my sister and I are in the running for the same job, being left out of Boss’s Day, and more

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

1. My sister and I are in the running for the same job

I recently saw a job ad and showed it to my sister too. We both applied and we’ve both been called for an interview. Now I want to pull out and not attend the interview because I do not want competition between my sister and me.

You can certainly do that, but what about talking with your sister and seeing how she feels? She might not want you to do that on her account, and/or might feel that she should be the one to withdraw since you’re the one who found the ad. Or maybe you’ll talk to her and realize that yes, you withdrawing is the thing that feels right to you. But I’d talk to her first before you decide anything.

2. I’m being left out of a Boss’s Day celebration on my team

Earlier in the day, I overheard my boss talking with two other coworkers about a “celebration.” My boss made a comment about a calendar invite, and after checking my Outlook, I soon learned that my entire team was invited to this celebration, but I was not. To give some background, my team consists of a coordinator (me), three managers (one is my direct boss – let’s call her Carol), two senior managers, and a director (we’ll call her Jane).

After feeling left out for an hour or so, I gained some courage and asked one of the managers if I needed to bring anything next week, as I overheard a conversation about a celebration. Her response was something like, “Oh, we’ve got it covered – pause – We are doing a little Boss’s Day celebration for Jane.” I don’t report directly to Jane, but I do consider myself part of her team. I report to Carol who reports to Jane, and I have at least one ongoing project where Jane is my contact.

Am I being oversensitive, or do I have a right to feel a bit left out of this Boss’s Day celebration? I am happy to bring a card for Carol, but would feel over the top bringing flowers, cookies, or anything more than a nice note while the rest of my team brings a feast to celebrate Jane. Do I bring a card for Jane, even though I don’t report to her, and even though I was excluded from the Boss’s Day celebration?

One last thought I’d like to mention: Jane invited me to the weekly managers’ meeting a few weeks ago. Carol seemed shocked I was invited, which made me feel a bit inferior. No one else seemed to mind or think it was weird. I’ve also let Carol know that I’m willing to help on projects X, Y and Z since the team has been extra busy, and although she continues to say she’ll find something for me to work on, she also continues to say that she hasn’t offered my help to anyone yet. To me, not being invited to the celebration is just another reminder that I’m not on the management team.

I would let this go. It sounds like they just figured they’d coordinate with the people who report directly to Jane, which isn’t a terribly strange way to do it. Using that paradigm, there’s no need for you to bring a card … and in fact it might feel off to do that. If you’re going to bring a card for anyone, it should be for your actual boss, Carol, not your boss’s boss.

But really, Boss’s Day is not something you want in on (for the reasons here). Be glad you’re not being roped into participating.

About feeling like this is another reminder that you’re not on the management team … the thing is, you’re not actually on the management team! And that’s okay. That’s not something to feel ashamed of or weird about; it’s just the nature of the job you’re in, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

3. I’m worried my manager will pretend I still work for him after I leave my job

I’ve just handed in my notice to move to a better job (thanks for all your advice helping me get to this stage). I’m worried that my boss will pretend to clients and contractors that I still work for him after I leave, since he did this when a colleague left earlier this year. I think he sees staff turnover as a failure and wants it kept private, but I don’t want my reputation tarnished by problems after I leave (he likely won’t replace me and will ignore my hand-over notes so my clients’ projects will suffer).

I suspect that if I ask him how to announce my resignation to my clients, he will tell me not to. I could wait until after I leave, but I don’t really want to use my personal email and I think he would see this as even more of a betrayal.

So I could just email all my important contacts a few days before I leave and update them without telling him. Do you think that’d be okay? I’d be positive and say I enjoyed my time at the company and am sure they’d be well taken care of after I leave (though honestly that’s not likely). Can I mention my new company and my contact details? I feel like telling contacts you’re moving on is very normal outside of paranoid boss world.

Yeah, I’d just not ask him about it at all and just email your contacts a day or two before your last day to let them know you’re leaving, etc. It’s definitely a normal thing to do, so you can reasonably say that you assumed there would be no issue with it (and that you didn’t want your clients to wonder why they weren’t hearing from you anymore).

