short answer Saturday: 6 short-ish answers to 6 short questions

It’s time for short answer Saturday, although some of these answers got a little longer than could technically be called “short.” Here we go…

1. Employee doesn’t respect my experience

I have a supervisee who likes to point out that she has done my job before and has more experience than me. I run a branch office that requires a specialized degree that she has been unwilling to get, and she has also mentioned several times that she does not believe that the specialized degree should be required to do my job. The last time she mentioned this, I told her that I found it offensive as it undermines the work I put forth to get my degree and it sounds like she is undermining me and the hard work that I do.

Today, I brought my family to the office, and she told them that she has more experience and did my job for a number of years in another state. I have 10 years of experience in our field and 5.5 of those years have involved the direct supervision of employees and/or a special manager of company-wide projects. I’m trying to best address this without letting my temper flair. What I would like to tell her is that enough is enough and call out my length of experience and supervisory/management experience and ask her to stop bringing it up, lest it show up on her performance evaluation as subordination/a direct conflict of my requests, but I do not know if this is appropriate. I constantly recognize her accomplishments and experience, but she apparently just likes to brag…to my family, who does not care about her accomplishments or experience.

Stop giving her so much power to get under your skin. She sounds ridiculous, and who cares that she thinks this stuff? By reacting defensively and arguing with her about it, you’re undermining your own authority far more than she is. If you hadn’t already made yourself look weak by doing that, then I’d say that you could have one — and only one — very direct conversation and say, “I notice you frequently mention my experience level relative to your own. Is there something you want to get off your chest?” … and then explain her that her continual harping on it makes her look naive and that it’ll help her own career progression to stop. But given that you’ve already shown insecurity by arguing with her, it’s too late for this approach. Just ignore her comments and focus on doing your job.

2. Can a stay-at-home mom become a “domestic engineer” on a resume?

I have a very good friend who voluntarily was out of the workforce for 10 years. During this time she raised her children and went back to school to complete her bachelor’s degree. She is now ready to rejoin the workforce. How does she address that 10-year gap in her employment? She wants to list her stay-at-home mom period on her resume as a job: Domestic Engineer. I told her, “no, do not do this.” I personally think it “cutsey,” and cute has no place on a resume. My belief is that most people will read that, roll their eyes, and toss her resume aside. I told her to list her jobs with the dates, and to address this gap in her employment in the interview, but her resume should serve to highlight her skills and what she has to offer a potential employer. Many people have gaps in their employment these days for one reason or another. To attempt to cover up the gap by calling oneself a Domestic Engineer is futile, in my opinion. I think it will glaringly highlight the fact that she was not working, instead of concealing it, as she intends. Am I off-base on this?

Nooo. She should not write Domestic Engineer. Not only is it overly cutesy, but it risks coming across as if she doesn’t realize that the vast, vast majority of employers don’t think that the work of raising kids makes her competitive with a candidate who spent that time working in the field she’s applying in. (That’s not a commentary on the value of the work of child-rearing, just a reality of the workforce.) Instead, here’s a good article on how people returning to the workforce should approach their resumes.

3. Unmotivated after new hires get “senior” title

My team is expanding and some new starters have joined with a senior title. My manager explains that this is because they worked with the same title in their previous job and can bring that “extra experience” to the team. Their roles do not appear to be to any different from mine and I’ve undertaken more complex responsibilities to become considered for a promotion. I’ve been in the same role for two years and it will take a another year before I could be promoted because there is a corporate year long promotion cycle, apparently from when I formally request a promotion. The problem is that I don’t understand why I have to wait another year for this title when others have been brought in with similar experience to me and are doing the same job. Is there any way I can restore my motivation?

You won’t like this, but you need to get over it. You’ve only done the work for two years, which isn’t a very long time, certainly not enough to make you “senior” in most fields. I don’t know how long the new hires have done the work, although I’m assuming it’s longer than two years. Even if not, though, they might still have broader experience than you, depending on the nature of their former employer and the projects they did there. Or they might just be better / more advanced at it. Plus, people get titles for all kinds of reasons, including as an incentive to get them to accept the job.

You’re in control of your own motivation here — if you decide to be unmotivated, you almost definitely won’t get the promotion you want. Why not work on proving that you deserve it instead?

