View Full Version : What do you do about work references?

01-20-16, 01:55 AM
I'm wanting to change jobs, but I'm having trouble at work, so I don't have great references. I've been with the same agency for about 10 years. I've survived because they let me change tasks and job sites and work part-time. I'm bottom of the totem pole for sure, but there's a shortage of people in my field, and I'm out on the road and people don't exactly know what I do, so I've gotten by. I feel like I can't take the exhaustion of going place to place, and keeping track of all the tiny details in the paperwork, or plan/ remember all the things I need to do. I'd like to try something else, or even just get into place with a desk, so when I lose something I have a 4 foot radius to search, not a 100 mile one! The problem is that my work... leaves something to be desired. It's the bare minimum and some would even dispute that. I go late all the time. I am awkward and can't make friends at the job site. I generally half-a** things. My co-workers think I'm lazy/ slacker/ don't care about my job.... Yet I go home at the end of the day totally drained, exhausted, miserable, crabby.
I got a side job where they didn't check any references because I was referred to them. I was hoping that would turn into a real job, but I have screwed things up royally and it's not gonna work out there, either.
What do I put for references?

Supposed to be a question, turned into a epic rant.

01-20-16, 11:46 AM
A couple things you can do:

1) Though your coworkers may not see what you do, I'm sure you've had positive impact with some people out there (e.g. clients). Are there any people out there who would write you a good professional reference even if they're not your colleagues or employers?

2) Volunteer. Great references, plus it's good on a resume to demonstrate that you can maintain a good work ethic when there's no paycheck on the line. And for me, at least, it was easier to maintain that good work ethic when positive reinforcement was my "paycheck" rather than money.

3) Network. You were referred to your most recent job. Any chance you can work connections to find your next?

4) Treatment. If you're still struggling that much, perhaps there are changes you can make to lessen the impact ADD has on your work. This can be medication, or it can be about finding a different type of work environment. For me, I function better when I'm actively working with a team. Helps keep me on task and accountable.

Hope some of these suggestions are helpful!

01-20-16, 03:18 PM
I had a colleague leave the company I work for and her new employee called one of the managers for references. That guy absolutely hated her (as did pretty much everyone else), so he just refused to say anything; he just said that he didn't get the chance to work with her too much. Other colleagues said they would have given her good references though, because everyone deserves another shot, maybe she needs the job desperately etc. My advice would be to ask a nice co-worker for references; even if you don't have a great reputation, some people might still want to help (at least so they'll get rid of you in a nice way). But you have to be very careful who you ask though.

01-23-16, 06:35 PM
Lots of good ideas!! Thanks!! I want to see about changing my work environment, because that seems to help, and possibly some treatment changes or look into some assistive-tech solutions to some of the things that are at the heart of some of the problems with coworkers and my motivation/ stress levels. There are some people at my work sites that maybe would help me out. Networking might work too, I'll keep trying there, too.