Will a bad reference stop me from getting a job?

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lw999
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So my current job is not what I expected it to be. I'm finding the job quite difficult, I'm making a lot of mistakes, having difficulty remembering information and generally not working well. My manager is not pleased and has pulled me up on it a few times.

I'm looking for another job but I'm worried that if I did get an offer a job when they ask my manager for a reference she will write a bad one and I won't get a job. And because it is my current/most recent employer I always have to give them as a reference.

I have never had any issue with work before. All my previous managers have always given me outstanding references and I know they will continue to do so - it's just my current manager who may end up having a negative impact on my future employment,

If it helps, the reason why I'm finding my current job hard is because I am having personal difficulties which are backed by medical evidence.

Sorry if I have rambled, but in short could one bad reference make a future employer withdraw an offer of a job? Would I be able to explain why I have been given such a reference due to my medical issue?
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SlowlorisIncognito
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(Original post by lw999)
So my current job is not what I expected it to be. I'm finding the job quite difficult, I'm making a lot of mistakes, having difficulty remembering information and generally not working well. My manager is not pleased and has pulled me up on it a few times.

I'm looking for another job but I'm worried that if I did get an offer a job when they ask my manager for a reference she will write a bad one and I won't get a job. And because it is my current/most recent employer I always have to give them as a reference.

I have never had any issue with work before. All my previous managers have always given me outstanding references and I know they will continue to do so - it's just my current manager who may end up having a negative impact on my future employment,

If it helps, the reason why I'm finding my current job hard is because I am having personal difficulties which are backed by medical evidence.

Sorry if I have rambled, but in short could one bad reference make a future employer withdraw an offer of a job? Would I be able to explain why I have been given such a reference due to my medical issue?
If you're currently in the job, you may be able to avoid giving them as a reference by saying that you don't want your current employer to know you're job searching. This isn't uncommon, and most decent employers will respect that.

A bad reference could make employers withdraw a job offer (otherwise they wouldn't bother getting references at all). However, I doubt your reference will be that terrible- most managers don't like to get into subjective performance issues when giving references. Unless it's something directly quantifiable, such as X has been late on 10 occasions without explanation, most managers will just say something vague and lukewarm such as "X probably isn't the best fit for this role right now".

I wouldn't bring medical issues into it, unless you're going to need specific accommodations in your new role. Obviously it depends a lot on the nature of your condition, but it could end up sounding a lot like "I let my personal life impact my work". I'm not sure if your medical condition counts as a disability, but even if that is the case employers only have to make reasonable accommodations- if you make it sound like you really can't cope with the work, then people are unlikely to hire you.

I would only bring up your medical issues if your prospective employer checks references and says something like "Your references from X job and Y job were really strong, but your most recent job is weaker, why is this?". Some employers will do this, if one reference is totally out of key with the others. Sometimes it can be a case of a personality clash or a bad fit. If you can provide several other referees who will give you a strong reference this will help.

The other option is to discuss things with your current manger. Chances are, your manager would like it if you left, and may be willing to agree to give you a lukewarm reference in order to help you find a new job.
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digitalangel18
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It's illegal for an ex-employer to give a bad reference ^ but they can refuse to give you one, which can be an obvious sign to the hiring manager there were some problems at your old job. They could just say you worked at ... from .... to .... etc keep it simple. If you can help it use someone else for your reference.
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2048435
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Reading your story is like reading something from my mind. I got a job two months after I graduated and I am not adjusting well into the role at all. I am making critical mistakes at work and my manager has pulled me up a few times. It's knocked my confidence a lot and I'm beginning to look for new jobs. Don't know if he would be able to give me a good reference or not, but he has said he is worried about my performance. I hear the first job after uni is always the hardest.
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by lw999)
Sorry if I have rambled, but in short could one bad reference make a future employer withdraw an offer of a job?
(Original post by digitalangel18)
It's illegal for an ex-employer to give a bad reference .
It's a complete myth that it is illegal to give a bad reference. It's illegal to give a dishonest reference, thus if an employee is a complete shambles and, for example, is subject to disciplinary or performance processes, it is perfectly legal, indeed obligatory to say so.

The trick if you know you are under-performing and it's not likely to get better, is to jump before any formal action is taken. What employers are generally loathed to do is give a strongly critical reference if they haven't taken any formal action over performance. So while you know you aren't performing well and you aren't likely to improve, but the employer is just complaining but not putting you on a formal review or whatever, then is the time to get looking.

References aren't usually taken up until you are being made a job offer (unless you are working with children or vulnerable adults), ie the employer only takes up the references for the one person they want to offer the job to, in which case there is usually no discussion about references between the new employer and the final candidate. A really bad reference that disclosed dishonesty or dismissal, or serious under-performance could lead to the withdrawal of an offer, but it's rare other than in specific sectors (care, education)
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-Eirlys-
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It's not illegal? If the employee behaved poorly, then they can state that but obviously not in a completely insulting or derogatory way.

