It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…
1. I moved for my husband but can’t find work in my field — and now I have a job offer in my home state
I grew up in the midwest, and I moved down to the middle of nowhere in New Mexico to be with my husband after I graduated college. The first year I was here was interesting. I got a job in the loan industry. It paid okay for the area, not great but it paid the bills and put food on the table. After the year, I quit due to the stress and horrible management causing me major health issues. After I resigned, I received a job offer from my home state working with children. I discussed it with my husband and he told me to take it; that way I could visit family and recharge (since I was not in the best of health). I spent the summer getting better, visiting family, and enjoying my job.
After the summer was up, I traveled back home. As soon as I got back, I filled out many applications and had interviews. This is where the sad part starts. The interviews went really well and the managers liked me, but many did not want to hire me due to my education. (I have a four-year degree in history and social science) They thought I was overqualified due to that. This frustrates me to no end. One manager only interviewed me as a back-up plan; if one of his people quit, he would call me and ask me to fill in. Another one sent in all my paperwork to the area manager but can’t hire me because they didn’t have a store manager.
I have been out of a job for three months and money is getting tight. Yesterday I received a email from a company in my home state wanting me to work for them. This is where I need advice/help. My husband has an awesome job that pays pretty well. He also loves working there. He has been applying to jobs all over the country to be closer to a bigger city so I can start my career. However, he hasn’t gotten a job yet and it’s been close to a year and a half. This job that was offered to me is my dream job and it’s in my career field. Do I go for my dream job and have my husband move to my home state with me or should I stay here in the middle of nowhere with no job while he remains at his? Please help. I am at a standstill and don’t know what to do.
Oh, I’m sorry — this is really hard. Ultimately, this is a question for your marriage. It sounds like you and your husband need to figure out where it makes sense for the two of you to live. If you won’t be able to find a job in your field where you currently are (which sounds like may be the case), do the two of you want to move somewhere that you can? Or is it okay for you to resign yourself to not getting work in your field long-term? Is he willing to move for now since you moved for him before and gave his city a shot? What are your husband’s job prospects in the new city? And how do the two of you want to balance all these factors out? Ultimately it’s about the trade-offs the two of you decide to make as a couple.
The job-related piece of this that I can advise on is that the longer you don’t work in your field, the harder it will be to find work in your field. So you probably have a relatively limited window of time to really pursue it, if that’s what you want to do.
2. Recruiting by text message
I have a Google Voice number that I use for job hunting. I am not currently job hunting — I love my job — but I also believe in always taking the meeting/interview/convo if possible, because you never know what will happen next.
Earlier this week, I got a text message from a recruiting company asking me if I was interested in a job that I was actually completely unqualified for — the recruiter had clearly done a keyword scan for, say, “teapot usability” and since both words showed up, he assumed I was now a teapot usability expert. I replied that I was not qualified for the position.
Today he texted back and asked what I was looking for. I replied that at this time I was not looking to make a move, which is 100% true. But, again, normally I’m happy to have a quick convo — except that 1) he hadn’t read my resume and 2) the TEXT MESSAGES.
I would think it completely appropriate to have a text conversation with a recruiter with whom I already had a relationship, especially things like confirming I’d finished an interview, or other quick transactional notes. But I can’t see doing this as the regular course of business as part of job hunting. I am An Old, but I work in technology and have plenty of text conversations on a daily basis. Am I just being old-fashioned or is this the new direction of recruiting and I’m going to have to get used to it in order to be competitive?
I hope not. I think you just ran into a weird and overly cavalier recruiter, of which there are plenty. He was sloppy about reading your resume, and he’s sloppy about how he communicates.
Also, some people are way more reliant on texting in all situations than others, and I think some of those people over time lose sight of the fact that not everyone likes to have lengthy business-related text conversations.
3. Being laid off right after relocating for work
This summer my husband was told that the company he had worked for for 10 years was closing his plant and relocating it to Houston. He was among the few employees that were offered to keep their jobs and move with the plant. The company would provide a substantial relocation package including all closing costs, moving costs, and a one month extra salary for expenses. No raises would be given and as a matter of fact, at the time the entire US operations had been forced to take a temporary ten percent pay cut that had started in February.
We didn’t want to move. We had a teenager going into his junior year of high school and had a great life and house. But my husband is over 50 years old and we realized finding a new job would be difficult so we accepted the offer. So mid-August I quit my job and we moved.
Fast forward three and a half months and he gets laid off. We were thoroughly shocked. He had to sign an agreement saying that if he resigned in the next two years, we had to pay back all if the relocation fees but what about if they lay him off? Now we are in a new town that is not our home away from our friends and family. Even with the relocation package this has not been a cheap move for us. Is there any way of getting them to move us back? It just seems so unfair! I know the old saying about how life isn’t fair but you’ve got to be kidding me!
That’s horrible. He can definitely try to negotiate for some moving costs, but whether or not they agree is likely to depend on (a) how guilty they feel, so he should try to appeal to their human decency when he points out what happened, and (b) whether they’re worried he has potential grounds to see for anything (like discrimination or harassment). Severance packages are often quite negotiable when one of those things is the case, especially the second one.
I’m not sure if you were also worried that you might be on the hook for the relocation expenses, but you won’t be. That’s only for if your husband left voluntarily.
4. Prospective employer told me that I no longer seem interested in the job
I interviewed for a job position before Thanksgiving, and sent a follow up email a couple days ago asking about the status of the job. I got an email back stating “that it seemed I was no longer interested in the job”. Panicked that I may have missed a job offer letter I scourged my email to find…nothing. I’m not sure what I could have done in this scenario? Or even how to respond back.
It sounds like a miscommunication. Maybe they sent you an email or left you a voicemail that somehow got lost in the ether. (Or maybe they think they did but they didn’t actually do it.) I’d send this back: “I’m still very interested! Your email makes me wonder if you’d tried to contact me, but I don’t have any missed calls or emails from you so I’m not sure what happened that made you think I’d lost interest. I’d still love to be considered for the job and to talk with you further.”
5. Is this company brushing me off?
Several years ago I applied for a position at a company located right down the street from my house. I received an in person interview that seemed to go incredibly well. Several days later however, I received a rejection email telling me “thanks for applying, but we will be moving forward with other candidates at this time.” And to “feel free to reapply in the future.”
I have reapplied, but have never been invited back for another in-person interview. The first time I reapplied, I was invited to an out of state job fair (in spite of the position I applied for being right down the street.) There was no way to RSVP to this job fair. I’m not sure there was any connection between not attending the job fair and not being selected for an interview, but needless to say I didn’t get the job. The second time I reapplied, once again their actions baffled me, I was invited to a phone screening interview with someone from out of state. I’m kind of getting a message that “we don’t really want you to work here, and even though you feel you’d be perfect for the position please take the hint and move on.” Am I right to perceive this are they in fact giving me the brush off or am I reading too much into what’s becoming standard practices even though they don’t always make sense to the local job seeker?
The out-of-state job fair thing is weird, but I wouldn’t read anything into the phone interview being with someone from another state. If that’s the person who’s doing the phone interviews for the position, it makes sense that that’s what would happen — and they’re not going to invite you to skip the phone screen and interview in-person at that stage instead, so the fact that you’re right down the street wouldn’t really factor in.
In general, employers are very comfortable rejecting people because they have to do it all the time. They don’t offer phone interviews to people as a way to brush them off. If they want to brush you off, they’d just reject you!
I moved for my husband but can’t find work in my field, recruiting by text message, and more was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.