It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…
1. My company wants to take over the phone number I’ve been using for personal calls
I was given a work phone when I started my job three years ago. As part of her pitch to have me accept, my manager at the time said, “I got rid of my personal phone and just use this one, so you can do the same – it’s a real perk.” I didn’t ever get rid of my personal phone, but my work phone did become my primary contact number for friends and family during the week.
I’m now leaving the company. I gave three months notice and my last day is this week. I have just had an email asking that I give my phone (and number) to my colleague first thing on Monday morning (less than one working day notice to give my number over). I am deeply uncomfortable with this. I don’t think it is appropriate at ALL that a stranger will be given the number that I have been using for three years, especially when i have been given so little time to notify all my contacts. Am I able to say anything / refuse?
This actually isn’t that unusual because they own that phone and that number. And they have a business interest in ensuring that a business number continues to be answered by someone who works for them.
They were wrong not to explain to you from the start that they’d be taking that number back at the end of your employment with them — but you also sort of overlooked that major detail when you started using the work number as your personal contact number.
However, you could certainly say, “I didn’t realize I’d be giving up this number, so I need a couple of days to transfer all my contacts to my personal number. Is it okay for me to do the transfer on the morning of my last day?”
2. Should I connect with my just-hired manager on LinkedIn … and tell him my concerns about the selection process?
I work in a small IT department (four people including the director). The director has been here nearly 30 years. Two of the staff (including me) have been here 19+ years. Our IT Director has announced his retirement effective the end of this year. Both the other long-time staff member and I have expressed interest in the position over our last several annual performance reviews. In May, we were each informed (separately) that management had decided to fill the position from the outside. Neither of us were given interviews, and were both told that no internal applications were to be accepted.
I was not involved in the first round of interviews. But once the field was narrowed to two, I was asked by my manager (retiring IT director) and his manager (CFO) to sit in on part of the second interviews. I was the only staff member of our department given this opportunity. I have been told which one of those two candidates will be given an offer. IMO, he is the better choice of the two.
Is it appropriate to send this person a LinkedIn connection request? If so, when? Before he gets the offer? After he gets the offer, but before he accepts? After he accepts, but before he starts? After his start date?
At some point, I will need to have a very frank discussion with this person about my own career plans, and my thoughts on this selection process. But I am not sure if this is an appropriate conversation to have before he becomes supervisor or after.
Definitely don’t do that before he starts! He’s not working there yet, he’s not your manager yet, and contacting him to complain about the selection process would come across really strangely, and would probably set him up to see you as A Problem before he even starts.
Once he starts, give it some time. After working with him a bit, it might become really clear why your company only wanted to consider outside candidates. It might become clear that they wanted to bring someone in to make changes that they didn’t think could be made as effectively by someone who’s been there two decades already, or it might become clear that he brings key skills that you and you coworker don’t have. Give it some time to play out and impact your thinking before you initiate any conversation about how the process was handled.
As for the LinkedIn request, you can send that any time you want. I’d probably wait until after he accepts the job, but it doesn’t really matter. There’s no urgency though.
3. Can I ask my boss to stop interrupting my presentations?
I’ve been in a new role for a bit more than a year now, and one of the areas I’ve been struggling a bit in is presentations (which come up semi-regularly in my role). The biggest issues are that a) I haven’t been able to do them very often, b) I don’t get to use our analysis tool very often, which means giving demos on it is harder as it’s not fresh in my mind, and c) they have been on topics I’m not very familiar with. All of these are fixable and I know how to work on them.
The biggest issue for me has been that whenever I’ve been giving a presentation, it’s been in front of my boss, who never hesitates to jump in if he feels you have missed something or if someone in the audience asks a question. This has happened a few times now, and just results in me being even more uncomfortable because I know at any time he’s going to interrupt me, which breaks my flow.
So my question: my boss is generally a decent and sane person (although a bit of a control freak). Should (and if so, how) can I tell him to please stop interrupting me during my presentations? I’m happy to receive feedback later, or even for him to let me finish and then go back to points I missed, but the in the moment interruptions really bug me!
“As you know, I’ve been working on strengthening my presentations. I’ve noticed that I’m more likely to get thrown off and therefore to struggle with the presentation if you jump in while I’m in the middle of them. I absolutely want your feedback, and of course I understand if you think it’s crucial to correct something in the moment for the audience, but I wonder if I can ask you to wait to give me feedback until after I’m done? Or, if you want to add something, to do it at the end? Especially while I’m actively working to improve these, I think that would be really helpful to me.”
It’s possible that he’ll tell you that part of giving good presentations is being able to go with the flow and deal with interruptions, but it’s a reasonable thing to ask for and see what he says.
4. What’s a “letter of intent”?
Recently out of work, I’ve noticed a trend of specific job listings asking for a “letter of interest” or “letter of intent” instead of a cover letter. What reasons would someone in a hiring position ask for this? At first I thought these listing were merely asking for a cover letter in an incorrect way in a misguided attempt to sound fancy. However, I’ve noticed it so. Many. Times. Could an employer have legal or other reasons to request this?
Nah, it’s the same thing as a cover letter, just with a different name. I’ve seen some people say that cover letters are for when you’re applying for specific jobs, while letters of intent are what you send when you’re expressing general interest, but that’s really splitting hairs — and clearly inaccurate in the cases you’re seeing, since you’re seeing the term in ads for specific jobs.
Assume the terms are interchangeable, and don’t read anything into it.
5. Asking to delay a start date when you’re in the middle of buying a new house
My fiance and I started a condo search a few months ago (around April). After a while of searching, we finally found a place we liked and had our bid accepted (mid-June). Due to several reasons, our process has taken a while to close and we are now looking at a August 11 closing date.
My fiance has been thinking about switching jobs and had a very passive job search, maybe one job application once a month or every two months. But recently she saw a job that would be a great fit for her and what she wants to do at a bigger organization with more room for upward mobility. She applied, was given a phone interview, and was called back for a two-hour group interview. They asked her permission to check her references, and she indeed heard back from some of them saying they have been contacted. They have stated they would prefer to have someone start sooner rather than later, around August 11. Our banker told us it not recommended to change jobs during closing process. It can be done, just adds extra layers of paperwork and perhaps drags the process out further.
Would it be out of line to ask for a start date that is three or four weeks out after the closing on the condo? If it is okay, should she explain it is due to the closing or just ask for extra time on the start date?
Yep, it’s totally fine to ask, and she can explain that she’s in the middle of closing on a condo and is wary about changing jobs right in the middle of that process. People will understand that.
And she may not even need that much extra time. If she gets a job offer at the end of this week, she’s already going to be exactly two weeks from your closing date.
company wants to take over my personal phone number, should I tell my just-hired manager my concerns about the hiring process, and more was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.