Playing the waiting game

Q: I went for an interview with a company four weeks ago and they said they would get back to me by the end of the following week. I haven’t heard a dicky bird since. I’m getting anxious, even though I don’t have anything else on the horizon. Should I contact them? I don’t want to feel like I’m harassing them either. (PL, email ).

A: In my experience, recruitment takes a long while in Ireland. Every company seems to promise that they will get back to you “by the end of the following week”, but it often takes a lot longer. At this time of the year, there are a lot of bank holidays which often slow up the process further.

In many companies, recruitment is somewhat of an afterthought, something that they can shoehorn in before or after work some morning or evening if they get a chance. I’m not sure if that applies in the case of this company, but if it does, it may explain the delay.

Would I contact them? Yes, I would at this stage. While you know you have nothing else on the horizon, they don’t know this. For all they know, you could be pursuing a number of career options at the moment.

Career change is challenging, and you are entitled to get an update.

I would send them a very simple email saying that you are just checking up on the progress of the recruitment process. Let them know that you are very interested in the position and that you look forward to hearing from them. Be pleasant and reiterate your interest in the position.

There is no need to attach another CV or cover letter. This isn’t a second application, but you can make sure that your contact details are written clearly under your sign off so that there will be no confusion over how to get in touch with you. It may also be important to show your consideration; explain that you understand they are busy people and may not have got around to recruitment yet. In this way, you make it easy for them to reply, even if the answer is not the one you’re hoping to hear.

I understand your unease over the situation, but there really is no harm in sending a polite and considerate email. Nevertheless, there is no harm in sending a polite and understanding email. I wish you the best of luck.

From frying pan to fire

‘Frying pan into the fire’ syndrome is very common in the world of career change.

To go from one unfulfilling job or career to another can have the impact of prolonging the agony. My advice would be to hold tight until something more exciting comes along – or, if the exactly right job isn’t looming, try to find one that, at least, reduces the level of angst / boredom you’re currently experiencing. You can even take a step backwards into a less challenging job as a safe harbour to get you out of your current job.

Faraway hills are always far away: they’re not always green. Don’t allow your desire to leave prevent you from assessing where you’re thinking of going.

Sli Nua Careers ( ) have offices in Galway (Patricia Maloney, 091 528883 ), Mayo (Ballinrobe and Claremorris ), Limerick, Tullamore, Sligo, Tralee and Cork. Their services include CV preparation, interview training, job-searching strategies, public speaking and presentation skills, and career direction. For more details, visit


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