Episode 381: Doing less and bad reference


In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions:

  1. My company is doing performance reviews. While writing my self-review, I was shocked by how much I had accomplished in the last 6 months. I’d led our org to adopt multiple new technologies and supported other teams in adopting them, to great effect. But looking back, I wish I could trade half the accomplishments on my self-review for time spent taking better care of myself and my partner and kids. I’m not working crazy hours; I work a pretty regular 40hrs per week on a flexible schedule (with 3 young kids, this is, in fact, a crazy schedule). I’m on track for the promotion from senior to staff, maybe in this cycle, and I’m wondering: would it be crazy for me to propose that I stay in the senior pay band, and start working 4 days a week?

    I’ve also considered scheduling personal time during the day. But I know I’ll be fighting an internal work-time-clock forged by years of cortisol flow. What’s your advice for lightening up a lead foot?

  2. A listener named Aisha says,

    6 months ago I quit my first job out of college. It was a very toxic and hostile workplace. I sucked it up for almost 3 years, but it got so bad that I had to quit my job without another lined up (yikes, I know).

    I was a great employee, and was always given excellent performance reviews. After giving my boss plenty of notice, I asked if I could use him as a reference and he said yes.

    It’s been a struggle finding another job. I’ve submitted hundreds of applications, reviewed my resume with mentors, and attended workshops for interviewing skills, but nothing helped.

    Out of sheer desperation, I had a friend pretend to be a future employer and call my boss asking for a reference. As I suspected, he was providing a bad reference that included outright lies about my work ethic and me as a person. I have no idea why he would do this.

    I am at a loss of what to do. The obvious thing to do it not include that job on my resume, but without it I basically have zero experience and a large gap between graduating and now. :(

    I have contacted some of my old team members if they could be a reference instead of my boss, but none have gotten back to me as of yet weeks later. Please help! What do I do?

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