The other day I came across an article by Liz Ryan on LinkedIn titled “Know When to Bail on the Wrong Job Opportunity and Do It!” Based on the title, you can see that Liz makes a case for when you should give up on a particular job opportunity. Everything she states in this article is dead on. I agreed with her the entire time I was reading the article but then it got me thinking… How many of us entry level,desperate for the chance to show anyone what we are really made off, would actually turn our backs on potential job opportunity.
One of the reasons Liz mentions to call it quits on a potential job opportunity is if it is taking the employer more than two weeks to provide you with any form of communication. Again an excellent point, but I fear that it’s just not realistic for someone in my phase of life. I mean a potential job opportunity is a potential job opportunity right? And until you turn me down can I just walk away without any idea when the next opportunity will come knocking? After all I do need to feed my children and keep Sallie Mae off my back.
You see recently I experienced exactly what Liz brought up regarding communication or better yet, lack of. I interviewed with a fortune 500 company. For a fortune 500 company, You would they had the latest “How-To” deal with potential employee. WRONG! Pure inconsideration and overall horrible HR practice is what I experience from this company. I wanted to bail-out and send them a couple copies of etiquette books, But I didn’t… I couldn’t. This was a dream opportunity for someone with my level of experience… a dream opportunity for me. This is the foot in the door that I have been working so hard for. Let’s face it everyone is looking for experience but hardly anyone out there is willing to offer it, so I don’t know how realistic or wise Liz’s advice would be to someone like me.
Here is my story about my experience
I applied for a position that I felt was absolutely perfect for me.I waited for months and never heard from the company. That is until about five months later while I was on maternity leave. One day while I was in the car with a crying baby waiting for my husband to come out of a job interview ; I get a phone from this company. I had completely forgotten about it, but they called asked if I was interested in interviewing which I definitely was. By the end of our conversation we had made an appointment for a phone interview for the following morning.
The next day after spending most of the night prepping, preparing, and coming up with a game plan with my husband for dealing with any screaming babies; the time of my appointment came and went with a phone call. I started to panic that maybe they had heard me trying to calm my baby during our initial conversation and changed their minds about me. Before I started to feel completely down, I remembered the phone number was from the west coast and thought maybe she speaking in regards to her time zone. So I wanted for an hour, then another hour. Nothing! I called the number back but there was no answer. As you can imagine I spent the rest of the day feeling disappointed and down about this lost opportunity.
Then at 5:45 P.M I get a phone call from another out-of- state number. It was the person I had scheduled my appointment with. She explained that she had forgotten we had made an appointment (Weird) and asked if this was a good time to interview. Really I wasn’t…I was trying to feed my eldest daughter and my other baby had just woke up from a nap, my husband wasn’t home but I wasn’t about to let this opportunity slip out of my hands, so I lied and said “this is a great time!” In order to make sure my baby stayed quiet and calm I slipped her a nipple & prayed.
The next day I got a call back saying that I had made it back to the next round, so we scheduled an in person interview. I went to the interview. Was told I would hear something by the following week, which was the week before Christmas. I thought this could be the best Christmas of my adulthood! A few days passed, I sent my personalize thank you notes to the interview panel like a good little job seeker and waited for the call.
The next week came and went without any communication. Ok, maybe the decision was difficult and they were still trying to work it out. The following week also came and went no word. Ok it was Christmas week, so of course people are gone; nobody is worrying about work this week. Another week came, still no word. So I emailed the interview coordinator midweek but no response. Ok, it was still the holiday season. A couple more weeks went by without any word. I found contact information for an HR rep at the company so I decided to email him to ask for an update on the position. He doesn’t respond, but the person that I would have been reporting to sent me an email stating that they had not made their decision but should by the following week. A week came and went, and guess what? No word! Nothing! Not even the standard “Thank you but we have decided to blah blah blah.”
At this point I have become completely disgusted by the lack of professionalism and communication that I had been experience since the first day I started dealing with this company, but I was not completely turned off. The truth was that I was completely hungry for this position and to be a part of this company so I was willing to accept the inconsideration and strange behavior as just something I had to go through, to get what I believe was the perfect opportunity. A couple days ago a friend notified me that this same company had now posted two job postings for the position that I interviewed for. Although I was completely annoyed that they hadn’t just turned me down like every other company would, I submitted another application for the very same position that I had interviewed for.
Yes they appear to be a hot mess and ruined my Christmas but I just couldn’t bail out on this opportunity, because although I know I am good at what I do and would use everything in me to make sure that I was amazing. The truth is…I just don’t know when an opportunity like this would come up for me again. That is the reality when you are entry level. I am all for fighting the good fight, but I don’t know if I had the proper “weapons” to take on this battle. When would I get another opportunity for someone to over look the fact that I don’t have 10 years of experience. So the fact that such an impressive company took interest in me was a big deal that I just don’t think would have been wise for me to bail out. This is the reality of being entry level
Image from businessfromhome.org
Does anyone else find themselves rolling their eyes and yelling “oh shut up!” at the endless amount of “advice” out there about what to do next to get a job? These articles usually target a specific age group… you know the age group most likely to “click” and up the viewing of that particular website. I feel like most of these inspirational wisdoms are inspired while some of these people are on the toilet scheming for ways to increase the number of readers on their website. I’m not trying to really knock anyone’s hustle but COME ON! Here is one of the titles I have awarded the Oh Shut Up award!
“To land a job, take these six college courses”
Oh just six classes is it? Where was this brilliant article about 8 years ago! I could have just saved myself so much money and sleepless nights.
