Am I overreacting or is this totally illegal/wrong?
August 21, 2013 9:30 AM Subscribe
The new job I applied for called a work reference I did not authorize and I got a bad review. Should I leave this entire job off my resume? Bonus general career anxiety/issues inside!
posted by themaskedwonder to work & money (28 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Hey, MeFites - me again.
Was wondering if y'all could help me parse this situation, a bit.
I'm a mid-twenties female and I work in a niche-y sector of the entertainment industry. I'm not really looking to leave my job - I'm secure and relatively content - but I saw an opportunity with a high-profile name attached to it and decided to apply for the hell of it. I went through the motions and seemed to be doing fine, but I hit a snag yesterday during the process.
The hiring manager told me yesterday that she called someone from the last job I worked at, and that person had given me a bad review. I find this puzzling because she asked me for a list of references, and called none of those (she did tell me that the person she called was specifically NOT the person I had authorized.)
She told me the bad review "raised red flags" for her. I admit that I had an absolutely terrible, miserable time at my former job and that I did not get along with my colleagues there. It was a *very* big name show, and I guess I couldn't swim with the fishes. Ok. But was it okay for this place to just call their contact at my former job, even though it wasn't the person I listed? (BTW, I had cleared with MY reference that she would be comfortable giving me a good recommendation. Maybe out of pity, but whatever.)
In any case - the hiring manager offered me the job, anyway, despite her warnings that she couldn't be tasked to "babysit" someone and that she needed a "strong woman." I don't think I'm going to take it for various reasons, including the fact that the pay isn't high enough for the added stress factor (and not enough for me to leave my comfortable job), and the role is not exactly in the creative direction I want to go in my career - but this has weighed heavily on me. And I'd be lying if I said it didn't push me to the side of not taking it.
It has shaken my already-fragile confidence. I thought I was over that terrible experience, but now I feel like it is going to define the rest of my career.
To be honest, I had a very hard time at my (really prestigious...ugh, I sound like an ass writing that) university - depression/anxiety, etc. - and then a very difficult time in the workforce up until now. I know it's kind of a problem if I can't handle high-pressure situations if I want to work in entertainment, but it's the only thing I've ever wanted to do. I'll accept if it ends up never working out in the long run, I guess, but this recall of the bad job triggered a bunch of terrible memories of my failure to perform, even going back to childhood. Ugh.
The problem is - I want to move up and make more money, and I know that means more stressful positions, usually. I'm not sure if I'll ever get far enough in this career because of my issues, and that frightens and depresses me. I'm scared that I'm only staying in my current role because I'm afraid of taking on anything more challenging - and potentially more lucrative.
I guess...my question is two-fold.
1) Should I leave this job entirely off my resume? It was a bad experience but I know the "brand" name gets me callbacks. Also, I was there for around 7 months so it'd leave a pretty big gap.
2) I want to move up in this career. (My current job is great, and I like it, but I know I'll never make money if I stay in this position.) How can I do it if I have a thin skin? I'm not willing to go down without a fight. Therapy, assertiveness training, meds? I'm down for everything.
Thanks - I hope that made sense!