mini answer Monday — 7 short answers to 7 short questions

It’s mini answer Monday — seven short answers to seven short questions. Here we go…

1. How important is it to have a LinkedIn profile?

How important is it to have a LinkedIn profile? I’m open to new opportunities but not job searching. I have an online presence including a blog, articles I’ve written and articles written about me. I also have Facebook which I keep extremely professional. How important is it to keep an up-to-date LinkedIn profile? And if it’s important, any chance you can explain why?

It’s certainly not crucial, but it takes so little time and effort that I’d say it’s worth having one unless you have some specific reason why you don’t want to. It’s also an incredibly good way to keep track of former managers, coworkers, and others who you might want to be in contact with someday (for networking, references, or whatever). It’s like an electronic rolodex that you don’t need to do any work to maintain, and one that you might be glad to have when you’re trying to track down your boss from two jobs back. (And that goes both ways — your past coworkers might be grateful to have a way to contact you if they need something as well.)

2. Ethical concerns about legal work

I am a legal assistant; most of our work is general business, real estate, and work for municipalities. I have worked at the same office for 24 years. Lately my boss has started doing trusts for firearms. The single purpose of these trusts is to make it much easier for people to own certain restricted firearms/accessories, such as true machine guns and silencers. We have no idea who these people are or what they plan to do with these weapons. They are just people who have heard through the grapevine that my boss drafts these documents.

I have an issue with the fact that essentially I am helping people obtain these items. My boss knows my views, but it’s quick, easy money for him. Do I really have to continue doing this, or can I suggest to him that he do it himself? The bulk of the document is a form that never changes; the work primarily consists of plugging in names. I suspect I already know the answer: Shut your mouth and do what you’re paid to do. But then if one of these people commits a crime with a weapon that I had a part in helping them obtain, how do I live with myself?

You can certainly tell your boss that you’re uncomfortable working on these trusts and ask if there’s a way to recuse yourself from them. Your boss may be willing to accommodate you on that. Or, alternately, he might tell you that this is part of the job, at which point you’d need to decide whether you want the job under those terms or not.

It might also be worth your learning more about these restricted firearms and accessories and how they’re typically used, so that you can figure out whether you want to try to convince your boss to stop being involved in this business himself. (And you decide that you should, you’ll be more effective at this if you educate yourself about it first.)

The answer is not just “shut your mouth and do what you’re paid to do” though. All of us have an obligation to think through the impact of our actions on others and make a good faith effort not to contribute to suffering in the world, so the place to start is by learning more about exactly what this work is facilitating.

3. When to tell prospective employers about my class schedule

I’m in graduate school, and twice a week I have to be at class at 4:45, which means that I always have to leave work early on those days. What is a good time in the hiring process to bring this up? Do you think this will be a deal-breaker for me? I can stay late/come in early to make up the time and work, but I don’t want to seem like I’m going to be high maintenance to prospective employers by asking to leave early twice a week for the next year.

Whether it’s going to be a deal-breaker will depend on the job and the office. In most, it’ll probably be fine, but there are certainly some where it might be an issue. You won’t know until you raise it, but because it’s a fairly minor thing, it’s fine to wait to raise it until you have an offer. (Do raise it then though — don’t wait until you’ve started a new job, or you’ll likely rub your new boss the wrong way for not having raised it earlier.)

4. Resigning at a bad time for your current employer

I am in the final stage of interviews for a new position, and if all goes well, I may be receiving an offer within the next week. My question is about the timing of my notice relative to what’s going on within my department. A colleague in my department (six people total in a 100-person organization) just gave notice that she’ll be leaving because her spouse is getting a promotion, and they’re moving out of the country. She’s leaving at the end of January. So within one month, my team would lose one-third of its staff. January is a hectic month for my department. I like my colleagues/supervisor and hope to leave on good terms. Am I a jerk for leaving during this time? Or is this just a matter of bad timing? If this is a jerk-like thing to do, what’s a more reasonable option for leaving?

Something to consider in this situation is that there is consistent transition within the department every one to two years, which I think is attributed to some management issues in the organization overall. I have been with the organization for one year, and my colleague who is leaving has been there for six months. I decided to move on because of the management issues, and this new position/org is a better fit for me (career path, org culture, mission, size).

No, you’re not a jerk for giving notice now. You can’t plan when to take a new job based on when your colleagues are resigning — and might not be able to even if you wanted to; after all, most new employers aren’t willing to wait months for you to start, and you certainly shouldn’t turn down an offer you want just because it’ll leave your department short-staffed. In fact, in many jobs, there’s never a good time to leave. But the department and organization find a way to go on anyway — believe me. No matter how bad the timing, they’ll find a way to make do and will be fine. (Nor will you look like a jerk for leaving now, not if your manager is even remotely sane. She might be frustrated with the timing, but that should be frustration at the timing, not at you personally.)

Give as much notice as you can, leave your work in good order, and provide thorough documentation for your replacement. That’s all you can do, and all that should be expected of you.

