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Your Office Coach

Hours slashed? Consider your options before you bolt

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Q: “A few months ago, the small business where I work was sold. Everything was fine at first, but then the new owner moved me from the day shift to evenings and reduced my weekly schedule from 38 hours to 15. This guy clearly doesn't like me, so the environment has become very unpleasant. Should I just give up and quit?” Cynthia

A: Before you walk out in frustration, remember that there are two valid reasons to remain in a difficult workplace. The first is the paycheck. The second, ironically, is that it's usually easier to find a job when you have a job. Unemployment is an automatic red flag for many interviewers.

If you decide to stay, use the extra 25 hours per week to ramp up your job search. When asked why you're seeking a new position, just give a brief description of the facts. For example: “The business where I work was recently sold. My job has been made part time, so I'm interested in finding full-time work.”

Avoid the temptation to disparage your new boss, because that will only make interviewers wonder if you might be difficult to manage.

Want to avoid job-seeking pitfalls? Here are ten common problems: Top Ten Job Search Mistakes (Plus One).

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