Q: I walked out of a job and didn’t give any notice. I didn’t cause a scene or insult anyone. I simply had a lot of things going on in my personal life, burned out, and reacted in a way that I shouldn’t have by walking out of a good job. I just took all of my belongings, got up, walked to my car, then drove home. I never contacted them in any way, shape, or form, and I never responded to any of their correspondences.
Do I have any chance of being rehired?
A: It’s pretty unlikely. People burn out, and that’s not something a reasonable employer would hold against you. It’s the leaving with no notice at all and then refusing to respond when they tried to contact you. They were probably really worried, and mystified, and frustrated. It’s going to be tough to come up with an explanation that will get them past the “but why didn’t you at least let us know you were okay?” piece of this, and even if you tell them something that somewhat puts that to rest, they’re going to be concerned about the same thing happening again in the future.
Q: Have I lost my follow-up chances?
I had a question regarding following up and I am getting mixed advice from everyone, so I decided to ask you to be the tie-breaker. I had an interview on Monday and they hit me with “You should be hearing from us by the end of the week to set up a second interview.” I shamefully forgot to ask for a business card or contact email, so all I have is one of the interviewer’s numbers. So here are the reactions:
Me: I want to follow up, but if I call I will seem stalkerish. If I mail a card, their mail room is so busy they may not get it until next week.
Friend: Welp! I’ve been told that before and they never called. Wait until Monday to call so you don’t look desperate.
Boyfriend: If they don’t call you by Wednesday, then move on. No need to follow up.
Mom: Call them Wednesday. (Then she proceeds to send me multiple articles about the need to follow up.)
I don’t know what to do because I know how annoyed I am when I get a bothersome call while at work. The interviewer was not from HR; she is the direct supervisor of the department so I am sure she is very busy! I was thinking of leaving a voice mail before she made it to work so as to not interrupt her. But she arrives at 7 a.m. so calling at 6:30 a.m. seems a little weird too.
So what do you think? Are phone calls okay? Have I lost my “follow up” chances?
A: Don’t call to follow up at this point, and definitely don’t do it at 6:30 a.m. If you look around their website and find any email address for someone at the company, you may be able to figure out your interviewers’ email addresses by following the same general format (for example, firstname.lastname@example.org, or FirstInitialLastName@company.com or whatever).
If that doesn’t work, then once it’s been a week past the point they said they’d contact you, at that point I suppose you can call to say that you were hoping for an update on their timeline, and apologize for calling but you realized you didn’t have email contacts for any of them. (I’m saying “I suppose” because it pains me to direct you to call instead of emailing, but in a case where you truly don’t email and it’s past the time they said they’d be in touch, it’s not a terrible crime.) I might call around 6 p.m. when she’ll probably be gone for the day (given her early arrival time) and just leave a voicemail.
Alternately, you could scratch all of the above and just call their main number and say, “I interviewed with Valentina Mulberry recently for the X position and wanted to email her about next steps but realized I don’t have her email address. Could you give it to me so I don’t need to bother her with a phone call?”