short answer Saturday — 6 short answers to 6 short questions

It’s short answer Saturday — six short answers to six short questions. Here we go…

1. My offer letter has different hours than I’d thought we’d agreed to

I recently started a part-time job, and I’m just filling out the new hire paperwork now, which includes my letter of offer. When I interviewed for this job, we agreed to 3 days per week. All the full-time positions that are similar to mine are 35 hours/week, so I was under the impression that my 3 days would mean 21 hours/week, and I think that number came up in our discussions, but I couldn’t swear to it. We also agreed to a six-month contract.

I was reading my letter of offer today and it’s for 22.5 hours/week (7.5 hour days) and five months instead of six. The letter came from the Operations department rather than from my supervisor. I don’t know exactly how much detail my supervisor gave them, so I can’t say how much of those details came directly from him and how much was their own interpretation. I’d really like to write them back before I sign the offer and ask them about the discrepancies between what was discussed and what’s in the letter. I’m not too concerned about asking about the number of months, that seems like a big enough deal that they would take it seriously, but I worry that asking about the hours will seem petty. 22.5 hours won’t be a dealbreaker for me, but I would really rather work 21 if I can. I’m paid hourly, so they would only pay for the hours I worked either way. My impression of my supervisor is that he won’t really care whether I work 21 or 22.5 hours, but I worry that the fact that I care will make me seem petty if he hears about me asking the Operations people about it, which he certainly might. Can you help? Is there a way I can ask about this that won’t reflect badly on me?

“This is a small thing, but I want to make sure it’s right. We had discussed a six-month term, but here it it says five months.” I wouldn’t bring up the hours if you’d just assumed it would be 21 hours/week — but if 21 hours is what was explicitly agreed to, then add that in too: “It also says 22.5 hours, but I think we’d agreed to 21.”

Straightforward, direct, we said X but now it says Y, and that’s it.

2. Asking to work when I’m home on breaks

I am a college student who dorms away from home and I was wondering: if I got a job for the summer somewhere, what’s the best way to tell/ask them if I could continue working when I go home for breaks and such?

“I’d love to continue working for you when I’m home for two weeks in the fall and four weeks in the winter, if that’s a possibility.”

3. How should I approach a connection about a job where she works?

I just found a job posting that I’d like to apply for and have discovered through LinkedIn that someone I used to work with not only works for the company advertising the job posting but also belongs to the same department this position would report to. I believe the hiring manager for this position would probably report to her, but I’m not 100% sure.

I’d like to contact her to see if I could get some further information about the job opening. While she is a connection, I haven’t spoken to her in a while. It’s been a couple years since we worked together. So, it seems inconsiderate to even ask for help. How do I convey that I’m not expecting her to help me find a job, but just wanted to see I could get more information about the role, if she’s willing to provide it? At the very least I’d like to get the name of the hiring manager so I know who to address the cover letter to.

Just tell her that you’re applying and you’d love any advice or insight she can give you. This is normal to do.

Don’t worry about who you address the cover letter to though — no one cares about that.

4. How can I find work in my field without recent experience?

I left my nonprofit job in late 2008 with the hopes that I would find something else. The economy crashed, and after 4 months of job hunting, I decided to take a job as a nanny with the hope that it would be temporary. I have been applying and interviewing off and on since then, to no avail. I am glad to have income now, but after 4 years, I am ready to go back into the nonprofit world permanently. I have work experience and a master’s degree, but I feel like I am being discriminated against because I haven’t been behind a desk for the past few years and employers would rather hire someone who is currently in the field. I’ve also met a few mothers on the playground who want to go back to work after taking a few years off and are facing the same issue. What do you suggest?

You probably know this, but just to make sure — you’re not being discriminated against in the legal sense; it’s legal and even understandable when you think about it for employers to prefer candidates with more recent experience in their field. Of course, that doesn’t make it any easier on people who are in your situation.

This post has advice for stay-at-home parents who are now returning to work, and it might be helpful for you. Essentially, project work, which lets you start to build contacts and reputation, and networking are going to be your friends. Good luck!

5. Explaining my TPS work authorization

I have been granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS) under section 244 of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The benefits of TPS are temporary protection from removal (or deportation) and employment authorization in United States. The length of this program is 18 months and is extendable.

When an employer ask me “do you need sponsorship now or in the near future,” what should I say?

