I’m doing way more work than I signed up for, my manager over-shares about my coworkers, and more

It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…

1. I’m doing way more work than I signed up for

I recently took on a part-time position with a nonprofit arts group, which I am excited about, and is a great first step in my new field. I applied for the job which was listed as executive administrator, interviewed for that position, and got it. However, now that I am a few months into the job, the reality is that I have replaced both the outgoing executive director and her admin assistant. I am the only person on staff, other than artistic directors. As the only one in this role, it is assumed that I will do everything. I actually would be more than happy to take on the executive director role, but that is not my title and I am receiving less than half of the executive director’s salary.

This is also my first nonprofit job and experience in dealing with a board of directors. I am having a hard time coming up with a way to explain to them that the job I interviewed for and took is in reality a much bigger role than they let on. I do think this was a conscious choice on their part as they are trying to cut costs, and I have no one to blame but myself for accepting the salary. However, I would have angled for more if I had known I would be expected to be doing the role of the executive director.

Would it be out of line to ask the board to clarify the difference in roles between the previous executive director’s role and my dxecutive administrator role? I’d like to point out to them that I have been pushed into doing the executive director role and ask for a solution to lessen my load, so that it matches up to my job description, but not anger them. The reality is I do like the job and feel it is great experience, however it is supposed to be a part-time (15-20 hour) job and is much more than that.

How about: “I know that before I came on, there was both an executive director and an admin assistant. Now that I’ve replaced both those roles, could we talk about what you envisioned being different with the combination of these two roles into one? Are there particular responsibilities Jane was handling that no long need to be done, or other areas where we should be cutting back? It would be helpful for me to understand what you envision, and I want to make sure that we’re constructing a role that’s truly doable by one person in 15-20 hours a week.”

Also, how senior is your role? If it’s a senior role, the board is probably looking to you to figure out how to structure things (or at least should be, since a board shouldn’t be involved with day-to-day staff decisions, but rather only big-picture strategy and oversight), in which case you might come up with a proposal yourself first and then talk it over with them.

2. My manager shares too much about my coworkers

Lately I’ve found myself in situations where my managers have been over-sharing the performance problems of other employees. At my last job, my boss constantly moaned and complained about my coworkers (one in particular). While I appreciated that he was not overlooking their lack of action (because it affected my job), I would have much preferred that he address the problem with them instead of whine to me about it.

At my new job, I have a great manager who gives good feedback. We met last week to discuss my probationary period, which I passed. He told me that not everyone passes, and then as an example proceeded to tell me that he had to extend the probationary period for a coworker. I like the coworker and felt uncomfortable knowing this information. This is also concerning because if these managers complain about my coworkers to me, they are probably telling other people about performance problems that I have, too. I don’t like this kind of office gossip. When this would happen in the past, I’d give a non-committal “Mmmmm….” and then try to change the subject. In the future, is there a polite way to indicate that I don’t want to hear about my coworkers’ performance?

When you’re new on the job, that’s harder to do. But once you’ve established the relationship with your new boss more, you have more leeway to say something. You could try nicely saying something like, “Jane probably wouldn’t want people to know that” or “I’m not sure I should hear that about Jane.” That said, with a bad manager like your first boss — because complaining about an employee instead of doing something about it is a mark of a bad manager — it might be a lost cause, and there might be little you can do.

3. Asking to interview with a non-local company when I’m visiting their town

I’m wondering about how to follow up with a job I’ve already applied to. My husband and I are trying to to move to City X, and he recently found out he will be interviewing for a job there in a few weeks. I’m planning to travel to City X with my husband so we can check out the city and figure out where we might live. I’m also hoping to use this opportunity to get in touch with an employer that I applied to about a month ago.

My question is how to go about getting an interview. I applied to the job through an online system, so I don’t have the contact information for a particular person. Would it be OK for me to call the office’s main number, explain that I will be in town for a few days, and ask to speak to the hiring coordinator about potentially interviewing while I’m in town? Then I was thinking I could either ask outright about interviewing, or just ask if I could come by and speak with someone about the organization. Which approach is more likely to be successful? Do you have any advice about how to phrase my question when I call?

