where are they now: 3 more reader updates

Here are three more updates from readers who had their questions answered here in 2012. I think these are our final updates, unless any more trickle in.

1. The reader whose boss’s wife wanted to oversee her work

My situation had a happy ending, for me at least. Shortly after I wrote you, a position opened up and my boss recommended that I be considered for that position – a promotion from my current position. I started in my current position over the summer and now I am working with a great boss and enjoying my job. Notably, her spouse has not been involved in my work whatsoever.

I hired a replacement for my previous position and I warned her, while giving as little detail as possible, to tread lightly with her new boss’ wife.

2. The intern working with a self-appointed alpha intern

The rest of the summer with the alpha intern was essentially annoying but uneventful. She (and her cohort) continued sucking up to bosses wherever possible, and I mainly tried to keep my head down and impress with my work product. The project book system I mentioned allowed for opportunities to work under several different managers during our summer, and it seemed like that enabled interns over time to each individually find project bosses they worked well with that could also funnel them the types of projects they might otherwise compete for from the book — so ultimately I think the extent to which people saw through the other intern’s act varied. While there would be people there recommending me for a job if a permanent position came open, there would also likely be people recommending her. (And again, I can’t really speak to the quality of her work, only that she was frustratingly self-promoting, so I can’t necessarily say she hasn’t earned the recommendation, only that I’d prefer not to work with her again, given better options!)

In the grand scheme of things though, this was an internship that we all knew from the start was unlikely to lead directly to permanent employment because of the way hiring at this particular organization works, so the real key was leaving with practical experience. I took two depositions and led or assisted in four arbitrations while there, and I’m only provisionally licensed/haven’t passed the bar yet. In that regard, I think my tenure there was a success.

(Here’s hoping employers agree when I hit the looking-for-a-full-time-job market this summer!)

3. The reader who was afraid he was about to be offered a job that he wouldn’t be good at

I’d have to say the vote is still out on this one. I was in a position where I was pretty sure I was going to lose my job that I had for 10 years, and I was likely right. Basically, the company was sold and they eliminated about half the staff. I might have been able to stay on, but the culture of the company had changed to a point that I was ready to leave anyway.

So I took the job. I brought up my concerns when they offered the position and the hiring manager (who ended up not even being my direct manager) said that they thought I was very smart, and sometimes it was better to have someone they could teach as opposed to someone who thinks he knows everything. I spent the first couple months not really doing much, mainly because the client they brought me in to work with dragged its feet on signing the contract. Work has ramped up a bit, and it really hasn’t been anything that I’ve been unable to do, and I get a week to do things that take mere hours most of the time. So, between looking for more things to do and trying to learn, I find it hard to sit idly by.

I took the job because I get to work from home, which is great. I stay in my home office most of the day, but when I go to get a coffee or a sandwich, I get to see my one-year-old for a few minutes from time to time, which I love. I am also learning a lot, which will help me in the next position I get, whatever that is. When I took the job, I thought it was my dream job because I get to stay home, wear whatever I want, don’t sit in meetings all day, etc. That said, I can see there is more out there and am basically learning all I can so I can move on in my career in a few years. I thought this position would have me super-busy, but so far, that has not been the case. I no longer worry about the job I am doing, as I have received accolades from managers all the way to the top of the company regarding my work. I just think there is yet another step for me to take. I could see myself at this company for a few years, but at this point, I’m taking what they give me as a learning experience.

Thank you for answering my question and for all the commenters that said what they did. I’m glad I didn’t run, however, as some people mentioned. I needed to take something with my wife on unemployment at the time, and am glad for the security, though it is not necessarily the right fit.

{ 4 comments… read them below }

  1. Liz T*

    #3, it sounds like the vote is in, and that you’re good at your job! It might not be your dream job, but if you’re getting accolades, you should definitely take some time to feel good about that.

  2. mh_76*

    #3 – “sometimes it was better to have someone they could teach as opposed to someone who thinks he knows everything”

    I wish more employers thought that way! I run a couple of volunteer teams (also as a vol.) and I really like seeing that attribute in vols and the staffpeople who support us.

    1. Jamie*

      I’ve said this every time I’ve been involved in a hiring discussion – hire for that which you can’t teach.

      If the basic level of expertise in there, but candidate A is a little more well versed in this particular software, and candidate B hasn’t used it before – but has the aptitude and a fast learning curve I will take candidate B every. single. time.

      Because while A may be a little more ready out of the box in a couple of weeks now B has the same knowledge as A and the un-teachable attributes.

      Once basic skills/aptitude is determined hire for motivation, work ethic, communication skills, attitude, etc.

      I can teach software in my sleep – I can’t teach someone to give a crap about the work.

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