When to Sign Noncompete Agreements

Business / At Work /

Q: I was told to sign a noncompete agreement in order to get this job. I was also told everyone at the company signs them, and I shouldn't worry about it. I wanted to take it to an attorney to have it reviewed, but the manager said there was no time; he needed to know that day because he had others he would hire if I didn't agree to it. Should...Read more

Finding a Recruiter Who Serves You Is Like a Job Search

Business / At Work /

Q: I got an interview through a recruiter. I have been a professional sales representative for 10 years and have made a lot of money as such. I have enlarged territories, increased sales and have added innovative features to each position that has helped clients. I am a spectacular sales representative who can deliver accurate information and ...Read more

Fired for Insubordination Without Explanation

Business / At Work /

Q: My husband was recently fired for "insubordination," but was not given any real reason or backup. All the company kept saying was that they have it confirmed. Can you give us any direction on this? We live in South Carolina.

A: Most states are "employment at will," which is true for South Carolina. According to the South Carolina Human ...Read more

Firing Fears Shouldn't Drive You to Quit

Business / At Work /

Q: I am a field sales/customer service representative, and I love my job, the work and the field, but I dislike the owner. I don't know why this has happened. I have always worked for privately held companies, and it seems like the experience is the same again and again. The company owners/presidents have all behaved like vampires.

I'd like ...Read more

How to Decide Real Estate Investments

Business / At Work /

Q: With all the TV shows on buying and flipping houses as a business, my friend asked me if I wanted to go in with her on buying buildings to rent. We both have some money to invest and would like to quit working full-time.

She chose a building that has one to three bedroom apartments we could rent. I think we need to gut the larger ...Read more

No Way to Honor a Vet: Veterans Ostracized From Job Market on Return

Business / At Work /

Q: I served two combat tours in Iraq as a U.S. Marine over a two-year period, and I continue to serve as a reservist. I knew firsthand how hard it was to find work once rejoining civilian life, even with sufficient on-the-job experience. My job in Iraq was to help build a local city government by working with local politicians and leaders. I ...Read more

Don't Oversell When Using Twitter for Business

Business / At Work /

Q: I am starting my own consulting firm while I still work full-time. It doesn't compete with my company, so I am not worried about that, but I can't quit until I see how much business I get. I don't belong to any professional groups, as I have found them to be overrated in their usefulness. When I have attended events, everyone wants ...Read more

Interview Promises Denied After Being Hired

Business / At Work /

Q: When I interviewed for a job as an outside sales representative, I was upfront about not being able to travel periodically within a specific two-month period every year. During those two months, I have had a long-standing volunteer commitment to a well-known organization, and I have been deeply involved in their annual event. This event is ...Read more

Working With ADHD and All That Jazz

Business / At Work /

Q: I have several friends, some corporate professionals and some artists in creative fields, all diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. I act as their sounding board, so I end up listening to all of their workplace complaints. It seems there are more troublesome situations and daily problems for my friends in corporate ...Read more

Leaving Secure Job to Start Anew -- It's Complicated

Business / At Work /

Q: I've invested 16 years working for the same company, and I am now asking myself why. My job is secure and so is the company. When I think about staying, I feel the knots in my gut clenching tighter. When I think about leaving, I feel a mixture of excitement for the adventure and fear over the potential loss of security the change represents...Read more

Focus on the Best of the Worst Since You Can't Choose Your Boss or Co-Workers

Business / At Work /

Q: I have some questions about drama queens and narcissists. Please explain the difference between the two and the effect they both have on those at work.

A: According to Mark Goulston, M.D., psychiatrist, consultant, and author of "Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone" (Amacom 2015), a person who shows an ...Read more

Surprise Complaint About Boss Is Risky Even With Proof

Business / At Work /

Q: Our regional manager is verbally abusive to my co-worker and me. The difference in the abuse is that the boss says things to my co-worker in front of others in the office, but when she mistreats me, she does it behind closed doors, so there are no witnesses. When my co-worker tried talking to the boss about her abusive behavior, the boss ...Read more

Everyone Does It, but Not at Work

Business / At Work /

Q: This problem will sound funny, but it is gross and needs to stop. I work for a very conservative and professional company, so what I'm about to describe is obviously not right. We have groups of auditors at different levels, and we all work in cubicles. Some cubicles house four employees, and some surrounding cubicles have only one person. ...Read more

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