Post-doc reference, part II

posted
27-Nov-19, 17:09
Avatar for Jamie_Wizard
posted about 2 weeks ago
I have an offer for a post-doc subject to references. The new institute has obtained academic/employment references from my previous roles, but also need one from my current role.

HR at my current institute is organised into two teams. Last week, I emailed my team requesting this reference and was told to get the new institute to contact them directly. The HR lady replying to the team email assured me she would handle it and wouldn't give out any confidential information other than my role and employment dates.

It has been a week and the new institute inform me that they haven't received the reference despite contacting them. It appears they are delaying providing this. Given the institute I'm applying to is highly competitive, I worry that this will jeopardise my chances of formalising the job. What can I do in this situation? I've contacted my HR team again this afternoon but still haven't heard back. I also worry this makes me look bad to the new employer :-(

What does one do in this sort of situation?
posted
27-Nov-19, 20:22
edited about 3 seconds later
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 2 weeks ago
Congratulations on job offer!!!!

Can you speak directly with someone in HR tomorrow and try and find out what the hold up is?
posted
27-Nov-19, 21:41
edited about 25 seconds later
Avatar for Jamie_Wizard
posted about 2 weeks ago
Thanks Tudor.

I called a HR manager at the close of play today, but they manage the second HR team. He did say he would chase it but it is worrying as tomorrow it'll have been 5 working days!
posted
28-Nov-19, 09:16
by eng77
Avatar for eng77
posted about 1 week ago
I know exactly how you feel. A typical HR behaviour. They usually think they have more important things to do. Just call him/her again tomorrow or so and be a bit "pushy". I do not think there is any bad intentions, but only careless behaviour.
posted
28-Nov-19, 09:36
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 1 week ago
I think all you can do here is communicate. Communicate with the prospective employers that the reference is on its way - there just seems to be some admin related hold up. And keep chasing HR!!!
posted
28-Nov-19, 11:50
Avatar for Jamie_Wizard
posted about 1 week ago
Thanks Eng, Tudor, you were right. It was just HR being slow and I kept hounding them this morning and it's all sorted.

I don't know why I get myself into such a frenzy of catastrophising, oh dear.
posted
28-Nov-19, 12:48
by eng77
Avatar for eng77
posted about 1 week ago
Quote From Jamie_Wizard:

I don't know why I get myself into such a frenzy of catastrophising, oh dear.

I have the same problem when something is very important to me, I feel bad and worried when others do not put it in their priorities. I know I am wrong but this behaviour might be caused from bad experience where things were slowed down by others to the limit that eventually were not done at all.
posted
28-Nov-19, 13:42
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 1 week ago
So cool that you now have a postdoc!!! I remember your thread from a few months ago when you were considering going for one. Congrats and I hope it is a rewarding experience!
posted
29-Nov-19, 11:18
edited about 26 seconds later
Avatar for Jamie_Wizard
posted about 1 week ago
Quote From Tudor_Queen:
So cool that you now have a postdoc!!! I remember your thread from a few months ago when you were considering going for one. Congrats and I hope it is a rewarding experience!


Thanks Tudor! I'm waiting on the paperwork now and so it will hopefully be a positive start to the upcoming new year!

How's things with you and your post-doc?
posted
29-Nov-19, 11:19
edited about 26 seconds later
Avatar for Jamie_Wizard
posted about 1 week ago
Quote From eng77:
Quote From Jamie_Wizard:

I don't know why I get myself into such a frenzy of catastrophising, oh dear.

I have the same problem when something is very important to me, I feel bad and worried when others do not put it in their priorities. I know I am wrong but this behaviour might be caused from bad experience where things were slowed down by others to the limit that eventually were not done at all.


