I’m starting the updates a little early, because I have so many of them! There are more than 50 coming…
1. The reader whose manager was excluding her from important conversations
I have actually moved on — I left the company in June and relocated 8,000 miles away to East Africa.
During my exit interview, my manager basically said that she felt that at times there were things I wanted to tell her, and that I chose not to say anything. That was true — I knew I was getting ready to leave the company, and she’d been a supporter of my goals all along (having written me glowing recommendations and praising the work I’d done in the past year), and I did not want to jeopardize that with a “confrontation.”
When the exit interview happened and I received her feedback, I felt frustrated– frustrated that I essentially appeared like a doormat and did not address with my manager the times when she “checked out” of work or behaved as though she did not value my work. It made me wonder whether I should have done differently, but I’d decided at the time that a painful conversation might have done more harm than good: she’s quite sensitive; I was managing my final projects and coordinating my move, etc. So, I let it all go. In the future, though, I am not sure that I will take the same course of action.
2. The reader whose mentor was going to get fired
Your advice was great! And I took it. But as it turned out, the program we were working on at the time ended up being cancelled for reasons far beyond any of our control, so the issue didn’t really come to a head. However, the whole situation made me rethink how much I wanted to stay at that company, and as it happens, I’m now working elsewhere for a well-respected company in my field, with a boss who I don’t think would put me in the position I was in before.
3. The reader applying to a job that wanted letters, not phone calls, from references (#5 at the link)
Thanks to your answer and the very thoughtful answers in the comments section, I decided to use a reference from another job in place of the reference who didn’t want to write a letter. The reference I ended up using was older but was from a job that better matched the responsibilities of the position. My other two references were really good about writing the letters and I ended up with three great references.
I got the job and have been in the position for three months now. The position is great and is a good match with my abilities, personality and ambitions. It took me over a year and several rejections, but looking back I am glad I didn’t get any of the other jobs. I never really understood the idea that interviewing is a 2-way street. I think my focus on both what I would bring to them and how the position would fit with me made me come across as a confident candidate, and might have made up for my lack of academia experience. Plus I worked up a great cover letter! I now work with a variety of students in their final year of school and I am going to recommend your website as a resource as they start to look for jobs. Thanks so much!
I just wanted to say that I sincerely listened to your advice as well as the ones in the comments. Some of it was honestly really discouraging to hear, and I tried my best to go forward in my job search. I just wanted to thank you because I was able to find a well paying job in my field. I feel so lucky about it, like I am being given a second chance to try again. I had previous long-term volunteer experience so I used that to my advantage in my resume like others suggested. I think your advice really helped me land the job. So, thank you and please don’t ever stop blogging!
5. The reader wondering how to launch an employee performance tracker (#2 at the link)
We’ve rolled out various performance trackers since January. I don’t believe they’ve had much overall impact on employee performance because the follow-up after delivery is lacking and there isn’t accountability to achieve specific metrics on these trackers. The employees (and their managers) see them as more of a “here is where you’re at” rather than a “you must achieve this result,” which was part of my original concern. I believe without the buy in of front line managers, any type of accountability system will be flawed.