The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


November 22, 2013

Career Coach Q&A: Dealing with a shared office, other workplace questions

Career Coach Joyce E.A. Russell answers questions from readers. Excerpts:

Q. After several years of having my own office, I am now sharing a space with a brand new employee. This is because of some new hires and newly created positions. One of the new positions is my new boss — this is a good thing, I like her. But old boss (new boss's current boss) made the decisions about the office configurations. I have been here for eight years, and nobody else in my level shares an office. I told the new boss that I feel a little under-appreciated — the nature of my work sometimes requires writing, which requires concentration, or rehearsing presentations, which I can't do in a shared office. Do I suck it up or become a squeaky wheel?

A: I can understand your concern if you need some quiet to work. Of course, it is also easy to understand the other side as well — if there are office shortages, they need people to share. Can you think about other solutions to this issue? I ask that since sometimes it is helpful to think of a possible solution to the problem and then share it with your boss when you go in to talk about it. Can anyone newer to the firm share an office with other new employees? What about those who are doing jobs that do not require writing or quiet for concentration?

Q. On many job applications, or after a first interview, I am asked to submit references. I comply and request that I be alerted when references will be contacted so that I can let them know. At this stage I still alert my references because I can't be sure that a potential employer will give me advance notice. Many times, however, the employer then decides they don't have funding for the position or puts it on hold or some other lame story. I feel badly and like I'm abusing my references. What can I do?

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