The Price of Not Checking References

Business / At Work /

Q: I headed a team at a marketing company, and we needed one more person to balance the talent. The company lined up the people for me to interview, and I made recommendations to the vice president of the department. Human resources said it would handle the reference checking, so that was good. I interviewed a guy whose resume was impressive. He...Read more

When College Takes a Back Seat to Life

Business / At Work /

Q: My friends and I have many questions about college, jobs and success in life. If college is necessary, does it matter if it's a top university or a small local college? What are the best majors and minors to pursue? What are the most useless majors? Are there majors that require graduate degrees in order to get a job?

Schools are so ...Read more

Jealousy at Work Stops Work

Business / At Work /

Q: I am in my 30s and have a degree in marketing. I had three people reporting to me at my job, but I took what I thought was a positive risk and accepted a job at a newly formed company. The owner is a few years older than I am. He said he wasn't moving up fast enough, so he left to start his own company. When I interviewed with him, he said ...Read more

Favoritism to Replace Mentorship Favors All

Business / At Work /

Employees dislike favoritism, especially when they are not the ones receiving favor. It means they are not being given chances to develop their abilities and talents, not being given the help needed to learn at breakneck speeds, not being offered the opportunities to advance to realize their potential.

For employees receiving favor, it's an ...Read more

He Talks to Impress, Not to Express

Business / At Work /

Q: I work in a legal department where all of the employees are smart. The problem I have is only with one of the lawyers. He uses words that most people don't use or even know. He has an extensive vocabulary filed with less commonly used or archaic words. Most of us, even though we are intelligent, are not familiar with the words he chooses and ...Read more

Copycat Co-Worker Scares Employee

Business / At Work /

Q: One of my co-workers imitates me in every way possible -- not like sarcastic imitation, but she copies my overall style in clothing, shoes, hair, makeup and everything else she notices about me. She has never said anything over the edge or creepy about it; she just shows up one day to work in a similar dress to what I wore, same shoes, coat ...Read more

How to Hire a Qualified Independent Contractor

Business / At Work /

Q: I worked for large companies most of my career. When I decided to go off on my own, I hired a website designer I felt I could trust. I was impressed by his sites and hired him. I didn't know enough to ask the detailed questions, but I assumed the sites were functional. He answered openly, so I felt comfortable hiring him.

Independent web ...Read more

Nothing to Wear Shouldn't Kill a Job Interview

Business / At Work /

Q: This happened many years ago, but it bothers me to this day. I applied in person at a small local business for a job advertised in the newspaper. I really wanted this job. It was convenient to where I lived. It was a job I knew I could do and one I would really enjoy.

I dressed in my best clothes, which is not the kind of clothing I would ...Read more

Take the Wrong Job to Get the Right Job

Business / At Work /

Most job seekers know about the code words designed to digitally weed out resumes that supposedly don't suit an advertised job opening. What recruiters haven't accounted for is the talent they are missing out on thanks to the computerized weeding process. They also haven't accounted for job applicants' knowing how to use code words to get ...Read more

Knowing When a Job Is Worth Keeping

Business / At Work /

Q: My title is manager but I am not allowed to manage anything. I am supposed to oversee a gated community of homes. The reality is that I have no authority to act as a manager, and I have to take up every issue I'm made aware of to the board of directors. That means I cannot decide anything on my own. It also delays the resolution process. I ...Read more

Fighting for What Is Right

Business / At Work /

Q: I have been a (100 percent) successful commissioned outside sales representative for the last 10 years at the same company. The company's overall sales began decreasing (reflected in the lower sales for some of the reps), so at the start of the new month, the sales manager gave me a one-month warning to increase my sales figures. Although a...Read more

No Such Thing as a Slam-Dunk Lawsuit

Business / At Work /

Q: Could a potential employee who is asked to sign a non-compete employment agreement just sign the document to "go with the flow" and not make waves if it looks unenforceable? Let's say a potential employee or job candidate is offered a job and presented with an employment contract stating that, for two years, he/she cannot write articles for ...Read more

Cover Letters That Make or Break You

Business / At Work /

Q: Articles say human resources departments no longer read cover letters, so why are they still expected? I also notice many online employment applications present attaching a cover letter as an option and not a requirement. But I've also read that a separate letter should be written for each company. This seems to conflict with the idea of ...Read more


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