How do I recover from not being renewed (not fired)?

tjb122982tjb122982 Posts: 252Member
I am in bit of a jam and honestly I am a little bit worried about my future in the near term.

This may sound like I’m ranting and whining, so in advance I apologize. Also feel free to call me out if you think I need to be called out.

In the last week, I have become unemployed after my contract was not renewed at the Big Ten University. I should be clear, I was not fired, I just was not renewed.

I started this job the week before Thanksgiving but the trouble did not really begin until after the Holidays.

My job was basically to manage the supplies along with troubleshoot and process RMA’s. I also coordinated (not supervised) student workers and helped out with their workloads with working tickets and routine tasks like changing out toners. I also set up computer labs.

My boss gave me a list of things he wanted to me be able to do and 3 projects he wanted to be completed by the middle of January, before the semester began. I got one project done without any hitches. The project was simply swapping out hard drives and deploying an image. However, the other 2 projects were issues.

There was a inventory project where I inventoried 1200-1300 workstations in several different classrooms and labs. That does not count the main storage room. Some were on a list complete with serial numbers and a lot were not, so I had to manually write everything down on a clip board. When I got everything I complied it into a master Excel spreadsheet. My boss told me it should only taken me a week to do that and it took me 4-5 weeks. I will grant that I may have been a little lost and was not as organized as I could had been. With that being said, I honestly think that if I had did everything right, this project would still had taken at least 2-3 weeks.

Then there was the renaming projects. I was supposed to rename a few dozen Windows machines. The 2 Windows admins sat down with me to go over instructions and then they figured out that I didn’t have the right permissions and they specifically told me to hold off and they would tell me when to begin. Several weeks went by and they didn’t tell me anything after I sent a couple of emails to them. My boss got crappy with me why I didn’t have it done and I told him what happened. However, somehow one of the admins said I somehow took a whole lab off of the domain which I did no such thing. So I confronted the admin in the office. I did not threaten him or say anything inappropriate, apparently I made him feel uncomfortable; I want to be clear there were no other incidents of this kind after this point. So, in the span of a few days not only was I accused to being incompetent but belligerent too. In the end, the other admin backed me up in my boss’s office and I did finish the project once I was given proper permissions.

There were two other small incidents. One where I had trouble figuring out how to get a paper jam out with or without tools. Also I had trouble with building a monitor stand because I used the wrong screws. I didn’t view this as big issues. I never had done any of these tasks before. I viewed it as learning by doing.

This all happened in January and early February. Everything got better after that. I feel like I was really hitting my stride. I knew what to do and I did. I felt that I was doing the job they hired me for and I was doing it well. Then my boss told me that they were not going to renew me in the middle of March. He told me I had a good work ethic but I wasn’t living up to their expectations. I spent the next 2 months working my tail off (I think I was working hard before). My boss left to pursue working in real estate full time. The new manager was only there a week before I left. I tried to save myself but he told me I was smart by talking to him and justifying why I should stay but he could not justify me staying to his boss.

In the end, how do I recover from this? Specifically, on job applications, should I just play it straight and play up what I learned or should I fudge it? Is it possible to get another job without taking a step back in terms of pay?

Comments

  • iBrokeITiBrokeIT Posts: 1,158Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Welcome to the world of contracting. Did you not understand that when your contract ends it might not get renewed?

    Don't accept another contract position if you can't handle this type of risk.

    Position Title (Contractor) is what I put on my resume and if the application asks why left just put "1099 contract ended" which is 100% true.

    Time update your resume and hitting the job boards.
  • Danielm7Danielm7 Posts: 2,197Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    Agree with iBrokeIT. It's a contract position, it ended, that is all you need to say.

    Things to keep in mind for the future... if you're having an issue getting a task completed where you can't progress without someone else doing their part (renaming project), tell your boss immediately. It's not ratting someone out, it's keeping them in the loop. It sounds like you didn't have the permissions, so you just sat on it for a few weeks waiting, then kept asking the same people who didn't give you the permissions. If you found out the same day you couldn't do the project that you were assigned, just email the admin who was supposed to set you up with permissions recapping the situation, CC your boss, now he knows it isn't you. I don't like to play lots of games at work, but you ended up looking bad because you didn't CYA. As for the uncomfortable confrontation part that's another issue entirely.

