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?

Text Only
  • Watercooler: Raised to the roof

    Q: Over 15 years, I have worked my way up the corporate ladder with the same organization. I have been given a raise every year and excellent reviews, as well as several promotions.

    July 25, 2014

  • Career Coach Q&A: job search follow-up; introverts as leaders

    Starting a business:

    Q: I have a stable job that I don't hate, but I have an idea for starting my own business.

    July 25, 2014

  • How to become a leader

    QUESTION: I’ve just been promoted into a leadership role. I’m excited, but also kind of overwhelmed. What do I need to do to be good at my new job?

    July 24, 2014

  • Balancing Act: How much is your time worth? Consider outsourcing some tasks

    Todd Paton has a booming business getting customers noticed on the Web. One tool he uses is generating online press releases to build brand awareness and create links that will send traffic to a customer’s website. But Paton, owner of Paton Internet Marketing, acknowledges that writing the releases is not his strong suit. Rather than spend his time doing it, he hires out the task.

    July 23, 2014

  • The Color of Money: No easy way to get out of debt

    Many people who are deeply in debt are desperate for a quick fix. They ask the question: What can I do to get out of debt?

    July 21, 2014

  • Watercooler: When to speak up if you see problems down the line

    Q: Our organization has hired a new director. I am one of a number of division heads; above us, there's the associate director, and above him is the director. The associate director is feared and disliked for his duplicity and dictatorial nature, though few have come forward because of his vindictiveness.

    July 18, 2014

  • Career Coach: Bringing a purpose-driven spirit to work

    Increasingly, religious beliefs and practices of employees are becoming more evident in the workplace. Religious diversity and concepts of spirituality are more prevalent in organizational settings.

    July 18, 2014

  • Ask the Mompreneur: It’s best to farm out your payroll

    When my husband and I hired our first employee at our Web development company, we had it easy when it came to doing payroll.

    July 17, 2014

  • Protecting against unnecessary losses

    QUESTION: I run a small bar and grill which is open 7 days a week and have to rely on others for some of the shifts. How can I ensure employees have not become my partners?

    July 17, 2014

  • A checklist for keeping you focused at work

    A quick check of Facebook and next thing you know, a half-hour’s passed. Start chatting with a co-worker and suddenly 20 minutes is gone and the report you were supposed to finish by lunch is late.
    Workplace distractions are everywhere, especially in an age of social media and open-plan offices. In the face of so much temptation, accomplishing what you’re paid to do can be tough.

    July 16, 2014

Business Video