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Your Office Coach

Each Wednesday, nationally syndicated workplace columnist Marie G. McIntyre, Ph. D., answers your “in the trenches” workplace questions on everything from team-building to getting a raise to dealing with difficult people.

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Question:  “I am the public relations director for a group of radio stations. Out of the clear blue, we were bought by a wealthy television entrepreneur who has no experience in radio. I immediately e-mailed him a brief overview of my background, to which he replied in a positive and professional way.  However, I’m concerned about my future. Can you offer any suggestions for enhancing my visibility and promoting my importance with the new owner?” — Newly Acquired

Question: “I am a single mother raising two toddlers by myself. This is held against me at work, because no one else has this problem. My co-workers are all happily married or have grown children.  With no family available to help, I often have to take time off for medical appointments, illnesses and other child care issues. My boss says if this continues, he may have to find someone else for my position. I feel desperate because I love my job. How can I make these people understand?” —  Worried Mother

Question: “I am a single mother raising two toddlers by myself. This is held against me at work, because no one else has this problem. My co-workers are all happily married or have grown children.  With no family available to help, I often have to take time off for medical appointments, illnesses and other child care issues. My boss says if this continues, he may have to find someone else for my position. I feel desperate because I love my job. How can I make these people understand?” —  Worried Mother

Question:  “After making a career change, I am six weeks into a new job at a large health care company. I hope to be promoted to a specific position in the next three years. In trying to get ahead, I understand the importance of all the basic stuff, like good attendance, proper dress, meeting deadlines and so forth. But can you suggest any other smart moves for career-minded new employees?” — Climbing the Ladder

Question:  “After making a career change, I am six weeks into a new job at a large health care company. I hope to be promoted to a specific position in the next three years. In trying to get ahead, I understand the importance of all the basic stuff, like good attendance, proper dress, meeting deadlines and so forth. But can you suggest any other smart moves for career-minded new employees?” — Climbing the Ladder

Question: “I was recently hired as a manager in a small family-owned business. I’m having problems with another manager who happens to be the son of our CEO. Last week, I gave the CEO some constructive criticism about her son's performance, but she made it clear that critiquing him was a big mistake. I quickly got the message that her son can do no wrong and any discussion of his performance is off-limits. Now I feel that I can’t say anything about him, even though he’s my co-worker.  How can I deal with these frustrating family dynamics? — Not a Relative

Question: “I was recently hired as a manager in a small family-owned business. I’m having problems with another manager who happens to be the son of our CEO. Last week, I gave the CEO some constructive criticism about her son's performance, but she made it clear that critiquing him was a big mistake. I quickly got the message that her son can do no wrong and any discussion of his performance is off-limits. Now I feel that I can’t say anything about him, even though he’s my co-worker.  How can I deal with these frustrating family dynamics? — Not a Relative

Question: "I realize this sounds like a Jerry Springer episode, but ... My husband and I work in the same office. A new co-worker has been openly flirting with him. She hugs him, rubs his shoulders and is constantly touching him. And she frequently does this in my presence! I know it's silly, but her behavior really bothers me. What should I do?" -- Worried Wife

Question: "I realize this sounds like a Jerry Springer episode, but ... My husband and I work in the same office. A new co-worker has been openly flirting with him. She hugs him, rubs his shoulders and is constantly touching him. And she frequently does this in my presence! I know it's silly, but her behavior really bothers me. What should I do?" -- Worried Wife

Question: “I’m not getting any decent salary offers during my search for a new job, so I need to figure out whether my expectations are reasonable. I do know that I'm being underpaid in my current position. I served in the military for several years and currently work for the federal government. Next year, I will complete my business administration degree.  Do you think I receive low offers because I have not yet obtained my degree or because I'm not marketing myself well?”  — Worth More Money

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