Don’t mention your new company and contact details though; that’s too likely to come across as if you’re potentially trying to take business with you, which your boss could very legitimately object to.

4. What’s the deal with “stay interviews”?

I’ve recently discovered that there’s something called a “stay interview,” which supposedly improves retention by… well, I don’t really know. It seems more like another fad that bad employers are likely to use incorrectly and good employers don’t need. I’d assume that most of the information they claim to provide would be known to a person’s direct manager or come up in regular one-on-ones. What are your thoughts on this?

Like many things, it depends on how well it’s done and in what kind of environment.

Stay interviews, for anyone who doesn’t know, are a way to gather info from employees about what they’re liking, what they’re not liking, and what they might like to change. The idea is to figure out what you might need to do to retain your best employees … so that you’re not hearing this stuff for the first time in an exit interview after the person has resigned, but rather are hearing it while you can still act on the things you learn.

When they’re done well and in a reasonably healthy environment, there can be a lot of value to them. It’s actually pretty common for this stuff not to come up during normal day-to-day work, so having a structured time for these sorts of bigger-picture questions can be the only way some of it comes out.

Of course, a company that does stay interviews and then doesn’t act on them in any significant way will pretty quickly instill cynicism about the process in people — so it’s not something you’d want to do in a perfunctory way.

{ 71 comments… read them below }

  1. Gadfly*

    OP#3–If anything, I would want to put the contact info for the Boss (or whoever they have assigned to account sit until your accounts are reassigned) in the email, not your new info.

    1. Green*

      Put boss’s e-mail or whoever they’ve reassigned the account to in the email. But I think (especially with people you have a rapport with) that it’s OK to say “If you’d like to stay in touch…” and then add your personal email address (not your new work one) or say that you’re on LinkedIn. You’ll likely get congratulations emails from interested people on your personal email address, at which point you can tell them that you’ll be working with X company.

      1. Gaara*

        They already know you’re on LinkedIn. That looks like you’re trying to get them to come with you, and I think it’s safer to avoid it, particularly on your work email. Solicit them from your new job if you really want, or better yet, say something like “please call me if you have any questions.” Although it may be normal for them to ask what’s next for you, and if they bring it up, then sure, tell them.

        1. OP the 3rd*

          I actually have a term in my contract forbidding contacting them after I leave. It’s written by my boss (who is not a lawyer) and is likely too vague and overreaching to stand up in court, but I’d rather not go in that direction.

  2. Office Plant*

    #3 – Set a permanent “Out of Office” response on your email the day you leave. Have it say something like, “Thank you for contacting (insert department). Jane is no longer with (company). For questions about xyz, please contact (co-worker).” Etc. You get the idea. Set a similar message on your office voicemail. And let clients know you’re leaving.

    1. Artemesia*

      it is common to stop phone and email when someone leaves. I would send the email at the start of the last week.

      1. Former Invoice Girl*

        What we have here is the employee setting their return date to years later – like “I will return on 1 April 2019” or something like that.

        1. Bellatrix*

          That actually seems pretty confusing to me. If you’re giving me a specific date three years from now, I’d understand the person is not currently there, but I’d take the email at its word that the employee has an actionable plan to come back (like after finishing school or spending a few years as a stay-at-home parent.) The wording is pretty misleading.

  3. Daisy*

    2. Is anyone else slightly confused by the makeup of this team? If 5/6 people are managers, who are they all managing?

    1. MillersSpring*

      It sounds like a job title not a responsibility. It’s extremely common for people to have titles such as billing manager, marketing manager or IT manager without actually having anyone reporting to them. The idea is that they’re managing that function. It’s typically a title that falls between specialist and director in corporate hierarchies.

      1. Vicki*

        Normally, people who are billing managers or marketing managers have two words in their titles, not just “manager” or “senior manager”.

        I’m guessing that this is a “management team” which happens to include a coordinator because she coordinates things for the managers. The other managers probably have engineers or writers or designers or IT personnel… reporting to them.

        I wonder if Carol only has the one direct report (the OP) which makes the OP feel like an “only child”, so she’s treating the managers as her “team”. Or she does the coordinating for the management team, so she feels like she’s part of it.

