Q: I’ve been offered a promotion, which I haven’t yet accepted, because I don’t know how to convince my employer to allow me to telecommute. He knows that I have good relationships with my neighbors, that we spend time together in the evenings and on weekends. He also knows I date. I sense that he needs to understand that I won’t use my time at home as an extended social hour. How can I convince him?
A: Get as many details as possible about what you’ll be doing. Then group them into like projects. Give each a heading.
Buy a large calendar covering an entire month that you can spread out and hang on the wall. This will make a more impressive presentation to your new boss than a print-out, unless you’re in IT.
Fill in the times and dates for each work day. Insert the headings where they belong, including times to answer email, return calls and document what you’ll accomplish. Give yourself lunch, mid-morning and mid-afternoon breaks. Allow for time for communicating with your supervisor. While the unpredictable will intervene, your boss will grasp your ability to plan your work, home-office notwithstanding.
Q: I can’t make a decision between two job offers. The companies and jobs are equally good. I think I’d like the co-workers in both departments.
I’m 28 and the only supervisors I’ve ever had are much older than I am. This has been fine with me, because everyone in my family, including my siblings, is considerably older. One of the two jobs would have me report to a woman in her early 30s. The other supervisor is in his 50s. It doesn’t make any difference to me whether my boss is a man or a woman.
A: What traits did the bosses you’ve had share? Did they do their own jobs well? Were they organized? Did they provide good feedback? Were they supportive? Did they teach you about the business? Did they build teams well?
The repetitive talk about generations in the workplace has obscured the main point, that we’re all trying to work together. Focusing on work and how we meet objectives puts considerations of age and gender in their proper place – off the table.
(Dr. Mildred Culp welcomes your questions at email@example.com. © 2012 Passage Media.)