Email, don’t call. If you call, you’ll be putting the person on the spot in an uncomfortable way (because the answer might be no, we’re not interested in interviewing you), and also asking a question that she probably needs to think over before answering anyway. Instead, send an email, explain that you’ll be in town on those dates, and say that you’d love to meet to discuss the job if she thinks you might be a strong candidate for it and is available then. Note that this is offering them an option that they can take up if they choose to — not just asking directly to come in and speak with them, which they may or may not want to do. (And I know you said you don’t have contact info for a particular person, but you can look on their website or LinkedIn to figure out who the hiring manager likely is, or — if that fails — get contact info for HR.)

4. Possible new job might conflict with a volunteer weekend

I recently discovered your blog and have been reading it extensively during an interview process I’m currently going through. It seems to have helped, as while it’s not official, the HR manager told me that I’m one of their lead candidates and I should expect to hear from them next week. I’m very excited about this, as the job is a big step up from what I’m currently doing, and it seems like a great workplace.

There is one problem that came up in the last interview that seems ridiculous to most people but is very important to me. Their major conference takes place the first weekend in August, which is the same time as a volunteer commitment I’ve made for the past two years to something that I care a great deal about. It’s not a cause or anything that everyone understands or would be sympathetic towards, but it’s for an organization and a person who I really enjoy working with, and having to give it up would make me very unhappy. I don’t know that it’s a deal breaker in terms of accepting the job, but I would like to know going in whether I’m giving up something that’s this important to me. They just mentioned the conference in passing (I looked up when it was when I got back from the interview), and didn’t outline what the responsibilities of the job I’m interviewing for were in relation to this one specifically. Is there an appropriate way to ask what the commitment/flexibility is to this conference without coming across as not taking the job or the offer seriously?

Wait until you get an offer. At that point, as part of the negotiation, say, “I have a pre-existing volunteer commitment on (dates), which I know is the weekend of your conference. Would that pose any problems on your end? I wasn’t sure if you’d need me working then.” They might tell you it’s not an issue at all, but if it turns out that it is, then at that point you’d presumably need to choose between the job offer and the volunteer commitment. But do wait until you have an offer to raise this, and don’t accept the job without getting clarification on it (because it will be harder to negotiate if you bring it later, once you’ve already started the job).

5. Where should I be looking for jobs?

My wonderful manager has just told me that she’s leaving our group. I have been an on-site contractor at this company for over 12 years, and I’ve been on her team for 2+ years. Every year or six months, it has usually been a struggle to make sure my contract gets renewed, and my manger has been my champion, telling her bosses about everything I do for the team and reminding them of the key pieces of our work would not happen if I weren’t here, etc. I’d like to stay, but I’m not sure if it will be as enjoyable without my current manager, and I don’t know yet who my new manager will be – I don’t know if it will be someone who will work as hard to keep me here.

So I think I should start looking for a new position, but it’s been so long since I conducted a job search that I’m not sure where to look. I will get in touch with my contacts to let them know that I’m looking, and I have started looking at LinkedIn, Monster, and Dice. I have been contacted by various recruiters over the years, so I’ll get back in touch with them. Are there other resources I’m not thinking of?

Niche job boards! For instance, idealist.org for nonprofit jobs, the Public Relations Society of America for PR jobs, 37signals for programmer jobs, and so forth.

Field-specific sites like these are actually some of the best places to look for jobs in your field; they tend to be far more targeted than sites like Monster.

{ 99 comments… read them below }

  1. OP for 5. Where should I be looking for jobs?*

    Thank you! This is very helpful. I just looked up the ASTD national and local job search pages. I completely forgot that they have job boards. Plus, I have a lot of contacts from when I was on one of the local ASTD boards a couple of years ago. It was in a different city than where I live now, but people there might know people here. And when I was in a position to hire, I always made sure the local ASTD folks knew about any openings, and a few people from there did apply.

    1. JMegan*

      Also, if there are any universities with grad school programs in your field, they will likely have job boards as well.

      Good luck!

      1. Another Cat*

        Do these niche job boards exist for a majority of professions? Web searches for job titles/specialty only bring up the big name job boards (indeed, simplyhired, etc) in my field.

