The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Business

October 11, 2013

If you can't say anything nice about your current job . . .

— Q: I'm wondering how I ought to answer questions about why I want to leave the job I've held for 11 years. The truth is that it's a soul-sucking place that takes every advantage of its employees. Work-life balance is a myth. People are getting fired left and right. The finances (which I'm privy to) are dire because of mismanagement. My supervisor gossips about confidential stuff. I'm doing the work of someone a level or three up the ladder, but hinted-at raises and promotions never materialize. I have anxiety and depression during the workday that magically disappear when I'm off.

Obviously, I can't say that in an interview. But do I really have to tell some vague lie about new opportunities and growth? I'm worried that if I'm untruthful, I might come across as dishonest, but if I'm even a little bit truthful, I might come across as a high-maintenance whiner.

I'm sure it sounds as if my attitude is the source of my woes, but I'm actually cheerful, hardworking, smart, well-liked and trusted by peers and management.

A: Ever been on a first date with someone who can't stop talking about a bad ex? As the ranting continues into the second bottle of wine, you start to wonder how reliable the narrator is and why he or she is even out with you.

Your job in an interview is to show what makes you a great catch. There's nothing to be gained by complaining; the hiring manager is not interested in rescuing you.

Find a way to express your desire to move on in words that don't feel like a lie: "After 11 years, I'm looking to shift gears and take on new challenges. I believe my [insert relevant skills here] make me a good fit for your position." Don't mention that "shift gears" is a euphemism for "squeal and peel like a bat out of hell."

Text Only
Business
  • Balancing Act: How much is your time worth? Consider outsourcing some tasks

    Todd Paton has a booming business getting customers noticed on the Web. One tool he uses is generating online press releases to build brand awareness and create links that will send traffic to a customer’s website. But Paton, owner of Paton Internet Marketing, acknowledges that writing the releases is not his strong suit. Rather than spend his time doing it, he hires out the task.

    July 23, 2014

  • The Color of Money: No easy way to get out of debt

    Many people who are deeply in debt are desperate for a quick fix. They ask the question: What can I do to get out of debt?

    July 21, 2014

  • Watercooler: When to speak up if you see problems down the line

    Q: Our organization has hired a new director. I am one of a number of division heads; above us, there's the associate director, and above him is the director. The associate director is feared and disliked for his duplicity and dictatorial nature, though few have come forward because of his vindictiveness.

    July 18, 2014

  • Career Coach: Bringing a purpose-driven spirit to work

    Increasingly, religious beliefs and practices of employees are becoming more evident in the workplace. Religious diversity and concepts of spirituality are more prevalent in organizational settings.

    July 18, 2014

  • Ask the Mompreneur: It’s best to farm out your payroll

    When my husband and I hired our first employee at our Web development company, we had it easy when it came to doing payroll.

    July 17, 2014

  • Protecting against unnecessary losses

    QUESTION: I run a small bar and grill which is open 7 days a week and have to rely on others for some of the shifts. How can I ensure employees have not become my partners?

    July 17, 2014

  • A checklist for keeping you focused at work

    A quick check of Facebook and next thing you know, a half-hour’s passed. Start chatting with a co-worker and suddenly 20 minutes is gone and the report you were supposed to finish by lunch is late.
    Workplace distractions are everywhere, especially in an age of social media and open-plan offices. In the face of so much temptation, accomplishing what you’re paid to do can be tough.

    July 16, 2014

  • It could be time for a career coach

    Need a little help figuring out your next career move?
    If you’re putting in the hours and still not seeing the rewards, feeling undervalued or simply striving to be more successful, it may be time to hire a career coach.

    July 16, 2014

  • Your Office Coach: Turn to boss for help with disgruntled underling

    QUESTION: When I joined this company a few weeks ago, I discovered that the person who previously held my position is now working for me. “Sarah” obviously resents my presence and frequently says I don’t have the authority to manage her, even though I clearly do. Her negativity has made my job much more difficult.

    July 15, 2014

  • You are not trusted

    If it seems like employers don’t trust employees - well, they don’t.

    July 15, 2014

Business Video
Stocks