Business Ettiquette?

Archived discussion from Toril-2.
Sarvis
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Business Ettiquette?

Postby Sarvis » Fri Apr 16, 2004 10:26 am

Ok, so I know jack about networking...

Here's the situation:

I did all four of my co-ops (internships) at the same company, but and the end of each double-block I got laid off early because business was slow. This was at the start of the Bush economy... The last time I worked for them, I was supposed to be a co-op until I got my degree and then move into a permanent position, only business was crappy so they laid me off instead. My boss actually called me a week later to bring me back, but then HP cancelled the project he was going to put me on... but my manager said he would get in touch with me if things picked up.

I emailed him again when I got my degree, but apparently the situation was still the same so again he said he would get in touch with me. That was last August. In December they put a news post up on the site that implied they would soon start hiring people, as business was increasing and they had just completed a stock buyout and such.

My thought is that I'm probably not that important to my manager, even though I was a great employee and he's just forgotten to get in touch with me. Also I'm thinking I should have somehow kept in contact with him... networking I guess. Only I have the social skills of an ornery penguin, so I never kept in touch at all.

Would it be acceptable to email him and inquire about any job openings? Or will he just get annoyed if he only ever hears from me when I'm looking for work? Or should I just risk it anyway since I'm really desparate for a job right now?
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Postby Silsaterur » Fri Apr 16, 2004 2:25 pm

I don't think it would be a bad thing for you to do, it all depends on how you approach the situation.

If you just write him saying you are looking for work, he's probably going to turn his back on you.

If you however state that you have been following the company and have heard that they are looking for people. Then express how you enjoyed working for the company in the past and would like to work for them again. You stand a MUCH better chance of him paying attention.

Plus since the manager can just go to HR and say that he want's you back and for them to reinstate your employment then you just skipped all of the job application bullsh*t that the other chumps applying through HR have to go through.

In your letter, be respectful, be direct, and most of all, present the aspect that you want to be there. You will need to outline your work for him at HP in a cover letter and provide an upto date resume (you are after all applying again) and be available for when he calls.

I mean, what have you got now? Nothing. What have you got if you succeed? A kickass job. What do you have to lose? Nothing. SO GO FOR IT!
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Postby Ashiwi » Fri Apr 16, 2004 2:53 pm

Be sure to include what you've accomplished during the time you've been away from the company, as well as any new skills you've learned. A continuing drive to better yourself always looks good.
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Re: Business Ettiquette?

Postby Sesexe » Fri Apr 16, 2004 3:21 pm

Sarvis wrote:Would it be acceptable to email him and inquire about any job openings? Or will he just get annoyed if he only ever hears from me when I'm looking for work? Or should I just risk it anyway since I'm really desparate for a job right now?


Managers value good employees they can rely on. Were you this type of person? If he tried to get you back into the company after laying you off, this sounds like a definite 'yes'.

Also, did you work with this manager? That is, you saw him on a regular basis as you worked this internship gig? Were you social with him at work? If so, just drop him an email and ask how things are going? Leave the question open like that, don't imply work or personal. Let him answer it. Sometimes everyone needs to break away from it all and chat a little with someone they know. If you worked with him, you must know a little something about em. Maybe send em a joke he'd like.

Here's my point. Don't be just another person looking for a job from him.

He no doubt gets more then his fair share of these - especially with some kind of public notice about jobs you mentioned.

Instead, be a former great employee that pops their head in from time to time to see how things are going. He'll think of you the first second they can actually higher someone fulltime, even if you don't meet every single qualification.
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Postby Ambar » Fri Apr 16, 2004 3:52 pm

As most everyone knows, I am in the US Navy .. I directly supervise 45 people. I indirectly supervise 91 more for a total of 136 people under my direction.

As a whole they are awesome sailors, with the occasional *burp* here and there as with any job.

I had a problem with one sailor, he was always late to work and had serious issues with authority. When he felt the job was *worth* it, he'd bust his ass for me. As a person, great guy .. a lot arrognat but a generally good person. He was just not cut out for military life. Well, we had a falling out where he disrespected me in front of 3/4 of my people then bolted out the door and off base. As a result of this and some additional stuff, he was kicked out of the Navy.

A few months later this guy calls me and asks me for some personal advice and to ask if he could use me as a personal reference with a new job he was looking in to.