        1. A Teacher*

          Often, yes. If there’s a professional organization for a profession then they tend to have job boards. Sometimes they are more localized, for example in Illinois the Illinois Association of School Administrators posts lots of school related jobs. For athletic training (my other profession) the National Athletic Trainer’s Association (NATA) posts jobs in that profession.

      2. littlemoose*

        +1. Some universities’ job boards are password-protected so only their students can access them, though. If OP has an alma mater, she could check theirs.

    2. OP for 5. Where should I be looking for jobs?*

      Sorry, I should have specified that ASTD is American Society for Training and Development.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      I just added a bit about that in the answer — she should look on their website or LinkedIn to try to figure out who the hiring manager. Or if that fails, email HR.

      1. Geegee*

        I was surprised to see that in your answer. Usually, in your answers, I think you tend to strongly discourage people from hunting down hiring managers on linked in or other sites. Would you consider this one of the few exceptions?

        1. Liz in a Library*

          One difference here is that this OP has a legitimate reason to contact the hiring manager. I’ve seen AAM discourage people from tracking down the hiring manager as a way of circumventing the company’s established application process, but in instances where the applicant needs to get in touch after applying for a real reason, I can’t remember her advising against it.

          1. fposte*

            Yeah, I don’t mind if an applicant who’s otherwise not in town emails me to say they’ll be available locally. It rarely works with my time frame but I’m fine with hearing about the possibility.

      2. Graciosa*

        My preference will be strongly in favor of the OP using the email address provided for these contacts or an HR address.

        When we’ve identified candidates to interview, they get the names all the interviewers, and I’m fine with their using LinkedIn for research at that time – in fact, it’s a plus. I prefer candidates who have done their homework. One who asked me about how CurrentJob compared to PreviousJob for LastEmployer impressed me with the question.

        However getting an email from a candidate I haven’t decided to interview who assumes I’m the hiring manager would give me a bit of a stalker vibe. I can see that this might not be true for all companies, but I would still lean toward a polite message to HR along the lines suggested rather than one to me.

        This is also probably colored by my reading of the post, which is very much focused on “getting an interview” even if that’s just coming by to “speak with someone about the organization.”

        Letting me know you’ll be in town in case I want to speak with you in person is fine.

        Using a trip to town to try to force my hand to grant you an interview doesn’t sit well, and trying to speak to just anyone about the organization when you’ve already submitted your application does not show respect for the hiring process.

        For me, this had echoes of “just show up and talk to somebody” which doesn’t work for me – but maybe I’m reading too much into it.

        1. some1*

          I don’t think you’re reading too much into it — I didn’t really see any awareness in the letter which acknowledged that while she wants to be interviewed and that time would be ideal for *her*, it doesn’t make either point true on their end.

          For all any of us knows, the position has been filled, the LW isn’t under consideration, or they always do an initial phone screen before in-person interviews.

  2. Dan*


    While not direct advice, during my last round of job searching, I did check Monster on a whim. Oddly, I found something in my niche, which truly surprised me. I applied to the company directly through their website — I certainly wasn’t going to bother with Monster.

    When their HR person called me, she said, “I didn’t see your resume on Monster.” I wasn’t sure how to break the news to her, but I told her people in our field don’t search Monster for jobs. She seemed shocked and wanted to know where she should be posting jobs.

    TBH, at the level of experience that they were looking for, I’m not sure they should have been looking on job boards at all. Working the network and “word of mouth” would be their best bets.

    1. OP for 5. Where should I be looking for jobs?*

      This happened to me, too. I saw one job on Monster the other day that looked very interesting. And I guess the people who place the jobs there can tell who has viewed their postings because I got an email from the hiring manager (or recruiter – not sure yet which it is) about the posting.

  3. PEBCAK*

    #1 — Are you salaried, but only working 20 hours/week? You need to be sure you are NOT working more than that. Some no-for-profits really try to take advantage of their employees, and that’s not cool at all.

    1. Transformer*

      I doubt the admin assistant position would have qualified as an exempt level position requiring a salary. I think that they need to pay you an hourly wage (including overtime) at your current classification OR change your position into a higher level role/salary.

      1. OP #1 - non-profit*

        Hi all – and thanks, Alison, for answering my question!

