2nd job jumpers ...former employer reference?

  1. Hello....

    For all of you sucessful nurses that changed careers, did you all list your former employers as references?

    I'm in the travel industry...and frankly sick to death of, as I heard it here put (and I love it) "sick of making people make their deadlines that are artificially imposed by greedy corporate fat cats". I feel it's a huge difference between complaining about one's health and complaining about receiving a center seat. Don't get me wrong, I feel this industry is a wonderful springboard for nursing....as I always need to have the adrenline rush for an "emergency" but the emergencies pale in comparison.

    I don't care to list my employers from this industry as my references...currently I've been employed here for 8 years and it's a large res type office with over 90 agents...frankly I don't feel my manager truly "knows" me and because of the low pay in this industry there's a ceiling to how much you can make..so instead of getting decent performance reviews...they nickel and dime you and make up petty stuff to keep you at your level.

    I used to have such dedication for my job b/c it was 'my' job...I'd work my tail off, overtime and all doing the best I could...but realized isn't wasn't worth it or appreciated, not by the clients or management...so I'd rather save my energy for where it will be....making a difference in patient's lives. I have to say I've completely lost the fire/passion for this...and lately I guess it shows...I do the minimum expected to get by to do my job and go home..and I HATE it. I hate going home everyday feeling worthless and knowing I'm not putting out my best...but my best would only stress me out needlessly for this industry..(esp now with the latest stipulations of not taking liquids on aircrafts..you can't believe the inane calls we get "what about wine?"...umm is THAT a liquid?...maybe they should take my chemistry class.)

    Anyway prior to here I worked from 1993 to 1998 in 3 different positions going back to 1 company twice. and prior to that I was with the other agency 9 years, so I do have loyalty, dependability when I see it's in both parties interest.

    The previous jobs though...I have no idea how to even reach the past managers (as all people in this industry, people move around a lot) and my one boss that would have given me a stellar recommendation passed away.

    Sooo although I have no problems with them calling past employers (I have nothing to hide) because it's a vast career change, I don't believe my current one would be my best champion (she has voiced that she's proud of my decision, but based on my last "average but not bad" review...it doesn't exactly paint what I'm capable of accurately) I'd rather not list them for my references but fear that may appear odd.

    I have a huge passion for nursing and feel I'd be an outstanding asset if I can be given that chance.

    Thanks for any advice as always.
    Last edit by Kitty Hawk on Aug 10, '06
  2. Visit Kitty Hawk profile page

    About Kitty Hawk

    Joined: Jun '05; Posts: 551; Likes: 217
    Hospice Case Manager; from US
    Specialty: 5 year(s) of experience in hospice, ortho,clinical review

    11 Comments

  3. by   Kitty Hawk
    Oh and sorry, but to clarify, I'm fully aware nursing will be filled with stress but like I said...I'm geared for that...but I feel it's worthless in this industry.

    I just didn't want to come off like I wasn't willing to deal with stress...but it's how and why the stress occurs that will make a difference, plus dealing with people face to face and getting to the root of why they're upset and diffusing it also is different.
  4. by   gr8rnpjt
    Kittyhawk,

    Being from Pittsburgh, I have a good guess as to who you work for now. Years ago I was married to a fleet service rep for that airline. I am sure your pride for your job has gone downhill with the demise of that company, and the industry as a whole.

    Perhaps you could take a part time job in healthcare while going to school, then you could use that as your reference.
  5. by   Kitty Hawk
    Hi there...

    No I'm a travel agent...not airline employee...though we have employed pretty much all those that have been left behind and frankly now when you call the res office for that airline...you get outsourced to Bangledesh or somewhere..they should be ashamed to call themselves US anything.

    I'm in a wonderful position of being able to quit and go to school full time hopefully fall of '07 if I can get in, thanks to my wonderful dh! So I really would rather concentrate my efforts on schooling since I won't "have" to work just yet.

    Since you're in Pgh could you also check my post in the Pa forum? Perhaps you can answer that one as well! So close I can see my future...now if I can just jump over these last few hurdles I'll be fine!

    Thanks again for the reply.

    oh and I won't be referenceless...I'll have great recommendations from my instructors and also church personnel...I just don't want to use work and wonde if anyone else succeeded in leaving that out.
  6. by   rach_nc_03
    I was in a similar situation- went into nursing after a number of years in the tech sector.

    When I was applying for my nursing assistant job just before my 2nd semester of nursing school, I asked an instructor if they would be a reference, and I listed two of my previous employers with the 'central' telephone information number for them- my old managers had long since flown the coop (same as in your industry), so there was no way i could find them. I also told this hiring manager that it would be difficult to find my actual former supervisors, but the HR dept. could verify my employment.

