Dear J.T. & Dale: I applied for a job listed in a city three hours away. I just completed a contract job with this company, working remotely, and the job sounds very much like my old job, but full-time. There is no confirmation that this might be a remote job. I’m reluctant to relocate, and I prefer working remotely. I have an HR phone interview scheduled. Should I indicate that I may be willing to relocate to get to the hiring manager interview, then possibly negotiate a remote-only position if offered the role? — Josh
J.T.: It’s interesting that they didn’t indicate that the job could be remote when you were doing a similar one remotely for them.
DALE: Here’s a guess as to why: Having had you, a contract employee, working remotely on this task made the managers of the department decide that it was worthy of a full-time role. And, I feel confident that they’d prefer someone with them in the office. Why assume that? If the job were to be remote, they certainly would have said so, it being a major selling point.
J.T.: I think I would definitely ask about it, even prior to the interview. I might reach out to HR and say, “I was doing a similar job for you on a contract basis up until recently. I loved the work and the company, that’s why I applied for the job. That said, the description didn’t mention it being remote. I’m not in a position to relocate. I wanted to check prior to the interview in case you’re only seeking people to work on-site.” You could end up wasting each other’s time if they are set on this being in-person. Better to find out now.
DALE: Hold on. If you have plenty of great job possibilities lined up, OK, then you can risk crossing this one off. But, if not, I’d press ahead. Given that you’ve been doing the work, you’re likely to be their first choice for the new full-time position. Hiring you would be so easy for them — no training and high probability of success. So that gives you a bit of leverage. Let them fall in love with the idea of hiring you and then bring up working remotely. Maybe having someone in the office is only a mild preference, not a deal killer. Or, maybe, you could just go in for a monthly staff meeting. Maybe you fall in love with the town they’re in and decide the job is worth moving for. This is A.O.K.O. — All Options Kept Open — and see if something good doesn’t fall into place.
Dear J.T. & Dale: After being let go from my full-time job last Friday, I have been busy looking for new opportunities! I have started treating my job search as its own full-time job. Each day, I have set the goal to apply for five jobs. Once that is done, I work on myself — I will read, go to the gym, play with my dog, etc. I’ve been at it for two days now, and five jobs per day has felt like a loftier goal than anticipated! Any suggestions? — Aurora
J.T.: It’s good to hear you are treating the search like a job. I also love that you are keeping yourself busy with other activities. Your job search should not consume your life. Otherwise, the stress will get to you.
DALE: Well, the search should consume your workdays, otherwise you’re not really treating it as a job. And, simply applying for jobs isn’t my first choice for how you spend your search time. That’s because you’ll end up sending resumes online, which is mostly useless. Instead, set goals for building your network and knowledge. Research companies that you could help and try to get introductions to people who work there. Meet with former colleagues and through them, get more meetings. Make use of alumni groups or professional associations or any other relevant organizations. Keep track of new connections, not applications, and you’ll be working toward success, not frustration.
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.