Should I quit my job or wait to be fired?

So…I’m pretty sure I’m going to be fired soon. I’ve been in my position for two years, and I’m the only person in my department. My performance reviews have been satisfactory and I’ve never been warned about my job being in jeopardy. I do sometimes get backed up because the workload for one person is pretty high, but I haven’t missed any important deadlines or anything like that. My boss has never complained about the quality of my work, but she does harp on me constantly for not bringing her enough new ideas. It’s true that I’ve started to do that less, because she invariably shoots them down, steals the credit for them, or takes so long to approve the finals (seriously, like 2-3 months just sitting on her desk) that they are rendered obsolete.

Anyway, I’ve been asking for an assistant/associate for a while to help me with the workload, and recently, she finally agreed. I interviewed with one person she’d prescreened, but it appears she’d already made up her mind because she went ahead and hired her before we met with anyone else – or even had a discussion about that candidate.

So New Hire (NH) comes on board and it’s clear she’s not an assistant at all. In fact, she’s not even reporting to me; her job title is EXACTLY the same as mine. We have similar backgrounds and NH is even older than me. My boss instructs me to train NH how to do everything that I do, and that we’ll figure out how to split the tasks later.

That’s bad enough, but I’m most insulted that my boss apparently thinks I’m the dumbest MF in the universe to not see what she’s doing.

TL;DR: I’m probably going to get fired when I’m done training the person brought in to secretly replace me.

So should I quit now? It would be nice to keep drawing a paycheck/unemployment during the job search, but if I don’t find a new job in time to beat the buzzer, I would hate to have to disclose for the rest of my life that I got fired from a job. I’ve never been fired or laid off before. (It’s worth noting that we have no HR department but the de facto HR lady has a really poor grasp of…labor laws and would probably tell a employment verifier that I was fired without batting an eye.)

In the UK, if you resign, you’re not eligible for unemployment benefit. It’s far easier to get a new job if you already have a job. So get looking! And good luck.

Start looking for a new job. Even if you are never fired, you’re obviously unhappy where you are. Where I live, you’d likely receive unemployment compensation if you are fired (in most cases/without cause). I’ve never fired an employee, but I’ve had someon quit and apply for UC. I contested their application and they were denied UC.

Teach NH how to do everything wrong. Leave significant pieces of the tasks out. Every bit of advice you give NH about dealing with Boss, make sure it’s exactly what will piss Boss off the most. Meantime fill NH with tales of how ghastly it is to work for Boss.

Meantime see if you can play the same game with Boss in reverse.

You probably can’t prevent being fired. If you do get fired you can at least ensure you get your revenge even if you never get to learn the final details.

Ideally you can get NH to quit or Boss to fire NH. Not likely, but once in awhile Lady Luck shines on us all.

Regardless of anything, you certainly want to get that job search in high gear.

If it was me I would simply not train the new person. You have too much work to do to train someone else. They can learn on their own, and will make plenty of mistakes that will piss off the boss. If the NH comes to you for help just refer her to the boss and say you are way too busy. That should frustrate everyone involved… meanwhile start looking for a better job at a better company now. Once you secure a new job you can give your notice and you can then negotiate a severance package if they want you to stick around and train someone new. Don’t make yourself obsolete.

You are not terminated with cause in that case, you are laid off. I wouldn’t call that being fired, either, especially not on future applications. I would put “laid off” for reason for leaving. If the person at your current place says that you were fired, (which they shouldn’t), then the person looking to hire you would ask, what for? If she lies, then she is opening herself up for some serious liability. If she knows anything at all, she knows that you only answer with start date, end date, wage, and whether they are eligible for rehire.

If you quit, as others have noted, you will not be eligible for unemployment, if they let you go without cause, you are. Employers also like to hire employees who are currently working, so having a job is an asset when looking for a job.

As far as training, train her mostly normally, but there should be a few tasks that you tell her, “We’ll get to those once you have mastered these others.” Then never really get to those tasks. That way, the really need to come to you and tell you directly that she needs to be able to perform all of your functions, not just be an assistant, or when they let you go, the new hire is missing some critical parts of her training.

Wow, some incredibly self destructive advice in this thread. You said in the OP that there was too much work for one person, so why do you assume that you are being replaced? Isn’t it possible, even likely, that your boss decided to hire another person as your equal to share the workload? Why should this person report to you instead of your boss? Adding another reporting layer without good reason leads to an inefficient operation. Generally speaking, the flatter the organization the better.

Just based on the limited information provided, it seems to me like you may be reading too much into the situation. That said, if you’re not happy where you are then by all means start looking for another job.

I don’t know your financial situation but most people it doesn’t take much bad luck for a downward spiral to happen, if I were you I wouldn’t quit until I had a definite job offer from some other place already lined up.

Don’t quit, do start looking.

Never burn bridges. You don’t know what the future holds. Even if you were to be fired, you might need or want to go back. Never say never.

Do the right thing. Train the NH, and train her well. Take the high road. Don’t piss on people. Treat them like you would want to be treated.

The ‘writing on the wall’ may be there for you, so start job searching. Prepare for the possibility. But at the same time, you might never be fired, so prepare for that, too.

(Yes, Doctor Jackson, there sure is some incredibly self destructive advice upthread.)

ETA: (slow-)ninja’d by pool and Sunny Daze. Good advice there.

