Dear Abby: I am 26 and recently started a new job that I consider a leap forward in my career. It’s been only two weeks, and my boss has already told me she thinks I am “trying too hard” and “compensating for my age.” Honestly, I was just excited to come in to work and do my best. This is my work ethic.
I have swallowed her criticism and am now lying low, but my confidence is shot and I’m now questioning if I made the right decision joining this company. I can try to be quiet for a few weeks, but internally it is torture. I thought I was hired for my leadership skills and experience, but apparently I am “intimidating.”
I have tried to brush the criticism off and put it in perspective, but I’m really hurt that traits I have been praised for before are being picked over now. How do I put these feelings aside and continue to work, and what should my approach be? How much should I modify who I am?
Sometimes when starting a new job, it is wise to remain quiet until one gets the “lay of the land” and understands how the company functions before jumping in. My advice is to continue to lie low.
If things don’t improve, schedule another conference with your boss. Tell her you thought you had been hired for your leadership skills and experience, but if you are coming across to others as abrasive, you need to know so you can change it. Let her guide you. If it doesn’t work out after that, recognize that not all job placements are a good fit and start looking for something that is.
Dear Abby: We entertain frequently because, in our large group of longtime friends, we are the only ones who do. In this way we assure to some degree that the friendships survive.
Folks sometimes volunteer to bring something, but often they don’t. Even when they do, they put it together while I’m in the middle of my own preparations. They interrupt me by asking for a serving dish and sometimes want to use the oven while I am using it. This is not my idea of “helping.”
Otherwise, they are very dear people, but with the passage of time I am losing my affection for them. If we don’t entertain, no one will and the friendships won’t survive. Abby, do you have any suggestions or is it too late?
It may be too late because a pattern has been established, and you’re complaining to the wrong person. If you preferred that your kitchen not be invaded, you should have communicated that to the invaders who were getting in your way at the time it happened.
Do these people socialize with you at ALL unless it’s at your parties? Even if these “friends” are unwilling or unable to entertain on the scale that you do, they long ago should have made some attempt to reciprocate your hospitality, and they appear to have made little or no effort. You might feel less taken advantage of if you widen your circle of acquaintances to include some couples with a stronger grasp of the social graces.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.