Well, I had no real qualms saysing sure, use my name. He got hired. Potentially this guy can now make 1700$ a week, which around here is awesome income. (And almost doubles what I make)

Bottom line, swallow the misgivings and contact the guy. Call him personally and refresh his memory as to which intern you were. Tell him you are still looking for emplyment and had heard his company was hiring. If you were as good as you say, he will remember you with a little prompting, and if they are hiring he will probably put a bug in someone's ear about you.

I think the personal phone call would be more appropriate as you did work for the guy personally. Plus it makes him feel you are serious about a job rather than just putting feelers out in mass emails.
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Sarvis
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Postby Sarvis » Fri Apr 16, 2004 5:35 pm

Ashiwi wrote:Be sure to include what you've accomplished during the time you've been away from the company, as well as any new skills you've learned. A continuing drive to better yourself always looks good.


Unfortunately I haven't accomplished jack. :( Hell, my skills have probably eroded slightly from disuse.

And what's with you people and phones? I hate making phone calls...

I'll email him thouhg, and try to include something to remind him who I am.

It's not that I don't want to email him some kind of more personal greeting and let him take it from there, it's that complete lack of social skills thing. It gets even worse around a manager because I live in slight abject terror of them. So while we did work together somewhat, I didn't get to know him very personally. If I had this would probably be a bit easier, or I might have kept in touch a little better anyway. Bleh.
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Postby Delmair Aamoren » Fri Apr 16, 2004 6:13 pm

Hey, you asked for advice, you got advice. No bitching at your advice givers! *grumbles somethin about ungreatful employees*
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Postby Sarvis » Fri Apr 16, 2004 6:20 pm

Hey, you can't yell at me... you didn't give any advice! ;)

I was joking around though, just in case no one picked up on that...

Though I really do hate phones. Face to face or emails are the only forms of communication that don't terrify me. Probably some deep-seated psychological thing. Maybe a telephone abused me as a child?
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Postby Vahok » Fri Apr 16, 2004 10:35 pm

Huh, I always thought the words business and ettiquette never went together.

You gotta do what you gotta do to make a buck. Bug him if needed, inquire if he knows of similar openings (example, for me, I keep in touch with other bank employees, ex-employees, etc.). You gotta sell yourself, because nobody is gonna do it for ya!

Good luck Sarvis with the hunt!
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Postby Snurgt » Sat Apr 17, 2004 1:44 pm

My advice is email the guy like once a month, and dont mention the job at all. Just check in, 'hope everything is going well', 'happy holidays', 'have a good weekend' etc...
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Postby Ragorn » Sun Apr 18, 2004 7:52 am

My take on the situation.

- You were put in a position of employment with the company, and you ended up receiving less than you were offered at the start of the arrangement. Seeking out your former manager for employment will show him that you still trust and value the company, despite their failing you in the past. Many employees would have just cut and run after their employer failed to deliver the first time. They don't owe you anything, don't approach the situation from the angle that you were slighted and deserve compensation. But you can angle your approach along these lines, that you're willing to "forgive and forget" and be a valued employee.

- Phone him. If you write an email, he has the luxury of defering a response until he can come up with something comfortable. A businessperson facing a slightly distasteful situation in email can write out drafts and essentially craft a response that sounds good. If you put him on the spot in a realtime phone conversation, you're more likely to get more meat and less fat from his response.

- The worst thing that can happen is they decline your application. And then you're one step further than you are now... you have a definite answer.
- Ragorn
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Postby Delmair Aamoren » Sun Apr 18, 2004 9:54 pm

Vahok wrote:gotta sell yourself, because nobody is gonna do it for ya!


Man, haven't you heard of a pimp?
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Postby Sarvis » Mon Apr 19, 2004 7:41 pm

That's it! I need a pimp!

Anyway, emailed him... got response. Business has improved, but pretty much jsut for their embedded division. Could probably get in if I knew anything about embedded programming... heh.

Thanks for the advice everyone! :)
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Postby Vahok » Mon Apr 19, 2004 9:32 pm

Sarvis wrote:That's it! I need a pimp!

Anyway, emailed him... got response. Business has improved, but pretty much jsut for their embedded division. Could probably get in if I knew anything about embedded programming... heh.

Thanks for the advice everyone! :)


Gee, I wonder how long until the pimp offers roll in...:)
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