Training Badge
Submitted by pmoriarty on


Or RIF'd as they put it as there really isn't a "cause".

Behind the scenes, I'm told that I'm too direct. And I am a direct kind of guy (7-4-1-2). Very results-oriented. I'm told that I am too direct for a company with an "Asian culture". And, I'm inclined to agree, even though I don't profess to truly understand Asian culture.

I spent the first year driving too hard and, after finally realizing it wasn't working, I spent the next year trying to make up for it. Unfortunately, overcoming established perceptions is a lot harder than creating them. :(

I'm feeling sad, angry and scared right now. I know in a day or two I'll be in a better space to formulate a plan of attack to find a new job. Gosh, I wished I'd kept up with ctrl-shift-k. Sigh

jhack's picture

Getting RIF'd is a lousy feeling. Been there.

No simple words can ease the sting. Rest assured that you have a community of folks here who are both willing and able to help you when you're ready to get back in the game (real soon, right?)



bflynn's picture

Paul, I'm sorry.

Let me say that I've been there. I understand.

Take a day to put it behind you. Start working on your resume - hey, its the start of a new quarter, so its time anyway. And even if you haven't kept up with your network, go ahead and make plans to start calling them next week.

Also - you have feelings about this and you need to dump them. Get your best friend and have it out. [b][i]When[/i][/b] you get to interviewing, you need to be able to talk about what happened rationally and calmly, without anger.

Millions have been there. You will land on your feet.


mauzenne's picture
Admin Role Badge


Sorry to hear the news.

Rest assured, the most successful people we know (to include Mark ;-) ) have been fired. It doesn't feel good now, to be sure, but you'll survive ... and perhaps thrive.

We're here to help ... let us know what we can do!


vinnie2k's picture

[quote="jhack"]Getting RIF'd is a lousy feeling. Been there.

No simple words can ease the sting. Rest assured that you have a community of folks here who are both willing and able to help you when you're ready to get back in the game (real soon, right?)


Ditto. We're here if you need us.

WillDuke's picture
Training Badge

That's rough. Ditto on what everyone above says. But You know what is amazing, your total lack of blaming "them." Your post identified issues you think YOU had. Your post identified what YOU could, and did, do to improve the situation. You didn't blame them for not recognizing the change, you just figured it was too late. What an impressive attitude to have!

I guess I'm little Mary Sunshine, but every problem can be an opportunity. Learn from it, come out even better on the other side. It sounds to me like you already are on that road.

When you're ready, look for the opportunity in this problem. Obviously I don't know your situation, but it seems already that you're learning and becoming better. You're clearly going to not only land on your feet, but do so with style and class. I can't wait to hear about what you do next.

pmoriarty's picture
Training Badge


Thanks so much for the words of encouragement! It was a balm for my bruised ego.

Fortunately for me, my resume is up to date and ready to go. If anybody would like to take a look at it and offer comments or helpful suggestions (especially those pesky typos that always seem to appear no matter how hard one proofreads), please drop me a note. I'd appreciate it.

On the bright side, I've already got a phone interview lined up for tomorrow. Time to brush up on those casts. How timely was that posting from wendii and *RNTT about phone interviews? :) I love this forum!

Brian - Excellent idea about talking it out with somebody to drain the emotion out of the event!

Will - Your observation caught me completely flat-footed, but really cheered me up this morning! I guess even old dogs learn new tricks over time!

thaGUma's picture

Paul, happy to help if you want comment on your resume (remember I'm a Brit and any comment may be slanted to a more conservative audience).

Unfortunate news on losing your job - (RIF was new to me - thanks Wiki). As other's will testify, being part of MT already puts you ahead of the non-thinking managers out there.

Good luck, Chris

ashdenver's picture

When I was let go due to a corporate restructuring, I took it really hard. I was crushed and devastated and hopeless. A friend of mine at the company gave me a copy of the book "The Four Agreements" (which is more of a spiritual self-help new-agey thing rather than a management thing) and told me "This decision is a reflection of them, not you."

It took me a long time to understand that to my very core. Your directness may not be an inherently bad thing. Their RIF had more to do with them and what they want, what they expect, what they feel comfortable with.

It also takes two to tango. If they truly wanted someone to reflect the Asian culture, they could have taken more care during the hiring process to make sure they had Mr. Right instead of Mr. Right Now. Likewise, after two years working there, you could have spent some of that time learning about the Asian culture, its norms, values and expectations so as to make your time there the most productive and valuable to both sides.

Out of curiosity, what does this mean? "I wished I'd kept up with ctrl-shift-k"

While I still miss the "restructured" job and it still makes me a bit sad to think of being let go, I survived and am in a much better place now - career-, education- and paycheck-wise. This WILL work itself out for you, all for the best, I promise! (If it goes the way mine did, it may not be the very next job or even the one after it but every step in the journey leads you that much closer to the good stuff!)