        The sad thing is this part: “To me, not being invited to the celebration is just another reminder that I’m not on the management team.” If she considers this group of managers and senior managers to be her “team”, she needs to speak to Carol about her role.

    2. MK*

      The OP says she feels not part of the “management team”, which I interpret as there is another (or several others) team for them to manage.

      1. Left Out*

        MillersSpring is exactly right. I guess what I meant by not feeling part of the management team has to do with the fact that there are a few things I’m not involved in because my title isn’t manager. But a social event has never been one of them. I’ve gotten over it – I know it’s silly, I guess I was just feeling sensitive.

        1. MillersSpring*

          I agree it’s silly and rude of them to leave one person out. It’s a social gathering not for example a restricted meeting.

    3. Not the Droid You Are Looking For*

      At my former job the senior management team reported to the VP and we all managed our own departments. On the project management team, there was a specialist who worked quite closely with the VP a because she was responsible for the analytics for our divisions efficiency and systems.

      Though she directly reported to the Director of Project Management, she would often be invited to things the senior management team was doing because of her unique role.

      It feels similar to the OPs situation where she was not part of the management team, but had access to a lot of our discussions.

    4. Left Out*

      Hello! It’s really just a title – our team is strange in that we all kind of work together on projects, which is why I felt left out. We also all sit in the same row of cubes…

  4. Jeanne*

    #1, Do you and your sister have the same name or look almost the same? If not, and you can both handle the rejection, I think you can both keep interviewing without saying anything. Talk homestly with your sister. If you both feel one of you has to withdraw, let the sister with the best experience for the job keep interviewing. Good luck!

    1. PsychDoc*

      I agree that they should both in interview. Afterall, maybe one will decide that she doesn’t feel like the job is a good fit upon interviewing.

  5. Former Invoice Girl*

    Writing to let your contacts know that you’ll no longer be working with your company is completely normal, OP3! I wouldn’t give them my new contact details (at least not a company e-mail address or phone number, like the others suggested already), though, but your boss’ would be fine. That would make it clear that you’re no longer there without him being able to deny / omit it from communications.

    I had to leave a position recently, and I did something similar as well – I wrote an e-mail to all my contacts telling them I’d no longer be working with the Teapot Team, thanked them for their cooperation and for the good work relationship we had (I really liked working with most of them), and told them who my replacement would be, including his e-mail address. I also added that I would stay with the company, albeit in a different team, just in case they needed any information from me (I run under the same e-mail address). They were already familiar with my boss’ contact info, so I didn’t have to include that.

  6. Artemesia*

    when I was managing eons ago ‘stay interviews’ (which of course were not called that) were just a routine part of managing. I would routinely every year to 18 mos sit down to take stock and get input. If new programs or other changes were a foot we would do it around that. How could anyone manage without seeking this kind of input explicitly every so often?

    1. V*

      Yeah, part of why I wrote in on this is that I was confused whether these “stay interviews” were something new or just a fancy term for the yearly check-in that managers should do with their reports, precisely to address big picture things like this and get a sense of how they feel about the job and company. I assume that’s really all they’re supposed to be but calling them stay interviews feels weird and like it could make it even more difficult to clearly address problems you’re facing.

      If I tell my manager in a yearly review or sit-down that I’m hoping to move into more of an X role when I’m only doing Y then that’s something you can discuss. But if the context is that of a stay interview, and y0u’re saying that in response to the question “What do you like about your work?”, wouldn’t your manager be quick to assume that you might in fact be thinking of leaving? Bringing up a negative when the point of the conversation is to talk about positives would be strange and it might make these kind of interviews counter-productive.

      1. Ask a Manager* Post author

        But why are you assuming the point is to talk positives? That might be where the disconnect is. It’s not supposed to be only positive things. The point is to find out how to keep your high performers, which can include both positive and negative things. The idea is that you don’t want to be in an exit interview hearing for the first time “X drove me crazy and that’s why I started looking.”

        1. Gaara*

          I wish my job would ask those kinds of questions. I don’t know if I can trust them enough to give honest feedback, but then, if they really wanted to know what is and isn’t working they’d be a different company that I would trust more.

