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Agony Aunt helps you to deal with workplace problems

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Feeling insulted

What should I do when my boss treats me like a peon rather than a management trainee? His secretary tells me that this has his been his behaviour with all management trainees and I should just quietly pass my time else my evaluation will be affected. This is not right.

Ans: A lot of factors are to be considered while looking at the job and the satisfaction that comes with it. Mutual respect, work ethics etc are very important even though others around might ask you to just let it pass and not react. Since you are struggling to work in such environment, doing something about it is essential as most of the times not asking and working towards change results in complacency and eventual despair.


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Choices and confusions

I am currently exploring post retirement options. While my company wants to give me a two-year extension, I feel it’s the perfect time to pursue my farming interests. My colleagues think I’m crazy as does my wife. I’m at cross roads.

Ans: You wanting to take a back seat from the routine work at office and starting something of your interest may not be well liked by all around you. This decision may affect your immediate family members but their concern might be stemming from the uncertainty revolving around this new venture. If you could elaborate on your plans with farming in a manner that helps them look at this option as plausible rather than unplanned one, you could convince them as well as yourself become sure.

The ethical employee

As a budding entrepreneur and a girl, the exploitation that I experience is very demeaning. It has cost me contracts and work when I refuse to either bribe and refuse to be exploited. This is so not fair and it makes me so angry. I don’t know what to do.

Ans: Very often the conflicts that arise between work ethics puts us in a difficult situation where we end up generalising dislike towards everyone. Your anger is valid, however not instrumental in solving this problem of being okay with bending rules. When you have decided to take the high road, it is also important that the difficulties be taken into consideration rather than being reactive as external environment is rarely in your control to change entirely.

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Struggle of an introvert

An introvert by nature, I suffer on the work front when it comes to participation, sharing thoughts, ideas and taking initiative. I find it easier to do so on a one on one but not in groups. As a result, ideas expressed on a one on one get shared by others in group meetings and others take the credit for the same. How do I change?

Ans: The problem probably lies with uncertainty as to how would the introversion be detrimental in delivering ideas to a group of people. Being an introvert is often misunderstood by self as well due to its use in very casual manner. If the idea of sharing thoughts is not a pleasant one, begin by doing so amongst people who you trust and are comfortable with while ensuring that you get your due credit. Once the association begins between you being able to deliver your ideas and getting the credit as well, the consciousness would also reduce considerably.

Stagnant work life

I am a 45-year-old man working as a Sales Manager in a good company. I have climbed the work hierarchy very systematically and have always been honest in my work. Lately, I feel very stifled as there is no advancement. I don’t know where I went wrong in taking up opportunities. I need some guidance in terms of not stressing so much and being content with work. 

Ans: The discontent revolves around being stuck in the current work position which is not bringing in stress as well. You mentioned about not knowing which opportunities you might have missed, however knowing the answer to that may not help you move forward. Rather, if you could find someone at your workplace who is experienced or someone from the similar work background outside work, and discuss this issue, they might be able to suggest or at least help you look into a direction of advancement. At times it may happen that you might not identify an opportunity or think that you are probably late for such a chance, and in times like these an external perspective helps. Seeking advice from an experienced senior could be a good start.

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