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Reference from a job you were fired from?

  • 28-09-2022 3:09pm
    Registered Users Posts: 508 ✭✭✭

    I was recently terminated from a job I held for 2 years. I didn't miss any days or work and I tried my best, I did well in certain areas of the job, but the place was very hectic, management started picking on me for every mistake or mix up and blaming me for every time a customer was unhappy, to build a case for my dismissal which they eventually did.

    What I'm wondering is now that I have to go back jobseeking again, am I able to use that job as a reference even though I got fired? How do I go about requesting that and do I need to ask for every time I get an interview?



  • Registered Users Posts: 896 ✭✭✭thegame983

    Most references that I have are simply a 1 line letter from the HR department saying 'X worked here from date a - date b'

    No more info is given. In fact, I've had a few managers say that they are not allowed to give 'personal references' ie: 'oh yeah he was great/ terrible'

    So maybe contact HR and ask them to send you a 1 liner. You can then send that on to future employers when they request it. If they ask for a phone number just give them the HR department number.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,860 ✭✭✭Pissy Missy

    Sorry to hear you lost your job. Can you get a reference from any other previous job?

  • Registered Users Posts: 891 ✭✭✭FlubberJones

    Standard response would confirm you worked there from start to finish that would be it

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,378 ✭✭✭✭kippy

    I wouldn't generally go back looking for a reference from an organisation I got fired from - even if the expectation is that it'd just be a letter with dates of employment.

  • Registered Users Posts: 508 ✭✭✭The DayDream

    A place I have an interview for next week wants references from your last two jobs, and if you don't want to use them you are asked to explain why. Which makes it even worse as the job I had before this one I left after 3 months because they didn't pay us our wages at Christmas time (after we all worked like dogs on Christmas Eve while all the managers were off). Which was basically the last straw after they did a bunch of other unacceptable things such as lied about hours I would get, lied about the role, generally just horrendous treatment. I wouldn't want to use them as a reference at all, and how do I explain why without sounding like I'm badmouthing them?

    Anyway, after reading reviews of working for this company I have the interview for, I've actually decided not to go ahead with it. They are overwhelmingly negative, and I mean negative in the extreme. They mention high turnover, and one even says 'If you're reading these reviews thinking it can't be that bad - trust me it can'. Some of the issues that are listed in multiple reviews are: overwhelming workload, very stressful, not enough time to complete tasks, IT systems that are slow and crash, micromanaging - and these are literally the exact same issues that plagued me in the last role. The recruiter seemed reluctant to divulge what company it is for, it is a remote customer service role, but did tell me it is for an electricity company. Obviously, with the prices of bills going crazy you will have very upset customers all day. Reviews from people who worked on this specific company's account said it is the most stressful one to be put onto and people don't stay at it for long.

    I'm normally pretty resilient but getting fired has affected my mental health more than I expected it would. I don't think I could handle having customers screaming down the phone at me all day 5 days a week at this point. I applied for everything I saw out of panic but I want my next role to be something I will feel like I can stick at and am suited to. Maybe I need to reskill so I am not left with only being able to apply for these jobs that are the dregs.

    I think my last employer will at least give me the standard boilerplate reference. I didn't leave on bad terms as such or burn any bridges, even though I did say I didn't think certain things they blamed me for were fair, I wasn't rude about it. I just hate the thought of contacting them, I want to forget all about that place and move on, but unfortunately it isn't so simple.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 508 ✭✭✭The DayDream

    If they specifically ask for references from your last employer, how do you get around that?

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,542 ✭✭✭zg3409

    I'm terms of new employer I would use the LinkedIn website and profiles and ask around. Often you might know someone already working there or someone there who used to work in a company you know and you may be able to get in touch with existing staff and find out what manager you might be working for and what they are like.

    In terms of old employer I would get a reference asap. The sooner you ask the more likely it will be. Another idea is to just ring your old manager or even an employee you know and ask them can you out them down as a reference, without necessarily getting a written reference.

