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Lindsey Novak


How to Enter the Workforce After 10-Year Absence Q: It's an inopportune time, but I have no choice and have to re-enter the workforce after 10 years of absence. I was involved in raising my children because I thought they were far more important than whatever I would be doing at a company. I'm …Read more. Is Your Career Your Life? Q: I have been married for 30 years to the same man. He recently retired from the informational technology field; I have been a successful artist my entire life. I studied art in college and was able to sell my pieces from the very beginning. Art …Read more. Talk About Training and Advancement Before Taking the Job Q: I've been working as a general laborer at a construction company for two months now. I cold-contacted the company, asking if they needed construction helpers. I was honest about my basic experience and skills. Since being hired, all I've been …Read more. Too Intelligent to Need Training? Q: I started a job to help the owner get files set up and organized and to eventually assist in business, scheduling, client contact, billing, and anything that needed to be done since he had no other employees. Up until that point, he had done …Read more.
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Negative Emotions Lead to Unprofessional Behavior


Q: I have a horrid boss, who owns a medical company. She will not accept blame, even when she absolutely makes errors. She blames me instead and brags how she has been in the business for 20 years. I am new to the business, so she will stand right behind my chair and correct every error I make. I sit there cringing and want to tell her off so badly that I shake inside. She also insults everyone when they leave the premises. She expresses her prejudices out loud; she thinks all welfare mothers are unfit, but she never makes statements in front of customers. She thinks she is superior. I'd like to quit and walk out, but I know I would have to fight to get my last paycheck.

A: You have many things to learn about proper communication and acceptable behavior in the workplace. Quitting and walking out will hurt you, not your boss. Employees need to act professionally, regardless of what they think of their bosses or their jobs. Hating both means it's time to start a job search. When you find a better one, give the proper two weeks' notice, and leave on the arranged date.

You may not agree with or want to hear her opinions, but she is entitled to have them. She is just not smart to voice those opinions at work. You also can't hold her accountable for what you think she thinks about herself. Many arrogant people exist in the world, and it will help you to learn to deal with them so their behavior doesn't instigate bad behavior in you.

She clearly does not know how to train individuals (standing over a person to correct errors while he works would irritate anyone), but it will help you in the long run to learn to communicate your displeasure without showing anger.


Unemployed Engineer Equates Job Boards to the Lotto

Q: I have 20 years of experience as a mechanical design engineer.

Our company cut back, and I have been looking for a job online. It seems that finding a job online through job boards is as challenging as winning the state lottery. I lived on my good credit for a long time, but now I am not able to pay my bills. I can't understand what is happening because I have so much experience and education. What should I do?

A: These are hard times for many experienced and educated people, and this is when family and friends are truly needed. Posting résumés on job boards is only half of what is required in finding a job. Networking, which has been given many definitions and descriptions, is needed. It includes joining professional associations in your field, attending all events, and socializing with the attendees. That doesn't mean walking up to people and asking for jobs, but being friendly and chatting on a social level. It's a give-and-take process. Call your friends, family members and workplace contacts to let them know the type of jobs you are looking for, but sound positive when you do this. Check in with them every so often as a reminder that you are still unemployed.

Most importantly, nobody likes to feel used. When you ask for a favor, always offer to help the person in any way you can. You may not have a job now, but after 20 years in engineering, you probably have friends and contacts whom you can help, as well. Also, send résumés directly to companies in your field, and show your willingness to relocate. If you fulfill every aspect of a job search, you will have a greater chance of finding a new position.

Please send your questions to: Lindsey Novak, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Suite 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045. E-mail her at, or visit her Web site at To find out more about Lindsey Novak and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at



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