Something similar happened to me a number of years ago. I saw the writing on the wall and started looking for a job. I got an interview for what became my next job a few days before I was laid off. The timing could not have been better. I got a small package and was working less than a month later at a job I loved (until I got laid off, but that’s another story).

Unless the stress is causing medical issues or for some reason you just can’t stand going into work every day, stick with it and look for something else.

I was in a similar situation once. With some differences.

I was an independent sales rep working on commission. The commission rate was high, well above industry standard. And I had it contractually locked in, as long as I met certain goals it couldn’t be reduced. I hated my sales manager and frustrated her by continuing to hit my goals despite her attempts at sabotage.

So she hired someone in-house to “help” me. I knew they were gearing up to eliminate the outside sales contract and handle everything in-house.
But I got along with the guy and I taught him everything. I made a point of getting along with my new co-worker.

Then they gave me my required 30 day notice. They tried to pull the " mutual agreement" crap to announce my departure and I pushed back and told all my clients that was a lie and I’d been fired.

My replacement was furious and thought he’d been played. He called me and told me I should stop working ASAP - he would cover for me during the 30 days. So I took a much needed vacation while he covered my work and collected my last month’s commission.

Then, as soon as the 30 days was up, he quit without notice. The hated sale manager ended up " leaving for new opportunities" shortly after. It was really sweet.

And I had seen this coming, I had a new job lined up literally 15 minutes after being terminated. The conversation was “Hey, guess what -Miss Management just fired me” “Do you want to work for me?” “Yes”

Clarification - this didn’t come out right.

I took a much needed vacation while he covered my work and I collected my last month’s commission. He did it for free

This. Unless there is some context left out of the OP, I think it is a stretch to assume this is a plot to fire you. Adding an additional person at the same level is a perfectly natural move once the workload expands beyond the existing person. Adding an additional layer of management is crazy: she’d have less visibility, less flexibility, and more unnecessary bureaucracy. You’d only do that if she’d end up managing too many people directly.

To be brutally honest, there is a tinge of paranoia in this OP. It casts doubt on the veracity of the complaints and makes me wish the boss could provide her own perspective of the situation.

But, assuming an accurate portrayal, some of the suggestions of essentially sabotage in this thread are pretty astonishing. I’d strongly advise against them. Start looking for another job if you’re unhappy. But while you’re still drawing a paycheck and are on the clock do the job you’re paid to do. If I thought you were the kind of drama prone person who would pull that nonsense you’d permanently be on my “never hire” list. Remain the professional. If that makes you better than the place that you work, move on.

I left out other pertinent details in the interest of (relative) brevity, but also:

  • Less than one week in, NH is representing my department in meetings I’m not in anymore.
  • It makes little sense to add another one of me. An analogy is if a busy restaurant serves customers slowly because they only have one server, and so they hire another head chef.

I’m sure they could always spin it as a performance issue. New employers aren’t going to drill down, they just hear “fired” and your application is in the trash.

While such thoughts did briefly enter my mind, NH honestly seems to have no idea what my boss is setting up, and I just don’t feel right sabotaging someone who is coming in and earnestly trying to do a good job and make a living. Also, it wouldn’t work anyway. Our company is still small that you really can’t hide anything, and my boss definitely will fire people to send a message, even if it adversely affects business in the short term.


I realize this. And the tendency to give the employer the benefit of the doubt if shit goes off the rails is one of the factors I have to consider. If I get fired, people will automatically assume I torpedoed the place. Honestly, I’d probably do the same.

So I don’t expect to convince anyone of anything. I am definitely an anxious person in general. But for what it’s worth, a couple of my close co-workers have taken me aside and told me I should start looking. That’s how I found out NH was invited to meetings I normally would have attended.

I don’t understand why you’d think quitting without having a job lined up is a good idea. There’s no need to worry about having to ‘disclose’ that you lost a job, generally all that you have to disclose is a ‘reason for leaving’ which you can be vague in. You certainly don’t have to put ‘fired’ if you were terminated without a specific cause, ‘let go’ or ‘laid off’ or something similar is not going to get you in trouble. In the US, if you get terminated from your job for something that is not your fault, you qualify for unemployment insurance, and ‘your fault’ has to be things like ‘refused to do work’ or ‘showed up drunk’ or ‘committed crimes at the job’. So if you quit, no UI. Also for the people suggesting sabotage: If you refuse to train the new person, no UI. If you refuse to train them on specific things, no UI. And refusing to do your job might prompt them to change the reason for termination from something not noteworthy to specifically insubordination or refusal to work, and to flag you as ‘not eligible for rehire’, all of which are much worse than your current situation.

I also wish people would quit repeating the myth that previous employers can’t disclose anything but dates worked, title, and salary amounts - while a lot of companies have this as a policy, there’s no law that prevents employers from making truthful statements about former employees.

I’ve hired dozens, and I think probably hundreds of people over the last couple of decades. I have never had a reference tell me that they were fired. It would be out of the ordinary enough, I would have to ask “what for”?

Employees have successfully sued past employers for giving defamatory references. Your HR director may not be the best, but I doubt that she wants to open your company up to that sort of thing. If you have any sort of payroll company, they send her emails every week with lots of tips like “Don’t badmouth your ex-employees on references, you can be sued.”

If it’s actually so poorly run that you actually think that the person in charge of hr would open themselves up to that sort of liability just to get digs in on you, you really ought to be looking elsewhere for work.

If you tell prospective employers you quit it makes you seem like someone who could be disgruntled easily. Plus you might get a severance package to help while you look.
Always take the high road out of town.