constant door-knocking interrupts me, choosing between a job and a vacation, and more

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

1. I constantly have to open the door for coworkers from another floor

Our office staff works behind a locked door, to protect customer information (we deal heavily with personal data and banking info in our sales process). The admin function all happens upstairs, away from customers, and only those of us who work upstairs have access. Before you hit the locked door, you pass several offices, including mine, which is closest to the door. Downstairs folk come up frequently to deal with issues and hand in paperwork, and have to be let in.

Since I moved into this office, I’ve been relegated to door-opener, and I’m losing my mind. If I’m not here, they knock on the door until someone opens it, but if I am, they typically stare at me until I get up and open the door for them. If I ignore them or tell them to knock, my boss, who is in the office next door, gets up and lets them in, and I feel guilty for him being interrupted.

What the heck do I do about this? I’m being interrupted probably 10-30 times a day to open a door, but it’s bad security to give the door code out to everyone in the building even though these people have legitimate reasons to go into the office. Sometimes I fake a phone call if I hear someone coming up the stairs, but even if my door is closed, often people knock on my window and gesture at the door. I also don’t want my boss to think I’m being unhelpful or lazy, but I’m going crazy.

Talk to your boss! It’s not unhelpful or lazy to say “this is regularly interrupting my work and impeding my focus”; your boss presumably wants you to be able to focus on the work you’re there to do.

That said, it sounds like a terrible system: people regularly need to get into a locked area but can’t have their own keys, and there’s no one whose job is specifically to deal with the interruptions. When you talk to your boss, it might be worth seeing if any of those factors can be changed. Is there an admin on your team who can be charged with opening the door (and maybe relocated to be closer to it)? Can the downstairs people sign out a key when they need one (with some sort of security attached to the check-out system)? Something else?

2. Was this bad interview experience a test?

I graduated in August and have been job hunting ever since. Even though I hadn’t applied there, I was contacted by an oil company that has a connection to my alma mater to come in for a general interview yesterday. Naturally the refinery is on the outskirts of the city, and it took me three and a half hours to get there, but I managed to be on time for my interview at 1 p.m. I waited for three and a half hours for the interview. One hour was allocated for an English exam that I had not been informed about (I live in a non-English-speaking country), but that still leaves two and half hours of just waiting in an empty conference room. As it is a safety hazard, we were not allowed to take our cellphones in with us and there was nothing to do or read while we waited. From the other candidates, I also found out that they had double booked each time slot.

I hadn’t had anything to eat other than a banana in the morning and I was fading when they were ready to see me at 4:30 p.m. As you can imagine, the interview went very poorly. It became obvious that they only called me because they saw the name of my alma mater on my resume and that they thought my master’s in a different but related field was just wasted time. I knew immidiately that they would not hire me, and indeed this morning they sent me an email telling me that.

I’m wondering if the waiting was a test or if they are just that bad at time management. This is supposed to be one of the best companies to work for in my country as a chemical engineer and in fact they are the only oil company we have. I really don’t want to believe they are this disrespectful and/or incompetent. I also can’t help but think they’re taking advantage of the bad job market because they know we really need the jobs so we won’t say anything. Do companies do this sort of thing on purpose?

It’s highly unlikely that the waiting was a test. It’s far more likely that they’re just inconsiderate of people’s time, or something went wrong in the scheduling, or some scheduling conflict came up at the last minute (like they planned to have four interviewers and two were out sick).

For what it’s worth, while they handled this poorly, that banana is on you — with a 1 p.m. interview, it’s reasonable to think you might be there much of the afternoon. Next time, eat beforehand!

3. Does being a guild leader count as management experience?

Many jobs ask for supervisory experience, such as leading a team, managing goals, etc. While I have no professional or volunteer experience in management, I do have unconventional experience. I am a big gamer, and one aspect of many games is guilds. As a guild leader, one is responsible for the behavior for the team, setting goals for each member, team building, interviewing and electing officials to help moderate the team and carry out various duties as asked, following up with members on a one to one basis to ensure goals are being met, and if not, what actions should be taken to help the team member and the guild grow as a team. In essence, being a guild leader in these games gives a lot of practical, real life experience.

Would it be acceptable to use this unconventional experience to apply for jobs, and if so, how would I fit it into a resume or application?

No. It’s totally possible that being a guild leader gives you more substantial management experience than I realize, but the majority of hiring managers are going to be like me — unfamiliar with it — and will think it shows a naivete about what managing actually involves.

4. Choosing between a job and a long vacation

Am I stupid for thinking about not taking a job because I would probably not be able to take a long vacation that was approved by my current manager?

This is my first corporate job out of college. I have been here almost three years and I like it. Best part: generous vacation day handling by my boss. He approved two months for this summer.

Recently, I was approached by another manager from another division. The job would be a step up the ladder, but I know from the nature of the job that taking so much time off (especially during summer – in the first couple of months of me being there) is not an option. Is there another alternative I don’t see yet?

If you’re sure the time off absolutely wouldn’t be okay, then the only other real option would be to see if you could wait to start until after the vacation (although your current boss might not be thrilled about you disappearing for two months and then disappearing for good, so that might not be workable either).

But sometimes people think something is impossible when it actually isn’t. It’s possible that the new manager wants to hire you enough that she’d be willing to okay that previously-scheduled vacation, and it might make sense to just tell her about the situation and see what she says. You’d want to be prepared for what to do if she says no (i.e., are you willing to lose the job offer over it, or would you rather cancel the vacation?) but — depending on the context, which unfortunately I don’t know — it might make sense to at least raise it. If you decide to, I’d say it like this: “I’m really excited about the possibility of this job. I have a weird situation, in that I’ve scheduled a trip for all of June and July and already bought tickets. I realize that might be prohibitive for this job, but wanted to check with you to see if there would be any way to make it work.”

5. Is this interview process really just a formality?

Recently we had an unexpected vacancy in our small department, when the full-time teapot clerk left. I am the part-time teapot clerk and have been there a year. Wen the full-time clerk left, my boss told me that HR would be contacted, and I would be given that full-time role because I was a great worker and deserved it. I have been working the full-time hours while waiting on word of the official promotion.

Several days ago, my boss comes up to me and says HR will not just let them put me in the position. They have to advertise and interview for it. I am really upset now. I have worked very hard to get this, and now there’s a chance I won’t get this great opportunity that would double my salary and allow me to have health insurance. Is this a normal thing to do?

I know you have to interview if you change jobs at a company, but this is the same job, just more hours! My boss says the interview process is just a formality, but I can’t help but worry they might find someone else. Should I trust them when they say it’s a formality, or should I start looking elsewhere? I love my job, but I don’t think I would be okay with it if someone else got the position.

It’s not uncommon for companies to want to advertise positions and conduct full hiring rounds instead of just moving a current employee into the role. Sometimes it’s because they want to make sure that they’re truly hiring the best person (in which case, no, this isn’t just a formality). Other times, they’re just following internal rules, but it really might be just a formality. I don’t know which it is. But your best bet is to understand that they have rules they need to follow and that those rules aren’t particularly outrageous, and just see how it plays out.

If you’ll really be too upset to stay if you don’t get the full-time position, then sure, start looking around. But you say you love your job, and it would suck if you left a job you love and ended up somewhere you don’t like as much. I’d rather see you try to change your mindset from “horrible injustice” to “it’s not ideal, but this stuff happens.”

{ 352 comments… read them below }

  1. Shannon*

    #3 Or you get people like me who know what a guild leader is, exactly and also know that there’s a wide variety of types of guild leaders out there. Yes, a good guild leader of a successful guild does all the things you do. However, there’s also no way to prove it – I’m not going to make a toon on your server, evaluate your guild’s reputation and talk to your guild members as a reference.

    1. Artemesia*

      I know a bit about gaming but as a hiring manager this would set my teeth on edge the same way a homemaker who writes up her daily household and toddler management tasks using pretentious business language or someone who uses the example of planning her wedding. We all have life experiences. Even once that involve some organizing isn’t the same as having been a manager.

      1. Allison*

        Agreed, personal life experiences rarely translate to professional skills, as much as people might want them to. They might make you a colorful, interesting person, but they don’t make you qualified to do something in a professional context.

      2. Middleman*

        Thank you, I always feel like applicants take me for a complete fool when they try to frame their barely relevant personal life experiences in such a way that it is equivalent to directly relevant professional experience. Anyone can make such associations using moon logic.

        I agree that this is something that shouldn’t be put on a resume under any circumstances and that as a hiring manager it would make me regard the applicant with complete contempt.

        1. NJ Anon*

          It would certainly cause the resume to go in the “no” pile, but I think “complete contempt” is a little strong.

        2. Anna*

          This bugs me. Specifically because the fact that I have the career I have now is because of the fandom work I do. This is the second time a question has come up recently about work done in fandom and it’s been dismissed and I feel like there’s a disconnect, but not from the people asking.

            1. Anna*

              Which is my point. We are always saying in these comments that volunteer experience is absolutely relevant and should be included. It seems like a huge double-standard because we’re talking about gaming versus feeding the homeless.

              1. Ask a Manager* Post author

                Except that in this case the OP is asking about using it as a substitute for professional management experience. I’d tell her that managing volunteers isn’t the same thing as managing paid staff either.

                1. Vulcan social worker*

                  I have managed volunteers and a couple of paid assistants, and I would say that volunteers are more difficult. Some of my volunteers were great, of course. But some felt they could do whatever they wanted and were really hard to rein in because I didn’t have the same power over them. I could have told them not to come back, but in some cases they were people respected in a small community so that was delicate and something my bosses certainly wanted me to avoid unless they were really causing serious trouble and not just needing a lot of supervision and direction (which fortunately I could often get my superstar volunteers to help with so as not to keep me from the important parts of my job). My program assistants fortantely were great and didn’t need hand-holding, but there were no politics there and I could have dismissed if necessary without the same kind of strife. Which is not at all arguing with your point that they are different, Alison. If a job calls for any management duties, in my cover letter I typically say whom I have managed so I don’t get to an interview and have the hiring manager think I was running a department of 50 rather than two plus volunteers and sometimes a student intern. I learned from reading here the importance of that.

                2. Ask a Manager* Post author

                  Yep, they’re different! Volunteers can be harder. But still different — a different bar for performance, different types of feedback and accountability, etc. So when I’m looking for management experience, I’m looking for experience managing paid staff, because it’s just a different thing.

              2. neverjaunty*

                Engaging in a hobby of any kind is not the same as professional experience. This isn’t about fanfic or gaming being “lesser” – it would be equally tone-deaf for an applicant to brag about managing his office’s fantasy football league.

                Also, and I say this as a fellow gamer: maybe rethink the idea that a successful WvW raid is as admirable as feeding the homeless.

              3. Shell*

                I’m speaking as a gamer and a fan, but really, I don’t think volunteer positions in gaming and fandom are equivalent to regular volunteer positions (in most cases) because it’s not easily verifiable.

                Volunteer positions run the gamut. Some sound great but don’t really teach you much. Some really teach the volunteer a lot of hard skills that can bolster their resume. Guilds work like that too, I get it. But real life volunteer positions are easy to verify. There are company websites, job titles, business cards, job descriptions, etc. If I call up a volunteer coordinator for the Canadian Blood Services after googling their website, I can be reasonably sure I’m talking to who I think I’m talking to, and that person can verify the volunteer has done what she says she has done.

                Who exactly are you going to call to verify that a guildmaster has done what she says she has done? Are you going to visit their guild? Interview random guild members over the internet, all of whom are pseudonyms? Pseudonyms that can be duplicated usually (so the DarkElfSlayer you talk to may not even be the right DarkElfSlayer)? Unless you’ve taken the gaming to a professional level–I’m thinking like the coaching staff or professional e-sports players for games in South Korea, which are actual jobs with salaries and job titles and expectations–you can’t validate it like you can a real job in most cases. Not all, but most.

                Stigma against fandom is absolutely a thing, but aside from that stigma, fandom contributions are often not verifiable in the way real life experience is. Contributions in the fandom sphere can be as rigorous or as loosey-goosey as anything in real life, but the difficulty in verifiable experience hurts its validity. And while that’s unfortunate, I don’t think that’s in itself a problem. I want to be able to verify something before I consider it valid.

                1. Anna*

                  Ummmm…the other people who run the guild with you? I feel like people are putting up a wall where none need exist.

                  Perhaps I’m lucky in that my fandom experience is with a registered non-profit that I helped found, but it is all volunteer run so all my management experience was literally of volunteers. I seriously gave myself my title and I seriously put my work on my resume as job experience. And it is literally the reason I have my career now.

                2. neverjaunty*

                  There is a huge difference between a registered nonprofit volunteer organization and an online gaming guild.

                3. Shell*

                  My point is that your other guild members are pretty easily…falsifiable? I can have a business card of a volunteer coordinator from the Red Cross, I can look them up on LinkedIn, their bio might be posted on the company website…(well, maybe not Red Cross as they’re too big, but for a smaller employer), emails from them has a company signature and is sent from a company server…etc. There are signs–not bulletproof, but a fair number of signs–that indicate this person is who the volunteer say it is.

                  If job applicant uses another guild member as a reference, how do you verify that this second guild member is who the applicant says it is? Aren’t they usually using online pseudonyms? Most of the time pseudonyms aren’t attached to real life names for privacy and protection, but this means that the reference checker can’t realistically tell if the name they’re given is the Guild Master who can verify the applicant’s awesomeness…or just some random friend of the applicant.

                  Other people have made very good points about how hobbies and games do not necessarily translate to professional-level skills because the hobbies may not be applied with the same level of rigour. But even aside from that, I think the difficulty in verifying the hobby/online experience makes it a huge problem in using it as backing for professional level skills.

                4. Lisa*

                  As another long-time hardcore gamer, I completely agree with Shell. The information isn’t verifiable. I’ve met lots of guild leaders who think they’re amazing, but really they couldn’t lead ants to a sandwich.
                  If someone mentioned this in an interview I would ask further questions and take it into consideration, but I concur it doesn’t count as workplace leadership experience.

          1. Student*

            I disagree. Online guild activity (I was a pretty successful raid leader, once upon a time), “fandom” work, and similar things are HOBBIES. You are not accountable for hobbies in the same way a job makes you accountable. People rightly regard them as more like other hobbies – I’m sure running a sewing circle or a book club or a regular basketball game also has logistics and team leadership aspects to it. But it’s not a job. You can always walk away with no huge consequences beyond annoying your friends. Everyone is in it voluntarily because they want to be there. The stakes are so much lower. Individuals have much more autonomy – as much as they wish to exercise.

            1. AnonEMoose*

              I would say that’s not quite true, and that it depends on the work in question. In the work I do for the convention, I’m accountable to the board of directors, the convention committee, and the membership at large. And if stuff doesn’t get done, and get done the way it should…there are absolutely consequences. Not losing a paycheck, true, but consequences nonetheless.

              1. One of the Sarahs*

                But Alison has said in all the recent fandom threads, that organising a convention is experience to use as an example of skills. The difference is that employers should be able to find the convention online and see it exists and was a real thing that happened, and hopefully you got feedback from – but there’s no way to verify “I’m a great Guild Leader”.

          2. VintageLydia*

            But there HAS been some fandom work discussed here that would be much more transferable. Operating AO3 would probably be resume worthy, but posting fanfiction to it would not be. There was the LW who wrote in who ran a very popular boy band website, not blog, but actual active site, that Alison said would be appropriate. Organizing a convention (arranging guests and catering, finding and raising money for convention space, etc) would be good, but simply volunteering may not be.

