There are five answers to five questions. Here we go…

1. I feel guilty about applying for another job

I work in a three-person department – me, a colleague with the same title and responsibilities as me, and our manager. Recently my colleague was on maternity leave and was due to return after five months. My manager really doesn’t know how to do many of our jobs, so a lot fell to me, even though my manager tried here and there to help. Well, my colleague decided she wasn’t going to come back at all. My manager has made some comments that suggest we don’t have to hire others to replace them and that we might be able to make some changes to reduce some of my workload without hiring anyone. There hasn’t been any discussion about what these changes would be and I feel very burned out.

I noticed that a position was advertised at another company that is very similar to my current one. I heard it was a great place to work and they made their salaries transparent, so I know I could make at least $ 8-10,000 more a year if I interviewed and got the job. However, my feelings of guilt keep me from applying. If I leave, my manager will be the only one left and there is not much he can do. I know he would be disappointed and upset. The thought of even telling him that I’m going for another job fills me with fear. I like where i work. It’s a great atmosphere and I have a great manager, but I just don’t know how much longer I can hold out. Do you have any suggestions on how I can overcome my guilt? It just feels shitty to leave my manager up and dry when we’re already understaffed, but I also have to do the best for myself. I have a hard time doing that!

Apply for the other job. If your supervisor is concerned about being left alone without knowing how to cover your work, there are many ways to mitigate this risk – e.g. don’t remove the only other position doing what you’re doing. But even that aside, this is just not something you should control over what career decisions you make. You must do what is in your best interests, just as your company will do what is in your best interest. If your supervisor is in an inconvenient position to leave, he’ll be fine – people always do! He can hire temporary workers or any other possible means. It will be fine. (And even if it’s not okay, it’s not a reason to put your career on hold. That’s not the kind of sacrifice you get paid for. But it will be okay.)

In the meantime, in case this job doesn’t work, talk about your boss’s plan not to replace your colleague! Say she was difficult to cover and you were willing to do while it was temporary, but it’s not something you can do much longer term and you care about her role being cast. (And if your boss doesn’t respond, move on with even less guilt!)

I’m sure I haven’t received so many letters before from people who felt guilty about quitting their jobs! I’m going to write a book called You can leave your job without feeling guilty, and it will only be this sentence repeated in different fonts for 200 pages.

2. New employees did not negotiate

I just hired my very first direct subordinate. I’m very excited, but the process wasn’t without bumps.

We offered the position to a strong candidate who was trying to negotiate a salary that was over 30% higher than what we had offered. That didn `t work.

But when we offered the position of our second choice (who was also an incredible candidate), she did not negotiate AT ALL and immediately accepted the salary that was offered to her. I am very happy that she will work for us, but I am wondering if I should say something to her at some point. We had a budget to pay more than our original offer (not 30% more, but a few thousand more). I don’t want to bring it up right away, of course, and it’s awkward to have my say on future salary increases and promotions, but I think this woman deserves encouragement to argue for her worth!

It’s surprisingly common! A ton of people don’t bargain when they get a job offer and just take the first salary that is offered. More women than men, as we hear so often, but also men.

It would be a professional kindness to encourage them to negotiate at some point, but I would wait until at some point you have a natural opening – one day a conversation about hiring in general, or a discussion of negotiating with a vendor, or whatever gives you one organic opening to bring it up. (This is partly because you don’t want to be too clear about it, like “I would have more money to give you if you only asked for it, too bad!” …)

3. The recruiter asked me to repeat a test in front of the camera

I’m in the middle of a job hunt and recently got a CCAT assessment for a job. The recruiter came up for an initial interview a few hours after my exam and asked me to repeat the assessment on camera while another recruiter watches. I’ve already taken the test, but that had never happened before. Is that common practice?

Nope. That is one recruiter who for some reason thinks you might have cheated and is trying to verify that you took the test without any help or cheating.

Feel free to say, “I’m happy to repeat it, but was there a concern about my initial review?”

4. Job offers are published every month

Last year, I applied for a job through an outside hiring organization on LinkedIn. The job was for a company that I know and respect. I don’t know the third party, but they seem legitimate (I found them through a trusted friend). A few weeks later I received a polite automated email saying they appreciated my interest but would not interview me. No big deal.

I made a notification about this particular job title as it was exactly what I was looking for. Since then, I’ve noticed that accurate job postings are posted every four or six weeks, only on LinkedIn, only from that third party. The opening does not appear on the company’s website. Since this is an area with a high turnover rate (we live in a military town, and that’s normal – not really a red flag), my husband suggested keeping a pool of applicants ready in case of an unexpected opening. My father, who works in a position where he often hires, said it was an automated system and nobody looked at the applications.

Is that strange? Have you ever seen this before? I think I could reach the LinkedIn page it is posted on, but they are a big company that probably has hundreds of posts for multiple agencies. Technically, I could reach out to the company myself, but I would prefer not to seem like a fool in case I reapply there. What are you taking

They could actually keep a pool of applicants if it is a position that they have to hire frequently, either because of fluctuation or because they have multiple positions and / or the team is constantly growing. (I always hired someone for a position that was advertised almost all the time because the team kept getting bigger and It was difficult that required recruitment so we were ready to think about applicants all the time and hire anyone we found. This position is not currently considered “open”, but the recruiter is promoting it to collect resumes … which could have the legitimate purpose of introducing these candidates to the company when the position becomes vacant, or for the sketchy purpose of finding candidates to present other companies for other vacancies which is a thing that happens. The fact that this is a third party publication and not on the company’s own website when their other jobs are, could indicate it. But it can also just be a coincidence.

That means, I would just ignore the postings! You applied and they seem to have considered your application and concluded that you are not quite what they are looking for. This can happen even if they continue to actively (and constantly) look for other candidates. I wouldn’t worry about what’s going on with it or contact the company about it; Just assume that for some reason this position doesn’t fit right now.

5. Should I send gift vouchers to my references?

I interviewed for a position. The hiring manager wanted to hear from two previous managers. For me this means reaching 5+ years in my past and asking old colleagues who live in different cities for references. If they were from the area I would take them for coffee to say thank you, but they are all over the country. I want to send them a token of appreciation, but does it seem oddly transactional to send them a coffee gift card?

Yeah don’t do it! Giving references for colleagues whose work you respect is part of working life; If you offer a gift for it, there is a risk that it … will not be paid for exactly, but also not quite in line with the references. Send a heartfelt thank you and let them know if you get the job – that’s all people really want or expect!

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