J.O.B–Just Over Broke

Hey everyone! It’s been a month now since Jamie was laid off and on the new job hunt. Let me tell you that it has been a roller-coaster of emotions and decision making. Not too many soon to be 40 year old’s are spending their time worrying about their careers. Jamie should be professionally settled and enjoying happy hours and slime-making crafts with her kids. And while she’s a little thankful for all the new free time she has now, after a month you begin to question yourself and what is wrong with me?? You look over your resume a thousand times, tweak it, apply to jobs that are not in your usual radar, and that’s just work related. Then you start to question the decisions you’ve made up to this point and if there’s anything different you need to do, like go back to school or just be your own boss. It can really take a toll on you and that’s why it’s important that we check in every once in a while on Jamie.

Jamie has actually made some progress…..networking has somewhat paid off. After she turned in her resume to her friend, her friend’s supervisor did reach out and gave her some information about an opening. However, the job just wasn’t what Jamie was hoping for. First, it paid a lot less than what she was making and it she would be working from home. Instead, it was actually 45 minutes to an hour distant. No, Jamie is not being a spoil brat, she is simple looking for a commitment because she is tired of the moving from one company to another crap. It may be worth being late on some bills just to ensure a forever career. I don’t know, is that the right move? Tell me what you think, we need a different perspective on this. Okay moving on….let’s see what else happened with Jamie, oh yes! She had a pre-interview or screening, whatever you want to call it, with (we will call it A-B-C) company. So far, this one sounds like the one, but we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves. The pay and benefits are descent and there’s room for growth, but its not really the ONE. See, Jamie is looking for a career not a J.O.B (Just Over Broke). With that in mind, there’s a certain position with (we will call this one D-E-F) company that she applied for and it sounds like everything she has been wanting. It practically checks off all the boxes on her checklist, but it may take some time before she hears anything back. “Good things come to those who wait” or do they?

Predicament

Considering that Jamie meets all the requirements and passes all the interviews with A-B-C, should she accept the J.O.B with them and quit later on if she gets an offer from D-E-F?

OR

Should Jamie not accept the J.O.B and wait to hear back from D-E-F instead? What if she never hears back from D-E-F and misses out on a possibility of making enough money to get things back on track for her family?? What about ethics?

Time to make a change

“Change is the end result of all true learning”–Leo Buscaglia

“My son turned in his math homework with all correct answers and yet his teacher wasn’t satisfied because he didn’t follow the method that was taught in class” said one of the managers at my local TJMaxx as he stood by the cashier that was ringing me up. Poor girl, I just felt so bad for her. You can just tell she was just starting her journey as a sales associate at one of the biggest off-price retail stores across America.

My kids and I went in to purchase some gifts for Father’s Day and we spent a total of $79.25. I remember because of two different reasons, 1 )I was thrilled that I was just under my budget of $80 (cha-ching!) and 2) I paid the cashier with four twenty-dollar bills and my change was a simple seventy-five cents or so I thought. For some reason, my cashier thought my change should’ve been three dollars and forty cents. Why you ask? I asked myself the same question. Consequently, my cashier had failed to punch the amount of cash received into her register!!!! Shit!!! PANIC!!! That means it was up to her to calculate my change off the top of her noggin, instead of relying on a computer to do the math for her. That’s okay she can just subtract my total from what I paid with and Ta-Da I would get my seventy-five cents change and take our happy butts home…..At least that’s what I was thinking in my head, but apparently not my cashier. While she stands there with a “what did I wear yesterday” face trying to figure out that my change is 3 quarters….. SEVENTY-FIVE CENTS! SEVENTY-FIVE CENTS! Is what I’m kicking and screaming in my head. That’s all she had to give me back, that’s it. I don’t understand why this young, poor girl could not figure this out. I don’t understand why she got so flustered that “I” had to tell her how much change I should get back in order to get the correct amount of change back. Lucky for her, I was a patient and honest customer, otherwise her cash register would have been short at the end of the night. Meanwhile, her manager is just standing there and does absolutely nothing about it. Can you not see that your cashier cannot do math…why a well-known retail store like TJMaxx would hire someone so incompetent to handle their financial transactions beats me. Is basic arithmetic not one of the job requirements? Do you not verify this before hiring them as your cashier? Don’t get me wrong I believe everyone deserves a chance, but like I stated before not everyone is an honest person. The next customer in line may be the one to take advantage of her.