            It’s not that fandom doesn’t belong on resumes, but it’s just rare that fandom activities are resume worthy.

          3. R2D2*

            It’s a class filter. Same as if they asked you where you got your news and you mentioned Gawker instead of the Wall Street Journal. It has the bonus of having no direct connection with any protected group, which makes filtering for low-brow interests a fantastic way to ensure “cultural fit”.

      3. Snarkus Aurelius*

        A friend of mine called herself a “domestic engineer” to describe her time as a SAHM.  I told her to take that title and cutesy job description off her resume because there were actual engineers out there who went to school and got licensed for it so they could build things people drive on or live in without collapsing.

        Here’s the problem with using life experiences like planning a wedding or being a guild leader: there’s no third party accountability and objectivity in it.  The only person to verify whether or not you did a good job is…you.  And you’re not going to give yourself a bad reference!

        1. AnotherAlison*

          Thank you for your assistance in preserving the integrity of the engineering profession. Comparing my day job as an engineer and my second job (lol) as a wife and mom, I can honestly say I do no engineering in my domicile. My husband and I general contracted a complete gut home remodel of our house a few years ago, and I wouldn’t even count that as project management experience. : ) It’s so much easier when you go $30,000 over budget due to an unforeseen structural issue to say, “Self, I need to get $30k more. Will you approve that?” than it is to go to an actual client and get that type of approval.

          Sorry, stepping off soapbox now.

          1. Snarkus Aurelius*

            It may sadden you to know that my friend changed “domestic engineer” to “household CEO.”

            I told her that she can’t use titles like that because employers will attach expectations for a CEO or engineer or manager to what she’s trying to convey, and they’ll be ticked when they read the bullet points because it’ll feel like being tricked.

            And you internal dialogue made me giggle.

            1. Artemesia*

              I would think it would totally turn off a woman executive even more who like runs the company AND runs the household with her left hand.

            2. Allison*

              I’ve seen SAHMs (or former SAHMs) list their husbands or families as their employers. I can’t tell if that’s better or worse, essentially listing your husband and/or children as your boss, but it seemed super creepy.

            3. MV*

              Oh how I wish your friend would not do this. I would throw a resume like this away right away. Well maybe I would show it to the others reviewing resumes so we could all get a chuckle out of it first!

          2. Rater Z*

            When I was doing tax returns, I would sometimes have a woman who wanted to say her occupation was a domestic engineer. I would never accept it and put it on the return. My premise was, and still would be, that it would simply be a red flag to the IRS. If they see the term engineer, they would want to see the pay for the job reflected on the return and it would cause too many delays that I would be simply be blamed for. There are penalties for frivolous returns and, as a paid preparer, my name and assigned IRS number would be sitting on that return.

        2. March*

          Yeah, the thought of someone calling themselves a “domestic engineer” sets my teeth on edge. I know many of my classmates and I find it annoying when engineering technology students at the local college call themselves engineers, and that’s a lot closer than a SAHM. I’m with AnotherAlison – thanks for telling her to change it.

          1. Barney Stinson*

            I know women who made the decision to drop out of the paid workforce to raise a family, and then wanted back in fifteen years later. When they had trouble finding work because of a lack of recent experience, they actually used their kids’ stellar report cards as proof of being a good leader.

            My mind, it boggles.

          2. Not So NewReader*

            I remember when that term first came out, we all laughed at it. I can’t believe people are still kicking the term about AND even thinking they can put it on a resume.

    2. Perse's Mom*

      Yeah, even IF the job is in the gaming industry or tangentially related, it depends an awful lot on the guild in question. Unless you’re running a guild with a lot of achievements you can point at like server/world first boss kills/raid clears, there’s not a lot there to put on a resume. Most people will have absolutely no idea what’s involved and/or be bothered at the comparison (gamer management in game environment =! managing people directly where money and jobs are involved).

      Aspects of guild/raid leading can translate into management (tackling a massive system migration has certain things in common with leading a large raid), and you can absolutely use that experience in a job – some elements of it you could even turn into interview answers to the ‘tell us about a time you…’ questions. Present it as… a sort of volunteering activity that’s helped you achieve a lot of personal growth? – ‘I regularly organize a team activity, which requires A, B, and C ahead of time (scheduling, planning/organizing, clearly communicating expectations) and X,Y, and Z day-of (troubleshooting on the spot, brainstorming solutions, keeping everyone motivated and getting along). It can be stressful with that many different personalities involved, but we’re all working toward the same goal and we have fun along the way, which means when I reach out to schedule the next event, people are really excited for it.’

      It’s just probably going to hurt more than help if you list it on a resume as Guild Leader of Fancy Guild in MMORPG.

      1. Honeybee*

        I work in the gaming industry and I still think my team would think it was pretty weird if someone put their guild leader position as evidence of management experience on their resume. It would be interesting and good to put it somewhere like “special interests” or “hobbies” or something like that (which could actually help – gaming companies want to hire gamers, so evidence that you know and play games is useful) but not in like work experience.

          1. Mallory Janis Ian*

            Yeah, I nuke my lunch in the microwave every day, but that doesn’t mean I know how to build a microwave.

    3. Jen in RO*

      I agree with Shannon – unless the hiring manager was actually in your guild during raids, there’s no way you can leverage this experience in a resume. If *I* were the hiring manager and you managed to bring it up, it would lead to an interesting conversation, but there’s no way to tell whether the person interviewing you is into WoW or not…

      That being said, I’ve actually told my former guild/raid leader that I am sorry he can’t put this experience on his resume – the dude was singlehandedly leading a guild while in his early 20s, and he was so good at it! He organized the raids, led & tanked them, served as moral support and defused conflicts, recruited and basically herded ~30 whiny cats on a daily basis.

      On the flip side, I sucked at anything that had to do with leading in WoW, so I always assumed I would be a crappy manager… turns out, I am not that bad. (I guess it’s because I wasn’t reading AAM during Wrath of the Lich King…)

      1. AnonEMoose*

        Honestly, I would argue that leadership in circumstances like a guild, or in a volunteer context (like me – I help run a local science fiction convention) can be, in some respects, harder than managing in a paid position. Because, in the context of a volunteer position, people can and do just walk with no notice if they don’t like what you’re doing. Probably complaining endlessly about how much you suck to everyone/anyone who will listen. Not that they won’t do the same in a paid position, but with a paycheck involved, it seems less likely (heavily dependent on context, of course). And I think most people understand that, in most circumstances, walking off a paid job with notice reflects at least as badly on them as it does on the company, if not more so.

        But when everyone is a volunteer or is otherwise there on a “want to” basis and not a “need a paycheck” basis, it’s more effective to use more persuasion and building of consensus than it is to invoke authority. Not that you shouldn’t be doing that in a paid job context, too, but in that context, in the end, you’re the boss. In a way that you’re just not when it comes to all-volunteer organizations. And, of course, there’s the consideration that most of the people involved tend to have a lot of passion about it. Which, mostly, is good, but also means that they often have strong opinions. So it can be very, very messy, and navigating those politics is very far from easy.

        I could see putting “guild leader” in the hobbies/interests/volunteer experience section of a resume, with a solid description of what it involves, especially if you’re applying to something where an interest in gaming could be an asset. But if you’re not sure, it might be wiser to leave it off, and maybe bring it up in an interview if it seems relevant.

          1. AnonEMoose*

            They do. But it’s still a bit different when you’re a paid employee managing volunteers vs. being a volunteer managing other volunteers. W

            hen it’s the latter, I think with some people there’s still a perception of “well, we’re all volunteers, so YOU’RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME” even though, officially, I am (and I’m not the only one who has that issue in the organization in question, so I think it’s more an organizational issue than a personal one).

            1. Ask a Manager* Post author

              One reason I think managing volunteers is different is that there’s usually a different bar for performance; volunteers usually have more leeway before they’re totally kicked out, and often before they’re spoken to at all (because they’re volunteering, after all). When I’m hiring managers, one thing I’m looking for is a track record of holding a consistent high bar and addressing it when people aren’t meeting it. If they’ve only managed volunteers, they almost certainly don’t have that, because it’s just a different set-up.

              1. Argus*

                I feel like that’s a very simplistic and generalized view to take, assuming that someone doesn’t have experience holding people to a high standard simply because those people were volunteers. Experiences vary, and I know of several cases of volunteers being held to higher standards than I’ve seen people in some workplaces. It always bothers me when people who assert themselves to be “experts” spread generalizations as fact when they are simply opinions based on that one individual’s limited experience. *sigh*

      2. ZuKeeper*

        Haha, I did fine as a manager, but in WoW I didn’t WANT to be a manager. Gaming is stress relief, I don’t want to have to work at it too.

        That said, it totally depends on the guild. My husband is actually leader of our long running guild. He calls himself Village Idiot rather than GL, because that’s all we need, since we haven’t bothered to raid since BC. Even when we were active, running a guild was nothing compared to running a staff/department. Frankly, there are no real consequences if you screw up with a guild. You lose a few members, maybe lose the guild to someone else. It’s a game, with cartoon characters and pixelated money. Yes, there are real people behind the cartoons, but it’s still pretty anonymous and you can find a new guild in a few minutes if someone hurts your feelings. Managing in the real world, you screw up and there can be pretty major consequences.

        As a result, you just can’t use a GL position on a resume. As a manager/gamer, I’d take one look at it and toss it in the trash, either thinking you weren’t taking the job seriously or you were taking yourself too seriously.

        1. Marian the Librarian*

          > “Haha, I did fine as a manager, but in WoW I didn’t WANT to be a manager. Gaming is stress relief, I don’t want to have to work at it too.”

          This is exactly why I quit playing WoW! I was an officer in my guild, and one day I woke up and realized I was paying money to Blizzard to do a job, and I didn’t even enjoy it that much anymore.

    4. neverjaunty*

      Yup. And no way for me to know if running that guild developed any skills that translated into real-world management.

    5. Helena*

      Shannon’s point about references is a good one. My MMO relied heavily on community leaders (including guild leaders) to organize and run game events, moderate the forums and in-game chat, and bug-test upcoming releases. I put that (unpaid) work as a moderator and community manager on my resume, and I got a job (not in video games) because of it. But! the key to doing that successfully was the points of contact at the actual video game company who were happy to serve as references – the work was to support the video game company, not to support my guild.

      1. Liane*

        Yes, you need the references, preferably from someone who managed you, that you were/are answerable to. In my fandom job, I am answerable to the company’s 2 owners directly as the Lead Mod for thier company’s forums and to an Editor-in-Chief as the Copy Editor for the blog. And I have real job duties with real accomplishments in both.

    6. Puffy*

      I am just nearly dying after picturing a hiring manager setting up a gaming account and setting up some kind of meeting with the guild members and other players.

      While there is ‘no way to prove it’ there are lots of experiences that can be used that aren’t necessarily provable – things that happened during a group project 2 years ago cannot be proved but I use it in interviews all the time as a prime example of my organizational capabilities. This kind of experience could be an asset if you need to answer a “Give me an example of when you -” and you don’t have any actual work experience to answer the question.

  2. Sara M*

    True story, for #3.

    A friend used her Vampire LARP (live action roleplaying) experience on a resume. I served as a reference for her (we’d worked together).

    When the employer called me, I had to reassure her that my friend wasn’t a Satanic worshipper and not part of a cult. I reframed it for her as organizational skills (like a guild leader) and she was greatly relieved. My friend had the best resume, but the employer was scared about hiring.

    If you do use it, you have to be _very_ careful about how you frame it.

    (And I saved my friend’s job offer. She got the offer and she accepted it. Yay.)

    1. Mike C.*

      The idea of not offering someone a job because “they might be a Satan worshipper” sounds really illegal to me.

      1. Milton*

        True…but people make stupid generalities all the time. In this situation it was inappropriate and unprofessional to say that. The employer could have said “Soooo what is a vampire LARP…(should have stopped right there!)…is that some sort of cult satan worship thing?

        Vampire: wth. LARP: wth, part 2. She asked about it, got clarification, and hired her.

        Now I’m wondering why didn’t this come up in the interview? Why would she ask a reference instead? Why am I Googling Vampire LARP instead of going to sleep?

        1. Sara M*

          She did start with that. Mostly “So tell me about this…” But I heard the concern in her voice and reframed the work experience in a positive way.

          Once we’d chatted and built a rapport, she relaxed and started chatting with me, and confessed her fears. Like: “Oh, I was so worried about that! I thought she might be, you know, one of Satan worshippers…”

          I was glad to do it, because a) my friend really did good work as an organizer, and b) she was young and needed good stuff for her resume. If she’d asked me, I would have told her not to use it, but at least I turned it into a positive.

          I got the sense that this wasn’t the most experienced interviewer ever. She seemed way too trusting of me and my opinions, given that she didn’t know me. I do have a knack for persuasion, but still.

      2. Ask a Manager* Post author

        We hear stories here sometimes about employers being weirded out that an employee isn’t a church-going Christian, so it’s not a stretch at all to think that lots of interviewers might be totally freaked out by the prospect of a practicing Satanist, law or no law. (Satanism is also very much the type of thing where some people will think that surely the law doesn’t extend that far, although of course it does.)

        1. Allison*

          In college I was advised to take my involvement in the “Pagan Student Organization” off my resume, because it might freak people out. Would it have been discrimination if someone threw out my resume just for that? Sure, but it wasn’t really a hill I was ready to die on, y’know? I wasn’t even a leader in that group and I wasn’t even going every week, so it wasn’t an important thing to list. Sometimes it’s just best to not reveal certain controversial, or even just potentially off-putting details about you during the application process.

          1. Effective Immediately*

            I’m an ordained pagan minister, and even I don’t put it on my resume. Like Satanism, many people believe that it’s not a “religion” in the EEOC sense, so they can discriminate away.

            I think this–like the guild leader or my friend who lists her SCA involvement at the top of her resume–is really a matter of knowing professional norms and where most people are going to draw the line. No doubt my friend is a stellar organizer, but the bottom line is that if asked about it, she is going to have to explain what the organization is, which is mostly going to sound like, “We dress up in costumes and pretend it’s sort of the Middle Ages but only the good parts” to the average hiring manager.

            Really, for me, it depends on how relevant it is to the job at hand. Applying for an InterFaith nonprofit job? Sure, I’ll list it. A regular corporate management gig? Not so much. I think the same is true for the WoW OP.

            1. Elle*

              I feel really dumb even asking, but I honestly don’t know…what is Satanism? I’m gathering it’s the worship of Satan, but what does it entail per se?

              1. Kelly L.*

                The most popular version isn’t really theistic at all–it’s more of a philosophy of looking out for one’s own self-interest.

                1. Elizabeth West*

                  Yeah, a lot of people think of baby-murdering black-robed covens cavorting in a room full of candles and upside-down crosses. Remember that most people’s conception of Satanism came from the cult scares in the 1970s and 1980s.

              2. Effective Immediately*

                It is and it isn’t theistic; it really depends on who you ask. Every Satanic Temple has a take on it, not unlike any other religion. Some are heavier on what I’d call (NOT derisively) the “pageantry” aspect–ritual, black mass, high magic, etc–and some are more philosophical/less structured in nature.

                Generally speaking, Satanists regard Lucifer as a figure/embodiment of Free Will and “earthly” things; some worship Satan in the sense of a deity, some regard him as more emblematic of the aforementioned ideals. They reject the Judeo-Christian idea that human nature is inherently bad and must be controlled; in that sense, Satan as they perceive him is a champion for humanity (e,g: without him, we wouldn’t have eaten from the Tree of Knowledge, which in the Satanic tradition, isn’t a bad thing). Satan for them represents creativity, human discovery, passion, worldly knowledge, etc; basically, all that stuff the Judeo-Christian tradition historically taught was in the way of transcendence. Many do believe in vengeance (in the eye-for-an-eye sense), but there are honor codes about not harming innocents and children.

