Gifts, bullying, surprises

2014-02-23T15:46:00Z Gifts, bullying, surprisesMildred Culp
February 23, 2014 3:46 pm  • 


Q: I found a job I’m very happy about after what feels like a difficult, protracted search. I had help along the way, especially from my three references and my mentor. What can I do to thank them?

A: You have a lot of options other than the standard desk items. The best gift you can give them might well be something intangible, such as an offer to help on a project when they’re overwhelmed or to be a source when they’re helping other job seekers and need referrals. These types of thank-you’s are particularly appropriate, because you know that you caused your references and mentor work. This is an excellent time to help them with theirs.

If you know them well (you should, if they’ve stood behind you), you might give them a book or online subscription in their particular areas of interest. Skip Information 101, which could appear thoughtless and make you seem superficial.

Other possibilities might be a catered lunch on a busy day, croissants or another treat delivered. Of course, none of these would be complete without first sending an eloquent expression of thanks in writing for their contribution to your search.


Q: I resigned last week, because my boss kept bullying me. I’d been reading about bullying on the Internet and learned that it’s becoming more prevalent and that it’s against the law. It seems to me that this should be a good reason for me to be able to tell potential employers what happened, but I also know that I shouldn’t bad-mouth an employer. I feel caught between the truth and my career. How can I get around this?

A: Free up your mind so you won’t be.

You could say that you decided to move in a different direction. (Certainly, that’s true – out the door!) You could also capitalize on what many employers love to hear by mentioning that you love to learn but that you’d used up all of your opportunities to do that there. You might also say that your job had become rote or static and that you wanted to make a greater contribution. Consider mentioning that you wanted to change industries or use different skills.

You’ve got the drill. Focus on yourself, professionally speaking, and leave bullying out of it. Employers don’t want to think you might tell tales when you leave them.

(Dr. Mildred Culp welcomes your questions at © 2014 Passage Media.)

Copyright 2014 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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