(Original post by digitalangel18)
It's illegal for an ex-employer to give a bad reference ^ but they can refuse to give you one, which can be an obvious sign to the hiring manager there were some problems at your old job. They could just say you worked at ... from .... to .... etc keep it simple. If you can help it use someone else for your reference.
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amyfordd
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Tbh if she doesn't think you fit in where you currently are then she will probably give you a decent enough reference to move on. even if it's just a general "turned up on time", "didn't burn the place down" sort of thing
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Blackhall
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(Original post by lw999)
So my current job is not what I expected it to be. I'm finding the job quite difficult, I'm making a lot of mistakes, having difficulty remembering information and generally not working well. My manager is not pleased and has pulled me up on it a few times.

I'm looking for another job but I'm worried that if I did get an offer a job when they ask my manager for a reference she will write a bad one and I won't get a job. And because it is my current/most recent employer I always have to give them as a reference.

I have never had any issue with work before. All my previous managers have always given me outstanding references and I know they will continue to do so - it's just my current manager who may end up having a negative impact on my future employment,

If it helps, the reason why I'm finding my current job hard is because I am having personal difficulties which are backed by medical evidence.

Sorry if I have rambled, but in short could one bad reference make a future employer withdraw an offer of a job? Would I be able to explain why I have been given such a reference due to my medical issue?
These days references are mostly used to confirm your employment history. One would not expect employers to go into great detail about an employee's performance. If despite your issues, they respect you as an employee, they would not give you a bad reference. If they want you to voluntarily move to another company, why would they hinder that process by giving you a bad reference? It is nothing to worry about.
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Mohammed7
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I am finding it difficult to get back into work after taking g early retirement. I worked for children services over 27 years however the reason for taking early retirement was due to change of management.I am now finding it difficult to get a job because the manager's reference inform that she would never employ me. So all the jobs I get offered get turned down
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by Mohammed7)
I am finding it difficult to get back into work after taking g early retirement. I worked for children services over 27 years however the reason for taking early retirement was due to change of management.I am now finding it difficult to get a job because the manager's reference inform that she would never employ me. So all the jobs I get offered get turned down
That is a difficult situation, but she in allowed to say that, in fact 'Would you re employ this person?' is often a direct question asked when giving a reference. First of all, you probably need to look for jobs outside that sector, which has a very strict approach to references, and look at something like retail, at least to build up another reference. Otherwise you could see if a colleague would give you a character reference, however, most children's services/care sector jobs will want a reference from a specific past manager, so that might not be acceptable.
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Harland G
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(Original post by lw999)
So my current job is not what I expected it to be....
You don't say how long you've been in the job, but I'm guessing we're talking about weeks or months here, and not years. If that's the case, just airbrush this job from your CV, put the brief break following your previous job, down to 'resting' or 'travelling' and then move on. I did this a long time ago when my boss was a complete a*s*h*le and I realised I'd made a colossal mistake taking the job. That failed job experience was transformed into a 6 month trip around Europe!
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Blondeonbrown
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I have just been dismissed from my admin job from the NHS, for poor performance. They are grossly unfair, there were a couple of issues, but nothing to bad. I was told I was putting the department at risk of my mistakes. I really want to get my own back, I have to go back on Monday to work of my notice, I don't even want to see my manager,I am fuming. If I knew this was coming i should of handed in my notice, unfortunately. I never joined the union i, worked there for 9, years in children services I may lose my home if I don't get a job as my reference will need to be truthful and it will say I was dismissed. What can I do I have three children to support and pay a mortgage.
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pizzeria2
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(Original post by lw999)
So my current job is not what I expected it to be. I'm finding the job quite difficult, I'm making a lot of mistakes, having difficulty remembering information and generally not working well. My manager is not pleased and has pulled me up on it a few times.

I'm looking for another job but I'm worried that if I did get an offer a job when they ask my manager for a reference she will write a bad one and I won't get a job. And because it is my current/most recent employer I always have to give them as a reference.

I have never had any issue with work before. All my previous managers have always given me outstanding references and I know they will continue to do so - it's just my current manager who may end up having a negative impact on my future employment,

If it helps, the reason why I'm finding my current job hard is because I am having personal difficulties which are backed by medical evidence.

Sorry if I have rambled, but in short could one bad reference make a future employer withdraw an offer of a job? Would I be able to explain why I have been given such a reference due to my medical issue?
Can't you just not list the job in you CV and say you are currently unemployed?
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belfastgirl3187
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(Original post by lw999)
So my current job is not what I expected it to be. I'm finding the job quite difficult, I'm making a lot of mistakes, having difficulty remembering information and generally not working well. My manager is not pleased and has pulled me up on it a few times.

