New CEO Fires Long Term Employee – Ask #hr bartender

theme park sign indicating the end of the line for an employee

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Today’s reader note is a tough story to read. I’m sharing it for two reasons. First, because this person was kind to share it with me and second, because I’m hoping my response will benefit not only this person but others in the same situation. Full disclosure: I did edit the note for brevity and to remove any identifying references. 

I was recently fired from a job I had for ten years. I received good performance reviews about my work and had good relationships with our suppliers, banks, customers, and coworkers. The shareholders respected me.

Almost a year ago, the company hired a new CEO, and everything changed. They did not like me, complained about my work, and changed everything I was doing. They yelled at me on more than one occasion and told me that my work was incorrect. They asked me to change to a new software program with no training. Then finally without warning they fired me. 

I’ve worked in my field for over 30 years with two employers. How can someone come and destroy all that you’ve been working for? I tried to talk with the shareholders, but they are staying silent. I tried to speak with the owners, but they are never available. I spoke to HR and their answer was “It’s time for you to look for another job, the CEO isn’t going anywhere.” I would appreciate your comments on this. 

Losing your job is hard. Losing your job and not understanding the reason why is even harder. I understand the “your job isn’t your life” thing but it doesn’t change the fact that we spend almost one-third of our day at work. And we work for decades. So, when someone else makes the decision to fire us or eliminate our role, it’s hard. We need time to process what happened and figure out our next step. And that’s what needs to be done here.  

As much as it pains me to say it, the reality is that sometimes organizations hire CEOs or executives who decide to get rid of employees. Many of those people are loyal, hardworking employees with good performance reviews who love what they do. It’s unfortunate and hurtful. HR professionals often try to mitigate the situation, but sometimes they are ignored. Unless the employee has proof that they can take to a government agency or lawyer, it becomes very difficult to talk the organization into giving a fired employee their old job back. 

And on some level, the employee has to decide if that’s really even a good option. For example in this situation, the employee knows that their boss doesn’t like them, says their work is wrong, and treats them with disrespect. Ask yourself, “Is that really where I want to spend my time?”. You could be miserable and always wondering what might happen next. 

I do understand the other option is looking for a new job, which is also tough. Especially, if you haven’t done a job search in a while. There’s an old saying that still holds true today: The best time to be networking for a new opportunity is when you still have a job. If you’re not out on social media, you should be so you can connect with recruiters and people in your profession. When you land an interview, you have to be prepared to discuss why you’re looking and what happened in you last job (because you know you’re going to get asked). 

The good news is that in today’s job market it might be possible to do freelancing or contract work. This option might offer regular work and provide individuals the option to choose their clients so they’re not working at organizations that don’t respect them. It’s possible to research connecting with a staffing agency or go out on your own. Both have advantages and drawbacks to consider.

I wish I could say there’s one right answer here but there’s not. I wish I could say that the next step is easy but it’s not. I can say that each of us must decide what’s best for us and our careers. Hopefully, I’ve provided a few things for an employee to consider. Keep in mind that today’s article has been focused on the work aspect. We also need to consider how our career decisions influence our personal lives. 

There’s an old quote from Alexander Graham Bell that says, “When one door closes, another opens.” Be proud of the work you’ve done in the past. Be happy about the relationships you’ve built. Don’t let your departure ruin that. Now it’s time to focus on what the next step will be and see what the future holds.

Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby while exploring the streets of Anaheim, CA

The post New CEO Fires Long Term Employee – Ask #hr bartender appeared first on hr bartender.

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