An open letter to my future employees.
We’ve had a number of employees at You&Me. Each one has left their mark on us and the company. And this is how it should be. I’d like to believe that as much as an employee has learnt from us during their time here, we have learnt just as much from them. When two people cross paths, it’s difficult not to impart knowledge onto each other.
Meg and I have recently had to go down the rabbit hole of finding and placing employees to fill a number of vacancies., and what a hole it has been. When I knew it was my turn to churn out a post for our blog, this was the first thing that came to mind.
I wanted to write an open letter to all of my future employees. And possibly to your future employees too. I asked three business owners for their top three tips, just to make sure that I wasn’t being too biased. And we all have a need for a different type of employee – so it should cover a good basis.
Dear future employee,
I have to get something off my chest.
For the love of God, please add a subject line to your email when sending a prospective employer your CV. I will not even open your CV if you don’t do this. Is your prospective employer not worth the time to write a subject line? This, for me, is the epitome of lazy and it shows a lack of respect. Two qualities I do not look for in an employee.
Right, now that that is out of the way, I can get to some really good tips that you should consider using the next time you’re looking for a job.
Before you get the job.
Be early for your interview. But do not be an hour early for it. This is just as rude as being late for your interview. It’s also not the end of the world if you are running late, due to a genuine reason. Nick, owner of Aglet, adds in that you should, however, acknowledge when you are late for an interview, have manners in letting your future (hopefully by following this tip) employer know if you can no longer make it or are running late.
Make sure you know who and what the company does. There is nothing more awkward than telling me that you really love that design we didn’t do, for the brand that we didn’t work for. Research is key. I am more drawn to the prospectives that ask questions in their interviews, don’t be shy.
Meg Pascoe, owner of The Counter, seconds the above points, but also adds in that you should never lie on your CV. Just like you, employers are doing research. We will find you out.
In the same breath, be honest with your answers in the interview. If you are asked about your biggest weakness, don’t answer with something and try to turn it into a strength. Nick added that you just need to be honest about where you need help, so that we can help you when you are employed.
When you’ve got the job.
Actually show up. Once you have been offered a position, it’s only polite to show up for work, and not disappear off of the face of the Earth.
We really do not expect you to know everything. If you’ve had a sudden change of heart, own your decisions and take responsibility for them. Refer to Point 1 Under “Before getting the job” – LET US KNOW!
Meg Pascoe reiterates – “Aim high – ambition is awesome. The best way to learn is by being thrown in the deep-end. But keep your head above water. If the deep-end is too deep – ask for help. There is no shame in that.”
Your contract might state that your working hours are from 8am-5pm, but there is no reason that you cannot stay a little later. Sometimes projects are bigger than you thought, or meetings run late. Being the first out of the door at exactly 5pm isn’t going to win you any gold medals. Now, I’m not saying that you should stay at work late because it makes you “look better”, but putting in a little extra effort in the things you’re working on, does not go unnoticed. 5pm is when you stop working and start shutting your computer down, not when you’re already walking out of the door.
Tamlyn, owner of Tame, puts it into perspective and says that you shouldn’t be a clock watcher. She said that as an owner, she is not hell bent on working hours as long as her employees are getting their work done.
When you leave the job.
This one is inevitable. Everyone moves on from a job. Whether it be in 6 months or 6 years time, you will eventually leave.
Please have all your affairs in order when you leave. Make sure to unsubscribe from all those dodgy sites that you used your work email address to sign up with. Or better yet, do not use your work email address for anything personal to start off with. This will come back to bite you in the ass.
If you left on a good note, be sure to ask for a letter of reference. If you did not leave on a good note and there are unresolved issues, do what you can to address them before you leave. As an employer, you cannot legally give a negative reference, but some employers skirt this very fine line. Worse than that is when your previous employer refuses to give you a reference at all, this casts huge shade on your future employment. Even if said employer is just being spiteful – avoid the drama all together and try put out any fires before they start.
Having said all of the above, I look forward to having you as part of our awesome team – and to learning a thing or two from, about and with you.