Black Business

Getting the Job Doesn’t Mean Keeping It

Photo by Andres Ayrton

Q: I was introduced to a company through a friend/connection. I had a very positive and friendly Zoom interview with the department head who I would report to. The next week, I received a call offering me the job. When I started a week later, I was asked by a co-worker how I got the job. I thought it was an odd question, but I told her I had a great interview, got along with the department head and got the offer a week later. I didn’t want to say too much in case that employee had interviewed for it and been rejected.

I introduced myself to my co-workers since the department head made introductions. Several weeks later, the human resource person called me in to say they had complaints about me being too friendly, saying that I should wait to be called by co-workers I needed to meet. I apologized and explained I was a naturally friendly person and not aggressive or intrusive; I was simply being friendly and wanted to fit in.

My direct boss repeatedly changed my hours because of teleconferences taking place. I was always agreeable and went along with the changes without complaining. After two months, I was let go with severance pay and was told it was due to my changing work hours, as if I had asked for the changes. I first thought I had been let go because I had made a couple of mistakes, though small, but I apologized, and when I asked for feedback, he said I was doing fine.


Now I wonder if the person who asked how I got the job was connected with the HR person and/or my direct boss who always changed my hours. But in that case, why hire me to begin with? The sudden change in my schedule disrupted my sleep patterns, and I believe that’s why I made the mistakes. What can I do about this?

A: I know you are searching for a reasonable explanation as to why you were let go, but sometimes, situations happen that are not based on reason. You were, though, within the three-month probation period, and there’s not much you can do to change things.

To create a good impression and combat the errors you had made, write a letter to the department head thanking him for that brief employment experience, saying you enjoyed the work and would be happy to return if the company’s needs change. He may be the reason you received such a generous severance check. Write a similar letter to the HR head expressing the same.

You will likely not be called in to return, but the purpose is to show you are emotionally intelligent and wish to leave the company on a good note. Two months is not long enough to add the job to your resume, so start your job search immediately. Hopefully, your previous job lasted for a year or more, so your future interviews should focus on the same topics you highlighted in this last interview. You need to stay positive, so stop yourself from thinking of all the scenarios that might have caused you to be let go.

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