Fighting For Your Job

Fighting for your Job: How to retain employment after you have been suspended or fired

So it happened. You are at work, focused on your job and your supervisor pulls you aside. You have been suspended pending fired. After being escorted from the premises, the first thought you have is, how do I fix this? Can I get my job back? What do I do now?

Just last night my husband came home from with the news that he has been suspended for failing his third assessment. At his job, this is bad news. Those assessments determine success or failure at his job. However there is a possibility he could get his job back, but the odds are not in his favor. Today’s job market is filled with willing, talented, and potential employees ready to fill the spot you just vacated. There is no reason you can no fight for your chance to retain your employment. Here are some of the suggestions that the professionals offer and the he is going to try.


From the moment you find out about your suspension or termination, keep your calm and decide if this job is worth pursuing. If you decide that this employment is important to you, then your first step is to start with open, strong communication. Take the time to contact your supervisor, manager, or company human resources department. You can write a professional email, or schedule a meeting to discuss what precipitated the current action.

As soon as my husband got home, he drafted an email to the company’s general manager that discussed his willingness to on his mistakes and what personally may have caused his struggles. He plans to follow up on Friday with a phone call. This is the first step in his plan to retain his job.

Own Your Mistakes

Understanding and accepting the mistakes you have made will start you on the right tract. If you failed a review, made a mistake with a customer, or slacked off, then you need to own your mistake. This can be difficult for most people because it is not in their nature to admit they are wrong. But in this case, you need to adopt humility and confess your fault. No one is perfect and your willingness to acknowledge your blunder will stand out the person making the decision about your employment status.

My hubby failed 3 assessments in a row and his problem is that he is not a good test taker. He has dyslexia and ADHD that both affect how he performs on written tests but he did not originally disclose this to his employer. In his email he acknowledged that he did not perform well on these assessments and the factors that played into the poor performance. He was very clear and concise with his concerns and openly recognized his mistakes, never placing blame on anyone else.

Pay Your Dues

After you have eaten crow and admitted your mistakes and missteps, offer to pay your dues again. If this means redoing training, going through re-education, or re-certifying yourself in your skills, then be willing. If you are new or have been at your company for years, everyone gets sloppy at times. Most of the time when you have been suspended it is because of sloppy work. If this is the case, then be willing to go through the steps to earn your place within the company again.

My husband failed an important assessment and it was his third failure. In his email requesting a second chance, he offered to retake his training. He admitted that this was his error and that he would be happy to step up and go through the training program again. This willingness shows his company, supervisors and fellow employees that he is open to learning again.

Ask for Guidance

When you are in this position, your livelihood is at risk and this is the time to swallow your pride and ask for help. Go to your supervisor, manager, fellow employees, and anyone who is succeeding at work and ask for guidance. If you are failing at customer support, ask for ways to improve your communication skills. If you need help with the systems your job uses, ask for retraining. The list goes on and on but the important thing to remember is that asking for a little one and one time will help you build your reputation and show your willingness to grow as a valued employee. The important thing to remember is that you are asking for help, not a job. Do not address this question here.

When he got the news about his suspension, my husband turned to his friends that currently work at the company and asked for advice. This was not easy for him to do as he was embarrassed and felt wounded but in asking he got some good advice. One employee offered support while others told me to ask for a second chance.

Reach Out to Mentors

With all that has happened you may have forgotten about your strongest assets, your mentors. These are the people who have guided you through the difficult moments of your employment or prepared you for the challenges you would face. Your mentor may be able to offer you sage advice for facing suspension or termination. This person may be able to open other doors for you so you do not get stuck in this negative place.

I wish I had good news for my husband’s situation. He is still waiting on feedback from his email and hoping his suspension isn’t permanent. Even though he is waiting, he is still looking and improving his chances elsewhere.

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