I’m not going to further insult your intelligence by listing these six classes but I will tell you one of them is Theater Arts (don’t be mad at me Theater Kids) and classes that are typically a requirement to get a High School Diploma in the United States.
Although this article meant well by trying to illustrate that “The ability to speak in public, to write a succinct, grammatical business email, to do certain math operations beyond addition and subtraction could mean the difference between being one of the growing number of unemployed grads or one setting off on a long and fulfilling career.” Breaking News? I guess so.
The reason this well- meaning article had me screaming oh shut up, and maybe it’s just my ignorance, is because when was the last time on a job application that you had to show that you can do math beyond subtraction and addition? Well I guess there are those assessments some organizations misuse to automatically disqualify candidates… but still you get my point). I don’t know about you but my free education courtesy of the Nebraska Public Schools Systems already provided me with the ability to do math beyond subtraction and addition all before I was 12 year old.
I would also like to know in this day and age who has ever been given a job because they simply took a class their competitor didn’t take. I’m sure you’re out there and I would like to know you, because I have so many questions.
Here is my advice, it may warrant a shut up award as well. But seeking advice and looking for ways to improve is important. Do keep in mind a lot of the advice out there has absolutely no validity. You may notice many of them popping up during graduation season, because to many of these “advisors” this time of the year is what Christmas is to retailers. So sorry taking these six classes may provide you with skills to improve yourself but it will probably not automatically take you out the unemployment line.
Photo copied from http://www.flickr.com/photos/paulogazelle/76622455/
Filling out endless amounts of applications all comes with the territory of being entry level, but some of the nonsense that I have been coming across lately has really been contributing to me going insane! I keep talking about this particular application I came across with anyone and everyone that will listen because I am still completely annoyed with what happened.
You see I was filling out this poorly developed application (this is my field I know this stuff) for about 30 minutes when all of a sudden I was hit with the most ridiculous question yet! I was asked my marital status. Some of you may think okay Erika what is the big deal? Just answer the question.
Well unless you are some very cute man with a Caribbean accent about to buy me a Watermelon Long Island at the club, my marital status has nothing to do with you or your stupid application. Does my husband somehow increase or decrease my ability to perform the duties you are seeking from a candidate? Where is the logic!
As I assess the entire situation the only logical conclusion I can come up with is that I was really filling out an application for some creepers who are looking for singles to be a part of their “organization” AKA the street corner. Maybe the application was developed in another country where a woman’s marital status determines if she can work or not.
Either way, these folks need to hire people like me that will develop more effective applications to maximize quality talent pool, but no… they are too busy hiring people with 20 years of experience who continue the same pointless practices they have been doing for the past 20 years( such as developing horrible applications). Yet these organizations ask for innovation. HA! If you want innovation hire someone who barely remembers Reagan and can tell you their favorite Power Ranger! I’m talking about a Millennial dang it! And more specifically I’m talking about this millennial!
Ok, so if you are a business nerd like myself you probably heard a little something about Yahoo taking on Marissa Mayer on as their new CEO even though she was six months pregnant ( Yes I know this is old news, but I have a point, hang in there). This of course brought out all sorts of unnecessary debates about what this means for woman. I think the part that mostly had people up tripping was Mrs. Mayer plans to take a short maternity leave after having her baby. Queue Salt and Pepper’s “It’s none of your business.”
Whatever your opinion of her may be is really not the point of today’s topic. You see, Mrs. Mayer or would it be best to say Ms. Mayer? Anyway Marissa has been fortunate enough to establish a career that speaks for itself. She truly is a force to be reckoned with and to Yahoo this pregnant CEO was the savior they needed to turn things around.
But what about the rest of us? You know, the equally if not more ambitious new generation of woman. Logging on to job board sites, networking, reading, writing, basically doing everything Yahoo told you to do to get a job ( don’t deny it) with the hopes some employer will take the chance on you to show them you too are a force to be reckoned with. FYI this Midwest gal lives in Texas now, so I get a kick out of using words like “reckon” and “ya’ll.”
Anyway like I was saying the equally ambitious women who also happen to be four to six months pregnant, but unlike Marissa are just starting their career. What do you do?!?
I will just go ahead now and out myself by saying I am currently in this situation. I am hungry to start my career but had a birds and bees moment with my hubby, now I’m knocked up and some people keep trying to convince me to hold off on job hunting because I am going to be going on maturity leave in some months. But I don’t want to; maybe it’s the crazy stubborn millennial in me, but I don’t see what the problem is with me starting a new job 5 to 6 months pregnant. I went back to school and work three weeks (could have been sooner but my baby was almost 10 lbs, physically it wasn’t possible) after having my daughter, granted I couldn’t stand for more than 10 minutes at a time. I was able to do what I needed to do. Bonding is clearly not an issue for us because when my baby is hurt or in a bad mood, I’m the only one she wants; whenever I come home she does a little joyful welcome celebration for me. So IN YO FACE bonding fanatics.
In all seriousness what do we entry-level women do? Do we just hold off, have baby, and then start our career. Or do we keep on trucking? Do you let employers know at the interview stage that you are in fact pregnant? Or just let them think you’re just pleasantly plump (which not going to lie, I am)?
I heard everything you said Sheryl Sandberg about the ambition gap and what not. I’m not one of the ones bringing us down, when I was a kid I wanted to be a judge; in fact I wanted to be Judge Judy. What do you have to say about this situation? Chime in O wise ones.