How can I convince prospective employers I’m reliable? - Albuquerque Journal

How can I convince prospective employers I’m reliable?

Jeanine “J.T.” Tanner O’Donnell is a career coach and the founder of the leading career site www.workitdaily.com. Dale Dauten is founder of The Innovators’ Lab and author of a novel about H.R., “The Weary Optimist.”

Dear J.T. & Dale: My work history spans two decades. Unfortunately, in the last two years, my jobs have been short-lived. Specifically, I left a job that was misrepresented to me and bordered on abusive, after one year. The next was a job that did not challenge me, and six months later, I was approached for an opportunity that was too good to pass up. There, I worked in a great environment with good people, but I was unable to adapt to their pace of working. I was let go after four months. Now I am left with having to convince employers that I am reliable and looking to develop a long-term relationship. Suggestions? — Jerome 

DALE: First off, let’s put this in perspective: you’ve had 20 years of solid work experience, with three jobs in the past two years. And those last two years? Tumultuous ones for just about everyone, right? So, let’s not go into the job search being defensive. When the work history comes up, you give a little grimace qua smile and say, “Oh, these past couple of years — so many changes. For everybody.” Then, you put your excellent overall work history into perspective.

J.T.: You could say, “I had a great 18-year track record. Then, for the first time in my career, I experienced some things that made me leave. I took a job that was misrepresented to me in the interview process and left after a year for a job that wasn’t challenging but at least was what I expected. I then found a job that was a better fit for my skills, only to realize four months in that the pace wasn’t what I expected. These two years have taught me so much about doing your research before accepting a new role. It’s been humbling. Now, I’m excited about your role because I’m confident based on what I’ve learned that this is truly a good fit.”

DALE: That’s a lot. Talking about “misrepresented” and “pace” sounds defensive to me, and when you sound defensive, the interviewer gets worried. Wouldn’t it be better to say, “The whole world of work has been shifting, and I found myself in a couple of jobs that didn’t work out. I can go into detail, if you like, but I’m looking for a place where I contribute for a long time.” There’s a good chance the interviewer will be sympathetic.

J.T.: You might slide by, but I’m betting they’ll ask for detail, at least about that last job. The key is to take responsibility in some way for what’s happened but not blame yourself entirely. Most importantly, show them that you can learn and grow from adversity. This is what they want to hear.

Dear J.T. & Dale: I work at a company where the senior executives were awarded company stock options for the first time. The owners told us earlier that we’d all get the same package, but now that the program is actually rolling out, it looks like I’m getting significantly less than everyone else. I’m the only female at the “senior executive” level. How do I approach this? — Carla 

DALE: This is another case where questions are the answer. You’ll want to go to your boss and make inquiries, not accusations. Assume it’s a mistake. Or, maybe a misunderstanding: Perhaps the owners said everyone was getting the same deal, and they meant everyone was subject to the same formula, one that includes tenure at the company or performance measures. Start by assuming the best but let everyone know you’re paying attention.

J.T.: Yes, go directly to the person who told you that you’d all get the same options and ask why that didn’t happen. I wouldn’t bring up that you’re the only female … not yet. Just ask why it’s less and how it can be corrected. If they push back and say it can’t, then bring up that it concerns you that, as the only female, you are getting less. Use that only if they aren’t budging — it will let them know they need to make a correction.

Jeanine “J.T.” Tanner O’Donnell is a career coach and the founder of the leading career site www.workitdaily.com. Dale Dauten is founder of The Innovators’ Lab and author of a novel about H.R., “The Weary Optimist.” Please visit them at jtanddale.com, where you can send questions via email, or write to them in care of King Features Syndicate, 628 Virginia Dr., Orlando, FL 32803. (c) 2022 by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

Home » Business » How can I convince prospective employers I’m reliable?


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
ABQ shipping container firm embraces day-to-day variety
ABQnews Seeker
Retire at 53, that was the ... Retire at 53, that was the goal. But a decade later Pat Maloy, owner of Maloy Mobile Storage, is still putting in 70-hour weeks ...
2
Laguna Development Corp. sells off horse racing venue in ...
ABQnews Seeker
The acquiring company, Churchill Downs Inc., ... The acquiring company, Churchill Downs Inc., purchased the property for $79 million in cash
3
Full of spirit(s): Distillery 505 spirits offers cocktails, bites ...
ABQnews Seeker
Ever since pastry chef Anna Jones ... Ever since pastry chef Anna Jones opened distillery 505 Spirits with her husband Robert Houston, her dough sheeter — a machine used to roll ...
4
Meow Wolf leader believes art has power to ‘bring ...
ABQnews Seeker
Julie Heinrich is the collective’s chief ... Julie Heinrich is the collective’s chief of staff and executive director of the Meow Wolf foundation
5
ABQ area, New Mexico have economic potential, experts say
ABQnews Seeker
But region, state can do more ... But region, state can do more to develop identity, attract more employers
6
Multifamily developer acquires apartment complex in Grants
ABQnews Seeker
Company says it will invest $4.7 ... Company says it will invest $4.7 million in renovations
7
NM unemployment rate decreases slightly in August
ABQnews Seeker
The August unemployment rate is a ... The August unemployment rate is a decline of more than 2% year over year
8
Amtrak to resume service in NM
ABQnews Seeker
Services expected to resume Friday morning Services expected to resume Friday morning
9
Longer sentences have failed to reduce violent crime
ABQnews Seeker
Spiro Agnew, who served as vice ... Spiro Agnew, who served as vice president under Richard Nixon, memorably denounced the administration's enemies for their 'pusillanimous pussyfooting on the critical issue of ...