        2. V*

          Yeah, that’s a fair point. I guess some of the articles I read while looking it up weren’t the best sources of information as they seemed to hammer too much on the self-congratulatory “this is why our employees love it here” angle. Maybe I’m just getting stuck on the name. I guess “stay interview” was coined to contrast with the exit interview you mention and perhaps it’s more apt to call it a “job review”.

  7. Engineer Girl*

    #1 – You should talk to your sister about this, of course. That said, I want to point something out. You say you don’t want competition from your sister, but it already exists. Your sister created it. How do I know? Your sister applied to a job ad that you applied to! Right then and there, she showed she was competing.

    You can spend the rest of your life backing down and deferring to her to create an artificial peace. Or you can just go for what you want in an honest manner, and let the chips fall where they may. Obviously your sister had no worries about competing with you or she never would have applied to the job you wanted. You shouldn’t have the problem either.

    There’s another flaw in your logic. Neither you nor your sister get to decide who is best for that job. The employer gets to decide it. Please allow them to do so by continuing with the interview.

    Don’t harm yourself to appease others.

      1. snuck*

        Me too.

        And then there’s the question as to whether it’s family expectations, or work responsibilities…

        I agree with the points Engineer Girl makes though that the sister has stepped up by applying – she knew the OP wanted to apply and chose to compete, and that the decision about who gets the job is up to the employer…

        I totally understand though that the OP might be being leaned on or scrutinised in her family by her sister/others and that might be a big part of this… and she’s got to work out what she wants to do about it, not an easy decision to make.

    1. Artemesia*

      This. You found a listing why would you yield to your sister unless she is a much better fit and it is a big stretch for you? Are you the sister who always gets stepped on? Or does your sister step back so that you can have a turn as well?

      1. Annoyed*

        I’m wondering the same thing. The OP found it and applied first, why should she withdraw because her sister applied?

    2. Former Retail Manager*

      100%!!! And what sibling does that anyway? If I weren’t sure if my sibling were going to apply, I’d definitely ask if they were and whether they were okay if I applied as well, if I were interested. You should definitely proceed OP. Worst case scenario, you get some good interview practice, which is almost never a bad thing.

  8. Tau*

    #5 – I recently had a stay interview and found it pretty helpful, although I was cynical about it to begin with. I admit my employment structure is a bit unusual, but for me:

    I’d assume that most of the information they claim to provide would be known to a person’s direct manager or come up in regular one-on-ones.

    is simply not true because I don’t work directly with anyone in my management chain on a day-to-day basis. I talk with my direct manager maybe twice a year and am not 100% certain he knows my name without being reminded. So the stay interview is actually one of the only ways for me to communicate “hey, X, Y and Z are things I have trouble with and would be really happy to see done differently” in a natural setting.

    1. caledonia*

      Well not always. There have been many comments about anon surveys being anything but anon. Plus it sounds like a stay interview is more personal and perhaps the feedback will be used, rather than comments from a survey (I’m never really convinced anything happens with such surveys).

      1. Fortitude Jones*

        My division used the results of their year end survey to implement departmental changes this year. Some of those changes were quickly scrapped though when the employees started complaining about them (e.g. the having to apply for promotions bit – people were not onboard with that).

        Then my company as a whole did their employee satisfaction survey earlier this year (this is done once every two to three years), and they ended up letting us have jeans days on Fridays going forward because we all complained about not being able to wear them when other businesses downtown allow it. Bad thing is, it’s only our campus who can wear jeans on Friday (we’re the company headquarters) – the email didn’t say any of our satellite offices or far flung divisions could do it too.

    2. V*

      They’re for vastly different things. A survey, if done well, can reveal things like “we’re not getting enough info about upcoming projects” or “working from home would be a useful perk”. These interviews are for retention at a more personal level, though they can of course reveal trends.

    3. Lily in NYC*

      I will never do another office survey because it has become crystal clear to me that employers often use clever wording to imply that the survey is anonymous when it really isn’t. My sister’s office ensures staff that their survey is confidential, and people assume that means it’s anonymous. It’s not. It’s just confidential.