        I am salaried – well, actually, an independent contractor, for 15-20 hours a week. I’ve recently started keeping a log of everything I do and the time it takes to show the board. I’m thinking I should also keep a list of what I *don’t* do but would like to if only I had the time.

        1. Elysian*

          It seems really odd that you would be paid as an independent contractor for an administrative position. I’m not sure that’s proper, but either way, be sure you’re saving up so you won’t be surprised by payroll taxes when they come. If you haven’t taken that into account with the salary/time you’re putting in, be sure you do that, too.

        2. Judy*

          We were struggling at church for figuring out what to pay the person in the position that used to be “custodian”. The current person in the position has started doing things that are more “maintenance”, and we’ve moved some of the custodian tasks to outside cleaning companies (like every other month carpet cleanings).

          We asked him to log his time on tasks to see how much “maintenance” and how much “custodian” duties he has, because those two jobs have different pay.

        3. KJR*

          Based on what you’ve written, this does not sound like an IC position. I would check into this further and/or bring it to their attention. The company could get into a good deal of trouble from the DOL if this were uncovered during an audit, whether or not its intentional. You could check out the DOL website for more info. Just type in “Independent Contractor” into the search field. It’s a very good description. I have zero experience in non-profits though, so I’m not sure if that makes a difference.

        4. Lynn*

          I would recommend showing it to only the board chairperson or executive committee first. I know that sometimes the larger boards don’t want to get bogged down with that kind of detail. I have always found that quick action takes place in the executive committee. If it is the action that needs the entire board, it would probably make the most sense if the board chair raised the issue.

        5. Leah*

          You should not be an independent contractor. Not only will you be paying much higher taxes but you lose out on a large portion of workplace protections including (but hardly limited to) sick leave, non-discrimination, and workers compensation.

          It sounds like AAM and the posters above gave solid advice, so I won’t duplicate it. I would suggest that you start looking for other opportunities in case you can’t work out your job description with the board.

        6. Wakeen's Teapots Ltd.*

          I am salaried – well, actually, an independent contractor, for 15-20 hours a week.

          Is this legal?

          Probably not. There’s pretty much nothing about the job as you’ve described it that sounds like it meets the IRS qualifications for an 1099.

          So that’s another problem.

          You’re paying both sides in taxes and as far as I know, 1099’s aren’t eligible for unemployment and other stuffs that if your not-employer paid and classified you properly you’d get.

          Basically, it’s not legal + you’re getting shorted, in addition to all of the other challenges here.

          I think the problem here is the board needs to make a commitment to running the organization professionally.

          * I am not a tax accountant
          * I am not a labor lawyer

        7. Brett*

          I think the fact that you are an independent contractor changes your letter entirely.
          Unlike an employee, you do have a contract (verbal or written) on what your obligations would be and they might be violating that contract by changing your obligations. If you do not have a written contract already with the board, it is time to get one so that your obligations are cleared defined (not to mention the term length of the contract).

        8. LBK*

          That makes this totally different…I’m not a lawyer and I’m not super familiar with contracting but my understand is that if they’re considering you an indepedent contracter, you shouldn’t be working a single minute outside of the hours outlined under your contract, and you should have way more control over when and how you’re doing your work.

          It doesn’t even really make sense for an admin to be a contractor since (again, just based on my limited understanding) they can’t technically require you to work in a certain location or during certain hours. Something that would require you to be available 9-5 or 9-2 M-F in an office is not a contractor position.

          Might be worth reading this over, because so far nothing you’ve described makes you sound like a contractor. It kinda sounds like they’re screwing you over:


          1. CAA*

            The thing about hours and place of work determining whether someone is a contractor is a bit of a myth. You definitely can have a contractor who provides services at a specified location and time and for a set fee. Your company has a contract with the people who clean your offices. They work on the premises during certain specified hours and get paid the same fee each week or month.

            It’s really a gray area, and based on another response below, it sounds like OP is providing admin services on a contract basis to multiple employers. If the employers are not dictating how the work is done, this can probably qualify as a contract position.

            1. Judy*

              I think you can have a contract with the company who cleans your office. I don’t think you can have a contract with a person who cleans your office. The people who clean your office are employees of the company.

