It’s short answer Sunday: seven short answers to seven short questions. Here we go…
1. In trouble for sending a farewell email to contacts
The process of giving my two weeks notice went well, and I survived with little drama, thankfully. Today is my last day, so I sent out my farewell email to all of my contacts. I sent the farewell email using my current company email address. My note was very kind, I wrote very nice things about the company, and simply let people know that I would be leaving today and what company I will be going to. About 20 minutes after the email went out, I was called into my boss’s office and was told that sending an email out under my company email address was completely unacceptable and that they would be shutting down my email immediately for “security purposes.” They feel that the email should have went out under my personal email address. I have seen many many goodbye emails, and they are almost always from the company email address (unless they were let go) I truly do not understand why they are so upset. I’m disappointed that after a calm two weeks, this is how my time here will end. Was I wrong do to this?
No, that’s bizarre. It’s very normal to do what you did. My best guess is that your manager wanted to control the messaging about your departure to people outside of your company, but what you did is so normal that if she wanted it handled differently, she should have spoken up earlier.
2. Negotiating when the company told you the salary range up-front
If a company indicates a specific salary or range at the beginning of the interview process, do you have any leverage to negotiate above the range if you actually receive an offer? Or have you implicitly agreed to the range they gave?
You can often try for a small amount above their initially stated range, but if you ask for much more than that, you’ll look like you weren’t operating in good faith — after all, they told you from the outset what they planned to pay. Think about how you’d react if you told a company at the outset that you were seeking to make $X, they didn’t raise any concerns about it, but then a month later after you’d put significant time into their hiring process, they offered you the position at significantly less and told you they wouldn’t budge.
Basically, they’ve told you the salary at the outset because they want to make sure you’re okay with it. You risk making them highly annoyed if you spring something significantly different on them later.
3. Is it legal for a manager and subordinate to have an affair?
I have an “is it legal?” question. I’m curious about legal ramifications of affairs at work. A girl I used to work with is most likely having an affair with her direct manager. This was confided in me by a friend I trust. Before this sounds gossipy, I want to say that I realize it could be false information because it’s secondhand and I would never pass it on to anyone and other than morally and ethically disagreeing with it if it is true, I have no other interest in the matter.
What it made me wonder was: could one or both people in theses circumstances actually get fired for this? Does that depend on the company’s individual policy on these sorts of things or are there larger scale legal ramifications? More of a curiosity question than anything else.
It depends on the company’s policy. But if the company is even remotely smart, they’ll have a policy against it — and most do (although often smaller companies neglect to address this, to their peril).
The law doesn’t prohibit dating or sleeping with your manager or subordinate. It does, however, prohibit sexual harassment, and the problem is that even fully consensual romantic or sexual relationships between a manager or subordinate make it very easy for the subordinate to claim harassment later — to claim that they felt they couldn’t refuse the manager’s overtures, or that they couldn’t break off the relationship when they wanted to, without suffering professional damage at work. And those things would provide legal standing for a sexual harassment claim.
(Plus, those relationships cause all kinds of non-legal problems too: questions about whether the manager can objectively manage and evaluate the person’s performance, whether they’re given unfair treatment when it comes to raises/evaluations/promotions/feedback/assignments, and so forth. And even in the rare cases — extraordinarily rare, maybe impossible — where the manager somehow manages to be fully objective about those things, no one around the manager will buy that, so it causes a perception and morale problem regardless.)
4. My annual review wasn’t in line with my excellent performance
My annual review was conducted last week, it was something I’d been eagerly anticipating for over a month. I’ve worked at the company for just under a year, and because it was a career switch I took a position beneath my experience level. My expectation was that I’d move quickly through the ranks after proving my competence and constantly striving to create value.
Over the course of the year, I moved up from a analyst role to a position managing several people on an IT project. I’ve received nothing but praise from immediate managers and peers, and so I fully expected to receive high marks, a sizable raise, and possibly a promotion commensurate to my current role. Instead, I received an average rating for my level, no discussion of promotion, and a whopping three percent raise. I was incredulous, I can’t remember feeling so devalued and humiliated. I tried to argue my case during the review (in as professional manner as possible), but it seems the decision had been made. I’ve been lumped into the mediocre (or below) pile, and there’s nothing I can do until the 2013 review to change it. What would you do if you were in my position?