      And my office was disingenuous with ours by not being clear that even though it’s anonymous, the responses are broken out by department. My department is small, only 8 people – and my writing style is pretty easy to figure out if you are only comparing it to 7 other people. And now HR wonders why they can’t get people to fill out more surveys – they are always sending reminders and then they get desperate and throw out incentives like cash prizes to get people to participate. My boss forced us to fill them out so I just put a period in each comment box because we couldn’t leave them blank. If they come to me to complain then they are just proving that it’s not anonymous.

      1. Hotel GM Guy*

        I have a colleague who has gotten 90% negative surveys from the staff under him for 3 years in a row. Now that our VP is no longer with the company, this a-hole is desperately going to other managers and asking us how to get his staff to like him. He seems to think that a 4th extremely negative survey under a new VP would mean he’s lose his job. I think it’s likely, but I told him that the best thing to do would be to change companies before next year’s survey and to stop running his team like an academy.

      2. Gaia*

        That sucks both for the employees and the company. I am on the committee that handles our staff survey and it is truly anonymous.

        Not only does your name or identifier not appear anywhere on the survey (the closest we ask for is the office you work in so we can report on office results vs global results to spot trouble areas and your global department) but we ensure that people that are part of a small group within one office have their results included in a larger group’s results instead of on their own. For example, if I say I am part of sales in USA City and the survey is setup to know that sales in USA City has only 9 people, it will automatically place my responses in that of a larger group in USA City (we also see the results for all of Sales without location designation).

        Not allowing for true anonymity harms both the company and the employee. There’s no point in the effort if you don’t want honest feedback.

    4. Julie Noted*

      One of the attractive aspects of the ‘stay interview’ is being able to consider the feedback in context. I’ve often seen survey results or anonymous comments that I can’t do anything useful with because my course of action would depend on who provided the input. (Indicating poorly designed survey questions, but that’s another kettle of fish).

      For example, in a previous job the company-wide survey (10,000’s of employees) asked how satisfied you were with the amount of control you had over your work. On the one hand, we had recently implemented some process standards that should have been routine in our industry, and I knew from word of mouth that some staff considered any change in the level of control over how they did their work to be micromanaging*. On the other hand, I wanted to know if and where there were legitimate concerns with particular managers. Similarly, surveys don’t tend to pick up the difference between an employee being overburdened with work and an employee complaining about increased workload after getting away with bludging for years.

      In a good organisation, high performing staff earn trust and their opinions are rightly given more credibility on a range of issues.

      *True story: we had someone report in their exit interview that change X drove them away from the organisation. Change X was requiring staff to store legal records in a secure company directory rather than their individual hard drives, and provide transparent information about whether their projects had met major deadlines or not. I think ex-employee intended this news to make us regretful. Had the opposite effect!

  9. Former Coordinator*

    I have a different take on OP2’s situation. If the team is say, the whole Marketing Department, and in previous instances OP has been treated like one of the team (contributing at meetings, invited to special meetings and not just to take notes, work on a particular project for the director), then I can see being miffed that the whole team is in the break room having cake without you. It seems like the real issue is that while OP sees this as a team with casual hierarchy, Carol is treating the relationship more as suprrior-underling, hence the surprise at OP’s being at a senior meeting and exclusion from Boss’s Day.

    Now if these 7 have been presented as the leadership team of a larger department/division, say there are 5 junior reports under OP and then the rest of “mamagememt”, then I really see how there’s an issue with Carol starting to exclude OP from stuff.

    I also once was the “lower” member of a team, perfectly qualified to help out on excess stuff, but was rebuffed by my supervisor, and it was frustrating to see the department flounder while I was bored just to stick to her sense of “this is our work, not FC’s work. ” I left soon after for different reasons. But what I feel like past me and OP could use is a script to address the lack of work being funneled her way, or if there’s a future instance of a seeming snub by Carol.

    1. Artemesia*

      I think it is totally weird for a department of 6 having ANY celebration that includes 5. Carol is up to no good — time for OP to be updating the resume and reviewing the options.

