“Oh, you hate your job? Why didn’t you say so? There’s a support group for that. It’s called EVERYBODY, and they meet at the bar.” – Drew Carey

   

Job searching can be one of the most isolating and confidence-crushing experiences a person can face. I know for me I tend to shy away from spending time with friends and family when I am having career troubles because of a couple of reasons. One, I don’t want to be a downer who is always droning on about my unhappiness. Two, it’s hard to have people who are gainfully and happily employed try and understand the tough feelings I am experiencing at the time.

I have come to the realization I have options in handling my frustrations about job searching.

So, Vanna, if you please . . .

1. Drink. Heavily. I do enjoy red wine, but this option is not good for my pocketbook, waistline, or liver.  It also does not produce any real, long-term solutions.

2. Suffer in silence. I’ve tried this, which tends to lead to option one.

3. Suffer in rage. Explaining during an interview why you spent a night in jail due to writing curse words into your boss’s front lawn with Round Up tends to be a buzz kill.

 4. Find others to commiserate with . . .

Which is why I have decided to start the Strategic Networking Group. The main focuses of the group will be to keep other professionals up-to-date on career opportunities, provide feedback on resumes and interview techniques, as well as providing support to others looking for a new avenue in their career. If you live in the Fargo-Moorhead area and would like to be a part of the Strategic Networking Group, please feel free to e-mail me at hangintheredante@gmail.com.

Meeting times and locations will be discussed once we get up and running. Skype options for those of you who are outside the F-M area may open up down the road.  Finding others going through similar experiences is always helpful.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Editor’s Note: I know I’ve used Drew Carey’s quote in an earlier post, but it was so fitting for what this is I had to recycle it. Normally I’m against reusing ideas. In fact, I wrote the rough draft of this post on first-growth rainforest paper.

Positive Thought of the Day:

“I’ve always thought that people need to feel good about themselves and I see my role as offering support to them, to provide some light along the way.” – Leo Buscaglia

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“Hard work never killed anybody, but why take a chance?” – Edgar Bergen

Happy Tuesday, Friends!  More bad interviewer behavior is on its way, but I just wanted to brighten your cubicle. 

 

Positive Thought of the Day:

“Thanks to Toby I have a very strong prejudice against Human Resources. I believe that the department is a breeding ground for monsters. What I failed to consider though is that not all monsters are bad, like ET. Is Holly our extra-terrestrial? Maybe. Or maybe she’s just an awesome woman from this planet.” – Michael Scott, The Office

“Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.” – Peter Drucker

What’s worse than having to go through the heartache of interviewing?  Going through the heartache of not hearing back after an interview. 

Not letting a person know they are not a fit is one of the worst things an interviewer can do.  It is inconsiderate of applicant’s time, possible travel expenses, and feelings.  People put a lot of thought and heart into getting ready for an interview.  It is also very unprofessional.  The world is smaller than we think, and a bad reputation can make its way through the ranks, which can deplete a hiring manager’s applicant pool. 

I know human resources is a busy beehive of activity.  However, with today’s technology and word processing options, sending out emails or setting up a mail merge for rejection letters is fairly quick and efficient.  There really is no reason at all not to let someone know they will not be moving on in the application process. 

What to do if you are ever in a position of waiting on pins and needles to hear back from a company?  I thought you would never ask.

Vanna, if you please . . .

1.  Ask up front what their timeline is.  When it comes time during the interview for you to get to know the company and what they expect, simply ask, “What is your timeframe for making a hiring decision?”  It’s simple and to the point.  They may not have a definite date, e.g. “We should know by next Wednesday.”  But, they should at least be able to give an approximation, such as, “We have more interviews later this week, so we hope to move to the second round of interviews by the first part of next week.”

2.  Give them time to follow-up.  Is it possible they may have come to a decision earlier than expected?  Sure.  It is it your responsibility to call every day to see if they have?  No.  My general rule of thumb is to give them until they say they were going to follow-up and wait another week.  I know that sounds like torture.  Sometimes unforeseen things come up.  Sometimes there are lengthy hiring processes that preclude them from calling a hiring decision back right away.  Before you go in guns a-blazing, make sure you give them the benefit of the doubt. 

3.  Follow up.  There are different schools of thought on this.  More “hiring pundits” are shifting towards encouraging applicants to e-mail a follow-up.  Part of me agrees with this because it avoids putting the hiring manager or human resources, who may have no control on the process at that point, in an awkward position.  It also gives you a paper trail with a time and date stamp so you can keep track of correspondence.  The one downfall is this can be an easy way for a hiring manager to ignore your e-mail.   

If you’re going to call, don’t call repeatedly until you get a live person to talk to.  It is very rare to find a company who doesn’t have caller i.d..  If whomever you are calling doesn’t answer, leave a brief and professional voicemail, and leave it at that.  One thing that I always like to do is write out what I say because I tend to have cotton-mouth when I am calling for a status update.  Again, be brief and professional.  “Hi, _______.  My name is ______ and I interviewed for the ________ position last week.  I just wanted to touch base with you to see if any decision has been made regarding the position.”  Short.  Simple.  Succinct.

4.  Stay busy.  Just because you interviewed, and it seemingly went well, that doesn’t mean you should stop your search.  A new job isn’t yours until a signed job offer is in your hand.  Don’t let another great opportunity slip through your fingers because you assume you have a job in the bag. 

5.  Never let your emotions get the best of you.  Don’t burn bridges by firing off a nasty email about how you no longer want to work at such a callous company or yell at a hiring manager about how he or she shouldn’t leave such a great candidate waiting.  I know it is frustrating, but you never know what your career may bring.  You may want to apply with them again.  Also, networking connections can be built in every situation.  It may not have worked for this position, but you might have been considered for a possibility down the line.  Keep the relationship positive even though you’re feeling pretty negative.

6.  Be prepared for the worst case scenario.  You may get ahold of someone directly, and they may tell you no.  As harsh as it may sound, be careful what you wish for. 

Hiring is not a perfect process.  Hiring managers are not perfect people.  Just remember that you deserve a company who is going to be considerate of your time and effort.  Waiting is hard.  Rejection is harder.  You’ll get through it, though!

Positive Thought of the Day:

“To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.” – Donald Laird

“You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.” -James D. Miles

Happy Thursday, Friends!! You know what that means: Friday is less than 24 hours away.

One element of interviewing that is not covered nearly enough is bad interviewer behavior. Yes, I could fill the Internet up with stories of interviewees and their egregious acts. While interviewing you need to be the best version of you.

This notion does not let interviewers off the hook, though. Just because you are, essentially, in a position of power that doesn’t mean you can treat people poorly. In the upcoming posts we’ll go over poor interviewer conduct and how to handle it.

Until then, here’s to the Almost-Weekend! *raises red Swingline stapler in the air*

Positive Thought of the Day:

“Dignity consists not in possessing honors, but in the consciousness that we deserve them.” -Aristotle