4. Did this recruiter change her mind about my job offer?

A month after going on my final interview with a company, I received a call from the recruiter apologizing for the delay and saying I would definitely be receiving an offer. She asked about desired salary and start date. I said I would prefer to start in January but she said that would probably be a deal breaker because they usually have to make a special request for anything later than 4 weeks. I said ok and that I would have to think about it because that wouldn’t give me as much time to finish up my current responsibilities at work. Two weeks have gone by and the recruiter is not responding to my email or phone message asking for status. Is it possible they changed their mind even though she said she would be getting back to me with an offer? Or does it take that long for them to approve a verbal offer?

Either one is possible. But since she told you it would probably be a deal breaker, it’s not crazy to think that it was a deal breaker. If you really want the job, you might have needed to compromise on the start date. It’s not too late to offer to do that.

5. No one will hire me without experience

I have been on several interviews and can’t seem to get a job. I have gotten emails saying that i do not have the experience needed. The thing is, I have never worked so I need a job to get that experience. Why won’t anyone hire me and let me try? The last interview I had, the interviewer told me she would let me know either way and I heard nothing. It has been almost a month. Does this mean that I was denied or should I still be waiting on her to call? She said she would call or email me, why would she lie?

They won’t hire you and let you try because they’re flooded with candidates who do have experience. There’s no incentive for them to hire someone untested and untrained. You need to think of ways to get experience — whether it’s temping or volunteering or creating your own project. Employers want to see a track record of work done well, so your challenge is to figure out how you can show that. It doesn’t take paid work to create that track record.

As for the interviewer who never got back to you, yeah, it’s very common and very rude.

6. Aggressive, flashy job-searching tactics

There are a lot of people, usually the more entrepreneurially oriented, who suggest contacting employers directly. They suggest things like calling the actual manager for the position, applying for a job that doesn’t actually exist at a company that you especially want to work for, or making a big flashy production out of your application. They say that you will never get a job by playing by the rules because you won’t stand out from the crowd as well. However, most of the places where I have applied ask applicants not to contact the employer outside of the prescribed application procedure and many managers indicate that they want applicants to play by the rules. Some managers have indicated that you won’t get a job without playing by the the rules because they trash those applications and because it smacks of disrespect for the employer’s request. Is there a middle ground or a broader-scale explanation that can help me navigate between these two very different tactics?

You stand out from the crowd by being an awesome candidate: writing a great cover letter, having qualifications that match what they’re looking for and a resume that shows it, and interviewing well. Do that, and you’re ahead of 99% of your competition — and thus don’t need to resort to flashy productions.

It’s true, of course, that some employers do respond to the type of tactics you’re talking about. These also tend to be the employers who, once you’re working there, reward the squeaky wheel or the flashiest instead of those with the most merit … because these tactics screen for employers with those mindsets. Hiring managers who are good at what they do and who are rewarding to work for don’t need you to call them or use gimmicks in order to stand out, because they know how to identify the best candidate for the job all on their own.

(I have no problem with one tactic you mentioned though: applying for a job that doesn’t actually exist at a company you especially want to work for. There’s nothing wrong with that; you just need to be able to convince them the work would be worth their while and that you’re the person to do it for them.)

7. One more thing

Last, apropos of nothing, I loved this article on my people, the introverts.

{ 66 comments… read them below }

  1. grace h

    Loved the article about intros and extros. I am in a committed relationship with an intro and it’s just so hard to understand what to do. :)

  2. Arts

    Oooh. Didn’t know you identified as an introvert too. I stumbled on Rauch’s article a couple of years back and it set me free. I had intuitively realized that I dealt with life differently than some of my super talkative friends, but didn’t realize what to call it until I read the article.

    I’ve since read a few books on the topic and read Rauch’s follow-up articles on the topic (which are just as entertaining and helpful as the initial one). I would highly recommend the book ‘Introvert Power‘ by Laurie Helgoe for a more detailed read on the subject.

    1. Anonymous

      What a relief!
      “introverts are people who find other people tiring.”
      I’ve thought more than once that I was crazy or that something was otherwise wrong with me.
      Thank you for the book suggestion, I will certainly look it up.

  3. JerseyVol

    Re: #3: I will also add that sometimes they bring not just broader experience, but something that you might not such as clients/beneficial business relationships, or an internal knowledge of your customers. It’s rarely just about the responsibilities you take on. I’d recommend asking for an out-of-cycle evaluation or a timeline for when your lack of title will be addressed. But in all honesty, unless people are not giving you the respect you need to do your job because of the lack of title, waiting a year is not that long.

