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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

hey! your Ask a Manager settings are outdated

If you're seeing this, you need to update to my new feed:

(No new posts will come to you until you do! And there ARE new posts that you're not seeing at this old feed!)

Monday, December 27, 2010

it's on

I'm moving to Wordpress on Monday, and it's going to be awesome.

But this means that if you subscribe to my posts in an RSS reader and haven't yet updated the feed, you're going to stop getting my posts. Like, today. The updated feeds are:

Other than that, the move shouldn't cause much disruption on your end.

P.S. It's not too late to take advantage of the holiday coupon to get 40% off my e-book, How to Get a Job: Secrets of a Hiring Manager. Put in this discount code and you'll get a massive discount:  holiday2010

You can read the whole description of the book here, or buy it here:
                       Add to Cart

Sunday, December 26, 2010

where are they now: update #18 - uncomfortable stalking employers

Remember the reader who was frustrated that people kept advising her to aggressively call, call, call any employer she was interested in? I didn't really have advice for her other than to explain why her instincts were exactly right and in fact people who advise job-seekers to behave like stalkers are doing them a disservice. Here's her update.

I didn't get a lot of chance to practice what you've been preaching... the job market is still awful. Resumes and applications went out and there wasn't much response. I figured I was doomed, but set about to using the unemployed time and savings to finish my graduate work.

Then in October, I heard back from a shot-in-the-dark application I'd filled out for $LARGE_AWESOME_WEBSITE earlier in the summer. I jumped at the interview, and it rocked. I got them, they got me, it was a little interview of serious awesome. It's in the next big city over, so it took a couple of hours to get there and back. Upon getting home, I sat down at my computer to check email and send out the thank you to my interviewers because I was bound and determined to get that job, and was planning in my head when to re-contact after that. No sooner had I sat down when an email came in from one of my interviewers! They were VERY interested, and he wanted to do a little follow up, which we did the next day. The day after that came the job offer, with the official offer letter coming a week later.

I'm currently on a four-month gig in what I can only describe as my dream job: the job I've wanted since I went back to school almost 10 years ago and really never ever thought I'd find. My boss and his boss adore me (and they are awesome to work for), and the work I'm doing is exactly what I want and what I've been training for. And they're making noises that they want to keep me permanent once my contract is over, as well as make sure I have the time to complete my graduate work at the same time. I could not ask for anything better!!

Your site has been so helpful and has so much good advice, thank you for this great resource!

where are they now: update #17 - my manager is complaining about me online

Remember the reader whose manager was complaining about her on Facebook? Here's her update.

I continued working at that location for a couple more weeks, keeping my mouth shut and doing all that was asked of me and more. My supervisors never once called me back about the situation, my boss never said anything to me about the situation, but she continued to talk about me to customers and online, I'm assuming she didn't realize I knew everything that was going on.

I got a second job and was working between the two when finally I realized nothing was going to be done about the situation so I quit. My supervisors then called me and asked me not to quit, they needed me, and they would talk to my boss about the situation. We set up a meeting time for all of us to meet and talk things out. I went to that meeting, listened to what they had to offer, then they brought my boss into the room and showed her the stuff I had printed off the internet that she had said about me on Facebook, and asked her to explain herself. She said she shouldn't have to explain herself, it's her freedom of speech. They then told her this could qualify as work place harassment and told her she could be terminated. She then retaliated saying that if I didn't quit she was going to because she was sick of that place anyways. They asked me not to return for work the following week. My boss had been the manager of that branch for 9+ years, so I can understand how they would want to keep her rather than I who had only been there for 3 years.

I still don't agree with everything that happened there. But I work full time at my new job, they are willing to work around my school schedule, and I love my bosses! 

Friday, December 24, 2010

where are they now: update #16 - manager wants to be my best friend

Remember the reader whose manager wanted to be her best friend and wouldn't take no for an answer? Here's her update.

I am very happy to report that I found a new job and started a few months ago. I am very happy in my current position and work for a great manager. I tried very hard to fix things up with my old manager but things didn't work out.

For instance, I took one day off to interview for my new job and my old manager (the one who was my friend) demanded to know what I am doing on my day off. She got really mad when I refuse to tell her what I was doing on my day off. When I finally know for sure that I got this new job, I gave plenty of notice (one month) and she took it very personally. She made my last month at that company hell. But I bit my bullet, stay professional and got through that. Because of that, every other manager, including her manager had told me that, I am welcome to come back and work for them anytime.

Because I work in a very specific field, I tried very hard not to burn the bridge when I left. During my exit interview with HR, I didn't tell them that I was leaving the job for her but rather to gain better opportunities at my new job which is partly true. Do you think that was right thing to do?

Also when I left, she told all my co-workers that they can't hang out with me even on the weekends, which everyone in my old team saw it as very unprofessional. Needless to say they still keep in contact with me regardless of her demands.

That is all I have to report for now. Thank you so much for your help and everybody who commented on my post! Have a happy holiday.

where are they now: update #15 - call center misery

Remember the reader who was miserable in her job at a call center? Here's her update.

I no longer work at the call center. I was able to get my numbers up and pass the probationary period. However, later in the summer my numbers started to suffer again. There was a week were I wasn't feeling well and spent a lot of time away from my desk and went home early one day. That week messed up my numbers for the whole month. My manager had me convinced that I was about to be walked out and fired because of this one metric being low. My other metrics were all well above average. My co-workers were telling me not to worry that my manager was a jerk and "just like that" and that I wouldn't be fired. To be sure, there was one day where I was honored at a team meeting for meeting all of my numbers and having high QA scores and the very next day another meeting with my manager about how poorly I was doing. He had me very worried for my job and I'm really not a worrier. The required time off continued through the summer, and even increased. 

Staffing was done by the "traffic" department, who looked at call volume and staffing and approved time off, etc. (not by my manager). I worked 11:30 am to 8pm Tuesday through Saturday. I got a notice in my mailbox that starting in October, my Saturday hours would change so that I would work until 10pm. This was because I was a "closer" on Saturdays and for the holiday season we would be open later. I was pretty ticked off about this as I had never been told that they could change my schedule on a whim, or that I was a Saturday closer, and I wasn't too happy to be spending my Saturday nights walking across dark and icy parking lots all winter.

Luckily I found a different job before the late Saturday nights started. It's not on the phones, it pays slightly more, has better hours, and I have my own desk. The issue with that (there's always an issue with me! I can never be happy!) is that it is temp-to-hire. I was desperate to get out of the call center, and felt I was about to be fired any day, so I took this one. This job was supposed to be temp for 90 days and then hired, and I've hit that, and the latest update as to when I might get hired on is "We don't know." It's a decent company, but the work is a bit boring, and I'm very over-qualified for it, so I've decided to start looking again.

As for my old company, they filed for bankruptcy right before I left. They were several hundred million dollars in debt. The parent company walked away, they couldn't even sell. The company is now owned by the large banks that hold the majority of their debt.

where are they now: update #14 - the aspiring librarian who didn't want to give up her dream

Remember the aspiring librarian who was wondering if she'd ever get a job in her field? Here's her update:

I'm still on the hunt for a library or archives job, but I've had a few promising interviews since my question was posted. I found the suggestions from everyone very helpful, and the encouragement from several comments gave me renewed hope about my search. I know it might take me a while, but I think I will eventually find employment in my field. I'm planning to keep looking until I do, and in the meantime, I've found some pretty fun part-time jobs.

Thank you for posting my question. It really helped me out!