It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…
1. How can I ask my manager and coworkers to stop talking about politics at work?
Do you have advice on how to suggest a rule of no talking about politics at work? My managers and coworkers have taken to discussing politics while we are in meetings, usually towards the end or while we’re waiting for other parties to enter a conference call. Some of them are HUGE fans of a certain politician who I find repellent. If makes me uncomfortable to hear them praise this person, but I’m not able to walk out of a meeting to avoid it. How can I address this without seeming adversarial? I can’t grimace and bear it for the next 11 months.
“Any chance we can ban political talk until the election is over?”
Or, “We have people with lots of different political viewpoints here — in the interest of keeping things pleasant, can we avoid politics while we’re in meetings?”
You’re not likely to get an actual policy out of it (nor would I advocate one), but you can probably address it successfully this way on a case-by-case basis. People who insist on continuing on when you’ve directly asked them to stop — when you’re in a work meeting, as opposed to just overhearing their casual conversation — are rude. (But you probably can’t do anything about their casual conversations outside of meetings, although you can certainly decline to participate in those discussions.)
2. Can I ask that a second job be added to mine, and my salary increased?
Would it be possible to request a new job and my current job to be condensed into one and request a pay increase? My manager wants to add two new positions to the team, so I had an idea that I can see if I can handle the responsibilities for one of the new positions (in addition to my current role). If that is possible, then I could take on those responsibilities and request a $30-40K increase in salary (I am currently making $90K), so she would only need to hire one new person instead of two. This would be much cheaper to the company since they would save money on salary and wouldn’t have to pay benefits to a new person. What is your opinion on trying to do something like this? I wanted to make sure it’s not too crazy before I would bring it up to my manager.
The only way it’s really feasible is if they don’t actually need two full-time people devoted to that work. The fact that they’re planning to hire two people seems to indicate that they do — or at least that they believe that they do. It’s going to be a hard sell to say “let me take on what you appear to believe is full-time job in addition to my own full-time job without sacrificing quality or quantity of work in either” — in fact, that’s basically an impossible sell. So your pitch would need to be that it you could do enough of each (your own job and the new one), and that the necessary sacrifices in each job would be worth making for some reason. It’s possible that that’s really true — but you’d need to really demonstrate that it is. And you’d need to simultaneously do that in a way that doesn’t imply that your current job isn’t valuable enough at full-time. So it’s pretty damn tricky. In some situations, it can end up making sense, but those situations are rare.
Also, be aware that if they did go for it, they won’t necessarily increase your salary by as much as you’re envisioning — so even if they agree, you might end up not liking the price they’d pay you for it.
3. Interview footwear when it’s snowy and slushy outside
Here’s a practical question that probably has an obvious answer I’m failing to think of: what do you do about professional footwear for interviews in the winter, in places where there are either piles of snow or lakes of grimy slush? When working in business casual or formal offices, I would wear snow boots to the office and change into pumps there, but if I’m only interviewing, it seems incredibly awkward to change shoes in the lobby and ask where to stash my dirty boots. Do I take a cab to the interview and hope that there are no sneaky slush puddles between the car and the building? Can I compromise by wearing tall leather boots, which are more casual but offer at least some measure of protection for my feet against the cold and for my pants against wet and dirt? What would you do?
I’d wear snow boots on the way there, change into dress shoes once there, and stash the boots in a professional-looking tote. That requires boots that aren’t really bulky, of course.
4. I resigned, but my boss doesn’t want me to tell anyone yet
I just gave my notice. I gave 2+ weeks. I’m in a management role. My boss and I have an okay relationship, but we’ve been discussing my “fit” at this organization for a little while and we’ve both agreed that it’s been difficult. I’ve been overwhelmed, overworked, and overlooked, and I haven’t been an A+ employee because of it.
When I gave my resignation, she wasn’t surprised and we actually had a candid discussion. She told me not to say anything to anyone yet, but she led me to believe that she was already thinking about contingency plans anyway. I’m two days in now from delivering the notice and I have not been given any green light to say anything to my staff or anyone. She hasn’t given me any instruction for what to do during my notice period as I’m now a “lame duck.” She just asked me to attend a meeting that has long-term decision points and I feel that’s unfair as I won’t be here when those take effect.
Granted, I only have a little over two weeks left, but any advice for what I should do? I’m getting mostly radio silence from my emails, save for the occasional, “Hey, can you send me this…” email.
You need to be able to tell your staff and other colleagues, so that they can plan and so that they don’t end up with the impression that you left with little or no notice.
I’d stop waiting for her to give you the go-ahead and instead say something like this to her, “I need to let people know that I’m leaving so that I can start working with people on transition plans. I’m planning to let my staff know later today, and everyone else tomorrow.”
If she objects, ask her why, and — unless she presents some reason that you find compelling — it’s fine to say in response, “I’m not comfortable keeping this a secret, and I feel professionally obligated to let people know I’m leaving.”
5. I gave an interviewer a salary figure, and then got a raise at my current job
I currently work in a healthcare role with a very specific set of skills. However, I am also finishing up my master’s in heatlhcare admin and hope to move to administration in the next few years.
I have an interview at an organization that is in another state and would require relocation. When I was asked my current salary by the new organization, I was completely honest with them and told them $X/hour. After the Skype interview, they asked me to come down (on their dime) for an on-site interview and said that the starting salary based strictly on my experience and certifications would be $X-2/hour. And that this number will be adjustable/negotiable following how well the on-site interview goes.
My husband and I decided that small difference was worth investigating further. Since that time (about two weeks ago) I was given a raise at my current job and now make $X+2. Of course, now I would rather make as close to that as possible if I move to another position. Is this something I should tell the recruiter? Or wait until salary is brought up again (either during the interview or with an offer?). Is it acceptable to change what i’m asking for in these circumstances? If it matters, it is a hard-to-fill position that I am perfectly qualified for with very applicable experience.
Yes, you should bring it up — your circumstances have changed, and it makes sense to let them know that. You could bring it up either ahead of the interview (if you don’t want to waste your time if their response is a clear no) or after the interview if you’re still interested at that point. I’d say something like this to the recruiter: “I want to let you know that since we talked about salary, I’ve received a raise at my current job and am now making $__. It would be tough for me to change jobs for less than that. Is that prohibitive on your end?”
Of course, if you’re actually willing to take less than that, you might want to take out the “it would be tough” language and maybe change the whole thing to something like “is that something you’d be able to match?”