2. We've heard a lot of talk about the firing of Gen. Stanley McChrystal, whose negative comments about President Obama and his policies were made public. Beyond politics, there's the real life issue that everyone can relate to: disagreeing with your boss. Many people wonder if there's a safe way to disagree with the boss without losing your job.
There is — and it's definitely not publicly. That means you can't complain to colleagues because word travels quickly, nor can you air your grievances on Facebook or a blog, even though you may be awfully tempted to do so.
The first step is to seriously assess your gripe on your own before you say something. That includes asking what you hope to accomplish by mentioning your complaints. If you're just trying to prove a petty point, that may not justify speaking up. If you have a legitimate concern, for example, you see an opportunity for improvement or change, be sure you're focusing on the facts. Don't base your complaints on emotions or hearsay. Focus on what you know for sure to be true.
Then approach your boss privately, without sandbagging him or her. Try saying, "I'd like to talk to you for a few minutes about some things that are on my mind. Do you have a moment, or when would be a good time to chat?"
Share your concerns and offer constructive solutions. "This process isn't effective, and here's a suggestion on how to fix it." "I don't believe your criticism of me was justified and here's why." Say only what's necessary, and then give the boss a chance to chime in. This is a conversation, not a chance for you to dump on him or her. Focus on resolutions and thank the boss for listening.
3. Moving along -- this is something that we've seen a lot of chatter about on blogs and message boards: job listings that specify "must be currently employed to apply."
Even though a company can choose applicants based on their work history, it's distasteful and extraordinarily shortsighted of an employer who assumes less of applicants who are currently out of work in this economy. There are very talented and capable people who are unemployed, just as there are plenty of slackers who receive a paycheck every week.
If you come across such a positing, you have two options: Ignore that requirement and apply anyway if you meet all of the other criteria. Or ignore the company because you have to question if you'd want to work for such a place.
I saw this requirement on some restaurant jobs, and I'm always so curious about how the customers of such establishments would feel about that requirement. I bet many would be surprised by such a policy, so I hope recruiters have the good sense to rethink their positions.
4. Finally, it may seem minor given everything else that's happening, but with the record heat and humidity in some places, I've gotten many e-mails asking if men still have to wear a suit to an interview.
Sorry, but the answer is yes. Unless you're interviewing for an outdoor or retail sales opportunity, a suit, or at least a jacket and slacks, is advised. You don't want to let your guard down in this market.
For women, the rule is always nothing too "too." That means nothing too short, too tight, too strappy or too revealing.
Watch out for linen clothing. It's lightweight, which is great, but it wrinkles easily, which isn't the right image for an interview.