A few months shy of a year in my second post-grad employment experience and I find myself in a Paralegal Program at BU and in an internship at a community organization, all of this aside from work. Is it a sign that I am understimulated and that I should move on? Probably (at least for me I can say this). I refuse to complain most of the time because not having a break in employment while watching others get laid of and stress endlessly the possibility of just such an eventuality, is enough of a reason not to. However career track awareness and posturing is important, this come through in interviews in weird ways.
In a recent interview, 3rd round might I add, I was asked, “Why have you had such brief employment experiences in post-grad working life?”. My first reaction was to say, “Absolutely, I wouldn’t have wanted that, that is just a sign of the times.” that should be a pretty honest response from me however the question was not really about me moving around a lot or not having company loyalty either. They know I or any other candidate could probably find an elegant lie anyway. The question is actually coming from an insecure place, and might serve to tell you a lot about what is happeneing for that particular role which you are applying. A good follow up question here might be something like, ” This position sounds great to me, has loyalty been a concern in the past, I have trouble believing that.”or alternatively, “In keeping with my personal and professional integrity, I am always honest about a career transition with my employers, but I see myself here for at the very least a year and a half.” If this is really a lie, please don’t say it, I’ll explain why later down the page.
These kinds of questions are rampant despite the young professional’s standard first post grad experience holding at 1 to 2 years of experience. Employers are also weary, often as weary as job seekers, when it comes to the ole’ bait and switch that some candidates have been playing during interviews. I recently heard a story, where a friend of a friend took a job with a hefty signing bonus while he waiting on another opportunity that he very badly wanted. He happened to be a good person and when he received the “yes” from his dream job, he returned the check without batting an eye when he resigned from the new job two weeks later. These kinds of stunts are uncommon, as uncommon as the hefty signing bonuses, in my industry they might as well be mythology. However when people pull them the impact is felt, and not just by the hiring manager, but by those vying for positions in the job market. Just a thought; Lets be a team player!