The job market in America right now is more like a meat market, and the hoops companies expect us to jump through, some even before we ever see a dime from them, are simply fucking ridiculous. I read articles like this on Forbes all the time, but I don’t think one can truly do justice to this topic without using some profanity. In my current position, I have been responsible for recruiting talent and I was very successful at finding it without putting the candidates through this kind of bullshit. These are some of the things you should never ever have to do in order to get or keep a job.
1. You should never have to interview more than twice. If the hiring manager can’t make up their mind after a phone interview and an in person (or Skype if it’s long distance) interview, they have a problem and it’s not you. You’re probably better off interviewing elsewhere with someone who has their shit together.
2. You shouldn’t have to go down your resume line by line explaining why you left each and every job, especially if the silent rule is that you’re not supposed to be honest if you didn’t click with your boss or weren’t being paid enough to live. Why are we supposed to stay at jobs that make us miserable and barely keep the bills paid? I have a lot more respect for people who are always thinking of how they can move up in the world and have a better life, and companies should give a shit about employees’ quality of life too (but unfortunately they don’t).
3. You should never have to go through the interview process with absolutely no knowledge of how much the job pays or what benefits it offers. Hiring managers should be transparent about compensation from the start, because roughly 100% of us get jobs in order to pay our bills and eat. We need to know if that will be possible before we waste our time and the recruiter’s time. Can we please just be realistic about our human needs for fucks sake?!
4. You should never have to make blind promises up front to work as much overtime as they require. If you have a family and require time off to spend with them, you should be able to be honest about your priorities. If you let them pressure you to say you will work any hours needed just to get an offer, you’ll be miserable working there because they already got you to say that you don’t need any time off with your family.
5. You should never have to disclose your current salary, past salary, or the lowest salary you’ll settle for. When recruiters ask that, they’re just looking for ammo to lowball you on their offer. You deserve to make as much money as you’re worth, and they should pay it if they really want your talent.
6. You shouldn’t be required to attend company social functions in your off time. If you really don’t want to go to happy hour with the entire office or hang out with your coworkers on weekends, you should be able to opt out without becoming the office pariah. Especially for introverts like me, spending the whole day in public interacting with people is exhausting enough. It’s ok to want to go home and recharge in your happy place with drinks that are way cheaper and no risk of getting a DWI on your way back from mandatory happy hour (really, if it’s mandatory, it shouldn’t be called “happy”).
7. You shouldn’t have to hide who you really are to adhere to the environment or “culture” (please excuse me while I go throw up). I used to fall for this bullshit myself, but then I grew the fuck up. Culture used to be a positive word; it encouraged open-mindedness and pursuit of a higher understanding. That’s not what it means when a company uses the term “culture.” In that case, it means they made a special little box containing everything you’re allowed to think, feel and express as an employee there. If your natural thoughts and opinions don’t fit in the box, you’re expected to fake it and pretend you’re another one of their drones. Fuck that noise. I tried to shove myself in that box before and I nearly lost my mind. To thine own self be true! Boxes suck anyway.
8. You should never have to “voluntarily” work late or on your days off to look like more of a team player. If you have things to catch up on and you’re genuinely ok with staying an extra hour, great, but that should be your choice and not something you’re pressured to do on a regular basis when you’re hungry for dinner and worried about your family at home.
9. You shouldn’t have to come to work sick to prove how devoted you are or to avoid a write up. You’re not going to be very productive when you feel like shit, and you’re also going to infect others while you’re at it, meaning the entire office will be less productive. If you have the ability to work from home, that should be encouraged when you’re sick. You’ll also heal faster if you actually rest.
10. You shouldn’t have to bring a doctor’s note for every illness. Common colds and the flu are easily treatable at home by any competent adult. We already know to rest, eat soup and get lots of fluids. Why waste a doctor’s time and your money? Plus, getting dressed, fighting traffic and spending time in a doctor’s office being exposed to more germs is not going to help you rest and heal. Companies should trust that the grown ass adults they hire can handle treating their own cold.
11. You should never ever EVER have to cancel your preplanned vacation to come to work. This shouldn’t even need to be said, but sadly it does. Once you’ve planned your vacation and scheduled days off, that’s the end of discussion. You deserve to enjoy your vacation and come back refreshed, ready to rock.
I think the problem with corporate America and the reason all this bullshit goes on is that people let it go on by not standing up for themselves. If American workers started demanding to be treated like humans again and no one would work under these conditions, companies would have no choice but to improve their practices in order to gain and retain talent. Do me a favor: next time you find yourself just accepting that being treated like a piece of garbage by a recruiter or your boss is “normal,” stop and consider how you’re demeaning yourself. Then, set your sights higher and demand the respect and dignity you deserve.