Intern uncertain whether smoking will hurt his chances for job offer

Intern uncertain whether smoking will hurt his chances for job offer

Intern uncertain whether smoking will hurt his chances for job offer

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by Rozanne "Roze" Worrell

WVEC.com

Posted on June 6, 2012 at 12:25 PM

Dear Roze:

I just finished my junior year in college and have a six-week internship coming up with a big accounting firm that starts in a couple of weeks.  I smoke occasionally, usually only in social situations.  I choose to smoke.  I’m not like most smokers who can’t go without a cigarette.  Anyway, I was told there would be several social functions for all of the interns during my six-week internship, and my friends are telling me I shouldn’t smoke at any of them because it could hurt my reputation and lower my chances for getting a real job offer from them in the future.  I’m not sure what to do because I enjoy an occasional cigarette.  What do you think I should do?  Do you think my smoking will hurt my chances?

Conflicted with lighting up

Dear Conflicted with lighting up:

I must say your friends are not only smart but are also genuine by looking out for you and giving you sound advice.  I, too, cannot see any good coming from smoking.  You should not smoke at all because of the health risks, but I can also see the possible negative repercussions coming from it with your internship and future employment.  In today’s society, many people are turned off by smokers.  When you combine this sentiment with the fact that the job market is so competitive, lighting up at any time during your internship makes no sense. 

You did not indicate what state the accounting firm is located in, but be aware that there are 19 states that allow employers to screen job applicants for signs of smoking according to the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Research not only shows the obvious advantages for organizations to keep employees healthy for work, but the economic benefits of having non-smokers on the payroll is also noteworthy.

Choose not to smoke!  And best of luck with your internship!

Dear Roze:

I’m so tired of my staff complaining about things behind my back.  At our weekly department meetings I not only ask people if they have any questions or comments, but I let them know they can come see me or even email me if they prefer to discuss their concerns in private or put them in writing sort of speak.  And yet, I still hear nothing but see and sometimes even overhear them huddled in a pod or in our break room, obviously griping about something I’ve said or had them do.  I tell them I want to hear from them so I can make things better, but I can’t make them speak up.  I’m at my wits end, as you can probably tell.  Any suggestions?

Tired of backdoor complaining

Dear Tired of backdoor complaining:

When I read your question, I could not help but want to know what kind of management style you have, and what your tone and attitude are like when you make these offers to your employees.  Sadly, employees will often be told or receive written communications from their bosses essentially stating that they are “… always available if anyone wants to talk…,” but each boss’s style of management as well as how these messages are delivered may scream otherwise.  Having said all that, I suggest you change your approach.  When things do not go the way you want them to, you must be willing to try other ways of handling them.

As the old proverb says, “If the mountain will not come to Mohammed, Mohammed must go to the mountain.”  Take the time to approach each employee separately.  Request a one-on-one with each of them.  During these individual one-on-ones, express your sincere concern and desire to improve your relationship with each of them.  Let each employee know with your verbal and non-verbal communications that you truly want to know what you can do to make things better.  Although this takes more time and effort, it can be well worth it in the long run.  If, however, things do not improve, you can take solace in knowing you truly tried.  Best of luck!

© 2012 Rozanne R. Worrell
 

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