Q: Dear Dr. Culp, I was fired from a job for missing a deadline. I suspect this happens all of the time among project managers, and misplaced PR and advertising people. Obviously, I’m upset, but I have to confess that this isn’t the first time this has happened. The pace was much too fast for me. I’m full of energy, but not the kind of energy that keeps you on the alert for deadlines.
Explaining to employers why I was fired isn’t my problem. I need to know what kinds of environments or occupations to explore. I’m a much better manager of people than projects. Adrift
A: Dear Adrift, If you want to make a big change, consider education or a non-profit, where the pace should be more to your liking. Almost any skill you might have been using will transfer if you communicate well. However, be wary of fund-raising oriented positions, unless you don’t see sales requirements as pressuring as project deadlines.
If you want to remain in your industry, deftly find a position that makes you a manager or has you interacting with more people, as in training. mlc
Q: Dear Dr. Culp, My boss has quietly told me that he’s accepted a new position in another company, which means that his job will be open. It’s essential to the department; so I know it will be filled. I want to be the one to fill it.
What can I do to make certain I’m the one to get it? The company will most likely advertise for it, but it tends to hire in-house. On Tap
A: Dear On Tap, Will your boss leave on good terms? If so, ask him to put in a good word for you with his boss and HR when he’s ready to go. Also, ask if he’ll serve as a reference.
While I typically advise against letters of recommendation, I’d suggest you ask him to write a letter to keep the company from going to the extra trouble of having to contact him just after he vanished. When he agrees, discuss the five accomplishments you consider most relevant. If he concurs, hand them to him and consider offering to ghostwrite the letter to save him time.
If he’s leaving on bad terms, self-promote to his current boss and anyone else involved in decision-making even before your boss gives notice.