    At the job interview you need to be able to answer the question why you left in a reasonable manner for all jobs. You are in a bit if a pickle because if companies check the references properly they might catch you out in a lie, if they don't then they they might hire you and find out the truth later and use it as an excuse to get rid of you. Everyone summarises and embellishes their CV a little l, in your case you need a clear story and as plausible as possible reasons and ideally a reference the company can phone and speak with. Typically I would get a reference before I leave or request one immediately. I would then let the reference know they are likely to get a call from X company as a heads up. I normally leave references off my CV and put references on request that way they have to request them and you can remind your reference of who you were etc.

    Post edited by zg3409 on

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,378 ✭✭✭✭kippy

    Lots of employers have a "no reference" policy.

    I'd agree with the last few posts, you do need to be explain why things didnt work out in the last job - this could be a toughie if you are looking for a job in the same field etc

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators Posts: 9,974 Mod ✭✭✭✭Jim2007

    That is what you get if you are an external or the don't want to give you a reference! Often called a confirmation of employment letter.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,499 ✭✭✭runawaybishop

    Ask a colleague to provide a personal reference

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  • Registered Users Posts: 24,208 ✭✭✭✭recode the site

    Seems to be the fine thing these days, references from somebody who could happen be your best friend. Just thinking of my role in public service, I’d probably be up in court if I have my nice work mates references.

    Can I get away with anything if I pay the piper, so to speak?

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,208 ✭✭✭✭recode the site

    There is the option of actually admitting that you weren’t a good fit for that particular company, citing a main reason that doesn’t seem to shed you in a bad light nor the company for that matter, provided it doesn’t suggest you would be a bad fit for the next company.

    Can I get away with anything if I pay the piper, so to speak?

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,339 ✭✭✭FishOnABike

    With many multinationals it is HR policy to only confirm your role, start date and end date. No comment, positive or negative, is allowed on a person's performance.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,860 ✭✭✭Pissy Missy

    Someone made a good point, was there a supervisor that you got on with? Would they be willing to draw you up a reference? I'm friends with my old supervisor and I have them down as a reference when stuck, I got on really well with them and I haven't spoken to my old manager in years so prefer to go with my friend. In regards to your job of a few months, I would be honest about that cause clearly the employer was taking the micky, that's definitely not you bad mouthing them, just explaining

    Good thing you checked out reviews, sounds like you're dodging a bullet, you don't need extra shiit in your life so best to wait til something that seems fairer comes along. Getting fired can really eat at one's self esteem and self confidence but tbh it sounds like it was a blessing in disguise and hopefully something better will come along and you could also use this time to focus on re-skilling if that's what you want to do

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,037 ✭✭✭Mister Vain

    As Fish said, they're often neither negative nor positive. Jaysus the stories I heard in my last job. One guy told me he had a massive argument with his previous supervisor, put his foot through the wall, and then proceeded to do doughnuts in the car park before leaving. His brother who started with him served time in prison.

    Amazon are currently hiring and you don't even need a CV.

  • Registered Users Posts: 302 ✭✭luke9311

    Was in a simular position to u not long back.... having said that before i got the boot the derpartment manager i had in the last place left the company like 2-3 months before that and she was originally the one who hired me and was in that job for 2 years or so and i got on well with her and i think from talking to colleagues still there the managers in after her they had 3 managers come and go in the space of 3 months but the place is known of high turn over. Anyways what i done was got in touch with me old original manager and she gave me a reference. If your lucky like me to be in that position id do that. Or atleast someone who worked there you got on well with like a manager/assistant manager or supervisor etc etc put there name down if you can.

  • Registered Users Posts: 25,646 ✭✭✭✭Mrs OBumble


    But ironic that those same multinationals often want references, and won't progress applicants without them.

    OP find a supervisor, team leader etc who will give you a reference. Ideally someone who is still working there and can be reached thru the main company phone number.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,297 ✭✭✭Count Dracula

    They should give you a decent reference. Unless you got poxy with them when you were leaving.

    They have nothing to gain by giving you a bad reference, go and ask for one, it is the least they can do.

    Most people lose their jobs for entirely different reasons than those specified. If a company likes you they will make an effort to retain you, even if you make mistakes.

    You get fired when they don't like you, that is not your fault.

    Go to HR for the ref, you would be amazed how decent and professional they will be. They have to be. As long as you were not involved in anything dodgy you should be fine.

