It’s five short answers to five short questions. Here we go…
1. Would it be inappropriate to direct my company’s charity match toward domestic violence?
My new company proves a 1:1 match up to $200/year for donations made to a qualified 501(c) organization (schools, nonprofits, etc.), provided that the organization is located in our general region of the country. I donate every year to my K-12 school and college, but they are not considered “local” and the company will not match donations to either organization
I would like to donate to another organization in order to take advantage of the benefit and would like to donate to a qualified domestic violence organization that has provided assistance to me in the past. I am sure it will qualify under the 501(c) rule, but was wondering if it’s “appropriate” to donate to. Most of the other employees donate to the local hospitals, homeless shelters, and youth foundations. The charities are not tied back to employees – there’s a list provided at the end of the year that says what charities were donated to, but it wouldn’t match the employee with their charity of choice. I know domestic violence generally doesn’t get brought up in the workplace and don’t want to rock the boat as a new employee!
Go ahead and donate without any qualms! Many people donate to domestic violence organizations without having been survivors of abuse themselves, so it definitely doesn’t reveal anything personal about you, other than that you’re a kind person who opposes domestic violence. I can understand how you started worrying, but I can promise you that no one is going to draw any personal conclusions or find it in any way inappropriate.
2. Can I ask for a second chance at the job I quit after one month?
I started a new job last year with an amazing company whose values align with mine. It was a great company that gave back to the community. I truly felt that I landed my dream job. The job required a great deal of travel, which I typically enjoy, and meeting a lot of new people and developing relationships.
When I returned from training, I felt paralyzed by my anxiety and I ended up quitting. I was so overwhelmed and started feeling clouded by my spiked nerves. It may be because everything was so new and I put myself under my own pressure. When I told my boss how I felt, she told me that my situation wasn’t unique and that everyone has felt that way at one point or another but that things get better, and even offered to help me get over my nerves. I was so grateful for her offer but still decided that it was best to resign. After I quit, I wasn’t even sure I made the right decision and after about a month later, I realized I made a foolish decision. It’s been a year and I haven’t been able to get over it.
I know my original job position is filled, but I truly want to be part of this company once again, even if it is another position. How should I approach this situation, and is it a lost cause since I left only after a month from my start date?
Unfortunately, yeah, I think it’s probably a lost cause. At this point, one of the main things they know about you is that you crumbled under pressure, to the point of quitting after only a month on the job. That doesn’t mean they think you’re a terrible person or anything, but it does mean that they’re not especially likely to take a chance on hiring and training you again. I would stop looking back and second-guessing your decision (which was clearly right for you at the time) and instead focus on moving forward with a different job.
3. How often do I need to check in with my references?
I’ve been in and out of the job search over the past year or so, and when I’m on the upswing of searching for new jobs I always make a point to ask my potential references if it’s okay that I use them. They’ve always happily obliged me.
Because my job search has been rather sporadic (periods of a lot of searching, periods of hardly any searching at all), I don’t feel right going in a cycle of asking my references if they’re okay to be my reference, but at the same time I’m not sure if they’ll see their earlier agreement to be a reference as a green light to put them as a reference without asking them again. What’s the best solution? Is an agreement of being a reference from a few months ago grounds to have them be an outstanding reference every time a job search starts again in earnest, or should a reference be asked each and every time even if they’ve agreed to be a reference before?
If you’ve asked in the 8-12 months, you don’t need to ask again — although if you get to the reference checking stage with an employer, it’s smart and considerate to give your references a heads-up that they might be getting a call.
4. Is my name discrediting me?
My name is Star and I feel like that may discredit me in a way while people are reviewing my resume. When I switched to a sales role at the last company I worked at, my manager suggested I use my middle name instead. What are your thoughts on this?
I don’t think Star is particularly disreputable — I mean, it certainly doesn’t scream traditional or mainstream, but I don’t think it’s going to be a huge issue that requires changing. But names do affect the way people see you, particularly you’re just a disembodied resume, so I’ll throw this out to others to weigh in on in the comments.
5. My availability changed and now my hours have been cut
I’m a part-timer at Sam’s Club and full-time student with a 2-year-old. My job has hired about 20 new employees .. all part-timer as well and of course they’re getting the good hours. About a month and half ago, I had to change my work schedule due to my school schedule. I gave them the days and hours that I’m willing to work with and they said, “Okay, that’s fine.” But they cut my hours from 25-29 to about 9-13 hours per week. I’ve spoken to them and nothing was fixed. Unfortunately, they basically told me those are the hours that are being offered to me, even though I’ve been working with them for almost 4 years. Should I go to the Department of Labor or what can I do?
Well, there’s nothing illegal about cutting your hours, as long as they weren’t doing it because of your race, religion, sex, or other protected category, which doesn’t sound like the case here. It sounds like they cut your hours because they didn’t like your new availability, which is their prerogative. But why not go talk to your manager and say something like, “Since my availability changed, the hours I’m being scheduled for have dropped dramatically. I really need to work more hours. Is there anything I can do to get more hours back?” You might hear that they just don’t need you for the hours you’re now available, in which case you’d have to decide if you’re willing to switch your schedule back, or accept what they’re giving you, or look for a new job.