It’s tiny answer Tuesday — seven short answers to seven short questions. Here we go…
1. My company won’t promote me until they interview other candidates
I recently returned to full-time employment after taking a few years out with the children. I was lucky enough to get a position that closely matched my career prior to motherhood. It was a step down, but the pay was reasonably good. In the meantime, another job came up within the department that exactly matched my skills and experience and the pay was £5k more per year, so I applied. I was granted an interview and on the day of the interviews, I was the only one of 5 shortlisted applicants to actually show up! I had my interview and was advised that because I was the only one to show up, the job would be relisted and I should apply again the next time! Surely this is not legal. I was interviewed and I have all the skills/experience required, so why will they not even try me in the role? It seems very unfair. Is there anything I can do or do I just have to accept the decision?
Sure, it’s legal. If a company wants to ensure that they interview multiple candidates before making a decision, that’s entirely their prerogative. (Although this particular company either has extraordinarily bad luck or is extraordinarily bad at selecting candidates, if 4 out of 5 were no-shows.) Frankly, you’re lucky that they’re letting you interview for an internal position at all, since you haven’t been in your first position very long. Don’t make them question that decision by pushing them to hire you without talking with other candidates.
2. Why haven’t I heard anything about my internal interview?
I am a department manager at a library and am one of two people in our building with a MLIS. I was promoted to my position two years ago and have implemented a lot of positive changes that have boosted morale, increased cooperation throughout the building, implemented complicated technology upgrades, and saved significant amounts of money. Frankly, I’m good at my job and my reviews say so, and my boss seems to respect and like me, as do employees and fellow managers.
So the problem? My director announced her retirement and I applied for the position. Shortly after the position closed, the newspaper ran a story about the soon-to-be hiring, stating there were two internal applicants (me and the other MLIS holder) and the timeline for interviews and hiring. In casual conversation with my coworker, the other applicant, she mentioned her phone interview was coming up and asked when mine was. I didn’t have one and hadn’t heard a word from anyone about my application. Now we are almost to the point where they will be flying in other applicants for interviews, I still haven’t heard anything. Staff and other managers are beginning to ask me if I’m ready for the interview. I have no idea how to approach this. I’m upset that I haven’t even been told I’m out of the running and feel disregarded. I thought I had a good relationship with my boss but don’t feel comfortable approaching her about this as I don’t even know if that is appropriate.Things are complicated as the hiring processes involved county HR, the board, and my boss. Any advice for a confused internal applicant?
Ask someone! It’s entirely possible that signals have been crossed somewhere or there’s been some kind of miscommunication. Rather than sitting around wondering and feeling increasingly resentful, talk to whoever’s in charge of the hiring and figure out what’s going on. It’s as simple as, “If I’m still considered a candidate for the position, what’s the likely timeline for a formal interview?”
3. Can my manager change me from non-exempt to exempt to avoid paying me overtime?
I was hired as a salaried, non-exempt employee at my new job. When I work more than 40 hours in a week, I have to work fewer hours the following week, in order to only work 80 hours in a pay period. This has enabled me to put up some boundaries with my new not-so-fabulous boss. She constantly pushes for me to work long hours and not get compensated for it. The non-exempt status has given me leverage to push back. Last week, she informed me that I have been changed to salaried, exempt. Can she just do that and what are the qualifiers for being a salaried, exempt employee?
No, she can’t just do that. Whether a job is classified as exempt or non-exempt isn’t up to the employer’s preference; it’s based on the type of work you do and is determined by government regulations, which you can read about here.
It’s certainly possible that your job really should have been classified as exempt all along, but if not, she can’t just change the classification to avoid paying you overtime.
4. Replying to an employer who reached out about a job someone recommended me for
I work in education on the east coast. My current position is being restructured, and I am planning to reapply. In the midst of this rather stressful situation, I received an email out of the blue from an employer in Chicago. After speaking at a conference last year, I connected with a woman who has now apparently recommended me to this employer. He described the school in detail and it sounds like a pretty good fit. He also offered to provide me with a school tour (unlikely since I live so far away). How does one respond to such an enquiry? Resume? Just a quick email back?
If you think you might be interested, reply back and say that you’d love to hear more and learn what the next steps would be. You can also attach a resume at this point if you want to, although you can also ask to hear more before throwing your hat in the ring.
5. Boss won’t sign off on work experience for college credit
I am getting ready to graduate from a program in which the school has approved my job experience for credit in lieu of an internship. I had told my supervisor about this at the beginning, but she said we would talk about it when the time got closer. I had submitted my official job description to my instructor and the school, and they approved it. Now my supervisor must sign off on it, but will not now because my job description does not EXACTLY match that of the school program. My job title is biomedical equipment technician, and my program at school is biomedical equipment technology. I must have this degree in order to get a promotion from a tech II to a tech III. The only alternative is to do an outside internship (unpaid) for 8 weeks. These are only offered in the daytime, and my boss has said she would not allow that much time off. Do I have any recourse here?
Talk to your school, explain the situation, and ask for advice. You might be able to get different documentation to show to your manager, or they might be willing to contact her on your behalf to work this out.
Any chance your manager is refusing to sign off because she doesn’t want to give you the promotion that would come with the degree? If so, you have a bigger and more messed-up situation to deal with and will probably need to decide if you want to escalate it to someone who is not her.
6. Will lack of LinkedIn endorsements hurt me?
I know you’ve said that you don’t put much stock in LinkedIn endorsements. I do wonder if they’re hurting my current job search, though.
I have a small network of LinkedIn contacts, mainly current and former coworkers. While I’ve received endorsements, I’ve noticed that none of my current coworkers (and I’ve been here for over five years) have endorsed me for my primary job responsibility. I’ve always had positive performance reviews and have been successful in this position, so it’s not that I’ve been failing at my job. I’ve been looking for a new position for a variety of reasons, and I’m worried that the lack of endorsements for this skill will be seen as a red flag by potential bosses and coworkers who would be involved in the interview process. Any suggestions or assurances? I can’t make other people endorse me, but I don’t want this randomness to affect my job search.
I can almost guarantee you that no one is checking your LinkedIn endorsements or putting any serious weight on them. (For anyone unclear, we’re talking about skill endorsements here, not recommendations. Not that LinkedIn recommendations carry a ton of weight either.)
7. Dealing with a belittling coworker
There is a new manager at my job. He’s not my manager, but I do have to speak with him from time to time during meetings or in the hallway. This manager is a condescending, abrasive, know-it-all jerk every time I speak with him. He’s constantly belittling others and their opinions (not just me), and he never knows what he’s talking about when he does this. This is why pretty much the whole office hates him. I can’t speak with him about his problem face to face, because he constantly treats me like I’m some stupid little girl and doesn’t seem to take me seriously. How do I make him go away or get an attitude adjustment? Is there a way I can adjust my attitude to deal with him since that may be easier? Please help me before I say something stupid to him!
You can’t make him go away or change. But since the whole office knows what this guy is like, who cares? Continue to be professional and take the high road, set appropriate boundaries, and don’t harm your own reputation by behaving poorly. It sounds like this guy is well on his way to digging his own grave. And if he’s not, there’s no reason to let him provoke you into digging yours by being unprofessional.