5. Leaving a job working for a semi-father figure

I have been working at my current job for about 5 years. It just so happens that my best friend’s dad is my boss. I originally started this job with plans of buying the business when he retired. Well, life happens, and I am now married, with a 3-month-old baby. I have received one raise in the five years, and I have been working a part-time job for the entire time that I have been employed at my full-time job. I have received another offer, paying what I make at both jobs combined plus benefits. Sounds like a no-brainer. right? Well, I came clean to my boss, and he is now offering me a raise, plus benefits, plus some type of commission.

There are only three of us who work at the office, and I feel like everything will fall apart if I leave since I do a majority of the work. This man has been like a father to me and helped me through situations over the years, and I feel guilty for leaving. I know I should leave and do better for my family, but I am having second thoughts. The new job is from our competition, and I feel like a traitor. But if I was such a great employee, why did he wait until I had another offer to try to keep me? Emotionally, I am a wreck not knowing what to ultimately do. Any advice?

This is one reason why it’s a really good idea not to work work and family — or in this case, work and friendships. It puts too many factors in play that shouldn’t be there.

In any case, you need to make the best decision for your career and your family. I can’t decide that for you, but I can tell you that there’s nothing wrong with moving on from a job. It’s normal, and people do it all the time. The businesses they leave survive just fine, no matter how much angst and drama there is when they decide to leave. (And if they don’t survive just fine, there was a structural issue there to begin with; businesses should be able to survive the departure of one person. After all, if you were hit by a bus tomorrow, they’d need to find a way to survive, right?)

6. Rehiring laid-off workers

Do companies ever re-hire former employees who were laid off? (I was well-liked and even brought in new business.)

Yes. You can certainly talk to your contacts there and reapply if there are openings.

Layoffs are different from firings. Firings are for cause. Layoffs are (generally) for financial reasons, so a layoff shouldn’t prevent you from rehire at a later date.

7. Listing a more senior title on your resume, when it hasn’t taken effect yet

I was recently promoted (yay!), with my new role to start January 1. At our company, promotions go to high performers primarily as a retention tool and acknowledgement of increased responsibilities that the employee has taken on over the years. There is often not a significant difference in responsibilities when the promotion happens — just a salary bump and more prestigious title.

I’d have been at my company for 6+ years and have been job searching for some time. How do I list this promotion on my resume in the immediate future? Can I list it before it officially starts? Do I not even bother, because I won’t have any noticeable achievements in my “new” role for some time?

I’m not generally a big fan of listing roles you haven’t taken on yet. The new title might be a recognition of what you’ve done so far, but it’s not actually your title right now so I’d wait until it really is, which is just a couple of weeks away. (Now, is it likely to cause you problems if you list it early? Probably not — by the time any reference checker was verifying it, it would probably be past the date it kicked in anyway. But I still think you don’t list it until it’s really yours.)

{ 82 comments… read them below }

  1. Ask a Manager Post author

    Regarding #2, to the extent possible, let’s try to avoid debating the gun issue (which is important, but this isn’t the place for it — although I encourage people to get involved with it in more appropriate forums) and keep the focus on the context she’s facing it in. Thank you!

    1. Liz

      I don’t know if this will make her feel any better, but Title II firearms are almost never used in crimes. These are fully automatic, highly regulated (think 6 month long background check) weapons.

  2. Perpetual Intern

    #3 I see this working out in two ways:

    If you leave your old job, you’ll feel like a traitor, but the feeling will probably diminish over time as your emotions wane and you can look at this logically (you were doing the majority of the work, but were paid so poorly you needed another job and only got one raise in five years—if anyone is a “traitor,” it’s your boss for not treating you better). You’ll be happy with your new job because it pays so much more. Since they’re paying you so well to begin with, that might mean they’ll likely give you raises in the future.

    If you stay at your old job, you might regret not taking the better offer later, and there will always be a bitter feeling of “I wasn’t worth another raise (or benefits and commission) until I was going to leave.” You know that you are unlikely to get raises unless you’re leaving now, so there probably won’t be many raises in your future.

    1. AdAgencyChick

      Exactly (this is for #5, BTW, no?). If you’ve had one raise in five years, and you’ve been offered another only as you’re leaving, when do you think the next raise is going to come? Probably in ANOTHER five years. Hopefully your best friend and her dad will understand that you need to do what’s best for your family, just as they need to do what’s best for theirs.

    2. Anonymous

      Agree, you owe NOTHING to the “father figure.” No raise and no benefits and knowing you had to work another job to make ends meet means that he was looking out for himself and his family ONLY! He never made an effort to take care of you. Please do what is best for your real family and leave father figure to take care of his.

      1. Ask a Manager Post author

        Anonymous, this seems like a pretty extreme take on a situation where we don’t have the facts needed to support it. It’s entirely possible that the boss was struggling to keep the business afloat and even taking less money for himself as he struggled to keep the OP paid — we don’t know from what’s here. It’s also possible that the OP never asked for a raise and that the boss thought he was content. Again, we don’t know.

        Statements like the above seem like they must be rooted in your own experience, Anonymous, rather than what the OP has told us about his situation.

