for the exceptional work you did for them.

The 'G-Man.'
The 'G-Man.'

I used to get a lot of opinionated Peer Mail sent to a different alias, from a now ex-employee of this very site. Interesting stuff.

alex.silveira
alex.silveira

every case is a different case, but for sure to vent is not the right thing to do. But also as a human being you are not perfect and also there are lots of other circunstances that can bring this kind of behave, or make it explode. The best thing is try to keep your head up, thanks for the oportunity and leave. :) I say that because the world spins and can be that someday you could be back in the same company or make businees with !!! Think ahead.

artanbori
artanbori

Yeah but when you apply for new job they want to know why you left There is venting and there is being frank and open and honest - trouble is frank and open and honest they say they want but they don't If you are frank and open and honest you should logically stand a chance of engaging with a company who appreciates your candour Why doesn't it work? Because company bosses are human - and are fighting to keep their feet at all costs in a grab all world they have created? Letting go the intelligent "pest" - the man who dares say "hang on " and "but" in favour of those who like to rest and flatter the best - never mind they talk behind the hand - and will bring you down to survive - because that is the nature of the beast which has been created For me it is just too too dumb Guess that makes me dumb to expect to find an honest man to work for

HLecter
HLecter

My favorite public-venting story: Ross Perot sold his company to General Motors. They had a stormy relationship up to that point and GM was cautious about Ross and his big mouth, so Ross signed the deal which included a fine of a million dollars (per incident) if he ever said anything derogatory about GM. After the deal concluded Ross wrote a check for 6 million to GM and said that he had a "few things to say about GM management."

rgomes1997
rgomes1997

Sometimes it's difficult to control emotions when a company does not pay what they owe you only because it's convenient for them or because they went bust or whatever. In the past an employer simply 'reset' payments of extra worked hours every time I was allocated to another sub-project. Hummm ... very convenient, isn't it? The money I lost was enough to buy a car. Recently a friend lost considerable money because his employer is facing shut down their doors. Another car not sold. The same way companies look for references for us, we should be smart enough to share references of them with our friends, in confidence, helping build their good reputation or otherwise eradicate them from the face of Earth definitely. But I do not recommend do it in public. never. It's simply not professional. By the time bad employers will be slowly exterminated. I prefer to share good experiences I had in good employers. This is an indirect way to give advantage to companies which deserve advantage and our respect. Richard Gomes http://www.jquantlib.org/index.php/User:RichardGomes

vencool
vencool

I think its only fair to post in public if the company has been truly immoral in its practices.Reason is that employees who look to join the firm next look up only on the internet to get an insight of how it is going to be , once they join the firm. Secondly,If the employer is so bad, would anyone ever consider re joining them? I would just add, "Maintain your anonymity" for safety :-) But yeah, go ahead and VENT if you know you are speaking the truth.

manuelramoscaro
manuelramoscaro

I remember two years ago a post on a blog about my company that finished with the firing of the blogger that post it. Obviusly it can't be take place if that person keep his/her privacity on the public forum of internet and on that way his/her can keep the liberty to talk about these things.

alex.kashko
alex.kashko

Use Pseudonyms and do not mention the employer by name.

Photogenic Memory
Photogenic Memory

What do you do in this situation? Let's say that "said" employer lets you go under crappy pretenses because you stuck to your guns on a project( and you knew you were right and responsible for doing so ). While hunting for work in your area; you hear on the internet grape vine; your old boss/project manager whatever is bad mouthing you to other professionals in the area? You know the stuff is not true but it could possibly hurt your chances for employment in your field down the road. So do you take it up the Keister and say nothing or do you go on the attack?

networkguyinsavannah
networkguyinsavannah

I had something of a similar experience. I was still employed and looking. In an interview, the interviewer let it slip out that my current boss, Mr. B, has said some disparaging things about me. I was livid and was about to vent my rage when an ideal hit me....I simply smiled and responded that "Wow, Mr. B sure does have a vivid imagination. I am sure he can come up with a lot of reasons why there has been a 75% turnover in employees the year he took over. Before he came aboard, the only reason someone left was because they died". It was a true statement and one that told in the most polite terms what a loser and a moron Mr. B was. Two days later, I got a call was hired left Mr. B with TWO WEEKS notice. Now the talk is what a liar Mr. B is all around town.

