A new look at dismissals

As fresh graduates into the working world, many of us have a very bad impression of being dismissed/fired/asked to leave by our bosses. In Chinese, we call it “炒鱿鱼” or “frying a cuttlefish”. A saying that originated in ancient China, where workers were given shelters when they found a job with a master and when asked to leave had to roll up their mats and go, similar to how a cuttlefish curls up when fried.

Most people are given probation periods ranging from 1 month to a year for their boss to decide if they are the right man or woman for the job. Or to put it more accurately, whether the job is the right fit for them.

In fact, I urge people who have been dismissed other than for immoral reasons (lack of integrity/honesty, misdemeanor, laziness etc.), to not see their dismissal as a bad thing, but as their strengths and competencies being a wrong match to their bosses’ expectations during that range of probation time.

If you are in this situation, don’t be ashamed. Make sense of it.

1. In what ways did I not meet up to boss’s expectations?
2. Given more time, would I have been able to overcome?
3. Did I like the job?
4. Given my experience in this job, how can I find another one that matter matches my passion and strengths better?
5. What do I need to improve on? And what training is available to help me?

I personally think it’s no different from you choosing to quit. It’s just who makes the first move. People decide to leave when something new or better awaits them or when the old becomes unbearable.

Let’s view each dismissal or decision to quit objectively, like how we should view a successful or failed interview (or even a successful or failed matchmaking session). It’s not about not being good enough, being rejected, oh-poor-me, but it’s just something that didn’t work out because of differing preferences or performances.


1 Comment

  1. Claire said,

    September 3, 2011 at 7:22 am

    I think u should consider the psychological aspect of failure too. In sg, we’ve been nurtured since birth to fear failure. Look at our education system, kiasu parents’ mentality, Chinese family values etc.

    Not only that, the employers’ economic stand also plays a part. The influx of cheap foreign labour is also a factor in the job market.

    I feel that there is much more to dealing with it than just taking on a different perspective.

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