“I currently have work authorization and don’t need sponsorship.” You can also add, “I expect my authorization to be renewed in the future” if that’s true.

6. I can’t stop thinking about my dream job

I interviewed for a dream job in November. I made it to a third set of interviews and met the team of 7 and had lunch with the VIPs. I never heard back from them. I sent an email to the hiring manager in January and called in February, and first they said they needed to interview someone from out of town, and then they said the job was on hold. It is June, and they reposted the job, with essentially the same job description.

I am going to be starting a new job soon, but I keep on going back to this dream job. I have read that I should just move on, but it is really getting to me what happened with my candidacy … I cannot stop thinking about it, I want that job more than the new one that i will be starting next week. I feel jilted, and really sad when i see this job reposted…and I think why would I want to work there when they treated me that way to begin with?

Should I forget about them or should I contact them again? If I still do not hear back from them, I suppose I would finally give up. If they are still interested, even after I start my new job, should I consider working for them? I am probably holding out hope for nothing, but does it mean by how they acted, that they would not be good to work for anyhow? I do not understand why they never hired me, I really thought they were going to offer me the position, do I ask them why they decided not to? Am I taking this too seriously?

Move on. People don’t get offered jobs for all sorts of reasons, some of which could be about you, some of which could be about them, but all of which mean that the job wasn’t the right fit and you should move on.

You have another job now. Put your energy into excelling at that one, not into one that didn’t materialize. (Moreover, stop thinking of it as your dream job! You have absolutely no idea whether you would have been happy in that job or not; there’s no way to tell for sure from the outside.) Move on, move on, move on.

{ 75 comments… read them below }

  1. Cathy

    #1 Just a guess without seeing the text of the offer letter but is it possible that the 7.5/day includes a 30-minute, unpaid, meal period?

    ie, the 7.5 is “hours of work” (start/end time) and not “working hours” (paid time) <- Yes, it's Semantic Saturday for those playing at home. :-)

    1. Jessa

      That does make a lot of sense, in a lot of places they mandate a lunch if you work more than x hours.

    2. LW#1

      That’s a good thought, but I don’t think that’s the case. The 35-hour work week that I mentioned always refers to days as being 8:30-4:30, so 8-hour long days, but 7 working hours per day.

      Also, my contract doesn’t say anything about when during the week those hours are worked, because I set my own schedule. My supervisor and I agreed that I would work a number of hours equal to a three-day work week, but that when I would work them is entirely up to me.

      By law, I do get a half-hour unpaid meal break for every 5-hour stretch that I work (I’m in Canada, don’t know if US laws are different), but that’s not worked in to the number of hours agreement. I’m 100% sure that the 22.5 refers to actual working hours.

      1. Zed

        To me it seems VERY likely that they are using that 8:30 – 4:30 schedule and simply subtracting your half-hour unpaid break. Full-time employees probably get one hour for lunch, rather than a half hour.

      2. Anonymously Anonymous

        I think its including your lunch break in there. It maybe written that way to show they are allowing you to get your half hour break. My contract reads the same (it includes unpaid lunch break it).

        Ah! I see. Maybe the operations manager isnt aware of the arrangement you made with your supervisor. If you spread the 21 hours across five days then you wouldn’t (by law) need a lunch break. I seems like it was miscommunication somewhere–followup with your supervisor to see if forgot to mention it to the operation manager about your agreement.

        1. Anonymously Anonymous

          Adding and the operation manager may still decide to leave as 22.5 just in case you do decide to work a 3 day week sometimes…

        2. Anon1

          My initial concern is that the hours weren’t agreed to. To the OP, she agreed to 3 days at 7 hr per day. The employer might set 7.5 as their norm.

          1. HR Pufnstuf

            Methinks the hours is a non issue since it’d be worked directly between the OP and her hiring manager.

  2. kristinyc

    #2 – I did that my freshman year of college. I worked at a Target the summer before I left for school, and then I came back an worked over Thanksgiving break and Christmas break. They were excited to have someone who was already trained to be there for the busiest days of holiday season, and I made some extra cash! At the end of the school year, I ended up transferring to a store closer to my college and working there for a summer. In retail, they’re totally used to people going away for school.

