Don’t let work bullies win
Pablo made an unsuccessful complaint about workplace bullying and then “found the situation untenable so I gave notice [and left on bad terms]”.
He writes: “What do I say when asked why I left my previous employer? Some advice was to leave the job off my resume. I fear that if I mention the issues I will be regarded as a troublemaker. Do I mention it up front or hope they don’t call [my former employer]?”
I feel for you Pablo but leaving your most recent job off your resume will create an unexplained gap and employers hate mysteries. Write, “Referees available upon request” on your resume so potential employers don’t call anyone without going through the interview process with you first.
Make sure you have strong and available referees from previous jobs to counter any negative comments from your last employer.
Prepare well for the interview so that you impress. When you do talk about the bullying use a positive, negative, positive style.
For example: “I am someone who is a straight shooter so I’ll be honest. I made an unsuccessful complaint about bullying and so I left. I’ve read that bullying can come down to wrong place, wrong time. I’ve had very positive experiences in my previous roles so I’ve decided to put it behind me. I work well in environments that focus on collaboration, results and respect. From what I’ve researched, your culture sounds like that.”
Make sure you do that research. Play around with a few variations of this script until you find something honest and positive to say. Next week, some tips from the author of the book, Bully Blocking At Work.
Ask Kate also appears weekly in 100 News Ltd newspapers.