I think I should move to a country like Germany, Switzerland or Austria where day-to-day things seem to be handled more efficiently (and their chocolate is pretty good too :-)
posted
29-Nov-19, 12:49
by eng77
Avatar for eng77
posted about 1 week ago
Quote From Jamie_Wizard:

I think I should move to a country like Germany, Switzerland or Austria where day-to-day things seem to be handled more efficiently (and their chocolate is pretty good too :-)

I am living now in one of these countries after spending reasonable time in the UK. Do NOT ever think of it. For a change for a year or so, it is OK. But you cannot imagine how bureaucracy here is. You cannot imagine paperwork and stamps. You can get 3 or 4 stamps on a single document. They worship rules and systems. They put rules over people. Even job reference system works differently. Some companies require a formal letter from your last employers evaluating your qualities. The letter is written in a "coded" way to say you are good, OK, or bad.
Another side remark, if there is a paradise on earth, it is the UK, a fact that I realised too late unfortunately.
posted
29-Nov-19, 13:03
edited about 4 minutes later
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 1 week ago
Quote From eng77:
Quote From Jamie_Wizard:

I think I should move to a country like Germany, Switzerland or Austria where day-to-day things seem to be handled more efficiently (and their chocolate is pretty good too :-)

I am living now in one of these countries after spending reasonable time in the UK. Do NOT ever think of it. For a change for a year or so, it is OK. But you cannot imagine how bureaucracy here is. You cannot imagine paperwork and stamps. You can get 3 or 4 stamps on a single document. They worship rules and systems. They put rules over people. Even job reference system works differently. Some companies require a formal letter from your last employers evaluating your qualities. The letter is written in a "coded" way to say you are good, OK, or bad.
Another side remark, if there is a paradise on earth, it is the UK, a fact that I realised too late unfortunately.


Couldn't agree more! I lived in Germany for a short while in my late teens and loved the efficiency and organisation and cleanliness etc. But on the flip-side the bureaucracy and the huge emphasis on hierarchy (Herr Doktor, bitte) put me off the idea of ever working there (especially in academia). I think the UK is a happy medium between the US and the rest of Europe in terms of those sorts of things. Move to the US and try and get a mobile phone contract and suddenly you'll think the UK is wonderfully efficient and organised!
posted
29-Nov-19, 13:06
edited about 28 seconds later
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 1 week ago
Quote From Jamie_Wizard:
Quote From Tudor_Queen:
So cool that you now have a postdoc!!! I remember your thread from a few months ago when you were considering going for one. Congrats and I hope it is a rewarding experience!


Thanks Tudor! I'm waiting on the paperwork now and so it will hopefully be a positive start to the upcoming new year!

How's things with you and your post-doc?


I recently started a new one - which is going well so far! I had to come back to the UK for personal reasons and so had to leave the first postdoc after only a few months, which was a bit of a let down as it was my *dream* position, dream mentor, dream lab etc etc. I think I'll do a good few postdocs though if I continue in academia, so will probably end up back there at some stage. Thanks for asking :) And congrats again!
posted
01-Dec-19, 19:29
Avatar for Jamie_Wizard
posted about 1 week ago
Congratulations on your new Postdoc. Sorry to hear you had to leave your role in the US. But, as you say, you can go back there in the future, when the timing is better for you. I can empathise with having circumstances, whatever they may be. Life can be a challenge.

The other week at my tennis club, one of our members had a cardiac arrest and I had to administer CPR. He's fine now thankfully, and just the other day I was able to tease him in hospital saying "well, that's one way of getting out of buying your round". So on this occasion we had a good outcome, but it really did make me realise how precious life is and how things can go very differently at pretty much every stage of our lives. All we can do is try our best and hope for the best.

Thank you again for your good wishes :-)
posted
06-Dec-19, 12:26
edited about 7 seconds later
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 5 days ago
Thanks Jamie-Wizard :) It can indeed, I remember your earlier posts.


Quote From Jamie_Wizard:

The other week at my tennis club, one of our members had a cardiac arrest and I had to administer CPR. He's fine now thankfully, and just the other day I was able to tease him in hospital saying "well, that's one way of getting out of buying your round". So on this occasion we had a good outcome, but it really did make me realise how precious life is and how things can go very differently at pretty much every stage of our lives. All we can do is try our best and hope for the best.


This is so true. I hope your friend is still doing it. A good job that you knew how to administer CPR. Hearing this makes me think I should brush up on my first aid skills. Life is precious. Try our best, hope for the best, and learn to enjoy every moment :)

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