Offer Accepted. Now, Another Company Wants to Interview Me!

Woman Mobile Phone Connection Waiting City Technology Concept

By Randy Wooden

You’ve accepted a new job. You’re in the idle time before your first day on the job or possibly in your first few weeks of new employment. Then it happens. Another company calls you to set up an interview. What do you do?

Each of us has our own moral compass. So do organizations. Some companies rescind accepted offers or decide they really didn’t need the position after all – even after the new hire showed up.

While you must make the decision you feel is right, I would discourage you from going on the interview for several reasons.

Reasons for turning down the interview:

#1. You gave your word that you’d accept the job at a mutually-agreed upon rate of pay. No one forced you to say yes.

#2. You would permanently burn bridges, and word gets around. To protect your reputation, think long and hard about seeing whether you can earn a few extra dollars elsewhere.

#3. Give the new job some time, especially if this new interview would be held during that idle time before you actually show up for work. The grass may not end up being greener with that new interview, so you’ll have not only jumped from the frying pan into the fire, but you’ll have burned bridges. (See #2)

#4.  If you did go on the interview, how would you respond when asked about where you last worked? To be transparent, you have to mention the new job you’d just accepted.

#5.  If word about your interview gets back to your new employer, how do you think it would make the hiring official feel about your conducting interviews? Not the best way to start a new job.

In rare occasions, one might accept another interview.

#1.  The job you took was a temporary assignment with no guarantee of it being a permanent hire. That’s a big downside, particularly if the temporary job isn’t a full-time role with benefits.

#2.  If you started the job and were misled about job duties or if the work culture is highly toxic, you might want to consider another interview.

While accepting an interview doesn’t equate to accepting a new job, your decision has potential downside. Think it through carefully. Good luck.

Three Tips for Transitioning from College to the Workplace

New Grads Job Outlook 940

By Randy Wooden

If you’re a college student or know one who is, today’s blog is for you.  Here are three tips for landing that first job after graduation.

#1.  For those about to graduate, you’ve missed this one already.  Internships give you exposure to corporate life and a leg up on your competition since the company with which you’re interning gets to see you in action. If you were an employer, wouldn’t you feel better hiring someone you’d already seen work? Their hard skills and their people skills? You bet. Internships often lead to a first job after graduation.

How do you land an internship? Check with your school’s career center for assistance. They’ve likely established corporate relationships. Talk with other students to learn how they secured theirs.

#2.  Network, network, network. You’ve heard this before. It’s more than asking others who they know might be hiring.  Let’s explore in more detail.

If you haven’t done so, create a LinkedIn account. Think of LinkedIn as a large professional network where you’re able to connect (or “link”) with others for any number of reasons including leveraging those connections to help get a leg up during the hiring process.

Conduct searches for alums already in the workplace. The fact you share a common college experience means they’re more likely to accept your connection invitation and share their college-to-corporate transition experiences.

Go to your school’s career center or virtual site to see companies that have taken part in past campus hiring fairs. If the school can’t or won’t provide recruiter contact information, check for those people via LinkedIn.

Your goal is to build rapport so that a hiring official will either know you directly or know someone who knows you and can put in a good word for you.

#3.  Don’t stress.  The job you land out of school will be the first step on a long journey of learning as you go. You may find your first job or industry isn’t what you’d hoped it would be. Take that knowledge as you move forward.

Unlike decades ago, people entering the workforce are much more likely to change careers than ever before.  If you’re the parent of a college student, are you  doing the sort of work you did right out of school? How relevant is your degree in your present job?

Bonus Tip:  Consider volunteerism to build your network, references and experience if you aren’t able to land a career-oriented job right out of school.  It look good on your resume, and you’ll likely meet people who have a similar passion.  They might be able to assist you with your job search.  Good luck!

I Have a Side Hustle. Should I Tell My Boss? Why Should They Care?

First Job Compact 940

By Randy Wooden

Moonlighting has given way to a new term – side hustle.  Throw in gig economy, and it’s a new world out there. But does your boss need to know what you do in your spare time to earn extra income?  Some companies require you to tell them if you’re earning money outside of your employment with them. They have three primary reasons for wanting to know.

  1. They want to be sure you’re not creating a conflict of interest. In my role with Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina (Winson Salem), I lead our Professional Center, assisting professionals with their job search.  It would be a conflict of interest for me to have a side hustle where I provide similar individualized services for an hourly fee. It would also be inappropriate for me to go to work for a direct competitor.
  2. They don’t want other work to negatively impact your ability to perform your current job. For example, if my job requires me to be on call or perhaps work an irregular schedule, but my side gig requires me to be on site, my full-time employer would have issues with that. You can’t be in two places at once. If your side hustle work means you show up tired or late, your full-time employer won’t be happy.
  3. Your side hustle could reflect negatively on your primary employer. Companies guard their brand to avoid controversy and awkward publicity.

