First of all, I'm not a bad worker, I maybe was just too confident everything would be OK.

The thing is that I didn't opened myself as I should (and can) to let them see the value I could contribute to their company; I told them I'm really introvert; I admit that. For example, I know I can improve things, or tell ideas, but I didn't do it this month since, like I said, I was too confident, and also justifying that 'I'm learning how you work'.

So today I got a call from HR and told me basically that. I explained everything, and admitted some guilt, and after 30 minutes they (HR and my direct boss) told me we can have another talk next week 'since you(me) look enthusiastic'. They did told me what to improve, and what they expect.

And I am. It is a cool place to work for a while, so I don't want to get in more trouble.

Do they really let me have a 2nd chance? But in what sense?

  • Did they say what they expect you to do differently in the next week? What you need to do in order to keep your job? Jul 31, 2018 at 23:45
  • @thursdaysgeek yes.
    – dawn
    Jul 31, 2018 at 23:48
  • @StephanBranczyk It is mostly a creative/design job. And enthusiastic to improve. As I said, I wasn't as proactive as they expected. And I'm asking because it is the first time that happens to me, and I don't know it that's like a really bad sign, or they, yeah, simply gave me another (and last) opportunity.
    – dawn
    Aug 1, 2018 at 0:59
  • Let us continue this discussion in chat. Aug 1, 2018 at 1:19

5 Answers 5


Do they really let me have a 2nd chance?

Seems really evident to me that they indeed let you so.

Otherwise the call would have been much different and you would likely be without job right now if they haven't reconsidered.

I suggest you focus on the aspects they want to see improvements and try to work on them, so next week (and the days to come) your performance will be up to their expectations.

  • I'm asking indeed to understand how deep the consequences of my actions (or no actions). I know that's already a red flag to me, could I redeem myself to get clear from this? In the sense do they actually see my efforts? Or only work matters?
    – dawn
    Jul 31, 2018 at 23:55
  • @dawn The consequences are really clear here: your actions or inactions did not come to their expectations, and are offering you an ultimatum...if you improve the things they asked then you can get out of this situation, provided that you don't make the same mistakes again. No need to overthink this one, or try to read between the lines.
    – DarkCygnus
    Jul 31, 2018 at 23:57
  • Last question: Do they 'indeed' let me have a second chance because I'm enthusiastic (and I indeed am), or it was just a planned ultimatum?
    – dawn
    Aug 1, 2018 at 0:00
  • @dawn I would be guessing if I answered that. As I said, no need to read between the lines. They gave you an ultimatum and that is what matters. Perhaps it was because of your enthusiasm and willingness to improve, or they just "faked" this to "inspire" you... only they know the true reasons for this, so I would focus on improving instead, as that is what is relevant to you and the future of your job.
    – DarkCygnus
    Aug 1, 2018 at 0:02

Turnover is expensive

It's expensive to terminate an employee and pay out severance. It's expensive to recruit a replacement, and risky. It's expensive to set up new documentation, payroll, insurance, etc for a new employee. Keep in mind that, in most cases, the best outcome for the company is for you to stay.

"Improvement Plans" are very common in many industries. It sounds like you've given them reason to believe you could improve enough to meet the job requirements, and they would prefer that to having to start from scratch with a new employee.


  • Get a clear list of expectations of how you should be improving
  • Be proactive. If anything is unclear, reach out to you manager.
  • Try to find a mentor to guide you on company culture, self improvement, etc.


  • Assume that you will keep you job. As has been mentioned, it's possible they already have a replacement, that you won't meet their goals, etc. Start preparing for being unemployed as well.
  • Disagree with their areas of criticism. If they feel it's a problem, it's a problem.

This is more or less a second chance since they appear to find your enthusiasm as a positive point. However, since they did go out of their way to tell you about it, for this second chance period, you're most likely going to be under a microscope, so to say.

Not that you've done something wrong, but more on the fact that you've been doing less than expected. The trial month's where they'll be looking to get a good first impression from you and they were clearly expecting more.

I think the best way to go about this is to just focus on significantly improving on the points they mentioned, since that's what they'll be looking at when they observe you, and since you yourself admitted that you've been complacent.

  • 1
    Yes, I clearly could have done better. That's quite a malfunction on me, so they telling me that made me realize about my wrong habits.
    – dawn
    Aug 1, 2018 at 2:06
  • Like DarkCygnus said, the call would've been much different if they weren't seeing any positives. Think of this as them kicking you into gear, cause clearly, they think you can do more. Otherwise, you'd already be out the door. Aug 1, 2018 at 2:24

I've been told this in the past, and in my experience I'm going to disagree with the others here and say you are being fed BS. Basically, they have no intention of keeping you, but they are keeping you on staff for as long as they can until they can find someone to replace you; once that's done, you're out the door. Your company probably moves in hiring "waves", where they hired you and a bunch of other people at the same time but then they didn't hire anyone else for a while. Your job is probably already posted as part of the next hiring wave, and they are just waiting until they find someone to replace you.

As for why they lied, they did it so that your morale would be higher. Nobody wants to hear "you're fired, but we want you to stay until we can find your replacement", because your morale will be low, your sense of ownership of your tasks will be low, and your productivity will be low; in extreme cases you may even actively sabotage others because you have "nothing to lose". Promising that you might have a chance to continue staying makes you think that you can impress your way out of the situation so you will work harder (or at least as hard) as you did before and be a compliant employee while waiting to be fired. The "trial week" means that they have already interviewed someone and are about to send them out documents; it takes about a week of turnover time between when the documents are sent and when they are signed and received, so they don't want to be short-staffed for that week, that's why they've extended your stay by a week rather than terminating you on the spot. Realistically speaking, a week is not enough to change the impact of a month's worth of habitry; they don't expect that and neither should you.

Remember: HR is not your friend. They are not there to be your advocate, or liaison, or anything else. HR will do whatever is best for the company, and if lying to you is best for the company, then they will lie to you.

  • Yeah, this kind of answer balances the issue. I don't have remedy though than work better. I would be guessing if they are already looking for someone else. I've, however, been looking my boss facebook (not stalking, heh) to see if he has posted the job; that's how I found it in first place. Him and the company's facebook page hasn't yet uploaded the vacant.
    – dawn
    Aug 1, 2018 at 16:00
  • But yeah, all the people I have asked, except you, has told me I may be safe still. I cannot do anything if a decision has already be made; the only thing I can do is how to approach this in the best way, and knowing exactly what they did/are doing, helps me avoid any mental conflict. And I agree, I hate so much HR.
    – dawn
    Aug 1, 2018 at 16:03
  • Just keep in mind that often, what is best for the company and best for you have a lot of overlap.
    – Cain
    Aug 1, 2018 at 16:55
  • @dawn yeah there's really not a lot you can do about it if they've already decided to fire you. As the saying goes, "hope for the best, prepare for the worst". I'd start sending out job applications now anyway just to be safe; it's possible they're telling the truth, but more likely I think that they're lying.
    – Ertai87
    Aug 1, 2018 at 17:24
  • You might want to look at the company job board or whatever and see if they're looking for somebody to fill a suspiciously familiar job. Aug 1, 2018 at 19:07

Don't second guess HR, if you want to keep the job do what they told you.

  • HR giveth and HR taketh away.
    – kioleanu
    Aug 1, 2018 at 9:44

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