    1. LisaLyn

      I supervise student workers in my current position and we love to have students from other colleges, but who live in this city, come back on their breaks. As you say, they are already trained, can fill in for a few days or weeks seamlessly, or we can even schedule projects knowing they’ll be back at certain times. So, OP #2, go for it!

      1. Dang

        I did the same. Worked at an office supply store on all of my breaks. Ended up working well for them too, because I’d work though the busy back to school season.

    2. Sourire

      Yep. And I’d even go so far as to say that a lot of places who hire you knowing that you’re a college student will not just be okay with it, but will likely assume you may want hours on your school breaks because that is how common it is.

      If you can find a job at a chain-type place, they may even let you work at one store during the summer and another one that is closer to your school during the year (my friend did this at a large clothing retail chain)

      1. Alicia

        I did this too. I worked part-time in a bookstore from 16 – 21, but once I finished my first year of university I only worked summers and Christmas rush. They loved that I coud just jump back in, and though I might have been slightly rusty on the hottest new Oprah book, it was way enter for them than a two-month seasonal employee.

    3. Jenolen2161

      I did this too in my retail job during college. Just don’t start complaining during winter break when they schedule you for NYE or during summer break for the Fourth of July (hello, holiday pay!)

  3. Katie the Fed

    #6 – I can totally empathize with you. A couple years ago, an internal vacancy came up that I was PERFECT for. My entire career had been leading to that one position, and it was the one I had wanted forever. And it was finally open. I applied, and not even a week later I found out that it had gone to someone else (with personal ties to the selecting official). It was also a kind of shady process that reeked of personal favoritism over merit.

    I was beyond devastated. When I got to my car that evening I sobbed so hard I had to pull over a couple times to cry before I could get home. My dream job had been snatched away from me and it had all been done so unfairly. I honestly don’t think I’ve even been through a breakup as devastating as that. I stayed home all weekend, gorged on delivery food, and even cancelled a trip to visit friends the following week.

    Eventually though, you do get over it. I re-evaluated my priorities and actually decided to take my career on a slightly different track, and within 2 years I got a big promotion. Is this my dream job? I have no idea, but I’m happy and doing well in it.

    In a lot of ways, your dream job is like a crush. You can idealize it because you’ve never had to deal with the farting co-worker, the evil boss, lazy team, or any other myriad complaints in any job. That job wasn’t the right one for you. Try to make the new one right.

    Good luck and congrats on your new job!

    1. LisaLyn

      Ha ha, Katie, that’s a perfect analogy! It is like a crush. I have to say that I’ve been in the position before where I didn’t get a job I thought would be perfect (and was devastated by it) but was close enough to see later on that it would have actually been a disaster.

      So, you just never know. But yeah, OP #6, you have to move on. This happens to the best of us.

    2. Jane

      It’s so good to hear from people who can relate. I was in the same boat a few months ago. I had convinced myself it was my dream job (or rather, my dream step stone job). Everyone I knew or knew of who had worked there went on to do the exact type of job that I want to eventually do. I made it through two rounds of interviews but did not get the offer. The job continued to be advertised for months after I was told that they had candidates coming in who were a better fit (I was a bit baffled by how that happened . . . if they really had identified better candidates, why did was the job still available several months later?). In any event, I was devastated and it took me a long time to get over it. I’m still not really over it, but I am not dwelling on it either. I have come to realize, thanks to reading AAM’s blog that there is really no such thing as a dream job before you get there and start working. I also realized that the problem isn’t that I didn’t get this one particular job. The problem is I’m not happy with my current job and really need to get out of it and into something I like better ASAP.

      1. Anonymous

        They kept the search open because either you didn’t fit what they were looking for, or they didn’t really know what they were looking for in the first place. I have had that happen to me in finalist interviews recently, and it turns out the organization didn’t hire any of the finalist candidates. It’s hard not to take it personally when you’re qualified and you want or need a job badly. But it basically comes down to “fit” or the perception of fit. But it sure is annoying!

    3. Job seeker

      #6. I just had to reply to this. I understand exactly how you feel. I applied to a company that I still believe I would enjoy working for and I did get a call from HR. I messed this up because for that particular job, I told her the hours would not work for me. Later on, I applied for a different position and got called again and given a interview.

      I really wanted this particular job so badly. The HR lady told me I had interviewed quite well but they were giving the job to someone within. I know this was true. I still kept applying.

