LOVE IN THE ELEVATOR
Think office trysts are uncommon? Think again. Thirty-nine percent of workers said they have dated a co-worker at least once, according to a recent survey from CareerBuilder.com. Thirty percent of those lovebirds ended up at the altar.
HOW DO I STAY ON THE RADAR DURING MATERNITY LEAVE?
Weren’t you just asking about workplace romance? You move fast.
This advice applies to maternity and paternity time, as well as sick leave: Tend to your health and family first. Better to drop off the radar for a bit than to neglect the reason that you took the leave in the first place. If that’s under control, keep in touch with co-workers electronically. Set up a Google alert for your company, your boss’s name, and any other relevant terms so that you’ll be kept in the loop automatically. If you come across a study or news story that applies to your job, don’t hesitate to send it along to your colleagues — it shows you’re staying abreast of your industry.
I LIKE MY JOB. SHOULD I STILL BE UPDATING MY RESUME?
No matter how happily employed you are, good resume management should be one of your priorities.
1) Keep a master resume with everything in it, from your school days to yesterday, updated every time you get an award, beat a sales quota, or learn a new program. Edit as necessary when applying for jobs.
2) What stands out are concrete accomplishments, qualifications, and recognizable names of organizations or institutions.
3) Avoid words ending in “ –ion” or “–ize.”
4) Instead of an objective stating what you want, consider a “Core Competencies” section. List three or four bullet points explaining skills you have to offer. The section should tell the reader what conclusions to draw from your list of jobs and accomplishments.
5) Always, always have a smart friend proofraed. (See what I did there?)
I’M GETTING LAID OFF. NOW WHAT?
“People’s first instinct is to immediately rush out and try to get another job,” Devin Ryder says. “But if they’re devastated and hopelessly confused while rushing around trying to network, they’re going to come off as desperate and angry.” Instead, while you are in the “emotional wreck” phase, you can still safely do important mechanical job-search tasks: Polish your resume and LinkedIn page and develop a list of contacts (but don’t yet get in touch). “Get yourself calm, forward-facing; get your job-search story together,” Ryder says. Only then should you network to find something new.
I HATE MY JOB. HELP!
One of the worst mistakes a person can make is taking the first escape hatch from a job he or she hates. That’s a good way to wind up in another job you hate . . . and this time without any seniority or accumulated sick days to make it more bearable. If your boss is the problem, can you transfer to a different department? If it’s the work, take on side projects or responsibilities until you’re able to segue into a better position. If, however, you just need to get out, keep your job search on the down low. Remember: Never air grievances on social media.
HOW DO I QUIT WITHOUT BURNING ANY BRIDGES?
Don’t be defensive or apologetic. That attitude will make your boss and co-workers feel that they have to reassure you, which is an emotional task that will righteously annoy them when they are already trying to parcel out your workload. Plan so that your handoff is as smooth as possible, and be realistic about what you can get done — leaving a good last impression is as important as making a good first one. Promise to stay in touch with the people you most liked and respected, and do it. Most professions have plenty of churn: Yesterday’s employer could be tomorrow’s client, today’s intern could be tomorrow’s president.
I’M SUPPOSED TO SAY A FEW WORDS AT MY GOODBYE PARTY. ANY ADVICE?
Sum up what you’ve learned from your work together, thus priming your colleagues with the way you want them to remember you. Address each team member’s accomplishments or talents individually. Be yourself! If you’re the heartfelt “emo” type, a few tears are OK. So is inspirational speech or a mild roast — whatever most comfortably fits into the intersection of your style and the corporate culture.
Miss Conduct is Robin Abrahams, a writer with a PhD in psychology. Send comments to email@example.com.