I know the unemployment rate is low and everyone seems to think finding a job is easy, but I’m a veteran trying to transition to the corporate workplace and it is not easy. Any advice?
It almost sounds trite now to say “thank you for your service,” but it is the least we all can do. We can never take for granted the fact that while we complain about the workplace battlefield, with co-workers who talk too loud or take too much credit, or bosses who don’t give clear direction, there are people like you on real battlefields, putting your lives on the line in service for our country. So thank you. The least I can do is humbly offer my services to you. Veterans: Send me your resumes and I will ensure that you get a personal review and feedback. Also, there are numerous government agencies and nonprofits that offer career transition services for vets. In addition, many large employers have special recruitment programs specifically for military veterans. Do an Internet search and you will be off to a great start. Note that most offer free services, so any program that tries to charge a fee should be avoided.
My new boss and I are off to a bad start. He argues for argument’s sake and is very judgmental. Should I stop engaging to avoid conflict, or continue speaking my mind? Can he fire me for speaking truth to power?
OK, I’m sensing a bit of passion here, which I love and respect. And “speaking truth to power” is a great saying, but it isn’t enough — you also want to be able to influence change. Continuing to get into conflict with your boss isn’t going to change anything other than your job status. So no, don’t stop engaging in the dialogue, and yes, stand up for yourself. Just be strategic and thoughtful. I’ve seen new bosses come on strong and then respect those who stand up to them and for themselves. I’ve also seen new bosses just be jerks. And, yes, they can fire staff for any reason or no reason in most employment-at-will situations, just not for a protected reason — and not seeing eye-to-eye is not a protected reason. So be smart and strategic to deal with the situation on your terms.
Gregory Giangrande is a chief human resources and communications officer in the media industry. Email your career questions to [email protected]. Follow Greg on Twitter: @greggiangrande. His “Go to Greg” podcast series is available on iTunes.
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