It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…
1. My company told me to change my LinkedIn information
My company does not have a social media policy. I was recently told that I needed to change my LinkedIn profile as HR felt that I was misrepresenting my duties. My duties are varied. I was told to change it in order to reflect my job description and not actual duties. I was also asked to remove my accomplishments. Although I am doing an active job search, I made these changes out of fear of termination. Can a company with no written policy dictate these changes? I have since blocked my coworkers from finding my name in LinkedIn.
Yes, as long as you’re working there, they can require you to do that. They don’t need to have a written policy allowing them to; it’s really up to them. (In general, an employer doesn’t need to have written policies before being able to take action.)
But it’s a weird request, and I’m curious about why they care. If your profile was inaccurate, I could definitely see them not wanting you to misrepresent your role — but if what you wrote it accurate, it’s really not something a reasonable employer would be concerned with.
2. My relationship with my new boss and director has taken a bad turn
I was recently promoted and assigned to work under a boss who was promoted at the same time. I was given no new training to go with the position, but received no negative feedback for my work. One day, with no warning, Boss appears at my desk and escorts me to the office of our director and proceeds to lecture me about my attitude in front of said director. About a week prior, I printed an email from Boss and put it up in my workspace; it outlined new instructions for an existing (but new to me) process. Boss thought at I was making fun of him. I was so stunned by the accusation that I could only state (and repeat) that I kept the email as a reminder, which I felt I needed since I am still new to the position. I pointed out that I had not received any formal training on new tasks, so the reminder was helpful.
Director then proceeded to accuse me of having a negative attitude and of possibly demoralizing my staff, citing examples of other notes or documents I had at my desk. It took me a few hours after the meeting to get over the shock, but I finally realized that they had referred to specific items I didn’t have anymore – filed away or discarded – so Boss had been going through my desk for weeks, it seems. I had valid reasons for retaining every item mentioned. There were no specific performance incidents, missed goals, or policy violations cited.
Since then, I have been careful to clear my desk at the end of every work day and there have been no more issues related to that. However, I’ve started to receive increasingly rude/aggressive emails from Director regarding tasks, projects, etc. I’m so terrified of saying the wrong thing now that I send the briefest possible responses, which I retread and edit a half dozen times before they’re sent. When I see him in staff meetings, he refuses to speak to or acknowledge me (others have noticed). Boss is acting like none of it ever happened. Is there anything to be done?
Ooof, this is a bad situation. If you have a semi-decent relationship with your boss (which I realize may not be the case after the printed-instructions incident and if he indeed has been snooping through your desk, WTF), you could try talking to him about what’s going on with your director and asking for his guidance in repairing the relationship. He may have insight into what the director’s issue is or things you could do that would help, or he may be able to talk to the director and smooth things over.
But if that’s not feasible or doesn’t work … ugh. I’d be paying close attention to what kind of feedback you’re getting now (proactively ask for some if you’re not getting any) and planning for the possibility that this might not work out. It can be really hard to succeed in a role where your boss’s boss has a problem with you, rightly or wrongly, so you want to keep assessing things through that lens. I’m sorry.
3. My coworker keeps interrupting me
We hired a new member of our team almost a year ago now, and her work product is generally fantastic. She’s been well received by our team and people she works with on other teams, from what I’ve heard.
Unfortunately, she has been a bit difficult for me to work with. She is constantly interrupting and correcting me, even when she isn’t correct about her correction. I’ve tried giving her the floor when that happens and just ignoring it, and also tried just continuing my thought as though she didn’t ignore me, but this morning it got to a breaking point. She asked me a question and halfway through my sentence interrupted me with her own answer. I’m not sure if anyone else has experienced this or not, as I haven’t brought it up with a colleague or our manager.
On our team of six, I was the youngest until she was hired. It could be that nobody has told her yet and she just needs some coaching. It could be other reasons, but I don’t think it’s right to speculate on those. Is it reasonable to bring it up with her in private? If so, how would you phrase it? Or better to bring it up with our manager? If so, how would you go about that? I know it seems childish to complain of someone interrupting you, but it’s gotten to the point where I feel disrespected.
I’d actually bring it up in the moment, which will make it less of a big deal than a whole separate conversation. From now on when she interrupts you, call it out! For example:
* “Actually, please hang on — I wasn’t done.”
* “Please let me finish.”
* “Whoops, I was still talking. As I was saying…”
It’s possible that a few times of this will solve the problem. But if it doesn’t, then after one of those interruptions I’d say, “I’m not sure if you realize, but you interrupt me a lot. Would you be more vigilant about letting me finish my thought before you jump in?”
4. How to thank coworkers for a generous gift
I very recently got married. On my last day in the office before leaving town for the wedding weekend, my colleagues surprised me with a “bridal shower” breakfast. They also gave my spouse and me a very generous monetary gift with a sweet card. I work in a small office with 5-10 colleagues, which is part of a larger national company with about 200 employees. I’ve been in this job for 6 months, and I’ve come to really like all of my colleagues, even though we are still getting to know each other.
Together, my colleagues pooled together and gave us an average of $100 per colleague. I was blown away by their generosity, but I am not sure of the proper “thank you” response for a pooled office gift. Should we write each colleague a separate thank you note, or should I leave a common thank you note for all of them in the office kitchen, where everyone can see it? Any other ideas? I did bring in some homemade cookies for the office, but didn’t exactly phrase it as a “thank you” gesture related to the wedding gift. This is the first gift I’ve ever received from professional colleagues, and I’m struggling on the best way to express my gratitude!
If it helps for context, all of my colleagues signed the card. In addition, I am much younger and less senior than all of my coworkers. They all have 15-30+ years of experience and make low six-figures, by my estimates. I am in my mid-20s and make mid five-figures.
I think a single group thank-you would be fine because that’s so often how it’s done with a group coworker gift … but I also think that it would be particularly gracious of you if you instead sent individual thank-you’s to each person, especially given the degree of their generosity. No one ever receives a personalized thank-you and thinks “eh, she shouldn’t have taken the time.”
5. My boss wants me to take a full-time job with him but I’m waiting to hear about a better offer
I’ve been with my current internship for a year now and my boss wants to hire me on full-time, but I may get an offer from a different company.
At first, I was excited to work here, but the compensation he offered is way less than I could make anywhere else. I love the job, but I feel like the new job I might get will offer greater future opportunities and it’s right down the alley of my dream job. I’m at the final interviewing process now, and apparently if you get this far, then you basically have the job unless you butcher it somehow.
My boss wants to “lock me down” now, which most likely means an offer/contract to sign, but I don’t want to sign it until I know if I was accepted/rejected from the potential job I’m interviewing for.
My annual review is in a week, and I think this is when my boss is planning to present the offer to me. We have a good relationship as well. I would call him my mentor. How should I proceed? I don’t want my boss to think that they’re a second choice, but I feel like the new job would be more beneficial in the future.
I’d say this: “I really appreciate this offer. I’d like some time to think it over to make sure I can commit long-term. Can I take the week to think about it and give you an answer by X?”
If the timelines just don’t match up well enough — if your boss needs an answer before you’ll have heard from the other company — you can see if the other company is willing to expedite their process (here’s advice on how to do that). But even if you don’t get the other job, are you sure you want to lock yourself into a job that you say will pay much less than you could make elsewhere? There’s a third option in here, which is to turn down your boss’s offer and keep looking elsewhere. (It might not be an option to do that and still stay in your current role, but it’s something you could talk to your boss about.)