Sunday, February 8, 2015

I'm just saying -- how not to advertise a job

"The job description read 'wanted, go-getter with leadership skills and 3-5 years experience for job with a corporate future.'  Six months later my boss tells me I am 'trying too hard' and am 'abrasive.'  I'm totally discouraged.  What do I do now?"
Well, it's not necessarily your fault.  The company put out a generic ad knowing they were going to assign you to an office where the boss can't stand a challenge.  This boss, we'll use X, had an opening for somebody who needed help and support and not somebody who might actually be able to do X's job.

X might be giving you blowback from a mistaken idea of what mentoring is.  Mentoring isn't changing somebody to conform to your idea of what an employee should be.  It's fostering somebody's capabilities.  Sometimes that person has strengths you don't have.  You don't squash them, not if you're a real mentor.  You learn from them as you expect the person you're mentoring to learn from you.

There are companies where X's get into supervisory positions because of longevity, and because more talented people leave holes by going elsewhere.  X's are not mentors.  They sometimes get strokes from above by being told that they will mentor the new hire, but sometimes those above ignore or are totally unaware that X is not capable of real mentoring.  Or else they themselves are happy with the idea of square pegs having their corners shaved off to fit into round holes when it's the holes that should be enlarged and squared off.

So all in all, don't believe the advertising.  Use your networking.  See what people in your field say about the company running the ad.  If you find that people you respect decided not to work there, find out why.  People you respect may have realized that this is a company that doesn't "walk the talk" as we used to say.  Keep your resume up to date, learn what you can from this job, and save money so you can leave if you find that your worst fears are true.

I'm just saying...

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights  Reserved

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