New Articles

November 26, 2013

WorkWise Q&A, Blog Tip: Strain, telecommuting, recruiting


Q: Dear Dr. Culp, I’m in my 30s and in recycling, going from business to business to shred and recycle outdated documents. I enjoy the work. I’m pretty much my own boss and I work ten-hour days, four days per week. People are glad to see me come and glad to see me go. I had two months of training to learn how to drive my huge truck and operate the computer. I’ll never have to worry about job security.

The job is straining my back. My doctor prescribed a brace and exercises to be doing to keep it as strong as possible. But the day is coming.

Where do I go next? Otherwise Satisfied

A: Dear Satisfied, You’re in an excellent, growing industry, with jobs around you. Why don’t you see if you can be a coordinator in the company or move directly into management?

If you don’t see yourself in either of these roles but you’re not sure what you want to do, think about all of the different businesses you served. Did any look interesting?

Your ability to learn will make you a viable candidate wherever you go. Use it as a selling point. mlc


Q: Dear Dr. Culp, My company has allowed me to telecommute for three years, for which I feel grateful. However, I no longer have reasons for wanting to work at home.

More than this, I’ve been feeling very isolated, even with all of the technology the company has provided me. Emailing, texting and telephoning just aren’t the same as in-person contact.

Most of the employees in the company are younger workers who like being on their own with the latest technology. I’m 45, and I don’t want to appear to be an oldster by asking for a traditional arrangement. How can I present myself? Changing

A: Dear Changing, Because most of the company’s employees prefer virtual workplaces, headquarters may welcome you back. If you level with your employer, it won’t seem as if age is propelling you.

Mention that your situation has changed. Emphasize that you’re more social than you realized and that you’d like to be anchored in the central location. Your experience in telecommuting should make you a good candidate for interfacing with internal and external employees. Play that up. mlc


Jenson Crawford opened an email from a personal account to find “the worst and funniest” recruiting letter of his software career ( The recruiter, identifying himself by name, title, company and location, addressed his recipient as “Resume.” “One of my managers discovered your resume online and gave it to me for review,” the email said. “Based on your prior experience, I wanted to reach out to you personally to introduce myself, and invite you to a meeting at my office to discuss your job aspirations and what a career here actually looks like.”

It occurred to Crawford that this would be workable, given the 950 miles between them. During his 14-hour drive he could put a dent in his entire books-on-tape inventory.

The two openings, in HR and training, had nothing to do with software development. Both required transportation, a felony-free record and an interview within two weeks.

The email directed Crawford to schedule with his administrator. “Let her know that I reached out to you personally,” it read.

“You must be an important guy,” Crawford thought. “Not only do you not have time to read my resume. You don't have the time to take my phone call. Color me impressed.”

Dr. Mildred Culp welcomes your questions at © 2013 Passage Media.

Related content



Editor's Choice Videos