              Just like there are lots of engineering “contractors” but they are employees of a temporary agency or something, they are not specifically your contractors, you contract with Aerotech or someone who then pays them.

              1. CAA*

                Individuals can contract to perform services for a business. I myself have been a self-employed software engineer contracted to work with a corporation. I do agree that the agency model is more common, but there’s no legal requirement for it.

            2. Brett*

              Having actually done after-hours cleaning…

              You don’t contract for specific hours. You contract for a certain amount of work that must be done during certain hours. If I got all the cleaning for a 3 hour window done in 15 minutes, I could leave. Or I could wait 2 hours into the window before starting.

            3. LBK*

              Janitorial services don’t seem like a fair comparison because obviously you have to be in a building to clean it. If you’re a developer hired as a contractor to code C++, you obviously have to code in C++ – you can’t just decide you’re going to do everything in Perl instead.

      2. Elysian*

        Salary does not equal exempt. They can pay her a salary and she can still be entitled to overtime/non-exempt. As long as they’re paying her overtime it doesn’t matter whether she gets a salary or an hourly wage. I don’t think overtime is really the problem though, since she’s part time she’s probably more concerned about working something approaching full-time hours (which wouldn’t require overtime even though its more than she signed up for) and not broaching the overtime threshold.

        1. OP #1 - non-profit*

          oh geez, things seem worse and worse!

          I have been putting money aside for taxes, as I am also an IC for another job and have learned to do that.

          The board is very small (around 6 people). We have a meeting soon actually so this is great timing for bringing my concerns up.

          I also happened to take an introductory class on non-profit management this weekend and learned about a resource I wish I had known about while researching this position: guidestar.org. Through it I was able to see the 990s for the past 3 years of this non-profit and see the ED’s salary.

          1. Wakeen's Teapots Ltd.*

            Hey, good to see you!

            Look, if you have a business doing work for various charities, then the 1099 part is likely right and my post is likely wrong.

            The thing is though, you have to run it like a business. They contract for certain services, and you provide them. Maybe you provide the whole services at unlimited hours, maybe you provide services for X hours a week, but you need to take control.

            You’re not their employee. They are your customer.

            One suggestion to start might be on the lines of “so I can help you folks keep your costs under control, what duties do you want me to do in the X hours per week I’m contracted for and would you like to contract with me for an additonal X hours per week for the other things on your wish list”

            Might help to think of it this way. If you hadn’t cleaned your house in 6 months and called a maid service for their normal 4 hour cleaning, you’d be expected to point out *which* room you’d like cleaned for that 4 hours. They wouldn’t think of coming back day after day to get the whole thing together and still charge for four hours.

  4. Fish Microwaver*

    This is totally off topic but too good not to share. Someone here just heated up a very pungent curry.

  5. AdAgencyChick*

    #4: When you’re thinking about job vs volunteer commitment, don’t just think about this year. Is the conference always the same weekend every year, and is your volunteer weekend also the same time every year? If yes, give that a good hard think, especially if this conference is important to your field and not just to your company. My field has a few very large (like, 20,000-people plus) trade shows that always take place in the same 2-week period every year, and I’ve worked with people who get pissed because they have to go to conferences on their birthdays. I mean, I get it — I hate working on my birthday, too — but unfortunately if you choose to work in this particular content niche, if you want to stay current you have to be available to travel to conferences on X date, and if you want to have your birthday off every year, you should try to go into a different content niche that has their conference at a different time of year. Same goes here — you might be able to negotiate going to your volunteer weekend instead of the conference *once*, but if it’s usually part of this position to go, your manager probably won’t be sympathetic to any future requests to miss out.

    1. Not So NewReader*

      AAC has a really good point, OP, check to see if this is going to be a recurring conflict each year.
      I had a similar situation where I volunteered for a low profile activity. As you are saying, it was really important to me to get there- I liked the people and the work. When I explained it to my boss, he was totally fine with it. But I was not having a conflict with a conference or anything special. It was just a matter of scheduling my regular work days around the volunteer activity.
      My suggestion is to be able to articulate your reasons why this activity is important to you. Be specific but be brief. I said something like “This community has done a lot for me and this is my opportunity to pay it forward. It’s important to me to do that.”
      That particular sentence may/may not fit your setting but you get the idea. Say something that would resonate with most people.

