Q: I was fired by my boss because of constant conflict. He bullied me and said very demeaning things. I tried ignoring him, being agreeable all of the time and asking one of his friends to intervene. I even went to HR. Nothing worked.
That was more than a year ago. I’ve since landed a good job, but I can’t help thinking about all he did and said to me, which led to turmoil for me at work and at home. I’m in a position now to pay him back anonymously. I’ve thought of something I can do that is easy to implement and that no one will be able to trace. What do you think?
A: You probably will be for a long time. You obviously sense there may be an alternative to the course you’ve outlined.
Some people would advise you to see a counselor. I’ll stop short of that in suggesting that you turn your back on the past and move forward, a step at a time, building good relationships wherever you go. Let the dark chapter in your employment history recede awhile expending your energy positively and productively.
Q: I’m in my late 20s. My work isn’t directly related to my major in college, but there’s a progression.
I like what I’m doing. How can I tell when I’m in an entry-level position if this is the career I’ve been looking for?
A: Assess whether this type of work is natural for you. Can you do it almost in your sleep? Do you make decisions about your work almost automatically and discover that they’re good ones? Can you find methods to right them when they aren’t? Can you imagine yourself doing the work of people two levels above you?
What kind of people surround you in this industry? Are you comfortable with them or do you clash? Do you find it easy to speak with them?
What does the future hold for the industry? Do you see the type of work you’re doing increasing or decreasing? Is the industry expanding or contracting? Will it compensate you well as you move up? If so, and if you decide to start your own business, will there be a market for you or will your future be secure only if you remain in traditional employment?
(Dr. Mildred Culp welcomes your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. © 2014 Passage Media.)