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Career Planning

Here are the questions filed under this category. To read Ken's advice on any item, click on the link "Read Ken's Answer."


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When I disagreed with my boss in the past, he would persist until I backed off. As long as I agree with him, we work well together. Now I hear myself saying things I don't even believe just to stay in his good graces. I am in mid-career, and I am wondering if this is what I want to be doing. Any suggestions?
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I work in inside sales for a large retail outlet, and I like my job. The people in my area are great, and the work is pleasant. A few days ago, my manager said that one of the other departments could use me, and he asked me if I would be willing to transfer. I don't want to transfer, but I don't want to create problems if I refuse. What should I do?
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I am 52, a senior in college, and will be looking for a career shortly. My degree in Communication is general, but I have a background in other areas. Having experienced the corporate culture for a few years, I found it terribly disturbing because of my values. Do you have any advice on how to choose a career?
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I am graduating from college in June, and I am trying to find a marketing job, but I haven't found anything. There's not much interviewing going on at my school, and I'm starting to get nervous. What do you suggest for new grads?
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My boss just quit. I was hoping to move into management, and I figured that this would be my time. I was surprised when I heard the company is going outside to find a replacement. When I spoke with the general manager, he said he does not think I am ready for management. Is he actually saying I should look for another job?
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My husband was laid off three months ago, and I am concerned about the way he is trying to find another job. He finds ads for positions that he's not truly qualified for and then applies. He's a great guy with many skills, but there is no way he'll get these jobs. When I try to talk to him about it, he just gets upset. What do you suggest?
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I can see the handwriting on the wall, and I don't think I am going to be with this company much longer. I would like to move into an industry that is stronger, more secure, and offers more opportunity, and I was wondering if you can suggest some growth fields.
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We had a round of layoffs a few weeks ago, and I survived. I obviously felt relieved and thankful, but I'm also feeling sort of guilty. I know I didn't cause any of my former associates to get laid off, but I'm not feeling very good. Can you offer any advice?
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One of the reasons why I like working here is that the company has many classes and seminars, and I am part of a program to build my supervisory skills. I was very upset when I heard that this program is going to be put on hold for economic reasons. Is this a common situation, and what suggestions do you have?
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How do you deal with an employee who says that he can do whatever he wants because he's related to the owner of the company? As his supervisor, I have found his attitude and work to be questionable, but I do not want any problems with the owner who is a fairly volatile guy.
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For the first time in my career, I am nervous about losing my job. The company has not replaced people who left during the past few months, and there are rumors all over the place. Do you have any suggestions for people in my situation?
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Our manager pretends to be interested in our ideas, and she uses all of this management terminology, but in reality she wants everything done her way. She never admits a mistake, and if we succeed at something, she makes little comments telling us that she did it even better. How in the world do you deal with someone like this?
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I am an experienced Credit Manager, and after I took a year off to finish my Master's, I returned to an hourly position for almost three years now. It was supposed to be temporary until I found a better job, but the benefits are good and nothing better has surfaced. I know I am not spending enough time on my job search, but I am not sure of the best way to do it. I cannot take a big drop in salary because I am head of my household, 51 years old, and saving for retirement. What do you advise?
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I am at my wit's end. I have never worked so hard in my life, never put in so many hours, and never been so frustrated on the job. I feel like I am unappreciated by management, getting nowhere, and on one big treadmill. I'm ready to leave, but the thought of a change is a little scary to me. Do you have any suggestions?
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My boss told me that I am trying too hard to get his job, and I should pay more attention to my own work. My work is going well and I don't think it needs any more attention from me. Besides, I thought most bosses want an employee who is motivated to move up. What's my boss's problem?
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I enjoy my work and was recently offered a promotion. I told my boss I wanted to think about the offer. After the weekend, he called me and told me that if I have to think this much about it, then I shouldn't be promoted, so he pulled the offer. I'm glad it came out this way, but I wonder what you think of this treatment.
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I want to make a career change, maybe into real estate sales, but I have a full-time job and family responsibilities. I don't have the time to take the courses, and I am concerned about the lack of income when I start a new career. How do people in my position do it?
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I have job offers for similar positions from two very different companies. One is a large and well-established firm that offers a career path, stability, training, and great benefits. The other is not quite a start-up, but it is less structured, less organized, and yet offers more variety, more challenge, more potential opportunity, and more risk. I keep changing my mind, and I don't know which one to take. Do you have any suggestions?
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I've been in the IT field for over 10 years, and have extensive certifications and knowledge in troubleshooting networks, computers, software and hardware, and providing customer support and training. I feel I should be making more money, but the problem is that I didn't finish college and constantly find jobs on the Internet that require BA/BS degrees for all IT positions. Since I don't have a degree, I'm not looking for another job. Your suggestions are appreciated.
