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Well... I'm unemployed again

Discussion in 'Jobs and Careers' started by Lichtgeschwindigkeit_, Oct 20, 2019.

  1. Lichtgeschwindigkeit_

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    Actually I've been unemployed since May. Job hunting stinks.

    I've gone through periods of being unemployed and have an eclectic work history. After college I couldn't get a full-time job, so I enrolled and got a Master's. After my Master's, I worked for 18 months, but got laid off. I decided at that point become a part-time teacher while going back to do an MBA. After my MBA, no luck breaking into higher finance, and had some varied jobs in translation/editing and IT or web development. In the last two years, I went into teaching at this international private school but got put on probation and fired a semester before I could make "tenure". From the time I started my Master's degree to now, I've also learned four foreign languages (Spanish, French, German and Mandarin Chinese) to B2-level or equivalent proficiency.

    Well, it's not real "tenure" in the Higher Education sense, it's just that your contract will be for increasingly longer periods, and you have more rights associated with that (for example, I would be eligible for a 2 year contract had I not been fired, and after completing that a 3-year contract; after completing that I would have a 5 year contract).

    To hear the school say it I was fired because I had a short fuse and stormed out of one interview in a fit of rage, and deliberately tried to trip up a guy (so as to screw him out of a job) in a second interview. What really happened was the guy was 45 minutes late, and I went home because I didn't think he was going to show. In the second interview, I asked the guy to whiteboard some questions and explain them and he couldn't do it.

    In out of 600 applications, I have gotten to date 9 interviews, and 23 explicit rejections. Just as an experiment, for a week whenever I applied to one of those "Easy Apply" jobs on LinkedIn, I'd use a dummy account with a fake resume (worse than mine, and filled with typos) and apply. The fake applicant actually got more callbacks than I did.

    I'm getting frustrated as my employment gap gets longer and longer...
     
    #1 Lichtgeschwindigkeit_, Oct 20, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2019
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  2. Phaedrus

    Phaedrus Active Member

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    Until something comes along that befits your education, perhaps you should simply work any job just to have some sort of income pouring in.
     
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  3. sun rise

    sun rise "Let there be peace and love among all"
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    During my working life, I was fired from a job without cause and was also a manager who had to fire a couple of people. So my comments are from that perspective.

    Something does not add up in what you wrote. Specifically getting put on probation is one event. Getting fired is another event. You wrote about the interview incident but it's not clear if you were put on probation because of how they viewed it or were already on probation and were fired as a result of the interview incident.

    Normally when someone is put on probation, there are specific issues that the person is supposed to address. If the person addresses them, then they're taken off probation and continue working. If the person does not address the issues successfully, they're fired.

    If I were a career counselor I would want to go into detail about the issues I raised. But RF is not the place for that. So if I were you, I'd want to look at what happened in much more detail than you wrote here.

    I also was struck by you having "no luck" finding jobs in a couple of cases. There's a lot that goes into finding a job and sometimes luck or coincidence plays a part as does the state of the economy. But I also learned that how you present yourself also matters, even in a down economy where there are not a lot of jobs.
     
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  4. 0x0005D0

    0x0005D0 Member

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    I have to disagree with this, actually. In many companies, a PIP is more of the company's way of covering their *** when they want to fire someone and make it look above the board. That's not just one opinion, others have written about it too. There was one guy, a former facebook employee, who also confirmed that PIP's are sometimes used to fire people who technically aren't doing badly and didn't do anything wrong, but just don't "fit in" with the company culture. At least one legal firm also confirms the same.

    Yeah there are certain PIP's which set clear goals in terms of, getting better at a task for example. I worked with a guy who was put on a PIP and his goals were clearly laid out in technical terms: get a mastery of a modern programming language, proficient in using SQL to query, and understand the basics of relational databases. He did so, and was removed from PIP.

