It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…
1. My medical condition flared up just before an interview
I suffer from a condition known as vasovagal syndrome. It only flares up occasionally but when it does, it causes frequent blood pressure shifts and fainting spells.
I became symptomatic on my way in for an interview the other day. I was maybe 15 minutes from the interview time when it began, and felt it would seem flaky to cancel so close to the start time. Instead, when the interview began I warned them that I had a minor condition that had chosen this moment to act up and proceeded as planned. I never fainted but, with all the blood pressure changes, I’m sure I came off as a dimwit.
So, I guess the question is this: If this comes up again, how should I address it? Cancel the interview?
I’d say it depends on how off you think you’ll be. If you think you’ll be more than slightly off, I’d reschedule and explain why. (You could say something like, “I have a minor medical condition that on very rare occasions causes blood pressure shifts. It just acted up without warning, and it will interfere with our interview. I’m terribly sorry, but could we reschedule?”)
It’s true that postponing at the last minute isn’t ideal, but you’d be offering a reasonable explanation for why you need to, and I think that’s better than interviewing when you’re likely to be significantly off your game. (That said it’s also true that some interviews that get postponed don’t always get rescheduled … but I think people are likely to be highly motivated to reschedule for an explanation like this. But you’d want to factor that into your calculations on this.)
2. Applying for a job with a partner of my current company
I procured my current job (I work in theatre administration) at Company A in late January, and it is great. It’s a lot more responsibility than I have ever had – essentially an assistant manager role – and I’ve really been excelling at it. Currently, we are partnering with another company (let’s call them Company B) to present a show. Since my first day, my manager has not ceased complaining about how annoying Company B is – how they request far too much, how they check up on everything, that they want sales reported a certain way, etc. My opinions differ, though I have not voiced them as it is not my place to say. I, however, completely understand where Company B is coming from. Tensions continued to heighten when it was found that some things were not set up as they should have been (by my manager) before performances began, some paperwork was not processed, etc, leading to BIG problems close to curtain time. Both of these times, I was the manager-on-duty and made quick decisions that ultimately saved the day(s) and prevented much bigger problems.
Company B has told me again and again how impressed they are with me, and a few days ago, the head of my corresponding department in Company B, whom I’ve become close with, took me aside to say that he was leaving in just a few short weeks. He and another department head were chatting about how impressed they are with me, and they desperately want to consider me for his position, which would begin mid-March. I forwarded my resume to the General Manager, and I have a formal interview tomorrow. The potential job is amazing – I would have my own small staff, year-round employment (exceptionally rare in my industry), be a part of a theatre company I have admired for years, and work with a fantastic group of people.
My qualms are how it would effect my reputation and relationship with my current company. The partnership lasts until mid-April – if I took the other job, I would still be working with my (then-former) coworkers until then. I am never one to burn a bridge, but I also make it a point to form no allegiances or feel as if I “owe” Company A anything. I presented the situation to my mentor, who knows what direction I want my career to head in, and he described it as a “no-brainer”: to take the job. What are your thoughts?
Well, unless your current employer is extraordinarily dysfunctional and toxic, they’ll be disappointed that you left but won’t torpedo their relations with Company B just because you went to work for them. Even if they’re secretly seething and thinking terrible things about you (which probably won’t happen), it would be really unusual for them to burn the bridge with Company B by letting it show. (And frankly, if they are that dysfunctional, that’s just all the more reason to leave without looking back.)
3. Being asked to resign before moving part-time
My mom has recently spoken with her employer about moving from full-time to part-time. They approved of her request and the conditions of her part-time duties. This is supposed to go into effect on May 1. Today, she was asked to complete a letter of resignation from her full-time position and was asked to NOT mention anything in the letter about moving to part-time. I’ve worked for corporate companies for 20+ years and have never heard of anyone requesting this type of letter by HR. In most circumstances after the arrangements have been made, an offer letter is usually given to the employee. Since the offer has not been made in writing, I’m very skeptical of her completing this request. Can you please advise if this is normal or if she should proceed with caution?
Doesn’t sound normal to me. She should ask them why they’re instructing her not to mention the move to part-time in the letter, and she should ask to get the part-time position confirmed in writing before she resigns her current position. And frankly, even after that, I’d still be wary of writing a resignation letter (since she’s not resigning, just changing her hours, right?) and — if she decides to write the letter anyway — of leaving the move to part-time out of it. My worry would be that if they revoke the part-time offer (which they can do at any time), they’d then have a letter from her resigning her job that could be used — hypothetically — to deny her unemployment benefits.
That said, it’s entirely possible that nothing nefarious is going on and this is just some sort of bureaucratic silliness. But she should find out what it’s all about before resigning in writing.
4. How long should I wait for this job offer?
I managed to land a job interview at my dream company for a position that I initially thought was a bit of a stretch for me. The interviews went really well and I was invited to participate in a “faux project” with the potential new boss to see how well we work together. The project couldn’t have gone better and the company informed me they would be extending an offer to me. They took the job posting down at this time, so it seemed like all signs were good.
That was 5 weeks ago! I followed up three weeks ago and was told they “still wanted to hire me” and they were “just going through formalities.” I’ve put my job search on hold (I needed a break anyway), but not sure how much longer I can hold out.
The last email I received sounded like they would reach out to me when they had news and I needed to wait to hear from them. However, I’m antsy and want to reach out again but I don’t want to seem like I’ve been waiting around for them to make an offer. Do you think it’s appropriate to reach out again? I just don’t know when I should move on from this.
Move on now. Assume you don’t have an offer (because you currently don’t), and proceed the way you’d be proceeding if you knew this wasn’t going to work out. This might come through or it might not, but right now it’s not, and that means that you need to assume it never will.
As for reaching out, if they want to hire you, they’ll contact you. If you really want to follow up again, mark your calendar to check in with them one more time in a few weeks, but put it out of your mind until then and proceed from the assumption that it’s not going to come to fruition. Let it be a pleasant surprise if it does work out rather than an unpleasant surprise if/when it doesn’t.
5. A website I worked on won an award after I left — can I include it on my resume?
Recently, a marketing agency I worked at last year won an award for a website project I was part of during my time there. The award was for design, but I did the copywriting for the website, as well as a lot of back-end account management work. Can I still put the award on my LinkedIn profile? And if so, what do I say about it? The same site won an award last fall and I included that on my profile, but that was a short time after I quit the agency, not months later.
Sure, as long as you’re sure that the award was given for the version of the site that you were involved with (and that significant changes weren’t made to it after you left). Assuming that it was, you could say something like, “Did X and Y for website that went on to win the prestigious ABC Award.” (Don’t say it’s prestigious if it’s really not though, since that can backfire on you among people in the know.)