Hi from my happy sabbatical. File this under “I should not have to say it, but here we are.” About six weeks ago, I had the opportunity to interview with an Irish tech company ahead of my move back to Ireland. Although I’m not hugely looking for work on this side of Christmas, a job is a job, right? And sure, what could go wrong, right?
Spoiler: It all went wrong. The interview process of this Irish employer was unprofessional enough that I feel the need to call out my experience. My call was with the CEO and owner of the startup, after a preliminary call from a HR staffer. The immediate topic of the call wasn’t my professional experience. Instead, the CEO grilled me over Six Months in the Hidden Kingdom, an August post where I talked about personal exhaustion and professional burnout. This particular CEO wanted me to reassure them that my sense of burnout wouldn’t affect me in any hypothetical future work. Never mind that I said in as many words “I’m burned out,” they wanted to hear that I wasn’t.
That was it. That was the entire call. We segued a little into more general mental health, but the CEO wanted to know that I could handle stress, that I could handle burnout, and that I wouldn’t buckle. Our call led to a (for some reason) a job offer, even though I knew nothing about the workplace, and they knew nothing about my professional work.
I should not have to say it, but here we are. If you’re a recruitment professional or employer, be that professional. As I made sure to note in my rejection, if my blog talked about (e.g.) LGBT community matters, you made it the primary topic, and then declined to offer me a role, I’d have good grounds for a discrimination case. Don’t make my personal life your professional hiring decision. Just don’t.
For me personally, my blog is almost fifteen years old. If you go back far enough, the topics range from
- running and races;
- the rise and fall of a marriage and relationships;
- awful dark mental health stuff that includes two suicide attempts;
- candidly dealing with the aftermath of domestic and relational abuse;
- and cats.
So yeah. If you read this and decided whatever, then whatever. If you read this and want to cite a post in a job interview, please pass on it.