Maybe I’m just cynical…

Wrapping up

I’m wrapping up the final two weeks at work. I was able to move my jury duty another 6 months which was so much better. At the time my supervisor was anticipating my last day of work would be yesterday. From Monday to Wednesday, I was working on overdrive and cleaning up my area. I was also visiting daycares before work just in case I got called in and she needed a daycare. The days felt really long. When I finally registered for jury duty on Wednesday night, there was an option to postpone so I pushed it back as far as I could. That being said, my last day at my job will be on April 15th.

I am going to miss this place. I plan to write a separate post on what made the place special because it definitely deserves a spot. It’s been the most adventurous times of my life. There was a lot of good happening in this special community. There were times I almost found work escapist…but more on that another time…

Incumbents deserve better

I’ve applied to jobs as an internal candidate for previous employers. I would go through the interviews and I would never get selected. It can be a frustrating and demoting experience because how could an organization claim they foster growth and professional development for their incumbent employees if they keep hiring externally? But what I feel is more important and just as beneficial to one’s professional development is getting some feedback after the interview — it would have been greatly appreciated to know what I should work on rather than the “I’m sorry we are not going forward with you.” For years I wondered why I never got the transfer or the opportunity to crosstrain despite expressing enthusiasm that I wanted it. I wondered if it was my professional image, the way presented myself at interviews, or my lack of certain skills and experience? I was not quite sure. Experiencing this in my early 20s was so self-sabotaging. I found myself running everywhere gaining new skills, volunteering, reading, taking classes, documenting my achievements, upping the charm, and doing all the things to be the best employee and I still felt stuck. I recalled feeling frustrated with my first employer not getting what I was hoping for that I decided it was best to move on somewhere else.

It was an interesting experience to find myself on the other side being the interviewer to a well-qualified internal candidate about ten years later. (Side note: I have interviewed internal candidates for openings in my office and they were truly awful.) Yesterday, my coworker interviewed for my position to replace me when I leave. Not to be biassed but I believe she was the best candidate. (Side note: I’ve interviewed internal candidates and I’ve seen some awful interviews.) She’s been here longer than I have first of all, she’s familiar with the system, she does well with change and the daily life of a large hospital, and I continue to consult with her on major decisions. Though my supervisor agreed, she was really wary of the office politics. Of course, she has to report to her boss on her final decision and deal with the feedback, “can she handle it? It’s a big jump. Why would you not go forward with the other candidates?” or suggests to continue interviewing more candidates. That’s true, it is a big jump from her current position — it’s several steps up above her current role. I gave my supervisor a game plan that selecting an internal candidate would make the transition much easier after I leave; she already knows the software and program policies to the T which is already the majority of the work — she would only need to be trained on the additional duties which could be done through shadowing my supervisor. Plus she can train her replacement when she gets the promotion. It’s so easy!

As my husband jokes would tell me “people won’t go with that! It makes too much sense!” *shakes my head*

I look back through my times with previous employers who claim to be a “learning environment” encouraging growth and professional development for their employees. Call me cynical, but from my observations majority of the people stay in their current jobs preserving the status quo — that’s the reality. From my desk, I see my support staff looking through the internal job board hoping this opportunity will be their big break.

*sighs* I’ll keep those opinions to myself. Maybe I’m just cynical. Please tell me I’m wrong.

My next project

…oh yeah I made a Bookshop featuring all my favorite books — check it out! I haven’t branched out all the genres just yet. So far it’s only Children’s, Memoirs, Cookbooks, Fiction, and Non-Fiction. It’s a start.

It’s a good weekend for halo halo

Weekend Coffee Share

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8 thoughts on “Maybe I’m just cynical…”

  1. Hi Julie,

    I’m afraid to engage your points about interviewing and hiring from within and how rare actionable feedback is. I’ve been on both sides of that table also and now enjoy interviewing but I just don’t do it often. The reason I resist going there is I have so many thoughts and opinions about this process.

    Most companies suck at interviewing mostly because the supply and demand problem creates a hectic and painful encounter for both sides.

    A couple of partial thoughts for your consideration.

    I don’t do 15-45 interviews. It is simply impossible to learn enough about a person that fast, so why waste time on them?

    When I’m the candidate, I politely let my interviewer know that I’m interviewing both the company and them (if they are the hiring manager) along with the job itself. I want them to know that I want as good a match as they do and that I may conclude this is not the opportunity for me regardless of what they decide. I smile when writing this because I was interviewing for a manager role at Amazon and while going back and forth with the VP over the division, he suddenly turned to an assistant who was in the room and rhetorically asked to be reminded of who was interviewing who here – no doubt because I was asking him some tough questions. Through that interview sequence, I learned that I don’t want to work for Amazon and have hard reasons for feeling that way.

    When I’m the interviewer, I have a method I’ve developed which I outline with each candidate before doing the interview, then I offer to describe my findings (not decision) after our interview. I’ve had candidates tell me that I gave the best, most insightful interview they’d ever experienced. I thought that was quite a compliment given most interviews are so terrible.

    I think you and I could burn off a whole afternoon at some coffee shop digging into this topic so I’ll stop and give you back something like 3+ hours of your day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello, Gary,

      I am well aware how rare getting feedback after an interview is. I’ve given a lot of interviews over the years but majority are volunteers and interns an a few are paid employee. For volunteers and interns, I do give feedback because I do get calls about the status of their application. If I did not invite them for an interview, I tell them upfront they were not invited because of whatever reason. Most of the time it’s because their availability does not meet our needs. But over the years I’ve used the opportunity to polish my interviewer skill since volunteers come from all walks of life (i.e. high school student, college student, retiree, former patient, career changer — I’ve seen some 180s). For paid employees, that is usually facilitated by my supervisor and I am stuck to whatever script is provided and I don’t deviate from that script per my supervisor and that makes me feel like incompetent because I have so many questions to ask.


      1. Back when I was a new hiring manager, they gave us little in the way of help with the process and only gave us different forms to fill out that met various compliance rules.
        I recall making two bad hires and vowing I’d never make that mistake again so devised my own “process” and succeeded at not making that mistake ever again.
        It sound like you had the opposite experience in that they gave you a hard process that left no flexibility for the interviewer. I can see how frustrating that would have been – because you would have to all but ignore interesting points discovered during the interview.
        It’s amazing the things we do to ourselves.
        Have a great day Julie.
        I would have appreciated having you as one of my interviewers because I value the simple truth.


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