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Work It

Well, now that the jackpot for Three-Eyed Bingo has finally bust -- and not on me -- I can blog without feeling as though I'm going to miss something. Never mind that I totally took a nap and someone won literally minutes after that. Oh well.

So I went to see my friend and adviser the other day to get some advice about those pesky job applications that I am now starting to fill out again. See, one of my biggest problems while filling out an application is what to write in the space marked "reason for leaving." I absolutely hate to lie or even mislead, especially when it says that doing so on an application will likely lead to termination... but I can't tell them the actual truth about how I've ended up leaving my past jobs; to do so would be like saying, "Hey, I just wasted your time and mine by filling out this application, but just laugh hysterically as you chuck it out and you'll feel better about it."

So what do you say when the situation is just as bad as it sounds?

"Walking off the job" is no longer simply quitting without notice. In fact, don't even mention the without notice part. It can now be referred to as:

  • a bad fit (good for any occasion)
  • personal growth (especially good if you are unemployed for some time after)
  • career advancement (to be used if moving to another job without a break and will be making more, even if it's just a penny more)
  • health reasons (mental health totally counts)
Getting fired is slightly trickier, but not insurmountable... and it makes me smile with glee to not have to mention it. All of the above reasons can apply, as well as one more:

  • personality conflict (it sounds bad to me, but apparently doesn't to prospective employers)
I also learned yesterday that one shouldn't be overly vague with their interpersonal skills. "Great customer service" can be interpreted to mean "goes above and beyond for customer satisfaction" or it could mean "will break the rules just to keep customer happy" -- I'd go with the first definition.

I don't know who's been paying attention and who hasn't, but this is definitely need-to-know information for me seeing as I've been fired from or walked off of every last job I've ever had. The only one that I walked away from on good terms was the last job I held in Michigan before moving here!

What other job-related euphemisms are y'all aware of? Does anyone out there have any tips for others and myself on how to ace an interview?


Innocent Owner Of Mad Cats said...

You forgot Job abandonment. Thats where you forget to yell you quit over your shoulder as your walkin out.

I'm horrible at interviews. I hate them. The only thing I could possibly tell you is know a little about the place you are applying too. That way you can give pertinent answers to questions they might ask.

Jenno said...

Hahaha... I never forget to yell that I quit though. You should've been there when I walked out of Pizza Hut -- I think you would've been proud of me for sticking it to "The Man." I cited everything from favoritism to managerial incompetence for my reasons! Oh, the look on her face was golden - I could tell she was disappointed more in herself than me when I said, "and I'm sorry to disappoint you, although I disappointed myself much more by taking this job in the first place!"

That's a good piece of advice, too -- I try to remember that, but sometimes they just ask stupid questions in interviews anyways... one of my favorites I've been asked was at McDonald's, "Why do you want to work at McDonald's?"

I replied, "is that a trick question? Umm... to find the secret of life. No, wait... so I can cure cancer...."

She smiled back at me.

"I need a job. That's why. Good enough?"

"Yep, you're hired."

And I promptly fired myself two days later. Ha.

JW said...

Wonderful. Looking for a job can be pretty tough these days. I know because I am halfway doing the same. Not much luck going for me here. Ironic because I used to be a recruiter at a high-tech staffing agency; helping people find jobs.

That reminds me, if you need some advice I have a lifetime worth of job search advice somewhere in my plugged-up head.

Sarah said...

how about 'my boss was a d__khead'? a better way could be 'something better came along' and made a friend to lie about it when they call. lol

Jenno said...

@JW -- Pshaw... we both know finding a job isn't THAT hard... just go to any fast food joint and BAM! You're employed. Ha. Believe me, I won't do it either. Not anymore.

@Sarah -- Ooooh, there ya go. I've had so many phallucitic bosses it's not even funny. That's my new word for "d*ckhead." Haha.

plainolebob said...

Jenno, in this slot, i always put personal reasons, that always left it open for discussion so that I could explain some either good or lame reason that I left, I would rather have the op. to tell them why i left in detail than write it all out in the tiny space provided.

Believe it or not, at one time I haired and fired for a very large company.

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26 years old. Daring. Disenchanted. Different. Trying to live in a friendlier yet more honest world. There is sometimes no larger dilemma.

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