P.S. - I'm a fairly good proofreader if you're inclined.

pmoriarty's picture
Training Badge


ctrl-shift-k is the keystroke combination that you use in Outlook to set up a recurring task, as is recommended in the networking cast as a way to make sure you keep in touch with everybody.

James Gutherson's picture


On the bright side, I've already got a phone interview lined up for tomorrow. Time to brush up on those casts. How timely was that posting from wendii and *RNTT about phone interviews? :) I love this forum!


[quote="Seneca (Roman philosopher, mid-1st century AD)"]
Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.

As all have said - good luck with the next phase of your career.

cdrinkwine's picture


So sorry to hear that you were put out. It must be the season b/c i was RIF'd in a manner of speaking just 3 weeks ago.

I felt a lot of the things you were feeling, and it all sucked. The saving grace was a great support network, a great professional network, and the determination to make it through.

I received a fantastic offer for a job today way above where I was before, supervisory responsibility inclusive at a company that's a much better fit than the one I was at.

Have faith, Paul. One person's assessment of you being direct will be exactly what someone else is looking for, I'm sure of it.

If you're not already, get on Linked In, get your network on the alert and do your best to work through it. If I can help, let me know.

Good luck, Paul. I know you're going to look back on this, as I did, and thank your lucky stars you didn't have to put up working at a place that just wasn't a good fit.

Have a great day!

- Chris

kklogic's picture

Any update? Please PM me if I can be of any help. We have an office in CA and maybe they have some leads they can send your way. I remember you being delightful from the DC conference. Don't be so hard on yourself. Hang in .

MattJBeckwith's picture
Licensee BadgeTraining Badge

I've been away from the forum for a while and just came across this thread.

Paul, sorry to hear about the job. When I read the original post I thought the same thing Will wrote... very admirable of you, not sure I would have been as much if I were in your shoes.

Would love to hear how things are going now.

pmoriarty's picture
Training Badge

I was holding off on posting an update until I had some material news, but here goes...

KK & Dave - Thank you!

This past Friday marked 6 weeks since my last day at my former employer.

After a couple of interviews where I came away feeling I wasn't the best fit, I did some serious thinking about what the next step is for me. My career is at a weird crossroad. I have 20+ years of exp in corporate IT. However, my last position of two years was doing product development/incubation. This combination has prevented me from getting considered for a senior position in development (insufficient experience) and keeps me out of the running for the top IT jobs (VP / CIO) as I've been out of the game for past two years, as it were.

As the core and depth of my experience is in IT, I have been focusing my search efforts there. I've come to the realization that the best way to get my career back on track is to take a small step backward in order to move forward. To that end, I've been looking for a Dir-level IT role in larger organizations, with an emphasis on the Ops/Infrastructure side. This is the sweet spot of my experience. The plan is, if I can get a job at that level with the right company, after a few years, the side-track into development will become less relevant. Also, after discussions with my family, we've decided that we'd seriously consider relocation, especially to a lower cost of living area than Silicon Valley. This has opened up a lot more opportunities.

Now, this doesn't mean I'm not chasing the higher level roles; I still am applying and following up. I'm just devoting less time there and more to the type of role I described above. The result has been a marked improvement in interest and response from potential employers.

I'm presently in the middle of the interview process for a Dir, Infrastructure at an F100 company that I'm really excited about and have a couple of others in the "spoke with the recruiter, awaiting next steps" stage.

So, things are moving along. Not as fast as I'd like, but do they ever?

On the plus side, I've had the time to volunteer in my children's Kindergarten & 3rd grade classes for a couple hours each week. I've gotten back in touch with my inner chef and baker and have been able to put some great dinners on the table. As my wife, a trauma nurse, has been working more hours to keep our finances in good shape, it's a treat to be able to gussy up family dinner time, even if the kids would rather have corn dogs & pizza. :)

That's pretty much where things stand at the moment. I expect that opportunities will slow a bit now that we're in the holiday season, but pick up again after the new year begins.

Sporkman's picture

Good luck bro!

Hey, at least you live in a good part of the country for numerous corporate & tech opportunities - if you were living in most other places, you may likely have had to move. :)

WillDuke's picture
Training Badge

[quote]On the plus side, I've had the time to volunteer in my children's Kindergarten & 3rd grade classes for a couple hours each week. I've gotten back in touch with my inner chef and baker and have been able to put some great dinners on the table. As my wife, a trauma nurse, has been working more hours to keep our finances in good shape, it's a treat to be able to gussy up family dinner time, even if the kids would rather have corn dogs & pizza.[/quote]
Paul, you have a terrific attitude. That lemonade sure sounds delicious!

slymcmosa's picture


So sorry to hear about the situation. I have found your comments in these forums to be wise and comforting. I truly appreciate your contribution here and am sure that you will find a match in short order.

