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I was fired at the end of my probation period, because I called in sick too many times. My boss said he wants to make it look like I was only temporary there for a project, so that it doesn't look like my employment was terminated.

At first I liked the Idea, but on the other hand it isn't true and I feel that it may be better to say the truth to my next employer. If he would ask in the interview if he can call my former boss for reference than I wouldn't like this. If he knew in advance that I "failed", the situation would be more clear.

On the other hand it would put me in a better light and might give me more opportunities.

What are your thoughts? How would you prefer it?

P.S. With reference (letter) I mean the German "Arbeitszeugnis". I say this because a reference letter is not exactly the same. The employer is required to give former employees an "Arbeitszeugnis" on request, so it's not optional.

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  • Thank you for all the answers and comments! I have accepted your regard (everyone of you basically told me to accept it) and found out that this is also a self worth issue. My boss also showed me with this, that he really likes me and the termination was not for personal reasons. – user106560 Nov 22 '18 at 21:20
  • Not an answer, but are you going to carry on being sick so often you get sacked? If you have a long-term illness you need to do something about it. If you were not actually sick but just taking days off, will you stop doing that? – RedSonja Nov 23 '18 at 15:08
  • I have health issues to sort out. I won't accept another job until I am not confident, that I am able to maintain it. I accepted this job, because I was really looking forward to it and assumed that I am able to sort out my issues without having much sick leave as it was a part-time job (in contrast to the previous one). – user106560 Nov 24 '18 at 17:39
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I would accept his kind offer.

Just be honest with the time period on the CV and just say that you left because it was not a suitable job for you.

It is not bad leaving at the end of the probationary period. The point of this period is for either party to leave easily.

Sometimes, it is just a bad fit. Or it could be a host of reasons.

As long as this is just a one off you should not have any problems.

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  • Well, the reason is that OP called in sick too much. This could have repercussions. – user41891 Nov 21 '18 at 17:45
  • Why tell the new employer this information? Just keep the excuse rather neutral.. Just gloss over it. If it is a long running health condition perhaps get it sorted. The old employer is going to over look it. – Ed Heal Nov 21 '18 at 18:02
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    "It is not bad leaving at the end of the probationary period." I disagree with this. It is true that OP should not have any problems (leaving at the end of a probationary period) as long as this is a single event. However, I would give my opinion that it does look bad - not very bad but I wouldn't call it okay or neutral. OP should "accept his kind offer" for this reason. – J. Chris Compton Nov 21 '18 at 18:30
  • @J.ChrisCompton - The OP will have a reasonable reference. To the future employer I would suggest keep the reason rather neutral and vague. I would suggest that the poster just tries to sweep it under the carpet. We all make mistakes in life. No point dwelling on it. – Ed Heal Nov 21 '18 at 18:36
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    @EdHeal Yes, I agree. My answer (predating but lower scoring at the moment than this one) says the same thing. Except I say that not continuing after probation generally looks bad. I say this for OP's benefit, because it seems to me that the OP doesn't see this as bad at all... and I think some people would. It isn't horrible, but can look bad - OP should take the hint and let the nice guy/girl help them out. – J. Chris Compton Nov 21 '18 at 18:43
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A general remark about a German Arbeitszeugnis: it has to be constructive and not detrimental to finding new employment. You can sue your employer over this and people often do so. There are no bad reference letters, people just assume you sucked if they are not good enough. So for example "satisfactory" means bad, "to our fullest satisfaction" is somewhat good and only "always to our fullest satisfaction" means you are worth employing. So even if someone shows up drunk and attacks people with an axe, their Arbeitszeugnis would probably read "Actively engaged in social activities and shows great skill with rescue equipment, we are sorry to see him go".

In that light, you want a good reference letter. Getting a "truthful" reference letter is a bad, bad move. Any employer reading it will assume this is the best possible version of what happened from your perspective. And if the best possible version from your perspective was that you were sick too many times and got fired for it, as an employer I would assume you never showed up in the first place.

Get the best reference letter you can. Future employers will likely not call your former boss. In Germany, we are used to believe the paperwork we are presented. Even if they do call, your boss will likely say exactly what's on the letter, otherwise he would admit to lying. That's not illegal, but not something anybody likes to do.

So go get the best possible Arbeitszeugnis you can get. This is a marketing campaign for your next job, not a fair and independent judgement of your abilities. And everybody knows that.

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    Upvote for "shows great skill with rescue equipment" ;-) – Mawg says reinstate Monica Nov 22 '18 at 9:06
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    Upvote for "This is a marketing campaign for your next job... And everybody knows that." Also for the 'rescue equipment' reference hadn't heard that one before. – J. Chris Compton Nov 26 '18 at 16:31
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German law/customs might be different, but I would be inclined to allow him to put it in the best light possible.

Sounds like he is trying to do you a favor - barring anyone from Germany/Europe who can tell you why this custom is unethical... let him.

Being terminated at the end of a probationary period (for any reason) generally looks bad.

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    In countries with strong employee protection, there is a stronger tendency to fire someone at the end of a probationary period precisely because it's much harder to do so even a month later. That makes the probationary period a case of "when in doubt, out". – MSalters Nov 22 '18 at 15:40
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In most of commercial organizations probation periods are given to assess the performance, capability & conduct of new employee. It is the best way to judge the performance of individual and to decide his future service tenure. During this period normally the individual is assessed critically, same is probably happened in your case.Moreover, for future sustainability you should find your weaknesses as well for further improvement. For new appointment it is not appropriate to tell your boss regarding your previous job unless he ask from you, if he ask you regarding your previous job than you should not hide anything and tell him truth....