How To Hurt The Boss’s Feelings

January 28, 2019

Dear J.T. & Dale: I just started a job two months ago. Another job in the company has opened up that I am better suited for. I asked my boss if she would recommend me for the job and she said no. She seemed upset. What did I do wrong? — KEVIN DALE: I’m guessing you’ve never been a manager, Kevin. Until you are one, it’s difficult to imagine the emotions that come from having an employee resign or ask for a transfer. First, the hiring process takes a lot of work — even if you have an HR department, the manager has to read applications and do preliminary interviews, then do follow-up interviews, talk to references and eventually make the difficult choice. Meanwhile, you, the job applicant, are working hard to convince the manager that the opening is perfect for you. So she picks you, and over the first few months you are a net drain on the boss’s time, having to train you and double-check your work. J.T.: Yes, it also could be as simple as the fact that you hurt your boss’s feelings. She chose you and has been getting you to a productive level that will give her a return on her investment. Now, just 60 days after joining, you are essentially saying you want something better. DALE: So the question is, What now? Do you hope the boss’s frustrations with you simply go away, or do you try to repair the damage? J.T.: I think I would apologize and explain that you didn’t mean to offend her. Tell her you love the job and the company and can see yourself growing there, adding that you were just excited about the idea of your career progressing. Tell her you recognize all she has done to invest in you and would love to work with her on a plan for you to grow your career with her help. Dear J.T. & Dale: For the past four years, I’ve been working for a religious organization doing marketing. I’ve been trying to find a new job, but nobody is calling me for interviews. My friend thinks that it’s because people are assuming I’m religious and don’t want to hire me. Could this be true? — HOLLY DALE: You’re assuming that the problem is the religious connection, but that’s just an assumption. If you’re simply shooting out online applications, you’re unlikely to get interviews no matter where you’ve worked. J.T.: Agreed, but the answer to your question is this: Yes. Unfortunately, yes. Before blindly sending off your application and getting rejected again, I would try to find a networking contact at the employer and see if you can talk to someone first to explain that you are not going to bring religion to the job. Once they see that, it will be easier for them to consider you. JEANINE “J.T.” TANNER O’DONNELL is a career coach and the founder of the leading career site www.workitdaily.com. DALE DAUTEN is founder of The Innovators’ Lab Visit them at jtanddale.com, where you can send questions via email, or write to them in care of King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th St, 15th Fl, New York, 628 Virginia Dr., Orlando, FL 32803.

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