Getting fired from an ID job

I wanted to discuss the situation of getting fired from an ID job. Yes, I was fired from a ID job I didn’t pass that 90 day trial , and while I will say 50% was my fault the other 50% was the employers fault. I don’t want to go into details because but I will say that I thought I was ready to work at a place but I was completely overwhelmed by the amount of work, the company culture, and living in a new city. All of this lead to me feeling extremely self conscious and intimidated at work and ultimately I was fired. In the end I feel as though these things happen and that not every company you will strive in and stay in and not every experience you run into will be a positive one.While it was tough (and still is), me being unemployed for a while allowed me to clear my head and discover who I am as a designer and where I want to be.

I wanted to write this post as more of a support mechanism for people who have had similar situations. Tell your own story. How did you bounce back? Are there any employers out there that have interviewed people that have been fired from ID positions did you hire them? What kind of things did you do while unemployed? etc. I’ll leave this open ended.

Sorry to hear your 90-day trial didn’t work out. But I think that like everything you will experience in your career, this is an important learning opportunity and will probably be something you will reflect on later as one of those important “teaching moments” in your long trajectory as a professional. Think of it as a gift and not a curse.

First and foremost, know that most of us in practice have experienced this at some point in our career. Sometimes being fired can be the direct result of something the employee specifically did to warrant dismissal, but more times than not, it has more to do with how that employee fits within the culture of that specific organization. Talent and ability is critical, but so is being to find a place within the organization that makes sense for both parties. Don’t underestimate the value of that fit.

But at the same time, these situations present you with the opportunity to do some self-evaluation. If your employer is generous enough to give you an honest assessment of your skills and the specifics of why it didn’t work out, that can be tremendously helpful in your professional development.

As for how to frame this in your future job interviews, you can simply say that that position wasn’t a good fit for you (which would be true) and that you learned from the experience and are looking for your next challenge. Obviously, don’t use the word ‘fired’ in your resume or interview because unless your were dismissed for actually doing something really bad, this decision not to hire you on permanently is a judgement call and not a judgement of value as a designer or a person. Just be sure to always speak positively about your experience and without being angry or emotional about it. (I one time had a designer present his portfolio to me and he clearly had some resentment about a job that he was fired from and it really showed in his interview. It made him look really bad. Don’t do that.)

Hope this helps and good luck in your new job search.


Obviously, don’t use the word ‘fired’ in your resume or interview because unless your were dismissed for actually doing something really bad, this decision not to hire you on permanently is a judgement call and not a judgement of value as a designer or a person.

All well said Warren, and the above is a point that you must understand clearly Darch. You were not “fired” you were simply not retained.

I did a one day trial with a company once in New Jersey, right after graduating college. Wasn’t asked back. It happens… It was Jersey, so maybe for the best :slight_smile:

I wasn’t retained after 3 days on a job at the beginning of my career. Thank god, the place was horrible and I should have known better than accept it!

I’ve never been ‘fired’ from an ID job, but have been let go (or un-retained…;p) for business reasons.

I moved to a new city and was at this company for almost 2 years before the owner decided he was tired of the churn of fee-for-service work. What followed was a 1-year drawn-out winding-down of the company with rolling layoffs across the whole team - admin, engineering, design, operations, sales, management.

I was one of the later ones out the door, so it wasn’t a shock at all, and had time to mentally (and financially) prepare.

What did I learn? Networking is everything.

The moment I came back to my desk after getting my lay-off package, I received a phone call and a couple emails from local firms that heard through my network of previously laid-off ( but now re-employed) co-workers that I was now no longer employed, and they were interested in interviewing me.

To that end, always work on your connections and networking - you never know when change will happen, so be prepared for it, As you will have friends and co-workers (and bosses!) who either move on, transition or are let go, the impression you leave with them and the time you spent together working can really help you going forward.

Personally, I’ve always found the new/next job to be a bit of a resurgence and rebirth as it is. I’ve never felt more energized and creative as when there is a new and unknown chapter opening up to me.

Best of luck (and hard work) to you on the next step.