wee answer Wednesday — 7 short answers to 7 short questions

It’s wee answer Wednesday — seven short answers to seven short questions. Here we go…

1. I’m quitting, but my employer wants me to stay on to finish a project

I’ve been reading your blog for about two years. Your advice helped me land my current position, and guided me through finding a new position which I officially accepted last week. I turned in my two weeks notice on Wednesday, and on Thursday my boss asked me to stay on to finish my current project (through June 30). I spoke with my boss and HR in a meeting on Friday where they said they’d like to break down my current salaried pay into an hourly figure and pay me as an hourly, part-time employee. I told them I’d feel more comfortable terminating my employment and becoming a contractor, creating objectives and being paid a lump sum for finishing the project.

I should note that I’m leaving because my boss is a complete jerk. He became my boss midway through this project and I’ve been miserable ever since. He’s very much a “my way or the highway” and take credit for everyone else’s work-type of leader. I don’t want to continue to be under his constant control. I would love to see this project through — but how do I get my old employer to see that letting me become a contractor is the way to go? I can do everything I was doing from home, in the evenings or weekends. My new job is 4 10-hour days, so, yes, I could come in on Fridays but I don’t want to. My boss has already said how appreciative he is of me staying on board to wrap this up — I want to but not on their terms. Any advice?

Frankly, I’d urge you to seriously consider not doing it at all. You need to have all your focus on your new job, and not deal with the distractions (and apparently serious hassles) of the old. You’re finally getting away from your horrible boss — why drag out the relationship instead of having a clean break?

But if you still want to do it, then just lay out the terms that you’re willing to do it on: You’ll do it as a contractor, working from home. If they refuse, then walk away. They can’t make you do it, and whatever desire you have to see out your project is going to fade dramatically after a week or two at your new job, believe me.

2. Interviewer asked me to call her, but I can’t reach her

Two days ago, I had a phone interview that apparently went very well. The woman I interviewed with stated she would get back to me in about a week about the next steps in the hiring process. Later that day, I sent her a thank you email and expressed my continued interest in the position. She emailed back right away and stated she had a great time talking to me and wanting to schedule an in-person interview. Her instructions stated to call her when I had a moment to schedule an in-person interview. Instantly, I called her and had to leave a voicemail. I thought I would hear back from her in a business day, but I have not. I do not want to bug her with numerous phone calls and emails (especially, since her instructions ask that I call her). How long would you suggest I wait to contact her again and in what form?

Wait two business days from your last call and call again. It’s also fine to send a response to her email letting her know that you weren’t able to reach her and asking her to call whenever it’s most convenient for her (just as you’d probably do with any other business contact — no need to treat this one more gingerly just because it’s for an interview).

3. When you don’t know a candidate’s sex ahead of time

I have a issue that’s arisen a few times in the past few weeks. I’m working in HR/hiring right now, and the company I’m working for is going through a rapid expansion — tons of interviews and new hires happening. There have been a handful of candidates invited for interviews where we can’t tell the gender of the person beforehand through email/resume screens. It’s not a major problem — it’s just disconcerting to the interviewers when they were expecting a male voice and instead hear a female. This mostly has happened with gender-neutral or “unique” names. What are your thoughts on this? I don’t want to presume to assign a sex to a person, but I also want to prep my coworkers adequately!

I’d say to let your coworkers deal with it and not worry about prepping them. First, there’s really no way that you can (I mean, I suppose you could try Googling the person to see if there’s something out there that would tell you, but … is it really worth the trouble?), and second, it really shouldn’t matter. I suppose that if it’s a gender-neutral name, you could note for the interviewer that you’re not sure if the candidate is a man or a woman, but it raises the question of why people need to know. I do know that you’re not saying that it’s important info, but just that it can be a little weird to hear a very different voice than what you were expecting. But your colleagues should be able to take the mild surprise of realizing they got it wrong and should be able to recover immediately. (If they can’t, though, that’s a different issue.)

4. Taking time off to study for a professional exam

It’s been a month now since I was “let go” from a temp assignment. I went through my ups and downs and tried looking for work again. I started looking at the bigger picture of the career goals I want to achieve and have formulated a plan. The first step is taking a professional exam. I also finally feel like I’m in a position to relax and take the time off from the stress of looking for work.

I’ve learned the hard way that multitasking isn’t my strong suit. So I want ot take time off from working to study for the exam. I’m just wondering, how would this look to future employers? That while I wasn’t working I was studying for an exam? Is it something that’s not looked down upon?

It depends on how intensive studying for that particular exam is known to be. If it’s something like the CPA exam or the bar, then you can probably get away with saying that. If it’s less intensive, employers are more likely to wonder why you needed so much time off for something that most people do while they’re working.

5. Quoting from a job ad in your cover letter

In a cover letter, is it okay to quote from the posting of the position I’m applying to? I don’t want to come across as unoriginal or, worse, as plagiarizing, but if they use a particular wording that really does describe me or the work I do, can I go ahead and use it? Or is it going to be a big strike against me?

I’d do it only very sparingly, if at all. You’re generally better off describing yourself in your own words … at very clearly acknowledging that you’re quoting them (for instance, “you wrote that you’re looking for someone maniacally obsessed with clowns, and I’m exactly that”).

6. Asking for a raise when the company is being sold

I work at a very small company (about 20 people, including freelancers). The owner has been working in this industry for many many years and is well over retirement age. Myself and many of the coworkers have picked up on subtle clues from her (guiding people on “tours” of the office–we never have people from outside come here–and her introducing us to them but not them to us) and have found other information on the internet to confirm that the business is up for sale. People have found out that “due process” ends today, and the closing could be any time within the next month. The owner has not directly told anyone about this information.

My question is about when I should be asking for a raise. I am coming up on the 2-year anniversary of my start date (June). I believe the work I have done and the accomplishments I have achieved merit a raise. However, I don’t know when I should ask for it. Should I be asking for it now? I am hesitant to do it now because it may seem odd that I didn’t wait the 2.5 months until June. But I’m worried that if I don’t do it now, the new owners will see it as me trying to take advantage of the situation. or they could think “well if the old owner hasn’t given her a raise, why should we?” I also think that if I wait, they won’t know anything about my work and accomplishments and will say no because I have not proven myself to them yet. Is it customary for new owners to discuss previous work with the old owner to decide on issues like this?

Go ahead and ask now. The worst that can happen is that you’ll be told no.

