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    Hello - I am really in a crap place at the minute. I secured the grad scheme of my dreams ( in finance) , but I had the boss from hell. Not only did he fail to support me, but he was verbally abusive towards clients and would make crass remarks regularly. I raised this previously. It wasn't the best place to work.

    Long story short, he found one or two examples which demonstrated poor performance and fed back to HR. I got the sack. No warning / chance to improve. I have others that I can use as a reference, but they were most recent employer.

    Question is - how do I explain why I left in an interview ? ( I have an interview next week and I am sure this will be asked of me as it has previously) - If I tell them how horrible he was, it's not going to look good, nor is the fact that I was dismissed / unfairly treated.

    Solicitor firms are saying that I do have a case, but are unable to take it on because its not worth very much, unless I pay privately. At this rate, I don't see me getting employed anytime soon and I am heartbroken, stressed and anxious.

    Can someone please advise.
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    The first thing is to try to move on as quickly as possible and put it out of your mind -- focus on the future and the things you can control from this point onward; let the past be what it is, you can't go back and change anything now, nor would there be any action you can take which would be of any benefit to you.

    This obviously isn't something to advertise on your CV or in a covering letter, but you will probably be asked about it in interviews, you need to talk honestly, but also frame the situation in as least-negative way as possible; avoid the temptation to make yourself look like a martyr because it reflects poorly on you to have endured a heavily negative experience and to have emerged without having identified things that you could do differently or learn from. Emphasise that your negative experience has been an opportunity to reflect and to learn on your experience in the job, and to be able to look at how you could have handled the situation differently, and possibly identify any mistakes you've made.

    Remember that mistakes and failures are not a bad thing when they are handled in the right way - everyone fails and makes mistakes; the key is being honest about them with yourself and with future employers so that they recognise you're the type of person who treats a mistake or failure as an opportunity to grow and learn. For example, maybe there are some interactions you had with your previous employer where you could have acted differently, or maybe you suffered from inaction, or perhaps you could have handled some of your assigned tasks differently when you were struggling to get support from your boss by raising the problems with other people, or maybe there are opportunities for you to communicate in a different way, or manage peoples' expectations differently, etc.

    Whatever you do, avoid sour grapes, don't allow yourself to get into a rant or get into finger-pointing and blame -- as tempting as it can be, that's the sort of thing which will scupper your chances in future interviews because it comes across as being very unprofessional, and a lot of employers would see it as a "red flag" which will lead them to think you might be the kind of person who creates trouble.

    If you are asked about details/examples by a future interviewer, then by all means tell them that you worked in a toxic and difficult environment, give the details, but avoid 'pleading' your case; stick to brief, factual overviews - remember that the reason interviewers ask questions like this are that they're curious about how you would handle situations like this and how you'd reflect upon them in future; they aren't interested in your previous boss or company really. It's also fine to admit if you feel like you mishandled a situation or would do something differently next time.

    Otherwise, don't stress about it too much - toxic bosses do exist, and you're not the first person to lose a job because of the unprofessional actions of an incompetent or negligent manager. For future reference, if you ever find yourself in this situation again, then remember that you can always escalate problems to a higher level in the company (unless the "toxic boss" is the Managing Director/CEO/Owner, in which case you can't do anything).
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    (Original post by Student-95)
    How long were you there?

    Just over a year - therefore, unable to claim in the courts for unfair dismissal.
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    (Original post by winterscoming)
    The first thing is to try to move on as quickly as possible and put it out of your mind -- focus on the future and the things you can control from this point onward; let the past be what it is, you can't go back and change anything now, nor would there be any action you can take which would be of any benefit to you.

    This obviously isn't something to advertise on your CV or in a covering letter, but you will probably be asked about it in interviews, you need to talk honestly, but also frame the situation in as least-negative way as possible; avoid the temptation to make yourself look like a martyr because it reflects poorly on you to have endured a heavily negative experience and to have emerged without having identified things that you could do differently or learn from. Emphasise that your negative experience has been an opportunity to reflect and to learn on your experience in the job, and to be able to look at how you could have handled the situation differently, and possibly identify any mistakes you've made.

    Remember that mistakes and failures are not a bad thing when they are handled in the right way - everyone fails and makes mistakes; the key is being honest about them with yourself and with future employers so that they recognise you're the type of person who treats a mistake or failure as an opportunity to grow and learn. For example, maybe there are some interactions you had with your previous employer where you could have acted differently, or maybe you suffered from inaction, or perhaps you could have handled some of your assigned tasks differently when you were struggling to get support from your boss by raising the problems with other people, or maybe there are opportunities for you to communicate in a different way, or manage peoples' expectations differently, etc.

