Today, with great pleasure and excitement, we introduce a new feature to the Bud Fox News site: Human Resource Management Question of the Day, which, like our Financial Expression of the Day, will not actually be a diurnal posting (but we hope it will appear often enough that our readers will come to view it as indispensable, educational, and humorous weekly reading). Drawing upon our years of Wall Street experience, where we witnessed a War and Peace-sized catalog of unsuitable behavior ranging from the mundane and unimaginative backstabbing and account-stealing to the less common although clearly more creative ordering-up of call girls for on-site carnal stress relief in Conference Room 32A, we will field questions from our readers about how to navigate the nasty twists and turns of corporate life.
Without further ado, Ralph from Brooklyn checks in with our inaugural query:
Dear Bud Fox News: I had a good job in back office at a hedge fund until about 10 months ago when the fund shut down because our anchor investor cashed out. Since then, I’ve tried everything- networking, internet job postings, you name it. I’m starting to feel desperate, but I’ve got an interview for a decent job next week. The problem is that my girlfriend and I have planned a vacation to the Bahamas for the first week in July. Do you think I should tell my interviewer right at the beginning of our conversation that there’s no way I can work that week? My gut tells me that I should get this right out in the open.
Dear Ralph, You may not realize it, but you’re a natural. The giveaway wasn’t so much your nifty and impressive use of the phrases “back office” (the admin and support area where trades are “cleared” and records maintained) and “anchor investor” (the first big investor in a fund) but your question, which reveals “C-suite” (ie, CEO, CFO, CTO, COO, etc) intuition, and your gut here is right on the money.
By clearing the air at the very beginning of your interview, you’re doing two things that will distinguish you from the sheep and really impress any potential employer, videlicet, “managing expectations” and “managing upwards.” By divulging your holiday at the outset, you’re showing you belong because you’re already 1) helping your future boss (it’s almost a “lock” you’ll get hired with your “action-oriented” thinking and ability to steer the conversation to your advantage) strategize “around” scheduling, 2) conveying that you have good “work-life balance,” 3) displaying the ability to plan ahead, and 4) making it clear that you’re a serious and substantial person, made from promotable stuff, not a pushover or a lightweight. We on the Bud Fox News editorial board say, “Full steam ahead, Ralph!” Enter that meeting as if you belong there, “dialogue” confidently with your interviewer as if he were a colleague, and insist on getting that pesky vacation issue crossed off the agenda right up front. If you stick to your guns, we’re confident that no job will interfere with your vacation. Good luck.