By Kent Mulkey

Your confidence is on the upswing, so you decide to take the big step to advance your career in senior living. You have logged a few years and have seen some considerable results. After finding a reputable, household-name company, you decide to apply for a leadership position at one of their communities. Perhaps this is it – your big opportunity!

You send off your resume and cover letter, which for many is like dropping it into a mine shaft never to be seen again. But this time is different. You hear from their recruiter. She decides to “pass your name along”. In short, the process appears to be moving along smoothly, and the regional director said she just needs buy-in from one more person. She does not want to lose you between Friday and Monday. She will call you Monday.

Monday comes and goes. Silence. Most of Tuesday comes and goes, then just before 5:00pm you get the dreaded email – “we have decided to go in another direction.” Yes, she took the easiest way out, but makes the excuse that she has been on the phone all day (but carves out no time to call you). She says she will call you the next day. Nothing. Ever. Again.

Make Your Inside Match Your Outside                                               

Here is the moral of the story: there is a shortage of experienced talent in senior living and to be treated so poorly from one of the largest senior living providers in the country is plain wrong.

It is not about whether you got the job or not. We do not win them all. It is about being treated with professional courtesy and respect. You are a professional and deserve the same regard as you treat the people on your team. It is called integrity, doing what you say you will do. Another way to say it is to be integrated, to be made whole. Your inside matches your outside.

We can say all day long that we have good intentions. But that does not play well when we say one thing yet do another. Recently I took an online survey that asked the respondent to rank, in order of “most important” to “least important”, 20 phrases. “Treating people as a number instead of a person” was one of the choices. I ranked it pretty low on the list, next to “betraying a friend.”

Certainly, you may be asking yourself if you would want to work for this hiring manager anyway. She showed her cards. Her priorities appear to be about getting things done over treating people like people.

The gift in this? You have been handed an important lesson: invest in people and give them the time it takes. Your to-do list can wait. There will be enough time to get things done.