    In comparison when they wanted to get rid of someone, they would place things which couldn't be as concretely measured, such as "Demonstrate a better fit for the company culture"

    Of course there are legitimate PIP's and people get off probation if they've completed the goals. But oftentimes HR can draw them up in a way that's vague, unrealistic or subjective so they can never truly be met.
     
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  5. Lichtgeschwindigkeit_

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    I was working at a private school as a teacher. They claimed that "parents were complaining about my teaching" but they absolutely refused to go into specifics about this, citing they couldn't tell me the details because of privacy concerns. However I wasn't put on probation at the time. Fast-forward a few months later, I was up for promotion but I didn't get it. The guy who got it was a friend of the dean, who got promoted despite being only completing his undergrad degree at 27, having zero years of teaching experience, and having been in a major only marginally related to the subject we were teaching.

    I complained about it at the time, but to my friends and family outside of work. At work, I simply accepted it and worked as usual went on my way.

    A few weeks later, I found myself on probation for a number of things.

    My PIP was something like this. It consisted of things like "demonstrate sufficiently improved compatibility with team members," or "help parents feel more supported by engaging in communication through the appropriate channels". In the case of the latter, I began to document every single communication that I had with the parents, only to be told that I in fact needed official written permission from the Dean of Students, countersigned by the Vice Principal and my Department Lead, to even contact them in the first place. When I pointed to the lack of such a rule in the employee rulebook, they told me it was only recently implemented...
     
  6. A Vestigial Mote

    A Vestigial Mote Well-Known Member

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    I can corroborate this. There was a woman at my previous employer who was an excellent employee. She was bright, capable, always had a good attitude, etc. Well, she was pregnant and her due date was approaching (a couple months away), and so the company was looking at having to pay her for leave under their policies. The division I was in wasn't doing the greatest financially, and so, just about out of nowhere, she got written up for a mistake that happened on a particular job. It wasn't a very costly mistake, and didn't jeopardize the project in any way, and I, personally, had made far more costly and objectively worse mistakes myself at the company and was NOT ONCE written up. Not to mention that the policy is that at least a pair of eyes have a look at any given aspect of a project, so it puts the responsibility and accountability in two people's hands. But she was the only one written up. 2 weeks later, she was let go. It wasn't about the mistake - it was about having to pay her while she wasn't working once she had her baby. Everyone knew it, even if no one in management was saying anything.
     
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  7. RoaringSilence

    RoaringSilence Active Member

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    keep trying mate it will work out don't worry
     
  8. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Greased up & ready for action!
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    It can be that, or a genuine attempt to salvage the employee.
    But the latter can appear to be the former when the employee
    fails to adequately address the problem.

    To the OP, I recommend getting some frank advice from people
    who are familiar with the problems. Listen without defensiveness,
    consider, plan for change, & work for it. Also, when interviewing,
    ask for feedback.
     
  9. AsianActivist

    AsianActivist Member

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    OP is probably leaving things out. I have worked in HR and yes while we do use Probation as a two week's notice in 90% of the choices where this happened this was because the employee deserved it to begin with. Either we knew they did not want to improve or they were so toxic/problematic that despite the fact that they didn't technically do anything wrong we had to get rid of them somehow.

    For example we had to get rid of one guy after he claimed repeatedly that someone didn't deserve their job promotion. We absolutely would not tolerate this as it could be considered harassment by our rules but the person saying it was technically only expressing an opinion but nevertheless it was still a toxic one. He was put on a 10-day PIP where he had to write a letter of apology to the person he offended and have it accepted by that person. The person simply never accepted the apology and he was fired.

    Oh and by the way if you really have a Master's and and MBA and you can't get a job the problem is probably you. My husband is white American and we live in Taiwan. He doesn't speak the language and has only an Associate's. He has been able to get product manager, web developer, and translator gigs that pay two or three times as much as the local salary. He has also taught at one of the top private schools here all without needing to speak Chinese or have a degree.
     
