D.W. asks:

I’m young, have a good education and a few years of work experience. Finding a new job should therefore be easy, but it appears difficult in practice. My previous employment in fact ended abruptly and I find it difficult to explain this well to a new employer.
It is like this. At my previous employer, I was still in my probation period when I was asked to do something that can not be tolerated. Well, I’m not such a principled type, but this assignment led me too far. Shortly afterwards I heard a litany of criticisms in an interview with my boss. This showed that they were trying to get rid of me. I have therefore terminated immediately itself. The problem is that I already experienced the same previously at another company. At the time, I resigned to a similar reason.
I feel very uncertain, because in interviews this always naturally comes up. Especially for my last employer, I just very briefly worked there. If I do my story, I see they already think they find me an annoying, opinionated man. I understand very well that it is not convenient to say negative things about my former employers. What is the best approach?


The headhunter replied:
It is astonishing that you have such a hard time finding a new job right now, with your education and profession. From your explanation, I understand that your previous employer has given an impossible task in ethical and moral terms during your probation. When I asked whether you would have acted differently if you had known what the consequences were, you replied in the negative. Still, you have great difficulty to explain to a potential employer.

I noticed that you gave your termination during the probationary period and the reason for this a prominent place in your resume. In your case, to me that seems not the right approach. Of course you can mention that you have terminated during the probation, but specifying the reason why gives too much value on the affairs of the company stating this so bluntly. Leave this out. When asked about this during the interview, say that a difference of opinion existed on specific topics. If they are asking questions, you can express your views on these topics. Don’t mention the opinion of your previous boss; there are more interesting things to talk about.
The reason for departure from your first employer you can better avoid as well. Here, too, played an unsavory unethical issue. For example, you can say that you had to concentrate completely on your studies. Because you had to do an internship for six months for this study, it was not compatible with your job. That will be understandable to everyone.
What strikes me is that you are quite uncertain to justify your actions. That seems to me the world upside down, especially given the positive attention that exists today for corporate social responsibility.
Coincidentally, I recently spoke with a manager of a global company about values and norms. He told me etics occupies an important role in his corporation. This philosophy is called the San-Ji and all employees must abide by them. The bottom line is that everyone observes the applicable laws and regulations and conduct themselves in a fair, honest and ethical manner.
Methinks you’re much better at your place in such company. There is no reason to be ashamed of your ‘principled’ and ‘difficult’ attitude. You would just have to be proud of.

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