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Left my job because of awful boss - reference help? Watch

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    Me and my boss did not get on at all, she was on maternity leave when I was hired and the first time I met her she was telling me off for not knowing who she was. We had many run ins with me 'not doing my job right' and rule breaking none of which are true, she once tried to get me arrested for fraud when I had been following my assistant managers orders filling out email forms (as had everyone else but you know, only me that got pulled up about it).

    Honestly, I was a good employe to the point she couldn't deny it, I had the best sales and till point out of the staff. So I left because I wasn't putting up with being called a liar and a cheat and whatever else she called me when I leave for Uni soon anyway. However I did work there for 9 months and I could really use the experience on my CV. Any advice?
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    You could probably take legal action if she was effectively bullying you. Though will probably have to be substantiated by others or in writing etc.

    Could you use anyone besides your boss for a reference there, such as a supervisor?
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    (Original post by hellodave5)
    You could probably take legal action if she was effectively bullying you. Though will probably have to be substantiated by others or in writing etc.

    Could you use anyone besides your boss for a reference there, such as a supervisor?
    I was planning on telling head office but I'm not sure how much good that would do.

    I could get my assistant manager but no one worked with me that much because all the AM's left within a month of my boss coming of maternity leave (Not really liked among staff). Bit ridiculous really, I'm the 6th member of staff to leave since she came back in February but no one is questioning anything. :/
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    (Original post by imjustrach)
    I was planning on telling head office but I'm not sure how much good that would do.

    I could get my assistant manager but no one worked with me that much because all the AM's left within a month of my boss coming of maternity leave (Not really liked among staff). Bit ridiculous really, I'm the 6th member of staff to leave since she came back in February but no one is questioning anything. :/
    I would talk to head office, and perhaps a solicitor... if she was indeed in the wrong... and is only a boss within a branch of a large organisation.
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    Unfortunately, it's best you do include her as a reference.

    Smart reference-checkers will make a point of calling people not on your list, because presumably you've only listed the people most likely to present you in the best light.

    But don't panic. Here's what you can do:

    Call your old boss and ask if she'd be willing to reach an agreement with you on what she'll say to future reference calls. It's at least worth a shot—the worst that can happen is that she'll say no.

    When you call, say something like this: "I'm concerned that the reference you're providing for me is preventing me from getting work. Could we work something out so that this isn't standing in my way?" Employers who either (a) take pity on you or (b) are terrified of lawsuits may be willing to work something out with you.

    Also, if relevant, it won't hurt to soften her up a little first by telling her that you've learned from the situation, appreciate the chance she gave you, etc.

    If you think the reference your boss is providing is factually inaccurate, skip her and go straight to your old company's HR department. Explain that your boss is giving an inaccurate reference for you and that you are concerned she is standing in the way of you obtaining employment. HR people are trained in this stuff, will be familiar with the potential for legal problems, and will probably speak to your old boss and put a stop to it.

    If it's a small company and there's no HR department, contact the old boss directly and politely explain that she's exposing her company to legal risk by defaming you and jeopardizing your ability to gain employment.

    If all else fails, you may need to simply warn prospective new employers that the reference won't be a good one. And you do want to give this warning, because it allows you to provide context and framing for what they might be about to hear. If you don't, they may never tell you that the reference is why they rejected you, so the time to speak up is before they place the call. How you explain it depends on exactly what's behind the bad reference, but your goal is to put it in the best possible light. For instance, if your relationship with your boss soured after a particular event, you could say something like, "By the way, I had glowing reviews from my boss at that job, but our relationship became strained toward the end and I worry that it could color that reference."

    Be prepared for questions about what caused the strain, of course.You can also offer up former coworkers, clients, and others who can speak to your work to counter your old boss's negative reference, and even old copies of performance reviews if you have some. Sometimes the mere offer of these things will provide the reassurance employers are looking for.

    A good thing to know though, if your other references are good, the one from this boss shouldn't carry as much weight.
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    (Original post by AlexMann)
    Unfortunately, it's best you do include her as a reference.

    Smart reference-checkers will make a point of calling people not on your list, because presumably you've only listed the people most likely to present you in the best light.

    But don't panic. Here's what you can do:

    Call your old boss and ask if she'd be willing to reach an agreement with you on what she'll say to future reference calls. It's at least worth a shot—the worst that can happen is that she'll say no.

    When you call, say something like this: "I'm concerned that the reference you're providing for me is preventing me from getting work. Could we work something out so that this isn't standing in my way?" Employers who either (a) take pity on you or (b) are terrified of lawsuits may be willing to work something out with you.

    Also, if relevant, it won't hurt to soften her up a little first by telling her that you've learned from the situation, appreciate the chance she gave you, etc.

    If you think the reference your boss is providing is factually inaccurate, skip her and go straight to your old company's HR department. Explain that your boss is giving an inaccurate reference for you and that you are concerned she is standing in the way of you obtaining employment. HR people are trained in this stuff, will be familiar with the potential for legal problems, and will probably speak to your old boss and put a stop to it.

    If it's a small company and there's no HR department, contact the old boss directly and politely explain that she's exposing her company to legal risk by defaming you and jeopardizing your ability to gain employment.

    If all else fails, you may need to simply warn prospective new employers that the reference won't be a good one. And you do want to give this warning, because it allows you to provide context and framing for what they might be about to hear. If you don't, they may never tell you that the reference is why they rejected you, so the time to speak up is before they place the call. How you explain it depends on exactly what's behind the bad reference, but your goal is to put it in the best possible light. For instance, if your relationship with your boss soured after a particular event, you could say something like, "By the way, I had glowing reviews from my boss at that job, but our relationship became strained toward the end and I worry that it could color that reference."

    Be prepared for questions about what caused the strain, of course.You can also offer up former coworkers, clients, and others who can speak to your work to counter your old boss's negative reference, and even old copies of performance reviews if you have some. Sometimes the mere offer of these things will provide the reassurance employers are looking for.

    A good thing to know though, if your other references are good, the one from this boss shouldn't carry as much weight.
    I would of taken issue with an employer contacting other people in the organisation without permission, if my direct manager found out I was seeking another job I would of been treated unfavorably for one. Are you speaking from experience?
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    (Original post by MrBuck)
    I would of taken issue with an employer contacting other people in the organisation without permission, if my direct manager found out I was seeking another job I would of been treated unfavorably for one. Are you speaking from experience?
    Well, first of all if you're still employed by a company it would be sensible and understandable to employers that you don't include them (the manager) as a reference.

    I've had employers speak to people that weren't in the reference (in cases when I left that particular company)...it's a rarity but you must always prepare for the worst.

    If there's a notable omission some employers may see it as a red flag, especially if it's your most recent manager.

    The bigger the position, the most likely this will happen.

    And employers don't need your permission to call people who aren't on your reference list; they'll call who they want to call. They might ask you to connect them, or they might just pick up the phone. So no one should lull themselves into thinking that they can burn a bridge simply because they'll just not use that reference. Unfortunately you don't get to pick your references — or more accurately, you've already picked them, when you picked your past jobs.
 
 
 
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