    Whatever you do, avoid sour grapes, don't allow yourself to get into a rant or get into finger-pointing and blame -- as tempting as it can be, that's the sort of thing which will scupper your chances in future interviews because it comes across as being very unprofessional, and a lot of employers would see it as a "red flag" which will lead them to think you might be the kind of person who creates trouble.

    If you are asked about details/examples by a future interviewer, then by all means tell them that you worked in a toxic and difficult environment, give the details, but avoid 'pleading' your case; stick to brief, factual overviews - remember that the reason interviewers ask questions like this are that they're curious about how you would handle situations like this and how you'd reflect upon them in future; they aren't interested in your previous boss or company really. It's also fine to admit if you feel like you mishandled a situation or would do something differently next time.

    Otherwise, don't stress about it too much - toxic bosses do exist, and you're not the first person to lose a job because of the unprofessional actions of an incompetent or negligent manager. For future reference, if you ever find yourself in this situation again, then remember that you can always escalate problems to a higher level in the company (unless the "toxic boss" is the Managing Director/CEO/Owner, in which case you can't do anything).
    Thank you for such a detailed reply - that's very kind. Its difficult not to stress but I'll try my best.

    One question If I may - if they ask me in interview why I left, can I just say that "a career in the city wasn't for me, no work-balance and the culture didn't really align with my values" and leave it as that.

    How would you tackle this question ?

    I think If I am asked about it , its rather difficult for me not to get emotional since it seems like I've lost everything I worked so hard for. My life has been rather downhill from that point onwards.
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    What were the examples of poor performance that got you fired? If they're not too serious then you can talk about what you learnt from those mistakes and how you've changed to prevent them happening again.
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    (Original post by Student-95)
    What were the examples of poor performance that got you fired? If they're not too serious then you can talk about what you learnt from those mistakes and how you've changed to prevent them happening again.
    I am reluctant to disclose the dismissal in fairness. Poor performance was lack of urgency, failing to put out of office on - in my view, nothing catastrophic.

    I really don't know what to say in the interview - how do you suggest I answer the question why I left ?

    The interview next week is really competitive - only one place is up for grabs. I feel that if I disclose the dismissal, then that will scupper my chances !
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Thank you for such a detailed reply - that's very kind. Its difficult not to stress but I'll try my best.

    One question If I may - if they ask me in interview why I left, can I just say that "a career in the city wasn't for me, no work-balance and the culture didn't really align with my values" and leave it as that.

    How would you tackle this question ?
    I don't think it's a good idea to omit the fact that you'd been asked to leave -- remember that being fired from a job is not necessarily a poor reflection upon you; it's a reflection of a breakdown in relations between you and the employer.

    For example, while those are all valid reasons to leave a job, it doesn't explain why you left the job so suddenly without having another one lined up to go straight into, and it looks very "strange" for anyone (especially a graduate/junior employee) to be leaving their job without the security of having something else to go to without good reason (e.g. some people need a natural career break or have medical or family reasons, but those reasons don't apply here) -- the interviewers are likely to suspect something else is wrong, and you don't want to find yourself in a situation where you're appearing to be evasive or backtracking if they ask why you didn't have another job to walk into straight away.

    Personally I would look toward a message whereby you admit that the environment you'd been working in was toxic, that the relationship between you and your boss was broken beyond repair, and that you felt the situation had reached a point where it was entirely out of your control, ultimately leading up to your boss deciding to push you out of the door.

    That's a fairly straight-forward and neutral depiction of what happened without necessarily 'blaming' anyone for what went wrong or shining a negative light on you, and it's not particularly far-fetched either - unfortunately these things do happen, and not all employer-employee relationships end well, but there's no reason why it needs to reflect badly on you as long as you're honest about the facts, and avoid getting into any kind of rant or making negative or derogatory comments about your previous boss or employer. .

    I'd recommend spending time to prepare the overall message that you want to tell in the interview so that it gives them a truthful picture, while excluding any of the "sour grapes" and keeping a positive spin on the fact that you're moving on with lessons learned from a situation which was clearly unpleasant, stressful and somewhat outside of your control. It's something to can practice and rehearse so that when the question arises, you'll hopefully feel more able to get the message across without deviating away from it.

    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I think If I am asked about it , its rather difficult for me not to get emotional since it seems like I've lost everything I worked so hard for. My life has been rather downhill from that point onwards.
    This sounds like a problem in itself that you need to resolve - I don't think it's very healthy to be carrying around that kind of 'baggage' with you. I understand how difficult it is to move past something like this - it's natural to be caught up in 'grief' from losing a job, and I'd suggest treating it like a grieving process. Could you sit down and talk to with close friends and family to get their support? I would recommend as far as possible to try to reach a point where you're at least able to discuss it with those closest to you having a clear head and a clear sense of perspective, otherwise it's likely to be much harder in an interview, and trying to evade the subject altogether could potentially backfire.
 
 
 
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