    I lost a job once because my boss was jealous of me.... true story. I got my targets, turned up on time, worked late. But other staff started liking me and he got jealous and had me pushed out.... as I said you rarely will lose your job for doing it.

    Another boss fired 2 interns because she fancied me. It is nuts what goes on.

    I worked with someone who hired 6-7 staff every 6 months and would drop 4-5 of them before probation, ruthless phucker.

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,208 ✭✭✭✭recode the site

    I’m genuinely perplexed. Worked in public service all my life, you would never ever be authorised give a reference unless in HR or Principal Officer grade, although your word as a supervisor/manager in the old days would percolate upwards.

    Do I understand modern references correctly or not if I say any colleague can issue a credible one? Even one’s best friend, boozing buddy, office buddy, romantic partner? What credibility is there in this of it is accepted practice?

    Can I get away with anything if I pay the piper, so to speak?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,860 ✭✭✭Pissy Missy

    Idk, my jobs have mostly been in private services and its never been a problem for me🤷‍♀️

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,297 ✭✭✭Count Dracula

    That is not really true either, it depends on the employment process where you are looking to work. If they want you they will get it done, it massively depends on the role and the company involved. They will definitely blame the process if they are tagging someone along before making a decision, but if they want you I have seen some serious hoops jumped through.

    HR is just a buffer companies use to cover their ass. They use it as they need it. When they are doing milk runs after college they will have a set standard criteria for taking on staff such as school refs and college results etc. They certainly are not going to hang around waiting for an email from the restaurant you waited tables at for 2 years for college spends?

    Nepotism is still a massive factor in securing a job and keeping one.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,297 ✭✭✭Count Dracula

    It is not that common either. Proper companies will only go through the HR function to get a reference. More often than not they are checking to make sure you are not an axe murderer who turns up late every day and does phuck all. 99 times out of a 100 co's are taking a punt on you for six months, the refs are just there to cover their ass if they make a poor appointment and have to look again for a " nice fit".

    It happens all the time.

    And yes it can be that your pal works in HR etc, what a bonus.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,499 ✭✭✭runawaybishop

    Direct managers of staff give references all the time, and at well below PO level.

    But you are correct, any colleague can give a personal reference. As to credibility, it wouldn't be as good as a direct managers reference. However, asking a different manager you worked with, and got on with, rather than the one who fired you would probably be wise decision.

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,208 ✭✭✭✭recode the site

    I’m a fossil of the “canvassing will disqualify” era 😂. Basically you luck enough backsides you get a great job now.

    Can I get away with anything if I pay the piper, so to speak?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,860 ✭✭✭Pissy Missy

    Well once you're not sleeping your way to the top, it ain't so bad 😂

  • Registered Users Posts: 418 ✭✭Dublinandy3

    I had an old team member who wasn't my biggest fan who on her last day went to my boss and made some crap up to try to get me fired.

    About a month later she contacted me asking for a reference and then got annoyed when I said no.

    She appeared a year or two later on my LinkedIn feed as a potential contact so I clicked to see what she was up to. She had a job that was quite different from her previous, but I thought fair play on getting a much better type of job. Then I looked at her history and the job she listed while she was working under me was complete BS and it seems it kick-started her new career.

    I'm guessing she must have made up a reference from me.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,860 ✭✭✭Pissy Missy

    What an absolute chancer and of course she has fallen on her feet🙄

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,297 ✭✭✭Count Dracula

    It is common enough.

    Plenty at it, if your boss fancies you it is plain sailing if you play your cards right, hetero, bi or homo, it is rampant out there.

    I know some people working well paid cushtie numbers for all the wrong reasons.

  • Registered Users Posts: 121 ✭✭dtothebtotheh

    Honestly, the whole reference thing should be just banned. Defining someone's career if they've had a bad experience with a boss, is just plain wrong, and it creates a huge amount of stress for regular folks who generally get paid F all.

    My old boss was contacted for a reference to rent an apartment in Australia last Saturday, (Public holiday weekend here). The guy was on holidays in Sydney, luckily we get on well and he called me afterwards. I thought F off, how inappropriate is that.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,860 ✭✭✭Pissy Missy

    Jaysus, I've been offered such 'opportunities' in the past and usually the man is married but how anyone goes through with it I can't understand, the mind boggles