                Recently, Satanic groups have been doing some political work, too: challenging Christian representations in state spaces (most famously their proposal for a Baphomet statue in a State Capitol where the 10 Commandments were to be displayed), speaking out against harassment of people seeking and providing abortion services, and offering help and physical protection to Muslims in their communities fearing backlash after the Paris attacks (I’ve pasted the statement from the Satanic Temples below).

                I’m not a Satanist personally, but through my work in the pagan community I know many–I obviously can’t speak for them all but that’s the gist of it. Sorry for the derail, Alison!

                “If there is anyone in the Minneapolis area who is Muslim and afraid to leave their home out of fear for some kind of backlash, don’t hesitate to reach out to us,” the Minneapolis chapter’s Facebook post stated. “We would be glad to escort you where you need to go without advertising our presence — just big dudes walking you where you need to be. We would also happily accompany you so you can get some groceries.”

              3. Sarah*

                From the church of Satan’s official website, their “eleven satanic rules of the earth”:

                Do not give opinions or advice unless you are asked.
                Do not tell your troubles to others unless you are sure they want to hear them.
                When in another’s lair, show him respect or else do not go there.
                If a guest in your lair annoys you, treat him cruelly and without mercy.
                Do not make sexual advances unless you are given the mating signal.
                Do not take that which does not belong to you unless it is a burden to the other person and he cries out to be relieved.
                Acknowledge the power of magic if you have employed it successfully to obtain your desires. If you deny the power of magic after having called upon it with success, you will lose all you have obtained.
                Do not complain about anything to which you need not subject yourself.
                Do not harm little children.
                Do not kill non-human animals unless you are attacked or for your food.
                When walking in open territory, bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask him to stop. If he does not stop, destroy him.

                My friend is a Satanist and mostly just likes that it promotes self-indulgence while not being a jerk to others without cause. As opposed to (in his opinion) many forms of modern Christianity which are very judgmental and base their assessment of you on whether or not you drink or have sex, not on your worth as a person.

            2. Lily Rowan*

              Even if you were a Christian minister, I wouldn’t include it on a resume for a secular job anyway. Like you said, if it’s directly relevant? Sure.

            3. Stranger than fiction*

              Good point that you want to appeal to the largest possible professional audience, and not chance that a small percentage may be genuinely interested in such experience. It’s kind of like when you’re selling your house, that bright orange dining room might be awesome to some people, but probably not most.

            4. Gene*

              Though it involved massive piles of paper moving across my home desk (This was when the IBM PC-AT was king) and huge amounts of book research, I never put my work as an SCA Principality Herald (Solar Herald, Atenveldt) on my resumes or cover letters. I did take a photo of the giant pile of carefully labeled banker’s boxes that contained the files and used it on one interview that asked about my ability to maintain files.

        2. manybellsdown*

          I almost lost a job I’d had for 3 years because my manager accidentally told someone I was Pagan. To be fair, the job was at a YMCA, but they were quite clear at my interview that they hired everyone, not just Christians. Still one of the best jobs I’ve ever had, despite that little hiccup.

        3. Student*

          There is also a branch of Satanism (yes it has different denominations) that has nothing, worship-wise, to do with the Christian Satan, though of course that’s where the name is taken from. That’s the one that tends to get in the news the most. They’re actually closer to being an atheist advocacy group.

          Then there’s Satanism that does revolve around the Christian Satan. Even that is mostly not what people think when they picture some movie depiction of robed figures out to do evil and sacrifice goats. It’s generally more of a collection of people who feel traditional Christianity casts them out unjustifiably, so they identify with being cast out of heaven specifically.

          The version that people imagine when they hear the name is not widely practiced outside of a handful of violent gangs.

    2. Temperance*

      I don’t think that LARPing is something you should really put on your resume, but I’m glad she has the job.

      I also do find it gross that they were prejudiced against her if she was a Satanist/non-Christian, but whatever. (I’m considering becoming a member of the Church of Satan because their political activities make me smile.)

      1. Liana*

        I’ve been LARPing for almost a decade at this point, and I would never consider putting it on my resume. This is actually a regular topic of debate in the LARP crowd in my region, because there are many people who feel like it’s be a useful way of demonstrating skills. For the game creators, it’s a LOT of work, both creatively and logistically, so I can see their point, but it’s also such a niche hobby that I don’t think most hiring managers would understand, or would pigeonhole me as “some weird nerd” (which is, well, not inaccurate).

        I also just dislike putting hobbies on resumes in general – it’s something I’ve been seeing crop up recently, and it makes me roll my eyes, no matter what the hobby is. I just think it’s not something that belongs on a resume, although I can see the argument for discussing it in a cover letter if it’s something you’re especially passionate about. I have one friend in particular who’s been looking for a job, and on his FOUR PAGE resume, under “Personal Interests” he has a list of hobbies, which include: reading, video games, TV, card games, and football. I’ve been begging him to nix that section for ages now.

        1. Temperance*

          I totally understand how much work goes into a successful LARP, and can see the debate. I just can’t imagine bringing that to work, though, FWIW, for the exact reasons that you cite. I’m pretty obviously a weird nerd, but I can fit in with normals pretty well so I let them know me before it becomes clear how niche my interests and hobbies are. (Although, in all fairness … the only personal items in my office right now are some kid art, a mini of the Supernatural car, and Funko POPs of Cousin Eddie and Clark W. Griswold, lol).

          It’s weirdly common in my industry for people to list their hobbies (lawyer) if they are more junior, but I tend to choose my more sanitized, “normal” hobbies, or acceptably lawyer nerd hobbies. My original resume listed frisbee golf and wine-making, and I have seen others at my firm who list Soul Cycle and Civil War reenacting.

          1. Liana*

            I am SO curious about the wine-making hobby! I work in healthcare and occasionally review resumes from people applying to our residency program, so they’re MDs, but like, brand new ones, and it seems to be common-ish. We also get a significant amount of international applicants, so I suspect a lot of this is cultural differences (for example, in several other countries it is actually quite normal to attach your photo to your resume).

      2. Llywelyn*

        It very much is on my resume. With the words to the effect of “Works with a team to organize weekend long improvisational cooperative storytelling events 9 times a year for 60–90 consumers and 15–35 volunteers. Responsibilities include…”

        1. Temperance*

          What sort of responses do you get in interviews? I know a few SCA-types through Ingress, and I’m always curious about how this works.

          1. Llywelyn*

            Usually doesn’t come up unless I bring it up, really. When it does come up the response is generally “that’s cool” and we talk about things like how I help organize the volunteers, solicit and analyze data from the player base, etc.

            I wouldn’t list it if I was just a participant (mostly because none of my other hobbies get listed), but when you are actually helping run the events I’ve usually seen it regarded as a neutral-to-plus (notable caveat: I’m in tech and mostly work for small-to-mid sized companies and it has been years since I dressed up for an interview, so YMMV, void where prohibited).

          2. Josh S*

            As a moderator/owner for a community of about 1100 for Ingress, and a people manager in my “real” job, I’ve thought about how the skills I learn and sharpen in Ingress might help bolster my position professionally. And I just can’t see my way to it. Sure, I do conflict resolution, and organization, and talent development, but…. There’s no way for me to explain that in a resume or interview, let alone have it be verified by the interviewer.

            So it’s something I get to take quiet pride in for my own benefit.

            By the way, where do you play? RES or ENL?

        2. Tinker*

          Speaking of “consumers”, I think that’s where people go wrong in the interests section. The rest of the resume is about describing oneself in the role of someone who produces for consumers; having an interest section where one lists four different forms of media consumption is not that (side note: I’m noticing that video gamer culture is really weird about the consumer as a role of pride thing sometimes). So a person whose hobbies are mostly consumption-oriented should probably omit the section. But if you’re the sort of person who likes to complicate their hobbies, particularly to the point of making part-time jobs out of them, then it can be something that’s useful to the image that you’re (supposed to be) trying to convey.

          Personally, I fall on the side of — do list portraying (low-level productive on the order of civic volunteering), wouldn’t list playing by itself (fundamentally a paying customer, even if a lot of effort is involved).

          1. Temperance*

            I’m not sure that I agree. I’ve seen resumes with movie buff listed as an interest, for example, and that seems fine. Additionally, all hobbies generally have a cost related to them, no? I think it’s just prejudice that sees gamer culture as overly consumeristic but sees something like war reenactment as a fine way to spent your free time.

          1. Llywelyn*

            They wouldn’t be wrong (though I would quibble on the “troupe”). That’s the nature of a lot of LARP: my library (specifically studied for our group) includes Johnstone’s Impro, Izzo’s The Art of Play: The New Genre of Interactive Theatre, Spolin’s Improvisation for the Theater, and Rolfe’s Behind the Mask.

            It doesn’t have quite the same reputation in the US, but more Nordic-style games such as College of Wizardry, Halat Hisar ( ), and Fairweather Manor really highlight this.

            1. neverjaunty*

              Because I am a terrible human being, I would pay somebody $20 cash to list “jeepform” on their resume skillset. ;)

  3. Mike C.*


    Frankly, there’s a ton if transferable skills, but there’s little to no way to prove it. Maybe folks can show otherwise.

    Let’s take the famous example of Sean Smith, aka “Vilerat”. Before his tragic death in Bengazi, he worked IT for the State Department. In the game Eve, he put those State Department skills to use and was instrumental in forming what became the largest and most influential alliance ever. In a game where people generally lie, cheat and steal it was not only a novel (and successful) way to play, but it required him to forge all sorts of personal relationships in adversarial situations, build trust in a place where trust normally gets you killed and so on.

    So tons of stuff there that would be really useful in the real world, but how do to build that bridge for folks who just think it’s some weird nerd thing? I dunno.

    1. Perse's Mom*

      Your example is interesting to people in a pretty specific situation – meaning they know what Eve Online even is, they know the reputation of the game (so many jerks). It’s probably only really impressive to someone who has that knowledge *and* has some understanding of how much effort went into his achievements.

      A world first raid leader in WoW might have a lot of things to say about running a tight ship and motivating their team, but that’s practically meaningless to someone who’s total raiding experience is the occasional jaunt into LFR, and it’s entirely meaningless to someone who doesn’t have the vaguest idea of what a raid is.

      If the achievements can be presented outside of the context of the game (the vague ‘team activity’ I mentioned in a post above), it could be useful for interviews, but I can’t see it on a resume outside of a gaming-related industry job.

    2. neverjaunty*

      I’m a colossal nerd and well aware of what running a guild or an EVE corporation entails, and I would be the opposite of impressed with a candidate who assumes that these automatically show real-world management skills. (Especially in EVE, where for all I know, the person’s massive alliance-forging was merely a prelude to cleaning out the alliance; people in EVE play the long game and there are plenty of well-known examples of established, trusted players who turned out to be very patient backstabbers.)

      1. Myrin*

        I’m a moderate gamer (as in, I do play games and am good at them and enjoy them a lot but I’m not part of the gaming scene and I know only few games compared to what’s out there) and don’t at all think that games are just “some weird nerd thing” but I have no idea what that EVE thing even is. With guilds, I know they belong with WoW and that they’re groups that do stuff together but I don’t know at all how that works or how exactly I have to imagine anything to do with a guild. Therefore, I’d have no way to accurately estimate how much value to put on any kinds of guild or general gaming accomplishments.

        I’d also think that if you have certain skills that you’ve successfully used in gaming, you’ve probably also used them in your actual job to some capacity (unless we’re talking someone fresh out of school, obviously) so I’d much rather hear about that, if only for understanding’s sake.

        1. Temperance*

          And the problem with that is there is SUCH a variety of guild experience even if you do understand how it works. I’m in a casual raiding guild where we have periods of activity and then go dormant. There was no application process for my guild, and we don’t have a set raiding schedule. Others play for 20+ hours each week with set goals and accomplishments, and had to actually try out or apply for their guild.

        2. Elizabeth West*

          I think if you were going to include them, say in the volunteer or special interest section of a resume, you would want to line them out the same way you do for a job description. Like this (making all this up because I don’t know either):

          Guildmaster, Knights of The God of War gaming group
          –Organized and assigned team members
          –Moderated online forums and other guild communication
          –Managed activity schedule

          Etc., etc. But I would probably tailor it to whatever job you’re applying for–and with some industries, I might leave it off entirely.

      2. Anna*

        I think this comes from an outdated perception that online is not Real Life. Except it is and the skills you have to demonstrate managing online groups is often (although not always) no different than the skills you have to demonstrate managing a remote team.

        And if you frame it correctly and can use other people in your organization as references, you can use it. Ask me how I know.

        1. fposte*

          I don’t think it’s the online aspect; if you got paid to manage a remote team, that would be online, but that would belong on your resume.

          It’s that volunteer stuff is very different than paid stuff. That doesn’t mean you can’t get skills from the unpaid stuff, but if nobody thought it was worth giving you money for, it doesn’t carry much weight.

            1. neverjaunty*

              Because you’re presenting this as a matter of people being ignorant about what online gaming is, or as seeing it as ‘not real’ or lesser. And that’s really not the case.

              OP #3 wasn’t talking about a gaming-related volunteer organization; she asked about whether being an online guild leader was a good way to show work-related skills. It isn’t.

    3. beefy*

      That’s the thing, though; he used his job skills in the game, not vice versa. I think there’s a huge difference between managing a group of people who not only want to be there playing the game and are paying money to do so, and managing people who are doing something they wouldn’t do for hours on end without being paid for it. Even managing the same person in each situation could be a completely different experience.

      1. A Bug!*

        Sorry, beefy, I didn’t see your comment before I offered my redundant one! Let me acknowledge your wisdom.

    4. hbc*

      I’m sure you can find all kinds of people who have skills in the real world that transfer to other arenas (and vice versa), but the actual correlation is probably pretty small. Plenty of people take on a different persona when they’re online, whether they’re deliberately unleashing their inner beast or just being able to give orders when you don’t have to see the other person giving you the stink eye.

      1. Effective Immediately*

        I agree entirely. Managing from an anonymous screenname behind a monitor is not remotely the same thing as managing a team in person.

      2. fposte*

        Right. Managing a brood of kids and a household can be a pretty challenging thing to do and develop a lot of significant skills, after all, but it still doesn’t belong on your resume.

    5. Ordinary Worker*

      I agree it shouldn’t be on a resume’, however, I can see it being somewhat similar to managing remote workers that live in other states/countries that you never see face to face so it’s definitely usable as a “how would you” example in the right situation.

      I have a friend that used his running of our WoW guild as an example on an internal promotion interview but even then he said it was a unique situation.

      As a side note… it’s very cool too see fellow gamer folks on this site!

      1. Temperance*

        I’m pretty excited to see this as well – I’m hoping that at least some of the others are women, too. I don’t think I’ve encountered other female WoW players/gamers outside of my actual guild!

        1. Perse's Mom*

          We’re out there, we’re just not waving an ‘I’m female!’ flag around in general/trade/party chat because that has a history of being a very bad idea (nobody wants unsolicited tells, and even less so the *kind* of tells that can result from a gender reveal to a pug).

          It’s terribly outdated, the assumption that all players are male unless specifically stated otherwise, but it’s such a pervasive mindset.

          1. Temperance*

            No, I totally get it. Last time I made my gender known in trade, some tool sent me a ping letting me know that he liked my character’s butt.

