It’s short answer Saturday — seven short answers to seven short questions. Here we go…
1. Is my unpaid internship ever going to offer me a paid position?
I’ve been working an unpaid internship for around 8 months now. I was asked if I was intersted in a paid position doing basically the same thing I have been doing for free. I let them know I was very interested and they said they’d get back to me within a week with the details. It’s now been six weeks and I still haven’t been hired or even know if I will be. I asked my supervisor about it twice, and each time he said he was waiting on his supervisor for a response. I can’t help but feel if I continue working for free they will never get around to hiring me. Should I just keep being patient and work for free, or should I quit the unpaid intership, but then let them know if they want to hire me, I’m still interested?
Set an ending date. Tell them that you need to find paid employment so you need to set an ending date for your internship. At this point, you’ve been working for free for eight months; it’s unlikely to provide you with significantly more benefits if you stay longer. So set an ending date, and start looking for paid work. If this motivates them to offer you a job, great. If not, keep your focus on jobs with other organizations.
Alternately, if you don’t really want to quit even if they don’t offer you paid work but you’d just like to nudge them in that direction, tell your manager that you need to start actively searching for paid work and need to know if they’re going to offer you a position or not, so that you know whether to launch a search.
2. MOOCs versus business school
I am a recent-ish graduate of an elite law school (top 3), but the more time I spend practicing law, the more I become convinced that, while I enjoy it well enough, it’s not what I want to do for the rest of my work life. My 10-year plan is to continue in criminal litigation (my current area of practice) for 5-8 more years before attempting to transition into business management or a related field.
The problem is that I don’t want to go to business school. I don’t mind putting in the hours and time, but I’ve already shelled out $120k+ to to a seriously overrated educational institution for essentially a piece of paper with a name on it. My attitude towards re-upping for business school is “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice…”
My question is whether you have any thoughts on Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs) as a replacement for business school. They’re free, and I can finish them on my own time over the next several years. I’m not sure, though, how much of an asset they’d be on the job market. Certainly I could talk about it in an interview, but would it be appropriate to list on a resume? Would I be rejected out of hand simply because I don’t have an MBA? Can my law degree compensate for that? For what it’s worth, my undergrad degree is from a large state school in Economics and Business.
Some of the biggest advantages of business school are the networking opportunities and internships you get placed in with your school’s help. That’s probably more valuable than what you actually learn there. And that’s stuff that MOOCs won’t provide. So from that perspective, I’d say no, although frankly neither is necessary to move into business management — work experience is. Few jobs outside of some consulting positions actually require MBA coursework. Anyone else want to weigh in on this though?
3. Following up on a raise
When is an appropriate time to follow up on a raise that a few months ago was mentioned as likely to happen this month? My manager, who is retiring in a few weeks, knows I’ve applied for a few other positions within the company (interviewed for one last week) but hasn’t mentioned my raise. Should I wait and ask the new manager who will be internally promoted? I’d like to get some sense from my department, as it may help me get a higher offer from the other departments on my radar. Even still, If I get neither, I’d rather be making more money sooner than later.
Ask now. You want to ask your current manager before she leaves, because the new manager will come in without knowing all this context and potentially not as committed to getting you a raise as your current manager. Keep in mind, though, that since your manager knows you’re applying for other positions, she may feel less incentive to get you a raise out of her department’s budget — if you have one foot out the department’s door anyway.
4. Avoiding job hopping while in school
I’m currently a student, and since October I’ve been working part-time at a retail store. It took me a while to actually get that position, but it’s worked out well while I’ve been in school and I generally enjoy it. However, in my program, like many others, it’s pretty much expected that we get some sort of summer position or internship. Luckily, I’ve managed to get a 35 hour/week summer job from May to August, but now I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep my retail job. In a perfect world, I would be able to work a schedule where I could balance both, but the hours of operation for the organization my summer job is at are pretty much the same as my retail job.
I would honestly like to keep my retail job, so I can still work there during the next school year. If I wouldn’t be able to keep it due to scheduling, would it look terrible on my resume if I quit this job after 7 months to go to a relevant summer position in a field I’m studying for? Should I speak to my manager at the store and tell her what’s going on and see if she can work around my new schedule? I won’t know my new schedule until I start my job in May though. I’m kind of torn. I really don’t want to look like a job hopper, but I’m afraid that I’ll have to.
Wait until a month before your new job starts, and then explain the situation to your manager at your current job. Say you’d love to stay on if she can work around your other schedule, but if she can’t, you’d love to return in the fall.
You don’t need to worry about this looking like job hopping. The job hopping concern doesn’t really apply while you’re in school; in school, it’s expected that you’ll have various short-term jobs and internships. It’s once you graduate and are working full-time that it’s an issue.
5. Should I have to make up these hours?
If my manager closes the building for a meeting for an afternoon and it is usually my shift at that time, should I have to work the hours to make up for the ones I missed, even though it wasn’t my fault and I would have been willing to work? It was also suggested I take the “time off” as a holiday, which doesn’t seem fair.
This stuff isn’t usually about whether you were willing to work; it’s about whether you did or didn’t work, regardless of the reason, even when it’s a reason you had no control over.
6. Should I clear a blog with my manager before I start it?
I work as a care provider for a mental institution on a unit that works with children and teens. There are a lot of considerations that have to be made on a regular basis concerning HIPAA.
Lately, I have been wanting to do other things besides think about work. It is a stressful job, and anytime I can leave work and do something other then think about it, is great for my stress level. I have an idea for a blog that would involve fashion, taking pictures of me in certain fashions, and another of my passions. I am worried, however, that this may cause conflict at my job. I have noticed in the media lately people getting fired for Facebook posts, blog posts, pictures posted, and comments made on the internet. I want to ask my boss what she thinks, but I am unsure if this would be the right and professional course of action. So, what do you think about this? Do you have advice on how I should proceed?
If your blog isn’t going to have anything to do with your job, and isn’t going to compromise patient privacy or talk about your employer in any way, most managers won’t care. But if you any doubts, just ask your manager; explain what you want to do and say you wanted to ensure it wouldn’t be an issue.
7. Do employers observe you during a typing test?
Do employers stand behind you during typing tests? Are you put in a cubicle or something? I mean, I type pretty fast, but I am not actullly using the home keys; I just know where the letters are, if that makes sense.
No reasonable employer stands behind you during typing tests; they just look at your final score. If you find someone standing behind you watching you, run for the hills.