      Well, I decided to go back to school and get some medical office training for a year and I volunteered with this company in medical records. Again, I got another call from HR (different HR person all three times) and I suppose it was a phone interview. I was so nervous, I know I messed up again.

      Later on, I applied to yet another position there and it was a float position. When I did not get an interview, I sent a e-mail to the HR person asking what qualifications did I need to acquire that I needed for this job. She amazingly responded and said that they had more qualified applicants that had recent experience that was all. She told me it was not me.

      Well, the story gets better. I then asked someone when I was in one of the clinics as a patient about her past experience. I just wanted to know what I needed to work on. I found out she had none. She had no previous medical experience at all. You can imagine how my feelings got hurt. I felt so stupid.

      Well, I sent a e-mail (do not do this please) to the HR lady that told me this and told her how I had volunteered there, went back to school, had previous medical experience and found out they were hiring people without those qualifications. I said it made me evaluate this company. She sent me a nice e-mail back saying Thank you and moving forward we will move your application up against others applying. I did not know what to believe. I never responded back, but have kept applying.

      Amazing enough my application has been reviewed several times since I sent that stupid e-mail. But, I have never gotten another interview. Maybe never will.

      Was this my dream job? I don’t know. I ran into a person that worked in medical records with me when I was volunteering at the mall last night. She hugged me and told me several people there have gotten fired or laid off and it was not such a good place to work. I still try to apply whenever I see a posting that I would enjoy. I still feel like I made a fool out of myself.

      Good luck and congratulations on your new job. It is hard to fill rejected believe me I know.

    4. Tina

      Thank you! I am actually Also thinking that everything happens for a reason. My new job after 14 months of interviewing and trying to break into a new field is worth celebrating and having a positive attitude!

      1. Job seeker

        I am happy you found a good job. Congratulations and hope this will be the dream job afterall.:-)

    5. V

      Love the crush analogy! I’d go on to add that most jobs have a “honeymoon” period, where everything gets concealed from the newbie. Sometimes it’s your dream job for about a year, but then people start showing their true colors and you realize you are in a nightmare!!

    6. jennie

      The crush analogy is great. “Dream Job” is often used to describe job descriptions or jobs people are interviewing for, but very few people use it to describe the job they’re in. It’s a lot easier to say from a distance.

  4. sharon g

    #2 – I worked as a teller at a fairly big bank many moons ago. This bank did have tellers that were teachers who worked only summer and Christmas breaks at the bank. The bank didn’t mind since a lot of their full time folks wanted vacation in the summer and during the holidays. It helped to have extra help that was already trained.

    1. Anonymous

      My dad, a teacher, did that back before the kids were born, meaning back in the 60’s. Once we were born, he would spend the summer with us.

      He would work one week at this branch, one week at another, some weeks being a teller, some weeks some other job.

  5. Esra

    I work at a non-profit that has everyone’s role + contact info on the web site. We’re hiring a comms manager, and someone went through the list and selected me, the graphic designer, to call about who they should address the cover letter to.

    It was kind of a turn off? All of the infomation was in the job posting.

  6. Anonymous

    #6 I agree with Alison about moving on. If they haven’t contacted you again by now, and if they’re reposting the job, it’s safe to assume that you just weren’t a good fit (and that all the other candidates weren’t either), and that you won’t be getting an offer. Just wanting the job really badly and thinking you were a good fit isn’t going to change that.

    Why do you feel jilted? It sounds like you think they treated you poorly, but I don’t really see anything to indicate that in your letter. Is it because they didn’t contact you about not being chosen for the job? I thought that was a common practice?

    Good luck with your new job. :]

      1. Kimberlee, Esq.

        But I can see what Anon means… if 75% of companies never contact you back (and that seems pretty accurate, based on all the comments I’ve ever seen here), it just doesn’t make sense to assume that 75% of companies are horrible and rude and you dodged a bullet.

        If notifying candidates is just not considered standard in the industry, companies that don’t do it probably don’t think they’re being rude. They are, for sure, but there’s only so far you can take assumptions about an action that the majority of companies and organizations take.

        1. Ask a Manager Post author

          I think the percentage of companies that don’t respond to candidates is higher when candidates don’t interview at all, but much lower when they do (particularly when they’ve been through 3 interviews and a lunch). Not that some companies don’t still go AWOL at that stage because plenty do, but I think it’s a lot lower than 75% at that stage.

