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No Thanks, I Don’t Want to Work For You…

A 30-something is in the middle of a job interview. The hiring manager is excited about the young man sitting in front of him.

From the hiring manager’s point of view, the interview is going very well. He has laid out the requirements, is satisfied that the candidate has good qualifications and equally as important, he seems to be a good fit for the group

The young man pauses and stops to think and then says,

“Thank you very much for your time today. I am very grateful but from my perspective this interview is over.”

The hiring manager is completely taken aback. “What do you mean?

The candidate continues, “I like your company, but you just finished telling me how many long hours you work. I have no objection to long hours when they are needed to complete a project. You also just finished telling me about how you miss spending enough time with your family.  I am looking for a company whose leadership is committed to work/family balance. So while I appreciate your time, I think we are not a good fit.”

Dumbfounded, the hiring manager said goodbye. Initially, he was furious. How dare that kid tell me anything about running a business. After discussing the event with a few others, he started to think seriously about the candidate’s point of view.

There are a lot of reasons why the best and brightest may not want to work for you. Check out this article by (one of my favorites) David Meerman Scott called, “How to Build a Crappy Workforce.”  Perhaps you’re not scrambling for talent yet but you will be and if you think changing your culture now is difficult — imagine what it will be like when the economy is back full steam.





Image credit: Fast Company

3 Responses
  • Robin Taney
    January 19, 2012


    This is so true. Although I am much older than a 30-something, I have worked many places that fit into this category. However, I think it’s important that people (especially recent college grads) not take this mentality to such an extreme that they brand themselves a spoiled brat who can’t take a little heat. Working long hours and with difficult people is a great way to build skills and determine what your passion/priorities are.

    I laughed when I read David Meerman Scott’s blogpost. At my last job, which claimed to be the leading provider of digital technology, the company president banned employees from having access to social networking during work hours and refused to consider having a company Facebook or Twitter account. Yet, he only wanted to hire recent college grads. He acted like a crazed dictator (e.g. throwing chairs when he was angry) and then would get drunk with employees during happy hour. It was a very hostile work environment and one I am extremely grateful to be out of, but in the current job market, those 30-somethings are willing to take anything just to have a job and gain experience.

  • Deborah
    January 19, 2012

    Robin, thanks for your comment and for your point about people becoming ‘spoiled’ and not wanting to work in an environment that ‘challenges’ them to grow. With 4 generations at work in many organizations, the opportunity for missed communication increases greatly.

    The reason I wrote this post was specifically for these confused, mixed messaging execs who claim one thing and then behave in a completely different (unproductive) way. I wish I could say that I never heard about CEO’s ‘shutting down’ social at work. When I speak to groups of execs or HR I suggest that they might want to rethink that policy since people can still access these services through their phone, and by limiting access you are not building trust with employees. Furthermore, you limit the positive effects of employees as sales people and brand ambassadors and on and on. Just a bad business decision. They are afraid of losing ‘control’ — I tell them– you don’t have control!
    I’m very glad you are out of that terrible work environment. No one deserves that kind of nuttiness!

  • Ed
    December 15, 2014

    That seems to be a problem with millennials. They aren’t willing to work hard to achieve greatness. They all believe that the world owes them a favor for just existing. The things that these millennials enjoy were only accomplished through sacrifice and hard work. They don’t realize that an entire generation gave up much in order to have what we have now. If you want to succeed, you need to put in not just the work, but extra work! Mediocrity is no longer a viable objective!

    What do you think?

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