If any of these scenarios sound familiar, you are not alone:
* I was promised benefits after three months; it is now four months later and my manager keeps giving excuses and postponing the sign up date.
* I was told there would be very little travel, yet I’m on the road 50% of the time.
* I was promised a collaborative work environment and I am not invited to any of the group meetings.
* I was told that if I reached my quota I’d get a 10% quarterly bonus and now they’re changing the terms of my contract but won’t pay me my previously earned bonuses.
* My manager promised that I could work remotely two times a week after we established trust and had a good routine going, but it is six months out and he still says he’s not ready for remote work, yet offers no reasons.
In all of these cases the agreements were verbal and the job candidate trusted the hiring manager at their word.
In none of these cases were the terms puts in writing!
If you relate to any of these troubling and disappointing scenarios and also made your agreements only verbally, I want you to learn this lesson NOW!
1. Put all employment agreements in writing. Include specifics on deliverables and include specific dates.
2. In the agreement, establish that there will be regular meetings where you get feedback and also have a chance to build real trust and get to get to know one another
3. Then, if you have things in writing and they are not honored, you have a strong case with which to go to your HR person or HR department.
Additionally, if things were put in writing but your supervisor and the company are just not honoring them, you need to think long and hard about your choices going forward. You may have invested three months, six months, even a year in a company where they are not acting honorably but it might be well worth your while to just cut your losses and look for a new job.
You also need to carefully think through how you will explain your departure from an employer whom you stayed with for a short period of time and opted to leave. Remember, it is never wise to say negative things about a past employer so it is a tough balancing act. You want to be honest but you don’t want to show any blame or negativity. Your explanation needs to be very well thought out and carefully planned. If it were the travel problem you might simply say: “My last position required more travel than my work/balance allows. I prefer a job where I am in the office 90% of the time.” Or, if it were about working from home, “My situation is such that I prefer to work at home two days a week and am looking for a position that can accommodate that.”
Try to leave out any negative comments about your past employer.
You will come out of the situation a lot wiser and a lot more savvy about researching the integrity of your company and the managers, and making sure to put agreements in writing with all the relevant specifics included.