Working in the USA #4
Quitting your job (’cause the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.) (Or not)
You adapted your résumé, US style, you went through the interview process and you finally got your first job in Big Apple. Yay! However, after a couple of months, the fairytale ends and you start noticing some “minor cons” working for the company. (I.e. that coworker you (use to?) like apparently was born without arms nor legs, since you haven’t seen him do anything by himself. Ever. Not even picking up that piece of paper he asked you to get from the floor (but as you can see, eyes and voice are perfectly fine, thanks!)
I won’t go into further details, let’s just say that the
passionate relationship you had with your job starts to fall apart and you are seriously thinking about running away looking for something else.
You’re going to update your résumé, ’cause you experienced and learned so much since last time, there will be some improvement involved. Here are a few things that may be useful:
- Get ready to answer the inevitable “it has only been X months, why would you leave your job already?” (Oh, and stay clear from the “’cause I am working for idiots, that doesn’t seem to be an acceptable answer.) (God knows why!)
- Beware of the too-intelligent websites that kept all your info from the previous job search and will reuse it automatically… with all the old and irrelevant info. Of course.
- If that happens, pray they implemented a “cancel” button. And if they did they didn’t, curse a little bit and try to get in touch with the HR person on LinkedIn.
- Double check all your previously entered info, including phrases, spelling and forgettable cases you had to check: you’ll find interesting things, believe me*! (You learned a lot, remember?)
- Be ready to be asked not how much you want, but how much you are currently making! (And by “be ready” I of course mean “be ready to lie”.)
- Be psychologically ready for change, because if they need you, it’s probably going to be super-fast.
- NE-GO-CIATE. That’s THE thing I wish someone had told me about. It’s New York City, dog-eat-dog city, so if you got an interview, it means that you’re good. Stand up for yourself, and discuss every detail. Including notice and vacation (or should I say “especially notice and vacation”?)
- Stalk the HR person. Show him / her that you want the job and don’t forget about the indispensable thank you email, then the follow up email. Don’t let him /her go out of your sight because you may lose the guy forever.
- Finally, use the people you know. It’s a wild wild small small world baby, and nothing works better than a good network. (And try not to bitch about your former coworkers, you’ll for sure at some point meet the former manager of your ex-boss, who also happens to be his BF bae. True story.)
And one day, yay, you’ll get a job offer. Then, less yay, you’ll have to resign from the other job. Of course, there are some tricks I learned the hard way about:
- Usually, you’ll have to give a 2 weeks’ notice, any day of the week.
- Depending on the company, they’ll request a letter, an email, or just an oral notice. But knowing some of these people, I would go with a written + their signature. We never know.
- If you wanna play by the rules, you are supposed to work until the final day. However, you can leave the same day (if you don’t care about the references.)
- In the US, as a full timer, you get paid days off + vacay + sick days. Well, these days have to be used before you put your notice or they are lost. How fun, isn’t? (Of course, I learned about this stupid rule AFTER quitting. WHAT. A. JOKE!)
- If your spouse wants to change something in his/hers/your insurance, it’s now or never. You have 30 days to make the changes.
Finally, be patient, your last day will come faster than you think. And most importantly, enjoy, ’cause the fairytale won’t last for so long! Pretty soon, you’ll find some disturbing things about the new job as well.
And if it’s not bearable, scroll up to the top of this post and…. Do it again!! (Or try mega million!)
*You may think I over mentioned I learned a lot in a year, and here is why: I was super upset about a company I had applied to twice back in the day, without never hearing anything back. In the meantime, I had learned what “terminated” meant (I thought it meant that you quit your job). Of course, back then, I had checked the box “terminated” for all my previous jobs. EACH. OF. THEM. #EnglishIsNotMyMotherTonge
Félicitations Amy ! Mais on dirait que tu prête à faire du vélo sans les mains à NYC tant tu sembles de plus en plus à l’aise dans ton nouvel écosystème.
Peut-être un jour écriras-tu un guide de l’expatriation aux USA ?
Sympa comme tout cet article, quelle arnaque pour les jours de congés que tu perds si tu ne les prends pas avant de poser ta démission! TU m’as bien fait rire avec la case “terminated”, voilà un beau faux-ami de la langue française!
C’est toujours une belle aventure que d’aller vivre à l’étranger ! BRAVO!
Merci pour ton message et pour la visite! A bientôt!