Q: Dear Dr. Culp, I was up for a job I thought Id get. I was highly qualified for it and even had an extra skill they could have used. My credit history passed and I passed the tests they gave me.
All of my references were fine, too, with one exception. My boss from two years ago didnt sound enthusiastic, the new employer told me. I dont know whether that was a result of his having a bad day or what. What can I do?
A: Dear Surprised, Did you get him to agree to serve as a reference for this job hunt or did you just put his name down, because hed helped before? Did he have any idea what kind of job you were seeking? Any chance that you went to the well too many times?
The only way youre going to know what went wrong is to call or, preferably, meet. Applicants puts references on the spot when they dont help channel their remarks. Its difficult to know what to say if you havent told them about the type of job and what youd like them to mention.
Q: Dear Dr. Culp, I fought hard to get this job and Ive fought a year to keep it. Yes, I can do the work, and Ive done it. Im just not enjoying it.
I want to look for another job in the company, but Im afraid people will think that if I didnt know myself well enough this time, I might make a similar mistake again. Can you help?
A: Dear Upset, You might have goofed on the specific job, but it sounds as if you didnt make a mistake in choosing the company. Thats more important than anything. People outgrow their positions and positions change all of the time.
Your main problem isnt that you cant do the work. Its that you dont find it as satisfying as youd anticipated. Develop a list of accomplishments.
Meanwhile, test drive some other types of jobs. Volunteer in areas where you think you might like to work and get on as many committees as you can. How do you feel in the process of doing the work and when it ends?
Keep doing your current job while building up new in-house credentials. Good luck!