Getting a job after engaging in gross misconduct requires careful thought and preparation. A lot depends on the type of gross misconduct. Engaging in a food fight in the company break room is an example of gross misconduct, but potentially less damaging than inappropriately touching a co-worker. Damage control is paramount no matter what the incident entailed. Your ability to land a new job may depend on how much of your professional reputation remains intact following the misconduct.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Negotiate a confidentiality clause if your current company is terminating you but you haven't signed a severance agreement. The confidentiality clause should stipulate the company will not provide any information about your employment except to confirm your dates of employment. This allows you to tell your own story about why you left the company.
Consult with a labour attorney to discuss potential liabilities resulting from the act of gross misconduct.. For example, you should address accusations of sexual harassment or other legal problems before starting your new job search. That may take a while, depending on the nature of the misconduct. However, getting the issues under control is important to protect your reputation. An attorney can advise appropriate action for handling the situation. Possibilities, depending on the misconduct, could include letters of apology or engaging in settlement discussions to end a sexual harassment lawsuit.
Create a story to tell potential new employers. Assume that companies will ask why you left your last position. Consult with the labour attorney to prepare a reasonable answer depending on the circumstances. The attorney can help craft an answer that addresses the issue while presenting you in the most favourable way possible.
Apply for jobs. Ideally, look for openings controlled by hiring managers who know you and are likely to consider you despite your mistakes.
Find short-term work if necessary. Your image may need rehabilitating depending on the gross misconduct. Dropping out of full-time work in your industry for a while provides an opportunity to reinvent yourself by going back to school part-time, opening a small business or doing project work as a consultant. Network extensively to stay in the mix and eventually land the position you want.