Be prepared for the fact that she may be less inclined to give you a raise now because retaining good employees isn’t going to be her problem for much longer, but again, you lose nothing by asking.

Whether she’ll advise new owners on this kind of thing as part of the handover very much depends on the situation, but in general new owners like to make their own decisions on this type of thing.

7. Getting online marketing jobs without online marketing experience

In recent years, social and digital marketing has become a key component of many job requirements in public relations. My problem is that I have worked for organizations that actively refused to enhance their digital footprint. I kept up on trends by reading the books and attending the professional development sessions. I’m preparing to apply for a job that I’d be perfect for, but I don’t have any direct social or digital marketing experience they want. How do I address this in my resume and cover letter?

You might think you’d be perfect for these jobs, but — well, they’re less likely to think you’re perfect since you don’t have actual experience doing the work. And when you’re up against well-qualified candidates who do have the experience, employers won’t have much incentive to hire you. I’d try to get that experience first — volunteer for a few organizations who want help in this area and start building up a portfolio of work and accomplishments that you can point to.

{ 109 comments… read them below }

  1. jesicka309*

    OP#7 The problem with online marketing these days is that most companies want someone that knows how to do it already…but it’s still an emerging trend. I graduated a communications course less than 3 years ago and we didn’t learn it – we learnt the bare basics of HTML and were told ‘the market is changing so rapidly, that by the time you begin working, everything will be different. Here is how to learn new software on the job.’

    The people who do know how to use it come from very specialised fields (think computer sciences and software companies) or have learnt it on the job. So for someone coming from a traditionalist marketing/comms/pblic relations background, it can be very difficult to navigate, or jump into when they want someone with experience.

    Alison’s advice of volunteering is a great one. Do you have any online experience? Website design, HTML, javascript, stylesheets etc? There are some short online courses and tutorials (many free) you can do to brush up on your basic web design skills. And I’m sure there’s some stuff on SEO out there too…then get volunteering! I designed my local tennis club’s website, which doesn’t look great, but it comes up top on Google because of the basic SEO knowledge I have.
    Hopefully you have some website experience, so talk that up in your cover letter if you can. good luck!

  2. Ribiko*

    #4 – If you’re talking about taking the GMAT in order to apply to MBA programs (and even if you’re not), don’t take time off from working to study. Why?

    1) Business schools look at work history gaps much the same way employers do – negatively. You’ll be hurting your chances for MBA admission as well as getting your next job.

    2) Yes, it’s a difficult exam (in fact, I teach GMAT prep for a living), but most people study for it and take it while holding down a full-time job. So taking time off to study for it beyond a couple weeks right before you sit the exam may not be seen as super credible, or the best use of your time, by either employers or business schools.

    I know how incredibly stressful job searching can be, and this might seem like a good way to ‘take a break’…but this will only hurt you later. By all means, take advantage of the time you have now to begin studying, but don’t halt your job search in order to study.

    NB: Some of this only applies if you’re looking at really top-tier business schools with the most competitive admissions. If you’re looking at lower-tier programs, take a good hard look at your finances and career goals as an MBA is a huge investment that may not pay off, depending on the program.

    1. AnotherAlison*

      I agree with not taking time off to prep for your exam. Working in engineering, I had to take the PE exam. Knowing that my 50 coworkers and I were able to do it while juggling work might cause me to raise an eyebrow at someone who had to take time off to study and pass. (A week vacation from work – sure. A few months between jobs -no.)

      1. Anonymous Accountant*

        Exactly. I passed the CPA exam last year and at 2 firms I’ve worked at, the partners raised eyebrows at those that left a job to study full-time for the exam. In fact, they told us it raised doubt in their minds about the candidate’s ability to perform well in public accounting in the role they were interviewing for (60+hours during tax season) and the partners preferred those who worked and studied simultaneously.

        Now when due to losing a job and during the time you are job searching you took the opportunity to study and pass your professional exams, that’s understandable.

        1. Mrs Donaghy*

          Thank you for the comments/advice (both) Alisons, Ribiko, and AA.

          The exam I want to take isn’t GMAT or CPA, and I honestly don’t know how difficult it is;there’s not many/any people I can reach out to and I’m not entirely satisfied with the google results.

          I’m not working at the moment; last month I was let go from a temp assignment and I was devastated. It took me a few weeks to get over it, and I did a half hearted job search. I figured, if I can take just a few months (3-4) to study and pass 1 part (it’s 3 parts total), I can begin searching again..

          Unfortunately, I haven’t been very lucky in looking for work in the past few years, mostly due to lack of direction and being desperate enough to take whatever comes my way; im trying to look at the bigger picture now.

          Well, I’m going away this weekend for about a week; I’ll start looking for work when I come back. I already spent a month moping and trying to figure out what to do–I hope that won’t be held against me when searching again.

            1. Mrs Donaghy*

              Sure. It’s the Enrolled Agent exam. I only recently found out about it during my last assignment (I worked for an EA firm). I’ve worked as a tax preparer for a few seasons. I liked what I did and this seems like a good way to get into the field, without having to go back to school for an Accounting degree/CPA.

              Ultimately I’d like to do my CPA but I have a long road ahead for that; based on whatever info I could find I determined this was a stepping stone to acheiving that.

              1. Elise*

                The EA exam would be looked at like the CPA exam — strange to take off work specifically to study. Ideally, you would be working in a tax related field while prepping for the test.

                While it seems like silly advice in many fields, if you are working towards becoming an EA it would not be a stretch to work on starting your own practice as long as you are in a region populated enough to get clients. The work is year round once you are set up.

                And (if you are able) attend one of the IRS Tax Forums this summer. Can find the link for info on the IRS website by searching for “Tax Forums”. You can get CE credits and meet a lot of industry contacts.

                1. Mrs Donaghy*

                  “Ideally, you would be working in a tax related field while prepping for the test.”

                  My experience has been that, tax preparation for someone with my experience is seasonal only; year-round tax work is for tax accountants (I don’t have an acc degree so I’m not an accountant) or EA/CPA/tax attorneys. The exams are available to take starting in May as far as I know.

                2. Elise*

                  Yeah, it often starts that way so I wasn’t sure. And it really depends where you are located. If there are a lot of business clients, the season is longer since they have all sort of quarterly and other filing. But, if it’s mostly walk-in individuals then business ends after April 15.

                  After May 1, you can also submit Form 13551 to become an ITIN Acceptance Agent. The app takes 4-6 months to process, but would be useful come next season.

