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Federal job application that asks if you have involuntarily resigned

I have been forced to resign from three jobs over the past s williebob78908/02/18
For any federal job you will need a background check. You fi underemployedlawyer08/05/18
If these are recent jobs, they will probably call the employ fettywap08/02/18
From what I have heard, most former employers don't tell fut williebob78908/02/18
To my knowledge, all feds have to complete an OF-306, which karma08/05/18
Working as a federal contractor you still have the same back underemployedlawyer08/05/18
I have heard that the OF-306 form is optional for federal co williebob78908/06/18
Optional as in if you don’t want the job you don’t fill underemployedlawyer08/07/18
I'm curious why you've been asked to resign at three differe dingbat08/05/18
#MeToo jd4hire08/06/18
The first time it was basically for not seeing eye-to-eye wi williebob78908/06/18
nice excuses. if it happens once, that's plausible. if it dingbat08/06/18
The purpose of the post was not to cast blame at one party o williebob78908/07/18
My sincerest apologies, I never indicated you weren't a good dingbat08/07/18
You just posted above that you were fired from law jobs. Now fettywap08/07/18
They were resignations. I am allowed to say I wasn't fired. williebob78908/07/18
they were involuntary resignations. That's a very polite wa dingbat08/07/18
oh, and people do not hire attorneys "to spend money on a pe dingbat08/07/18
About 70% of biglaw associates are told at some point to loo midlaw08/06/18
nah. they're looking for people who are given the option to dingbat08/06/18
I don't see the difference. If they're asked to leave, they williebob78908/07/18
in your case, you were forced to resign because you are a sc dingbat08/07/18
I have no clue on the federal application. I would say that jd4hire08/07/18

williebob789 (Aug 2, 2018 - 4:47 pm)

I have been forced to resign from three jobs over the past several years. I generally avoid applying for jobs if the job application asks if I have involuntarily resigned from a job, because I believe my application would immediately get dinged.

I have been told that all federal employees must complete a job application form that asks if you have been fired from a job, forced to resign, resigned in lieu of termination, etc…

I have interviewed at some federal public defender offices, and when I am asked why I left those jobs I say things like “It wasn’t the right fit.” Most of these federal public defender jobs do not require me to fill out that standard federal job application as part of the application process.
If I am offered one of these jobs, will they make the offer contingent on me filling out that standard job application and undergoing further “investigation”? Would they require me to fill out that application on my first day of work? Or do some offices not bother requiring new hires to fill out such an application? I know that some federal public defender offices are just contract public defender offices, and would not be treated as a federal government entity.

I have not bothered applying to U.S. Attorney/Department of Justice jobs, because I am fairly confident that I may be asked that question at some point. And if I try dancing around the issue early in the application process, those people will be more trigger-happy and could accuse me of making a false statement to a federal government entity.

Does anyone have any experiences with this? Does anyone foresee any potential issues that could arise? Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated.

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underemployedlawyer (Aug 5, 2018 - 4:43 pm)

For any federal job you will need a background check. You fill out a form and I believe it asks if you have been fired or asked to resign from a job in the past 7 years . It might just be 5 years but they absolutely ask the question

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fettywap (Aug 2, 2018 - 6:25 pm)

If these are recent jobs, they will probably call the employer and verify why you left.

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williebob789 (Aug 2, 2018 - 6:52 pm)

From what I have heard, most former employers don't tell future prospective employers that you were fired or forced to resign. One of the bosses who forced me to resign even said, "Good luck to you. If anybody calls here, this will be a resignation just like any other."

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karma (Aug 5, 2018 - 1:41 pm)

To my knowledge, all feds have to complete an OF-306, which basically asks this question. Sometimes they ask you to submit it at the front end, and other times you will only be asked to complete it with your onboarding paperwork, after you have gotten a tentative offer, which is always contingent one some sort of background check. I believe it would be concerning that you have been asked to resign from 3 jobs, though you can look at that form itself and see how far back it goes into your background.

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underemployedlawyer (Aug 5, 2018 - 4:45 pm)

Working as a federal contractor you still have the same background check.

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williebob789 (Aug 6, 2018 - 5:25 pm)

I have heard that the OF-306 form is optional for federal contractors.

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underemployedlawyer (Aug 7, 2018 - 8:33 am)

Optional as in if you don’t want the job you don’t fill it out

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dingbat (Aug 5, 2018 - 11:28 pm)

I'm curious why you've been asked to resign at three different jobs

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jd4hire (Aug 6, 2018 - 7:47 am)

#MeToo

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williebob789 (Aug 6, 2018 - 5:32 pm)

The first time it was basically for not seeing eye-to-eye with management, even though at least one of my supervisors wrote me a reference letter. The second time it was because my boss told me I didn't look like I wanted to be there, and that was largely true, as my boss had a short temper and I was working in a practice field that I wasn't as comfortable with. The third time a new managing attorney took over the office and asked me to leave several days later. The new supervisor said he wanted to make the office less "adversarial". The reason he asked me to leave was because I raised a discovery issue in court in a criminal case, for a defendant facing life without parole. He said I should not "insinuate" that a prosecutor would spoliate evidence.

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dingbat (Aug 6, 2018 - 9:19 pm)

nice excuses. if it happens once, that's plausible. if it happens three times, it's not them, it's you.

