Document efforts to force you from job, then act to demand reference


I've always held fairly high positions, but in my new job I feel like a beginner. I have more work than two people can handle, and my manager wrote me up for the first time in my career. Even though I always help others, I'm told I'm a slacker. I work 55 hours a week and get dirty looks when I leave. I feel I'm being targeted. What can I do until I find another job?

Write down your version of what happened and have it included in your personnel file. Quietly start to look for another job while continuing to work hard. When you get one, tell your supervisor you will resign, but only if you get an excellent reference. Don't leave without it.

Several years ago, I went through a messy divorce and got in trouble financially. I have straightened up my act but have been unable to get a good job. How can I get a job in the "high roller" class I was once in, with all the excess baggage?

Forget being a high roller. Concentrate on getting a job, any job. Also, make sure your credit rating is up to date and shows you're cleaning it up. That's the only way to get rid of your "excess baggage."

My colleague is giving a party and inviting almost everyone from our department but me. I hear him on the phone every day making plans. Should I tell him not to use the company's time and phone for personal matters? I really want to.

Don't. It's none of your business. Not everyone gets invited to everything.

I finally have earned my MBA after many years of working full time and going to school. However, I was sabotaged in my job by my manager, who was a master of "spinning" my work into tales of his own doing. I had to quit and did not look for another job. Instead, I went to school full time. How do I explain this to a prospective employer?

Don't mention that your manager tried to sabotage your career. Instead, say you left because you wanted to go to school full time - and did.

What are your thoughts about including "objectives" on your resume? I have given mine as "to seek employment that provides health and dental insurance."

I agree that employer-paid benefits are essential to survival, but do not list it as the reason you are looking for a job. It will be viewed as too self-serving and evidence of a lack of commitment to the employer.

Carol Kleiman writes for the Chicago Tribune.

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