        2. OP#1*

          I was in a guild in GW with basically all women. There were a couple of dudes, but it was easily 95% women, and since it was the only guild I was ever in, and my first MMO, I had no idea that it was assumed you were a man! I was surprised every time someone called me “he”, haha.

        3. Student*

          I’m a former WoW player and female. Gave it up when they wanted to do that real-ID monstrosity, because I was horrified by the prospect of random WoW guys trying to contact me (or having it show up on a job search).

          Many women don’t “out ” themselves because the harassment can easily go over-the-top, the companies won’t do anything about it, and people treat you worse if they know you’re a woman. Go make a male character and refuse to use voice chat, and the world transforms. Sudden;y people think you’re more competent, talk to you more easily about normal stuff, and you have to deal with way less demeaning or insulting BS. Makes me wish I was born a guy.

          1. AnonEMoose*

            Back in the days of Dungeons and Dragons version 3.5, I remember a story from the Wizards of the Coast discussion boards. Basically, this guy posted about thinking his female friends were exaggerating the harassment they received when they were open about being female in online games, etc. So he made a female persona in order to show that “it really wasn’t that bad…”

            However, his ultimate conclusion was that not only were they NOT exaggerating, they were understating the case. I suspect because women deal with so much of this crap that some of it becomes “background noise,” and we kind of cease to pay attention to it until reaches a certain level. So I’ll give that guy credit for actually trying the experiment, and being honest about the results.

            My best friend was sexually harassed at a Pathfinder Society game she was in; the guy’s “excuse” was “well, why would a chick sit down at a table full of guys if she didn’t want attention?” Maybe because she’s a gamer?! I’ve made it very clear to my staff at the convention that I want to hear about any incidents. Because I will NOT tolerate that shit when I’m in a position to do something about it.

              1. AnonEMoose*

                I’ve never had trouble in tabletop, even when I’ve been the only woman at the table, and was GMing a dungeon crawl. (Side note to the non-gamers: A dungeon crawl is a term referring to your very basic “explore a dungeon, find monsters, kill monsters, get loot” kind of adventure. So, lots of combat, not much plot.)

                But I do know people who’ve experienced problematic behavior from other players in tabletop games (like my best friend, and she’s not the only one). But yes, I think it is getting better. And to be fair, some of the bigger online gaming environments (XBox Live, for example) are trying. It’s an uphill battle, but at least they’re paying attention and making an effort.

        4. LQ*

          Oh yeah. Not right now but for a long time. I think we were server 2nd on Brut pre-nerf and 2nd on Sarth 3D 10 before the shammy thing. (The Sarth 3D was the thing I made reference to below.) Oh and I was mid-Val (the worlds best hammer!) when I finally had to step out. (I came back more casually for pandaland.)

    6. A Bug!*

      But Smith didn’t build a bridge from his gaming success to his professional success. He achieved success in both independently, using a heavily-overlapping skill set.

      Vilerat was an incredibly successful “CEO” in Eve, of course, and he was very dedicated to the work and ran a tight ship. But that doesn’t mean that Eve is where Smith learned his professional skills, it doesn’t mean that guild leadership requires those skills, and it definitely doesn’t mean that “CEO of a Corporation in Eve Online” should be on anyone else’s professional resume (and I doubt it was on Smith’s, either).

  4. Purple Dragon*

    Sorry – but wouldn’t not hiring your friend based on her perceived religion be discrimination against a protected class ? It’s strange that they opened that can of worms with you. It seems stranger to me that anyone in a professional situation would care if she was a satanist or in a cult.

    1. Rubyrose*

      You never know what an inexperienced interviewer will do. I had one once who kept steering the conversation to my leg brace (job was a sit down job!). I came very close to flat out telling her that her actions were illegal.

      1. SusanIvanova*

        Back in college when I was teaching karate, I applied at a mall computer store. Kept getting questions like “so if someone tries to rob the place, what do you do?” “Call security, it’s their job.” No matter how they kept escalating the hypothetical situation, I wasn’t going to say “oh, totally bust out the karate chops!” because I was a skinny college girl and I wasn’t risking my life for the 80s equivalent of GameStop. I don’t know why the interviewer didn’t seem to believe me. I didn’t get the job and they didn’t tell me why.

    2. Artemesia*

      there are always a thousand reasons not to hire someone; discrimination is generally easy in a market where there are many well qualified candidates for a position. Often discrimination is demonstrated statistically e.g. their applicant pool is a third women and yet they never have hired one — but that kind of analysis is not going to work with Satanists. If the hiring manager keeps their mouth shut they are fine legally. Of course this interviewer was unwise — but luckily so in this case.

  5. Panda Bandit*

    OP #1 – Can your company install some kind of lockbox or a secure mail slot for the people who just need to drop off paperwork? Hopefully that would cut down on the interruptions.

    1. junipergreen*

      I wondered that too. If their appearances on this floor are so erratic and unscheduled, there may not be an urgent time-sensitive need behind the delivery of their paperwork. A lockbox/mail slot might help for document drop off.

      Oo! Or pneumatic tubes! :)

    2. Stranger than fiction*

      That’s an awesome idea. I was thinking more like a couple of key cards for the downstairs people that had to be turned in at the end of the day, but your idea is better.

    3. Willis*

      Yeah, and maybe if they are meeting with someone on the 2nd floor that person could meet them at the door and let them in. That way the responsibility for opening the door wouldn’t just be one person’s.

      1. Not So NewReader*

        Yeah, I was thinking that an unlock buzzer would work well here. Ideally, a paging system so the intended recipient would be buzzed.

  6. Vicki*

    #1 this is one of the things that a card-access badge system is really good for. Swipe the badge, the software knows if this badge is allowed access during which hours. No keys to lose. No access codes to share with the wrong people.

    If your company doesn’t do regular RFID badges, they could get a small set specifically for the purpose of accessing this door. People would sign out a card key, use it, and sign it back in. If the card is lost, it’s immediately disabled.

    Simple system, works great, I’ve used it at many companies.

    Talk to your manager, and your IT/Facilities groups. The system you have now is only slightly more secure than propping the door open with a brick,

    1. Elizabeth the Ginger*

      Another idea that occurred to me is to have a phone on the outside of the door that visitors could use to call the person they’re coming to see. Ideally this would be connected to the door so the person getting the visitor could just buzz them in, like in an apartment building.

      1. Newsie*

        That’s how it is at my office – the IT department is behind a locked door accessible only by RFID badges. You pick up a phone and it automatically dials in. Super secure but you can get in without bothering anyone who doesn’t need to be.

        1. Judy*

          And it doesn’t have to be RFID badges. My current company has these small things that go on your keychain. My previous company implemented RFID locks and just put RFID stickers on our existing badges. (The existing badges were barcode, and you could just photocopy it. They weren’t secure.)

        2. Windchime*

          Same here. People who don’t have access have to sign in as a guest and be accompanied by an IT person. Even with all that, we had a woman who finally had to move offices because people would stand at the secured door and bang on it, demanding to be let in. She was tired of telling them to read the sign that instructed them to CALL the party they were looking for (there was a phone and a list right there). At the same time she changed offices, they put up a big sign saying, “DO NOT KNOCK”. No clue if it worked or not.

      2. ZenJen*

        YES the phone calls should be the solution if they won’t alter their security system parameters. it’s more secure for the employee they are seeing to let them in–I wouldn’t let in just anyone if I was in that office near the door. what if you let in the wrong person? that liability gives on your head!!!

      3. Mallory Janis Ian*

        A temporary solution until a badge system or phone system is installed outside the door would be for the person coming up to call the person they’re meeting on the inside and say, “Hey, I’m coming up. Be there in 2 minutes,” and for the person they called to be prepared to meet them. Why aren’t they at least already doing that? So annoying for the OP that she has to be the one to open the door thirty times a day.

    2. neverjaunty*

      Very well put. Who on earth thought this system was a good idea? “Let’s have people constantly get up to answer the door anytime somebody knocks! Surely when that happens 10-30 times per day, people will maintain constant vigilance about only opening the door to authorized persons!”

      1. Colette*

        I actually think thei system is as insecure than giving everyone their own key. I’d be willing to bet the OP and her boss let anyone who knocks in (since they are unlikely to know their specific purpose for entering the area).

        1. Meg Murry*

          I have to agree, a number pad system is at least on par with giving everyone their own key, if not worse than that – because how long has it been since the numbers have changed, and how easy is it to watch someone type 3-6 numbers over their shoulder? At that point, I agree with the comment above that it’s only a half step above propping the door open with a brick. Honestly, if that is the only door in and out of the area, propping the door open so long as there is at least one person in the room (and closing it so it locks automatically when all the employees leave) is probably nearly as secure, and would be less of a hassle for OP.

          I’m with everyone else that there needs to be some kind of swipe card or RFID access (and that type of system can be programmed with individual permissions employee by employee as to what hours of the day the RFID cards work, etc). Or a phone to call the individual the downstairs employees need to see, or a basic hole in the wall mail slot if it is just for dropping off paperwork.

          Heck, for a very cheap and low tech solution, there are wireless doorbell kits for $20 – then OP wouldn’t have to listen to the sound of people knocking on the door, and the ringing would penetrate further into the locked area than door knocking might.

          Does OP have a need to go into the locked area (does he work in the same group as the employees in that area) or is he in a separate group and only needs to go in as often as the downstairs employees? If he doesn’t need access any more than the rest of the employees, I would almost be tempted to take the passive aggressive approach of asking NOT to be told the code – if he doesn’t know it, he can’t help anyone else get it. I’m not really recommending that, but I’m tempted, although I suspect it wouldn’t be very long before his boss told him the code just so boss wouldn’t have to be interrupted all day.

          1. KR*

            I was also thinking of a mail slot. Our HR person has a locking one, kind of line a mail box. We can drop applications and confidential documents in there as they come in and know that the only person who can open that box is the HR manager and her assistant.
            Also, if the boss isn’t willing to install a lock system could a system be put in place where employees call the people they need to speak with from downstairs and let them know they’re coming in to see them, and that employee just meets them at the door? If someone asks you to let them in that doesn’t work in that office you could tell them that they need to call that person to ask to speak with them or leave the document in their mailbox, but that they can’t be in that office without an appointment.

        2. Allison*

          Agreed, it seems like OP has inadvertently been made the gatekeeper of the office, with no way to know who is or isn’t supposed to be there, and no way to verify that either. Anyone who wants to gain access just needs to knock, and maybe make something up.

        3. LQ*

          Yeah, the just let people who knock in thing? I know I’m bad with faces but if you have 10-30 people knocking a day, I doubt it is the same 30 people, dealing with at least 100+ people? I know some people would be fine with that, but I would have a very hard time, especially if someone who looked like they belonged showed up? Wearing the same type of clothes (business casual/professional/uniform/whatever), I highly doubt I’d catch it if I was in the middle of something complex that I was trying to not loose focus on while getting up to grab the door quick. This seems wildly insecure to me.

          1. Judy*

            And is OP getting notices when people are fired or quit? I mean, yesterday Bob legitimately could go in that room. Today he can’t because he was fired.

            1. LQ*

              That’s a really good point. OP is basically part of security but it is unlikely that they are being informed of all those same security things.

            2. JMegan*

              Yes, this is super important. OP, when you talk to your boss, tell him that if you’re in charge of security for this area, you have to have the tools and the training. Here’s a quick list of what you would need to make this work as your job:

              *Know who is allowed in the secure area, and who is not, on any given day
              *Have a way of verifying their identity
              *Contact information for the person they are going to see
              *Accompany the visitor in and out, or wait with them until their contact person arrives
              *Procedures for if their contact person is away from their desk
              *Procedures for when you are away from your desk
              *Some way of auditing the above so that if there is a breach, the company can find out where it originated
              *A plan to get the rest of your work done when you’re doing all this

              In this strategy, you’re not saying no, you’re saying “Here’s what it would take to make this part of the job work for everyone.” It can be risky, because your boss could very well say yes to all of that and make you the security person, so you may not want to try it unless you’re willing to accept that risk. But it’s a good thing to pull out if the boss insists that security is part of your job – because if it IS part of your job, you need to be able to do it effectively.

              Or, get them to install a swipe card system instead!

      2. Charity*

        I don’t think thought was put into the door-opening system at all. It feels ad hoc, like someone decided that access to that area needed to be restricted (which is fair) but didn’t think at all about the massive number of people who still have to go in there and how annoying it would be for everyone involved.

        1. KR*

          I’m wondering why the hallway itself is locked as opposed to just the offices/rooms that have confidential information. Who thought this up! Make them explain themselves! haha

          1. OP#1*

            It’s actually just a big open space with cubes. There are some offices along the walls, but no real hallway.

        2. Stranger than fiction*

          Yeah, they may as well not lock the door during business hours because the current system is so insecure anyhow. It’s like either do it right or not at all.

      3. One of the Sarahs*

        Co-signing! I temped for a while in the top-management office of a big organisation with a cardswipe door, and people just let other people in willy-nilly, into this big open-plan space with offices with no doors and so on. As the admin team, we were told to always challenge anyone we didn’t recognise, which I did all the time, a very polite and smiley “Who are you here to see?”, but our desks were away from the door, and a lot of my colleagues didn’t feel comfortable doing this, after bad experiences not recognising senior managers (and a lot not wanting to constantly interrupt themselves).

        (It was made worse because the whole building bar this office was open-plan, and had that “East Wing/West Wing” thing going on, and the big re-design insisted as few signs as possible. So 8 or 9 out of 10 people were people who worked on other sites who had a meeting in “4th Floor East” and turned the wrong way out of the lift. It took us tons of fighting to get a sign put on the door saying “4th Floor West, Management Suite only”)

        (Ugh, that temp job – so many avoidable issues)

        1. Mike C.*

          Senior managers should be thrilled to be challenged because it means that their security protocols are being followed.

          1. One of the Sarahs*

            Yeah, exactly, I never worried about it, because I knew I could do that “I’m so sorry, I should have recognised you, but I’m new and we need to be careful” with a friendly smile. The only people who ever got a bit stroppy with me were the ones in totally the wrong place, in which case I was super-friendly and pointed them on their way.

        2. Tau*

          I have mild issues with face-blindness, and I get through life by avoiding letting on I don’t recognise people where the contextual clues say I ought to at all costs. Chances of me ever challenging someone like that: roughly zero.

          Also, I think the official rules at my place are “challenge people you see who aren’t wearing an ID badge.” Note that about 90% of people seem to keep theirs in their pocket or similar non-visible place.

    3. Angela*

      I would think at bare minimum that one (or two so there is backup) person from the other department could get approved to have a key and just have to be the person that does all the running to your department. It seems like that would be more efficient on all sides. No one would have to get up to answer the door and you wouldn’t have multiple people having to run to another department constantly.

      Or if it’s just paperwork that needs dropped off, a lockbox would be even better.

    4. SunnyLibrarian*

      I worked at a place like this that had expensive equipment. Employees were given badges that would open the area, but only people that worked in that department and managers could get in after hours.

  7. Vicki*

    #5 – the flip side of this story is also disturbing and something many of us have come across. In fact, I bet there are more than a few letters here in AAM about it.

    Scenario – you get called in to an interview, the job sounds interesting, you interview, you write the thank you note and then… you find out that the job went to an internal candidate and the only reason you had an interview at al is because “HR is required to advertise the position and conduct interviews”.


    OP, I wish you well and hope you get the promotion, but spare a moment, when you get it, to feel sympathy for the people who interviewed in good faith for a job they were unlikely to ever get. And if you don’t get it, after already doing it for a year… that’s really going to sting.

    1. Milton*

      Great point, Vicki.