        1. Blanziflor

          It may seen extreme, but in the absence of evidence to the contrary, it does seem a reasonable position to take. After all, shouldn’t one assume that any organisation is primarily concerned with its mission, rather than the individual workers, none of whom are irreplaceable?

          1. Ask a Manager Post author

            Nope, statements like “you owe NOTHING to the father figure” and “he was looking out for himself and his family ONLY!” and “He never made an effort to take care of you” are not reasonable, as many employers don’t operate that way and stating those assumptions as fact isn’t warranted.

            1. Anonymous

              Statements like “you owe NOTHING to the father figure” are likely entirely in line with any employment agreement the OP had – indeed responses to questions posted here often include a statement of the converse of this.

              1. Ask a Manager Post author

                Sigh. I can see IP addresses. If you post as Blanziflor and then respond as Anonymous (something you’ve done many, many, many times before, with a variety of user names, always with the seeming intent of making your viewpoint look like it’s held by multiple people), I can tell. In the past, when you’ve personally attacked other commenters, I’ve asked you to stop posting altogether. You’ve continued to post, but my patience is wearing thin.

                This has been going on for so long at this point that I’d appreciate being able to speak to you about it directly before just issuing a permanent ban (which would be my first). Would you please email me? Thanks.

        2. Pertetual Intern

          It’s a good point to try to see this from the boss’s point of view (that maybe he couldn’t afford to offer more money before), but since he’s apparently able to offer more money all of a sudden now that the OP is leaving, I feel like he was probably able to offer him more money before now.

          In general, do you need to ask for a raise every year or so instead of expecting to get one?

          1. Ask a Manager Post author

            It varies by workplace. Some do salary reviews every year like clockwork, and others don’t. At smaller businesses, in particular, you may need to speak up if you want your salary looked at and can’t assume it’ll be proactively addressed without your request.

  3. Chocolate Teapot

    For Linked-In, it’s worth having a profile to be able to contact former colleagues. Ex-Bosses move around as much as other people and if you are trying to locate a referee in a hurry, it can be helpful!

    1. jesicka309

      ^This. The other day I was able to contact my old boss for a references even though they’ve moved offices, and even have a chat about former coworkers and job opportunities that could be coming up. “Yes, Margie is still here, she’s coordinator now” “I saw that on Linked In, that’s fantastic!”
      It’s great for things like that. Also, connecting with people you went to college/uni with. I’m in an industry that relies heavily on networking, and Linked In means I will see if someone I went to uni with works at companies I’m applying for, so I can ask them about the company/culture/role. Very handy, and something that could throw up opportunities you would never hear about otherwise, as who would normally ring a guy you sat next to in first year cinema theory? Linked In is so career orientated that most people don’t get put off by making contact for purely career purposes.

    2. Long Time Admin

      Ohh, “references”. That makes so much more sense.

      I was picturing a big office brawl and someone wanting to get a bouncer in quickly before the cops came. Hah!

    3. Victoria HR

      I got my current job by reaching out to a former coworker who worked here; he sent my resume to the recruiter for me.

  4. Ruth

    I have so far refused to join Linked-In because of spam I get from my friends who are members (it seems like it just takes their whole address book and emails everyone). And then, when I click the unsubscribe button at the bottom of the email, it doesn’t do a thing, and I will get another email from the same person later. It’s so aggravating I just can’t countenance joining. At some point, maybe the need to have an account will overcome my irritation, but I’m not at that point yet. To everyone with Linked-In memberships, please set your member finding settings carefully. I’ve gotten requests from people who would never have requested me deliberately.

    1. Blinx

      And likewise, LinkedIn does not have access to your address book unless you give it to them. I would hate to annoy all my contacts this way, so I always decline those little pop-ups that request access.

    2. BW

      Linked in members have to click on someone to send out email to their whole address book or people in it. You might want to take it up with whomever keeps inviting you. LinkedIn doesn’t randomly spam people from address books without someone initiating an invitation.

      1. Kimberlee, Esq.

        This. It doesn’t just pick names and ask to connect. I get invitations from people that I wouldn’t have thought would want to connect… it’s because people use LinkedIn differently than they would Facebook or email (as they should, because it’s a totally different tool). It all has to do with how your friends are using LinkedIn, not crazy evil weird stuff it does all on its own.

        (Plus, unsubs won’t stop requests for connection, as those originate with your friends, not with LinkedIn). Though you can set up your own LinkedIn to not send emails to you when people are requesting a connection (it’ll just show up as a notification in your profile, but again, that’s a setting that you have to set up yourself, not one LinkedIn will do for you).

        1. Ruth

          Ok, I suspected that Linked-In would not just spam me randomly, that it would have to be a setting. I guess my ex-boyfriend is just not tech-savvy (not a huge surprise). The annoying part was when I would receive follow up emails saying I hadn’t responded to the request, I would click the unsubscribe button, then I’d get an identical email the next day. I’m going to go ahead and blame that one on Linked In. I don’t think that one came from my ex-boyfriend, or the chiropractor that I saw a few times four years ago, etc.

