I used to work as a junior developer for more than half a year at a company which ended up firing me. The reasons are irrelevant but no conflict occurred - at least as far as I can judge, it was handled professionally.

In my town, there are only few possibilities, and fewer are the ones I can find online. One of these involves a company also looking for junior developers, and my town being somewhat small, the location is the same office building, just one floor below my previous employer.

Maybe it's my fault, but I can't help myself: I feel uneasy because of it. I know have very strong reasons to accept the first incoming possible job offer, but in the same time, it's just awkward to imagine meeting my ex-colleagues.

From an outside view, are my concerns valid, or it's just paranoia?

  • 10
    No. You're water under the bridge. Just smile and be polite like you would to someone at a completely different company. Let them see there's no hard feelings (even if there are)
    – Chris E
    Feb 12, 2018 at 17:48
  • 2
    Do you have an active non-compete agreement? Because that is about the only thing that should bar you from your new job.
    – Peter M
    Feb 12, 2018 at 21:02
  • 1
    You might as well get used to this sort of thing. As your career progresses, you're going to run into people you've worked with before.
    – Blrfl
    Feb 13, 2018 at 11:59
  • where your "fired" fired or do you mean made redundant Feb 13, 2018 at 14:49
  • "The reasons are irrelevant". Indeed they are not, given the question!
    – komodosp
    Feb 13, 2018 at 15:10

4 Answers 4


From an outside view, are my concerns valid, or it's just paranoia?

I think there is no reason for you to worry. Just remember to remain professional if/when you even happen to meet some of them.

No need to start a big talk or similar, just be polite, smile and reply back when greeted. Or greet first in case they don't; sometimes it is better to be the "better man" and not let these situations make you less courteous.

By being polite back at them, regardless of their treatment towards you, you are not only showing good manners but also a high degree of professionalism.


Were you barred from entering the building again? If not, I don't see any potential conflict.

Previous co-workers might see you and potentially raise it with managers. That in turn may make them confront you to ensure you're not a disgruntled former worker stalking the building (this happened to a couple of places I worked at). Just simply say, "I work for X now" and show your badge in such a situation.

  • 2
    I don't see how a company that owns (more likely rents) part of a building can bar someone from entering other parts of the building. Otherwise, a good answer (=1) Feb 13, 2018 at 7:35

If you didn't break any laws, badmouth the company, or leave in a conflict, then there should be no problems.

Most companies don't think of you once you're out the door.

If you bump into someone from your old company just be friendly as you can, and go on your business. Be kind and keep all talk on a professional level, don't give out any personal information and be vague.

Who knows you could even end up working for them again one day (it's happened). Just don't give it any thought. "Hi Bob! How are you?" is all you need. Acknowledge them, be friendly, repeat.

  • Who knows you could even end up working for them again one day (it's happened). - is it realistic, though? I've already considered my chances if I become a senior dev one day, but my gut feelings say it's weird. Feb 12, 2018 at 18:01
  • 1
    @ZoltánSchmidt never underestimate the power of Work Karma. Just cause you may not work for them anymore doesn't mean you have to treat them any differently. Given that you say your town are few possibilities, this scenario could well be realistic at least
    – DarkCygnus
    Feb 12, 2018 at 18:04
  • 1
    @ZoltánSchmidt yes, it's realistic. Happens all the time. money is money. I've been let go and rehired myself. In some industries, like telecom or the financials, it can happen multiple times. There is nothing weird, it's just busieness Feb 12, 2018 at 18:37
  • Um, why did my comment get deleted? I was responding to another comment.
    – Chris E
    Feb 12, 2018 at 18:48

As long as you don't bad mouth your past employer, you should be fine.

As you said, you're not aware of any animosity between anyone there, and yourself, so keep it that way. Chances are that most people care a lot less than you'd imagine.

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