I was in a job where they expected me to come up with innovative ideas. I had one excellent idea where I insisted on working on it and got rejected like 3 times from my former supervisor. The third time he firmly told me "your idea is crap".

Then competitors implemented in a similar manner the idea I had in mind in the next months. In the end, I got fired with hilarious excuses that I turned down one by one in conversation with the conversation ending in that they want a more experienced employee. After that they hired a bachelor's graduate to replace me, no experience at all.

Clearly they lied and I will never learn the real reason. My question is the CEO of the company did not even bother talking to me to announce to me I am getting fired, the supervisor told me. And I am still wondering, should I contact my former CEO and tell him that this particular supervisor either sabotaged my job or did not have the mentality and intuition to validate my innovative ideas and enthusiasm?

  • When you say "competitors".. what do you refer to? Commented Nov 12, 2019 at 10:24
  • 2
    Why? You got fired, you have no obligation to try to help that company. Why would you waste your own time (and let them live rent free in your mind) when you could improve yourself? Commented Nov 12, 2019 at 11:03
  • 6
    What would you hope to accomplish? What is the result you hope to achieve? My advice would be to forget it and move on.
    – joeqwerty
    Commented Nov 12, 2019 at 11:52
  • This stinks. Still, once you stop working at a place for whatever reasons, their problems cease being your problems. Don't look back.
    – O. Jones
    Commented Nov 13, 2019 at 22:20

5 Answers 5


And I am still wondering, should I contact my former CEO and tell him that this particular supervisor either sabotaged my job or did not have the mentality and intuition to validate my innovative ideas and enthusiasm?

No, you shouldn't. There's nothing for you to gain by this line of action.

Time to move on and put this unhappy job behind you.


You have been thrown under the bus. You do not want to go back to people, of which you now know, throw other people under the bus. Instead, time to you brush up your resume and look for a new job.

The CEO likely doesn't want to talk with you, he has someone for that: your former supervisor. It seems (and maybe is) unfair, but that is how these things work. Even if you get to talk to the CEO, it's your word against your former supervisors, which isn't in your advantage.

Best thing that will happen: Nothing.
Worst thing: burn bridges and get bad reputation.


When faced with a difficult and frustrating situation at work, it can be easy for me to feel like I need to push hard and argue my case. I want other people to believe my side of the story, and respect my ideas. This can leave me feeling like I need to fight back when I've been wronged, but before doing so, I try to ask myself a few questions:

  • What do I hope to accomplish? It can feel good to make your case, but ultimately, you have to think carefully about what your goal is. Lashing out to make yourself feel better isn't really a goal. What actual change do you want? Do you want your old job back? Do you want your old supervisor to be reprimanded? Start with a goal in mind.
  • Determine if your goal makes sense. Sometimes, the act of coming up with a goal makes you realize that your goal doesn't make sense! Do you really want your old job back? Do you really want to work for an employer that treats you like that? Even if you do, what are the chances that you'll actually be able to argue your way back in to your old position? (In case the answer isn't obvious, the chances are zero.)
  • Adjust as appropriate. Come up with new goals. Maybe this is a good time to focus on your career. Maybe you can step in to your dream job at a new employer. Sometimes, the goal needs to be: move on. Let go of things that have happened in the past. Don't let them consume you. Instead, be consumed by the future. Focus on your own growth.
  • Make sure you're not missing the opportunity to learn. When reflecting on a difficult situation, it is very natural to externalize the blame. Your ideas were rejected! Your boss mistreated you! Your company lost an opportunity! Your competitor beat you to market! None of those statements address the possibility that you may have contributed in some way, even if indirect. Don't get so caught up in blaming others that you lose out on the chance to learn and grow.

Successful outcomes in business are rarely the result of good ideas. Successful outcomes are nearly always the result of:

  • The right timing
  • Good communication
  • The ability to execute on your ideas

While you claim that you were in a position where idea-generation was part of your job, make sure you're considering these other factors. No matter how good your idea is, no one will accept it if it's not practical. People won't even understand it if you can't explain it well. And it won't go anywhere unless it's timed well and there is follow through in executing it. So, while I don't want to sound like I'm trying to put this back on you, make sure you're at least pausing to ask the question: did I contribute to the problem?

And once you've answered that question, consider what you can do different in the future to improve on your own success - instead of just assuming that you failed because someone else didn't like your ideas.

  • I see I've attracted a downvote. Would anyone like to comment with suggestions for improvement?
    – dwizum
    Commented Nov 13, 2019 at 13:48

"After careful consideration, while it is a very interesting novelty, we have come to the conclusion that it has no commercial possibilities."

William Orton, Western Union, to Alexander Graham Bell on his ideas for a telephone.

This is very common in many commercial ventures, and there are some more examples here. While it's always frustrating that ideas don't seem to be appreciated (and even worse when ideas are vindicated by a competitor), companies, managers and supervisors have many other considerations when proceeding with a new concept, most of which won't be known to the person coming up with the idea.

The more time you spend in product development, the more of this you will see. It's not great, but it's not unusual.


Professionally speaking, as others have already posted, you really should simply move on from this job. The reason I post a separate answer is that perhaps the most important aspect left for you of this job is how you will explain it in interviews. There's no one perfect answer as each interviewer will see your story their own way. Generally, though, speak of it somewhat dispassionately and matter of factly.

There's a fair chance you could lie and say you left due to disappointment over seeing ideas you championed get squashed then watching competitors successfully implement them. Interviewers are unlikely to find out the rest, but lying has a way of catching you at times you especially don't want them to.

Why did you leave company X?

You might respond something to the effect of:

To be perfectly honest, I was fired. I was told it was for my lack of experience and ingenuity. It is unclear how the new graduate they hired to replace me was more experienced. To ingenuity, I had a number of suggestions. For example, they rejected one I had pushed for then watched their competitors implement it in following months.

Being calm about it sets you up as the rational one. Just provide them the facts and let them draw their conclusions. Don't try to argue your case. There may be follow up questions. Answer them honestly, and without excessive emotion. "I'm still angry, absolutely!" will not play as well as "Sure, it was a shock. I'm somewhat curious as to what really happened, but ultimately I'll never know and it was a situation that I wasn't going to change."

To telling anyone, sure, it's possible you could tell the CEO. If you truly felt it would make you feel better, maybe it's worth doing. But you'd still have to weigh any potential retaliation and the fact it is likely to fall on deaf ears. Ultimately, it's highly unlikely to have any more impact than your own peace of mind. And will it even give you that?

  • Pretty sure this one violates “never say anything bad about previous employers”.
    – nick012000
    Commented Nov 15, 2019 at 1:12

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