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Agony Aunt helps you to deal with workplace problems

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Facing financial crunch

I am a 55-year-old retired man and am facing a lot of issues lately in terms of managing myself financially. It started few months ago when one of my investment fell through and I lost considerable amount of money. Post that I have been delaying in starting my own project at work and being busy. I really want to start my work project at the earliest but can’t seem to find the right way to go about it. Please guide. 

Ans: The failure you faced few months ago is somewhere still hindering your progress and decision making regarding the new work project. You made one bad choice and it fell through, but it can’t be a deciding factor or a benchmark for your future decisions. This time around seek counsel of someone who has expertise in starting a new project and can help you with few initial details. your motivation and belief are essential in this as it will be a guiding force towards making it a success.


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Balancing seniors & juniors

Last year I got promoted at work and the position I assumed was that of my old mentor. When she left she handed over a lot of responsibilities on to me and I did them diligently as I was new to the post. Lately I realised that I can delegate certain tasks to my juniors and focus better on other tasks as I feel I am over loaded by work most of the times. This is not seen too well by my juniors or my seniors. What do I do?

Ans: The catch here is to prove that you are hardworking but also at the same time you wish to work smart. One way that seems probable is to gather your juniors for a meeting and put across a list of duties that you feel they can handle and you simply need to overlook them is by presenting these duties as essential tasks for training purpose. Once the juniors understand the importance of tasks assigned to them are essential in their growth, they will do so without complaints. As far as your seniors are concerned, you can propose a training module to them for the juniors where the tasks you feel can be delegated could become a part of training process where you take charge of supervision rather than doing the work. This could work for all the three parties.

Refraining from office culture

I attended an office party recently and realised that most of my colleagues can pull an all nighter without any hitch as they are heavily dependent on substances (cigarettes, alcohol and recreational drugs). I have never been exposed to such a culture in my previous job and thus it came as a shock to me. They tried to force me to try out and have fun at the party but with a lot of difficulty I was able to refrain from it. I don’t know if I can go out and socialise with them again if such is the scene. I also want to bond with them and don’t know how I can make it happen. 

Ans: Being pressurised into something you don’t wish to be a part of is often a tough spot to be in. Assertiveness is the key to stand your ground and yet be able to achieve your goal. You might not be included in all the office parties, but they are not your usual idea of partying. But this doesn’t imply that you would be left out. There would be certain others at work who share similar interests as you and thus it is essential that you seek out those for who you don’t have to change dramatically just to feel like you belong with them.

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Believing your ideas

I am a HR team member and recently joined a big firm. I am learning the working system and getting along with the team as well. At times I feel that there should be inclusion of more activities in the office so as to build the rapport and to keep up with the team morale. Since I am new and still learning I am not sure how to take it forward and how much it would be appreciated. Should I attempt at conveying my thoughts?

Ans: You have good ideas and the hindrance here seems to be the fear of being ridiculed or rejected and also if this would set an impression on others. You need to be confident about your ideas and if you can convey this to your other team members, there is high possibility of the ideas getting recognised. Being unsure or sceptical and not conveying your thoughts would result in dissatisfaction at work. Thus, in order to start feeling more comfortable at work, begin by speaking your mind and interjecting wherever appropriate.