Even if your employer doesn’t require you to disclose your side hustle, I’d encourage you to level with them. Any potential fallout is likely much less than if they happen to discover it later, especially if they find  one or more of their concerns above apply.

Whether it’s out of necessity to make ends meet or simply as a way to earn a little spending money, many people have multiple income sources.

Let’s consider some potential side hustles. There’s always the part-time hourly job in the service industry; retail, restaurants, and others come to mind. Scheduling work hours could be a challenge and mayconflict with your full-time job.

The internet has given rise to a multitude of jobs you can perform whenever you wish. Whether it’s being a driver, renting out a room, doing tasks, providing care or perhaps selling items online, you choose how much time you wish to devote to it. You could also choose to work an hourly job part-time from home. This could alleviate trying to be in two places at once – the issue you might encounter if trying to work in customer service, for instance.

Lots of people work a side hustle, and many employers realize this.  Regardless of your reason for taking on a second job, keep in mind why employers would want to be informed. Good luck!

Top 3 Challenges for Veterans Transitioning to the Corporate World


By Randy Wooden

Most job hunters face challenges, particularly when looking to change industries or job functions. Even though the unemployment rate for veterans is below that of the general population, veterans may face different challenges; let’s explore three and some tips for dealing with them.

1. The written word, particularly resumes. All industries have unique jargon, and the military is no different with its job titles, acronyms, and phrasing. Your task is to de-militarize your resume’s wording by using the corporate world’s equivalent terminology. For example, personnel could translate into associates or human resources. Mission could translate to project. Company/squadron/platoon could translate into department, division, or perhaps organization. The website is one of many resources that help translat military-speak into corporate-speak. Try having your resume reviewed by a career coach or civilian hiring official for their feedback.

2.  Networking. Most of us, veterans included, tend to spend time with our co-workers and family rather than establishing and maintaining a broad professional network. Try attending veterans  and professional events beyond hiring fairs.  Check LinkedIn or a Google search for veterans groups that focus on advancing careers.  You’ll find you have company wrestling with a career transition. You’ll pick up pointers on how to engage in the civilian labor market while establishing relationships with others who’ve already made the leap and are eager to help others do the same. Get out, and get involved.

3. The interview. Just as you’ve tried to replace military-speak with corporate language on your resume, you’ll need to do the same during your interview. Getting the words right is only part of the challenge

Boot camp works to remove a person’s individuality: “I” becomes “we.”  In interviews, you’ll need to cite accomplishments, ideally your accomplishments and not necessarily those of your team. Now is the time to toot your own horn.

Ask people to do practice interviews so you can practice using  civilian rather than military-speak. Your service is great; now it is time to convey how you did it in terminology your potential employer can understand.

Remember to smile and talk with your hands and arms open. You’re bringing lots of technical skills as well as training in a myriad of interpersonal scenarios. You have transferable hard and soft skills that include things like problem solving, negotiating, dependability, critical thinking and effective team work.

Many employers are wisely eager to hire vets. Do your part: show them how your past experiences mesh well in their corporate world.

My Boss Just Asked Me If I’m Looking for Another Job. What Should I Say?

Your boss calls you into their office.  “Are you looking for another job?”  Gulp!  Now, what?

Why are they asking?  How should you respond?

In all likelihood, your manager suspects you’re looking and is seeking to confirm that hunch.  Asking that question for no reason seems unlikely; assume they’ve heard or sensed something that prompted their question.

Let’s assume you are looking or interviewing.  Admitting you’re looking for another position could make you appear disloyal or uncommitted to your current job.  Instead of lying or being forthcoming, you could dodge the question. Ask why they’re asking.  “Why do you ask?”  Or, “Should I be looking?” With either dodge, you could gain insight as to what prompted their question.

Your boss may say, “Well, I’d heard you weren’t happy and were out looking.”  Do you use this opportunity to voice your concerns that have you looking for a job?  It depends on your boss.  If they say something such as, “Let’s talk.  I value your work,” then perhaps you discuss why you are looking for other opportunities.

If you choose to discuss it, don’t dwell on negatives.  Talk about seeking continued challenge and professional growth.  It’s not uncommon for workers to change jobs and/or companies many times in their careers.  Don’t be surprised if you’re asked whether you’re looking; be ready with a response.  Good luck!