  3. EngineerGirl*

    #1 Don’t do it. There is a lot of startup overhead in a new job and you’ll need that energy to make a great first impression with your new boss. Yes, it is nice to complete the job. But do you really think you’ll be done by June 30? Do you really think “my way or the highway” will give you the ability to complete the job on time? The old boss will just have to deal with the consequences of being a bad boss. That means your exit from the company for a company that will hopefully treat you better.

    There is another issue too. How can finishing your job be an hourly position when it appears it was salary before?

    1. AdAgencyChick*

      Another voice in the “don’t do it!” chorus.

      Contractor or not, there’s an excellent chance your boss is going to treat you like you still work for him and only him. When he needs something for this project on a Tuesday at noon, he’s going to call you, for all that he knows you’re working for your new employer on Tuesdays and he’s only supposed to get work out of you on evenings and weekends.

      If I were in your shoes, I’d tell them that upon further consideration, my new employer deserves my full focus and attention — because they do. I made the mistake once of seeing a project through after leaving a job that paid a pathetically low salary (yes, it was a nonprofit, but they were perfectly happy to pay freelancers about EIGHT TIMES the hourly rate I was getting for the same work). Not only did they pay me the same itsy-bitsy wage as if my salary were hourly, it became a project I had to deal with just as I was spending time learning the ropes at my new company. Never again.

      1. Lisa*

        Exactly, they need a separate contract with an END DATE! and a specified $ amount, that must be paid in sections. I say is sections, because you think that a lump sum sounds awesome, but the reality is the project is done and you may never see that money ever. So, parse out the project in 1/2 or 1/3 or 1/4 or whatever, and make sure you don’t give the last part until you are in fact paid for it. Otherwise, you may never be paid for it. You say yourself that the boss is a jerk, so don’t let him jerk you around when it comes time to pay you.

    2. Heather*

      I’m another don’t do it. Unless you are really, really, really, really, really desperate for the money. But otherwise don’t.

    3. Sharon*

      Another vote for “don’t do it”.

      Especially not at a flat rate contract. Don’t be offended, but it’s naive to think you can finish a project on a flat rate. Why? Many are the newbie IT contractors who have taken flat rate jobs thinking they’d be an easy get in-get done-get out…. only to find that the client kept changing the requirements and demanding more work. Before you know it, you’ll end up spending twice as much time to try to finish the project and get sign-off than it should have taken. Because if they’re paying you $100 flat fee no matter what, they will have no compunction about piling as much work as they can get away with on your shoulders.

      1. Rayner*

        I would say perhaps don’t burn bridges to be honest. As well as the fact that the OP said they wanted to complete the project, they could certainly reflect it as a positive – offering to do it as a contractor, for significant pay increase, negotiating terms and conditions to their own ends. Although it would be nice to say “Fare the well, *insert four letter word*” it may come back to bite later on if Mr Bad Boss decides to get lippy.

        By offering to bea contractor, but with very clear and definitive dates, expectations, and pay outlined so there’s no chance of ambiguity or weaseling out of it, they get some money out of it, complete the project that they wanted to do, and if the Old Bosses get stroppy, they can walk away and say, proudly, “I offered terms and conditions to protect my new job but to still complete the work they wanted me to do. However, they weren’t able to accept them, and we parted ways.”

        That way, if anyone asks, then the OP looks generous and reasonable, and if the Big Bad Boss starts badmouthing them, then it’s just lies.

        But then again, it depends how much the project is worth to both the company and the OP. If it was just a standard one that could be passed on…. IDK. I wouldn’t be eager to sign up unless I could get significant pay out of it.

        1. Ask a Manager* Post author

          She shouldn’t say “no, and F-you,” of course — but professionally declining and explaining that she needs to focus on her new job isn’t going to burn a bridge. It’s actually more likely that a bridge will get burned if she does do it, because it opens the door for future conflict when the boss wants more out of her, wants responses at hours she’s not prepared to work, etc.

          OP, don’t do it. (Please read the post I linked to in my answer above, as well — lots of good advice in that and the comments on it!)

          1. AdAgencyChick*

            Completely agree. If OP turns down the work in a professional, cordial manner, what’s the worst his (her?) boss can say if called for a reference? “That OP sure was a crappy employee, s/he wouldn’t even finish up a big project after s/he left!” If I, as a hiring manager, heard this from a reference, I would just conclude that the reference was bad, not that the OP was. But this shouldn’t happen, because hopefully OP’s boss is enough of a grownup to realize he can’t insist on this.

            The new boss, on the other hand, would have every right to be upset if s/he finds out, and that would be a much worse bridge to burn (since it could result in OP getting fired).

            1. Meg*

              I’d imagine the boss would say something more along the lines of, “She left in the middle of a Very Important Big Project/when we needed her the most” vs “she wouldn’t finished it after she left.”

              That reference may have some negative connotations.

              1. Jamie*

                Truth – if I heard a reference like that I’d assume everyone is almost always in the middle of an important project and it’s never a good time to leave.

                To me I’d chalk it up to the employer not having a contingency plan for employees leaving and being a bit of a snot. That wouldn’t reflect badly on the referencee.

          2. Rayner*

            Of course, saying those words would be awful. Dear me: Foot, meet mouth. Chew, and digest slowly.

            I just meant as an alternative, if she DID want to do it then only with a strict and very hard contract. But obviously, it would very seriously have to be thought about, and discussed with herself, and decided if it would really be that important – and the risks and impact on the new job would have to be considered too.

            But I take your point about it burning a bridge anyway, if the Bad Boss decides that he wants more than she can/is willing to give.

            Like you said, basically.

            1. Rayner*

              Actually, having thought about it, and read the linked post, I agree with AAM.

              Working ten hour days four days a week + taking this as a contract sounds quite difficult. If Bad Boss does decide that’s not acceptable, what is he going to do? Given his nature, it’s not likely OP is going back there, is it? At least, not while he’s still working.

              I’d love to hear what the OP actually does in the future – if they think the project is worth the horrible boss and giving up free time for extra money and the satisfaction, or whether new job and new work trumps it.

              *needs to lurk more*

              1. Jamie*

                Apropos of nothing – I would love one of those 10 hour a day/4 day a week jobs. I do 10-11 hours a day anyway – that’s a normal workday for me. To do that and have consistent 3 days weekends? That would be a dream job.

                1. Frances*

                  I have a friend who does 9 hour days (well, theoretically as she’s often on call) and then gets every other Friday off. I would do that in a heartbeat.

