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Dear Abby 1/16

Dogged determination helps to get the job you want

DEAR ABBY: The letter from "Disappointed in Newport, Pa." (11/25/06), about people who don't do what they say they'll do, caught my eye. I can truly appreciate the frustration with the prospective employers who tell you they will get back to you within a week and then you hear nothing.
    However, in today's job market it is extremely important to take a proactive approach in your job search. After experiencing similar situations as mentioned by the writer, I decided I needed to "do my part" in the interview process. After an interview I would send a letter thanking the interviewer for speaking with me, etc. By doing this, I reminded the person of my name and qualifications.
    Also, please note that if you don't hear from the prospective employers within the specified time frame, it's OK to contact them and let them know you are still interested and available for any follow-up interviews or testing.
    In other words, no one ever got ahead sitting on his or her behind. If you want the job, show them you have the initiative. -- SHELLY IN LEESBURG, GA.
    DEAR SHELLY: When I printed the letter from "Disappointed," who felt her son and daughter had been unfairly treated by their prospective employers, it struck a nerve with readers on both sides of the desk. Read on:
    DEAR ABBY: The workplace has changed everywhere, and not for the better. Years ago, I was "let go" from a major company, but they gave me plenty of time to find a new job. My next job was with a company in Cleveland that had a reputation for sudden firings. Now every company fires people ruthlessly in the same way that the Cleveland company did.
    There is no respect for employees anymore — only fear that they might take revenge and damage company property. Companies now want fired employees out the door as soon as possible. -- RICHARD IN CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, OHIO
    DEAR ABBY: The professional courtesy train has left the station, and it's not coming back. I remember mailing out printed resumes and receiving a mailed response — if only to say, "We will keep your resume on file."
    Now, with the advent of job bulletin boards, e-mail and phone interviews, I'd interpret, "You'll hear from us in seven days" to mean, "If we really want to hire you, you'll hear from us in seven days. If you don't hear back, connect the dots!"
    What is perceived as lack of courtesy is really corporations embracing "efficiency" and "expediency." -- DEAN IN TAMPA, FLA.
    DEAR ABBY: As an employer, I would like to say that not all employers have trouble "giving bad news." It is part of our responsibility.
    However, it works both ways. Why don't employees give this same consideration to their employers? If they are unhappy in their job, why can't they let their employer know?
    I have had employees of more than 25 years just up and give two weeks' notice. Of course, they put in for vacation time during that period and really give only four days' notice. And this is after we have paid for their college education, professional training, bonuses, benefits and pay raises every year.
    As far as I'm concerned, courtesy should be a two-way street. -- DEBI IN HOUSTON
    DEAR ABBY: I, too, have been "wined and dined" during the interview process — and then nothing. Some labor lawyer friends informed me that lack of response is often the norm. No response means nobody can sue them for various kinds of discrimination. It's a sad development in our litigious society. -- JOHN IN ALAMEDA, CALIF.

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