  4. KayDay

    RE: #3. With the important exception of the “get over it” part, I’m going to disagree with AAM on the details to her answer about the senior title. The way I read the question, I am assuming the OP works at a field/company with very standardized titles, for example Associate, Senior Associate, Manager, Director, Vice President, Senior VP, and a standard path for promotion. I have a couple of friends who work in places like this (an accounting firm and a communications firm) and for them, two to three (maybe four) years of experience is pretty standard to go from Associate to Senior Associate. From what I understand, the difference between Assoc. and Sr. Assoc. is basically that they do the same things, but the Seniors have more independence and/or more “fun” assignments. The OP should pay more attention to what is standard at her company.

    When the accountant switch firms (she had almost three years experience), part of her acceptance negotiations included being given a Senior Assoc. title, which was really important to her. If the place has an “up or out” mentality, moving up in title can be really important.

    That said, I don’t know the exact situation, and there doesn’t seem to be much the OP can do–hence why I agree with the “get over it” part. If the OPs situation is like what I am thinking, I would suggest she continue to work towards the promotion and maybe even speak with her manager about what she needs to do to reach the Senior level. (And my apologies if I am completely off base about the situation; this is just how I read it).

    1. anon-2

      I have to disagree with AAM on “get over it”.

      First of all — if this happens — you were working diligently toward a promotion and were passed over for someone on the street — you can’t just “get over it”.

      Second – it’s more likely that those individuals were given the titles and the higher pay that goes with them, because at hiring time you generally have more negotiating leverage than you had prior.

      Third — it’s very difficult to approach this, but it can be done. A manager cannot reply to a demand that the right thing be done if it is the right thing. There’s loss of face, looks like they’re not making the decisions, etc. unless there’s some force to it.

      Fourth – do not believe “oh it’s an annual thing.” In the private sector, management can do whatever they want. No company could survive if they didn’t have the flexibility in place. Officially, they don’t. In reality, they DO.

      You don’t have to “just get over it”. Take action.

      1) Continue to do your job — BUT — do not fail to privately express your dismay over the situation, if in fact you were genuinely hurt. Don’t go in the tank.

      2) Look for opportunities elsewhere, both internally and externally.

      3) If another opp comes through for you — be prepared to take it.

      4) Plan your negotiation in advance. I was once passed over this way — I began looking for other positions within my company.

      When one came through — I told my manager that “yeah but you hired (someone) at a higher grade than me. I’ve done all I can do here to advance myself with you. When you made that move, I gave up trying to advance myself in this position.” I immediately got the promotion — but also said “yeah but look at the money I lost in the last year.” Solution = “retroactive raise” in the form of a stay bonus.

      If they really want to keep you in the fold, they will react — provided that you don’t create obstacles to management to doing so. That’s twofold — YOU have to continue to do the best job you can. YOU also have to make sure that you don’t publicly embarrass management.

      If you’re a valued employee — your manager does not want you going to that exit interview saying “well, when this happened, I realized I had no future here, so this is my unfortunate reaction to it. ” But make sure you cover EVERY step — including discussing the issue with your manager at the time you’re passed over, and be sure to express (privately, professionally) your dismay over the issue.

      Then again — they may not want to keep you in the fold.

      1. Long Time Admin

        In the old days, we called this “paying your dues”. You prove yourself, learn more, take on more responsibility which is proving yourself again, and hopefully get a promotion.

        You could also speak to your boss and ask what you should be doing to earn your next promotion. Together, you and your boss should be able to come up with a good plan for your career advancement in your company.

        1. anon-2

          Yeah, you could do that.

          But if you’ve already done all that, you could be wasting your time.

          Assuming that the OP is going to end up training the senior staff, it puts him/her into a bind.

          So, yes, have the conversation. And do not necessarily agree that management did the right thing and bless it. You can disagree (professionally, respectfully).

          Hopefully — the discrepancy — if it is one — can be resolved SOON. The longer things fester, the more difficult it becomes for management to fix them, from a political standpoint.

          But the best way to further tick off a disgruntled employee — who may have a legitimate beef — is to tell him or her “get over it”.