      1. Quilter*

        Eh, I don’t know. Jane isn’t OP’s boss. Seems weird to me that OP would think she’d be invited given that fact. The inclusion of 5 out of 6 would only seem weird to me if any of the other 5 were peers of OP but they’re not. It seems reasonable to me that a management team might participate in things on their own. While it’s nice that Jane invited her to one of their meetings, I don’t think that means that OP needs to be or should be included on all management related items, including one that celebrates Jane as a boss given OP doesn’t report to her. If OP wants to celebrate (although I am with Alison that she should be thankful she’s not being asked to), it should be directed towards Carol.

        This doesn’t mean OP is inferior, but Carol is OP’s direct supervisor and part of managing her means that OP’s not going to be involved in management level activities. Doing so would be boosting OP to a peer role which isn’t the point of that position.

        1. Artemesia*

          I cant get over the image of 5 people snarfing cake in the breakroom while the ONLY other member of the team sits at her desk.

          1. Ask a Manager* Post author

            I wouldn’t assume it’ll happen that way though. Assuming they’re reasonably polite people, there’s nothing stopping them from inviting the OP to have some cake. They just told her she doesn’t need to bring anything, which makes sense.

            1. Sue Wilson*

              Didn’t it already happen this way? Apparently there were calendar invites which excluded OP. The food thing seems like OP just asked to make sure it wasn’t a mistake.

              1. Ask a Manager* Post author

                That doesn’t preclude them from offering her some cake that day though; she’s just not part of the actual thing, because it’s a Boss’s Day thing for someone who is not her boss.

            1. Not the Droid You Are Looking For*

              OP, I’m really, really hoping that the plan is to included you in the celebration, and the calendar invites, etc. were only to exclude you from an obligation to bring something in.

      2. MK*

        Actually we don’t know that it is a department of 6. It could be a department of 60 and these people are the management team. The OP says she considers herself part of Jane’s team, but I would say that obviously Carol doesn’t think so. I wouldn’t hazard a guess as to who is right on the information we have; maybe the OP can ask for some clarification from Jane?

        1. Not the Droid You Are Looking For*

          I think this is a really good point. I explained my former offices dynamic above, but we were a division of 95. The project coordinator who was in a similar situation to the OP was more on the level of the staff who reported to all of the other managers (if not a hierarchitical level below our leads), she just had unique access.

          Yes, she had a lot of interaction and worked on a lot of projects with our VP, but she had a clear line of supervision to our Director of Project Management.

          Of course, the only thing we did for our boss (the VP) was send holiday gifts, which said “from ____ division” and we would have never considered asking her to contribute to that!

        2. Left Out*

          Carol invites me to meetings with Jane once a month as a check in. And it is a larger department, but we are a small division of that department. Another thing to add, we have celebrations all of the time! Together. At our cubes (Director has an office outside of cubes).

    2. Left Out*

      FC, that’s exactly how I feel. Spot on! Maybe AAM can jump in on this one… I’d love to ask Carol about what I need to do to move up, or have more access to “manager stuff,” whatever that may be. And I’d especially love to know what to say when she makes me feel inferior, which probably isn’t on purpose. I always feel like she wants me to stay where I am so I’ve been afraid to confront her with the idea, but it’s a great company I would love to grow with.

      1. Gaara*

        Tell her that. “It’s a great company that I’d love to grow with. What can I do to make that happen? What does a path forward here look like?”

      2. Anon in NOVA*

        I think the point here is that you don’t have access to “management stuff” because you’re not a manager. It’s great that they invite you to management meetings on occasion, it seems like they value your work and input. I would be hesitant to take that as permission to push to be included in more management conversations though, since you’re not a manager and it may cause them to pull back on including you.

  10. AdAgencyChick*

    #3, I am deeply curious to know what your boss does when the clients ask to speak to the other colleague. How many times can he say “she’s out of the office” before they smell a rat?

    This happened to me once at a previous company, or at least they dawdled on telling the client. I kept asking when they were going to tell, and finally, on my last day, I said, “They’re expecting me to be at several meetings next week. You need to tell them, or I will.” An email went out that day.

    But I like your idea of not asking, and just emailing them yourself. This allows you to control the message. In advertising, where it’s common for a client to develop a relationship with someone and really become attached to working with them, I have seen some agencies be…less than scrupulous when informing the client about a favorite employee’s departure. As in telling, or strongly implying, that the employee was fired for misconduct. Not cool. If you’re the one who sends out the message, then you get to be warm and gracious and someone that the clients remember that they enjoyed working with.