Since my curiosity would not leave me alone, I decided to look up what qualifications were required to work as a store associate or merchandise associate as they title it, at TJMaxx…and this is what I found:

Responsibilities: • Role models established customer experience practices with internal and external customers • Supports and embodies a positive store culture through honesty, integrity, and respect • Accurately rings customer purchases/returns and counts change back to customer according to established operating procedures • Promotes credit and loyalty programs during customer interactions and so much more…….

So its obviously one of the requirements, but how did she get hired? I don’t know, I don’t understand anything anymore. Maybe she was just having a bad day, maybe she found me so attractive that I made her nervous, who knows. What I do know is that TJMaxx needs to change their hiring process because there are many qualified individuals out there looking for work, who are better at math, with great customer service skills (ME), who cannot even land an interview. I hope they don’t make preferences over schedule flexibility and hire the individuals that have the most flexibility instead of the most qualified.

I am not sorry if you find my material offensive. This is merely insight to our world today and it needs to be said. This is a scenario that relates to many businesses, not just TJMaxx. I have seen it first-hand as an assisting manager. I would make suggestions as to who we should call in for an interview, based on both qualifications and flexibility. My supervisor on the other hand, was less worried about qualifications and more worried about schedule coverage.

Have you missed out on a job that you felt were qualified for because you lacked schedule flexibility? Only to find out that it was given to someone you know, less qualified? Have you ever been to a store, restaurant, or any place of business where you were taken back by an employee’s lack of skills? Share you story, it may help out the next reader behind you.

Networking When You’re Not Working

Jamie looks angry and fed up! Can you blame her? It's been over 2 weeks since she began filling out applications and still nothing. No interviews and no job offers, only some rejection e-mails and feelings of disappointment. 

Have you ever wondered what happens with all the online applications you filled out? There's an urban legend that they often disappear into some "abyss", never to be seen again. While there's some truth to this thought, they don't just disappear. If you've ever been on the receiving side of those applications, only then would you really know the facts. The truth is they do end up in an "abyss", an abyss of e-mails known as someone's inbox. When an employer posts a job online, they must provide an e-mail address where the replies will automatically go to. If a prospective employee applies via the job post, it sends their information to the employer's registered e-mail address. Normally, there are hundreds of applicants and the employer will receive each and every one of those in the order of date and time of submission. Now, honestly speaking, who on planet earth reads each and every single e-mail in their inbox? I don't, not even when I was a hiring manager...sorry guys. At best we skim through them and open whatever "appears" to be important. That's if you even check your email right?! LOL, lot's of thoughts running through your minds huh?

Well as the old saying says; if you can't beat them, join them. Join them by connecting with them in person versus staying behind your bad ass laptop. You could kick it old school and pay the employers a visit, but chances are you may not make it past the receptionist. However, there are other ways of networking that are more "acceptable" today. Jamie has a few acquaintances at the top of the corporate food chain, she could be upfront and ask if their employer is currently hiring (too desperate?) or she could just let them know that she is actively looking for work and see how the they respond. Jamie could also attend a local networking event. Networking events are great opportunities to meet other professionals and expand outside of your normal social circle. At the same time it allows you to put your name, skills, and achievements out there. You never know who you might meet, (Jeff Bezo's Assistant perhaps), so make sure you are prepared and bring your A game.

Jamie decided to use one of the above networking suggestions and applied for a position at one of her friend's employer. She gave her friend her resume and is now waiting on an interview. Jamie went on the company's website and was able to learn that she is actually very qualified for the position. Let's keep our toes and fingers crossed for Jamie! To be continued....

How did you get your last job? What are some popular networking events you've attended before?