Also, make sure your reviewer is willing to talk about your experience, highlighting your contributions over the years. Of course, your real challenge is to put yourself in a position to raise your employment issue. You can highlight your experience in a cover letter and certainly do that as well in an interview. But also rely on your network. Let people know that you are looking for senior positions in organizations that value expertise and are willing to consider someone who does not have a college degree. Good luck and God bless you!
I usually delete something from my to-do list if I do my part and leave any further steps in other people’s hands. This works well until someone drops the ball and those other steps are not performed. It has been left out many times to put out a fire due to an unfinished mission that is no longer on Radar.
Do you have any suggestions on how to keep track of all of this stuff – or whether I should? Part of me thinks I should keep a playlist to try and avoid disasters, but part of me thinks it’s not my problem and I can’t understand how to keep track of all of these.
– Lauren, Min
I don’t know if you should keep track of other people’s responsibilities, but if you’re putting out fires you probably should, just to make your life easier. It’s not your problem when other people drop the ball but it’s kind of also. There are all kinds of systems and software that can help you manage projects and tasks. Personally, I use Todoist and Trello so my team and I can keep track of multiple schedules, tasks, who owns those tasks, etc. For the most part, it works very well to be able to see what’s going on with each project.
Once you have a system in place, make sure everyone is made aware of the responsibilities on a certain schedule with the system so they have no excuse not to follow through. I also think about accountability. What are the consequences when someone does not fulfill their responsibilities? How can you make it easier for your colleagues to clean up their own mess?
Law firm breaking the law?
I work in a small law firm that is run by a very big personality who has a bad habit of micromanaging. She recently imposed a “no gossip” rule on lay lawyers – apparently to discourage people from talking about it behind her back. To enforce this rule, I have asked lawyers not to go to lunch or happy hour with employees and to avoid talking to them about anything other than work. And when lawyers hear “chatter” at work, they’re supposed to stop it. Important to know: Employees do not work for these lawyers. They only work for partners.
She also decided that she wanted to be a social justice activist. To do this, I asked all BIPOC attorneys — and only those attorneys, not including equity partners — to plan and implement diversity initiatives. It’s all free. All of the company’s attorneys are on emergency pay, so this new free requirement means they have to do work for no pay. These management decisions fuel a toxic workplace, as you can imagine, and encourage some people to consider working elsewhere. Is there a way to address it in a way that makes the workplace happy again?
It’s all ridiculous, I’m sure you know. She cannot impose her will on how people spend their free time at work and what they talk about. The “gossip” ban is simply too broad and unenforceable, particularly when the National Labor Relations Act protects employee discussion of managers and working conditions. Nor can she dictate who they share lunch with or communicate with after work. She is trying to control things that cannot be controlled. I’m surprisedR Employees in a law firm do not hold back from law-breaking behavior.
Your manager’s demands that BIPOC lawyers create and implement diversity initiatives is even more outrageous and downright racist. It is not the responsibility of these lawyers to resolve the circumstances of their persecution. If she wants to engage in social justice activism, she has to read a book or three, and hire professionals to do the work. People of color do not magically have the ability to do diversity, fairness, and inclusion because of their race or ethnicity. That’s not how any of this works. Of course people are thinking of working elsewhere. If you have an HR department, you should report this behavior. At the very least, consult an employment attorney. This behavior goes beyond detail.
Roxanne Jay He is the recent author of Hunger and a contributing opinion writer. write her on firstname.lastname@example.org.