          1. Ask a Manager Post author

            Yeah, the boss shouldn’t generally fall back on “just get over it.” But sometimes that IS the answer, and I’m not her boss so I’m going to say it :)

            1. anon-2

              Hopefully you would never say it to a real employee under your management — it would likely result in an immediate meltdown of your working relationship with that individual…

              If it IS the answer — then you “seal the deal”.

          2. Anonymous

            I’m the one who asked question #3. Spot on Anon-2. That’s exactly the stance I’m taking.

            I don’t agree with management but they have their reasons. If they are not willing to lend flexibility on their current promotion process, then I’ll look elsewhere.

            I work a highly specialised field and literally no one has done the same job before. I don’t see the merits of bringing in AVPs when I amongst others are demonstrating these abilities already.

            I understand that how the cookie crumbles with current market conditions but AVPs in fact receive a bigger chunk of the bonus pool. If the current team members did’nt have a chance to be promoted after two years in the environment, it certainly does’nt bode well for morale.

            1. anon-2

              Thanks… if there is actually a strong market for your skills set (and in this economy, some strong markets still exist) — AND — you feel you have been unjustly passed over — it’s time to start looking.

              Most, but not all managers will think hiring situations out, not just to address current needs, but in relation to current employees. If they went to the street and passed you over, one of three things is true =

              a) they truly believe that you don’t have the skills to do the job at this time

              b) they probably assume that you won’t leave, you will just “get over” being passed over

              c) they didn’t think about you when they created these new positions

              If c) is the case, then it means they’re pretty stupid.

              If b) is the case, then it means that they don’t respect you or are toying with you

              If a) is the case, then hear out management. If you disagree with their assessment, let them know — keep on plugging, but work toward taking your skills elsewhere.

              In some cases, you may get a reaction as I did a couple of times; without admitting that mistakes were made, the mistakes were fixed.

              BUT – I advise you to act quickly. When the new hires are entrenched in their positions for any length of time, it’s going to be more difficult for management to plan to include you in that fold, at that level. The standard “next year” lines — don’t fall for those.

        2. Anonymous

          It sounds like the newly minted “seniors” didn’t have to pay those dues, though, which is the point here. It’s cowardly to hide behind the “paying your dues” excuse when it’s not universally applied.

          1. Ask a Manager Post author

            I don’t think we know if they did or didn’t; it’s possible they have more experience than the OP, or are simply more effective at the work. I’d be interested in knowing more details!

            1. Anonymous

              AAM, I was explained by management that it’s because they had AVP in the previous titles so they could bring more “worldly” experience to our team.

              It’s an difficult argument to accept because it means after two years, I’m in a role which teaches no new skills which management are looking for.

              I could easily argue that I was working at the capacity of AVP in my previous jobs. The job market was more buoyant 2 years ago and most people would not need to negotiate on title then.

          2. Diana

            We don’t have enough information to base an opinion about the newly hired seniors. If the OP applies and gets hired at another company as a senior, does that erase the “dues” paid at this job? The new hires may be new but it doesn’t mean they haven’t done the work (i.e. paid the dues) to get the position they were hired for.

  5. Anonymous

    Another great resource for introverts or for the extroverts trying to understand them is ‘The Introvert Advantage’ by Marti Olsen Laney, Pys.D. This explains what Rauch meant by introverts process information differently. Lovely book, if you haven’t read it.

    1. Anonymous

      Oh neat, I’ve read that too. Pretty useful book. A tad longwinded, but goes into many different aspects of being an “innie”.

  6. Under Stand

    #7- But what ribbon is going to represent the movement? LOL. Seriously though, I totally get it. After spending a few hours having to endure people, NOTHING is better than being left the heck alone. And the irony of that is that my wife is an extrovert. But I WOULD disagree that all introverts want quiet conversations about feelings and ideas. YUCK, that is as bad and as draining as having to go to a party. I would much rather have a conversation where I am sitting there with the wife and neither of us says anything for thirty minutes at a time. Yes, that is nice.

  7. Under Stand

    On #1, I think that the OP could shut the employee up next time by answering a critique of the requirement for the specialized degree by stating “Lucky for me that the higher ups require that degree and unlucky for you because the more you whine about it, the less likely that I will EVER consider you for a promotion.” Make it clear that the whining is not acceptable and it will stop. But trying to be nice is not going to make that happen.

  8. Anonymous

    I’m a little confused between what OP #1 wrote and what AAM answered with. The OP states s/he “would like to” answer her annoying colleague with a discussion on his/her own credentials, which to me implies the OP has not yet done so. Meanwhile, AAM seems to think it has already been done.