Talk to your manager. The messed up reality is that many companies make it very hard for people to receive high ratings on evaluations and routinely give average ratings to star performers. That might be the case at your company, or it might be something else, but either way, start by talking to your manager and say that you felt your evaluation didn’t reflect your performance or the feedback you’ve received all year. Ask what you’d need to do differently to receive a higher rating in the future. Once you hear her response, you’ll have a better idea of whether you’re willing to accept this or whether you want to look for a position somewhere with different methods of rewarding people.
All that said, though, it’s possible that your expectations are slightly too high. I say that because you were potentially expecting a second promotion within a year (which is a lot), and you might be overestimating how well you’re performing in a role that’s relatively new to you. You might be doing a perfectly good job in the new role, but still not in the “excellent” category, which wouldn’t be at all uncommon after such a short period of time in a new role, even for a smart and talented person. And that’s more reason to talk to your manager with an open mind and hear what she says.
5. Noting future work on your resume
I have a question about listing future, accepted jobs on my resume. I’m a second year law student, so applying for jobs a year or two in advance is not unusual. I have a research assistant position secured for next semester, and a summer internship for Summer 2013. I plan to start applying for clerkships (jobs with judges) in January or February. So far, I’ve been listing my future jobs as this on my resume:
Summer Associate, Dewey Chetum and Howe, anticipated Summer 2013
Research Assistant, Professor Smith, anticipated Spring 2013
My career center thinks “anticipated” is the correct word, but my parents think that sounds too speculative. What do you think?
For once, I agree with someone’s parents! “Anticipated” sounds too close to “I think this will happen but I’m not sure.” How about “scheduled” or something similar instead? (That’s not perfect though — maybe someone will have a better suggestion in the comments.)
6. Job was removed and then reposted
I have basically been applying to jobs since before I got out of grad school in my field. I was lucky to have landed a job before I officially graduated and negotiated a start date just after my coursework ended. After starting, a variety of things went awry and I started job searching again. One job that I applied to was kind of a long shot, but I had some experience in that area and so applied anyway. It is several months later and I just received a letter stating that they position had been reassigned a new faculty ranking and so it was being deleted and reposted. They did not mention if this ranking is lower or higher, and never said in the letter if I was even qualified for the last posting since it wasn’t a flat out rejection. I just saw the new posting and it doesn’t appear any to be any different to me, and at this point I have more experience to add to my application. Can I go for it? Or should I accept that I’ve been rejected and move on?
Sure, you’ve got nothing to lose by applying again, and there’s nothing here indicating that they’d rejected you previously.
7. Turning an internship into a full-time job
I am a recent graduate from a top liberal arts college. I started interning at a large environmental conservation nonprofit as a development and events intern this past October. I really enjoy working there, although some tasks are too tedious. The department is quite short-staffed (there are the prospect research manager, major gifts officer, and events manager; the director of development had just left for another position at a different organization). How do I go about asking if there is full-time job opportunity at the department or elsewhere in the organization? Should I approach HR or my supervisors? I realize that there are a lot of disorganization in the department, and having an extra person, like myself, who has been working there for a couple months would really help make things flow better and take some tasks off of their shoulders. I have also been in contact with a board member who I met and help with occasionally. How do I utilize my connection with her to advance my job opportunity at the organization?
Talk to your manager and to HR. Your manager will know about the possibility of upcoming openings in your department, but may not know about others, so you should talk to both. Do not talk to a board member about work at the organization; board members are not generally involved in hiring or the day-to-day management of an organization (and there’s no faster way to piss off the day-to-day management of the organization than to invite the board into that inappropriately).
Keep in mind, though, that many nonprofits are short-staffed and could use additional staff positions, but don’t have them because of lack of funds or because they’ve determined that allocating money to other areas is a higher priority. So you don’t want to approach them as if you’re the only one who’s spotted a need for more staffing, but rather as someone who loves working for the organization and would be thrilled to have a regular staff position there is there’s an upcoming opening that would be a good fit.