                2. Laura L*

                  I actually have that option at my current workplace, but I don’t use it because I’m not sure I can handle working for 10 hours a day. (My work is routine and repetitive.) I compromise by working an extra 3o min M-Th and then leaving two hours early on Fridays.

                3. The IT Manager*

                  It probably would be great for you since you already put in those hours. I have something like that option with slightly less than 10 hours a day and every other Friday off, but I’m very reluctant to add any extra time to my 8 and half hour scheduled day. I am wiped enough at the end of each day and can’t really accomplish much of any things after work now.

                  I’d only consider such a thing if my commute was shorter or if I could telework so I’d have no commute. My commute currently adds an extra hour and a half to my work day.

          3. Camellia*

            Please don’t do it! As someone above said, right now the only thing in your head is This Big Project. But when you start your new job you will have all kinds of fun new stuff taking up room in your head and you will RESENT any time and brain power you have to devote to That Old Project.

            And you truly do owe your new employer your devoted time and attention.

      2. Josh S*

        Every change to the scope or spec should be written into a new contract (or at least an addendum).

        Initial Contract: Do X work for $1000.

        “Oh, by the way, can you add on Y for me?”
        “Sure, I’ll have the contract addendum over to you to sign shortly. As soon as I get that back I’ll get started.”

        New Contract: Do X work for $1000, and Y for $300.

        And yeah, the rate for mid-stream changes to the requirements/spec should be MUCH higher on an anticipated-hourly basis than the initial contract. It trains your customer to get everything they need in the original contract, and lets them know you’re not their slave because of the original contract.

        If they balk at the added cost, just tell them that you’ll complete the agreed-upon contract for X, but not Y.

      3. KellyK*

        Definitely. A flat rate is only reasonable if you very clearly define the scope of work to be done within that flat rate. If you’ve never done independent contracting before, it may be fairly tricky to nail down the exact scope of the project. And a “my way or the highway” boss sounds like he will try to push that definition as much as he can.

        Sure, you *can* try to update the contract to reflect any changes, but the absolute last thing you want to do when starting a new job is not only still be working for the old one, but be in constant, heated negotiations with the old one about what you actually agreed to. Or doing a bunch of work that you never get paid for (or have to go to court over) because your old boss isn’t happy with it.

      4. Jamie*

        I echo Sharon on just saying no to flat rate projects (and yes, IT newbies burned all the time – I’m far too old and cynical to ever thing I can assign a flat rate to any project.)

        And I echo everyone else saying to really think twice…maybe seventeen times…before agreeing to do this. Your new job will likely be more than enough to keep you busy and as Alison noted – your strong desire to see the project through will fade as you get involved in your new work.

        You are leaving for a reason – unless you desperately need the cash I’d just say a polite goodbye and do a nice clean break.

        The old employer will be okay – if you got hit by a bus they would find a way to finish the project…no companies success or failure hinges solely on one person (and if it does they have bigger problems.)

      5. The IT Manager*

        I can do everything I was doing from home, in the evenings or weekends.

        Another don’t do it vote especially because you’re already working 10 hours a day Monday – Thursday. That’s a long day to plan to do extra work in the evenings. You don’t want to be perpetually exhausted for the first few months of your new job. You do not get a second chance to make a first impression.

        And it sounds like you old boss is unlikely to be very ammeniable to working on his project only on Fridays through Sunday. And why put up with that headache of working extra hours for a complete jerk?

      6. JLL*

        Especially not for a flat-rate contract. IF-and firmly count me in the group who thinks you should not- but if you decide to take it, they need to pay you for ALL of your time, and managers are much more inclined to wrap things up quickly if they have to account for every minute, as opposed to a one-time expense.

        Make sure you have a clear “end by” date- you don’t want them to expect you to work on a project for an extended period of time- that might limit your opportunities at your new job to really get yourself involved there.

    4. Kelly O*

      Just adding another “don’t” to the chorus.

      As EG points out, this will also make the bad boss be accountable for the project. And, not to get all Oprah on you, but remember the adage about how people show you who they are? This person has shown to be less than honest with his word. At this point, despite your best intentions, it would probably not end well.

      And, you can focus on the great new job, without feeling like you have a tether to the old place. That will do more for your productivity and ability to adapt well to the new place. (And congratulations on the new job!)

      1. Anon*

        So true. I see OP #1 going through a lot of hassle and then not getting all the money she is owed. People leave jobs all the time. Leave and move on.

        I see jerkiness in the manager asking in the first place. Why aren’t they working on transitioning this project? Oh, because that might actually be WORK!

      2. perrik*

        +1000 and a case of chocolate teapots.

        Do you really think your bad boss will be a good client? Document your project work, leave detailed notes on what still needs to be done to complete the project (don’t give your old boss an excuse to call and call and call with questions), and leave.

    5. Jane Doe*

      Another vote for Don’t Do It. You gave the appropriate 2 weeks notice, which means your boss has two weeks to figure out how to get this project done without you. People leave jobs all the time, and sometimes they have to leave them in the middle of projects.

  4. Jamie*

    As someone with a gender neutral name in a male dominated field and industry people who don’t know me but presume I’m male has happened to me more a time or two hundred – but the phrasing of this post bothers me. Why on earth should it be disconcerting to hear a female voice when expecting a male? Surprising? Okay – but disconcerting means to cause one to feel unsettled. Disturbing. If that their reaction to someone being a different gender than your assumption its a bigger problem.

    I agree you shouldn’t preassign people sex, as amusing at the concept might be, because many of us prefer to keep our own.

    Since Alison has put the kibosh on sending in resumes in pink font or stationary with kitties on it I don’t know how to signal my gender in written materials. Try to work in some kind of career related achievement related to my uterus, or attach a picture of my breasts, maybe make an electronic signature in which I would dot my I with a heart?

    Yeah – I am definitely mildly offended by use of the word disconcerting. Alison’s characterization of mild surprise or it being a little weird is totally normal – as a stats geek I understand that my name and resume together would statistically belong to someone with a Y chromosome, but to need to prepare people in advance is kind of bizarre. Would you need to prepare people if the candidate turned out not to be the race you expected based on the name?

    1. Joey*

      Maybe I’m particularly cheery today, but I didn’t get that. I’m assuming disconcerting was simply a poor choice of words.

      But to the op, let it go. This is part of interviewing people. Sometimes you can’t tell sex, race, national origin,etc. I called a girl with a typical anglo name and when she showed up to interview it turned out she was a latina. I actually like when the person isn’t what you expected because it causes us to pause and think whether it would have made a difference. It’s a great reminder that it shouldn’t.