      It’s frustrating in both scenarios. It almost makes me wish companies separated job announcements into: internal transfer only, internal & external applicants, and all of you suck, we need fresh talent aka external only.

      1. Nico M*

        Or the external search should specifically target the skills & experience your internal candidate(s) lack.

        1. Vulcan social worker*

          I came across an ad posted on a public site fairly (Indeed or Idealist or LinkedIn, one of those that aggregates postings) that was clearly written so only an internal candidate or maybe a former employee could qualify, but seemed like it had to be posted in public. Something like: Must have 2 years experience in X Department at Y Organization. Not just two years experience in mental health or working with people with intellectual disabilities or some clearly transferable skill like most positions say they are seeking. That honesty was kind of refreshing. I forget of that was one for which I otherwise met the qualifications pretty closely or not, but I was glad not to waste my time with a cover letter and tailored resume since clearly they have someone in mind (or maybe several someones, but it’s pretty obvious that those are internal someones).

          1. Xarcady*

            The state job board here is very clear on this. It will say, “internal candidates only,” or “no interested internal candidates,” which is helpful.

      2. Tammy*

        My company separates job requisitions into “internal/external” and “internal candidates only” and it works quite well. Usually, the reason a position would fall into the “internal only” bucket (in my experience) is that the hiring manager feels the position really needs a lot of knowledge of our teapot systems and processes that an external candidate would take too long to get up to speed on, but there are probably other reasons as well.

    2. Ask a Manager* Post author

      I also feel obligated to point out, though, that the fact that an internal candidate was hired doesn’t mean that the hiring process wasn’t a real one or that other candidates weren’t given real consideration. People tend to assume when an internal candidates is hired that everyone else was just strung along, but that’s not always the case (although certainly sometimes it is), and it’s very hard to know from the outside if it was or not.

      1. Mpls*

        I had one of those interviews where they went with the internal candidate and were pretty sure they were going to from the beginning. But even though I didn’t get THAT job, I got on well with the interviewer, who then referred me to another group that was hiring for the same type of position where I did eventually get hired.

      2. Stranger than fiction*

        Oh that’s an excellent point. Or sometimes, as in the case of my friend, the rumor mill is saying the internal person is a shoe-in, but they really weren’t. I remember my friend was stressing out last year because everyone was saying the one director was most likely going to get the VP role they were interviewing for, and the guy was friends with the CEO to boot. Everyone was so sure, but nope, they went with an outside candidate. Who thankfully was more qualified.

      3. Helena*

        How rare or common this practice is depends strongly on your field, though. For instance, sponsoring someone for an H-1B visa requires proving that there’s no qualified American available, so they have to post the job even if they’ve already selected the person who will get it. Federal contracting rules require posting nearly all jobs – internal candidates are an exception, but who counts as an “internal candidate” gets really complex. For some technical industries where H-1Bs and federal contracts are very common, many (if not most) job postings are just stringing along the external candidates in order to comply with the rules. Combine that with a small field where your boss is likely to hear if you start polling your network for new opportunities, and you get a recipe for frustration.

    3. Not the Droid You Are Looking For*

      My old company used to require that a post be up for 3 days, even if we were promoting from within.

      Our recruitment team was pretty good about putting those up around 4pm on day 1 and taking them down around 9am on day 3, but it was always enough time for at least a few external candidates to get their applications in.

    4. PT/FT Letter Writer*

      I feel really bad for those people, but I know the bosses (there are 2 of them) want to get someone to cover whichever position comes up vacant- the part time if I get full time or the full time slot if they keep me part time- so there will be a job at the end of the process it may not be full time though.

    5. Recruit-o-Rama*

      Another thought; a lot of people in my company *think* there is some internal or even legal requirement to post positions for a certain length of time, even if they have identified an internal candidate. Sometimes these people are in HR! In my position as an in house Recruiter, I have pushed back, told them no such requirement exists and if they insist, I ask to see where it’s published (handbook, policy book, etc..) and of course they can’t produce it because it doesn’t exist. So, if you hear that from your co-workers, please do your due diligence. I have had a lot of luck with skipping the unnecessary posting. I will hear that it’s “not fair” to not give everyone a chance, but I remind them that they are just going through the motions and that they really are NOT giving anyone else a chance and that’s what is really “not fair”.

      1. The Cosmic Avenger*

        I want to get [CITATION NEEDED] tattooed on my ass, and so whenever anyone just asserts something as fact just because they heard it through a grand game of Telephone, I’ll just moon them!

      2. PontoonPirate*

        Right. As the victim and the beneficiary of this practice at different times, I’ve felt burned by this “policy” more than once, on both sides. Here’s the thing: there’s always going to be someone better than you. So, yes, your company could say that they want to get a stronger candidate pool “just to make sure,” but if they were happy with your work before, why wouldn’t they continue to be? What is gained by getting a marginally stronger candidate in? You lose the loyalty of the internal candidate, you pay more for the onboarding/recruitment process and in the end, there’s going to someone out there better than that person, too.

        1. Recruit-o-Rama*

          There is a huge benefit to the known quantity of an internal candidate. You’re right, there *could* be someone better, but they could also be a nightmare, so go with your known culture fit and train them on the technical skills they may be lacking if they’ve proven themselves as a valuable employee and are already working for you. It’s madness!

          Truthfully, most of the hiring managers I work with are quite relieved to hear they don’t have to go through the motions and can just hire the person they know and like and make it effective at the start of the next pay period.

          My superpower is cutting through the bureaucracy.

        2. Ask a Manager* Post author

          Sometimes an outside candidate turns out to be dramatically better. I agree that it often doesn’t make sense to expand the pool if you have someone in the position who is absolutely stellar, like top 5% — but by definition, that’s rarely the case.

  8. Vancouver Reader*

    OP4, like Alison said, ask if it’s possible to have your cake and eat it too. If you can’t, is this vacation a once in a lifetime trip, or is it one that could wait for a few years, after which time you may have a better appreciation of the time you have for a vacation, and more money to spend on a trip.

    1. MK*

      But is there in fact an actual trip planned? Alien’s response takes it for granted, but the OP only says that their manager approved two months of time off for this summer, not that they have already made firm plans.

      1. Generation Y from #4*

        Part is planned and booked (appr. 2 weeks in the second half). Rest of the time is not booked yet.
        I have not yet approached the potential new manager about this issue, as it probably seems silly from the outside. But to a member of the Generation Y it’s not ;-)
        I’m a little bit afraid to mention the topic, as it would mean that best start date for me would be September 1 – and that seems quite far into the future from a company perspective

        1. Colette*

          Or March 1st, so that you are competent before you leave.

          Many of us would love the summer off, but in most industries that’s not going to happen every year. You’ve negotiated to get the summer off this year, which is great. Now the questions are whether you can have the summer off if you transfer and, if not, whether you want the new job or the time off more.

          1. blackcat*

            Yeah, I have regretted how I’ve spent a lot of money or time, but I’ve never regretted what I’ve done to travel.

            I vote that you explicitly ask if your time off would still hold, and turn down the new role if it won’t. Other opportunities will come along. Other chances to take off a month+ to travel might not.

            1. MK*

              I find these “Live now! Work will always be there!” over-generalizations grating and dangerous. It’s true that other work opportunities will almost certainly come up for the OP, but it’s also possible that a decision like that might seriously derail you career. (I know someone who chose not to transfer, the old department was cut soo afterwards, with the result that they were unemployed for 2 years and underemployed for another 2). And other chances to travel will certainly happen too, even if not for months; though from what the OP says, she has only planned one two-week trp for that time so far. But it’s also not a good idea to build up travel in your mind too much either; maybe it hasn’t been your experience, but plenty of people have made sacrifices to “TRAVEL”, only to discover that it wasn’t the life-changing experience they thought it would be.

              1. Ife*

                It depends on where your career falls in personal importance to you, but in my mind, *how many people get the chance to take 2 consecutive months off of work for a vacation?* People in particular industries like teaching get this regularly, but most people are lucky to get 2-3 weeks off for the whole year. I personally would jump at the chance for two months off in a row.

                Definitely a good idea to weigh how much you’re interested in the new job, and how likely you are to run across a similar opportunity in the future, and think about job security, but…. if it were me, unless there was some compelling reason to put my career first, I’d take the vacation. You probably won’t have many other chances like it.

                1. MK*

                  No, you probably won’t. But while a two-month vacation would be great, it probably won’t be the magical experience that most people imagine, just a longer stretch of time off.

        2. Vulcan social worker*

          Gen X here and it doesn’t sound silly at all. I would bristle at the typical American two weeks off per year. I’ve had that on paper, but in reality I’ve mostly had more due to being exempt and working in places that say, oh, you worked a month of 60-hour weeks? Only mark down one week of PTO for your 2-week vacation. I would hate losing that benefit and would have to seriously weigh taking a job that didn’t offer 3 weeks or didn’t have the informal comp time like I’ve had before. People work better when rested.

          1. Liana*

            I was lucky when I graduated college, and started working for an organization that offered three weeks of vacation, plus paid holidays and fairly generous sick time. After working here for three years, I can’t imagine having only two weeks. The US standard of two weeks’ vacation is kind of bullshit, if you ask me.

            1. Ife*

              We just got bumped from 3 weeks vacation to 4 weeks. There was practically dancing amongst the cubicles. Senior staff are now at 5 or 6 weeks.

          1. Jodi*

            I agree, which is why as another Gen Y/Millennial I kind of took that…offensively? It just sounds like a statement that can be twisted very quickly to “confirm” all of the stereotypes about our generation – lazy and trying to work as little as possible, feel entitled to long vacation time, don’t find value in face-to-face or in-office interactions.

            Yeah a two month vacation would be a nice luxury to have, but nothing that anyone is entitled to. If only two out of eight weeks are planned, and there are more pressing career-focused priorities you should be focused on, then maybe it’s not the end of the world to consider cutting an already-very-long vacation down a bit. YMMV.

        3. Yetanotherjennifer*

          It’s not silly at all. Trying to get two months off to catch up on your tv watching is silly. Traveling to foreign countries or getting to know your own country better is not. Use words like “trip of a lifetime” with your request. I’ve been on a trip like yours twice and both times were fantastic experiences. The second was my honeymoon, unavoidably scheduled for the busiest time of the year, and I made sure everyone knew my reason for the trip and that I wouldn’t dream of inconveniencing them for anything less.

          1. Yetanotherjennifer*

            I just realized I’m assuming this is a big trip because of the time involved. Whatever it is, I hope it works out.

        4. Temperance*

          Eeew. Leave my generation out of this, please. There are plenty of people who would love a long trip, and you’re just giving credence to the idea that Millennials are immature, not serious about work, etc.

          1. Laurel Gray*

            Interesting enough, I been watching old game shows and I noticed that many of the trip prizes used to include pretty lengthy vacations. 10 nights in Hawaii, 28 days on a Prudential-Grace Cruiselines, and 14 days/nights in the Caribbean. Today I think for many people who love travel it is the time off from work that is the biggest challenge and not the price tag like one would assume. One can save money, cash in points, frequent flyer miles, or even charge a trip on their credit card, but I don’t think it is common these days for companies to give more than 2 weeks off to an employee at one time

            1. Ask a Manager* Post author

              That’s so interesting. I wonder if current-day game shows do the same or it’s changed, and if it’s changed, what drove that. Someone needs to study this and then come back and tell us.

        5. swedishandful*

          The fact your potential new co-workers are usually busy in the summer could work to your advantage. A better time to train you might be the fall, when there is more time. I doubt they expect you to be 100% up to speed in that time.

        6. Random Citizen*

          Would you be open to shortening your trip somewhat? If you love the new job and really want to accept their offer, but they can’t accommodate a two month vacation, maybe they would be open to a one-month trip, or maybe a month during the summer and another month this fall.

  9. Amber*

    #3 Do not use this for management experience however you can you it if applying for an entry level game industry job such as Game Master or Community Manager. When I was starting my career in gaming I did list my guild leadership skills on my resume, not under work experience but it was under another section. For something like Community Manager yes because you’re not a real “manager” with employees reporting to you. You don’t want to claim that experience until you have actual real employees reporting to you.

  10. Milton*

    #5 – I just went through this. Even if it’s a formality make sure your resume is updated, practice interview questions…you still have to prove it. Make them think, duh, she is the best person for the job (and not just because you are an internal applicant who literally already does this part time).

    In your particular situation, believe your boss. Just go through the motions.

    1. MK*

      The problem is taht, even if the boss is telling the truth, once you open the hiring process, you never know what will happen. A more qualified candidate might come along, or the boss’s supervisor prefer someone else, or any other factor really.

      1. Doriana Gray*

        Yup, this. Do not just go through the motions, OP. Take this interview as seriously as you would an interview with a company you’ve never worked for. The final hiring decision may not be your bosses (e.g. my new boss didn’t make the decision to hire me – and in fact, wasn’t brought into the process until the very end – his boss and his boss’s boss decided to bring me onboard from another division).

        1. PT/FT Letter Writer*

          Believe me, I’m taking it seriously. I mentioned having to update my resume to my boss, and she says “You don’t have to do that.” Better safe than sorry in my opinion. The job posting is supposed to go live today. We’ll see how it goes.

            1. Bibliovore*

              We had an internal temp candidate for a full time job in an adjacent department. I gave her a rave recommendation. This was pretty much her job. We set up the requirements to mirror her experience. She blew the interview. She had not prepared. Not even researched the Teapot Company that she would be working with nor looked at the job description so that she could match her experience to the interview questions. She was very casual as she had previous work relationships with staff in that department. Do not take anything for granted.

              1. Graciosa*

                Very important –

                I have also had internal candidates not take interviews seriously, and it can and does hurt them – even if they are the only candidate being interviewed. People remember this kind of thing, and are Not Impressed.

                1. Doriana Gray*

                  To my interview for the position noted above, I brought extra copies of my résumé and writing samples (the role is writing intensive). The hiring manager looked at me like I’d grown another head and was like, “Oh no, this interview is just for you to ask us questions – we’ve already decided to bring you onboard.” (I had stellar recommendations for the position from people who already worked there and his boss’s former colleague, who is now an AVP at the company.)

                  I wore a nice suit and practiced my answers for about two hours the night before – I was not messing around, and I think that left a good impression of me as an employee and person.

                2. Mallory Janis Ian*

                  In the same job, I’ve seen more one internal candidate flub the interview from being overly casual and just going through the motions. One, when asked if she had any questions for us, just flatly said, “No”, because apparently she already knew everything about the higher-level position she was going for.

                  The best internal candidate I’ve seen prepared for the interview just like an outside hire would, wore a suit to the interview, and was on her sharpest behavior.

      2. Master Bean Counter*

        Exactly! I once was up for an internal position that seemed like a done deal. But they had to open the position up for external applicants. Well one applicant was so good he ended up with the job. Heck I would have hired him if it had been my decision.

    2. Midge*

      In addition to the advice about updating your resume and practicing for the interview, I would suggest taking some time to think about the direction you would want to take this position and ways you could improve it. What do you see as the biggest upcoming challenges or tasks? Are there processes you can implement to make your work go smoother or increase your output? Are there opportunities you think aren’t being taken advantage of? Even if other qualified candidates apply, as the incumbent you have the advantage of knowing the organization and the work.

      I was hired into my current job in a similar situation. In fact, my boss at the time joked that my interview would be me telling her that if I didn’t get the job I would stab her in the eye with a fork. Even though she made it clear that submitting my application was a formality, I looked at the interview as an opportunity to have a conversation about where I would take the position in the coming weeks, months, and years.