          For whatever that’s worth.

          1. 22dncr

            Actually Alison – I checked my records and out of the last 15 interviews going back to 2009 I’ve gotten ONE – yes count that – ONE thanks-but-no-thanks. One was even a re-interview with a company I know and have high up contacts at and still nothing. It’s epidemic! Gods, that’s depressing.

          2. Felicia

            I’ve had 30 interviews in the past year, and only about 10 of them ever got back to me with a rejection. For all the rest, even after following up, after having an interview with them, I never heard from them again. I never expect responses to applications, but I do think not responding after someone has taken time to interview is rude, but everyone does it so you shouldn’t take it personally. Out of my limited experience of myself and my friends job searching (all for entry level jobs, not sure if that makes a difference), never hearing back from 2/3 of interviews is pretty typical so it wouldn’t turn me off the company entirely.

            1. jennie

              I’ve had two interviews in the past year (for HR/Recruiting jobs no less!), that promised to follow up and I never heard from them again. So I guess I’m due on my next one! :)

          3. AF

            I agree – I had a similar experience late last year and after 5 interviews (made it to the last round), I got a generic, non-personalized rejection email. OP #6, this is probably indicative of how the company operates and it’s totally rude. It might be a great job but likely not a great place to work. Good luck at your new job!

    1. Tina

      Well it really had to do with meeting over 15 people and they never contacted me to let me know that things were on hold… Or to let me know anything for that matter. If i just had interviews, even three different sets i could understand, but not lunch. For some reason lunch seems more serious, and after that crickets…

    2. Elizabeth West

      I don’t expect people to contact me about an application, but if I’ve taken the time to actually interview (not a phone screen), then not getting back to me one way or the other is incredibly rude. It also makes me think poorly of the company (and I do make a note, and refer to it the next round of job seeking).

      1. Felicia

        There was a job that didn’t get back to me after I had done a phone screen and two in person interviews, even after I had tried following up with them, so when I did see that company post a similar job months later that I normally would have applied for I just couldn’t do it. After a second in person interview it gets even more rude.

  7. Anonymously Anonymous

    #4 Having been a stay at home for years then returning back to the workforce, I know how hard it can be. I had started in accounting and had no luck trying to get back after being a SAHM yet I also wanted to change career paths. I heard through a friend that our kids school was looking for subs then a flyer came home from school. I sent my resume with the thought that at least it would be something to do–if I actually got the job.I wouldn’t have ever dreamed I would do this type of work–with my kids yes–with others children no. I have been lucky that I have been able to finish schooling and gain experience since working here. I love what I do but now im ready to take my experience and knowledge a little further. I’ve seen different challenges (respite care and transportation)that families of our program face and those are the issues I want to tackle.

    1. Chinook

      Wow – your school districts hire subs who aren’t trained/licensed teachers? Where are you and do they recognize Canadian degrees? Around here, experienced teachers can’t even get on sub lists (and don’t even get me started about one province not recognizing out-of-province education and licenses).

      1. Suzy Schmoe

        The laws differ from state to state in the U.S., but yes, not all states require substitute teachers to be a trained, licensed teacher. My state only requires that you have a bachelor’s degree (doesn’t have to be in education). Some coworkers and I were just talking about this last week, and one said his state doesn’t even require a bachelor’s degree. Another relayed a story about a substitute teacher she had as a child that insisted there were 51 states in the U.S. She was identifying Canada as the “51st state.” The class argued with the teacher, and finally someone went and got another teacher to explain to her that Canada was, like, a whole other country. That incident happened in another country, though–not the U.S. or Canada.

        1. Anonymously Anonymous

          We get subs (the one’s provided by the district) from a temp company and there has been some weirdos. I totally forgot to mention them on the weird co-worker post. The one who drew himself as a comic hero. The one who showed up wearing two completely different shoes. The one who expressed how ‘those’ children should not be in the class. And the ones who tried to hideout in our class to avoid bus duty.

      2. danr

        In NJ the requirement is 60 hours of accredited course work from a recognized institution and it doesn’t have to be in education either. But a county can make it more specific.

      3. Anonymous

        It’s quite common in areas that have “brain drain”. It looks like for Indiana and Michigan all you need is some college credits and a background check to sub.

