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Reference Checking Finding a Job Job Interviews Bullies Insecurity Quitting Time

My new supervisor is rude, abusive, and intimidated by my previous professional experience and technical knowledge. Although I previously received excellent yearly assessments, he has given me several verbal and written warnings within the first three weeks of reporting to him. I have begun searching for a new position, but I am concerned over what this supervisor will say about me in a reference check, and I fear a backlash from him if I do not obtain the new position. My previous management contacts have moved to other organizations. How do I approach this situation?

When providing the names of your employment references, there are a number of steps to take if your supervisor is not exactly super.

In your job interview, let the potential employer know the facts of your situation -- your solid work history, your previously excellent ratings, the questionable changes that have been recently implemented, and your fear of reprisal if management learns of your desire to change jobs. Be sure to avoid any personal attacks on your supervisor. If there is absolutely no one else in the company who can be confidentially contacted, you should advise the potential employer that your present employer cannot be contacted unless a decision to hire you has been made.

At the same time, you should give the potential employer the names and phone numbers of managers who knew you at the company, but no longer work there. If a potential employer refuses to be accommodating on this matter, that employer is probably less-than-accommodating on all sorts of other matters.

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