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I am a young, salaried professional, and I am concerned about the long hours that I am putting in at work. As demanding as it is, I like my job, but I am stressed out because it is destroying my relationship with my fiancÈ. I want both, but I am thinking that's impossible. What are your thoughts?
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I am being considered for a promotion, and I feel flattered about this. The problem, and I don't like to admit it, is that I am nervous about my ability to handle the position. Do you have any suggestions for a person in my situation?
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I have been with this company for 2 years, and there have been several new openings that I have wanted, but each time they have gone to someone else. My manager has told me that I'm in line for one, but I am never picked. He keeps repeating some old saying about how patience is a virtue. What can you suggest?
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I've been with this company for about a year, and I enjoy most of the work. My problem is that the people I work with talk about work and nothing else. Some humor or casual conversation would be nice, but it doesn't happen. This place is no fun, and I am wondering if that is enough reason to leave.
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After a very upsetting meeting with my boss, I walked out of his office and muttered an expletive about him that no one was supposed to hear. He heard it, wrote me up, and warned me that if I don't change my ways, I'm out. I don't think it was fair to be punished for something he was not supposed to hear. What do you think?
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I work in a family business, and, along with several family members, I am in a managerial position. We recently had a discussion about aligning an important part of our business with a company that I do not like. Several people in our industry have told me about negative experiences with that company, and I mentioned this in our last meeting. As usual, my comments were ignored, and, as the youngest family member in the business, I was treated as "the baby." What steps should I take?
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When I joined this company, I was sent to several seminars and training programs, and that was very important to me. Recently the company tightened the budget, and now all of this training is out the window. This is going to hurt my career, and I want to know what you suggest.
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I have been in sales with this company for a few years, and I am one of the better salespeople. My goal is to move into management, but my manager told me yesterday that he does not think I have what it takes to be a manager. I don't know what to make of this or what to do about it. What do you suggest?
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I have worked here for three years and earned a great parking place. This sounds trivial, but the spot is convenient and my car does not get dented. The owner's son recently joined the company, and now he is taking my spot. I politely informed him, and he didn't listen. I don't want to approach the owner, so what should I do?
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In my year-end evaluation, my manager said that he does not think I am promotable at this time. When I asked him when he thought I would be ready, he said he does not know. I asked him what I should do to prepare for promotion, and he said that is up to me. What do you suggest?
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I enjoy working for this company, and management just offered me a very good job opportunity. The problem is that it is in a different state, and I do not want to move. I have family and friends here, and I have visited the location, spent time in the office and area, and I don't want to be there. How much of a problem is it when employees reject this type of offer?
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I am a 55-year-old female, and I heard that I would have a better chance of getting a job if I looked younger. I am considering having some minor surgery, and I was wondering if you think that doing so actually helps make someone more marketable.
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My older brother runs our family business, and I report to him. We are very different personalities. He is very detail-minded, and I am more of a free spirit. The problem is that he treats me like a child. How do I get him to change?
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My manager's political views are very different from mine, and I am concerned that if he finds out, my chances for promotion are going to suffer. Whenever a group of us talk politics, such as at lunch, I nod and say very little. I'm not happy about this, but I don't want to hurt my chances to advance. Is there a better way to handle this?
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My manager is about to be promoted, and he told me to apply for his job. I want the job, but one of my best friends here wants it too, and she asked me not to apply. I don't feel like ruining a friendship, but I don't want to miss an opportunity. What do you suggest?
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I am over 50 and I despise my job. It makes me tense and upset every day, and the problem is that I am stuck. The pay and benefits are good, and I know it will be very tough to find anything like this at my age. What do you suggest?
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During the past year, two of my co-workers have been promoted. I believe I am ready for promotion, and I have expressed my interest to my manager. I discussed this with him after both of the promotions, and he keeps saying that I am in line for a promotion. What can I do to make it happen?
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As I was sitting at my cluttered desk filled with boring work, I realized that this job has changed over the years and I don't like it. It seems strange that this feeling hit almost overnight, since I don't think I felt this way yesterday. Is this a passing dissatisfaction or something more serious?
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A friend at work and I discussed some problems I was having on a particular assingment. Afterwards, he tood what I said and went to our boss. Without any notification, our boss took the assignment from me and gave it to my friend, and neither one informed me. I heard about the change from another co-worker. I am very upset. What should I do?
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I lost my job a few months ago, and I have been temping since then. I am now a temp for a good company, and I like this job. Are there some ways to persuade the company to hire me for this position?
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