      1. AdAgencyChick*

        I also have a regular weekly commitment that, when it’s a normal working day, is no problem to make it to. But of course at an ad agency, sometimes the normal working day ends up with last-minute craziness that needs to be resolved that evening. It’s very easy for there to be a casual expectation that you will simply stay and get things done, which just breeds resentment and burnout (especially if there’s a way to work around it).

        When I first started this weekly commitment, I asked my boss whether it was okay that I do this, knowing that sometimes it might mean managing around, and that if there were truly no one else who could accomplish something that needed to be done right then, then I could miss that week’s event — but that I really wanted to make this happen. He was incredibly supportive (one of the many reasons he’s the best boss I’ve ever had), and once I had him on board, basically I just made it clear to others I worked with from the beginning: “I take X very seriously, and I will work hard to make sure you get what you need when you need it — I just need to leave at 6 on Thursday nights.” For the most part, people respond positively to this — or, at least, if they’re complaining about it, it’s behind my back :P

        (In the OP’s case, though, I think it’s harder to get out of a once-a-year event on a regular basis, which is why I would figure that out up front and decide accordingly.)

        1. anonj*

          I have a similar situation for a therapy appointment every week on the same day in the middle of the day. Sometimes when people want to schedule meetings, they suggest that time, and I just say that I’m not available then. My boss approved the weekly time off a while ago, but I never said what it was for (she has probably guessed), and she hasn’t insisted that I be available for any meetings during that time. She seems to realize that it’s important to me, or I wouldn’t be so firm about not being available then. If she really needed me to be available, I would cancel my appointment, and I hope she knows that.

    2. Zahra*

      Another solution, if both events are local, would be to offer to divide your time between both of them (assuming the nature of the activities make that possible).

      1. Graciosa*

        This has a certain intuitive appeal, but doesn’t really address the possible long term issue if this turns out to be likely to be a consistently recurring conflict.

        An employer is going to expect a certain level of commitment to the job, and there needs to be a good reason for missing important components of it.

        You can only come to the morning sessions of the conference because in the afternoons you need to take your child to dialysis? No problem. Please let me know if there’s anything else I can do to make this easier for you.

        You would prefer to only come to the morning sessions of the conference because in the afternoons you want to be at a volunteer event? I don’t think so. But please let me know if your employment with our company is keeping you from other activities that are more important to you. I know just how to put an end to that problem.

        This is probably reading as uncomfortably direct, but I do want to highlight the importance of making conscious choices. AdAgencyChick made an excellent point that this may be a recurring issue.

        If the OP is not going to be happy giving up the volunteer event indefinitely for this job (if that proves to be necessary) then the OP shouldn’t take the job. This is just as much an issue as it would be if the OP wouldn’t be happy in the job because of the shared cubicles, the long commute, or the boss’ management style.

        An existing commitment that may present some challenges one time does not send quite the same message as indicating that you will always have higher priorities than key work events. The OP should take AdAgencyChick’s words to heart and find out if this will be a recurring problem – please don’t just accept the job and hope that things will somehow just work out in the future. Hope is not a strategy.

  6. steph*

    The flip side to OP #2’s situation is in the case of a difficult or problem coworker. When my manager let me know the problem coworker was on a PIP, just that matter-of-factly, not gossip-y, it was good for my own morale and respect for the manager.

    1. Chris80*

      +1 I would quickly lose respect for a manager that overshares. Still, I think it’s often good for the morale of high performers to let them know in no uncertain terms that you are actively dealing with/intend to deal with a problem (assuming they’ve come to you for help with a problem coworker). I would not personally share any details, though, such as if they are on a PIP…I think it’s enough for employees to know that you’re aware of the problem and working to fix it.

  7. Sunflower*

    #5- Indeed is very good too. It’s kind of like google for jobs. Monster and career builder are time wasters IMO. Plus people can get your resume off of it and you end up fielding calls from scam jobs that have nothing to do with your industry or field.

    I’d also recommend using a job search agent on company’s websites. A lot of company’s have a system that allows you to get emails when something in you’re interested in is posted.

