Friday, October 16, 2009

The plight of the serial applicant

Although not unique to my organization, we have a number of what I lovingly call “serial applicants”. These are the employees that apply to every internal job posting regardless of whether they are qualified or, quite frankly, interested in the job.

My observations:

If your sole modus operandi is the burning need to get the hell out of your current role because you hate the job/ your supervisor/ your co-workers and you are fixated to the point of paralysis on this fact – don’t bother - no one wants to take on someone else’s problem.

If you cannot be discrete and have made it your personal mission to tell anyone and everyone about your unhappiness and that you are planning on applying to any and all jobs – don’t bother – your lack of professionalism and productivity will have you blacklisted before you even walk into the interview room.

If you cannot bother to come into work on a regular basis, have had multiple performance-related discussion with your supervisor, and public spats with your co-workers – don’t bother, everyone knows about these issues….and you are probably the one who told them.

There are certain advantages to hiring an internal candidate. They know they company, reduced training needs, employee recognition, improved morale, and they are a known entity.

The disadvantage of being an internal candidate – you are a known entity. If you think that supervisors and/or managers are not comparing notes on who has the most challenging employee…think again. It’s a fact.

I struggle with the concept of interviewing all internal candidate when it is obvious that they are either not qualified to do the job (and qualifications are more than just technical skills) or will not be hired because of some of the reasons listed above.

Providing employees with the chance to apply to other internal opportunities is a good philosophy. Wasting everyone’s time when it’s just not going to happen…that’s not.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A rose by any other name...

I was visiting family over the Thanksgiving weekend (no I don’t have my dates wrong, in Canada it’s in October…shockers) and got to spend time with my teenage nephews.

This was incredibly entertaining. And when I say entertaining, I mean it in the way that you have wandered into a previously undiscovered jungle tribe and you are overwhelmed the absolute strangeness of it.

I was originally going to go off on a bit of a generational rant, but I won't because

a) it makes me sound ridiculously old and
b) I’m sure in my own way, during my own youth, I did the same damn thing.

Instead, after mulling it over a bit, it’s quite the opposite of a rant; I realize now that I've learned a whole new way to give a compliment.

It's true. The whole visit was mad sick.

Not just sick, but mad sick.

The experience was so inspiring that I'm considering infusing some of these terms into manager communications with their employees.

Imagine this as a snippet from a performance review:

Manager: Alright, we are going re-hash 2009
Employee: k
Manager: First off, you have mad skills when it comes to analyzing the issues. I’m serious. It’s sick the way you are able to meet all your targets for the year and not do any OT.
Employee: nice
Manager: And during the audits this year…it was completely stupid how you handled it. Bang on.
Employee: Thanks.
Manager: I’m serious – it was retarded.
Employee: wow - thanks.

Obviously this wouldn’t work for everyone, but I would love to for it to happen - just to see the look on the twenty-something’s face when his/her boss decides to ‘relate’.

I’m guessing that the look would be similar to the one that my nephews (and my own kids) gave me when I complimented my sister-in-law on the mad sick turkey dinner.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Catching up

this past weekend was a productive one, but not in the traditional sense. The laundry is still behind, I did very little cleaning, and although I now know how many weeds there are in the garden - I did nothing to fix the problem.

It was productive in the sense that I did some catching up with people. Friday evening I went to a movie with my sister-in-law...something I've been wanting to do for awhile. Saturday, the kiddies and I visited my grandma for the afternoon. Sunday, I had friends over and we calculated that it had been one full year since we last saw each other in person.

I am willing to admit that before each of the events I wanted to bail out. I have been very tired lately, and I was not in the mood to "socialize". Now, having completed them all, I am so glad that I hung in there.

I like "To Do" lists at work. I love crossing off items to know I've accomplished something. I realized that I need to carry over this attitude towards seeing people. Not making it an item on a "To See" list, but so I will have the satisfaction having made the effort to catch up with them.

Although these get-togethers were arranged about a week and a half ago, the timing could not have been better. This past week I attended a funeral for a former colleague of mine. He was 42 years and died completely unexpectedly. I won't create a false post-mortem relationship. He was a very nice person who tried very hard to please everyone around him - he would do anything to help people - sometimes to a fault. We were friends in the workplace and he did things that drove me mental; however, that is worst thing I can say about him. It goes without saying that he will be missed, by me and many others.

As is want to happen with tragic circumstances, I took stock of my relationships and realized that while I'm not about to change how and who I interact with, I did think twice about postponing my next get-together...you just never know.