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:  “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

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

Question:  “I feel that I am being ignored because of my age. I am a young employee who recently attained a position in which I have to interact with top-level managers. When I request information from them, I find it difficult to get responses. I believe they are not taking me seriously. How should I handle this?” — Young & Frustrated
 

Question:  “I feel that I am being ignored because of my age. I am a young employee who recently attained a position in which I have to interact with top-level managers. When I request information from them, I find it difficult to get responses. I believe they are not taking me seriously. How should I handle this?” — Young & Frustrated
 

Question:  “Last year, a woman in our company wore a red satin corset, tight skirt and eight-inch platform heels to the holiday party. Although this outfit was not particularly revealing, one of the vice presidents thought it was “trashy looking.”  She believes employees should dress conservatively at business functions because they are still representing the company. Our executive team did not object to the “corset outfit” and prefers not to dictate what people should wear to office parties. However, the offended vice president, who is one of our top salespeople, refuses to attend any function where this type of dress is allowed. As the HR manager, I need some advice on how to resolve this issue.” —  Caught in the Middle




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