Life in the Trenches


hands-on-headAs an employment professional I hear all manner of stories related to the business world. Some good, some bad. The two that follow are, in my opinion, egregious.

Leonard had been looking for a job for some months. A senior sales manager, he had worked for several Fortune 500 companies and had a solid record of achievement. He was executing, as far as I was concerned, one of the best job searches I had ever seen. Dedicated and persistent, but it was dragging on. Leonard networked into a respected company and a senior position that, while a step back, was manageable. He was excited about the opportunity even though it was a contract position. His hope was to prove himself so that the firm would take him on permanently. A calculated risk, but one worth taking.

Leonard was offered the position and accepted with some reservations as other opportunities were “hot” but a bird in the hand prevailed.

The Friday before he was about to start Leonard made a courtesy call to his new boss only to find out that the job he had been hired for (and signed off on) was not the job he would be doing on Monday morning. His “new” job would be yet a further step (or two) back.

What to do?

Leonard took the job, because he had to. After accepting the offer Leonard had shut down his job search and terminated the interview process with several promising opportunities. He had to accept.

Then there is the story of Howard.

Also a senior sales manager, Howard had been working at a respected engineering firm for the past several years. One day his boss informed him that the “fit” between them was not working and that Howard’s services were no longer required. A package and end date were agreed to.

Then Howard’s boss decided that, because a number of sensitive negotiations were upcoming, he wanted Howard to stay a further three weeks. When Howard refused his boss became enraged and threatened a bad reference to anyone who inquired if Howard didn’t agree to stay.

I have been trying to think of an appropriate way to end this article, but it eludes me. All I can think of is sad, very sad.

While the above stories are true, the names and particulars have been changed to protect the identities of those involved.

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