Terminated by Mutual Agreement for Unclear Reasons

I was terminated by mutual agreement because my goals did not match those of my previous employer. I was never given a thorough reason for what this meant, aside from I was not a good “cultural fit” within the group. My suspicion is I was part of a budget cut, but my prior employer is not likely to admit that if asked. I now have to disclose this for my GS-14 job. How should I phrase it? Should I notify the hiring manager before I fill this out on my paperwork?

Was there any sort of disciplinary action or performance improvement plan before you were let go? Cultural fit sounds kind of racist/sexist/whatever. Perhaps skills mismatch is a better description. If there was no disciplinary actions involved chances are it’s just a reorganization/lay off/reduction in force.

1 Like

Were you in a federal position regarding the mutual agreement termination? Did you receive an Annual Appraisal/Performance Appraisal? If so, that is definitely a big no-go! In agreeance with Weeble, you should have been put on a PIP if there were work related issues.

No disciplinary action or pip, just told one day I was out. ‘Cultural mismatch’ would be the accurate description, and is what the HR coordinator is prepared to say, but I’m curious if this qualifies as a termination I have to list under the disclosures? I discussed with the person who will be my supervisor and he said it does not raise any red flags, is there going to be anyone else reviewing this information who will be alerted?

Just disclose it and disclose the fact that you had no disciplinary action or pip. You don’t want to look like you are hiding anything derogatory and the fact that you are asking about it make it seem like you don’t totally trust what this HR department will say.


I am very curious what a “cultural” mismatch is. That sounds like a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that protects employees and job applicants from discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. If that is literally what your employee file says for reason for termination you could have some dollar signs in your future, just sayin.

1 Like