Burned a bridge and now need a reference

I screwed up at my last job. We were working from home because of coronavirus and I was unable to adjust. Also, I had a mild freak-out due to personal issues. In a moment of panic, I quit without giving notice, knowing I was burning a bridge. I was there just shy of one year.

I have always had rave recommendations from employers, but now I cannot give my most recent manager as a reference. I suspect she is mad at me, but I don’t know for sure.

I can get stellar references from several people at my previous job, where I was for five years. The company I worked at before then is no longer in existence, and I don’t know how to get in touch with the owner.

What do I do when I am specifically asked for my most recent supervisor as a reference? Is it OK to list colleagues or subordinates? This was my first management job, and some of the jobs I am applying for are leadership roles, so a reference from this most recent job would be relevant. –What to do

Teacher suspended for withdrawing college recommendation letter for student  who displayed swastika

As a therapist and a clinical supervisor, I cannot help but ask this person to pause, and to reflect and ask themselves if they are really ready for a management role if they just abruptly up and quit a position. That behavior does not show problem solving skills or critical thinking, which are both pertinent in a good manager. I would encourage this individual to dig deeper to make sense of what they did, ask themselves what they learned, and inquire what healthier coping mechanisms for the future would look like. Like Miller, I would also suggest this individual contact the boss they ghosted and apologize with something along the lines of, “I’m sorry I left you high and dry. A combination of issues from the pandemic and my personal life left me overwhelmed and unable to cope. I am seeking help for those issues, but I wanted to let you know that I regret how I left.” The tone of their boss’s response may indicate whether including that job on your resume offers more potential risk or benefit. This is also an opportunity for the individual to consider which looks more damning on their resume: a gap in their work history or a job that ends abruptly.

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