should, I represent this cataclysmic but plum past job in my employment history? Way, way more within.
Some time after graduating college, I got a job as a program administrator at, let's call it, Harbor University-- the most prestigious university in the US and probably one of the most well-known in the world. This was in an extremely good-doing/service-minded field that I had no direct experience in-- different from any prior job experiences and different from my fairly useless college major-- but that I was very interested in / sympathetic to. The hiring process was very lengthy and competitive, and I was both surprised and ecstatic to be offered a job.
Without going into too many irrelevant details (would that AskMe were therapy in and of itself), it quickly became a disaster. These are two
AskMes on the topic that I wrote while blissfully (stressfully) employed, if you're interested in reading the Chronicles of Anonia. So anyway: I worked as hard as humanly possible but it became clear that there was a massive confluence of poor/conflicting communication and unrealistic expectations from my superiors, lack of relevant experience on my part, and poor matchup of my skills to the skills needed for success in this position. It was like the platonic ideal of 'poor fit'. I liked my coworkers, I liked my bosses (as people but not as managers), I liked the environment, I liked the amazing and highly influential work that I was supporting; but things were definitely going to seed fast. Long story short, I was given the option to quit instead of get fired after the institution's 90-day evaluation period. Because of this whole evaluation period protocol, I was not allowed to give two week's notice and had to leave immediately (sure seems like getting fired, huh?). The majority of the office was out the day I left so I saw barely anyone in person that day. Because of that it was hard to feel as though I left on good terms even though I was
on good terms with everyone in the office including my superiors. I wrote appreciative goodbye emails to everyone in the office with varying levels of explicitness vs. innuendo about why I was leaving, according to context, and received kind words from my younger colleagues and superiors but was a little hurt to receivecurt replies from most of the professors (my supervisors, who I had worked closely with and with whom I'd had very friendly, even jokey, relationships).
Anyway. Fast forward to now, ~9 months after I left that job. New city! Grad program! Things are way better. (And SURPRISE! Turns out I had major undiagnosed ADD before.) I'm a stipended grad student in an awesome program in a wholly different field, one which I was angling to go into all along (but had assumed, prior to the debacle, was years down the road). I'm already starting to gear into networking etc. mode, and I'm unsure how to approach this past job that imploded so very epically. I'm at the point where for a non-chronological resume it probably just wouldn't be relevant enough to make the cut. But what about a chronological one? Should I just avoid those at all costs? I do have a narrative in place-- right after I left, I was able to land an internship in Current Field and moved cities for that, so I typically frame this as sort of my Awesome Realization And Field-Switching Moment.
Also, I am making a LinkedIn profile. Should I include this job, and friend these people? The people I worked for at "Harbor" are incredibly influential and accomplished, and while they are in a different field they definitely have a wealth of connections that would still be relevant to me (there is a lot of commonality and lateral switching between fields that are oriented towards alleviating human suffering on a global scale as both these fields are). Is it weird if now, 9 months later, I'm like "hey, that whole job situation was kind of unfortunate, I know you know I'm a smart and good person nonetheless, I'm doing this other awesome thing that I actually rock at now, let's be professional contacts"? I don't totally know how to have the "so hey do you hate me?" conversation. Is it super-weird if I friend them but don't
include the job on my LinkedIn?
One thing that gives me pause with this whole thing is that because these people have their fingers in so many metaphorical pots, I'm worried that someone would say "oh, you worked with Professor X! he's terrific! ...let me give him a call" and that the story they would get would be an extremely sub-optimal one. On the other hand, I am still proud to have even gotten
this job and the cachet of the Harbor name is genuinely significant.
wow. super TLDR
: Epic job disaster; everything is hunky-dory now; can and should I salvage some professional benefit out of the past wreckage?