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Ask Sue
A Weekly Q&A Column About Professionalism, Etiquette and Problems in the Workplace
by Sue Morem

Finding Closure When Fired

Dear Sue: I was let go from my job of seven years over a month ago. I didnít ask why I was being fired at the time because it came as a surprise to me. The reason on my employee exit form was ďCompany Termination.Ē I'm not sure how to explain this on interviews and am wondering if I should contact my previous employer and ask for an explanation.

Itís been over a month and I am not sure how my supervisor will react to me calling after so much time has passed. I would think if my termination was due to performance issues or a disagreement with my supervisor that that would have been noted as reason for termination.

 - Need Closure

Sue Says: I donít think it is too late for you to inquire, but if you do, it is possible you wonít get the closure you seek or be satisfied with the explanation you get.. Depending on the type of relationship you had with your supervisor you might consider asking him/her to meet for coffee, rather than simply calling and asking why you were terminated.

Depending on what you find out, you could say your job was ďoverĒ, position eliminated, or services no longer needed. Do not lie; state whatever feels most true to you and donít over explain why your employment was terminated. Talk more about what you learned, what you bring to the next position and why you are right for the job you are seeking. Seven years' employment with a company reflects favorably on you; if you focus on what you gained over the years, the reason you left will be of little importance. Good luck.

Sue Morem is a professional speaker, trainer and syndicated columnist. She is author of the newly released 101 Tips for Graduates and How to Gain the Professional Edge, Second Edition. You can contact her by email at or visit her web site at

Send Sue your questions by clicking here: Ask Sue
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