It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…
1. How to get a senior coworker to stop spamming the office email list
Could you advise on how to tell an office manager to stop spamming the entire office with random supermarket deals, random events, motivational speaker sales pitches, irrelevant travel alerts etc? It was initially a quiet joke among the rest of the staff, but there are some days where our office manager forwards us as many as five irrelevant emails in a row. Aside from clogging up our inboxes, it makes us feel like she’s not really concerned with getting her work done #judge. She’s more senior to us and is supposed to be our HR manager, so it’s a bit awkward.
Just be matter-of-fact: “Hey, Jane, would you mind not sending these to me? They’re taking up a lot of space in my in-box and making it harder for me to see work-related emails. Thanks.”
Or, “Hey, Jane, you can take me off your list for this stuff. I prefer to just use my account for work-related things. Thank you.”
2. I don’t think I can make an out-of-town interview that I already agreed to
I have an in-person interview scheduled this upcoming week on the east coast, but I might not be able to make it because I live in California. I work in finance, and personally I think this job is a great fit. This company has great culture, awesome work ethnic, and is where I would love to work.
The problem is that I can’t afford the flight tickets from west coast to east coast. The interview is scheduled earlier in the week, I’m thinking about postponing it later in the week since tickets from Wednesday – Friday are much cheaper.
Another option is to talk to my recruiter about travel reimbursement, but if she says no, then I wonder if this will affect my candidacy. Will she reject me knowing I’m out-of-state? Except the irony here, is I used to live right next to this company for years, and after sending applications I was always rejected.
How should I email my recruiter, and what should I say? Should I email her first, then call? So far, we’ve only conversed over email.
You need to contact her ASAP if you’re not going to make that interview! The employer is holding time for you, and it’s going to reflect badly on you if you cancel at the last minute, especially if it comes out that it’s because you were undecided the whole time about whether to purchase plane tickets or not. And you can’t really approach as “let’s postpone until later this week” because they may not have time available later this week.
I think you’ll have a tough time asking for travel reimbursement if they didn’t even know you weren’t local when they asked you to interview, but it’s probably your best bet at this point, given a bunch of less-than-great options. I’d say this: “I don’t know if you realized that I’m in California, but I’ve been having trouble finding a reasonably priced ticket for that date. Any chance they’d be willing to move the meeting to later in the week, when tickets are more affordable, or that they’d cover travel?”
Will she reject you for being out of state? It’s possible, but you are out of state, and trying to hide it has caused issues. She’s more likely to reject you for not being straightforward about your interview availability initially. But at this point, all you can do is be up-front and see what happens.
I’d use email for this since that seems to be her preferred method of communication, even though this is pretty urgent. But send it ASAP, like right this second.
3. Should I start job searching now or wait to hear if I get a promotion?
My boss, the head of our two person department, has resigned. Company policy is to do a full search, so it’s been posted and I’ve applied. For the last year or so, my boss has worked hard to get me to stay while they were job hunting, (reclassification and higher than average raise) but that doesn’t mean the hiring manager will decide I’m the best candidate in the pool.
If I’m not selected, I’ll move on. I’m ready for a promotion, and the company really doesn’t need someone at my level in my current position. Conceptually, I’m OK with this. It’s business, not personal. But it will certainly sting, and if they hire someone I don’t agree is more qualified, I’ll be bitter and have to expend a lot of energy hiding that from my new boss.
My question is, do I start looking at outside positions now, or wait until I hear about the promotion? Part of me wants to start now. Having other irons in the fire will increase my confidence during the interview. (As a qualified internal candidate they are required to interview me, but no preference beyond that.) And it will ease the sting if I don’t get it.
Another part of me says I should wait and see what happens before looking externally. Lots of wasted effort if I do get the promotion, and I’d be paranoid that a recruiter I talked to about the situation would send in the perfect candidate that ends up being hired instead of me. But I’m also worried that if they do decide to go external, I’ll wish I had a foot out the door already. I’m probably overthinking this. Would love to hear your thoughts.
Start now. Yes, it could end up as wasted effort if you get the promotion, but it sounds like that’s outweighed by the advantages you’ve listed here if you don’t get the promotion.
As for worrying about a recruiting using the information to send in a candidate who ends up getting the job, you don’t need to tell the recruiter your boss is leaving. Use a different reason.
4. “Present” vs. “now” on a resume
When indicating the length of time in a particular position, is it okay to say “now” instead of “present”—which I’m tempted to do just to save space?
E.g., (2013 – now) instead of (2013 – present)?
You could, but I wouldn’t. “Present” is so very much the convention and “now” is so very much not the convention that it’s likely to make you look unpolished/out of touch with professional norms. It’s a very small thing, obviously, and it’s not going to take you out of the running if you’re otherwise a good candidate, but you want to care about the overall picture that you’re presenting.
Will four letters really make that big of a difference to the space you have available?
A good rule of thumb is that if you’re resorting to stuff like this to gain space (or shrinking your margins or your font), you need to go back and pare down your content instead. More on that here.
5. How do hiring managers view job seekers who took buyouts?
Can you speak about how job seekers who have taken buyouts are viewed by hiring managers? My company recently went into downsizing mode and offered voluntary buyouts to employees based on years of service. I had been at this employer since age 21, and needed to move on with my life and career, so I was one of the younger employees to qualify, and after much consideration I accepted the offer, as I felt I needed a bit of time to regroup and dedicate time, energy, and focus to a job search, something that wouldn’t have been possible when I was working full-time. The terms of the buyout, unfortunately, didn’t offer much time to make a decision, and although I stepped up my job search immediately in my remaining month of employment, in such a short timeframe I was unable to secure another job before my buyout date.
I realize I have a number of different issues possibly complicating my job search (not employed currently, many years at one employer, etc.) but I specifically wanted to ask about how hiring managers view people who took buyouts. Do they see them negatively? Are they viewed as “greedy,” “lazy,” “tired” or having something wrong with them? How also do you gracefully bring up the subject so you can reassure a prospective employer (in cover letter or interview) that you weren’t fired or laid off, and that you left your previous employer under good terms?
No, most hiring managers aren’t likely to see you as greedy, lazy, or burned out! It’s perfectly reasonable to say, “My company was downsizing and offered voluntary buyouts, and I was ready for something new so felt like it was the right time to make a move.”
That’s really it — it’s unlikely that you’re going to need to get into it much more than that, although if someone does have questions, just answer them cheerfully and non-defensively. (There’s nothing wrong with being laid off either, for the record! If it looks like you were the only person laid off, then sure, it can raise questions about whether there were performance-based reasons for picking you, but if you were part of a larger layoff, it’s unlikely to be an issue.)