  5. Katie the Fed

    #2 – perfect answer.

    Regardless of the details of the situation, if you have a moral objection to the type of work that is going on, then you have a moral obligation to raise your concerns respectfully and then seek employment elsewhere if your boss insists that you continue doing it.

    “I was just doing my job” is never a valid defense. Good for the OP for questioning something that makes her so uncomfortable.

    1. Long Time Admin

      AaM phrased it perfectly by suggesting you say that you are “not comfortable” doing that particular work. This might be the nudge he needs to take you off those projects.

      Personally, I would find another job and notify the bar association. What the lawyer is doing might be legal, but it sure doesn’t sound ethical.

      Follow your conscience.

      1. K

        Legal ethics are about how you represent clients, not what your clients are doing with the legal advice you give them. If this lawyer is advising them to do legal things (which it sounds like he is), then it’s not a matter for the state bar. That doesn’t mean it’s not distasteful work, of course.

      2. BCW

        I think its about whether you want to work there or not. I mean put it like this, if you are working for a lawyer many times you are trying to get people off that may have done something wrong, thats what the lawyer is paid to do. I have many lawyer friends, but thats why I myself would never want to do it. Having said that though, if for example you worked for a lawyer who started representing people who were accused of DUIs, I don’t know that its fair to just decide because you are personally against it that you shouldn’t have to do the work to help the lawyer prepare for those cases. Again, you always have the choice to leave, but the legal field I think would call into question many of your personal morals.

        1. Ask a Manager Post author

          It’s worth expanding on this point: Criminal defense lawyers (and those who work with them) defend people who they sometimes know to be guilty, because they believe in our legal system and believe that everyone is entitled to a fair trial and the defense afforded to them by the Constitution. A defense attorney’s job is, in part, to ensure that the justice system plays by its own rules — something that’s crucial to all of us, guilty or innocent. Many people see that as noble and important work.

          The OP’s context is a bit different, but related to that general framework.

          1. BCW

            Oh yeah, I agree. But in this instance they aren’t doing something illegal at all, she just doesn’t agree. And I think she has that right. But if her employer wants to do those, I think its on her to find a new employer as opposed to him not making her do the work. Just my thoughts.

          2. Dan

            Yeah. Just because the person “did it” doesn’t mean the charges themselves are actually fair. The taking of a human life can have at least six different charges that could be applied, some more appropriate than others depending on the circumstances. A lawyer’s job is to help ensure that his client is appropriately charged, given *all* of the facts of the case.

          3. KarenT

            I can see the point you are making about criminal defense lawyers but it doesn’t read as the same to me. Criminal defense lawyers (even when they know clients are guilty) are defending someone for something that has already happened . The OP is worried about contributing to a situation before it happens (presumably getting someone access to a gun and then that person using it to committ a crime). I’m not saying the OP would be wrong for doing so, but I can certainly see how she would feel guilty if something happened with a gun she helped make accessible.

        2. K

          Yeah, I always say that law is not a profession for you if you have problems accepting moral ambiguity. That said, I think it’s completely legitimate to decide you don’t want to represent certain types of clients; most of us do that. You don’t have to agree with everything your clients do (and who does?) but you’re not going to be happy unless you believe that your legal representation of them is somehow in the service of good, though that might just be because you believe everyone deserves legal representation and due process.

    2. Anonymous

      Going anon for the time being. I left a previous position in part because I discovered they were donating money to a political group I disagreed with. Although they were legal and within their rights (and, I believe, really wonderful people), this didn’t sit well with me.

      I do much better work and, more importantly, am much happier when I support the work my organization is doing. Definitely speak to your boss about it, and, if you still have to do it, consider finding another role. If it makes you that uncomfortable, it isn’t worth it.

      I was much happier when I was able to switch to an organization that didn’t make those donations, simply because I could never be comfortable feeling like I was contributing to something I so strongly disagreed with on an ethical level.

  6. Anonymous

    Number 1: I do think it’s crucial to have a LinkedIn profile, especially given that you’re open to new opportunities. You can include a link to your blog and articles that you’ve written. Be sure to use keywords that people might use to search for someone with your profile, so you’ll turn up in search listings. Be sure to completely fill out your profile, so it shows at 100% complete. And get at least 3-5 recommendations.

    It depends on your job, but I really can’t think of a job or industry that wouldn’t need to be on LinkedIn. If a company or a recruiter is looking for someone to fill a position, they’re going to start on LinkedIn. It’s the easiest way to search for a professional online, and it’s the easiest way to see who they know, what they’ve done, and who’s recommended them.

    I find it frustrating and suspicious when I’m recommended someone by word of mouth and I can’t find them on LinkedIn. It doesn’t take long to set up a profile, and it’s well worth it. You don’t have to be on there every day. Just get your profile right from the beginning, and update it when you have any changes.

    1. Mike C.

      Yes, could you please fill us in on this? No one I know seriously uses LinkedIn, and they’re happily employed at places like Boeing, Google, Amazon and Microsoft.