    Also, as a contractor myself, if someone told me they weren't going to renew me, I'd be 100% focused on finding a new position, while still trying to do well at my current role. If they were direct enough to tell you early, they were helping you out, they could have strung you along until the last day saying they'd probably hire you then just let you go.

    As for little issues like not having right screws, etc, don't obsess, it doesn't matter now. Dress up your resume with your completed contract position and move forward.
  • scaredoftestsscaredoftests Senior Member behind youPosts: 2,607Mod Mod
    I have had this happen before..Once a contract got modified and my job position was eliminated. That is what you put on your resume..Your position ended and it was a contract position. Most places understand (especially in the Washington DC metro area). Good luck.
    Never let your fear decide your fate....
  • tjb122982tjb122982 Posts: 252Member
    iBrokeIT wrote: »
    Welcome to the world of contracting. Did you not understand that when your contract ends it might not get renewed?

    Don't accept another contract position if you can't handle this type of risk.

    Position Title (Contractor) is what I put on my resume and if the application asks why left just put "1099 contract ended" which is 100% true.

    Time update your resume and hitting the job boards.

    I knew there was a end date. I thinking I was focusing on they kept on talking about I was going to be able to move up to a permanent position with vacation days and more money.

    I think what I'm most pissed about is that after I got everything done and I did prove myself to technically component, they did not give me anything else to do in terms of Windows administration. Their minds were made up early and there was nothing I could do to change them.
  • iBrokeITiBrokeIT Posts: 1,158Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Very unfortunate. This is exactly how contractor status gets abused, sometimes they string you a long to end of the contract with no intentions of renewing it or offering you a full time W2 position. Not sure if that was the case here or not. It could be the new boss wanted to bring in some of "his people".

    Post your resume in a new thread for review, use the weekend to put this behind you and focus on the positives that you learned from this experience. Sound like you did a good job and need to realize we all make mistakes. Don't carry the negativity and self-doubt into your job search because it will show in an interview.

    Best of luck to you!
  • kiki162kiki162 Posts: 635Member
    Sounds like it was an overall crappy environment to begin with. Consider this a blessing at the fact your contract ended and you weren't fired. With future job prospects, all you have to tell them is that you were on a contract and it ended.

    Being a contractor is like a step above being an intern at times. Sounds like you got a lot of the crap tasks from this guy, but it should say something to you that he left too. Personally I like it when I get feedback from my supervisor, like what things I'm doing good on, and what things I need to work on. If you aren't getting feedback, and direction in your position, then it's just a red flag.

    Take this as a lesson learned, and stay away from Contracting. You'll be fine in your future job prospects.
  • crimsonavengercrimsonavenger Posts: 27Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Just play it straight,..

    any new employer that asks, you just say your contract term had ended.

    That's all. You don't have to go into anymore detail than that, and would probably be negative for you if you tried.
  • tjb122982tjb122982 Posts: 252Member
    tjb122982 wrote: »
    I knew there was a end date. I thinking I was focusing on they kept on talking about I was going to be able to move up to a permanent position with vacation days and more money.

    I think what I'm most pissed about is that after I got everything done and I did prove myself to technically component, they did not give me anything else to do in terms of Windows administration. Their minds were made up early and there was nothing I could do to change them.

    I don't know if he wanted to bring in his "own guy" but I think they wanted just get another couple of student workers. I think their reasoning is why pay me $15 an hour when they can have a couple of students do the same work and pay them $8.
  • tjb122982tjb122982 Posts: 252Member
    kiki162 wrote: »
    Sounds like it was an overall crappy environment to begin with. Consider this a blessing at the fact your contract ended and you weren't fired. With future job prospects, all you have to tell them is that you were on a contract and it ended.

    Being a contractor is like a step above being an intern at times. Sounds like you got a lot of the crap tasks from this guy, but it should say something to you that he left too. Personally I like it when I get feedback from my supervisor, like what things I'm doing good on, and what things I need to work on. If you aren't getting feedback, and direction in your position, then it's just a red flag.

