How to Handle a Change in Environment Q: I am an inside sales rep who has to make daily calls for business. Management just changed our work environment for the worse. We used to have moveable walls around our desks, which muffled sound and gave us some privacy. The walls were removed, …Read more. Boss Yells at Employee in Front of Others Q: I am having a hard time coming to grips with something that happened at work. My day started with my sleeping through all three of my alarms and waking up late. I called my employer as soon as I woke up to inform everyone of what had happened and …Read more. Valuable Connection Gets Ignored Q: A co-worker told me he was looking for a very specific and uncommon type of job. Amazingly, I had a connection in that field to introduce him to, and I offered to do so immediately. I went out of my way to call my connection, tell her about him, …Read more. Hiring Friend as a Sales Agent Is Unreasonable Demand Q: Since I bought my condo, a friend I have known for years has become a real estate agent. I decided to sell my condo, and I was upfront and told her why it would not be good for me to use her. I live in a building where a resident real estate …Read more.more articles
Interviewers Shocked When Interviewee Is Not What They Expect
Q: I am an African American woman who has risen through the years to department management level at a couple of large corporations. I have not joined any outside organizations or groups and my name is a plain, typical American name. When people see my resume, no one would know my race or ethnic background. I wanted to switch to a small to mid-sized company, so I began sending resumes. When I went in for an interview for a job I had every qualification to do, I saw the shock in their faces when they met me. I know they were not expecting someone of color. I was interviewed by a couple of people at the company, and although I answered everything correctly and appropriately, I knew I was not going to get the job. I know there are people who look for prejudice when they interview, but I am not one of them. I have always remained positive in any job search, but when shock registers on people's faces at the same time, you know exactly what it is about. It was so obvious I didn't know if I should have said something. I didn't. I just let it go, saying to myself that there was nothing I could do to change their minds about me. Should I have addressed it?
A: If a job candidate could address the subject in a non-threatening way, it might clear the air for a more legitimate interview. If a comment sounds defensive, however, it would reflect negatively on you, even though they were in the wrong. It might also serve to make you feel worse than you did because of their reaction. Unfortunately, humans are what they are, and prejudice will always exist in some form. You called the situation correctly when your gut told you they would not hire you, so it's likely there was nothing you could have said or done to change their attitudes in that short time.
It will help you to learn about others' experiences in the corporate world. Jessica Faye Carter, an experienced corporate lawyer and financial services professional shares her experiences in the corporate world in her book "Double Outsiders: How Women of Color Can Succeed in Corporate America." A study showed that to advance in their careers, women of color needed to have a mentor or sponsor, perform far above expectations, communicate successfully and be able to receive high-visibility assignments.
Getting Through to Analytical Types
Q: Often people who are smart think they are superior to others. I grew up around engineers and work with accountant types. Sadly, these professions are made up of analytical people with great technical skills, but who also have a disdain for people they consider stupid. Their attitude does not lead to good relationships, and then they wonder why they did not get promoted. The problem is that people who fall into this category are the ones who don't know they need help. Truly intelligent people will look into self-help books and ways to round out their skill sets. How do we get through to them?
A: Some personality types can never be reached. Self-awareness and self-improvement has to begin from within the person. You can leave articles and books laying around for the person to see, but you can't make a person read. And although reading self-help books is a start, it doesn't mean that the information will be understood and applied. Be patient with these analytical types, and drop information bits on them methodically and slowly.
Please send your questions to: Lindsey Novak, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd. Suite 700, Los Angeles, Calif. 90045. E-mail her at LindseyNovak@yahoo.com, or visit her Web site at www.lindseynovak.com. To find out more about Lindsey Novak and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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