      1. Blinx

        In my circle of colleagues, no one started using it until a year or two ago, when layoffs started in earnest and everyone was job hunting. Your peers may not be on LinkedIn, but it’s a good bet that their peers are. A quick check of the site turned up the following current or former employees at the following companies: Amazon: 32,000; Boeing: 51,000; Google: 54,000; Microsoft: 130,000. And each of those companies have either hundreds or thousands (!) of job postings on LinkedIn. It’s extremely easy to apply through the site; most postings also tell you how many people have already applied.

        LinkedIn can also serve as an unofficial reference check – it keeps you honest. Where you’ve worked, when you’ve worked, what positions and responsibilities you’ve held — it’s all out there for your colleagues and current/former managers to see, as well as recommendations from the same.

        It’s an invaluable research tool for anyone who’s job hunting, whether or not they have a profile.

    2. The IT Manager

      I think LinkedIn recommendations are next to useless. People say good things about you when you ask them to, but it’s not an honest representation of a person because you only see the good ones that the person asked for.

      Also in my experience companiess and recruiters don’t need to go looking for most applicants. I’m not saying my experience is applicable to everyone else, but surely yours is not either.

      I do agree it’s a relatively easy thing to set up though.

      1. Jamie

        I agree – a Linkledin recommendation means nothing to me.

        I like it for access to professional groups, some of which I’ve found very helpful, but I don’t use the networking aspect of it to this point.

        1. Jamie

          FWIW – some companies, and I have no stats on this, use a company linked in account as a recruiting tool…so if you aren’t on there they won’t find you – but I doubt very much they are doing it in lieu of running ads – it’s just an additional tool.

          And I know some companies hit there to check out the competition to see if there is someone they way want to poach.

          How much this increases the odds of someone finding you I don’t know – it may be infinitesimal – but I do know some are using it this way.

          1. Chinook

            I know that we have only advertised on Linked In for a current, director level opening. I am curious to see what type of candidates we get from that pool.

            Until my boss sent me the emails to track, I didn’t even know you could find job postings on Linked In.

            1. Jamie

              I need to look into this myself – I need to help HR set up the company LinkedIn account over the next couple of weeks and there are different options ranging from free to various fees.

              I’m really not sure how it all works, but I will soon be an expert I’m sure. Sigh. (Really not an IT function…/ end min-rant)

    3. Zahra

      “It depends on your job, but I really can’t think of a job or industry that wouldn’t need to be on LinkedIn.”

      Really? What about retail work? Food service? Truckers? Construction workers? Line workers in car factories?

      Sure, if your domain has a lot of presence on LinkedIn, it’s worth it to fill out a profile. Keep a resume on hand and go happily filling all the neat boxes. Still, I think that the vast majority of North Americans do not need a LinkedIn profile.

      1. Anon

        I have to agree with it being essential – especially in companies with a more technology savvy generation entering hiring roles.

        If I can’t find someone on linkedin or at least online in some easy way, I start to wonder about their IT skills and ability to network/communicate. It’s soooo easy to make a Linkedin and keep it up to date that I can only assume you wouldn’t if you were

        A) 100% happy with your job and planned to retire there (I’m sure a lot of google/microsoft/amazon employees fall into this which isn’t a bad thing)
        -or-
        B) Not capable of keeping a Linkedin up because of a lack of technical skills
        -or-
        C) Oddly paranoid and not capable of using the internet for things I would expect of you in a position (online purchasing, communication with constituents/field staff, etc)
        -or-
        D) Oddly unsociable.. again this may not be a bad thing but usually some social skills are needed for work

        No, none of these generalizations are fair… but it’s not entirely “fair” to throw out a candidate based on their haircut, their spelling, their piercings, etc

        1. Mike C.

          I think this is rather silly. My skills and experience have nothing to do with my LinkedIn profile. I’m too busy doing actual work to bother with it.

        2. K

          I’m the op of question 1. I’m convinced. Once I got on, it was clear how different it was than Facebook. More professional. Less personal. Now just to figure out how to turn off the email notifications.

  7. Clint

    To help clarify #2 a bit, these kinds of trusts are extremely common for people with Title 2 firearms. Basically when a person buys a Title 2 weapon, they must fill out a bunch of addition ATF forms and pay an extra tax. Once the ATF has done their background checks, which can take several months, the person is allowed to own the weapon. Many people instead of having the firearm transferred to themselves have it transferred to a trust. This allows anyone that is an executor to the trust (usually family) to use the firearm without jumping through as many hoops such as transferring it between people all of the time. This is especially common for machine guns, since they usually cost at least $5K and more typically $20K+ so sometimes extended family go in together for one.

    So these people are already legally cleared to own the items by the ATF, the trust just simplifies things for them.

    1. Flint

      By which you mean, once one person is legally cleared to own the items, s/he can arrange for anyone s/he wants to have access to them without state regulation or even knowledge.

      1. Anonymous

        Flint, if there are legal filing with these trusts, with the names of who are executors to the trust, how can it be that the state has no knowledge of who can have access to the guns?

