Job hopeful unsure whether to contact friend at company before interview

Job hopeful unsure whether to contact friend at company before interview

Job hopeful unsure whether to contact friend at company before interview

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by Rozanne "Roze" Worrell

WVEC.com

Posted on March 1, 2011 at 3:37 PM

Updated Thursday, Mar 3 at 10:27 AM

Dear Roze:

I know a woman who works at a company where I’m supposed to get a job interview.  My dilemma is whether or not I should make contact with this woman before I have my interview.  I want to talk to her because I’d like to ask her some questions about the company and more specifically about the department I’d be working in if selected.  But, if for some reason, this woman would prefer not to assist me, I don’t want her to feel like I put her on the spot.  I also don’t want to tick her off by not letting her know about my interview.  Even though I feel like I have a decent relationship with this person, this would be the first time our work paths have crossed and I have no idea what she’s like at work.  What do you think I should do?

Conflicted

Dear Conflicted:

On the surface, your question is a no-brainer.  From a practical standpoint, it is smart to contact this woman.  But the fact that you are so conflicted that you have not already done it and have reached out to me gives me pause.  If your gut tells you that this woman may not be receptive, I suggest that you email her with your request versus calling her.  This will allow the woman to bow out more gracefully if she prefers not to help you.  Good luck with contacting her and interviewing with the company!

Dear Roze:

I take issue with one of the questions you answered back in January.  It’s the one from the wife who thought her husband was treated unfairly by his boss when he gave his boss a very short notice about his retirement plans. (“Wife distraught over treatment of husband's retirement” http://www.wvec.com/community/workplace-woes/Wife-distraught-over-treatment-of-husband-when-retiring-112879554.html.)  I hate to see any employee leave the work force with a bad feeling after many productive years.  On the other hand, I find it hard to understand how any agency would not require more advance notice of a possible retirement.  We had to give six months notice where I used to work. That was flexible if illness or some other unusual event was involved, but for most, the six month rule applied. I was never a manager, but it does seem extremely unfair for an employee to come in one day and tell his boss that the day after tomorrow he will have to find someone to do his job.

Question employee’s short notice

Dear Question employee’s short notice:

I understand and agree with your concerns.  As you may recall, in my response to the wife I suggested that the agency consider changing its retirement policy.  It was explained to me that this agency only requires its employees, including those in management positions, to submit their retirement papers ninety (90) days in advance of the date they intend to retire.  These papers only have to be filed with the agency’s department that is responsible for processing retirement paperwork, and can be pulled by the filer at any time.  No one has to have their immediate supervisor sign off on these papers; therefore, no policy is broken if one chooses not to notify his/her immediate supervisor of his/her retirement intentions.  Obviously, this policy does not make sense when it comes to the unexpected vacant position(s) the retiring employee(s) will leave.

On a side note, it appeared that this wife’s husband was not happy with his boss and/or the agency and was making a parting shot by leaving with very little notice.  This situation serves as a reminder of the importance of bosses staying engaged with their employees.  The boss/employee relationship is critical for a positive, effective work environment.

© 2011 Rozanne R. Worrell
 

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