      1. AnotherAlison*

        I also think it’s kind of fun to see if your mental picture matches up with reality. I used to speak to a vendor regularly who had a thick New England accent. I pictured Norm from This Old House, but he actually looked like Bill Gates. Kind of disappointing!

      2. Jamie*

        I know this will seem pendatic and I’ll drop it after this clarification but here are a couple of defititions of disconcerting:

        causing a feeling of disturbance, embarrassment, or confusion; perturbing; worrying
        To frustrate (plans, for example) by throwing into disorder; disarrange.
        causing an emotional disturbance; “his disconcerting habit of greeting friends ferociously and strangers charmingly”- Herb Caen; “an upsetting experience”

        synonyms: disturbing, upsetting, alarming, confusing, embarrassing, awkward, distracting, dismaying, baffling, bewildering, perplexing, off-putting

        I’ve never heard it used in a neutral way – and yes, that’s why I felt compelled to make the point that finding it disconcerting to find a woman when expecting a man is offensive…the same way it would be offensive if one found it disconcerting to find a minority applicant when you had assumed they were white.

        I won’t belabor the point (after hitting submit on this) just that I do think people should be aware that “poor choice of words” if that’s what it was, will change the meaning and intent of the message pretty significantly. Especially if the poorly chosen words have exclusively negative meanings.

    2. Lisa*

      I always wonder what people do for work on here. .

      Jamie = stats geek

      Good to know. Maybe AAM could have an open post that lets us state our commenter name and occupation. It would be fun to network / ask questions per job type kind of like an online networking event. Though the perk of networking events is usually the catered food and the free drinks. A granola bar and ice coffee at my desk just isn’t the same.

      1. Jamie*

        I’m actually just a stats geek as a hobby that comes in handy at work. My official title is keyboard monkey. Kidding…although that is on the unofficial org chart… :)

        If you are interested in networking – albeit not anonymously – on Linkedin we have an AAM networking group. I’d post a link but Linkedin has a maintenance page up now. Just do a search for Ask a Manager in the groups and send a request to join.

        We’re up over 700 members now.

        1. Lisa*

          Yeah, Lisa is my fake online commenter name. I am in search engine marketing, and I of course don’t want anyone searching for me! Anytime I would post a comment on blogs, they were forever etched into the Googleverse and my opinions might not be positive ones so I go fake name and keep my real name with neutral comments.

          1. -X-*

            Eventually in the future there will be algorithms that can look at all past postings ever, even those made “anonymously” and predict who made them based on stuff like time of posting and phrasing, and tie them to public only personas (or even non-personas – “Old Aunti Em who is not online but is related to these 30 other users”). To say nothing of IP addresses. “Retrospective surveillance.”

            So we’ll all be outed eventually :(

            I’m only slightly kidding.

    3. Another Jamie*

      I agree that calling it “disconcerting” is, well, disconcerting. I put “Ms. Jamie Lastname” on my resume. I know not knowing my gender shouldn’t bother people, but that doesn’t mean it won’t.

      If they aren’t going to hire me because I’m a woman, I’d rather not interview there at all.

      1. Jamie*

        That’s why the actress who played Olivia Walton was billed as Miss Michael Learned – and not just Michael Learned – just cuts down on the confusion.

        (I do love it when my penchant for Walton’s trivia has a real life application in anecdata.)

        1. AnotherAlison*

          I hadn’t heard of that actress or another female Michael before. I have an aunt named Michael, who is married to my uncle Michael. Mostly irrelevant to this discussion, since she normally goes by Micki, with an “i” indicating she’s a woman. : )

          1. LPBB*

            OK, so now that Michael Learned has come up, I may as well stop being coy about my name. My name is Michal* and is pronounced just like Michael.

            I was born right around the time The Waltons was really big here in the States. You have no idea how many people ask me if I’m named after her. My dad was stationed in Germany when I was born, so my folks had no idea about her until they came back to the States a year after I was born.

            AnotherAlison, so many people tell me when they first meet me “Oh, I have an aunt/cousin/dogwalker/best friend’s sister who’s named Michael!” I hear it all the time and yet I still know only one other female Micha(e)l. I always tell people it’s more common than they think. Also, my last boyfriend’s legal name was Michael, but he had changed it to something completely unrelated a couple years before we started dating. It caused a few guffaws in both families when we got together!

            *Yes, I know that name is in the Bible and No, I am not named for her. My very lapsed Catholic mother had no idea when she chose the spelling she did.

            1. AnotherAlison*

              Lol – well, there you go! Now I know of 3 female Micha(e)ls. Oddly enough, my sister was going to be named after said uncle Michael if she was a boy – they’re way too traditional to do an either/or name. Instead they named her after my aunt (who was named after HER aunt) and everyone thinks my sister is 80 years old.

          2. ThursdaysGeek*

            I had a great-uncle named Shirley. And an aunt named Leo. My dad, Ira, gets letters addressed to Mrs. Even names that appear to have the gender defined really don’t. So, while it’s human nature to make assumptions, we should be flexible enough to accept what is. Surprise at the gender on meeting a person with a gender-neutral name probably gets really old after awhile.

      2. LPBB*

        My first name is actually one of the most common male first names in the country, but I am a woman. It’s spelled slightly differently, but it is pronounced the same way. In fact, most people pronounce it correctly, then see me/hear my voice and start mangling it because “That’s a boy’s name!”

        I’ve started putting *Ms* LPBB Lastname on my resume because there’s enough ambiguity about how to pronounce my first name that it gives a potential interviewer an easy way out of attempting to pronounce my name.

        I also find “disconcerting” to be troublesome. Look, I know my name is weird for a woman, I know it’s surprising, and I do what I can to put people at ease while they’re processing that initial disconnect. But it really should only require a small readjusting of gears in your brain before continuing. *Especially* if you’re dealing with ambiguous names. If you know that Robin Smith could be a man or could be a woman, why are you a)trying to preemptively assign a gender and b)why is that mismatch throwing you off?

      1. Jamie*

        Ha – that’s like giving him a by-line on my career – he’d like that. Not sure I love the message, but he’d find it funny!

  5. JT*

    #3 “it’s just disconcerting to the interviewers when they were expecting a male voice and instead hear a female”

    They need to deal. They need to get over this.

    It can be *surprising* to get gender wrong “The name was Sue Smith – I’d never heard of a guy named Sue.”