  8. TotesMaGoats*

    #2-Your worry that if your boss will share information about other employees with you then she will probably share information about you with other employees is completely valid. In my experience, the times when I was doing really well, being the golden child, I got to hear all the dirt on my coworkers and even higher ups. When someone else was the golden child, even if my work quality hadn’t changed, I knew my boss was probably talking about me.

    1. Rebecca*

      This is exactly why I share zero information now. My boss is a bucket mouth. Unless it’s a medical issue that will require me to be out of the office and have to take leave, no one gets any details about my personal life. In her mind, she’s not gossiping, or telling things she shouldn’t, she’s just “concerned” and trying to make sure everyone is aware of the situation.

    2. RH*

      This is my boss and half the people above him. My boss once told me how much one of my colleagues was underperforming, even though he told her in multiple meetings that she was doing a great job. My boss has asked me why I do not share much and I responded that I do not want to be a grapevine topic.

  9. Josh S*

    Let’s post a bunch of niche job boards and the industry they serve down thread from this. They can sometimes be hard to find (odd as that is in the age of Google.

    I’ll go first (not an endorsement of any of these sites, just a listing):

    Market Research

    1. dawbs*

      For ‘specific to education’ nonprofit work:
      ASTC job bank for museum-y work (Which overlaps a bit with idealist.org).:

      Assoc of Midwest Museums does as well:

      Also, individual states have nonprofit job banks–this is Michigan’s:

      Other states have museum associations that have job banks:

    2. AmyNYC*

      For architects/designer:
      AIA (local and national chapters)
      Boston Society of Architects (New England only)

    3. Oy vey.*

      Can I request a more specific career field, medical devices/biomechanical engineering/research? I have a job now but I had a heck of a time finding job listings to apply to… and I’m still not sure where to find such listings.

        1. Oy vey.*

          Outside of the major companies, I’m not quite sure what other companies are out there. Also, smaller start-ups are hard to find.

          1. TL*

            Oh. I work in a lab, so I tend to hear about companies as we need to order from them or get literature from them. I don’t know of a good website, though. Word of mouth works too, if you know people in the field.

          2. Kerry (Like The County In Ireland)*

            Your public library probably has Reference USA, which you can use to search for businesses with particular SIC codes by state. You can then look for a web presence or articles.

      1. Bea W*

        in my area there was a site that listed all biotech companies in a city full of biotech companies. I also recall there was a job search board just for biotech. of course I’m not home where I can look up the bookmarks.

      1. Brett*

        Also the GIS User job listings:
        GIS Jobs: http://www.gisjobs.com/
        AAG Career page (for advanced degrees, especially PhD): http://jobs.aag.org/home/index.cfm?site_id=15004
        Esri Career page (though don’t advertise elsewhere much): http://www.esri.com/careers
        Directions Magazine: http://www.directionsmag.com/careers/

        Also, the Esri User Groups all have email lists that are extremely good sources of regional or sub-industry specific job postings.

      1. Audiophile*

        Journalismjobs.com (used to be good, haven’t used it in a while)

        I can’t think of any others right now.

        1. OP for 5. Where should I be looking for jobs?*

          Thank you Josh S for suggesting this and thanks to everyone for posting these suggestions/links!

        2. Editor*

          In addition to journalismjobs, Jim Romenesko’s site has also started carrying journalism positions:

          American Copy Editors Society (mostly newspaper jobs, but not always):

          Copyediting (a newsletter) has a job site online (lots of academic and professional publications here):

          mediabistro has a wide range of jobs in advertising, publishing, television and video, design, social media and related areas, plus courses and news on topics of interest to professionals in those fields:

          In addition, most states have press associations, and the state associations often list newspaper or other journalism listings within that state, so Google your state name plus “press association” or other terms such as journalism to track the group down. Some cities also have journalism or other associations. When I lived near Cincinnati, I joined the Cincinnati Editors Association and met a wide range of editors — good for networking.

    4. Christina*

      I was just coming to ask this! Any suggestions for communications job resources, especially if they’re specific to Chicago, would be amazing, I’m having a heck of a time finding good ones or that aren’t a nightmare to navigate through.

