How do I get around a bad reference from my last job?
April 3, 2008 6:40 AM Subscribe
How do I avoid my previous workplace ruining my job prospects?
posted by liquidindian to Work & Money (17 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I was due to start a new job today. Yesterday, they phoned me and told me my offer of employment was withdrawn due to unsatisfactory references - they couldn't tell me themselves what was said in my reference as 'it's confidential to the person who wrote it'.
Of my two references, one was my previous job, the other the one before that, which I know would have been an excellent reference. I left my last job partly because I wanted to do something else, partly because I'd had performance issues after a period of illness and began to feel that however much improvement I tried to make, I would still be penalised for small issues that were not taken up with other members of my team because I'd been subject to disciplinary action. I had several issues with some of the complaints they had against me, and also that they left my disciplinary case evidence and medical history out on the office printer over the weekend (our office was staffed 12hrs per day, 7 days a week). However. when it comes to a reference I'm not given the right to give my version of things, hence my job being turned down.
I can't do anything about the job I was offered now, other than what I did do - burst into tears and then aggressively cooking lasagna for my birthday party that evening. But this may prove to be a recurring problem. I'm looking into enrolling with some temp agencies and applying for jobs at the moment, and many of them will ask for a reference from my last job. It may be possible I can put down someone I did some freelance photography work for as an employee reference as I was paid for it and it was used for publication, but it might not be. Has anyone been in this situation and how did you resolve it?