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Agony Aunt helps you to deal with workplace problems

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Burdened with work

I recently graduated and got my degree in marketing. I got a placement from my college and it’s been 6 months since I have started working. Along with me there is another guy who is sharing the exact same profile as me. My boss ends up giving me a lot of work in comparison to him and this I have started to notice recently. He is seen chilling in his cubicle and I am swarmed with work. I feel this is unfair. How do I speak about this to my boss?

Ans: The unfair behaviour if addressed at the earliest might result in immediate ramifications than spoken about it later. It is essential to understand your boss’s point of view of as well i.e. whether he ends up giving you more work because he trusts you with the job or doesn’t realize that he is being unfair. Thus, approaching him has to be done carefully as it shouldn’t reflect any accusations against him.


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Filthy office politics

Last week during Diwali party I overheard one of my colleague spreading rumours about me that I am sleeping my way through the office seniors as I recently got promoted. I owe the promotion to my sheer dedication and abilities and I was quite hurt by her statements. I can sense a subtle change in the way people approach me after that incident and I am very uncomfortable with it. Should I confront her about it?

Ans: In certain workplaces it is an offence to defame a colleague without having a substantial basis for the allegations. Check with the HR department if such policy exists in your organisation. As far as confronting the colleague is concerned you could have a general talk revolving around the topic but not heading towards her/him with the hurt you experienced. Since you over heard her/him talking about you, it won’t be enough to directly accuse her/him. You could also speak to the colleagues who were a part of the conversation and nip the whole thing in the bud rather than letting it bother you each day.

Professional vs personal life

I am set to get married in few months’ time and currently my work has been pretty hectic. I love my job, but it is causing a hindrance in my personal life. This is an arranged marriage so the time I get to spend with my fiancé is the only time we get to know each other better and I want to do that. But the project I am working on is taking up too much time. How do I make this work?

Ans: Time management is the only key to resolve your dilemma of prioritising either work or your personal life. The struggle always exists when you already have liking towards something and a new aspect has to be accommodated. Here it is a conflict between choice and one of the best way to approach it is to realise that it isn’t possible to be perfect in each area. While setting priorities it is essential to understand that the choices that you make would involve giving up something else that you like. This will help you make choices without feeling guilty of giving one over the other.

Tackling with mentor

I am working as an assistant director with a non-commercial film maker. He is excellent as a mentor, but I feel he always makes me realise that I am somehow obligated to him. I know he has helped me lot to learn the nuances of film making but the constant reminder of obligations is kind of irritating. How do I not let it affect my work relationship with him?

Ans: From what you have mentioned above, it seems to be a case of blurring of personal and professional life. In order to maintain this distance, it is essential for you to consider his professional opinions and not entertain anything else that crosses the boundaries. Only care that needs to be taken is that you must be assertive not rude. Once you start making this distinction your mentor will also realise that his way of treating you must change in certain ways.

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Doubtful decisions

I am in charge of training interns at my firm for the past 7 years and with each passing year I feel the need to up our training programme which is encompassing of teaching basic life skills. In my experience I have found that the younger lot needs to be taught certain realities of how corporate world works as there are many misconceptions and “viewing the world with rose tinted glasses” attitude. I want to take it up to the board but I’m kind of unsure as to how to go forward with it. I am hesitant to over step my boundaries. Am I thinking too much?

Ans: The idea sounds very interesting and beneficial to the newer batches of interns as there needs to be innovation in the training with the changing times and need of the hour. Proposing this idea to board could appear daunting but you have 7 years’ worth of experience to back you and an idea which is reflecting the need of what could be better in the programme. The idea is to convince the board that why including life skills is essential and what benefits you envision for the interns as well as company, if you are able to communicate this thing would be much easier to deal with when there are questions asked about the effectiveness and applicability of the idea.