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Published: Tuesday, 9/12/2006

Ask The Good Girls

Dear Good Girls,

Last week I interviewed with a company that is the leading competitor to my current employer. The interviewer called me back today and left a message; I expect him to make me an offer. The new job would require a significant commute and I am not really sure that I want to switch companies, so I did not call him back. I m worried about being put on the spot. What should I do if he makes me an offer?

Dear Reader,

Do not avoid what could be a good opportunity. When you receive an offer, you do not have to say yes or no right on the spot. Buy yourself some time by saying something like: Thank you very much. I am excited about being invited to join your staff, but I ll need a couple of days to think it over. Ask for a reasonable amount of time to consider the pros and cons. If your prospective boss needs an answer sooner, she ll let you know.

If you find that you would only want to switch employers if you got a very significant raise or some other perk(s), ask for it. This is the time when you are most powerful during a job negotiation the point between when you are offered a job and you signal whether you will take it. The other side has decided they want you, and therefore is most inclined to sweeten the offer.

If nothing would entice you to switch jobs, say thanks but no thanks, and keep the door open for the future.

No More Surprises

Dear Good Girls,

I just graduated from high school and I m working for a day camp this summer. I work for two different programs and have two supervisors, Jane and Mary (not their real names). Jane is Mary s supervisor, too.

Here s the problem: I was late once for one of Mary s morning programs. Then a few weeks later, I took off for two days to attend my college orientation. Mary did not have anyone to fill in since I had not told her I would be away. She fired me, even though I had told Jane. It s not my problem if they don t talk to each other. Plus it s not like I was sleeping in. I took time off to do something positive for my future. Do you think Mary was right to fire me?

Dear Reader,

Bosses do not like surprises. This is a good lesson to learn at the beginning of your working life. If you want to keep your job and excel in the outside world, you need to be on time and present when you are expected. It s fine that you told Jane you would be absent, but you needed to make sure that the message was carried to Mary. The surest way to do that is to tell her yourself.

Since you feel you have been treated unfairly, use this as an opportunity to practice sticking up for yourself. Approach Mary, explain your position, promise to do better in the future and ask to be reinstated. You might get your job back. Even if you don t, you will have gained valuable practice asking for what you want, a valuable skill that will help you succeed. Good luck next year!

Leslie Whitaker Got a problem at work? Leslie Whitaker, co-author of The Good Girl's Guide to Negotiating, would like to hear from you. Send Leslie an e-mail at goodgirls@contentthatworks.com or write to P.O. Box 5063, River Forest, Ill. 60305.

Copyright CTW Features

By Leslie Whitaker

CTW Features



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