Clients will frequently tell me that they’ve found a great job. That’s half the battle. A job description gives you an idea of what you’d be doing at a given company. It cannot help you with a bigger issue: the people you’ll be working with. A perfect job on paper can turn into a nightmare if your new boss is a micro manager or your co-workers are dysfunctional. When you interview, pay attention to the personality projected by your prospective boss. If possible, ask to meet your co-workers and get a feel for who they are and what they would be like to work with. Take the time to evaluate all aspects of a potential employer, especially the people you will be working with
I’m helping a client write a grievance letter his union wants to present during a hearing. Over the past year, my client has had several problems with his supervisor. Some are related to communication. Others are based on job performance. My client disputes everything his supervisors claim. Here’s the problem: He didn’t write down what happened in each case. In some cases, the only record of what happened is the supervisor’s.
Any time you have a problem at your job take detailed notes about what happened, when it happened, where it happened, and who was involved. If you work in a union environment, such information can be used during a grievance. If you work in a non-union environment, such information can be very useful in unemployment claims or legal actions against the employer. If you don’t keep records, your employer has all the power. Whenever there is a problem, grab a pen or go to your computer. Keep the records you need to tell your side of the story.
I’ve been a Resume Writer for more than 10 years. In that time, I’ve met very few clients who were offered and accepted a job without meeting their immediate supervisor. However, in those rare cases when an applicant is hired in this manner, employment tends to be short term and ugly.
Most supervisors resent it when their boss makes a hiring decision without their input. They see the new employee as an outsider, maybe even a threat. In a recent case, one of my clients was written up two weeks after starting her job. She asked her supervisor for help, but received no support. A few weeks later, she tried to call her boss about a problem that needed immediate attention. The call was never returned. When she asked her boss about the situation, the answer was curt: “You should have known what to do.”
Needless to say, my client did not last beyond a 90 day probation period. What could she have done differently? Ask to meet her supervisor before accepting the job. As I said above, this situation is rare. But you should be ready if you encounter it. Always know who your supervisor will be. If that person is not part of the interviewing process, ask to have an interview with the supervisor before accepting an offer. If that request is denied, take it as a big red flag about the employer and how it operates. Be very careful about choosing to work for this type of company.