        And filling out legal filings truthfully is clearly consistent with law – so use of the guns seem to be regulated. Right? Perhaps not regulated in ways you think ideal, but can you explain what you mean by “without state regulation” when this who issue is about paperwork being filed with the government?

  8. Sharon

    For #5 about the father-figure boss, this is hard to hear but it’s important:

    Assume for a minute that you did not have the personal relationship with the boss but that he was just a boss in this scenario. The fact that he is counter-offering better pay and perks to get you to stay at the job means that he feels you’re valuable. If that’s the case, why weren’t you getting those perks to begin with? If the only way he’ll pay you what you’re worth is if you an in danger of quitting, then he doesn’t really value you. This will never change. If you take the additional pay and perks and stay in the job, you likely won’t get any other raises again until the next time you threaten to quit. My advice is to try to ignore the personal relationship in this matter and be factual and businesslike. Look out for what’s best for you and your career.

    1. Pertetual Intern

      I really like the advice to try to leave the personal relationship out of it and be factual and businesslike since this is technically a “business” thing. I stayed somewhere out of guilt for a long time before leaving once, and I think I would have been better off approaching it in business terms and leaving sooner than I did.

  9. OP #6

    Thanks for the helpful advice! Do you have advice on how I should list it after it takes effect? I won’t have any noticeable accomplishments in it during January, and I want to keep job-hunting.

    Should I list it by itself, with a list of responsibilities? Just list it right above my old/current title? Or just replace the old/current title with it? I’m really not a fan of the latter approach, but I see people doing it all the time.

    1. Jamie

      The way I have title changes on my resume is:

      Chocolate Teapot, Inc. 2007-present
      Director of Chocolate Tempering: 2011-present
      Chocolate Tempering Manager: 2009-2011
      Chocolate Tempering Coordinator: 2007-2009

      And then list the relevant accomplishments for my time at this company, where more recent relevant achievement will force out the older unless I won the industry equivalent of the Nobel Prize or Fields award as a coordinator.

    2. KayDay

      Depending on which works best in your situation you could do it one of these two ways:
      Method 1: Jamie’s way
      Method 2: separate the titles and accomplishments:
      Chocolate Teapot Inc. Timbuktu, Mali
      Director of Chocolate Tempering: 2011 – Present
      – Led introduction of heat resistant chocolate
      – Increased awesomeness by 50%
      – Designed new teapot
      Chocolate Tempering Manager 2009 – 2001
      – Managed team of 5 teapot makers
      – Developed efficiency system of finished teapots

      From your description, in your case I think Jamie’s way is best, but in cases where your responsibilities change a lot with each promotion, Method 2 is better, imo.

      1. Jamie

        Agreed. Mine works for me because in my career the changes in title were just acknowledging progression of the same core functions.

        But if the changes were significant I would seperate them out as well. Especially if you make a major change in function or department.

        1. AgilePhalanges

          I’ll have extra fun next time I update my resume, because for ten years, I did an ever-inreasing range of functions in the same core group (accounting), but then this past year, I switched departments entirely. So I have both situations all in one company. :-) I’ll figure it out when the time comes, I guess.

  10. Anonymous

    What demographic would you say generally uses LinkedIn? My friends and I (ages 25+) are obviously still early in our careers (in our 1st or 2nd “real job”), but nobody I know actually has one. Is this mainly for older people?

    1. Cathy

      My nieces both have profiles. They’re 28 and 24.

      LinkedIn is not something you have to work on or maintain regularly. Setup a profile now, putting your college education and any full-time jobs you’ve had since then. You can put a few words about what you did in the job or leave that blank. For mine, I just copied from my resume. Done!

      You’ll have a profile sitting out there with no connections, which is perfectly fine; but if that bothers you, search for a few people you work with now and connect to them.

      Other people will find you and you’ll receive requests to connect. If you know the person, accept the request; if you don’t know the person, ignore them.

      When you change jobs, update your LinkedIn profile with your new job (after you start the job, not before).

    2. KayDay

      Most of my friends (mid to late 20s, mostly) have linked in profiles, however we don’t use it excessively.

      IMO, my demographic (or at least my friends) absolutely refuse to use Facebook for professional purposes (with the exception of occasionally being “friends” with peers at work), so they like to have linked in as an option to connect with people at work.

      I don’t actually use linked-in that much, and I don’t know of anyone personally who does, but I really think it is very valuable as a self-updating Rolodex, as AAM said. If someone moves to a new company, you still have their contact info.

    3. BW

      I would say most people I’m networked with on LinkedIn are mid20s – 50, some older. It is common to have a profile in my industry, so even the older workers have profiles. I’d say it’s a main way to keep networked with other people in my industry, and people definitely use it for job searching and putting themselves out there for being recruited. This varies between industry though and even functions within industries, so YMMV.

      It’s something where you can set it up and then not pay much attention to updating unless your employment changes or you want to update skills and keywords.

      1. Jamie

        This is a good point – if the concerns are that it would take time to maintain, it’s important to note that it’s not like facebook.

        It’s more a set it and forget it type thing – unless you have the urge to update your information…but it’s not something you need to actively work or check.

