Long story short, I worked as a junior web developer for slightly more than half a year. My first job ever, and I already had issues with procrastination, sort attention span, and the likes, you name it.

My boss warned me after a rather long time and from that point, I put more effort to my fulfill my duties. Still, my boss claimed it's unhealthy for the office culture that he constantly finds me doing non-work related activities. [there are no directly enforced restrictions in the matter at said company, e.g. direct logging, banned addresses, etc]

So I was fired.

The problem is that when looking for a job, virtually every employer is interested in the reasons of leaving the previous job, so I have to explain.

Needless to say, it's a red light for everyone, yet I need to be employed, obviously.

How can I communicate this kind of issue for someone to not gamble their trust in me?

  • What steps did you take to try to overcome your procrastination? This is the main question here. Do not focus on the reason why you have been fired, focus on how you improved and eliminated the symptoms of your procrastination and are looking forward to work effectively again. I.e. show that you learned from your mistakes and assure as best as you can (while being honest) that this will not happen again. – Nras Feb 22 '18 at 12:29
  • Were you productive? I often show signs of procrastination, yet, at the end of the day, I've achieved far more than most of my working-looking colleagues. I've never been fired for that kind of causes(though the time I was not productive, I didn't stay long, which is normal) – gazzz0x2z Feb 22 '18 at 15:27
  • " [there are no directly enforced restrictions in the matter at said company, e.g. direct logging, banned addresses, etc]....So I was fired." - If you were fired then it sounds like there were enforceable restrictions on your activity. Otherwise, you wouldn't have been fired for it. Unless you were fired for a different reason. – Donald Feb 22 '18 at 17:58

As a developer myself, I know it is an unusual work environment you had indeed if you were able to procrastinate for long periods of time. There is always something, however trivial, that could be worked on. And I too had the same habits at one time.

You were fired for not putting in enough work. Your boss noticed you doing things that were not work-related, but you have learned from this experience. As it was your first development job, there may have been certain workplace norms you were unaware of before (such as if you run out of work, having a look at the backlog of low-priority bugs), that you now know to follow. The best you can do is turn your manager's reason for dismissing you into an objective: you've learned to use more initiative to find work rather than waiting to give it. You've gained a greater appreciation for time management. These sorts of things, and can you demonstrate out-of-work or otherwise any evidence of them?

In short, you could explain that you were fired for not doing enough work, but emphasise what you have learned from it and how you are actively improving on it. This shows you are committed to bettering yourself and it will not necessarily clash with any feedback you get from your former employer.

  • Basically I agree but I think he should be ready to show what he did to improve himself. Just saying somehow I learned from this is not good enough. – Edgar Feb 22 '18 at 12:38
  • 1
    @Edgar Yeah I haven't made that obvious in the answer; have tweaked it to explain any proof would be welcome. – user34587 Feb 22 '18 at 12:43

You may be able to get another job just by talking about your understanding of what went wrong and determination to behave differently in the future. In case that does not work, you need an alternative plan in which you show the changes, rather than just talking about them.

Volunteer work and education both offer opportunities.

If you go with volunteer work, you need an opening that requires working on a project for at least a few days at a time. Ideally, you will be able to get a reference from a supervisor.

For education, you need a course that requires focused effort, and results in a measured grade or certificate showing that you applied the effort successfully. If you can pick something related to your work it will also demonstrate improving your technical skills.

  1. Learn to concentrate on one job.
  2. Be honest about your past but tell your future boss that you learned to improve yourself. You did this and that (see 1).

And then I guess take basically the first job you can get to prove that you can work full time. If you have that job for some time and do good full time work then that is a good position to look for a better job (if you want another job).

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