So you started a new job — congratulations! Learning the ropes of the new job can be stressful, but so long as you're working for a supportive manager and have the willingness to open your eyes and ears, you shouldn't have a problem getting the hang of things.
But what happens if your manager gets fired just after you get hired? Should you be worried?
That's exactly what happened to an anonymous FGB'er who wrote into the FGB Community to share her experience.
"I recently started a new job and, the Friday prior to starting, I received a phone call from my soon to be new manager welcoming me and saying how excited she was for me to start on Monday," she says. "So I arrive 15 minutes early on Monday to start and, while I'm sitting in the lobby waiting for my new boss to come get me, she walks past me, says good morning, and walks out the door."
The FGB'er thought that maybe her manager was getting something out of her car, but she never returned.
"I was then greeted by the VP who introduced me to HR, and I started orientation," she says. "In orientation it was mentioned that someone else would be the acting ED until my boss got her paperwork sorted out. Day 2 I come into work and find out that, after seven years, my boss was terminated."
She asksed the FGB community what she should do in that situation, and whether or not it's OK to ask about why her boss was terminated. Here's what other FGB'ers had to say. (TLDR: the general consensus is that you shouldn't ask why they were fired!)
1. Express your concerns surrounding the situation.
"You can't ask why she was terminated, but you have every right to express your concern," says butynski.
For example, you can ask about how their termination will affect you and your job.
"You have the right to ask the 'person to whom the now fired manager would have reported to' how this person's absence will affect your job," says an anonymous FGB'er. "You have the right to ask if they will be hiring a replacement. You have the right to ask if this person's removal will change the reporting structure."
Other FGB'ers agree.
"The reason [for the firing] may impact you," says Flossy. "There is fall out from any termination. You may not get the answer, but if it was for cause like screwed an account, stealing, inappropriate behavior with one of your direct reports, etc. then knowledge is power."
2. Do your best to suss out the situation on your own.
"Don't ask but, maybe at some point after building rapport with coworkers, someone will naturally spill the beans," says Jamilla Segar. "Definitely stay, be an observer and get paid. Take it all in and assess things."
FGB'er, RockonSuccess, kept a close eye on how things played out in her office when she found herself in a similar situation.
"Pay close attention to the spoken and unspoken changes you see taking place," she advises, given her own experience. "Document everything they say and promise . If you're smelling something rotten, it may not be your imagination. Protect yourself by keeping your network advised of this unfortunate scenario so they can continue to keep you in mind. I'd have a backup plan going, just in case."
3. Don't jump to conclusions.
"Ride this one out and use it as an opportunity to build your resume by navigating the unknown," says Rosan02. "This is either going to be great or so terrible that you will grow from it and laugh about 10 years from now... This happened to me. I didn't think I'd last a month and been there 20 years!"
FGB'er Robin Stone agrees.
"As tempting as it is, don’t ask why she’s no longer there," she advises. "Take the opportunity to learn the team, and wait to see who the new ED will be. Often times, the things that give us angst end up being better than we expected!"
4. Make your own judgement calls.
Ultimately, you'll have to make your own judgments about the situation.
"The fact is she was let go; it is very easy for us to want to create a story around this fact — maybe the work environment is terrible, maybe they are going to clean house, maybe she was treated unfairly, but those are just stories," says Jackie Ghedine. "There are three sides to every story. While it could be concerning, she could have also been a terror in the office. Make your own judgments based on your own experiences."
5. Keep an open mind as you ride it out.
Have peace of mind in knowing that you're not alone in this situation. It's happened to tons of other women, including many within the Fairygodboss community! So do your best to stick it out.
"With eyes wide open and lots of questions, I rode it out, and it worked out pretty well for me," says Laura E. Wendt. "Still a bit shocking though; I feel your uncertainty."
"I knew exactly your feeling — this happened to me long ago," adds Elle Smith Fagan who ended up losing her job, too. She took help and temp jobs where she could find it until another opportunity came up.
AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog, HerReport.org, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report, Twitter @herreport and Facebook.