    4. jmkenrick

      It might have to do more with your location and industry (?) I’m based in SF – most of my friends and network is all up and down the penisula, down to San Jose. Virtually everyone I know has one, although we mostly all work in the tech industry.

  11. JT

    A lot of my classmates in library school use LinkedIn, or at least have profiles. Typical age is probably 25-40 for that them. That group is very into networking and technology, so it’s not surprising they’re on-board.

  12. Not So NewReader

    For OP#2. In my mind, the most important thing to me would be to learn my personal liability here. Would the firm shield me from a lawsuit? Could I personally be sued? How does this whole thing pan out if something goes wrong? I guess I am saying is there any case precedent? I suggest that OP read online (Findlaw? perhaps?) and visit the library, FIRST. Then go in and have an informed chat with her boss. Happily, the boss might be pleased that you spent your own time getting yourself up to speed, as opposed to expecting him to fill you in on all the details.
    Part of the problem here is not knowing the legal basis- how did these trusts come into being? How do they work technically? How are these trusts working out in real life? What are the strengths and weaknesses of these trusts?
    (Sorry, I am very good at having questions here, but not so good at having answers… I think OP has a legitimate concern.)
    For OP#4. High employee turn over is a management problem. I really doubt that it is in the scope of your job description to fix high turn over. That probably sounds snarky. I am not directing it at you, OP. Sometimes I wonder if upper management behaves badly and relies on good people like yourself to compensate for their poor choices. You can’t fix it-you don’t have the authority, responsibility level, etc. Take care of you. Be professional, be courteous, then leave and enjoy the new job. It’s up to TPTB to figure out what to do next.
    For OP 5. This is a tough one because of the personal relationship. I read an article a while ago (it’s been a while, so am not able to link it here) that said something like this: Once an employee has decided to give notice, that is pretty much the end. Of the employees who renegotiate their jobs and stay with their employer, a high percentage of them end up unhappy and leaving anyway.
    The article lead me to believe that if you have to guess between staying and leaving- the correct answer in most cases is to leave.
    Why. Because the concerns that cause an employee to consider leaving remain in place. Those concerns do not get fixed. So in your case OP, one raise now does not fix the fact that you do not get raises ordinarily. I do not see any mention of a plan for future raises for you. As far as commissions- I am yawning. Commissions fluctuate and cannot be relied on as a steady income. Benefits- if he was interested/able to bring in company benefits, why did he wait until now?
    On the personal side you can thank him profusely for giving you a start in this business. Remind him that he will always be a second dad to you.
    Like I said- this is a tough one. Don’t stay because of guilt feelings. Good reasons for staying include- liking the job, liking the people, seeing potential for advancement in the future, etc.

    1. Kimberlee, Esq.

      See, I think of it differently. It seems like OP in #5 likes the job, and the compensation was the only issue. If that issue is fixed (if the compensation being offered is comparable to this new offer), then there’s no reason to believe OP wouldn’t continue to be happy. Now, if OP wants a raise every 6 months, that might be another story (and I do feel the need to wonder, did he ask for a raise before? Or did OP assume that because of the familiar relationship, he’d just be given raises? On the business side of things, it’s hard to imagine giving employees more money if you think they’re happy working for what they’re making).

      I think that if OP has an honest conversation about the issue, and they can come to an agreement, he can avoid being in the statistic of people who leave within a year of a counter-offer.

      1. Not So NewReader

        “On the business side of things, it’s hard to imagine giving employees more money if you think they’re happy working for what they’re making). ”

        Oh yeah, that’s right. We now live in a time where annual raises are a thing of the past… sigh…. I miss those days. I do know a few people who get annual raises but not a lot of people.

        Anyway. Yes, Kimberlee, I agree. If he can negotiate himself a firm deal then he should, indeed, stay. Alison mentioned something in regard to another conversation above- we tend to look at situations through our own glasses. I am looking at this through my own glasses, I guess. I am not one to go in and argue or beg for a raise. I might try once, presenting a well thought out professional stance. But after that, I just can’t seem to make myself keep going back in on that question.

  13. BW

    #6 – Yes, it does happen though I don’t know how often, because people just move on to other jobs and don’t always want to come back. My dad was rehired after 1 1/2 years. This was back in the recession in the early 90s. When business improved he was able to return. I received a layoff notice early this year with many months notice, and was told I was welcome to apply for other positions if they came open. As luck would have it, before my time was up another co-worker in my dept resigned for another job, and I was offered the open position. I’ve seen other people come back to a previous employer where I worked 2 jobs ago. I wouldn’t count on it, but it does happen. Things change.

    Stay connected your manager and co-workers. While they may not be able to keep you employed with them, they may have other connections they can tap for you and may be very willing to do so if you are well liked and they like your work. They’ll also be able to let you know if any new positions come open at your current job.

    Good luck! Being laid off stinks!

    1. Elizabeth West

      I don’t know if I would go back to my previous employer or not. Even if they wanted me, I’m not entirely sure I’d want them, if they could cut my job just like that.

