Friday, February 21, 2014
A manager of a small business, who was obviously very busy as she was filling in for a shorthanded staff, told me that one of her employees had quit via a text before the shift was to start. Is this what can be expected of the new generation of workers? I don’t think the finer business schools are teaching students to avoid human contact. The cause may be due to a lack of business training or the product of informality that has beset the up and coming workforce. Either way the Millennial Generation will find a difficult way through their job searches until this form of communication is the norm.
The ability to text via a mobile phone has been available for the last 20 years although it has only recently hit its stride. Once standardized billing became available and texting became basically as free as a phone call, texting took off. In the last few years texting has become a common verb and replaced actual conversations. Jerry Seinfeld recently said, “Talking has become too much of an effort.”
Texting has availed us of the face-to-face confrontation and is seeping into the business world.
All of us have wanted to avoid an awkward conversation at one time or another. There are plenty of stories of love lives having ended via the text. But it’s not like your ex is going to be interviewed as to your qualifications as a companion. Well, maybe a dater’s resume does get around, but that doesn’t affect your livelihood. Some people will leave jobs on bad terms and then will list that job as a reference. One cannot expect a positive recommendation after quitting through a text.
How important are references to a job seeker? Very. References still play a big part in the application process. Most companies ask for character references and almost all ask for at least one contact from a former employer. And the fact that employers are asking isn’t just an empty question. They are checking with the contacts that are listed. According to a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), close to 90 percent of HR professionals do check references and found that a little more than 50 percent of candidates had provided false information.
Whether the barista gig isn’t working or you have a lousy boss, leave any job with professionalism. Even burned bridges have a way of rebuilding themselves and hurting your chances at that dream job years later.