    3. Sparrow*

      Right, even if it ends up being a formality, you’re better off taking the application process seriously, if for no other reason than you’ll reinforce why they’re lucky to have you on the team. I consider my current position a promotion, but the logistical reality was that I had to go through the standard application steps because of dumb higher ed hiring rules. (I did, however, have the advantage of knowing that our big boss actively wanted to hire internally and was unlikely to look at anyone else unless none of the interested internal applicants seemed like a logical fit for the role.) Bureaucracy is a lot of annoying things, but it’s almost certainly not a slight against you, specifically. If you take it as such, it may well end up poisoning your work and/or the application, and that would be a shame.

    4. Milton*

      I contradicted myself! Only read the first part!

      I’m not good with idioms. Just go through the motions was supposed to mean just do what you need to do. Update resume. Update cover letter (if needed). Apply to job. Practice interview questions. Don’t blow your interview (that may or may not have been me…). Send thank you emails.

  11. Hobbits! The Musical*

    OP1 – when you say “coming up frequently to deal with issues”, is there one particular office or employee/group with whom they need to interact? I’m wondering if it would be practicable to install a buzzer/intercom system similar to an apartment building whereby the staff member they *want* is the one who gets the signal and either “buzzes them in” or has to get up and open the door for this person? Which might possibly lead to those employees moving to a closer door position anyway.

    1. Graciosa*

      I was also wondering about whether a window covering would help until a more permanent solution is found. I understand that the OP would find it unnerving to have co-workers staring at them until they got up to help – but that one’s easily fixed with anything that covers the window.

      If the company refuses to spring for a better solution (like card readers), a simple sign could be placed on the door once the window is covered directing visitors to call to arrange for whomever they need to see to meet them to be admitted. Yes, it would be better to have a convenient phone at the door, but people could call from their desks before coming up if absolutely necessary.

    2. Arjay*

      This is a good solution. In the meantime, it still ought to be possible for people to arrange to be let in by the person they’re going to see. Shoot them an IM that you’ll be there in 5 minutes, or call their extension when you’re outside the door.

  12. AcademiaNut*

    I was trying to figure out an underlying rule for hobbies/personal activities that are okay to list on a resume vs ones that aren’t, as it’s not immediately obvious to me what the criteria are, just that some things sound okay, while others very much don’t.

    What I came up with is that activities are good candidates if they
    – are easily verifiable
    – have significance attached that is easily recognized by members of the public
    – involve external evaluation of quality
    – are relevant to the job you are applying for in a concrete way

    Activities that are poor choices
    – are obscure or very niche, so that the person reading it doesn’t know what it means
    – do not involve external quality control
    – are very common activities shared by large numbers of people

    and sometimes
    – involve very personal or controversial activities

    So pointing an employer to a public blog for an example of writing skill, or to published works, can be appropriate in a way that citing fanfic stats is not, because fanfic is a very insular hobby, has no particular standards for quality, and verifying quality would involve reading somebody’s fanfic, which is generally unappealing for anyone outside that particular fanfic community. However, if the public blog deals with very personal or contentious topics, it should probably be left off.

    Leadership skill in a video-game setting is not easily verifiable, and is incomprehensible to people outside of the hobby, while working on the board of a non-profit is something that has context that makes it useful for employers. Organizing a public video-game convention would carry more weight than leading WoW raids, because an employer would have more context.

    Raising children or managing a household is an extremely common activity with few independent quality evaluations, so it should stay off.

    Does this make sense, and can anyone think of refinements?

    1. Mookie*

      Nothing to add really (apart from being able to supply concrete, otherwise documented achievements that are exceptional within the hobby / subculture / activity and, as you say, that can be readily transferred or applied to the position), but great way of framing this. Thank you.

    2. NJ Anon*

      I have never listed hobbies or personal interests on my resume. I don’t think they belong there. As a hiring manager, it would raise my eyebrows if I saw a resume listing them.

      1. Not the Droid You Are Looking For*

        Same here. I have volunteer activities, but mostly because I work in and around non-profits, so people like seeing that I’m actively involved in my community.

      2. Oryx*

        But what if it’s framed in a way that showcases transferable skills?

        I have my blog on my resume under “other experience,” as it also includes social media management, website maintenance, data analysis (from stats), along with the podcast I also run and the successful Kickstarter I launched for the podcast. I’ve also given public presentations at conferences related to the blog and podcast. Maybe it’s merely because of the jobs I’ve applied to, but when I’ve interviewed, the information from that section gets brought up and was a big part of why I got hired for my current job back in the summer.

        1. NJ Anon*

          I think that is a little different. But “playing with cats” and “like to read” don’t belong there. And trust me, I’ve seen it!

        2. neverjaunty*

          Operating a podcast, running a successful Kickstarter and giving public presentations are a little more than “I have this hobby”.

        3. ModernHypatia*

          I have that kind of thing under skills on my resume (event planning, programming, etc.) without naming up front where it comes from, because the name of the org I’ve done it with most would immediately identify my religion.

          When it’s come up in interviews, I then explain what I did/answer questions, if they ask for the org, explain that it’d reveal my religion, but that I’d be glad to put them in touch with someone who can talk about my experience with that. Usually, though, it’s been skills that they can figure out if I know what I’m talking about by asking a few questions.

      3. hbc*

        I usually have interesting conversations in interviews regarding my hobbies, and I once even got an interview (and later an offer) for a supervisor position based on one of them. I didn’t claim to be a world class soccer referee or cite the lack of disputed calls or anything, but I had no work history of being in authority and come across as meek and unable to take charge.

        The interviewer specifically said that they wouldn’t have called me in without that hobby. It showed I “can handle it when people don’t agree with [my] decisions.” Not that it’s a given that being able to control a bunch of kids for a couple of hours a weekend when I have a uniform and a whistle translates being able to deal with argumentative adults for 40 hours a week, but at least it was a nudge in the right direction.

      4. Gandalf the Nude*

        Agreed that they don’t belong there. Flip side: I got way more interviews when I included my actor combatant certification (not relevant to my line of work), but very few of them were good fits because the interviewers were calling me in to ask about the cool hobby, not because I was a particularly good match to their needs.

        1. Elizabeth West*

          You make a good point. It’s a waste of everybody’s time if they’re not actually considering you for the position. Though I would be very curious about that myself, I’d probably just google it rather than drag you in so I could ask about it.

      5. techfool*

        I work in BigLaw and see CVs with objectives, hobbies, and personal interests. No-one has batted an eyelid. I also see statements such as , “I have good communication skills etc “. Again, it’s not been a problem.
        I personally don’t include that stuff but I don’t think a person needs to kick themselves if they have or do. Not everyone has got the memo (even in the big corporate world) that this is not the done thing.

        1. AnotherAlison*

          I’m wondering if it’s easy to pull this off in BigLaw because it tends to be a homogeneous industry? (My industry is similarly homogeneous.)

          I’ve always looked at hobbies and personal interests two ways: You can either put them on your resume because you’re the type of person who likes to screen out companies/managers who aren’t into what you’re into, or you can leave them off because you don’t want to inadvertently screen yourself out of the running for a job where the manager doesn’t share your same lifestyle/views.

          Something like teaching hunter’s safety would probably get a big thumbs up by most managers here at my company, but probably not so much in a more blue state. Do you want to know up front that you’re working with like-minded people, or are you okay working with anti-gun folks and never mentioning your hobbies at work?

          1. neverjaunty*

            In law (and particularly in BigLaw), I think it’s partly to try and stand out among a sea of other similarly-qualified applicants, and partly in the hopes that the hiring manager will also like mountain climbing or cat herding or whatever, and so might be more inclined to hire you.

        2. Triangle Pose*

          In Biglaw, the one line at the bottom with personal interests is actually pretty common. In reviewing resumes from applicants, it’s pretty expected, but not noted when it’s absent – usually, this is just a good way to make small talk or break the ice during interviews. Most people put pretty similar things – skills based volunteering, non-profit board, travel to X, home brewing beer, yoga, marathons/5 or 10K times, teaching English as a second language in Y country, etc.

      6. Monodon monoceros*

        Although I agree that most of the time hobbies are not relevant, there are select cases where hobbies can be useful on a resume. For example, I live in a pretty remote area in a small town with severe winter weather (and often pretty crappy summer weather, to be honest). When people apply for jobs here, we do look and see if they listed hobbies, and see if they listed skiing, hiking, camping, fishing, etc. versus going to the opera and art gallery openings. They might have excellent skills for the job, but if they don’t last through the winter, then it’s all pointless.

      7. Snargulfuss*

        I’m a career counselor, and in a quantitative study of hiring managers (with a sample size of hundreds) as well as my anecdotal experiences talking with employers, it’s about a 50/50 split on whether or not employers like to see hobbies and interests listed on a resume. Some say they like seeing hobbies in order to get a feel for the person as a whole and that mentioning a hobby like running marathons indicates that the person is dedicated, goal-oriented, etc. Others just want to know what’s relevant to the job and nothing else.

        Either way, I think all would agree that it’s good to be mindful of what hobbies you list on a resume (if you decide to list them). Some hobbies – like gaming – can have negative connotations, so you want to be aware of your audience. All would also agree that you’d never leave off relevant professional experience in order to make room for hobbies and interests.

    3. Nye*

      This is a great rubric! I also second Mookie’s suggestion to be as concrete as possible in listing achievements or otherwise making it clear to a non-hobbyist why this experience is relevant to your job suitability.

      I have a little catch-all section at the end of my CV for this: Other Experience and Skills. I list the skill first and then the specifics, e.g. “Science writing for non -scientists: cofounder, writer, and editor of”.

  13. newreader*

    #2: In the future when a company contacts you to schedule an interview, ask them how long you should plan to be there for the interview. Then you’ll have some information to help you plan accordingly. Where I work we often have what could be considered lengthy interview processes that can take half to thee-quarters of a day, although not much of that is spent waiting. I’ve gotten into the habit of letting candidates know how long to expect to be here as a courtesy. But I’ve found when I job hunt with other employers, most don’t do that. Because I usually have to take time off from work to interview, I always ask how long I should plan to be so I McCain schedule the appropriate amount of time.

    1. Master Bean Counter*

      Yes, ask! I always do that. I don’t like being surprised by extra-long interviews. I even recommend asking who you are going to be talking with so you can do some research.
      Although during my last job search I almost started asking if the person I was interviewing with was going to be ready when I got there. But I figured if they weren’t that was enough of a red flag to not accept any job offers that might come along.

  14. Seianus*

    Being a guild leader in some MMOs like Eve Online is indeed a huge managing experience that not every “real” job can match. You can find many articles online on this. But I too think it’s not good to use it because you risk to come off as immature, childish gamer who can’t tell games from real life or something like this. Unless the job is related to gaming industry and you can reasonably expect HR to be familiar with MMO guilds and what it takes to run one.

    1. neverjaunty*

      Yes, it’s a huge managing experience – and like raising a family, it’s one where you don’t have supervisors or neutral colleagues who can recommend your work, and where there’s no clear way of telling that you’ve developed work-transferable skills.

    2. Meg Murry*

      Yes, I will admit that I have some bias on this as well, and I would see gaming on a resume as a strike in the negative column on my initial perusal. This is probably colored by my experiences with a few immature people in college and at my first job that would choose to stay up all night playing video games and then either skip class (in college), call off or come into to work the next day completely useless from lack of sleep. While I am sure this is a minority of gamers that were immature and irresponsible and that there are a lot of gamers out there that are responsible adults that can hold down real jobs, that is what comes into my mind as a first association when someone tells me they are a gamer. Again, not that I would hold it against someone if they told me their favorite passtime was gaming – but the gut reaction is more negative than positive at this point, in my mind.

      Although, to be fair, my main hobby is reading – and I have stayed up waaaaaay too late when I got sucked into a good book (and paid for it the next day) but somehow I never jump to “reader” = likely to stay up too late and be useless the next day as an immediate association, even though it may very well be as true, or more so, than the gamer [negative, untrue] stereotype.

      1. AnonEMoose*

        ::raises hand:: Gamer here. Also responsible adult with a job, a mortgage, etc. Also, please keep in mind that “gamer” can mean a lot of different things to different people. It doesn’t just mean video games. There are also board games, card games, and tabletop role-playing games (such as “Dungeons and Dragons” and “Pathfinder”).

        Personally, I’m not currently hugely into board or card games, but I do play a couple of video games (specifically “Diablo 3” and the Dragon Age franchise). I also play in my husband’s Pathfinder campaign, run one of my own, and we both play in a friend’s Dungeons and Dragons game. I’ve never been late to work because of gaming. Although I have been known to be reviewing rules or prepping for a session over my lunch break, and I’ll admit to being up later than I should have been a few nights. But then, that’s also happened for reasons that had nothing to do with gaming…. I’ve also, on rare occasions, taken a pre-planned vacation day – but planned well in advance and only when I had the vacation time to spare.

        Yes, some gamers are immature idiots…but so are people in just about any other hobby you can name. And most of the gamers I’ve met are intelligent, fun, compassionate people. (Yes, I get a little tired of the negative stereotypes…)

      2. Naomi*

        This is an example of why it’s good to customize your resume to the job. I work in the game industry, and mentioning on a resume or cover letter that you’re a gamer would be a plus for me because I’d take it as a sign of specific interest in working in this industry. That said, it would be a small plus, and if you put too much weight on guild leadership as managerial experience, I’d probably think you were trying to break into the industry without a real idea of what the job would entail.

        Now, participating in game jams, while also a hobby activity, would be a bigger plus. At the very least, it produces a finished product that I could look at and evaluate your skills. Or maybe it’s more that it’s something I’ve done myself and know to what extent the skills are transferable. Anyway, it would up your chances of getting an interview.

      3. Anna*

        This is also an outdated stereotype since most people who fall in to the “gamer” category (and like AnonEMoose said, that covers a LOT of territory of games) are now in their 30s and 40s or older and have families and work at jobs and own houses.

          1. AnonEMoose*

            I have several friends who now game with their kids, bring their kids to conventions, etc. Some of those kids are now old enough to be pretty awesome volunteers.

      4. Meg Murry*

        To clarify: upon second thought, I would temper myself and say “duh, gamer doesn’t necessarily = irresponsible idiot like I knew in college”.

        But my first gut reaction would be negative to neutral not positive. Again, not saying I would “ding” someone for this, in the end it would basically be “meh” (at least, not any more than any other hobby on a resume) – but I just wanted to put it out there, because I don’t think I’m the only person who would have this kind of initial reaction, and that’s not what you want people to think when they read your resume.

        And I’m in my mid-30s in a scientific but not IT/software/tech field, FWIW – so only midly fuddy-duddy. Pretty sure my mid-50s boss would but it into a complete negative category. So of course, this is definitely a “know your audience” thing – it might go over better in an IT/software/tech field than it would with me.

  15. Rebecca*

    #2 – I’d suggest taking some sort of protein bar or other meal replacement bars with you on the next interview, and as Alison said, please eat something more substantial than a banana next time. I know I would have passed out long before late afternoon. Worst case scenario, you can excuse yourself to the restroom and eat a few bites of a meal replacement bar (or as much as you can within a reasonable time), get a drink of water, and get through the afternoon. Personally, I keep small snacks in my purse whenever I go someplace and I’m unsure of meal timing, if there will be a meal, if I’ll be delayed, etc. Good luck next time!

  16. techfool*

    Re 1,
    An admin shouldn’t be opening the door either. That’s not an effective use of their time.

    1. Graciosa*

      In business, this stuff is relative.

      If someone has to do this (and I support finding a solution that doesn’t require it), the business has to figure out which employee’s time they can most afford to sacrifice to this activity. The CEO’s? The head of sales? Chief engineer? Admin?

