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Thread: References: Be careful what you ask for

  1. #1
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    References: Be careful what you ask for

    Several years ago I worked for a nonprofit organization that was involved in housing. The position was a contract position. It ended and I found work in an unrelated field. While I did fufill the job asked of me and I liked the company along with the job itself, I dont know how the person I worked for thinks of me. Their personality was one that got the job done but I am not sure if I would want to deal with again nor am I sure if they would find my personality a good fit on a longer term basis either.
    I would like to hear other's experiences wiorking with or under someone they didn't feel like it "clicked". Would you use that person as a refrence and if not, but you want to work for that company/organization again how would you approach it?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    If you are uncomfortable, do not do it. Find a co-worker or someone else involved in the program for a reference.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
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    If that reference is needed for a specific job, then yes, I would use them. Your personality differences should not affect your ability to get a decent/honest reference from your previous employer. However, I do realize that may sound a little bit idealistic.
    "A witty woman is a treasure, a witty beauty is a power!"

  4. #4
    If they were your immediate supervisor chances are you'd have to list them somewhere anyway as your POC for last position. However, if I had a choice about it, I would definitely not use someone I wasn't 100% sure about as a reference.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian ursus's avatar
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    As a rule, I don't put anyone down as a reference unless I am comfortable calling them and saying "I'd like to put you down as a reference". If their answer would not be "OF COURSE!" then I dont' call.
    "...I would never try to tick Hink off. He kinda intimidates me. He's quite butch, you know." - Maister

  6. #6
    if you did the job well then there is nothing bad they can say about you.
    Beg to differ. An omission of your contributions is all that could be required to get you taken off the short list. You want references who can speak glowingly about you, not just say you didn't do anything wrong.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    So an employee that reports to me has always been very open with me when they have interviewed for other jobs. I have no problem with this person seeking employment elsewhere. I can understand why they are.

    This person recenlty interviewed for a position and informed me that I was put down as a professional reference. I haven't been called yet, but am a little uncomfortable because I would highly recommend this person, but doing so could result in me losing this employee.

    Again, I have no problem with this person taking a position elsewhere, but I feel kind of put in a corner where my comments could result in me losing the employee.

    I don't know how I should respond if I'm called.

    And just so were clear, I would never speak negative of an employee. Just not sure how "praising" I should be.
    Last edited by btrage; 08 Feb 2011 at 3:39 PM.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

  8. #8
    Cyburbian
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    Even if you do get a call, that doesn't mean they'll get the job. Though I think the golden rule really applies in the this situation. If you were looking for a new job, I'm sure you'd want your boss to give you the best recommendation possible.

  9. #9
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by btrage View post
    So an employee that reports to me has always been very open with me when they have interviewed for other jobs. I have no problem with this person seeking employment elsewhere. I can understand why they are.

    This person recenlty interviewed for a position and informed me that I was put down as a professional reference. I haven't been called yet, but am a little uncomfortable because I would highly recommend this person, but doing so could result in me losing this employee.

    Again, I have no problem with this person taking a position elsewhere, but I feel kind of put in a corner where my comments could result in me losing the employee.

    I don't know how I should respond if I'm called.

    And just so were clear, I would never speak negative of an employee. Just not sure how "praising" I should be.
    I've had this issue before, and much like you I knew it was coming because of the good relationship we had. My response went something like this:

    "He is a great asset to my department. While I understand his desire to further his career, I selfishly want to keep him here. In my book, that is about the best endorsement a supervisor can give. He was instrumental in <went on to give specific positive references>. I would certainly encourage you to hire him."

    I should add that I do believe in karma, particularly in the professional world. I would hope the person would say the same thing about me.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  10. #10
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Suburb Repairman View post
    I've had this issue before, and much like you I knew it was coming because of the good relationship we had. My response went something like this:

    "He is a great asset to my department. While I understand his desire to further his career, I selfishly want to keep him here. In my book, that is about the best endorsement a supervisor can give. He was instrumental in <went on to give specific positive references>. I would certainly encourage you to hire him."

    I should add that I do believe in karma, particularly in the professional world. I would hope the person would say the same thing about me.
    Thanks. This helps.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

  11. #11
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    My rule is that if I don't feel comfortable to contact this person myself to advise them of using them as a reference than I shouldn't use them as such. As someone said earlier, if you need to include them for a specific job opportunity than it must be but otherwise another co-worker from the same company works just as well.

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