      1. Ask a Manager Post author

        For what it’s worth, any employer could just cut your job like that, if their finances required it. That’s part of the reality of running a business — you can’t keep jobs that don’t make financial or strategic sense for your business anymore. And if you’re in tight financial straits, you have to find places to cut. Sometimes those are jobs.

        It’s totally your prerogative not to want to go back, but my point is just that it could happen at any job, and not be reflective of how the employer sees you or the quality of your work.

  14. KellyK

    For #3 I would ask a general question or two in interviews about hours–what are the standard business hours and how rigid or flexible are arrival times, how common is it that you would need to work late, etc. Both because those are good things to ask in general and because it gives you an idea about whether your classes might be an issue, even if they aren’t really a deal-breaker. For example, when I interviewed for my current job, I was told that office hours are very flexible. You show up between 6 and 9 AM and work 8 hours, which doesn’t count lunch. That’s a pretty strong indication that they’re used to people keeping slightly different schedules and no one’s going to take issue with you having to leave right at 4:00 a couple days a week.

    1. Jamie

      FWIW I love this method.

      Flexibility between certain hours costs nothing and it’s a pretty great perk to be able to set your own schedule within the parameters.

      The only time it would be an issue would be if this caused problems for other people on different schedules, or positions covering phones/front desk for certain hours of operation. But if it really doesn’t matter to the business if Mary works 8-5, 5-4, or 9-6…then why should her manager care?

  15. Anony

    Re” 4. Resigning at a bad time for your current employer

    You said: “But if I was such a great employee, why did he wait until I had another offer to try to keep me?”

    Maybe he thought that you were happy there and didn’t know that you weren’t until you actually told him that you were leaving. Did you hint or talk to him about it before?

    It sounds like you would be better of accepting a new job. After all, you do have to look after yourself, not the business, but do leave on good terms especially if you were all close. And I agree with AAM that there is never a good time to leave and business will survive. I worked in 1 department where half the team left within 6 months. The department survived just fine.

    1. Jamie

      And I agree with AAM that there is never a good time to leave and business will survive.

      I third this. There is never a good time, some are less convenient that others, but that’s how it goes. Just be honorable about giving as much notice as possible (at least the standard 2 weeks) and keep your head in the game to tie up all loose ends before you leave and work to make it as smooth a transition as possible.

      But there is no perfect time to resign. Just like there is rarely a perfect time to break up, start a relationship, move, buy a new car, have a baby…sometimes you just have to pick a date and make it work.

      I know – lousy analogies – but as one plagued by unreasonable guilt of leaving an employer in the lurch just remember that if the loss of one person brought a company to it’s knees then they were severely deficient in preparing for a totally normal eventuality.

      People leave companies – it’s not personal.

  16. Texasroseinok

    #6, It never hurts to ask about rehiring policy. I was laid off last month due to financial downsizing (along with 3 other managers and my director)….and I discovered in my severance package that their policy is to not rehire former workers. I have no idea what the thinking is about that, but as someone else mentioned—not sure I would want to go back anyway. I loved my job, but how long would I be there before I could be cut again. Which, as AAM mentioned, can really happen anywhere.

    If the reason for the original layoff was financial and they seem much more stable now, then go for it. I have also seen people go back to a former employer only to find out later that the employer was planning on shutting down and wanted people that already knew the business so it would be easier/faster to get the shutdown process done.

    For #1, I have a linked in profile, but for job searching, it has not helped me a bit. …but then, I haven’t really utilized it for that. I had it more for professional reasons and connections. To keep in touch with former co-workers/bosses, etc.

  17. Private Polly

    #2…..I would just like the OP to keep in mind that not all of the clients who want these trusts are obtaining one to hide their identity so that they can commit heinous acts with these weapons. Plenty of perfectly law abiding “Prepper” types or privacy buffs seek out ways – like this type of trust – to keep the government from being able to monitor what they own, where they go, and what they do. And this goes for any aspect of their life – their finances, their homes, their spending habits, not just gun ownership.

    And stop feeling guilty. All humans are capable of sinfulness or acts of evil. You are not responsible for what other people choose to do. Don’t feel like you have to carry the weight of what these gun owners may or may not be up to on your shoulders just because you help file paperwork!

  18. BJJ

    I am OP#2 on this thread, and I want to sincerely (albeit belatedly) thank everyone who contributed their thoughts on this matter. I did read and consider each comment, and had intended to reply sooner but two days after my question was posted, our office had a bit of an implosion where a non-attorney co-worker vanished and didn’t contact us for a day and a half, and when she did it was to quit due to her own personal issues. The upshot of all this is that my focus was taken away from my internal dilemma and I just had to focus on “getting the job done” for the last few weeks. My boss does know my feelings on these trusts. I did this one, as I was too mentally exhausted at that point to get into an argument over it, but did reiterate my concerns. Surprisingly, we haven’t been retained to do any more of these so far. I thought we might get inundated with them in the wake of recent events. So hopefully it will be a long time before this comes up again, but when it does I will be better equipped to react to it thanks to the discussion here.

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