“If a recruiter does not meet with you in person or virtually before sending you to an employer, that’s a red flag that he or she may not be doing the best job possible to match you appropriately with the right jobs and employers. Other recruiters will practice this and properly vet you before sending you off to the wolves.“
There are ways to handle encounters with each of these people and situations. It won’t do you any good to follow their examples, as it could end up hurting you in the end. It’s best to be as transparent as possible and also know what you can do to manage these situations for the sake of your career and your sanity. Here’s how to deal with various types of professionals, should they be untrustworthy:
Recruiter. There are many recruiters out there, and it is hard to distinguish between the bad and the good. Some recruiters present opportunities candidly to you, while others are more secretive about the job and prospective company. This may not be their fault, because many employers will not allow them to disclose the name of the hiring firm.
However, the recruiter should be able to give you a clear picture of the job, so you can decide if it’s a good fit and use of your time. Do not be afraid to ask questions about the job. You may not get all the answers, but you should get enough so that you feel comfortable going into an interview.
If a recruiter does not meet with you in person or virtually before sending you to an employer, that’s a red flag that he or she may not be doing the best job possible to match you appropriately with the right jobs and employers. Other recruiters will practice this and properly vet you before sending you off to the wolves.
Interviewer. Once you are interviewing for a job with the employer – whether it’s with a member of the human resources team or a potential boss or peer – you want to put your best foot forward.
If the discussion turns sour and you lose confidence in the person, that’s a sign that it may not be the best place for you to work. Keep the conversation as positive as possible, and exit with style. Answer the questions, smile, and thank them at the end. Responding in kind to commentary that you find offensive could turn ugly for you, and you want to retain the upper hand and remain kind, because first impressions last forever.
Hiring manager. If you’re interviewing or negotiating with the person responsible for the final hiring decision, tread lightly. If you get the feeling that they are untrustworthy, this should be a red flag. Don’t take it lightly – consider carefully what may be going on and whether it’s something you could handle if you would be working under that person. Again, as with any interviewer, you want to be honest. Don’t try to play his or her game, too, or you could end up losing.
It’s fine to tell hiring managers if you think an offer is not reasonable based on your qualifications, but you must have the facts to back it up. The more substantive evidence you can use in your negotiation, the better.
Boss. It is the sad reality that some bosses are untrustworthy. If it’s a minor issue, you may choose to deal with it by simply going about your business. You may engage with senior staff for guidance or figure out how to do your job while keeping your boss informed as necessary.
A major distrust issue is difficult to repair, and you might consider transferring or finding another job if it’s something you cannot handle. If you ever feel that something your boss is doing is dangerous or unethical, you can approach the legal staff or human resources. However, don’t expect all information to be kept private. Theoretically, and according to the policy of most firms, it should be, but that’s not always how it is in practice.
Co-worker. We’ve all had a colleague at one time or another who we couldn’t trust. Some send vicious emails and copy bosses and co-workers as a form of blackmail. Others tell rumors and stories behind others’ backs to get ahead.
Whatever it is, try to deal with the person directly. Explain that you respect your co-workers and expect the same of them. Ask them to directly address you with any problems they have with you and your work. If the problem persists, you may want to involve your boss or human resources. Again, don’t expect everything to remain private, no matter what the company policy states.
It is unpleasant to deal with untrustworthy people both inside and outside the office, but it’s a fact of life. Do your best to keep each situation civil and positive so that you are not implicated. If things escalate or get out of your control, consider who you can talk to in order to moderate.
At some point, if you’ve tried your best to combat it, and it’s causing you undue stress, it may be time to move on. We cannot easily change people, but we can change our outlook and our environment.
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