    Anyway, I would answer her with stating that we are in our respective positions for a reason and if she doesn’t like it, then she will have to change something in her own life to deal with it or improve it.

    1. Ask a Manager Post author

      Sorry for the confusion! I was referring to this: “The last time she mentioned this, I told her that I found it offensive as it undermines the work I put forth to get my degree and it sounds like she is undermining me and the hard work that I do.” This statement really undermines the OP’s authority; someone who’s confident in their authority doesn’t worry about this kind of thing.

      1. Anonymous

        Oh ok. It’s an ambiguous statement on the OP’s behalf then. The OP will have to clarify how much s/he actually said to the offending person. If the OP had only thought of the idea instead of voicing outloud, then s/he is sort of off the hook in the undermining. But definitely, do not give that person the power; when you become defensive, then it’s all over.

        1. Anonymous

          As person originally asking about #1, I can say that the first convo was not an argument at all. I merely stated my opinion and the conversation was quickly dropped. The follow up was in written form and nearly incited tears (it was professional but she’s sensitive and kind of doesn’t know how she comes across sometimes). The problem is solved and no arguments happened.

  9. Christine

    #5 (Hiring w/o experience) – I really hope that current college career centers (or high school guidance counselors if the OP isn’t attending college) are helping students to connect their extra-curricular activities (sports, clubs, etc) to relevant experience.

    #6 (Aggressive job-search tactics) – There is a lot of information about the “hidden job market”, but I think a lot of it encourages some of these aggressive tactics. The last paragraph does encourage applying for a non-existent job at a place you really want to work….Alison (or anyone else), could you possibly expand on that? How would you best do this without resorting to the tactics this OP refers to?

    #7 – Great article on introversion. I too consider myself an introvert, but I have the double blessing of also being shy.

    1. Anonymous

      I considered applying for a job that didn’t exist when I was recently looking. I’m in medicine and last year was helping my mother look for a clinic. I was impressed with The website of one in her area- the emphasis they put on specialization etc. I have specialty certification in an area that would complement what they are currently doing and offer a service line they do not currently have. My plan was to contact the owner of the clinic and simply state I had found them while doing a search and say I would love to work with them if they were ever looking to expand there services to include my specialty. I would then offer to talk about what I felt I had to offer if they were interested.

      I ended up not doing this because I fell into the best job I’ve had in a long time and chose to pursue it instead.

  10. Elo

    #5: Volunteer! I’m not sure whether you’re in college, a recent college graduate, a high school student… but there are plenty of volunteering opportunities out there. I’m not sure what jobs you are specifically applying for, but interviewers don’t seem to like people who are idling during their unemployment (aside from sending out applications). You could try an internship route depending on where you are in life. These days experience is a must, even for recent college grads.

    With the job market these days and such a large pool of applicants, employers are extremely picky, and can afford to be, when it comes to applicants.

      1. Natalie

        The OP can consider Americorps even if they are older – my boyfriend completed his BA last year at age 30 and is doing a year of service with Americorps this year.

    1. Anonymous

      Financially, volunteering and even AmeriCorps may not be an option for the OP. I’m in a similar situation and it’s not an option for me because I have student loan payments and need the money. AmeriCorps pays but not much. It’s really tough for recent grads right now because everyone wants experience but it’s hard to get a job (even an internship sometimes) in order to get that experience.

      1. KayDay

        I really don’t understand how volunteering would make you any worse off financially than being unemployed! (Unless you are working in a part-time job that isn’t in your chosen field–but the OP said she didn’t have any experience, so I don’t think that’s the case here). Americorps is a serious commitment, but most volunteer opportunities, even if they ask for a commitment, don’t really enforce it. If the problem is transportation costs, there are ways to work around it (find something online…ask a friend for a ride…). If it means the difference between long term unemployment and finding a job, she can find a way to make it work.

  11. notpollyanna

    Hi, I’m #6. Thank you so much for your answers and input. It hadn’t occurred to me that by using the aggressive tactics, people are selecting for the sort of managers that respond most to that, which is not necessarily a good thing. (For me; I suppose these are the right sort of managers for other people.)

