A quick thought on references.Â How much have you vetted your references?Â I am not talking about your best friend or favorite teacher.Â How did you get along with your former supervisor?
Here isÂ a â€œreal-lifeâ€ example.Â Prospective employer calls former employer and asks for employment verification and whether this person was a good worker.Â The manager who picks up the phone, after listening to the question, responds, â€œWho?â€Â That is that.
I love the investment caveat, â€œpast performance is no guarantee of future success.â€Â And every HR and hiring manager does everything they can to try and use past performance to gauge potential, futureÂ success.Â And checking references is one of them.
You need to check first and that includes your credit record.Â If you have a criminal background, or anything that resembles questionable behavior in the past, get it out front.Â Some have suggested not mentioning anything and hoping for the best, but I say, get it out front.Â Of course, this is a judgment call.Â
On a side note, as I understand it, companies are not allowed to deny employment because an applicant has had a bankruptcy.Â If you have a very good reason for it, and everything is going well, perhaps it might beÂ better for the prospective employer to find out on their own.Â Once they find out (and they will), then you can explain it.Â It is a judgment call.Â
My only point is, bad news is not like fine wine (and I know fine wine), it will not get better with age.Â In fact, most fine wines will not get better with age, least of all, bad news.
And there is this notion that employment laws prevent employers from spilling the beans to the prospective employers.Â Maybe, but I am thinking that one giving his opinion to another in a private conversation is probably allowed. Plus, the prospective employer is not going to call you and say, â€œHey, talk to Jill where you used to work and she says that you are a schmuck and not to hire you, so we decided not to.â€Â You are not going to know where the bad reference came from.Â All that said, I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice (thank goodness).
The reality is that when an applicant does not make a cut, or the cut, there is no further contact.Â If youÂ have made it pastÂ a level or two and then inexplicably have no contact for a month, chances are that a bad reference did you in.
So, double check your references and make sure there are no surprises.Â And here is the most critical part, leave on good terms.Â Whether you are fired, laid off, or quit â€“ leave on good terms with your direct supervisor and the people you work with.Â If that is not possible, if bad bloodÂ was spilt,Â so be it -Â but understand that it could come back to haunt you.
Do not let all your hard work be sabotaged by a bad reference.Â Stay on top of it.