    But disconcerting? No, it’s the 21st century. They have to deal.

    #2 – I’d add to the email “or let me know a specific time I can reach you by phone.”

    1. Yvi*

      Since the person might be transgendered and pass as the gender they identify as, while not having changed their name, I wouldn’t comment on it. It could lead to awkwardness.

      1. JT*

        I was making up a post-interview comment to co-workers, not to the applicant. A statement of fact (other than the Johnny Cash song).

        1. Yvi*

          Ah, okay, thanks for clarifying.

          Didn’t get the cultural reference because I am not from somwhere that would be understood…

      2. Lisa*

        My cousin was born Nancy, chose to become Jamie then finally Jayms. I still get a little off with the pronouns during introductions, and say ‘she’ quite a bit even after 15 years, but I always say ‘Jayms’ no matter what, when my family insists on introducing him/her as Nancy.

  6. Sabrina*

    #7 I have the same issue. I’m going back to school for eMarketing. I have zero experience though so I’m not sure how I’m going to find a job. I work full time and go to school 3/4 time, so I’m not sure when I’m supposed to find time to volunteer.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      What does your school say about helping students find internships and later jobs? (If they’re telling you the degree is enough on its own, be suspicious.)

      1. Sabrina*

        They are about as useful as any other career office I’ve ever run across. A lot of their career help is centered around companies in their metro area, which is not where I live, nor where I want to live. They aren’t saying that the degree is enough, but I can’t *afford* to do an internship. I’m 36, not 22, living off my parents while I intern isn’t an option.

  7. Anon*

    I’ve seen the situation OP #1 is dealing with pop up a couple of times here. Do you really want to deal with this while trying to learn the ropes on a new job? I’m going to put the money issue aside, because I’m going to assume the new job came with a pay increase.

    Let me tell you something – if the situation were reversed, and your old employer had to lay you off or they fired you for some reason, this project wouldn’t be an issue for you at all. It wouldn’t be an issue for them either, really. You would just be gone and somehow, they would get it done.

    I absolutely believe that when employers do this to people who are resigning, it is some weird power trip they are trying to pull. They aren’t worried about this project. It is another way of this manager being a bully. For some weird reason, he is mad you are leaving. Give your two weeks and leave. Congrats on the new job!

  8. Mike C.*

    OP #1, there is a good reason you’re leaving for greener pastures. It takes longer for some than others, but you need to let go of the bad to embrace the good.

    Repeat after me, “I’m sorry we couldn’t come to mutually agreeable terms, but I wish you all the best of luck on your future endeavors.”

    Then don’t answer their calls or emails. You don’t owe them anything, legally, morally or otherwise. Go forth and be successful in your new job!

  9. anonz*

    #1, please learn from my mistake and JUST SAY NO. I left Old Job in January (after giving them six weeks notice!) for New Job in a semi-related field. Old Boss, living up to her normal tricks, waited until three days before I left to ask me for a large, complicated project. I liked my former co-workers — who would have gotten hammered with that request, and stupidly said “Oh, I can get this done for you!” So, I told them I would email it to them within a week or so, naively thinking I would be able to manage it, because Old Job had started off slowly, so surely New Job would as well, right?

    WRONG. New Job tossed me in the deep end after only a few days (don’t worry, I can handle it, and appreciate their confidence in me!) and it took me way longer than I thought to get the project done for Old Job — and that was time I could have used to relax at night or learn things for New Job.

    Old Job has made noise about hiring me to do some contract work for them and I am going to turn them down.

    1. Anon*

      You know, your former coworkers would have understood. They wouldn’t have been mad at you. I wouldn’t. People leave jobs. That is just the way it is. You pick up the slack until they can hire someone new.

      And if they didn’t understand…They have other issues, and when are you ever going to see them again anyway? It is also clear your former manager had issues. I wouldn’t ask someone who had resigned for anything three days before their last day for anything.

      1. Jenae*

        I’d like to add to the “don’t do it!” group. You are leaving the bad boss for a reason.

        Also, you might not get paid right away. This happened to me after I was laid off from my toxic job — they brought me back in for a short-term project (one day) and said I would be paid at the end of the day. When I asked for payment, they said, “Oh, you have to submit an invoice and we’ll pay you in 30 days.” They didn’t pay for almost 90, and I had to resubmit twice. Jerks.

        You might be committed to finishing the work, but I think making a clean break now is the better way to go. Then you can focus on your new job.

  10. Guy*

    To OP #1, this is a fairly common situation in the IT world. An administrator will leave and the company wants to continue to use his/her services because of the in depth knowledge of the network. Below is a link to a discussion of charge rates for someone in your situation. If you choose to do it then you need it to be to your advantage. The main thing to note is you need to be charging more per hour for your services because you are: 1. Doing them a favor 2. Paying your own taxes as a 1099 at the end of the year 3. Getting no benefits like 401k health insurance etc. (or even some slacker time, because it will be all work). You are now a CONTRACT employee that gets paid a lot more than a salaried one. You also want to outline the contact agreement between the old company and yourself (When, how, who). Read this link to get some ideas and tailor it to your situation.

    1. Yuu*

      I honestly think it depends on your financial situation. If working over time is worth the money for you, then outline the contractor route. If they have other contractors in the company, you might be able to be paid through their agency so they can deal with the taxes.
      If you really want to do it, figure out your hourly wage and double it – no lump sum!

      But as someone who has worked 70-80 hour work weeks for several months in a row, it is something that can eat at your personal life/health, so really think about what is best for you. Your company survived before you were there, they will survive after.

  11. Julie K*

    A few thoughts about #4:

    I was going to say that studying-and-working is different than studying-and-conducting-a-job-search. But then I got through writing the rest of this comment and realized that both of these options can be really tiring, both physically and mentally. But I guess I’ll leave this part here, in case it’s different for you.

    I have studied for certification exams while working, but in two very different circumstances.

    The first time, my employer supported the effort. They paid for the classes and gave me time during the day to study because I would be teaching courses in the subject matter for them (and I had signed an agreement to stay there for a year after I passed the exams).

    The second time, I was trying to study on my own while working. I couldn’t afford to take classes, so studying was all I could rely on to pass some really difficult exams. It was just too much for me to tackle after a long day at work. After trying this for a while, my partner offered to support me so I could study full time. This had its own pros and cons. On some (many) days, I felt I had to force myself to study because it’s not easy to be disciplined about studying by yourself. There were a few places in town where I would go sit for several hours in order to have a place where studying was the only option (no laundry or cleaning to do instead). Even though this was more difficult than I thought it was going to be, I was able to pass five exams in about six months.

