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Worker Shares The Negative Feedback She Received On Every Single Performance Review Before She Was Laid Off

Photo: Drazen Zigic / Shutterstock
woman carrying box of office items after being fired

Getting laid off is a nightmare that no one wants to face. It can be even harder when it feels like it comes out of nowhere. This is true for one Toronto marketer who said she was “blindsided” by her firing.

Liz Jane shares “work/life/balance” tips on her TikTok, @thelizjane. According to Liz’s bio, she has “unfiltered career chats” on the app. Recently, those chats turned to talk of her own career.

Jane's performance reviews all had one thing in common.

Jane shared a video detailing her performance review meetings. She said that her performance reviews went great overall, but she received the same negative feedback in every single one: “You should talk more.”

“You should express your opinion more,” her supervisor told her. “You should be more assertive.”

   

   

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Jane explained that expressing herself wasn't something she was comfortable doing. “It’s not like I don’t have an opinion on things. I do,” she said. “It’s just not something that comes naturally to me. And even when I feel like I am talking in a meeting, it’s like, never enough.”

In another video, Liz responded to a commenter who sympathized with her critiques, “I choose to ignore this advice at this point in my career.” Jane said, “I guess that’s what I did too, since I kept getting it in every single performance review that I’ve ever had.” 

   

   

Liz asserted that she still met the goals she had for her career. She worked in tech marketing and made over six figures. But, apparently, it wasn’t enough.

Not long after receiving her most recent performance review that reiterated the same thing as all the others, Liz got laid off. She said she logged on to begin work only to find that a call was scheduled with a manager she rarely had one-on-one meetings with. When she joined the call, someone from HR was there too.

She knew immediately what was about to happen. Liz said that as someone who gives career advice, she had prepared herself for this being a possibility at some point. Still, she was “completely blindsided.” 

   

   

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Is it right to fire someone for not talking enough?

Liz is not the first person to face this issue. Several TikTok users understood exactly where she was coming from. “Corporate hates introverts,” one person commented. “I have the same issue. I’m more of a listener than a talker,” another wrote.

Someone even took to Reddit to discuss the issue, asking, “Can I be fired for being too quiet?” They shared that in every weekly meeting they have with their manager, they are told they need to speak up more. One person who replied had an interesting take. “Some people, especially people in authority like teachers or bosses, have a visceral desire to feel like others are engaging with them,” they said.

Based on these workers’ performance reviews and meetings with superiors, it would seem that being quiet at work is a bad thing. However, The Muse offered a different perspective.

“You’re no less intelligent, successful, or valued on the days you’re less up for carrying on a conversation, even if that’s most days. You are still an important contributor to your team and to your company and they’ve hopefully recognized that through your continued hard work and accomplishments,” they wrote.

The concern about being too quiet in the workplace does bring up an interesting debate. How important is it, really, to be vocal? Shouldn’t one’s work ethic and achievements speak for themselves? Is it really a fireable offense if one doesn’t talk enough? 

Ultimately, each individual workplace has to do what is best for its own environment and goals. However, it does seem a bit strange to fire someone who is doing good work because they don’t talk enough.

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Mary-Faith Martinez is a writer for YourTango who covers entertainment, news and human interest topics.