17

I started working in a company for about a year as a fresher. The job is something which I dont really have an inclination to do but I try to give my best of my abilities. In this circumstance I have had bad feedback from my boss regarding my performance. It happened on a day when a big project where I was involved had finished. This project is my official billable project for the customer. On the same day, I see an advertisement being posted in the jobsites for my position openly stating my company name. I only have 1 month left of the job contract. Though I am happy leaving the company, I want to go with a positive impression. But I have a big task ahead of me which I feel not confident about.

My side of the story is I have done my best to do the job. I worked on the weekends and finished the tasks and most of them with the help of my boss. I still have not reached a stage where I can independently do my tasks. Due to this I think its the reason since the manpower is not sufficient.

I have few questions

  1. Would asking for a transfer to another department work?

  2. Is having 1 year work experience acceptable for next job?

  3. How can I get a good recommendation letter after everything happened here?

14

You should always (always!) have a discussion with your management months ahead of the expiration of a contract. In that meeting you can discuss:

  1. Whether both parties are interested in renewing the contract
  2. What conditions both parties want changed with the contract
  3. What revised rates should be applied to the contract

If you do not have this discussion, you have zero job security, and could find yourself without a contract and without a job, in a far worse position to negotiate with that company (or another company). If you do not have this discussion, the company has no guarantee that you will be willing to renew your contract or do the work within their budget.

While it would be nice if both parties were to see it in their best interests to start the negotiations early, in reality the employee is in a far worse position most of the time meaning that the employee needs to be proactive in starting that discussion.

Unfortunately, you didn't do that, and so there are a lot of questions and concerns about what will happen in the month. I'd sit down with my manager and have an honest discussion. You can start it off with something like this:

Hey boss, we've worked together for a year now, and my contract is going to expire in a month. I wanted to sit down and discuss where we want to go from here, and what's best for both of us. Is the company planning to renew my contract, either for the same job, or for another job in the company?

While I would love to think that this conversation will allow everyone to come to a mutually agreeable conclusion, the company is well within their rights to say, "Sorry, it didn't work out, we won't be renewing your contract" and you will be out of work in a month. So even prior to having that discussion with your management, make sure that you update your resume and start sending out feelers to your professional network or anywhere you would like to work if the job with this company falls through.

In the future, remember that the major merit of contracted employees to the company is that they are really easy to part ways with at the end of the contract, and that contracted employees have the least job security. It is your responsibility to manage lining up a next job at the end of your contract, or proactively discuss with the company the potential to join as a salaried employee, renew your contract, or tell the management that you are planning on looking for other opportunities in a month if you don't think it's a good fit.

4

Sounds like you are a bad fit for the company. Chalk it up to experience and move on.

I was working on a Y2K project in 1999, converting a warehousing application written in FoxPro to VB6. We had put ads out in the city newspaper, and got no responses. This is literally 'no responses', we didn't even hear from people that would have been long shots or only qualified to wash dishes.

Finally a placement firm shows up with two candidates, one is finishing up their last semester getting a Masters degree in Computer Science at a largish school in town, the other one used to be an Air Force firefighter that had spent his spare time playing with computers and learning to program. We hired both, and I gave out assignments to each. As I followed up in the next couple of days with the graduate student, I realized that in his entire six years in college, he had never learned to program. We sent him home immediately. The firefighter, however, was fascinated with what he was doing and worked out great, we worked him as hard as we could.

Someone asked me to tutor them in Visual Basic .NET, and as I got to know this person I found out that he had learned how to compose web pages while working for an animal shelter. This was enough for him to get a job with a 'real company', which was running a brokerage-style web service. Almost instantly they were expecting him to do stuff with the database, a layer in the system he had never had any exposure to. They didn't seem to care, it was their feeling that he should figure it out.

Companies are desperate for web and programming help, and will hire people that aren't qualified. They might do this based on an applicant's degree, a static website the prospect did for a friend, or because they don't know any better themselves. If you're contract is running out and you still feel like you're out of your league, you may have to rethink your career prospects. People that get IT degrees might work out as PC techs, trainers, technical writers, or other roles that aren't software development or programming. Try to figure out what you should be doing, and try to jump to that lily pad. If they let you go, they won't say anything bad to anyone else. They may not say much of anything. It would be better not to ask for a letter of recommendation, it might prove to be 'damnation with faint praise'.

3

You completed a one year contract, so you couldn't have done too bad (This depends on the terms of your contract.) You were in over your head and that took up more of your supervisor's time than he would have liked, but that's his problem.

If a company hires a first year employee and expects them to deliver a project without any supervision, they either don't know what they're doing or just don't have the budget to hire more experienced employees and just have to take a risk and suffer the consequences.

Demonstrate in your next job interview how you learned much more than a typical first year person. You were given meaningful work and plenty of time to be mentored by your boss.

Make sure you ask your boss about being a reference. Hopefully he can say good things about your potential and amount of effort you put on this project.

  • Isn't this all a bit presumptuous? Generally it is far more difficult for a company to terminate a contract early than to let it run its course. Making it to the end of a contract is no indication of quality of work at all. Assuming that this is an issue with the supervisor and then suggesting to ask for a reference doesn't seem to answer the question. – jmac Jun 24 '13 at 22:55
  • @jmac - Like I said, it depends on the terms. I'm not familiar with short-term contracts in the tech industry that guarantee work even if the employee is incompetent. My company hires contract workers with the understanding they could get fired the first day. Otherwise, we'd make them full-time employees. – user8365 Jun 25 '13 at 7:47

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