WorkWise Q&A, Blog Tip: Hot flashes, space, shoes

12/26/2013 11:18 AM

12/26/2013 11:20 AM

HUMOR

Q: Dear Dr. Culp, I’m in my late 40s and I have hot flashes. Sometimes they’re so severe that my forehead glistens or a drop rolls down my face. This is extremely embarrassing in job interviews and reinforces that I’m an older worker.

My doctor advises against medication other than herbs because of the possibility of cancer. How can I handle the sudden redness on my cheeks and the excess heat? Roasting

A: Dear Roasting, Keep searching for a good remedy. Wear clothes made of natural fibers. Don’t wear anything high on your neck or back.

The next time you have a flash in an interview, ask yourself if it’s possible that the interviewer didn’t spot it. Remember, this is probably the first time he’s met you; so he most likely wouldn’t be aware of small changes in appearance.

However, if your secret’s out, consider the Bill Cosby classic about “a personal summer.” That should be effective this time of year. If you’re uncomfortable mentioning that, tell your own joke with a smile, such as, “Every time I interview, things really heat up.” Your sense of humor might help you land the job. mlc

NEWBIE

Q: Dear Dr. Culp, A co-worker is getting in the way of my job hunting. She’s new on the job, very enthusiastic and filled with energy. She wants to make friends with everyone she meets. Unfortunately, she’s around me all of the time, so much so that I can barely break away at acceptable times to job hunt.

Ironically, yesterday she asked what it would take to get me to look for another organization – an improving economy, a missed promotion or even a bad boss. A bothersome co-worker wasn’t one of the options. She apparently thinks all is well here ... either that or she can sense that something’s up. What can I do to get her to back off?

I could handle another decade here but for professional development I keep listening and searching for opportunities. It keeps me from becoming stale or obsolete. Leaning

A: Dear Leaning, It sounds as if you need to tame that enthusiasm a little more definitely. Sit her down and tell her you’ve been there a long time, that you really enjoy your job. Mention that it’s grown into a welcome challenge, with responsibilities across the company, if that’s correct. Ask for some space. mlc

SURPRISE

Academic search committees may allow for more eccentricity than their corporate counterparts, just because of the people they interview and the industry in which they’ll work. Still, there may be a limit, according to Timothy Wiedman, who’s served on both types (doane.edu).

Wiedman vividly remembers an experience as the non-traditional adult student market was heating up. He and his fellow major-university academics were searching for a co-ordinator to manage an off-site program for this demographic. Retention could be challenging in a group that’s pulled in many different directions. The person would have to take charge and be aware of the needs of his customer base.

“One candidate talked about his ability to empathize with other people, saying he’d try to imagine ‘walking a miles in their shoes,” Wiedman recalls. The concept prompted a demonstration.

Off went the shoes. Up the applicant went onto the conference table. For 15 long seconds, “he was stomping his feet on the table as he repeated the importance of walking (that mile),” Wiedman continues. At the conclusion, he jumped from the table, sat down and slipped on his shoes, as if nothing had transpired.

“I'm NOT making this up!” Wiedman emails.

Mildred Culp welcomes your questions at culp@workwise.net.

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