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Agony Aunt helps you to deal with workplace problems

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Fear of losing job

There was a recent merger between the company that I work for with the parent company. It has brought in new employees from the other company who I think are trying to barge in and overthrow us. This is creating unrest amongst us and friction with the management as everybody is at loggerheads with each other and worried about their jobs. I am very unsure of what has to be the next step as the management is not directing the employees with any future goals.

Ans: The problem is twofold: at the employee level i.e., the internal differences as well as at the managerial level i.e. lack of goal direction. The solution also has to work at these two levels individually so that there is smooth functioning of the company. The merger has brought in new people and change of any kind is slightly difficult to adjust to initially. But thinking about this merger in a negative is going to bring about more dislike than any amicability. Setting up a meeting with your team leaders and understanding the process of the management might throw some insight into the possible future plans.


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Work affecting sleep

I graduated few months ago and recently got a job in sales department at a company which has clients all over the globe. My work hours are pretty haywire. This creates immense disturbance in my sleep pattern as well. I really enjoy working here and my contract requires me to be on board for a year at least. Since this is my first job I don’t want to be hasty in making any rash decisions like quitting because of work hours. I am really confused.

Ans: It appears that this job has become all-consuming for you at the moment and also reflects your fear that it might not look on your resume if you quit. If there is job satisfaction and you do enjoy what you are doing and who you work with and timing is the only issue then maybe having a word regarding this to your superiors could help you find a way. Your health is equally important as you will be able to work well if you are healthy. Take a decision based on overall impact on your health and your professional image.

Odd woman out

I am a 44-year-old woman working in a company for past 10 years. I have always been cordial with the work people but never extended anything beyond that. Lately, with new employees coming in and a lot younger than me, they make plans after work and tend to not include me as they have already formed an impression based on those who already know me. I want to change this but don’t know how to go about as I don’t want to come across as imposing one. What do you suggest I do?

Ans: You maintained the relations at work cordially which others may have perceived as your nature to be not inclusive. It may take some effort on your part of shed off that image, and you can start by initiating small plans to break the ice. Ice breaking is essential as it will help the co-workers to form opinions about you after interacting with you first hand. the balance lies in you maintaining your individuality while being in a group set-up. Starting with smaller steps might help in getting you closer to work colleagues and involved in after work plans.

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Time for self-improvement

I was interning at a place for almost a year when a new intern joined in. This new person is smart and very hands on with learning things. I am yet to establish a rapport with him but find it difficult as I don’t want to come across as a snob as I tend to keep a distance from new people till I know them well. This has always been the case and has caused me few relations in past. How can I improve my work equations? 

Ans: The problem mentioned here is about the initial walls that others see around you which might be perceived as you being arrogant or rude. These walls need to be systematically broken down so that others see an opportunity to work with you without being intimidated by you. This is possible by initiating a rapport building with the new people you meet. It always helps to initiate the conversation as it relieves the other person of the job and in addition they see an effort. Being yourself and interacting with people also helps as it creates a healthy image. When people see that you are genuinely interested in them, the equation becomes smooth automatically.