It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…
1. Should I wait to post about a new job on Facebook?
I recently accepted an offer for a new job – yay! I waited until I got it in writing, then notified my boss and coworkers, etc. Everything’s all set – my last day at my old job is in 2 weeks, and I start my new job a month from now. Now I’d love to share the good news with my friends, so I’m thinking about posting to Facebook about it – something generic like “It’s official – I’ll be starting a new job in January!” I feel like that couldn’t hurt (especially if I don’t name the company), but my gut tells me that somehow I shouldn’t, though I can’t quite say why. Should I follow my gut here?
(I am not connected with my current boss or coworkers on social media – not that it would be a problem since they know already – or anyone from my new job.)
Once I start the new job I’ll also update my LinkedIn profile, but that seems like it would be weird to do ahead of time. What are your thoughts about posting to Facebook?
I think you’re right to wait to post to LinkedIn until you’re actually in the role you’d be listing there, but I don’t see any reason you shouldn’t post about it on Facebook. That said, if you’re feeling uncomfortable about it, there’s no reason you need to — you can always wait until just before you start if you’d rather (or not post about it at all, for that matter).
2. I think my coworker is a harlot
I have a married female coworker who continues to have relationships with multiple men in the office. She periodically has different men in her cubicle. Many people around can hear her giggles and such. None of the men she has been with are her superiors but are peers, but one was our civil rights manager, who was also married. When a new guy starts, she doesn’t waste time in “introducing herself.” Employees have complained they saw her having sex in exam rooms and they saw her in a too close for comfort position in her cubicle several times. Many of us at the office are tired of her office sexcapades. What can we do?
Well, who she’s involved with really isn’t your business. If someone has seen her having sex at work, they can certainly report that (to her boss or to HR) because that’s wildly inappropriate and presumably something the company would want to put a stop to, but beyond that, her relationships with coworkers are not your business unless they’re affecting your work in some specific way.
By the way, I assume you’re judging the men who are involved with her by the same standards, right? All your ire here seems directed at her, but it sounds like other coworkers are involved too. If you’re just throwing a scarlet letter at her and having a double standard for the men, that’s a problem.
3. Am I wasting my time as a new grad applying for jobs that want two years of experience?
I’m going to be graduating soon (like, two weeks soon), but I’m just now starting my job search (I know, I know) and realizing a lot of listings are asking for two years of experience. I’m working in an industry (mass communication) where there aren’t many relevant job openings out there; there are many ideal possibilities, but not many actual possibilities. My question, and maybe it’s a dumb one, is am I wasting my time applying for these two-year-experience listings? I’ve searched around your website (and the entire Internet), and have seen that if they’re looking for five years and you have a few, then apply, but nothing for recent grads who are seeing listings with just a couple years required.
As an example, one company that I would love to work for has a couple listings open for which I think I could be well suited. One of those roles is a deputy editor position, which should probably go to someone more seasoned (they state they’re looking for someone with two years experience at a news outlet or a blog). That said, they’ve advertised these two jobs in our school’s student newsletter. That, to me, says they’re open to recent grads.
I’ve got an internship under my belt, but what I think is more relevant is that I’ve been volunteering with a local nonprofit for most of this year and basically spearheaded their social media marketing. I’ve also been blogging since I’ve exited the womb (to very moderate success—but success nonetheless!). They also list desirables I have (like videography skills), that the responsibilities require a lot of social media competency, and “blog” is a repeated buzzword. Would mentioning these successes and saying I admire their company culture make up for no formal experience? Or, again, should I just give up with these one- and two-year experience listings?
It’s true that “X years of experience” requirements aren’t usually totally firm, but there’s a bigger difference between new grad/2 years of experience than there is between 2 years of experience/4 years of experience. “No real full-time work experience” is a bigger hurdle than “not quite as much experience as we were originally envisioning.” And yeah, in general, most employers would be pretty unlikely to hire a brand new grad for a deputy editor position, particularly if the role has managerial authority over other people.
That said, you don’t have anything to lose other than time you’ll spend applying, and since you’re new to job searching and don’t yet have a sense of how your application materials will go over with employers, why not give it a shot and see what happens? Make sure you’re also applying to plenty of positions that aren’t as much of a stretch, so that you’re not putting all your eggs in a possibly out-of-reach basket — but there’s no reason you can’t try these too and see what happens. It’s not like people will be outraged to see your application; the worst that can happen is that you’ll get rejected, which is going to happen plenty in any normal job search.
4. My manager demanded to know if my engagement means I’ll be leaving
I recently got engaged. I am living/working in Seattle, but my fiancee lives 1000 miles away (central coast of California). A week or so ago, one of my coworkers casually asked me if I had set a date for the wedding yet, so I told them it will be at the end of June.
This morning, my boss asked me to step into the conference room. When she closed the door, she (figuratively) cornered me by asking, point blank, “So you and your fiancee are getting married in about 6 months, right? Do you know yet if she’s moving to Washington or if you’re going to California?” And, being the brutally honest (to a fault) person that I am, I answered, “Well, it is looking like I’m going to be moving to California.” Then she said, “So, do you have any idea how long you will be here before you leave? Because we’ve invested a lot of time in you so far, but if you’re going to be leaving soon, then I don’t want to invest a whole lot more just to have you leave.”
I was taken aback, so I took the political route: “Well, we’re still figuring that part out, so no.” Then she asked, “Okay, do you think you could come up with an answer for me this week?” Again, I was surprised, so all I said is that I’ll have an answer for her by the end of the week.
Is she even allowed to do that? I understand her concerns, but really? I mean, sure, we don’t usually see eye-to-eye, and sure, I have been looking for another job for a couple months – I had planned to resign at the end of the month anyway before she cornered me, but I have a decent poker face. Regardless, is it even legal for her to ask those sorts of questions, despite me being too honest with my responses?
100% legal, although she certainly was jerky about it. It’s understandable that the question is on her mind, and it wouldn’t be outrageous for her to have asked you if you knew your plans yet, but she was weirdly abrasive about it.
5. Who can be a reference?
Who can write a reference besides a manager?
Anyone who can speak knowledgeably about your work can be a reference (people who have worked reasonably closely with you, like coworkers, clients, etc.) — but not people with personal bias toward you, like friends, relatives, or significant others. However, savvy reference-checkers will want to speak to former managers, who are usually in the best position to assess your work.
Also, most reference-checkers want to speak to references, in the form of phone calls. They want to ask their own questions, hear the reference’s tone when answering, and be able to ask follow-up questions. Because of that, letters aren’t especially useful, so I wouldn’t put any energy into getting them unless they’re specifically requested.