      4. Anonymously Anonymous

        Two things. I work for a school readiness program that is pretty much run by the district. We are like the red headed step children. No offense to red heads. But we are part of them-they house us and are gate keepers for our grants yet not part of them. So I was hired as a substitute for the school readiness program. Now I’m a school readiness teacher. My particular classroom also has a sped certified reacher because two of our classrooms are inclusive. And well the sped teacher is literally the redheaded step child in the district since no one wants to work in pre-k. Anyway we have two great sped teachers that work with us as well as about 10-14 instructional assistants that work one on one with students. As far as degree requirements here (CT) for subbing in the distict is a bachelors. For the school readiness program when I started they wanted a cda or classes in ece none of which I had…but I did commit to taking classes for credit towards a cda. Now they require an associates degree plus cda or equivalent to sub. The instructional assistant has no requirements but the district pays significantly more if you have a bachelors or experience. This district is about who you know. When I first started the sped teacher I was working with then was really great and I learned a lot from her. After my first year I sinning I considered becomin an IA- and I’m pretty sure with her recommendation I would have been double what I make but they do not have benefits and paid holidays. But anyway I ended up full-time and it all worked out.

          1. Anonymously Anonymous

            Oh gosh my typos… Anyway *with her recommendation I would have gotten the job and made double what I was making as a sub….

      5. jennie

        Hey Chinook, in Canada teaching is a high paying union job with outstanding benefits and pension. Canadian teachers are among the best compensated in the world. It’s not like that everywhere.

  8. Anonymously Anonymous

    Adding…

    I haven’t been able to move into another career even now with the education and experience to boot. I just went on another interview last week to an agency I interviewed with back in November (different division and location). I don’t send out a lot of resumes–anyway this interview went 10 times better. Hoping for good news or any news.

  9. EM

    #6- Another reason I can say pretty definitively that this isn’t your dream job (or anybody’s dream job) is the fact that you went through many rounds of interviews, including what sounds like a fairly important lunch, and they never got back to you. To put it bluntly, they’re acting like unprofessional jerks, and you don’t want to work with unprofessional jerks.

    Don’t let your lack of closure for this job poison your experience at your new job. If you want, write a letter or email in a Word document, politely contacting that employer withdrawing yourself from consideration for the job you never heard back about because you have a fabulous new job offer. Coat it with sugar, and make it drip with sarcasm. Then delete it. :)

    1. Tina

      EM, I love this advice. In effect, i can give myself closure and move on. Thank you! My sister mentioned that i might have the Woody Allen problem, i would never want to belong to a club that would have me as a member… Not funny in this situation but she might have something there! thank you, everybody’s comments are helping me so much.

    2. Elizabeth West

      Perfect. Sometimes, just typing it can make you feel better, even if you never send it. I shudder to think what would happen if all the social media statuses I typed but never sent suddenly appeared on my wall!

  10. Anon

    Like your answer to number one, AAM, this is a small thing, but it says seven answers to seven questions, but I see six.

    Totally off topic, but your book, blog, and resume review helped me land a high-profile, awesome job! THANK YOU!!!

    1. Ask a Manager Post author

      Ha, I literally fixed that one minute ago, having just noticed it too.

      And thanks so much for telling me all that helped — that’s great to hear, and congratulations!

  11. Christine

    #4 – I can relate to this poster. I know I’ve talked about it here before, but I’ve been having a helluva time getting back into the workforce. I have tried everything under the sun: volunteering, two unpaid internship (I know…), two short-term (2-3 months each), networking….nothing is sticking. Everyone keeps trying to make me feel better by saying, “The economy is horrible right now, there’s nothing out there”. I’ll admit that part of it is my own doing. I just don’t know what else to do.

    1. Coco

      I’m in a similar situation to you and #4. I haven’t worked since 2011. Since I was unemployed, I started my own small business. It was doing okay for a start up but I just need more consistent income. I’ve been putting in resumes for over a year and I’ve been told numerous times that I “haven’t done any real work” in two years.

      You would think an employer would appreciate a candidate with an entrepreneurial spirit who has navigated legal filings, setting up accounting systems, tackled marketing and public relations, etc.

      The good news is that I’m in the final stages of getting hired by a major financial company. They are just waiting on the results of the background check. Fingers crossed.

