Ask Simply Hired: Commuting, Cookies and Insomniac Bosses

At Simply Hired we come across many questions from job seekers, from what to say to tough interview questions to how to know if you should quit your job. Here are answers to some of the common, and sometimes wacky, questions from job seekers.

How far is too far to commute?

The distance and time it takes to commute to a job is a personal preference. Some people won’t take a job outside of their city, while others are willing to drive from hours away and stay in commuter hotels each week. When you’re evaluating the commute of a potential new job, here are some factors to consider.

  • Are there reliable public transit options available? By taking public transportation you can use your commute time to get in some extra work or relax.
  • What is your tolerance for traffic? Don’t let an attractive salary fool you into thinking a commute is better than it is. If you get frustrated and impatient in traffic the joy of a high salary will wear off quickly, and you’ll resent the time taken away from family or hobbies.
  • How is your overall health? There is plenty of research indicating that even a moderate commute can take a toll on health. Although research is never “one size fits all,” if you are already prone to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or anxiety, you may want to look for a job closer to home.
  • Is working remotely an option? If you can successfully stay on track with your work from home (be honest) you might be able to handle a long commute if it’s only one or two days per week or if you can work flexible hours. If the job is otherwise a great fit, discuss this with the hiring manager when you negotiate your salary.

How can I become a fortune cookie writer?

Treat becoming a fortune cookie writer like you would any other writing job. Practice your writing by starting a personal blog or take freelance assignments from newspapers, magazines or established blogs. You can also look for more formal writer jobs to build your resume. Additionally consider networking at food and baking events to meet contacts in the fortune cookie industry. Good luck!

How can I find an office job if I don’t have experience?

If you don’t yet have work experience, use the term “entry level” in your job search to find jobs and add the word “office” to your search to eliminate non-office jobs. Internships are also an option that often don’t require previous experience.

How do you get hired on the spot?

Although walking into a company with a resume and being hired on the spot may have worked at some companies in the past, it is extremely uncommon in most industries today. Unless you’re looking for a job in retail or food service, almost all companies prefer that you apply online or by email and go through their formal hiring process. You can help keep the hiring process moving along by being responsive and flexible when scheduling interviews and providing requested items (like work samples) promptly. But beyond that hiring can sometimes take a long time, so do prepare yourself for a little bit of frustration.

How do you work for an insomniac?

Do you have a boss who contacts you at all hours of the day? Here are two strategies to tame your insomniac boss.

  • Clarify expectations. Perhaps your boss emails you because she prefers working late or odd hours,but she doesn’t expect an answer until the next day. If you’re not sure, then ask.
  • Set boundaries. Your boss may not know that it bothers you to be contacted late. Before setting a precedent of always responding to midnight emails, give your boss an idea of what to expect from your work habits. You can say, “I noticed you called me at 11:30 last night, but I’m usually asleep by 10. I just want to make sure you know that so you aren’t waiting on me for anything. Please leave me a voicemail if anything urgent comes up, and I’ll make sure to jump on that task first thing in the morning.”

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