Feel free to contact me off-forum to send your resume and I will gladly offer any assistance with leads on the left coast that I might be able to dig up from former associates out there.

I have a question for you in the forum however, about your choice you are looking at with career direction. Did you find yourself at all gratified by your work in product development/incubation?

I assuming something drew you in that direction after so long in IT. If so, I would think it is something to consider in terms of willingness to accept smaller roles. If you feel that you have some internal product developer in you, even if this recent experience has tainted your hopes in that area, it is seriously worth trying to clean off the taint and still pursue an ambition in a new direction.

I think that from what I know of you, you will make a great impression on a potential employer, who will evaluate what you can bring to the job, rather than just pure experience years. It might be worth holding out for that opportunity, if you can afford to and want to.

Anyway, best of luck to you and good grace to your family. It is wonderful to look at this Time as an opportunity to spend time with those closest to you, especially during the holidays. It might be a Time you you look back on as precious in years to come.


Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge


I have PM'd you with my deep apologies for missing your post. My oversight is unprofessional, and I regret it.

If you haven't already purchased the interviewing series, I'd like to offer it to you now free of charge, out of respect for your being one of the top 30 posters to the forums.

I've given you my number in the PM...let me know how I can help. Resume is a given - just email it to me.


pmoriarty's picture
Training Badge


Thank you for your kind words and encouragement!

There reasons for taking a development role were:
1. It was a chance to work with two people that I had worked with in the past and really enjoyed it.
2. There was an opportunity to create a solution to an internet security problem that is plaguing us today (botnets).
3. Getting some product development experience under my belt could open up opportunities for CTO roles as well as senior IT roles.
4. The compensation was great.

There were aspects of the role that I really liked. Solving a real problem as well interacting with customers, press, and analysts were two components I especially enjoyed. However, in my heart of hearts, I'm an IT guy. I still get to solve real problems, interact with (internal) customers and, if I'm lucky, I'll still get to speak with press and analysts. I wouldn't turn away from the "right" development job, but am choosing to keep the bulk of my focus on my core competencies, as it were.

pmoriarty's picture
Training Badge


I unhesitatingly accept your apology.

Thank you for your generous offer! I'm already a premium subscriber and have the interview series which has been a great help to me (for those of you who have been thinking about buying the interview series... just do it... it's worth five times its price). I will follow up with you privately on the resume later today. Again, thank you for the offer of your time and assistance! It means a lot to me.

balert's picture

My boss has "unexpectedly" arrived in town. She is in MY office, giving "one-on-one's" to MY direct reports. I am, at this moment, sitting in a commandeered cube. Guess what the punch line is. I have had nothing but friction with this boss since the day she took over the department. So, even though it's still only speculation, it wouldn't be a total surprise if I got fired today. Actually, I would be surprised if I didn't. I already called my wife to let her know so that she can mentally prepare as well. I need lots of support.

I'll keep you posted.

wendii's picture
Admin Role Badge

But if it is, we'll do everything we can to help you though it.

Thinking good thoughts for you,


KS180's picture

How much to put on resume and cover letter. 

Been given 90 days to turn the team around or the rudder (me) is gone.  Been here a year and there are a lot of lakc of skill set issues.  I feel partly devasted, partly relieved.  I'm upset because I don't feel I'm going to succeed and I'm not used to failure.

Left Pittsburgh for two years and went to Fl. The job and the people were good.  Bad boss - employees actually tried to stage a coup.  Eventually he got rid of them all - even me for not somehow stopping them.  Boss actually got caught lying trying to set me up.  Probably won't get a good reference from him.

Left there and went to a great job in VA for four month until I had to return home for personal reasons.  Probably a good reference.  Returned  to Pittsburgh in my current job and have been here for a year.

Should I mention the 4 month position in VA?  Will it look like I'm job hopping too much?

Thank you for any feedback.

jhbchina's picture

Hi B,

Could you update us on your status and what happened after the boss left the office.

Best wishes.


wendii's picture
Admin Role Badge

Yes, you must put the four month job on your resume. If you're having trouble getting interviews and you think it's because of the roles of short duration, you might want to have one sentence in your cover letter to explain.

At the beginning of the second paragraph something like: My background fits well with your needs and interests in this important role, and I have recently returned to the Pittsburgh area for family reasons. My experience as...

You have to make it quite lowkey so the recruiter doesn't read *Big Deal* into it.

I hope that helps.