I landed a new job and was really excited, but then I only lasted a week even though they’d told me there was a 90-day training period. At the end of that first week, they told me that they did not think I was going to be able to learn the job and they let me go. Do you think one week is enough time to make a decision like that?
It is more than enough time if you were doing an incredibly lousy job. Were you? Perhaps they even knew after the first day but let you stay for a week just to be nice.
— Evil Skippy
You didn’t give any details about why you were let go, so it’s impossible to offer an opinion about whether or not your employer was premature in releasing you. Generally, the initial few months of employment are considered to be an “orientation” or “probationary” period. Sometimes employers have 90-day orientations; sometimes it is up to a year. Whatever the length, employers use that period to assess whether new employees really are able to meet job expectations (and employees have the chance to assess whether the employer is meeting their own expectations).
If it becomes clear at any time during that early period that the employee is not going to be able to succeed – whether due to deficient skills, work ethic or attendance – there is no need to wait for the end of the orientation period to call it quits. There should always be a fair opportunity to achieve the expected levels of performance, but it is better for both employer and employee if the relationship is ended once it is clear that reasonable expectations won’t be met.
If it makes you feel better, I was once let go from a job during the first week. When I was a poor college student, a national company hired me to make appointments to sell air conditioning by going door-to-door and convincing people that they should let a salesperson into their homes. The goal was to set at least five appointments per day while walking around neighborhoods in hot Californian suburbs. After three days, I had set only one appointment and that was just because the elderly lady at the door felt sorry for me and was lonely for company. It was almost a relief when the manager let me go on the fourth day and suggested ever so gently that direct sales were not my “niche.” I tell you this to let you know that I feel your pain. I hope you see from my eventual status as the author of this tremendous blog that there is hope even after probationary failure.
I live to inspire. And sometimes to slap.
How about you, readers? Am I the only one, or were any of you let go from a job during your probationary period? How do you feel about it after some time has passed?
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