It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…
1. I’m addicted to job searching
I have a weird problem. I can’t stop looking for new jobs.
I spent nearly all of 2014 job searching, applying, interviewing, etc. I was barely making enough money to make ends meet at the time, so finding a new job was crucial. I had success in landing a lot of interviews, but it took time to find a good match. It was a draining, emotional, exhausting, and invigorating year. I did eventually find a new job at a well-known firm, and I received a $20K raise and a senior title. I just celebrated my one-year anniversary at this new job, and overall I’m happy.
But…. I just want to keep looking. Job searching was such a huge part of my life that I don’t know how to turn it off. Now, even though I am financially comfortable and doing exceptionally well in my new role, I just want to keep looking for more money, and new exciting roles in other interest areas. It’s as if once I realized how much I can do, my value, and how many jobs are out there, I just want to keep moving up up up.
I have a pact with myself to stay in this job for two to three years before leaving, and I will stick to it. But do you have any advice on how to “chill out,” enjoy this stage in my career, and stop looking elsewhere for more money and more senior roles?
Chill out, enjoy this stage in your career, and stop looking elsewhere.
Good employers are going to want to know why you’re already looking to leave a job that you’re still fairly new in, especially after being out of work for a while before that. Bad employers won’t be as concerned — and, being bad employers, they’re also much more likely to be companies that you’ll be looking to leave quickly too if you take a job there. Which will give you two short-ish stays in a row, following a period of unemployment, which will make you job-hopper-ish and a decidedly less attractive candidate. If you’re happy where you are, why would you do that to yourself just because you’re having trouble turning off the job-search habit?
Think of it this way instead: Job searching isn’t just about looking at other jobs; it’s also about making yourself an attractive candidate. This current stage of your “search” is about establishing a solid history in your current role, so that you’re well-positioned at whatever point in the future it does make sense to start looking. After only one year, that time is not now.
2. Is my former temp job treating me like a door mat?
I worked at a multimillion dollar industrial company for about five months as a temp receptionist while a coworker was out of the office dealing with major health issues. Now that the coworker is back to work, I am out of a job.
I loved the job, for the most part. I really miss all of my nice coworkers. I used to get to plan fun parties for everyone in the office every week. I would order food for everyone or I would cook special lunches for about 50 people in the office while still managing my receptionist duties. Everyone really seemed to enjoy the office parties. I noticed that the parties really helped people open up to each other and build new friendships, and it helped make people more productive at work because the parties made everyone so happy. Sometimes coworkers would even cancel taking off work for a day because they wanted to participate in the special lunch day.
My former company now calls me occasionally to ask me to fill in for my old coworkers when they are out of the office. There is always an abundance of work to do when I fill in from multiple departments. I like to get the extra money by filing in, but I feel like if I am so great, then why don’t they offer to hire me full-time? I feel like I am being used if I continue to fill in for my former multimillion dollar company only when they need me.
I was told after I was hired as a temp that they wanted someone who was bilingual. The job posting for the temp position did not say anything about being bilingual. I was told that not being bilingual was keeping me from working with the company full-time. The odd thing is, only a handful of the people in their office are bilingual.
Could you please provide me with some advice as to what I should do in my situation? Is stringing someone along like this normal in business practices? Does it look good to other employers that I still help my former company when I am needed or does it just make me look like I tolerate being treated like a door mat?
It doesn’t sound like they’re stringing you along — unless they’ve made promises to hire you that they’re not fulfilling, but it doesn’t sound like that’s the case. And they’re not using you. They’re offering you paid work when it’s available and if you want it. You temped for them, and they’re occasionally offering you additional temp work. This is all normal and not weird or wrong.
It’s perfectly plausible that they want to hire someone bilingual — maybe especially because not many other people there are (which could make it more important for a future hire). Or it’s possible that that’s code for “your total package of skills isn’t strong enough, and this is one area of weakness, but if you were stronger in other areas, it wouldn’t be as important to be bilingual.” Or maybe they don’t think you’re the right full-time hire for other reasons and are using this as an easy-to-understand reason rather than getting into more awkward ones. Who knows. But they can like you for temp roles without that obligating them to want to hire you for a full-time one.
Offering you additional temp work that you’re free to accept or turn down is not treating you like a door mat.
3. My friend wants to interview for jobs she won’t take “for practice”
Yesterday my friend told me that she will be applying to jobs this week even though her contract will not end until September. She just wants the interview practice and has no plans to tell the interview team that she is only available in September.
As a recruiter myself, I highly advised against this. I told her that she was playing with fire and that if she were to get an offer that was a lot more glamorous than her current salary, and they were not flexible on a September start date, she will resent interviewing for fun. I also let her know that if that’s the case, she may be inclined to tell them about her September start date and they will hold a lot of resentment against her for not telling them sooner. I really fear, most importantly, that she will forever have a bad reputation with them. Is this advice sound? (I think she’s also hoping to buy a lot of extra time and land a position that is willing to wait for her for six months.)
Yeah, if she gets an offer and then mentions at that point that she’s not available until September, most employers are going to rightly annoyed that she didn’t bother to mention that earlier in the process, and it may be a strike against her if she ever applies with them in the future. (The exception to this is if she’s an industry where start dates many months away are normal, but that doesn’t sound like it’s the case.) Also, many employers set aside a specific number of interview slots, often just three or four. She’ll be taking that slot from someone who’s actually interested in accepting that job, and who might have been offered it if she didn’t bump them out for her own interest in “practicing.”
And really, the whole thing is operating in bad faith — obviously if she told employers that she wasn’t available but just wanted to talk to them for practice, they’d decline.
4. How should I tell my remote team that I just got engaged?
My significant other and I got engaged over the weekend. It is very exciting! We are taking our time contacting family and close friends before announcing publicly. We have a plan all worked out…except I am not sure what the etiquette is for telling coworkers. My whole team is remote and works from home, including me, so I can’t just flash my ring around and let the news float. I have only been working here for the last seven months, so I’m not totally sure on the company culture regarding these things.
Is it appropriate to just send out an “exciting news!” email? Should I send a picture of the ring with it? What is the appropriate thing to say?
Congratulations! If you have a small-ish team, yes, it’s totally appropriate to just send out an “exciting news to share!” email. (If it’s a huge team, I might send just to the people you work most closely with.) Ring photo: your call. Assuming you have reasonably warm relationships with your coworkers, people won’t think it’s weird if you include it.
5. An Ask a Manager job board?
I was wondering if you would ever consider expanding your site to help your readers connect with each other/other good companies that generally follow Ask A Manager approved processes?
Specifically, I was wondering what you thought of hosting a jobs board for your readers? You get a lot of letters from people who are looking for work and more than once I’ve thought to myself “Hey, we have a position like that open!” It would be awesome for your readers to be able to non-anonymously connect — I know I’d be more interested in a candidate who follows you.
I don’t know if you’d want to open your jobs board to companies too, since of course it would be hard for you to vouch for whether or not they are non-toxic places to work. (Although man would it be AWESOME if you had an AAM certification system for management!)
Weirdly, a friend just suggested this to me recently too. My response to her was that it felt too much like mission creep to me — that it’s pretty far outside the scope of what I’ve set out to do here. I also wouldn’t be able to screen companies enough to vouch for them. That said, I’m putting this out there in case someone has a brilliant angle on this, preferably an obscenely lucrative one.