    5. Paloma Pigeon*



      Alumni Relations:

      Jewishjobs.com – for jobs in Jewish philanthropy, education, etc.

      1. Emily K*

        Also, JobsThatAreLeft for progressive campaign/nonprofit work. (Google JobsThatAreLeft, it’s a Google Group with a forum).

    6. Emmy*

      InsideHigherEd.com for higher ed jobs (staff and professors) and CASE specifically for communications/advancement/alumni work in higher ed and independent schools. And of course, the job listing websites of any university you’d be interested in working at.

      1. Persephone Mulberry*

        Also hercjobs.org (scroll to the bottom for the list of geographic regions)

    7. LyonsTigersandBears*

      Some good resources for general job hunting:

      glassdoor.com (jobs PLUS company reviews, salaries, interview intel)
      angel.co (startups)
      theladders.com (general)

      Sorry if these were already listed… posting quickly before getting back to work!

      1. LyonsTigersandBears*

        Also hired.com if you are software engineer, product manager, UX/UI designer or data scientist.

    8. littlemoose*

      State bar associations
      Local bar associations
      Lawyers’ Weekly in your area
      Legal section of your local Business Journal
      Robert Half Legal (this is a recruiter with mostly temp jobs, but I believe they do some temp-to-perm and FT placement as well). Another recruiter is Lumen Legal.
      Any other lawyers know of resources?

  10. Celeste*

    #2–just because managers gossip doesn’t mean you have to care or do anything with it. You don’t have to think about the knowledge, much less share it.

    A friend who used to be a hairdresser said nothing she said could ever get some of her customers not to gossip in her shop. So while she was working on their hair, she would just let them go on but think about her grocery planning or task list at home until she was finished with them or had to speak up about their hair. Sometimes all you can do is your job, and not be pulled into others’ bits of drama.

    1. Windchime*

      When I lived in a much smaller town, I had the opposite problem with a hairdresser that I wanted to try out. She wanted “dirt” on people that we knew in common and was constantly pumping me for information. If she wasn’t grilling me, she was gossiping. I only went to her a few times before I gave up and found someone else. It was so uncomfortable.

  11. some1*

    For #4, I know the ship has sailed now, but in an interview where they mention a conference, that would be a good time to ask something like, “Who from the company typically attends?” hopefully that will prompt the interviewer to lay out expectations whether it’s something that’s required for everyone, required for some, not required but still expected to go if possible, or completely optional.

    Imo, a good company should mention in an interview of there are conferences or events that are required outside of the typical work time.

  12. ElizabethWest*

    #2–boss oversharing about coworkers

    Not exactly the same, but this reminds me of a job I took that turned out to be very short-term before I found Exjob. The manager who hired me spent a good part of my first couple of weeks telling me how incompetent her last hire was. That plus inconsistent and ill-defined job duties, a Coworker from Hell, and stupid policies made me so nervous there that I ended up making a lot of mistakes.

    She was a terrible manager. I quit mostly because of those other factors, but I often wondered what she said about me to the next person.

    1. Ruffingit*

      That is a problem I’ve encountered before as well – people complaining about those no longer employed at the company. I don’t want to hear about that and I often wonder why the complainer is still hung up on someone who isn’t there anymore. I’d rather succeed or fail on my own merits not because I’m better/worse than the person who came before me.

      This can be a positive or a negative. If the person who came before you was truly horrible, you are sometimes seen as Jesus turning water into wine just because you do your job at all. If the person who came before was a rock star though, then you can’t ever fill their shoes. The comparison thing stinks for that reason alone, though there are other reasons it’s bad.

      1. Gracie*

        I’ve run into this with my current job *and* my previous job now. With previous job, my predecessor was retiring. I was in PreviousJob for about four years and even until my last few days, frequently heard “[Predecessor] always did X/never did Y!” (when X was something she shouldn’t have been doing and Y was something she should have been doing).
        With current job, no one apparently liked my predecessor. Fine, whatever, but when that person has been gone for almost a year and you’re still using her name as a verb (negatively)….maybe someone (who’s not my predecessor) might have some issues to work through? Just putting that out there.

        1. Ruffingit*

          I completely agree. People need to learn to let go. The continued obsession with any one person/thing that is no longer around speaks to some serious issues.

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