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I Got Terminated For Breaking A Tooth – What?

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Have you ever been terminated from a job for some outrageous reason (like breaking a tooth)? The truth is, something bigger is going on when this happens. Today, career experts J.T. O’Donnell and Dale Dauten get to the bottom of the problem.

Dear J.T. and Dale,

I am 30 years old and recently was terminated because I broke a tooth and left work early. I was great at my job. I thought I had finally found my career and was about to get engaged to the love of my life. I need a career track if I want to get married. Any ideas?

– Mike

According to O’Donnell, something doesn’t add up. If you were great at your job but got fired because you had to go to the dentist, something else is going on.

“That’s not an isolated reason to let somebody go,” she said.

If you got terminated for something like that, you have to look at the bigger picture. You were hired to do a certain type of work. The work is what you’re good at, the work is what you get paid to do. However, you’re also paid to be part of the team, and that’s the job,  according to Dauten.

“You have to wonder was it the work or the job,” he said.

You might have been great at the work you did at the company, but maybe you weren’t the best teammate. If you can, chat with some of your co-workers and ask them for feedback. How could you have been a better teammate? You need to investigate what went wrong so you can learn and grow from it, and ultimately find another job.

“Employers are going to want to hear that you have resolved whatever it was that caused you to get fired in the last case,” said O’Donnell.

What could I do better next time? What could I have done to be a better teammate? Start asking those questions so you don’t run into the same issue in the next job.

So, if you got terminated for something as silly as breaking a tooth, chances are there’s something bigger at play. Investigate and understand what the reason is so you can learn from it and avoid it in the future.

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Ariella Coombs Ariella is the Content Strategist and Career Coach for Work It Daily. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a B.A. in journalism. Follow her @AriellaCoombs or find her on Google+.