Quit or Fired which is better?

I will be switching from one job for another soon. Thinking of an exit strategy.

On an SF-86 application, which is better to indicate to an investigator for a Security level clearance: I Quit after being told I would be fired. I Quit by mutual agreement of bad performance or to have been actually Fired?

There is no “better”, there is only the truth as to the circumstances of leaving an employment. Sugar coating or attempting to make it anything but what it is only casts suspicion on your honesty and integrity. By telling the truth it shows you are being honest about it, it cannot be used against you, and you have taken responsibility if it was due to your actions.


It doesn’t matter. Just be honest.

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People get fired for reasons well beyond their control all of the time (layoffs, underperforming sales, etc.) that have nothing nefarious involved. Sometimes it’s personality conflict that results in write ups and the like - either way it’s more aimed at exposing if the reason for termination lines up with something else that needs to be mitigated (drug use, unexplained absences, etc.). Just be honest. As mentioned by those far more wise than I in the investigation and adjudication processes mentioned, the truth is the most important thing.

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All that said…and I certainly agree with honesty even when it is an uncomfortable truth…Sometimes companies aren’t above board and want to cut costs by moving out higher paid outstanding employees. At times they will impugn one’s character. No matter how good your performance was.

I found myself in the same situation during a contract company change. New company wanted me based on performance to land the contract. As soon as they did, I was "too expensive " to keep, and targeted to push me out, replace with one far below my salary. I hit homerun after homerun, set new metric levels, all in vain. Work relationship remained sour. Eventually they tried holding me accountable for a security violation on the previous contract. I disproved what my company claimed (I had the governments report on this security violation; my performance was praised). But I knew they would simply scrutinize everything until they found a reason. I resigned. Took a fed job, but next investigation I wondered how the previous program manager would capture it. So I reached out, I dont burn bridges for this reason, confirmed I parted on good terms and bland nothing circumstances. She agreed and I put what she described. I was honest. But I remain disappointed in their unethical behavior. It still sticks in my craw they pursued me for 3 years, gave me an enormous raise, and then pressured all senior manager encumbents to leave. And all 8 of us left within 4 months.
It still angers me. But like you the questions seem intent on pigeon holing you into a category not fitting.
The company in question ? Their security score dropped steeply when I left, and the PM was removed within 2 years. Small karma justice.
It still angers me to be dealt with in that manner even though I remain cleared and on the GS side now. I was very proud of my performance in that role and this memory sullies that.

TLDR: Be truthful. Even when it sux.


Thanks Amberbunny2, great story! Honesty is the best policy.

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