TheSwabbie
TheSwabbie

Brother, if you know you were in the right just let it go. If the old employer is blantanly wrong and you have proof - have an attorney send him a cease and desist letter, that or you can threaten the company with this. Be professional about it, no emotion, just the facts. Trust me, if the old employer/boss is running their mouth in a bad way, that comes back to bite them in A** just as it would bite you to bad mouth them. If someone asks you about this, just try to put it in the best light possible and even talk GOOD about that employer - the person you are speaking with will immediately think BETTER of you. Trust me, you dont have to respond to every little attack or inuendo. When you go on the attack the whole thing de-evolves into a rumble...and no one is the winner.

VoiceOfLogic
VoiceOfLogic

Also, in that letter, remind the schmuck what the definition of slander and libel are. Have it sent registered mail. Inform that idiot that there are no one-way streets in this world of employment.

kjohnson
kjohnson

Write to him by registered post, stating exactly what you believe he has said about you and to whom. Then add that you would appreciate his assurance in writing that he knows that the statements he made are untrue and that he will correct them and will not repeat them. Add that sending you such a reply will avoid both of you incurring unnecessary expense.

JamesRL
JamesRL

In a way, it is a natural part of the process to vent at some point. And like the stages of greiving, it may be something you HAVE to do, as opposed to wanting to do, because if you don't you can't work your way towards acceptence and looking forward. But you don't vent to your "business" contacts. Unless they are in the unique position of being close personal friends and business contacts - I do have some, but I still suggest its good to be on the side of caution. You need to get it out of your system, but pick someone who is "safe" to vent to. Your references should not be in this list, or people on your networking list. James

Jellimonsta
Jellimonsta

I have been laid off only once. My very first job back in the UK when I was 16. The company went under and they kept me around until the doors closed (probably because I was paid so little). ;) I am not sure if being one of the last to be let go changed my attitude any, but I do not remember any bitterness or resentment, only disappointment. Regardless, I generally don't have much time for bitterness any way. Much better things to focus my efforts on.

info
info

I agree with this post. It hurts to be laid-off and you have the right to feel the way you do; I know from past experience from a number of time. However, venting in public or on public sites is never a good idea. You don't want to burn bridges because you just may need those folks in the future.

pajosully
pajosully

Agreed. Don't risk the opportunity of another position by slamming your old employer. I am in the same boat as many...laid off. It sucks but you have to move forward.

stinkypoople
stinkypoople

I did not see mentioned the way in which you vent, if it's constructive-well that might not be venting, however, the way in which you express displeasure can both get the point across, but without going over "the line" so to speak. It would also do to go a step further and never mention work-related problems in such forums either. But if you can't resist, I would advise strong censorship. Being constructive speaks well to your job prospects in the light of disappointment, showing that no matter what you are a resilient individual who won't let such matters "get to" you. It is tempting with so many friends online to express, but talking in person or over the phone would be best or putting your comments in a more toned down manner could do. Ex. "I was fired, not real happy, but I can find another job." What do you think?

spaul940
spaul940

Back in the 80's, I was with an electronics company that had a major layoff. The news media sent all their people out to the local bars (Massachusetts) to interview the people who had been laid off. The was the usual griping and nasty comments about the company that had laid them off until they interviewed one person at the bar that said that the company was the best company he had ever worked for and if he ever got a chance to go back to work for them, he would. The next day, he was rehired!

artanbori
artanbori

why would anyone reasonable consider it bad form for you to give reasonable account of events that led to loss of position???? if they don't want to know then why put it on applications form - reason for leaving how to put it gently that they forced you out changing the rules fixing the evidence? you see how bad practice is affecting company to the betterment of persons who have connections but liimited abilities except to please the guy next step up if you dare to make a suggestions for improvements which would benefit employees and company alike you are squashed like a bug and you can shrug your shoulders and say it's the boss's short term gain and long term loss, but comply and you lose commitment / self respect which affects your home life and relations face it you are damned if you do and damned if you don't until bosses stop paying lip sync to transparency and actually commit maybe could help themselves by working a little harder on finding out why someone left

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