    Take this as a lesson learned, and stay away from Contracting. You'll be fine in your future job prospects.

    Honestly, the job would had been a decent first IT job if I had a decent manager and wasn't sidelined. But like you guys said, don't be negative. I rolled the dice and it didn't work out.
  • BlackBeretBlackBeret Posts: 684Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    I start applying to positions and sending out my resume 30+ days out from a contract ending. If the contract gets extended or renewed and I haven't found a better position, great. If something better for me comes up then I make the move. I don't like job hopping at all and working as a contractor worries me, but the pay difference in this and most full time positions is enough for me to stay contracting.
  • tjb122982tjb122982 Posts: 252Member
    BlackBeret wrote: »
    I start applying to positions and sending out my resume 30+ days out from a contract ending. If the contract gets extended or renewed and I haven't found a better position, great. If something better for me comes up then I make the move. I don't like job hopping at all and working as a contractor worries me, but the pay difference in this and most full time positions is enough for me to stay contracting.

    I have been applying for jobs in the area but I have gotten any offers yet. The good news is that I am getting interviews. The bad news is that there does not seem to be a whole out there right now. Of course, a couple weeks before I was not being renewed, I reupped my lease to July 2016. I may try to sublet my place and leave town. I don't want to do that but it may only real option.
  • bloodshotbettybloodshotbetty Posts: 215Member
    tjb122982 wrote: »

    There was a inventory project where I inventoried 1200-1300 workstations in several different classrooms and labs. That does not count the main storage room. Some were on a list complete with serial numbers and a lot were not, so I had to manually write everything down on a clip board. When I got everything I complied it into a master Excel spreadsheet. My boss told me it should only taken me a week to do that and it took me 4-5 weeks. I will grant that I may have been a little lost and was not as organized as I could had been. With that being said, I honestly think that if I had did everything right, this project would still had taken at least 2-3 weeks.

    1 week is unreasonable for that. I am currently working on an inventory- clipboards and spreadsheets. It is tedious work and takes some serious time and effort.

    A+ certified
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  • SpetsRepairSpetsRepair Posts: 203Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Contract ends thats fine, but a problem i've had is having someone verify my employment. Meaning nobody would provide references for me because i was contracting.
  • tjb122982tjb122982 Posts: 252Member
    Contract ends thats fine, but a problem i've had is having someone verify my employment. Meaning nobody would provide references for me because i was contracting.

    I am just going to be as glib as possible. I'll play it straight if I am pushed but I would rather be vague.
  • kohr-ahkohr-ah Posts: 1,277Member
    Pull up your boot straps, polish that resume, hit some recruiters and keep moving forward. Shoot for the same level pay or a small bump up if you feel you can justify it and just go to the next place.

    As others said notify on the ol' resume that it was a contract. Take the experience you gained both the good and the bad and keep going. Apply for unemployment so you have some form of partial income heading your way. Everywhere in life has ***holes. Just have to use them to fuel your passion and keep on a going.
  • lsud00dlsud00d Posts: 1,571Member
    If you provide exceptional value the customer will want to hire you full time, or renew your contract. If not, even if for reasons beyond your control, then the contract will not get renewed.

    Tis the contractor life (going on 4 years of contracting myself)
  • kurosaki00kurosaki00 Posts: 973Member
    Even if you provide super human IT services and achieve WTF goals the employer may not hire you full time. There are a bunch of companies that hire contract employees to do behind work. Basically stuff that is behind that no one wants to do, so they hire someone for it and thats it.

    When contracting ALWAYS start searching a couple of weeks (month?) before your end date for a new job.
    Get some certs, get interviews, land new job.
    meh
  • cmitchell_00cmitchell_00 I.T. Guy Posts: 241Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    The world of contracting can have it's ups and down's since your aren't employed by the customer you are working for. I would redo my resume and hit the pavement you'll find something soon. When asked what happen reply contract ended and that's all you can mention. It's always a shiny light at the end of the tunnel just be patience.
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