    You and others mention that it is having a good resume and well-written cover letter that stands out, which I see in anecdotes about the numbers of incompetently written resumes and cover letters. Is incompetence among applicants really so common that good writing puts me that far ahead? How does that interact with the fact that since there are so many people applying for each job, there are also more better applicants to choose from?

    Like Christine, I am also curious on how to apply for non-existant positions.

    1. GeekChic

      As someone who used to hire, I can say that applicant incompetence was pretty epidemic only a few years ago and I doubt it is any better now. My first weed through of applications was completely based around applicant competence and it typically knocked out 30-50% of applicants (not following directions, consistently poor spelling and grammar, wildly inflated sense of entitlement in cover letter, lack of qualifications, just plain bizarre, etc.).

      As for applying for non-existent positions – here’s one fairly specific example from my past: The web site for our organization was pretty basic and hadn’t been updated stylistically in many years. Our org. chart was online and it was obvious that we didn’t have a web developer or designer – just general IT.

      One day, during a hiring cycle for some other positions, I received a resume and portfolio from an applicant who proposed redesigning our web site. They sent in a mock up of how it would look and some examples of their design capabilities. They also described past experience with general IT that would give our organization additional help when the web site redesign was complete (since they understood we might not be able to afford a permanent position for just web design).

      I was impressed with the portfolio and experience so I sought permission from my supervisors to interview the applicant for a contract to redesign the web site with a view to creating a permanent position if things went well. Permission was granted and after an interview, reference checks and discussions with the candidate, they agreed to start on contract.

      The web site design went well and our organization received funding approval to hire the candidate full-time to assist with general IT and maintain the web site.

      What did the candidate do right? Saw a need in our organization and positioned themselves to fill it – while also acknowledging possible funding issues and ways to solve them.

      It is now 8 years later and the candidate still works for the organization while I have moved on.

      1. Anon.

        Kudos to you for not ignoring that resume just because it wasn’t a postition you were currently hiring for – and for going the extra mile(s!) necessary to bring that candidate on board!

        Awesome :)

  12. Tami

    Yes, I am an introvert. I love that article for the many good points it makes. I had a potential employer balk at the fact that I am getting my degree via online learning not because he feared it was a diploma mill but because he felt it was a sign of introversion so extreme that I would be unable to deal with people. Like at all.

    Yes, I did explain my reasons for going the online education route, such as being able to complete 28 credits in a semester while working full time. He didn’t get it and I realized that he knows nothing about introverts and was not willing to be educated.

    1. Anonymous

      People take online courses for a lot of reasons, and I haven’t ever heard of it being for extreme introversion. Many times it is convenient and not as expensive yet still the same level of education and diploma. Your boss needs to get a reality check.

    2. A nony cat

      Ditto to annon, above. Also, your potential employer was nuts. Even my extroverted friends who don’t understand my idiosyncrasies still consider me (and other introverts) perfectly employable! Considering how much time a particularly extroverted friend of mine spends on gchat, I would consider introversion a good quality for applicants.

  13. Aaron

    RE flashy job searching tactics:

    I agree that, for most people, the right tactic is to stand out by having a great, normal, application. But if you’re applying to some huge company where HR does the initial screening, trying to bypass HR in some ‘flashy’ way is not always a bad idea.

    Some relatively good companies have bad HR. In the long run, this will probably hurt them. But you may want to work there anyway–it’s not true that companies that will hire the flashy applicant are companies you don’t want to work for.

    Of course, after you’ve dazzled with your cool initial tactics, you then need to be able to follow it up with an impressive cover letter and resume to get hired. A manager who would hire you based on your flashiness alone may raise some flags. But if you get hints that the company doesn’t hire most people through its posted application process (hint: the semi-professional job requires you to fill out some long HR web form and provide 8 references), it may not hurt to try to get into the process in some other way.

  14. T.T.

    Hey, this is definitely in the wrong place, but I just wanted to say that your search add-on doesn’t seem to be working. x.x

    1. fposte

      Are you using Firefox? For me the search box itself doesn’t display in Firefox, so all I see is the link to Lijit, but it’s still there in other browsers.

  15. Anonymous

    # 5. It is hard to find a job for people with experience, but depends on what kind of jobs you are looking for, and what your education/experience (not job related) is, maybe working for McDonalds, or Burgerking or any of those just to gain some work experience.

