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Career Q&A | By Marie G. McIntyre, McClatchy-Tribune Newspapers

Didn't get that promotion at work? Don't pout in public

Q: I recently promoted one of the supervisors in my department to a management position. Several of her peers also applied for the job, but I felt she was clearly the most qualified. Unfortunately, one of the unsuccessful applicants has had a hard time accepting my decision.

"Carl's" recent negative attitude has been noticed by both his employees and his co-workers. He seems to be going through some sort of grieving process. Since Carl will soon be reporting to the newly promoted manager, this really needs to stop. How much time should I give him to get over it?

A: Any supervisor who publicly pouts about losing a promotion is hardly management material, so your decision to bypass Carl was obviously correct. At work, people are expected to keep their emotions in check and react to setbacks in a mature manner. Although Carl's disappointment is understandable, he still needs to maintain his "game face" at the office.

To get this point across, sit Carl down for a sympathetic, but firm, discussion of expectations. He must accept the fact that this decision is final and he is about to have a new boss. He also needs to realize that his reaction to this transition could greatly affect his future prospects.

For example: "Carl, I understand that you are disappointed about the promotion, but your negativity is beginning to affect other people. Regardless of how you feel, I need you to start acting like a mature, professional supervisor. I also expect you to have a pleasant, cooperative relationship with your new manager. Otherwise, you will only be hurting your own career."

If Carl is basically a good employee, that should be enough to snap him out of his funk. But just to be sure, check with his boss occasionally to see how things are going.

New graduate lacks job experience

Q: Although my daughter has a degree in criminal justice, she's had difficulty finding work since she finished college. Employers always say they need someone with experience, but how can she get experience when no one will hire her?

A: Many new grads are surprised to learn that simply having a degree may not be enough to land a job. Fortunately, however, "experience" can be gained from activities other than paid employment, so your daughter should begin seeking opportunities to bolster her resume.

Since she presumably has a lot of free time, she might try doing volunteer work for organizations in her field or becoming involved with relevant professional associations. This will not only increase her knowledge and expertise, but also connect her with people who can suggest job leads and serve as references.

To improve her odds of getting hired, your daughter should also use this slow period to sharpen her skills in networking, resume-writing and interviewing. Most applicants fail to thoroughly prepare for the job search process, so those who do have an automatic advantage.

What she should not do is spend hours and hours randomly applying for jobs online. This will just waste time that could be put to better use.

Didn't get that promotion at work? Don't pout in public 07/14/12 [Last modified: Saturday, July 14, 2012 5:30am]
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