      Every business I’ve ever worked in would pick the admin.

      No, not a great use of their time – but not an effective use of the OP’s either.

      1. Triangle Pose*

        Agreed. In reality, this is likely not a good use of anyone’s time – there should be an automated system (whether it’s keycards, a callbox whereby the caller calls the person she is meeting with and that person presses a button to unlock the door, etc.) but it is relative.

        I used to have this mental block all the time with our secretaries (their preferred title here) and how it felt silly to email my secretary printing and have her bring it over when I could easily hit print and grab it. However, I’ve learned that my time (which is billable to the client) is better spent thinking through the issue or drafting legal language or correspondence than walking over to the printer every half hour. It’s a better use of my secretary’s time to do those tasks, in fact, it’s her job. It would be irresponsible to use a client’s paid time inefficiently.

      2. techfool*

        Sure, but if the CEO’s flights don’t get booked, or the sales invoices processed because the admin was opening doors, that will ultimately affect them very badly. You need a business solution, not just “admin will do it”.

      3. Lily in NYC*

        A human employee shouldn’t be doing it at all, regardless of title. Well, unless that title is “door opener”. It is something that needs to be automated.

    2. Lily in NYC*

      I have to agree with this – just because a position has admin in the title doesn’t mean the person is free to get up and down 30 times a day to answer a door.

    3. pope suburban*

      Thank you. A thousand times, thank you. I recently had a client get snide and passive-aggressive with me for not opening a very clearly unlocked door he has walked through at least once a week for the past year, even though the glass door and large glass windows made it very clear that I was on the phone and could literally not get up and play porter. It’s not like I normally do this, either, I’m not a doorman, but boy, was he passive-aggressive about this one instance. People expect a lot for very little pay and less dignity.

  17. INFJ*

    #5 I’ve been in a similar position; I switched departments within my company, and due to a work-related injury while in my previous role, they didn’t have much of a choice but to move me. Even though it was a formality, they HAD to post the position and interview other candidates (most, if not all, of which were internal).

    Sometimes it is just a formality; don’t be discouraged!

  18. Allison*

    #1, I had a dream where this happened, and it was not a good dream. Basically, my desk had been moved to the entrance of a building and everyone expected me to get up and open the door for them. It wasn’t even locked, they just assumed it was my job to open the door and tell them where people’s offices were, and I wasn’t an admin, my desk was just *there* for some reason. It was bad.

    In your case, I agree with AAM that there has to be a better way to grant access to that part of the building.

    1. OP#1*

      That does happen to me! Because I’m the only women in the middle of the C-Suites (which are the offices outside the locked door), it’s assumed that I’m the secretary and everyone comes to ask me where the owners are, when they’ll be back, etc, and I’m just like “I have no idea please leave me alone I am working”. I wish we had nameplates on our doors. :(

      1. virago*

        OP#1, I’m bummed to hear that this is still going on. This happened to me when I was a young reporter and my desk was just outside the office of our editor in chief, “Bob.”

        At least once a day, I’d look up — or come back from a break — to find someone standing by my desk, ready to pose questions like:

        “Could you tell Bob that Jim from the National Teapot Organization is here for our 2 o’clock?”

        “Hey, is Bob around? He wasn’t expecting me, but we worked together at the Daily Planet and I was in town and thought I’d see if he was free for lunch.”

        “Is Bob driving up on Friday night for the state press association convention, or is he just going to go for the Saturday dinner?”

        Needless to say, I am a woman. One of my guy co-workers sat near me, but nobody ever sought *his* input into these pressing matters …

        1. OP#1*

          Yep. The most irritating is when people are looking for the CFO, whose office door USED to be directly across from mine, until they literally MOVED THE DOOR to inside the locked office. (I’d ask them to do that to mine, but since my office shares a wall with the men’s restroom, I think I’d be worse off.) Now whenever someone wants to meet with him, it’s my job to go in, see if he’s available, and if he doesn’t want to see them, HE assumes it’s MY responsibility to tell them no. There are a LOT of curse words I’d like to use when this happens.

      2. AnotherFed*

        If it makes you feel any better, that happens to guys, too – if your cube is outside the door to someone who warrants an office, you’re expected to have a GPS tracker on them and report out their position.

  19. Charity*

    I think if you’re using something unconventional to support your resume (such as fanfiction or being a guild leader in a game) the best time to mention that is in an interview. I’m not really familiar with those things personally but if someone could explain the context I think I would be able to follow it. I wouldn’t lean on it as the only example but I think it has merit in the same way that being a captain of a sports team can be used to demonstrate leadership skills.

  20. AMT 2*

    OP#1 – Maybe ask if they can install buzzers for you, and possibly your boss or whomever else is closest to the door with you and can also see who is at the door? Then you can buzz someone in which only takes a moment to do rather than stopping your work and getting up to walk to the door (which would drive me batty!!!)

    1. Michelle*

      I agree with this. Just assigning it to an admin doesn’t solve the problem. Admins have actual work that needs to be completed, too, and that many interruptions would interfere with the admins work as well.

      1. SMGWiseman*

        YES, ma’am. I feel for #1. I sit in a cluster of EAs right in front of our big glass doors. It looks like a reception desk, when in actuality our reception desk is on another floor. 99% of the people here are employees, with an occasional visitor. So in theory, they all have their key fobs to let themselves in, and it is not in my duties to open the door for everyone.

        But approximately every 15 minutes, someone doesn’t have their key and I have to stop what I’m doing and let them in. It’s so very distracting. Sure, I can get up and go to another location if I have a project I need to focus on, but the majority of my tasks are to be done at my desk. So the constant stop, pick up the clicker, click the button, make sure they remember to PUSH and not PULL, put the clicker down, and resume my work is just maddening.

        I get exasperated looks sometimes, as if to say “UGH, this woman can see me coming, and she sees I’m fumbling for my keys, why won’t she just let me in?!”, but if I were to let every single person in, it would take a solid 2 hours out of my day just to do it. People walk through these doors every 4 minutes.

        I’m sympathetic to people who forget their keys or have their hands full, but it’s mostly the constant disruption and general entitled attitude that annoys me. I promise I’m not going out of my way to ignore you, guys, I’m just trying to get my work done like eveyrone else. I didn’t get to choose my desk.

        (I’m grumpy)

        1. Allison*

          Unfortunately, if you make it easy to get into the office when you forget your key, you’re going to end up with people who don’t think it’s a big deal if they forget theirs, and they’ll feel like it’s super cool to be careless because there’s a nice lady who will jump up and let them in with a smile every time. And there’s no solution to that issue that doesn’t result in those people getting mad and going “but it’s haaaard to remember it! I shouldn’t have to bother with that, I’m too important! there’s lots of important things in my brain!”

          1. Mallory Janis Ian*

            Yeah, spot on! Why can’t one of the important things in their brain ever be the location of their keys!

  21. Middleman*

    #3 – If someone tried to use gaming guild leader experience as evidence of management experience, I would be immediately convinced they were an absolutely tool who did not understand what professional management roles entailed. I say this as someone who is a hiring manager and has both professional management experience and who has been involved in leadership roles in a gaming community.

    I strongly disagree with everyone above who suggested that the guild leader experience actually was relevant in some way (even if they went on to conclude this couldn’t be leveraged in a professional context) or that it might be something that could be marketed to employers for specific roles/contexts.

    There is a world of difference between “managing” a group of people with a common interest who are spending their free time playing a game they enjoy, and managing people who are doing a job (with varying degrees of motivation).

    -In the former, when someone no longer wants to be there, they just leave. In the latter, people have to pay the bills and you’re stuck dealing with resentful, burnt out, checked out or apathetic people.

    -You have to be cognizant of legal issues in the latter case that are not relevant in the former case.

    -In the latter, people make mistakes that cost your organization money.

    -If you are talking about online gaming (which is my understanding, although I guess you could be LARPing or something), there are a whole host of issues that are involved in managing people who are physically in person that you don’t have to deal with. This includes dealing with subordinates who are physically intimidating presences, having to talk to staff members about their hygiene/body odor (these conversations in particular suck), etc.

    I could go on and rattle off about 100 more points but I’ll leave it at that. Don’t even think of putting this on a resume, regardless of what some people above claim. This is instant rejection material as far as I’m concerned.

    1. Pwyll*

      I think you might be downplaying the significance of being able to “manage” a group of people who are voluntarily there. Or the skills required in managing a large group of people electronically, which in many industries is becoming the norm due to teleworking. The skills necessary to virtually manage passive participants and volunteers in totally optional activities are absolutely comparable to those of managing employees. (Comparable, not equal to!) That doesn’t mean you should hire someone without actual professional management experience, but it does mean you shouldn’t be so quick to downplay those skills as irrelevant because they don’t happen in a work environment. And an “instant rejection” seems a bit harsh. I should think any hobby information, whether ballet or rock climbing or gaming, should be considered as to the skills that they will bring to supplement the professional experience on the resume.

      That said, unless I were applying to a position in which gaming would be in line with the industry (some kinds of software engineering, gaming companies, internet startups, etc.) I would absolutely not include guild leader or gaming achievements to my resume. The reality is, many, many people have the exact same type of visceral reaction to gaming experiences: that it’s somehow a lack of maturity inconsistent with professional behavior, or shows being out of touch with management norms, or something. If I were hiring a corporate lawyer who proudly displayed their leadership experiences as a WoW guild leader and had less than stellar professional credentials I likely would reject, but it wouldn’t be due to the skills being incomparable, it’d be because they were clearly out of touch with the norms of a conservative law firm.

    2. Artemesia*

      I ran a girl scout troop of 10 year olds too which required a lot of organizing and management — but would NEVER put that on a resume as qualifying me for management. In an interview I might reference it in a sort of joking way. The game thing has the added possibility of totally turning of X% of managers who see it as a childish waste of time for a grownup to be spending vast energies on. I realize that is generational — but then managers tend to be a generation ahead of you.

      1. Judy*

        I do have a volunteer section on my resume, that would be removed if it trailed on to a separate page. It includes Girl Scout Leader, Girl Scout camp volunteer staff, women in STEM outreach programs, a soup kitchen where I volunteer (and sometime plan the meals) monthly, etc. These are all things I’m currently doing.

        Anyone need any cookies? I’ve got lots in my living room as of yesterday. And remember the Cookie Finder app for iOS or Android. Find a cookie booth near you.

        1. martini*

          And for anyone in Canada, the Girl Guides have a cookie finder page too, google “girl guides of canada cookie finder”

    3. Anna*

      1. The majority of people I work with want to be here where I work doing the work we do. That doesn’t change the fact that they have to be managed.
      2. At any job if someone doesn’t want to be there, they frequently just leave. They find new jobs and move on. Otherwise nobody would ever leave a job. Frequently as a guild manager you’re required to deal with disruptive people including but not limited to booting them from the guild.
      3. Every organization has something lose if they come together. Mistakes can be made that cost people in your org things. Based on your example, mistakes I make dealing with the non-profit I work with are not a big deal because I might not be losing money, but that’s so not true. Things I screw up can have a lasting impact on my org.
      4. You still have to be cognizant of legal issues when managing a guild within an entity owned by a 3rd party. For one, harassment still exists. Property ownership is still real (as in, it doesn’t belong to you), etc.
      5. Your in-person versus remote discounts every single manager who deals with a remote team. Their management isn’t lesser, it just introduces a whole host of different issues.

      Again, framing it correctly is what’s key.

    4. Marty Gentillon*

      Assuming that raids are involved, a guild needs a skilled manager to be effective. Running raids is very similar to operational line work. It require coordination, skill, and dedication. Everyone needs to know what they are supposed to do and what is going on where they can’t see. Communication is essential to success. When someone makes a mistake, the group will frequently wipe (loose), and have to start over from a checkpoint.

      When someone leaves, it is often impossible to complete the raid. This means that, if someone ever want to be invited back, they can’t just leave. After the party has wiped a few times, you are often left with resentful, burnt out, checked out, or apathetic people, who you must find a way to motivate.

      And this is only raid running. Guild learders get to deal with some of the personell issues that businesses have to worry about as well.

      These skills are easily transferible to many kinds of work.

      As for putting it on a resume, it can make sense if you don’t have anything better to demonstrate these skills. Remember, the hiring manager won’t know what skills it demonstrates, so you will have to be specific about what is involved, and how it matters.

      As for verification, you have a slight problem. I would prepair examples of when you used these skills in raids, problems you have encountered and solved, etc. for and interview. I would also make it a point to have some more verifiable items on your resume as well.

  22. LQ*

    I loved using being a guild leader as a way to test leadership skills and try to develop skills.

    When I first read this I thought, if you are in a guild that gets sponsorships and earns money maybe. But I think that goes too far down the side business I wouldn’t put on there because employers will think you are going to want to leave to do your side business. I also think you’d spend far to long explaining that you can make money by gaming to most people for it to be worth it. If you are applying to be a customer service kind of position at the company for the game you play, yes, I think it makes sense. Outside of that I’m not really sure it is a good idea.

    But I do think it is a very good place to work on developing skills like directly bringing things up rather than hinting at them, dealing with conflict, and talking to someone about not meeting performance goals. If you screw up you don’t loose your job, and it can be a really good space to go, oh that doesn’t work for me, or hey this isn’t so bad to just say what needs to be said and next time you have to do it at work it will be a thousand times easier because you’ve done it and gotten good results.

  23. Katie the Fed*

    #5 – you’ve worked hard. Now work a little harder and nail the interview. Getting upset is not going to get you anywhere. They made a mistake in telling you the job was yours, but you’re probably at a major advantage so just kick butt in the interview!

  24. Temperance*

    Re #3: I find that this really, really depends on your industry. Raid leading isn’t management experience, but it might give you an in if you’re in tech or something like it (a related nerd-heavy field). I have no doubt that this has helped my husband get jobs in the past.

    I’m a lawyer, and I keep my WoW-playing on the down-low at work, but YMMV. (I’m not ashamed of it or anything, but I don’t necessarily think that my nerdiest hobbies would “fit”, although I’m known here as a craft beer expert, lol).

  25. Betty*

    #5—Even if it is just a formality, it’s also actually a really good opportunity for you! DO NOT just go through the motions! Use the formal structure to your advantage, prepare very well, and kick ass at that interview. Convince your boss that not only are you the best person for the job, but you’re also a very valuable employee. Even if the job is in the bag, this is your one chance to negotiate your salary in this new role, and you have a much better chance of getting a significant raise when negotiating a new role than at a regular performance review.

    1. One of the Sarahs*

      +1, it’s also great experience for if you want to move up/on either there or elsewhere. Be awesome!

    2. Elizabeth*

      Ditto! I just went through the interview process myself for an internal promotion a couple of months ago. The application process was open to both internal and external candidates, and multiple internal and external applications came in that the hiring managers considered. However, throughout the process my application was by far the strongest (their words) and I was the only one that was ultimately interviewed for the role. The great thing about the interview process was that even though the interviews had to be done as a formality, it was a great opportunity for me and my managers to discuss the role and what our visions were for it; what my strengths and weaknesses would be in it; how I would grow in it; what our concerns were; how I could develop the team in the dept.; etc.

      It was nice to hear their genuine support for me in the role and it was good to get on the same page with everyone before moving into the role. It was also nice for everyone to know that I was a solid candidate and they weren’t missing out on some better person “out there” since the position was open for a couple of weeks to everyone.

