365: 2012/01/23 - fingers crossedAbout a month ago, I talked about my experiences with the hiring process at Company A. I still maintain that in the job search process, you have a responsibility to yourself to trust your own instincts. However, there also comes a time when you just need to pay the rent, instincts be damned. That’s how I ended up at Company B.

The same week I was offered the Company A job, I was also offered a position at Company B. Company B represented everything I could have done back in Cincinnati. It wasn’t a change; it wasn’t technology; it wasn’t in a great location; it didn’t have the focus I wanted. It did offer slightly more than my minimum salary requirement and it would suffice in the short-run. It even had a decent job title, so taking the job wouldn’t be setting me back in any way. But in no way was this the dream job I’d moved across the country to find.

Remember all those red flags I should have paid attention to with Company A? Even Company B raised some red flags. Unfortunately, I had to pay the rent. Company B interviewed me six times, including phone interviews, between early September and my start date in December. I was told different things by different people throughout the interviews. In particular, I kept probing into how were they using learning technology. The question was answered differently each time. I think it depended on how much the interviewer wanted to sell me on the position as to how they answered. In the end, I crossed my fingers.

Company B also tossed in an additional interview. I drove out to a rather remote location one very rainy and traffic-heavy morning. The interviewer never showed up. Eventually her assistant appeared to tell me that she was ill and didn’t come in that morning.

I was fairly convinced that I had the job in the bag as a back-up plan, until I got an email a few weeks later, telling me the job had been cancelled. I was shocked. Cancelled? After so many phone calls and in-person interviews, they were telling me it was cancelled in an email at 7pm at night. The next day, Company B called me and offered me the job.

Me: “I received an email yesterday telling me that position was cancelled.”
Recruiter: “Oh, you got that by mistake. We meant to send that to the other candidates.”

I was incredibly bothered by the blatant lie told to the other candidates. In fact, I was so bothered that I took over a week to respond to their offer. In the end, when I knew in my gut that Company A wasn’t going to work out for me, I accepted the Company B offer, but with prejudice. Perhaps my initial reticence brought on by my interview experience and the “job cancellation” has colored how I approached the position during my time there.

It may sound a bit cheesy, but I bring passion to what I do — and I want to believe in the organization of which I am a part. Company B has a lofty mission and core values, one of which is respect for others. While I believe they want to instill these values throughout the organization, the recruitment process showed a lack of respect for the job seeker. Despite their lofty goals, Company B has a long way to go to change their internal culture. (That, however, is a blog post for another time.) I will say that the mistrust I had coming into the job, from the recruitment process, is evident across the organization. No one trusts anyone else.

Some of my training-industry colleagues call this type of position a “Host”. A Host is a company that enables you to pay your bills, put food on the table, and survive, but you never intend to be there long. In the meantime, you keep searching for your dream job and you try not to give up hope.

Writer’s Update: I have now officially left Company B for Company C, where I think I’ll hang out for a while. More on that tomorrow. 

Photo Credit: Fingers crossed via Jhayne/Flickr


Michelle is a recent, wide-eyed transplant to the San Francisco Bay area. She still runs Write Technology, where she specializes in training, social learning strategy, and social marketing. Michelle is the executive editor of My Wine Education and recently started steps towards becoming a sommelier just for the hell of it. Michelle also blogs at Total Learner, where she intends to wax poetic on what should be and what isn’t within the field of learning. 

Note: Technology press releases should be sent to michelle[at]writetech[dot]net.

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