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Shock termination from SMC, how to explain to interviewer

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earthworm
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Shock termination from SMC, how to explain to interviewer

Postby earthworm » Fri, 08 Jul 2011 1:37 pm

I worked 5 years in this small loose rule company with engineer 4k salary. On the same day I requested an employment letter to apply for PR, 6pm they gave a termination letter, asked me to pack my stuff and leave that night. I was shocked and speechless. It was an ambush.

The 4 reasons given in the termination letter are fairly trivial compared to the work I put into the company, and some are even not true. My manager told me privately the real reason is that I have criticized the director too much and there is no place for him to put his face. I also know that the GM may have a hand in this because I have criticized that her management methods caused serious delays in my division.

Even after a few days I was terminated, other project managers still called me to ask about the jobs I handled. They expressed shock and disbelief when informed. One senior manager doesn’t even believe that the cause could be as trivial as stated in the termination letter and mentioned face issue, and said she will find out the real reason behind this.

For a few years, I know about the serious personalities’ issues plaguing the company, and wanted to get my PR and leave. I made mistake of putting too much focus on getting my job done and was too blatant (and mindless) in pointing out the bad management of my director and GM. I thought the company was rational enough to not dare fire me. Being a straight shooter is a birth defect.

Xxx

My manager liked my job performance and promised that he will give good reference in phone calls but he refused to give a reference letter. My GM cum HR said also they will tell people that I resigned instead of terminated.

I have a PR wife and two kids in Singapore. I’m near 40.

Now my problem is if I am even lucky enough to get an interview, what is the best reason to give to the interviewer as why I am no longer holding an EP now after 5 years working in Singapore?

At first I wanted to go with the advice from monster.com and about.com to just tell the interviewer honestly about my termination, give an vague reason like differences of opinion with director on management issues, refrain from criticizing the ex boss, and I learned a lesson from this. However, after seeing the stun silence of my other managers after I said the word “termination”

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Postby putnam » Fri, 08 Jul 2011 6:46 pm

Maybe you can go back to your country or go to your wife's country and look for a job. Then, nobody would think it is unnatural that you quit a job. That's an option.

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Postby Ratpick_2000 » Fri, 08 Jul 2011 6:57 pm

Honesty is the best policy. I am a recruiter in executive search and your story would not put me off. It will eventually come out in the wash if you say nothing.

However: don't ask, don't tell. Some employers (multinational) do not know or care how the EP system works in Singapore. This is usually handled by a local onboarding team who may not escalate the question at time of employment. This assumes of course, that your line manager is at least an expat, or perhaps even based abroad.

Good luck

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Postby putnam » Fri, 08 Jul 2011 7:03 pm

If you tell the truth, some people will not hire you. Others will not mind it, so to be hired you will need to have more interviews than usual. But you can try.

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Postby Ratpick_2000 » Fri, 08 Jul 2011 7:44 pm

I disagree. If the truth is as you tell it above, honestly, then no employer will overlook you based on it. They may not hire you due to other reasons. Just remember, companies are getting better at identifying potential employees who fit in their "business culture".

It is getting easier to avoid potential personality clashes at an early stage. Your case is not unique but it is becoming more unusual.

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Postby ksl » Sat, 09 Jul 2011 3:42 am

Their loss, I wouldn't worry too much about it! You just tell it the way it is! Constructive criticism should be listened to!

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x9200
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Postby x9200 » Sat, 09 Jul 2011 10:18 am

For me it is not a black and white situation and we only know the version of one party. Of course the director could be an AH but expressing someones criticism such way that the supervisor may or actually loses face also casts some serious doubts on the employee.

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Postby the lynx » Sat, 09 Jul 2011 10:45 am

Ratpick_2000 wrote:However: don't ask, don't tell.


IMHO, once the word 'termination' pops up, you have to be prepared to recount your side of story to the interviewer and be prepared to face the risks of smear work your former company will do on you should the interviewer cross-checks with them (not saying that it WILL happen but hey, one's gotta be careful). When possible, avoid the whole scenario...

Actually I don't see the big fuss of having a gap in between the time of your EP card termination and the interview. It is just a gap and can be interpreted in various ways. Time-out? Family matters to attend to? Holiday? Charity projects? Numerous... so chill...

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Postby BillyB » Sat, 09 Jul 2011 10:59 am

The moral of the story is understand how to control your mouth at work when you're expendable.

Learn from it and move on. Be honest and upfront on your future career path and nothing can come back to bite you on the arse. Singapore is a small place and gossip is rife. And people will tell you all sorts of sh*t. Don't give them the option to do that.

I think the problem here is more about your attitude than your employer.

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Postby putnam » Sat, 09 Jul 2011 11:20 am

Like x9200 wrote, if there is any dispute between two parties, it is not enough to listen to one party' say. He / she might exaggerate or might not mention important things he / she should tell. Something like that often happens during interviews because interviewees tend to hide bad things about them and try to make themselves look better than what they are. It often happens that the truth cannot be obtained even if outsiders listen to the two parties' say.

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Postby Mad Scientist » Sat, 09 Jul 2011 11:43 am

putnam wrote:Like x9200 wrote, if there is any dispute between two parties, it is not enough to listen to one party' say. He / she might exaggerate or might not mention important things he / she should tell. Something like that often happens during interviews because interviewees tend to hide bad things about them and try to make themselves look better than what they are. It often happens that the truth cannot be obtained even if outsiders listen to the two parties' say.


Yes but in SG the employer always has the upper hand. There is no recourse for unlawful termination if you are earning above a certain cap no matter whether you are right or wrong. MOM only concern are for those lowly wages. Litigation is messy and very uncertain . OP, learn from this and move on. Life is full of sh*t, take it on the chin and do not make the same mistake again
The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.Yahoo !!!

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Postby JayCee » Mon, 11 Jul 2011 10:11 am

BillyB wrote:The moral of the story is understand how to control your mouth at work when you're expendable.

Learn from it and move on. Be honest and upfront on your future career path and nothing can come back to bite you on the arse. Singapore is a small place and gossip is rife. And people will tell you all sorts of sh*t. Don't give them the option to do that.

I think the problem here is more about your attitude than your employer.


+1

You can't slate all the people you work with, including your boss, and then be surprised when they can you, it's common sense to not bite the hand that feeds you
I HAVE MASTERS!

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sundaymorningstaple
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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 11 Jul 2011 10:51 am

JayCee wrote: it's common sense to not bite the hand that feeds you


Depends on whether you have masters or not.... :devil:

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Postby nakatago » Mon, 11 Jul 2011 11:21 am

Thing is, you say something about management, you see it as constructive criticism, they see it as undermining of their authority. You view as an opportunity for growth, they view it as losing face.

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Postby Addadude » Mon, 11 Jul 2011 12:42 pm

I don't really think this is cultural issue. Unless you are backed by a very strong union and/or labour laws, you can't expect to get away with openly criticizing your bosses without facing the consequences no matter which country you are working in.
"Both politicians and nappies need to be changed regularly, and for the same reasons."


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