  26. Yetanotherjennifer*

    Op1, this situation is probably also frustrating for your coworkers who need access. I can see why they would choose to ask you to open the door vs knocking and hoping someone will hear them eventually. The current system isn’t working for anyone. Maybe you can talk to a couple of the people who need access. Getting everyone’s needs and perspective on this will make it bigger than just you complaining about the interruptions and will make a compelling argument towards finding a workable solution.

    1. OP#1*

      I’d really like to have a meeting with the head admin and the head of sales to see if we can negotiate some kind of solution that would be low cost and address all the issues (sales needs to come in, admins don’t want them coming in interrupting, and I’m in the middle ready to burn the place down). My boss thinks it’s such a minor issue that he doesn’t even want to think about it, so maybe I can convince him to let me do it myself. Showing imitative and all that crap! *high fives self*

      1. Ms. Anne Thrope*

        If he thinks it’s not important, then seems like you should quit ‘feeling guilty’ if he gets interrupted and has to answer the door. After all, it’s no big deal, right?

        Then, once he gets annoyed by the constant door people, you can propose your genius solutions. Or just sneak in one night and remove the doorknob.

  27. Purple Jello*

    #1 – do those documents have to be dropped off immediately or can they be left in a secure mailbox/dropbox or delivered in batch once or twice a day?
    – when people are stopping by to “deal with issues”, do they need to do this in person, or are they able to IM, email or telephone?

    Whether or not you have to open the door, 10-30 people a day passing through, in addition to all the people with offices in the secured area would drive me batty.

    1. Persephone*

      I really like the drop box solution. If it doesn’t have to be physically handed off this could be the best solution.

  28. MaryMary*

    Regarding OP3’s question, I wonder what everyone’s opinion is about using some guild leader/gaming examples in an interview, versus on a resume? For me, I think it would depend on the experience level of the person being interviewed. When interviewing recent grads or people without much professional experience, I don’t have a problem if they use examples from school or their personal life. I actually encourage it if I can tell they’re drawing a blank on finding a work-related example. When people get to a certain point in their career, though, it starts to seem like a problem if they can’t think of a professional example to talk about.

    1. Temperance*

      I honestly think it depends on the industry. It’s worked well for my husband (IT) in interviews, but it would be extremely odd for me to bring it up, as an attorney, unless the question was about hobbies or free time.

    2. AnotherFed*

      I interview a lot of interns and entry-level candidates, so they might not have had much (if any) office experience to pull from in an interview. For them, it would make total sense to talk about being a guild leader or any other hobby/volunteer activity that could show responsibility, leadership, motivation, teamwork, etc. When it’s an interview for a full-performance or supervisory job, it would be a totally different story – I’d expect professional experience instead. The only place it might be okay is if they talked about a skill in the professional context first, and then followed with a second example from hobbies that showed extra complexity/level of achievement AND that was directly related.

        1. LQ*

          I had a guy who idolized Leeeeeeroy once in my guild. I very professionally talked to him privately about when it was and was not appropriate. Three times, I sat him for raids, passed him on loot and told him why. The last time he did it when we would have been server first for a big boss? I booted him. Just right then and there. That was not my best leadership moment, but wow did it feel good.

  29. Schnapps*

    #3 – best rule of thumb (terrible expression, I know): treat every interview like it’s not a formality. I had to interview for a Regular Full Time position that I’d been doing in a Temporary Full Time position for five years (and had gone through two interviews already for those!). My manager forewarned me not to treat it as a formality because all she can base the hiring off of is interview performance and testing.

    (and then she asked me to set up the testing. I suggested she get someone else to do it :))

  30. OP#1*

    This will probably get lost in the shuffle of all the comments, but hopefully those of you who commented will see it.

    – We’ve joked about installing a buzzer in my office, but never seriously because the lock on the door (number pad system) is older and no one would spend money to install a new one.

    – The people coming upstairs are typically sales, who need to see the people processing their deals. Each deal is touched by around 4-5 people behind the door, so they could coming to see any of them, or it could be the CFO or his team, or another small team that just sort of negotiated their way back there and I’m not entirely sure how they did it. A phone would be a nice idea, but I think it wouldn’t get taken seriously because of the time that takes vs the time it takes for me to stand up and let them in. (Again, no one really takes the amount of interruptions into account. “Oh it just takes a second!”)

    – A locked drop-box is a good idea, assuming it gets checked regularly. We actually have a system where the receptionist downstairs can pass things upstairs via a highly sophisticated method of a binder clip attached to string that’s tied to the top of a chute upstairs, but the sales guys don’t like doing that because often they want to talk to the person about it. A box could work, but it would require a culture change – convincing people to drop off their stuff, then go back downstairs and call, wait for the person to go get the stuff, then talk about it.

    – Currently what happens is that someone tells someone else the code, then it slowly gets passed around, the sales guys come up and pretend they don’t know it, then it comes out that everyone knows it, then the admin team complains that they’re getting interrupted too much by sales guys coming in at will (!!!) and the code gets changed, and my life goes to hell again.

    – And to answer a question mentioned a few times, yes, we let anyone who comes up in. We recognized 99% of the poeple, and occasionally will ask about someone who’s particularly sketch, but mostly if we don’t recognize them but they tell who they’re looking for, we just direct them. Also I often passive-aggressively just leave the door cracked. So there’s just no security at all.

    1. LQ*

      Thanks for coming back to respond.

      If this is a genuine security issue then it really seems like it is poorly handled. If it isn’t I think your solution of leaving the door open is a good one.

      I don’t understand why the people who should be in there shouldn’t have the door code? How is that an interruption? Or more of an interruption than you having to physically get up and open the door a dozen times a day? The admin team should be responsible for the door if this is their issue. It seems absurd. All of it.

      Alternately? A long stick you can poke the door open with!

      1. OP#1*

        Personally I think it’s just security theater for the auditors. I asked for blinds for the glass walls in my office (my boss has them from the last guy who had his office, who hid in his office and never answered his door or opened the other door…my kind of guy), but I was told no. :(

        1. LQ*

          Security theater. Ugh. It’s the worst of all worlds. It isn’t actually secure and it always takes much more effort.

        2. ThursdaysGeek*

          I’d start taping cartoons to the glass walls until they are covered. 8×11 copies or bigger, so it doesn’t take as long. You’re just decorating your space!

          1. OP#1*

            I’ve considered that! Just making up flyers for anything I can think of, memos, the labor law poster, etc. Unfortunately one of our owner’s is almost across from me (we can almost stare at each other while we work, but not quite), and I think he’d get irritated if it looked messy.

          2. Jennifer*

            I used to have photos of Hawaii posted all over my glass walls.

            I used to be in the same situation, being the one closest to the door. We’d get random people knocking after the closing hours of the public service office, begging us to do their things for them. I was stuck on door duty and also having to tell them I couldn’t do it for them. Fun times. The only way I got out of that was being moved to public service….:/

    2. Federal Contractor*

      I am a contractor at a military installation, so we have all sorts of access points.
      The general rule around here is that if someone is coming to see you and they cannot access your area by themselves, then it’s on YOU to come get them, escort them, and then see them to the door when you are done.
      I think the easiest/cheapest solution would be for anyone coming upstairs to call the person they want to see before coming up and verify they are present and available. The admin people should be responsible for coming to the door to meet their visitors and walking them back to the door when the meeting is done.
      This approach would solve several problems:
      – the time/effort of letting people in is spread around, but only to those who need to meet with visitors
      – visitors don’t have to wait around and hope someone hears them because they arranged for an admin person to meet them
      – better security because admin people are the only ones letting visitors in, and are only letting in people who have an actual need to be there (also eliminates the “interruption at will” problem when the code gets out)
      – no cost required to install equipment at the door– visitors should contact admin people from their desks before coming upstairs

    3. Meg Murry*

      Is it a giant packet of stuff? Does it require actual physical signatures on the papers?

      Otherwise, couldn’t the people downstairs throw it in the scanner on the copier and have it emailed to whomever, and then call them about it? Or is there not a copier downstairs?

      I think you are right to say “I am not head door opener” and ignore the knockers. Can you turn your desk in such a way that you have your back more to them (and put a privacy screen on your monitor?

      Otherwise, I think your thought of just letting them interrupt your boss or knock themselves might be the only way to get the point across. Say to your boss “ok, so we are clear, it is NOT my job to open the door, and I DON’T have to jump up every time?” Then don’t. Someone comes by and says “can you open the door?” and you just say “No, I can’t, go ahead and knock.”

      That or I would just put a sticky note with the code over the key pad every time it changes, which can be taken down quickly immediately before an audit. Ok, I wouldn’t, but I would be tempted to!

      It sounds to me that they like having the keypad so they aren’t interrupted as much- but that shifts the interruptions to you instead, which is stupid!

    4. One of the Sarahs*

      Re buzzers – a friends has a rented house with no doorbell, so bought a battery-operated wireless one, which had a sticky pad/1 screw fix for the bell, and a radio-pick up that rings when the buzzer’s pushed within range. You have to be careful to keep on top of the batteries, but it was really cheap – under £10. I’m in the UK, but searching “wireless door bell” brought me up tons.

      Personally I’d probably just ask if I could buy the office one myself, and ask if they could combine it with a sign – “Please press the doorbell for entry, and if no one comes, ring XXX” – and you could just point people at it. I’d play it as being an issue of security concerns.

      I’m wondering if maybe the people in the office don’t appreciate how much of an issue this is, because you’re there to sort it out, and if they were continually having to get the doorbell, they’d understand and think about implementing proper systems?

      1. One of the Sarahs*

        (Sometimes these wireless doorbells as described as “portable” ones, too, if you want to look them up)

        1. Not So NewReader*

          I bought a cheaper priced wireless, portable door bell and I LOOVE it. It was about $40 it has several different rings, so doorbell buttons could be installed for each different ring. It’s not objectionable, the dog and I do not jump out of our skins every time it rings. It’s got a good range on the bell (receiver), I can bring it to the back of the house or upstairs in my garage.
          Yes, you do have to test it to see if the batteries are working. But that would be a once in a while thing as opposed to what OP is doing now. You can get fancier units with more tones which would accommodate more people.

  31. boop*

    1, why lock the door at all if any random person is permitted to enter? Why not just put a bell or some other noisemaker on it to make it impossible to sneak through unnoticed? Is having two people with clear view of the door not enough?

  32. AnonForThis*

    Okay, here’s my question. I’m a union chair for a local that’s affiliated with a large national. It’s in an area that isn’t where I do my primary work–and I will continue in the position even after I get a new job. Can I use that to show leadership skills? Or does being a union leader look bad for me??

    1. fposte*

      Look at AcademiaNut’s great guidelines above. Where does this work fall on that?

      Yes, there are some people who are going to be prejudiced against union work; there are also people who will think it’s great, and some who really don’t care either way as long as you can get your job done. You’ll need to consider which way things tend to skew in your work field and region to assess how it’s likeliest to be received.

  33. Elizabeth West*

    Haven’t read through all the comments yet, but on the door one–is there any way they could install a drawer or drop slot for people who just need to drop off paperwork? That way, they could put it in the slot and then go on about their business and not have to disturb anyone.

    And perhaps a doorbell or something that would alert the people inside to answer the door. With a sign like “Please ring for assistance. If you are leaving paperwork and do not need to speak with anyone, please leave it in the drop box” and an arrow pointing to it.

  34. ASJ*

    OP #5 – I went through this not too long ago. In my case, I was temping for a university and HR requires all full-time jobs be posted. I was very fortunate that no other internal candidates applied, but I almost cried when I found out that 30+ people had applied. I was very aware that an external candidate could blow their socks off, even if my supervisor did pull me aside one morning and tell me that as far as she was concerned, this was all just a formality. But I took the interview very seriously. I re-did my resume (and got a couple of coworkers to look it over before submitting). I prepped as much as I could (in my case, that meant trying to remember the questions I’d been asked for my temp interview and creating better answers). I wore my best outfit, made sure I was 5-10 minutes early, had questions ready to ask at the end, even did email thank you notes to each interviewer, etc… I basically acted as though I was someone completely new trying to make an excellent first impression. It paid off, as one of my interviewers later told me the general consensus was that I was the best prepared for the interview and there were really no doubts that I was the best candidate.

    It’s a very frustrating system – for once it worked to my benefit, but I’ve been burned by it multiple times before. I can totally understand why you’re upset (it was made clear to me from the start that there would be an interview process, but that does very little to detract from nerves), but I would put it aside if at all possible. Chalk it up to some dumb HR practices and focus on putting your best foot forward. Remember, you do have an advantage over the other candidates because you’ve been doing the job… so incorporate all that knowledge and pull off a kickass interview so they’ll have to hire you.

    Good luck!

  35. WhenInDoubtGoMeta*

    As a hiring manager, I think it’s totally appropriate to bring up hobby-related leadership experience *when no prior professional experience is expected*. If I’m talking to a candidate who acknowledges they don’t have prior management experience about why they are interested in management or think they would grow successfully, it’s totally appropriate for them to talk about things in their hobby/volunteer/personal life that are relevant to that question. (And, in fact, I’d expect a candidate for a project management position to have experiences like that where they demonstrated project management skills and developed their interest.) But I would definitely question the judgment of someone who presented those experiences *as equivalent to years of management experience required for the job*. (Same goes for reading books/blogs on the subject, for that matter – not irrelevant but definitely not a substitute for work experience.)

    So my advice is: feel free to bring it up in an interview, but only after being direct about not having professional experience, so you don’t sound out of touch.

  36. Cari*

    #5 – I had an interview for a public sector job (UK) several years ago, and was an external candidate. I was already fed up of having my time wasted by recruiters and had recently learnt of the requirement for public sector to advertise and interview external candidates (even if they have someone internal lined up for it), so I ended up asking if the interview was just that. Naturally, I never got a direct answer, but the interviewer did confirm the requirement to interview external candidates too. They used to do the same in my last job too (public sector, education), except when having to juggle existing employees into fewer jobs due to budget cuts.

    So don’t worry, it’s not uncommon for a job to be advertised and have interviews held for it even when they have someone internal already lined up for it :)
    Besides, they don’t know when the time comes you’ll definitely take the new position, so from your employer’s point of view it’s always worth them having back-ups to call on if for some reason you changed your mind.

    1. JoJo*

      “but the interviewer did confirm the requirement to interview external candidates too. ”

      I hate that. It’s wrong to give people the impression that they have a fair shot at a job, get their hopes up, waste their time and money, only to have a candidate already selected.

  37. Amber Rose*

    I have to say that I’m sincerely enjoying the various debates that the guild leadership question has raised. I have one add on story: a good friend with a ridiculously high GPA had a lot of trouble getting through med school interviews because the interviewers were confused by his teaching a kind of obscure martial arts. Even if it’s a valid experience, confusing an interviewer can leave a negative impression that’s hard to get around.

  38. Observer*

    #1 – I haven’t read most of the responses – no time.

    But, I saw that lots of people pointed out just how insecure this setup is. Even if there is only one security code, I can’t see how giving that code to everyone is less secure than having someone let everyone in. It’s not as though you have any clue who should or should not be allowed in.

    If someone is still hung up on the idea that this makes things safer (rather than LESS safe, as is the case), then at least lobby for a buzzer, so you can just buzz them in. It’s still distracting and far from ideal, but it will help cut down on the amount of time you waste. (And who knows, maybe it will get someone to realize how stupid this is.

  39. LawBee*

    #3 – and that is why MMORPGs left my life forever. The actual playing and whatnot was fun, but oh the management. I have that at work! Power to you for being a good guild leader.

  40. lurker*

    Is it just me, or does #2 read like he was only called for an interview so they could tell him what a waste they thought his degree was?

Comments are closed.