It’s short answer Sunday — six short answers to six short questions. Here we go…
1. A former employee left large furniture in our office
One of our employees left three months ago and left a piece of large furniture in our office. We need to get rid of it, but based on my experience with this employee, I am 99% sure the property will probably still be in our office months from now even though we have requested repeatedly that it be moved. What do you recommend doing in this situation?
Send her a letter telling her that if she hasn’t contacted you to make arrangements for its removal by the end of this week, you will be disposing it yourself — and then do so. You’re not obligated to store it for her — give her a deadline for removing it, and have it removed yourself if she misses the deadline. Done.
2. Should this job be on my resume?
I’m writing a new resume for applicable positions in the advertising world (where I have worked since 2008). From 2006-2008, I was a case manager at an AIDS group (for patients, helping them manage life tasks). Should that job be on my resume now? I’ve had people tell me both yes and no.
Yes. Who the hell is telling you no?!
3. My boss won’t let me advance from my current role
I’ve been in my current role and company for 18 months, but have worked for my boss for four years — when she moved to a new company, she headhunted me a couple of months later. I have a great deal of respect for her, and she has made it very clear that I’m an integral part of our department. My work is highly specialised and my boss and her boss have both indicated that they would find it very difficult were I to leave. Unfortunately, this is severely limiting my chances for advancement — because they don’t want to let me out of my current niche!
This has left me feeling really frustrated, and I’ve been casually keeping an eye on job websites and have just had an initial interview with another company offering a higher pay grade and a leadership role. They’ve invited me to move forward to the second stage.
I like the company I work for, my team, and my boss — I just hate feeling as stuck as I am. I would absolutely be open to negotiating with my boss for some terms and a development plan that would leave me feeling happier staying with this company; however, I definitely don’t want to make it sound like it’s “give me what I want or I quit,” which is not my attitude at all. Do you think it’s a good idea to try and negotiate with my boss around this (very promising-sounding) potential role, and if so, when would be a good stage in the recruitment process to do so?
Well, you’ve only been in your job for 18 months. That’s not a long time, and definitely not enough to be feeling stuck. If you’d been there for a few years more and weren’t being given chances for advancement, I’d tell you to talk to your boss and tell her that you want to stay with the company long-term but want to understand what the path for advancing there would look like. But it’s been 18 months. You could still talk to her about likely paths for growth, but I’d avoid sounding impatient or like you think you should be moving faster than you are.
If you do talk to her, leave this other job out of it. You should take or not take that one on its own merits, but using it to get a better offer from your current employer very often doesn’t end well.
4. Negotiating vacation time
I may be in a position to negotiate a job offer soon. The job would offer me a significant increase in salary, to which I’d be Demi Moore from the movie where she’s swimming on the bed of money. Not really. But I’m willing to take a hit on salary in order to add a week more of vacation. It’s a new company for me and 2 weeks is the standard. Is there a best way to go about this?
Some companies will let you negotiate vacation time and some won’t. You won’t know which you’re dealing with until you ask — so just ask and see what they say. I’d say something like, “I currently have four weeks of vacation time. I’m really excited about this job, but I wonder if it’s possible to get an additional week of vacation. I’d be willing to adjust the salary accordingly.”
Good luck, and enjoy your bed of money!
5. Titles on resumes
I’m trying to figure out a resume formatting question.. My last job before my current position was a director position – but I had a title change in the middle. I was hired as an assistant director, but the two people who were also heads of departments in my group were directors, and two months in I went to my boss and asked for the title change to more accurately reflect what was going on. She agreed it made sense and readily pushed it through.
I don’t want to call myself a director for the entire period because I wasn’t, but there’s no reason to label it differently on the resume because it was exactly the same job. I also don’t think it was an accomplishment to ask for and get the title change. Any thoughts on how to list it?
Eh, I’d just list it as director for the whole time. You got the title two months in; no one is going to have an issue with you listing it that way for the way time.
6. How to be a great employee
I absolutely loved the “you might be the problem if….” post. I have been reading AAM for about a year and I have already learned so much. Sadly, I have realized some areas where I need to improve as an employee. I was wondering if you had any past blog posts that summarized what it means to be a great employee. For example, you say good managers give measurable goals and give regular feedback, etc. I would love the same type of summary for employees.