Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Jobs I Didn't Get (Fortunately)

There has been much ado lately about employers asking job seekers to provide their Facebook password.  Let me clearly state the right response - "hell, no" (feel free to add your own personalized expletive).  As I stated in my first post, I'm not a fan of Facebook; however, I do appreciate that Facebook does provide value and enhance the lives of many.  Any employer who has the audacity to invade your privacy to ask for a password is not an employer worth working for.

As I've matured and OFS (old fart syndrome) has set in, I more than ever view the employment experience as a 2 way street.  You should be evaluating whether you want to work for an employer just as they evaluate whether they want you as an employee.  The sooner you say "NO" to an abusive employer the better.  When I left the Albany County Probation Department for a lesser paying job, I had and still have zero regrets...This employer was ruled by a tyrant at the time and treated their employees poorly.  Life is just too short!

Money is only a single attribute of a position.  It helps to place this attribute in perspective; I use a headache to dollars ratio - how many headaches are they heaping on you for how much compensation.  Perhaps a job where you can wear Hawaiian shirts and flip flops might be the best job for you even though it might pay $20,000 less than the self-important wear a tie and  respond to a 24 hour pager position.

...and I now play tribute to jobs I didn't get...

Shortly after earning my master's degree in social work, I interviewed for a position at a local not-for-profit organization.  Being a bit naive, I sat through a long, extensive interview with a panel of interviewers where I learned how important this auspicious position was and that it required flexibility to work on an on-call basis and required carrying a pager (ok, this was before cell phones), yada, yada... At the close of this "big" interview, they dropped the bomb on me and let me know the salary that they said they could afford to pay.  Long story short, that little tidbit could have saved a lot of people a lot of time.

Next up, while employed with a very large managed care company, I went to an interview for a new position within the organization as a "data analyst".  In the interview, it was explained to me that while this position was titled as a "data analyst" it was mostly "data entry" to support the changeover of a major computer application.  It was stressed how important this position was to the organization and they inquired about my "flexibility" and ability to work weekends to get the transition completed.  I countered by asking the interviewee about flexibility and specifically asked, would it be possible to "do lunch with my family on Saturday" (specifically I asked, would it be possible to have an hour for lunch on Saturday so that I could do lunch with my family to support family time so that I could spend my Saturday/extra work day on their "special project"). I also asked (at which time the interviewer became temporarily speechless and appeared as the proverbial "deer in the headlights") if it was true that there were 10 of these positions and if so, what was the company's plan for these 10 employees after the changeover was completed...

It was a 10 minute drive to return to my existing position with the organization (they had 2 geographical sites) following the interview.  In that brief time, a message was left on my voice mail stating that "...I was not qualified for the position...".  I was a bit miffed as I was clearly "qualified" - my data entry skills were impeccable and clearly documented and known within the organization.  I was further perturbed, then cheered by a colleague who said, "G, they're right - you aren't qualified...(long pause)... because you weren't willing to put up with their bullshit."

More recently, I went to interview within my current organization.  The manager who was interviewing had a reputation of being a less than desirable supervisor by numerous ex-supervisees.  Since, I knew this going in, I took full advantage of that part of the interview when they ask, "do you have any questions for us?"  Well, "Yes; yes, I do".  I inquired about morale and specifically asked the manager what they do to keep up morale, asking "for example, does the team ever go out to lunch together?"  My next question was whether they supported training and education (which is an important thing in this "Information Technology" related organization)...

Nope, I didn't get the job; however, several months after this "interview" I enjoyed lunch with an employee who used to work for the interviewing manager and the guy who did get the job.  They both enjoyed a laugh when I told them what I had asked during the interview.  I had a laugh too; the guy who got the job was totally miserable in the position...within a year or so he left the position.

The Interview: They'll interview you; Don't you forget to interview them too!

... and if they ask for your Facebook password, the Itune you want is "Take this Job and Shove It..."

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