I'm looking for another job but I'm worried that if I did get an offer a job when they ask my manager for a reference she will write a bad one and I won't get a job. And because it is my current/most recent employer I always have to give them as a reference.

I have never had any issue with work before. All my previous managers have always given me outstanding references and I know they will continue to do so - it's just my current manager who may end up having a negative impact on my future employment,

If it helps, the reason why I'm finding my current job hard is because I am having personal difficulties which are backed by medical evidence.

Sorry if I have rambled, but in short could one bad reference make a future employer withdraw an offer of a job? Would I be able to explain why I have been given such a reference due to my medical issue?
I work in HR and have done for 10 years, we can't give bad references anymore, if anyone on this thread has been a victim of this in the past two years then I ask they contact me immediately for further advice.

Your employer should only provide your start and end date, possibly your job title. The only time I've ever seen a full reference being given is for roles working with vulnerable adults and children. Even then, it's most companies' policies nowadays to only provide dates of employment and job titles especially under our new GDPR rules. If you need any further help then feel free to message me.
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belfastgirl3187
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(Original post by pizzeria2)
Can't you just not list the job in you CV and say you are currently unemployed?
Technically, no. As if your found lying on your CV you can be dismissed with immediate effect.
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belfastgirl3187
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(Original post by Blondeonbrown)
I have just been dismissed from my admin job from the NHS, for poor performance. They are grossly unfair, there were a couple of issues, but nothing to bad. I was told I was putting the department at risk of my mistakes. I really want to get my own back, I have to go back on Monday to work of my notice, I don't even want to see my manager,I am fuming. If I knew this was coming i should of handed in my notice, unfortunately. I never joined the union i, worked there for 9, years in children services I may lose my home if I don't get a job as my reference will need to be truthful and it will say I was dismissed. What can I do I have three children to support and pay a mortgage.
Message me on this, I think I can help.
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pizzeria2
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(Original post by belfastgirl3187)
Technically, no. As if your found lying on your CV you can be dismissed with immediate effect.
In the experience section of your CV, just list your previous jobs and say nothing about you current job. It's not lying if you say nothing.
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belfastgirl3187
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(Original post by Harland G)
You don't say how long you've been in the job, but I'm guessing we're talking about weeks or months here, and not years. If that's the case, just airbrush this job from your CV, put the brief break following your previous job, down to 'resting' or 'travelling' and then move on. I did this a long time ago when my boss was a complete a*s*h*le and I realised I'd made a colossal mistake taking the job. That failed job experience was transformed into a 6 month trip around Europe!
My goodness, no! That's such bad advice, do not omit anything from your CV or application forms, you may get away with it now, but HR is a tight community and if you end up on Linkedin or anywhere like that then someone will find out. This has happened to quite a few people, one of them being my HR Assistant who omitted a role from her CV and was dismissed from her previous role for being untruthful. Same way you shouldn't tweak your exam results, be honest because karma is an absolute b****.
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hannah00
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(Original post by Blondeonbrown)
I have just been dismissed from my admin job from the NHS, for poor performance. They are grossly unfair, there were a couple of issues, but nothing to bad. I was told I was putting the department at risk of my mistakes. I really want to get my own back, I have to go back on Monday to work of my notice, I don't even want to see my manager,I am fuming. If I knew this was coming i should of handed in my notice, unfortunately. I never joined the union i, worked there for 9, years in children services I may lose my home if I don't get a job as my reference will need to be truthful and it will say I was dismissed. What can I do I have three children to support and pay a mortgage.

Remain professional your goal is damage limitation not making things worse . Call ACAS on monday -http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=1410

Your best bet is to immediately begin cost saving and put your home up for rent and move in with parents or something.

You should hire a lawyer and negotiate a good or neutral reference. Join a union anyway, as damage control. Given its the NHS there must be at least some appeal procedures internal or external, speak to HR , post on a forum popular with NHS professionals

See if any of your colleagues will willing to act as a reference for you, stay on good terms with them. Dont burn bridges

Also, only 60% of working population is in formal jobs, the rest are self employed.

You can use your skill set to be self employed or work temp jobs which dont typically check references.
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Blondeonbrown
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My big problem is I wasn't bright enough to get into Uni, i had the shame of going I back into a college as a mature student, but couldn't hack it surrounded by people twenty years younger then me and being ignored.
I managed to get by working in offices in PA Admin roles and never had any previous issues. A new manager started. and we didn't really get on and she made my time there difficult. Yes I will appeal but Im so worried thanks I will call ACAS again and go to CAB.
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