Not seeing eye-to-eye with management = bad attitude
Doesn't look like you want to be there = bad attitude
I was working in a practice field I wasn't as comfortable with = bad attitude
Wants to make the office less adversarial = bad attitude

Unless you change your ways, you're gonna get fired again and again. Face it, as an employee your job is to smile and do whatever your bosses tell you to do.

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williebob789 (Aug 7, 2018 - 4:56 am)

The purpose of the post was not to cast blame at one party or another, or to talk about whether I am the problem or a boss is the problem. The purpose of the post was to discuss how to maneuver a federal job application process, or discuss whether I am better off just focusing my job search on something else.

I have won multiple jury trials, and have also won multiple appeals, including appeals in a state Supreme Court. I have won cases that I had been told I was going to lose. I am bilingual in English and Spanish. I have not been fired from any law job.

By your reasoning, I guess everyone on this board who struggles to find satisfactory employment to begin with is the problem, and not employers, law schools, etc...

People, companies, employers, any person for that matter, do not have the duty to be spending money. Their desire to stop spending money on a person does not imply fault, or wrongdoing, on the part of the person who was initially receiving money.

Perhaps my personality or some other characteristic does not make me a good automaton, servant, and wonderful and dutiful employee. But the point of the post is to discuss navigating the waters of the legal market based on my situation. It was not about whether I need to fix some alleged personal deficiency so that I can thereby obtain a trashy and unfulfilling job.

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dingbat (Aug 7, 2018 - 9:40 am)

My sincerest apologies, I never indicated you weren't a good attorney. You are, to quote yourself, not a good "automaton, servant, and wonderful and dutiful employee".

I guarantee that that is going to continue to be a problem, and I highly recommend you figure out a way to become a good "automaton, servant, and wonderful and dutiful employee", because the truth is, and this is unfortunate, it doesn't matter how good an attorney you are if you don't have clients and you don't have an employer - both of which require you to be a good "automaton, servant, and wonderful and dutiful employee" (yes, even if you go solo, your clients will want you to be their dutiful employee)

Government jobs also have internal politics, and if you piss off the wrong people, your "career" will end up being a trashy and unfulfilling job.

I don't mean to harp, and I don't mean to insult, but I am trying to give good advice. And part of giving good advice means not just answering the immediate question, but addressing the greater issue. I've been around long enough to see very talented people crash and burn because of their attitude, and I've seen wholly incompetent people do very well for themselves because they licked the right boot at the right time. You've been asked to resign from three jobs in just a few years. That's a huge black mark on your resume, but more importantly, it's a huge red flag that there's an issue with you. The good news is that it's not the quality of your work - it's really hard to fix stupidity. Luckily, it's a personality issue, and that's a lot easier to fix. If you can work on that, you can have a bright future

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fettywap (Aug 7, 2018 - 9:42 am)

You just posted above that you were fired from law jobs. Now you say they weren't law jobs. Trollin', trollin', trollin'.

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williebob789 (Aug 7, 2018 - 11:16 am)

They were resignations. I am allowed to say I wasn't fired.

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dingbat (Aug 7, 2018 - 2:00 pm)

they were involuntary resignations. That's a very polite way of firing someone.

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dingbat (Aug 7, 2018 - 9:49 am)

oh, and people do not hire attorneys "to spend money on a person". Time for some economics 101. Employers will only hire you for one of two reasons:

1) you can do something they can't or won't do. The easy example is a plumber - most people don't know how to fix pipes, and even if they did, most people wouldn't want to. So they hire a plumber to do it for them. In that case, you're an expense, and people always try to keep their expenses to a minimum. If they no longer need your skills, you no longer have a job.

2) you make them money. The classic example is a salesperson. And as long as you make them money, they'll keep paying you. If you make them more money, you can get paid more.

You are #1, the tool, not the money-maker. And that makes you expendable. If you become too expensive, or ineffective, or unpleasant to work with, they'll replace you with another tool.

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midlaw (Aug 6, 2018 - 7:45 pm)

About 70% of biglaw associates are told at some point to look for another job and leave within 3-6 months. Does that count?

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dingbat (Aug 6, 2018 - 9:21 pm)

nah. they're looking for people who are given the option to resign to avoid the dishonor of a public firing because they screwed up. Biglaw is looking for partners, and will tell their associates that they're not partner material before they cost too much.

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williebob789 (Aug 7, 2018 - 5:02 am)

I don't see the difference. If they're asked to leave, they're asked to leave. The application question doesn't typically ask whether you were forced to resign because you "screwed up." It asks whether you were forced to resign, and asks it in a couple of different ways.

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dingbat (Aug 7, 2018 - 9:31 am)

in your case, you were forced to resign because you are a screw up.

In biglaw, associates aren't forced to resign. They're just given a heads up that they have no future. They don't need to leave right away, they didn't screw up, and the firm keeps them on the payroll and on their website. That's a world of difference from being forced to resign, which is near-instant, you don't get to stay on the website, and you don't get paid.

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jd4hire (Aug 7, 2018 - 10:12 am)

I have no clue on the federal application. I would say that if you navigate it and are able to secure another job, you do need to focus on why you have been forced to resign from three jobs. That does seem like the larger issue. As my mother always told me - "It's not who you know, it's who you blow." Sometimes you have to eat chit and smile while doing so.

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