    So, I offered personal references- including a former coworker from one of my tech positions with whom i'd worked closely. I offered up five or six personal references, since the business refs were such a problem. If you're still in touch with any old coworkers, I'd try that. When I did HR for a LTC place, I did two things- verified employment (which went through the HR department at the prior employer), and actual reference checks- sometimes those were former supervisors, sometimes coworkers, sometimes long-time friends.

    Another idea would be to list people you've been involved in volunteer organizations with- especially if you were involved specifically in some sort of project with them. Or perhaps a church contact, if you've been active in some project there.

    The bottom line is that, IMO, most employers will be okay with other types of references instead of the 'past three supervisors' they usually request. Frankly, with so many people coming into nursing from high-turnover careers- and the geographic mobility most people have these days- i think only a minority of people could actually find contacts for previous supervisors in another industry.

    One thing I would advise, though, is if you do any of the things I mentioned above, make sure the person actually *checking* your references understands, not just the hiring manager.
  7. by   Kitty Hawk
    Thanks Rach NC for such a thoughtful reply!

    I've only worked for two of the "big dogs" now, and my other 9 year job...so they'll have the HR depts. But the others...the one agency since he passed away is now defunct and the other one is a mom/pop so 10 years ago..may not even remember me! There's actually 2 more that were before my 9 year job but since we're talking 1983, I usually am able to omit without a problem...I graduated in 1982 and went to travel school right away and then a holiday job at a department store...then travel...but since I had "steady" employment for 9 years I was told I don't need to list every pop stand I've worked at, as employers are mostly looking for reliability.

    As I re-edited in my other post...I do have great instructor referrels who know I work my tail off and my church...so I'm hoping this school that only wants 2 "preferably" 4 I'll give them 4....but just not here...and if I can get into this school, I'm hoping my academic record with them will then speak for itself so I can get a job within their hospital system.

    Anyway that's how I'd like the plan to go....but as it goes...we plan, God laughs...although since he's my main backer on this one....tbc....we shall see.
  8. by   TheCommuter
    I worked at a paper products factory for three years prior to becoming a nurse. More specifically, I helped make tissue paper and paper towels at a fortune 500 company.

    To answer your question, I have always included this company in my resume since three years is a huge part of my employment history due to my age. Nurse managers usually have hired me on the spot without even bothering to call the paper products company for a reference.
  9. by   nanay
    hi kittyhawk,

    cant give you any advice yet as im still a nurse student but just want to say hi to my fellow travel agent.

    ive been working in a travel agency also for about 10 years now. and at the same time taking up nursing classes (3rd year level )

    and since this is my first post, would like to say hi also to everybody!
  10. by   colleennurse
    I worked for a phone company for almost 6 years prior to becoming a nurse. I certainly included it on my resume just so HR or the nurse manager interviewing could see that I had been working. They will want to know what you were doing for all those years. However, I just listed them as my previous work experience and then with my resume had a separate attachment for personal references. I did ask 2 of my managers/supervisors to be a personal reference, but they did know me and my work ethics/ability. The only thing they did was call the company (HR) to verify that I indeed did work there. Usually applications ask your last 3 jobs. Good Luck!
  11. by   Kitty Hawk
    Thanks all for the replys.

    I guess I wasn't too clear, I will list my previous employers...that's no problem...even the ones that I worked for that have gone belly-up (recently)...however I'd have no phone contact for them...but I think in this business just the nature of it...it's expected for that to happen. However since I am older, I don't think I need to list before 1984 esp since they're smaller and no longer in business...unless the employer/school would want no gaps from highschool to the first 'real' job.

    I just don't want to list them as my 'references' as in when you go into nursing school they want someone to write all about me and 'recommend' whether or not they agree that I'm a good candidate...I just don't care to put that kind of power in present boss's hands! I have my instructors and my church, I was just wondering if that was enough or if I would be questioned now (nursing school app) or down the line (actual hosp job) why I'm not listing an employer to 'rate' me.

    Sorry for any confusion, but thanks for the help/advice.
  12. by   fgoff
    Hey! Best of Luck in Nursing!

    In a past job I interviewed people. On eon the prep task that did prior to the interview was to reveiw the work record on the application. If there was a large gap between jobs I always asked about how that time was spent. So if you leave 8 years of your work record off the appication it could raise a red flag.

    It might be better to list it as work history & if there is a box that ask "Can we contact?" check no & explain your reasons.

    I liked to what was said about listing only corperate numbers or maybe human resourse numbers.

    I hated calling a number to speak to someone only to be told that they where no longer there.
  13. by   nursemike
    I think personal references should be entirely adequate for school. They're looking for good character, not necessarily a good employee.

    As for future nursing employers, did you murder anybody at a previous job? Because that might be held against you. Of course, you'll have to clear a criminal record search to get licensed, so if you do get licensed, no one will likely ask whether you murdered anybody.

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