    I didn’t run into any issues about the time off when I was looking for a new job because people in my field knew how difficult these exams were.

    1. Mrs Donaghy*

      Thank you for weighing in. If I was working most likely I would not quit just to take the exam and do it side by side. After I was let go, family advised me that there may be a blessing in it–that it may be time to focus on my career and figure out what I really want to do.

  12. AnotherAlison*

    #7 – I question whether not having real-world digital marketing
    experience is a dealbreaker.

    I was at a conference a few weeks ago, and I met a woman who was in digital marketing. I asked her how she got into the field. Even though she had gotten a communications degree only 2 years ago, she said that she didn’t learn much related to her job in her program. She got the job without the direct experience & learned on the job & from reading a lot. She said her boss was a leader in the field (a ground-floor type of guy), and she learned a lot from him, but he didn’t expect schools to be keeping up with the field since it was developing so rapidly.

    OP# 7 isn’t a new grad, so this may skew things differently, but I guess there’s at least one success story of getting a job without direct experience.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      You can always find exceptions, of course, but in general, you want to ask yourself why an employer would hire you over a more qualified candidate. Sometimes there ARE things that will trump qualifications — a rapport with the interviewer, or they just really like you. But in general — and especially in first-round resume culling — if you’re going to be up against people who have experience excelling in the work you want to do and you have no experience, it makes sense that employers won’t have any incentive to hire you over one of those other people.

    2. Jamie*

      I agree – although where lack of actual experience will hurt you is in the smaller places where you will be it.

      Every once in a while we kick around the idea of outsourcing this because it’s somehow become an IT thing and I hate doing it – but it’s so minimal looking for someone is more trouble than it’s worth at this point. If it changes and is more time intensive I will happily hand over the social networking passwords to an out source and wash my hands of this…but because they would be on their own it would have to be someone with a track record.

  13. Rachel B*

    #7 I work for a large digital marketing agency and we’re always looking for entry level staff. A degree in business, advertising or marketing helps, but we also look for work experience with industry tools. If you’re interested in online advertising, get certified in Google Adwords (The tests are affordable and the study materials are free online). Getting certified in Google Analytics can help, too (again, low cost). I don’t think we’d ever turn away a candidate who is a master at Excel, especially macros and automated reporting, or comfortable with stats programming (beyond the “I had to use it in my intro level college stats class”). Lynda.com can be a great resource for advancing these types of skills, especially if you can apply what you learn online in your current job.

    Yes, it’s wonderful when an applicant works for a company with a great web presence. But our hiring committee understands that companies are slow to adapt to change and some verticals just churn more slowly. As with any position, a candidate who can speak convincingly about how they improved a web project or office process is more compelling than someone who can’t.

    In the final interview stages, we check an applicant’s social media presence. If an applicant doesn’t have active profiles, that’s a red flag. If they post not-appropriate-for-work content, that’s a red flag, too (Especially on LinkedIn). We need folks who understand privacy settings and who won’t publicly bash the company on a bad day. I’ve seen a lot of bad “I blog about social media to land job” blogs. Trying to position yourself as a subject matter expert on social media or digital strategy when you aren’t an expert isn’t worth the effort. A personal blog that’s well done (well designed, updated consistently, etc) would be viewed more favorably for a copywriting/social media position.

    1. Jean*

      Thanks for the info re Google Adwords, Analytics, and Lynda.com. I’m filing this for future reference.
      AAM Alison–thanks for having such a helpful site!

  14. Sunshine DC*

    #3 – I can see where it would be VERY important to know the gender of applicants in some cases. For example, in a company that is trying to overcome a reputation for being hostile to (or at least non-supportive of) women in their past hiring practices. Say they receive resumes from 300 applicants, of which 25% are generally qualified. But then they really only have the time or interest to interview about half of that. all things being otherwise equal (per experience and education) among them, they might want to take special care to insure that a sizable portion of those they respond back to will be women—even if they do end up hiring a man. If there’s a lot of gender neutral or ambiguous names, that would surely make it a lot more difficult at the prelim stage to be sure they are include enough of the qualified women in round one.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      They really shouldn’t be paying attention to anyone’s gender, regardless of motivation. They can put more effort into recruiting women in the first place, but they can’t and shouldn’t discriminate based on gender in hiring.

      1. Jamie*

        Right. Because if knowing I’m a woman will flip me from the no column to the yes column then I’d just as soon stay in the no column.

        I don’t want any advantages based on this – even more consideration for an interview slot – any more than I want it held against me. Just a level playing field.

        1. Another Jamie*

          Most other applicants don’t get that option, though. It’d be interesting if gender could be removed from resumes for everyone, if it was the standard to put a first initial and last name only.

      2. Lora*

        I think much depends on how the applicants are recruited. If you’re a huge company and you’ve got a giant database and 500 applications for every job, have HR scrub the names or any gender- or race-identifying stuff off the resumes and have at it, because scrubbing gender-based info off resumes before they are sent to humans for perusal has been shown to increase the amount of call-backs women and minorities get.

        If resumes are collected primarily via networking, that tends to result in a homogenous applicant pool, followed by a “how come only [narrow demographic]s work here?” sort of thing. And if HR has a way to notice, hey, awful lot of [demographic] in this pile of applications, then it could be helpful to inspire the thought, “perhaps we could contemplate outreach efforts…”

        Last job was 90% white middle aged guys, mostly from the same three colleges, in a company of 100 people. My boss made a concerted effort to get people from different walks of life, but he really was the only one who had half a clue that fishing in a small pond won’t get you the biggest bass.

        1. Anon*

          Similar thing in my last job, the hiring manager recruited for seasonal roles almost exclusively from two colleges and permanent roles were filled by high-performing seasonal workers. The two colleges catered predominately to upper middle class white people and there was zero diversity in this workforce. When I first started I was the only employee out of about 200 that had not attended one of the two schools, with the exception of one or two of the upper management. Aside from anything else it made for a very dull and insular workplace.

      3. Sunshine DC*

        I of course agree. What I mean is, with gender neutral (or unfamiliar, difficult to identify names) they can’t know IF they are including women or not. So if they want to make sure that the pool of qualified people includes enough women – to know if they’ve recruited successfully or need to do more outreach – it just seems they’d need to know this.