    1. OP the 3rd*

      “How many times can he say “she’s out of the office” before they smell a rat?”

      As many times as he can get away with it. Eventually they get the message, by which time someone else is handling the project.

      Thanks for your advice. Yes I wouldn’t put this past him.

    2. The_artist_formerly_known_as_Anon-2*

      I once worked in a place – on my last day I was working on things – so – they trusted me to put my badge and credit card under HR’s door – and left my ID / computer access up – I was presuming they’d shut it off (don’t know if they ever did).

      I left in March. In July they called me. They asked me to log into the phone system and delete my message box, which had filled! In that place you could bypass the greeting (which said I was gone and could be reached at xxx-xxx-xxxx) by pressing a key – apparently people did and left messages and requests for me.

      Since that was an employee secured function – I declined to do it.

  11. S*

    #1 I think it depends on the type of job. My husband and I have interviewed for the same job three separate times. But the job postings for our field are fairly limited so we both had no other options each time. So if you’re both Teapot Specialists and this is the only posting, then I say go for it. But maybe not,if it’s a more generic position or there are plenty of other job postings to choose from.

    1. Oryx*

      “But maybe not,if it’s a more generic position or there are plenty of other job postings to choose from.”

      Which the sister can apply to. The OP was the one who found the job ad, she shouldn’t have to be the one to withdraw her application.

  12. B*

    #5 – I’ve participated in two different stay surveys at my current company. For context I’ve been at this company for 6 years, reporting up through 3 different management structures for 3 different roles. The first one gave enough data to management so they knew they could safely fire a manager and the entire team wouldn’t desert them. The second one doesn’t seem to have made an impact, but my understanding is they were looking for feedback on the incredible growth in the department and how they could improve it.

    I know I’m fortunate to work for a company where they take these sorts of things seriously, including anonymity, but that’s definitely not the case everywhere.

  13. Gaara*

    #1. Why not try to look at it as if you and your sister are on the same team, competing against all the other applicants? If either of you get the job, you both win.

    It would suck to withdraw only for your sister not to get the job. You would likely both be upset about that.

    1. halpful*

      yeah, this! If one of you withdraws, and the other isn’t the right fit (in the employer’s opinion), then neither of you get it!

      I wonder… would it make sense for you and your sister to briefly mention each other during interviews? I expect it wouldn’t carry any weight as a reference, but it might avoid potential confusion over names, and… would it look good to say you’d be happy for her if she got the job, or would it be weird?

  14. Long Time Reader First Time Poster*

    #3 — I always get in front of the news that I’m leaving a company by personally informing my clients once I’ve given notice. Who knows what story a boss or colleague will pass along after they’ve let my accounts languish for weeks?

    I let them know that I’ve enjoyed working with them, and add a comment along the lines of “I hope our paths will cross again someday — if you’d like to keep in touch, here’s my LinkedIn info” — I don’t really have any qualms about giving the impression I’m trying to poach clients. I think sharing contact info is a natural thing to do when parting ways professionally, and leaving the link in the email encourages my former clients to click thru immediately and make the connection. Better to connect when it’s fresh in their minds (and they are curious where I’m going, anyway).

    Clients that I feel particularly strongly about staying in touch with, I’ll send a connection request to directly instead.

    I earned these connections with my hard work, I’m definitely not going to let them suffer because I changed jobs.

    1. MK*

      That might be fine, but you might want to consider the impression you are making, especially whether the client also sees themselves as a connection to have earned through hard work. I wouldn’t think anything of this coming from a company contact I had developed a relationship with, who had gone above and beyond their company’s standard output, but I would find it really off-putting from someone who had simply done their job and would be replaced by an equally capable person.

  15. AnonasaurusRed*

    We apparently implemented stay interviews a year ago, but I haven’t had on and neither has anyone else in my department who has been here a while. The only people who have had a stay interview are the new people who were hired or transferred in. They have a stay interview at 3 months and 6 months. So I’m thinking we’re not really using stay interviews the right way.

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