For many Spring Break is time to job hunt before the next school year starts. I worked in the Recruiting/Consulting/Staffing business for 30 years. I wanted to share some lessons that helped me and got me fired twice.
Drawing the Line
It can be difficult to draw the work/friend line for extroverted people, you may think your new lunch mates are your friends. They are not your friends, they are people you don’t know and can’t trust. Don’t get become a pawn at any level.
If you make a mistake be the first to bring it to light, there are no secrets. If you don’t own up to the error, the story can get blown out of proportion and you can’t crawl out.
Once example early in my career, I was 21, owned a house and lived penny to penny. The VP of the company was coming to town to ensure everyone had read the new Employment Manual. The manual was given to me two hours before she arrived and my boss strongly recommended I say I’ve read the manual. I knew I would get fired if I told the truth and my life would get very difficult.
When the VP asked me if I’d read the manual, I said the manual was given to me this morning and I’m on chapter x. She probably didn’t know I was fired, being the low man on the pole. I’m no do-gooder or high on morals but I cared more about the truth in this case. My boss wasn’t going to push me. Luckily, I was hired by the business next door the same day. Politics suck and when your new is the time people target you.
Always drive to the site before the interview. Have an alternate route if the weather might be an issue. More important than arriving 10 minutes early is doing your homework.
What does the company do, how long have they been in business, look at their website to see the stated corporate mission. Are they moving in the direction you want to go? Know what their key product or services are. You can find this information in the Annual Report if a public company.
Have solid questions, why is the position available, what is growth potential, what is their responsibilities. Ask them to draw you an overview of the departments they manage. Be sure to ask about their career growth and what is most important in the position.
Do not talk dollars, ask How is the package set up? Is there travel involved? When & if use your knowledge of the company to drop a line to let them know you did your homework.
Always dress for the next job you want. Dress conservative, comfortable and not tight or constricting. Women should wear light make-up unless the interview is for a cosmetic company. Wear comfortable heels, no four-inch heels. One great way to see the companies dress code is to go by at close of business.
Dress Code is always relative to the job, if working in the warehouse you don’t wear a dress. Men should wear a jacket at a minimum unless the job doesn’t require one. I always gave a candidate who came to interview in sport coat extra points. It can indicate they are eager to advance their career.
Don’t wear an outfit you have not tried on, that will start your day in a panic.
Do Not Gossip
Gossip is disruptive, looked at as distrust and immature. Remove yourself from the toxic conversation or toxic people.
Do Not Go Over Bosses Head
No matter how bad, unethical your boss is don’t go over their head unless you want to get fired. A mistake I made and was fired for.
Don’t run your personal business from work.
Don’t spend time texting, using company copy paper or taking office supplies home. If you have time to chat on the phone or text your neglecting work. We all have the occasion to make a doctor’s appointment or send a text, if you are habitual expect to be fired.
I am hardcore when it comes to getting a job and keeping a job. I’ve been told many times I expect too much and can’t be pleased. That may be true, I take it as a compliment because I’m driving the process not lagging behind.