    2. Joey*

      No, no, no! I know a lot of people probably believe the same thing, but this isn’t how you address under representation. You don’t interview women simply because they’re women. You target women in recruiting and also include women in the interview process if possible. You increase your pool of women applicants, get a woman’s perspective, but ultimately hire the best person for the job regardless of sex!

    3. Just Me*

      I’m female with a male name (not an ambiguous name, but a name that really is a male name, like Kevin or Thomas), so I often come across the surprised “I was totally expecting a man” embarrassment from clients etc. My boss makes a point now of including my gender in introductory e-mails, e.g. “You’ll be working with Kevin, she’s one of our most experienced Smoke Jumpers.” to give a heads up to the client. This is useful from my boss’s point of view because we have some overseas clients who don’t think women can do the job I do and will not just be slightly surprised to find I’m not a man, they will be really confused and wondering if it’s some kind of joke.

      Recently I’ve been job hunting and been on a couple of interviews where shortlisted candidates came in together for interviews that included work-based tests. I’ve noticed each time that the groups were one person skewed towards females, e.g. in a recent interview there were 3 men and 5 women, including myself. If I were male, as my name suggests, it would have been an even split. I wonder if they were aiming for the 50:50 male:female ratio and missed because of my name!

    4. Gene*

      In a job at a very large municipality in AZ back in the 80’s we were doubling the size of our section from 6 to 12. We interviewed a lot of people. HR (Personnel at the time) told us that we had to hire at least two females and at least two non-Caucasians. So for us, at that time, gender was very important in scheduling interviews; and of course, all gender and race data had been scrubbed from the applications we were given to review…

      There could easily have been some women with gender neutral names who didn’t get an interview, just like there were probably non-Caucsians with “normal” names who also didn’t get an interview.

  15. KayDay*

    Am I the only person not offended by #3? First, in the OP’s defense, s/he stated that “it’s not a big deal” and that s/he “doesn’t want to presume to assign a sex to a person.” Okay, there’s nothing wrong with that.

    Also, I do find it a little bit more difficult to operate when someone’s sex/gender isn’t known. What pronouns should you use when talking about them? If it’s a formal situation, do you call them Ms. or Mr.? (And if you call them by their first name, will you offend them by being so familiar?) If you are calling for a phone interview and expect “Tracy” to be a woman, and a man answers the phone, will he be confused/offended when the interviewer asks, “Could I please speak with Tracy?” If trying to meet someone in a public/group setting, it’s nice to know their gender (and hair color, and if they wear glasses….) so that you can easily find them in a crowd.

    All of these are very minor issues, so in the end, I don’t think there is much the OP can do–the co-workers should be perfectly capable of operating without knowing the gender (or being surprised by the gender). But I do not think the question was unreasonable.

    1. fposte*

      I agree with some of that but not with others. It’s easy enough to say “This is fposte calling for Tracy” and let the person either say “That’s me!” or “I’ll get Tracy for you” (and these days most people are on their own cells anyway, so the latter is less common). I don’t have any expectation of being able to identify a candidate in a crowd, and it’s certainly not going to be an issue in a phone screen :-). It all seems equivalent to wanting to know a candidate’s race–it’s an understandable human impulse, but it’s not really something to foreground.

      Where I think knowing gender identity becomes important is when you’re using pronouns a face-to-face situation in front of the candidate or hire, and that’s where it gets tricky, because on the one hand you don’t want to assume wrongly but on the other people are not always delighted to hear that their gender is ambiguous. People who are overtly transitioning or identify as genderqueer may bring it up themselves, but otherwise I would just hope for a peek at the I-9 docs.

    2. LPBB*

      Trust me, your male Tracy and your female Cory are very very very aware that their names are more commonly associated with the opposite gender. They may sigh internally about having to go through the rigamorale one more time, but they will not be offended by your example.

      The only reason I’m offended by being called Mr Lastname by a potential employer is because I clearly identify myself as a Ms on my resume.

      1. Kinrowan*

        I think the uncomfortableness about not knowing the gender of the candidate ahead of time just shows how pervasively we tailor how and what we communicate by gender. This is not a conversation about particular gendered body parts, but a job conversation.

        My name is fairly standard but my phone voice is sometimes not as clearly gendered, I find fposte’s way of asking the question to be the best – it doesn’t assume anything about me or about whether the caller dialed the wrong number and we can go on to the business at hand.

        In face to face conversations, if the gender is uncertain, the best thing is to ask matter of fact to the candidate “what is your preferred gender pronoun?”. This is totally respectful and lets them tell you (and everyone is the expert in their own gender identity). In an interview situation, I would also say, interviewer, be the one to ask the question and don’t put this extra burden on the candidate (who may be already wondering if they will be discriminated against becasue of their non-binary gender presentation – as happens way too often).

        1. fposte*

          The problem with asking the preferred gender pronoun question is that there are people who are going to find that very offensive indeed. The people whose gender isn’t immediately visually clear includes some folks with a very binary gender identity. You can judge the situation, obviously, and sometimes resumes will give you a hint to openness on the question as well as gender. But this is another area where gender is complicated–it’s really important to some people not to be construed as ambiguous there, and I don’t have a solution for that beyond trying to find out how they’ve identified on documents.

          1. Anony*

            The problem with documents is that a) you’re only given two choices and b) people often have to pick whatever their legal gender is, which does not necessarily match their actual gender or pronoun preferences.

            Asking pronouns should be normal and everyday. It will never become a non-issue to ask unless people start asking.

  16. anon-2*

    #1 – the ONLY way to do this is on a contract with all the terms defined. As I said once before in some threads, I was “RIFed” out of a place once, but they were calling me every day for technical assistance over the phone.

    At first I didn’t want to look like a bad guy ( and I was out of work, and I had a right to recall if the job re-opened, and I heard the person who took my job wasn’t doing very well in it) — but when I found other employment — I had to refuse to work, but was willing to do it on a contract basis at a modest fee.

  17. CoffeeLover*

    I have a somewhat related to #5 question. You said that you should use your own words to describe yourself, but how do you feel about quoting from i.e. performance reviews?

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      Yes, if the quote makes you sound truly exceptional. If it’s just kind of meh, it can backfire, by making you sound like you don’t realize what truly exceptional performance would be.

  18. #6*

    Hi Alison! Just wanted to give you an update that I went ahead and asked for a raise this morning and got it! In fact, I got more than I had planned on asking for. In total I got a 15% raise… which I dont have to tell you is HUGE. Thank you so much for your advice!!

Comments are closed.