      Christine, I would encourage you to play the numbers and put in a lot of good, well chosen submissions. I try to locate and submit to at least 5-10 positions a day. Every day. Re-apply to companies over and over again if they post new positions. I would also encourage you to widen your search nationwide.

      I left my original city to look for work in a new city. I couldn’t find work in the new city so I went national and now I’ve got the potential offer in yet a third city. If things go well, I will have moved twice in less than six months. The things we have to do to find work.

      Be encouraged and keep a positive attitude. Your next job is coming.

  12. Nameless

    “do you need sponsorship now or in the near future,” what should I say?

    This only refers to H-1 visas who need sponsorship. If you already has work authorization you don’t need sponsorship. FYI, H-1 sponsorship if for degreed immigrants

    1. Amber

      True, but IME most employers know far less about visas and immigration than the non-citizens they want to hire — they will almost certain ask the “do you need sponsorship?” question at some stage, even if it is totally irrelevant. The OP should make sure the employer knows they don’t have to do anything special to hire him/her.

  13. Miss Displaced

    #6. If the job was put “on hold” as opposed to you simply not being hired in favor of another candidate, I don’t see a problem re-applying and/or reaching out to those who interviewed you and letting them know you were still interested.

    It may get you nowhere, but what’s the harm in trying (in a respectful and professional manner of course)?

  14. Tina

    OMG…i am the person that wrote in about my dream job. I seriously thought your answer would be “NEVER give up”…

    Thank you so much for the advice and all of the comments… I need to change my attitude and realise this new company wants me. There is no way i could ever know if it is my dream job, i have already learned my lesson on that at other jobs i thought were going to be awesome.

    Thanks Allison, thanks everyone!

  15. Bill Lumbergh

    Re: TPS Authorizations

    Be sure to submit the required TPS Cover Sheet when requesting TPS Authorizations.

    If you have questions about this, see Peter.

  16. Noel

    #4. If you’re looking to get back into non-profit. Why not do some volunteer work for a non-profit you’d like to work for? When a paid opportunity becomes available in the organization you would have some direct experience with them that would certainly give you an advantage over an external candidate.

  17. Lydia Navarro

    For #3, is it possible you could get this connection’s email? It would be worthwhile to spend some time over this weekend researching the company, identifying how your skills and accomplishments match the position, and writing a brief (no more than two paragraphs!) email re-introducing yourself to the connection and reiterating your interest. I am sometimes myself contacted by younger people asking for career advice or information on entry level positions, and I am most likely to respond when the contact has done some research on my company, is specific about what she/he is looking for, and is respectful of my time.

    While I have most times been a one-woman show, I do always refer my contacts to others in the field if I know anyone hiring. Also, my last employer before our NYC re-location was with a large Austin software shop, which was hiring a payroll assistant. I was contacted via email thoughtfully, by a very diligent young man who had just finished his accounting associate degree. I was happy to “pay it forward,” as they say and wound up introducing my contact to my hiring manager with recommendation to interview. While we ultimately went with someone who had more specific IT payroll experience, he has opened up a line of communication with me, and I continue to provide him with advice or contacts who may be hiring when asked.

  18. Lydia Navarro

    I also want to give my commendations to the blog owner at this time on a very thoughtful and interesting blog. I feel everyone is quite kind, even when there are disagreements. My husband sent me here and said I would like it. Since I wrote mostly Español with a tad of Italiano until I was 11, I am choosy about where I spend time online. There are those who will attack your imperfect sentence or inelegant word use instead of the “meat and bones” of your argument and call you dumb because of it, but I feel this is a safe place to engage with discussions. It is always great to practice one’s writing skills too.

    (p.s. Growing up with a new-agey Hippie Hispanic mama and a papa from Italy is pretty cool for languages. I would normally recommend anyone to start kids off young with languages. Except, lucky me, I was homeschooled until my mama was fed up with my “pre-teenaged drama” and sent me off to the fine public schools of Los Angeles. That, I would not recommend to anyone. The hippie homeschooling, that is.)

    1. Another Emily

      Welcome to the blog. You’re right that this is a safe space for discussions. We try not to be nitpicky with spelling and grammar here since there is no edit function… :)

      (Other blogs I consider safe, if you’re looking for them, are Tomato Nation and Captain Awkward.)

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