  10. Lichtgeschwindigkeit_

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    Yeah, something similar happened to me. When they were trying to put me on probation, I got written up for being 2 minutes late despite never having been late before and having a good reason (a car accident at the intersection before the turn-off to the school). In my probation letter they claimed I was "almost late on several occasions" because I "only" arrived 10 minutes early on those occasions. Usually, I was there half an hour early.

    Meanwhile, there was a guy who was actually late on regular basis. I'm not talking just 5 or 10 minutes, this guy would roll around maybe 30-40 minutes late at least once a week and even missed his first period class on multiple occasions. He was never once written up. When I brought this up in my probation meeting they said things like:
    • "We're not discussing Gladstone's performance. We're discussing yours."
    • "That's a cultural difference. You need to be more tolerant if you want to keep working here."
    • "Coming on time is the bare minimum. If you truly wanted to you could have come in 45 minutes or an hour early
    In my probation meeting they also accused me of "acting in bad faith" because I truthfully reported that someone had made multiple factual errors while teaching (they claimed that Nazi Germany and "Red China" had been allies in WW2, that Japan fought on the side of the Allies, and that the USSR was founded in the 60's after the Cold War). Apparently including these in my report was done for no other reason than to make this person look bad.
     
  11. A Vestigial Mote

    A Vestigial Mote Well-Known Member

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    Given those details it does indeed sound like they may have, indeed, had it out for you - which makes me wonder why. If those comments from them are legitimately what they said, then they were grasping at straws and feigning confidence - all the while knowing they were underhanded. I can't believe they'd suggest you should have been coming in an hour early, and when they mentioned the "cultural difference" was that because the person in question was of a different culture, or a minority, and they were therefore just excusing their lateness? Or was the lateness due to some cultural or religious adherence to something that perpetually had them coming in late?

    I can't pretend to know all the details, but I have seen as bad and worse done to people who were genuinely good employees, so I know it is more common than others might want to believe.
     
  12. Lichtgeschwindigkeit_

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    Yes and no. He was a minority in the sense that he wasn't of the dominant race of this country where I work, but he was of the race that was most represented among instructors and non-support staff (i.e. administrative clerks, cleaners, IT staff) at the school. On the other hand, I come from the dominant race of my current residence, but racially speaking I was a minority in the workplace.

    On the other hand, we were both from the United States. As far as I know "Gladstone" (not his real name) was from Detroit; middle management were also Americans, British, or Australian and upper management was local people who had studied abroad. Now he could have belonged to some religion that I am unfamiliar with which justified coming in a bit later, but I could hardly imagine being 30-40 minutes late at least twice a week.

    The thing is that the "international education" circuit here in my country, it's more or less an open secret that there is a higher bar to entry if you look like I do, vs. looking "foreign". Years back, I remember a place that openly stated that not only was the bar for straight men of the majority race higher, that they were paid 15% less as well. Someone sued them and what did they say? That they weren't raising the bar for straight men, they had just lowered it for everyone else. In the end they got a fine and were told to knock it off but they simply just stopped advertising it openly, while internally having more or less the same policy.
     
  13. Thief

    Thief Rogue Theologian

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    I was unemployed and seeking work as an instructor for machine tools
    at the college where I ATTENDED!!!!!

    at the SAME college where I instigated machines tools 3and 4...!!!!!
    first man on the roster two semesters in a row

    not qualified

    during the interview that instructor candidly advise me to NOT
    show my transcript to any employer

    hinting I might be OVER qualified for menial labor


    go figure
     
  14. 0x0005D0

    0x0005D0 Member

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    Maybe somebody just didn't like him. I got fired from a job once on a technicality. Our contract says that we should have to obey all "municipal, local, county, state, federal and international laws". A reasonable person would take that to mean that you must follow all the laws of the jurisdiction that you are currently in, but they basically told me I was getting fired for something that was legal in the current state but illegal in another.
     
  15. Lichtgeschwindigkeit_

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    Well, just got rejected from another job with the usual

    "Your technical aptitude is impressive, and we believe you have a lot of potential for growth, but we just don't think you're a good fit for our team right now."
     
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