I have been fired three times from different organizations as an Event Coordinator. I’ve lasted for the probation period of three months. Afterwards, I am told by the managers that the fit is not good and am instructed to pack my belongings and leave on the spot.
Why is this happening to me? I have all of the qualifications, technical skills, core competencies and requirements for the job without a question. I meet my deadlines, and feedback from the event participants is glowing. Needless to say, these experiences are destroying my self-confidence. I would be grateful for your input on my situation before I secure another job offer and end up with the same endings.
Signed: Fired For No Reason (FFNR)
I admire your honesty and effort to get to the bottom of this painful situation. According to a recent New York Times article by Susan Dominus, two of the core competencies and skills that employers are looking for are communication and collaboration. Many of my employers tell me that an employee is hired for his/her technical skills; but fired for his/her soft skills.
Even Virgin Company’s Richard Branson, in his recent article on LinkedIn about how he hires states that there is nothing more important for a business than hiring the right team. If you get the perfect mix of people working for your company, you have a far greater chance of success. He adds that the first thing he looks for when searching for a great employee is somebody with a personality that fits with the company culture. Concurring with most leading employers, Branson says that “Most skills can be learned, but it is difficult to train people on their personality. If you can find people who are fun, friendly, caring and love helping others, you are on to a winner.”
Consider the recommendations that Branson makes to employers: he suggests that considering the fact that within three months employees usually know the duties and responsibilities of a position, if an employer is satisfied with the personality of the new employee, then they should look at experience and expertise. He recommends that employers look for candidates with transferable skills: “team players who can pitch in and try their hand at all sorts of different jobs. While specialists are sometimes necessary, versatility should not be underestimated”.
Unfortunately employers do not need a reason to fire you unless you are in a unionised environment or employment contract, posits Alison Doyle on JobSearch.About.com. She presents top 10 reasons why employees are fired. Perhaps you can assess yourself honestly and evaluate your own experiences at your former places of employment:
- Lying on the resume or job application. Did you have the level of skills, qualifications and experience for the job?
- Not getting along with co-workers or management.
- Inappropriate posts on social media sites.
- Insubordination. Are you talking back to your manager? Are you showing any signs of anger at work at your team or manager?
- Poor performance. This doesn’t sound like you from your letter above, but be honest with yourself — employees often overrate their performance.
- Damaging company property.
- Falsifying company records. Are you making serious mistakes in your work? Are your events missing significant logistics? Are you neglecting important details with the customers or event participants that you are overlooking? Have you received any feedback over the three months that you are, indeed, making mistakes?
- Drug or alcohol possession at work.
- Violating company policy. When you started working, did you review company policies and procedures and make sure you understood them as well as adhere to this? Typically, all companies have employee handbooks with this information; you can also ask the Human Resources department for clarification.
Sometimes there are cases of employees being wrongfully terminated. Getting fired can happen to anyone, including myself! You can get fired even when it’s not your fault. Given that you have been fired three times after the probation period is over, I would suggest that you have an honest talk with yourself and/or find an experienced employment counsellor to get some feedback on your work behaviour. I would do as soon as possible to prevent being fired again.
Best wishes for your next job,