  16. Anonymous

    1. It seems to me that the employee in question is disrespectful, and also trying to tell you “i’could have done that job, or watch out, I could easily replace you.” You need to have the “boss” personality, it’s not enough to wear a nametag saying “supervisor” you need to wear it with your attitude. You need to have supervisor personality, and let people know that you are THE BOSS without having to mention it.

    1. fposte

      Though in this situation the employee is being a nincompoop. There’s something to be said for merely rolling your eyes and letting nincompoopism burn itself out–it’s not hurting anybody but the employee unless there’s an overreaction. Alison’s suggestion is more humane, in that it gives the employee a chance to pull herself out of the state, but I don’t think it’s necessary to try to be so authoritative that such a thing never exists in the first place, because it doesn’t really matter.

  17. Nathan A.

    Thank you for sharing the article about introverts!!!

    As one myself, I find the presence of others mentally distracting and feel that I get most of my “mental homework” done in solace. I understand the value of group discussions but feel that one-on-one communication seems to gain more headway. Also, I try to aim for depth rather than breadth of conversation. I find airy small-talk among several people to be quite boring.

  18. Long Time Admin

    Love the article on introverts! It really hit home on so many points, especiall this one:

    “many introverts, when socializing, feel like actors”

    I could win an Academy Award if people knew that I’m acting in most social situations.

    I lived with my sister a few years ago, and the hardest part of that was not having the private time that I was used to. (Second hardest part was that she’s my sister, with all the hoo-ha that goes along with that.)

    I think I could be a really good hermit.

  19. Joanna Reichert

    That article made me all kinds of tickled!

    Being an introvert, I find it a challenge to keep the peace with my mother-in-law – an extrovert if I ever saw, unhappy unless she’s yapping your ears off. We butt heads regardless but the icing on the cake of our differences in communication (plus hubby and I are currently living with her), creating situations that are hopefully funny in hindsight . . . decades down the road. : )

    But I have to wonder – surely the population of introverts is vastly larger than stated in the article?

    1. Jamie

      It’s interesting that you bring up the population maybe being skewed, because I’ve wondered about that myself.

      It may be more just degrees of introversion/extroversion – also, I think us introverts tend to find each other.

      How many workplace friendships have been started because one person notices a co-worker desperately trying to repress a sigh and eyeroll because a third co-worker can’t stop chatting and needs constant interaction in order to work. We find our kindred spirits.

    2. CK

      I read somewhere that the population of introverts is actually closer to 50% overall. It may be that introversion is still widely misunderstood. I’m an introvert myself and when I mention to this to people, the most common reaction is, “oh, you’re really shy?” Or one time I was talking with a manager at a previous job about an opening she had on her team and – long story short – I attributed my “quietness” to introversion and she seemed shocked and said, “oh, no! I would never call you an introvert!” I don’t think she really knew what introversion meant…

      1. Ask a Manager Post author

        Yes! People are always surprised when I identify as an introvert. It’s not about being shy; it’s really about how you recharge: do you have a high need for alone time, or a high need for social time?

        1. Nathan A.

          It almost seems like a workplace cuss word (like it might have to acquire protected status in the near future).

  20. Malissa

    #5 Make time to volunteer. Here’s a little secret I’m going to share. Your city or county government is cash strapped, this leads to excellent volunteer opportunities. You can gain experience in anything from HR to accounting. If they have a department that is related to your field, chances are they have a volunteer opportunity in that department.
    The best part of all of this, is that the people you work with will be very happy to give references if you do a great job.

    1. Anonymous

      Agree but who would want to teach someone how to do either acounting or hr, they really need someone with experience and eduation there cause those are some very important part of any business.

      1. Malissa

        When you volunteer you start usually by filing. Once you are around and have proven yourself you can ask, “Hey can you show me how you do that?” It’s all about building the relationship which leads to building responsibilities and connections. Beside if you are in the department you get the opportunity to ask questions about the field. Which gives you knowledge.
        Or you can sit in your house on your butt and wonder why you can’t get a job with no experience.

  21. Diana

    #7 “I’m an introvert. You are a wonderful person and I like you. But now please shush.”

    love love love

  22. JessB

    Regarding #1, next time she says anything, I’d just look over my glasses at her for a second, have a little smile, and then get back to whatever business was happening. To me, that sends the message that she’s being juvenile, and you aren’t letting it bother you. Also, having glasses is awesome for that.

    I agree with AAM that the best option would have been to address it once, head-on, but that’s not possible now.

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