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Ask Sue
A Weekly Q&A Column About Professionalism, Etiquette and Problems in the Workplace
by Sue Morem

Time for a Change?

Dear Sue: I have a great position. I make good money, have a great boss and a wonderful staff working for me. However, due to company politics and a possible reorganization of the company, there is a chance that within the next year the person who previously held my job, and is very cozy with my boss, may want it back.

I don't want to be paranoid, but I am concerned because I know I wouldn't want to work beneath her, nor would I want her to work under me and make more money than I do.

Should I look for another job, hang on quietly or say something and see what kind of response I get? 

- Paranoid

Sue Says: Although I can understand your concerns, there is no guarantee that what you are worrying about will happen. Why would you even consider looking for another job based on the 'possibility' that your old boss will want her job back?

You say you have a great job, boss and staff. Apparently you are doing well in your position. Even if this person who previously held your job does want it back, there is no guarantee she will get it back no matter how cozy she is with your boss.

I don't see any reason for you to hesitate to address your concerns by saying something. It's always a good idea to be prepared and have a back up plan should anything happen, but for now stop worrying and continue to focus on the wonderful aspects of your job.

You can be certain that there will be many changes within the next year -- every business is changing at a rapid rate. Being prepared is wise, but being paranoid is a waste of time.

Dear Sue: I just resigned from my job so that I can be at home with my children. When the company hires someone to replace me they want me to train her. I am leaving on good terms and am happy to train the new person, but I am wondering how I will know when to leave. What is the correct amount of time I should designate for training the new person? 

- Leaving

Sue Says: I am not sure that there is right or wrong answer to your question. While the average resignation period is two weeks, since no one has been hired yet, you will need to determine how long you are willing to stay. Have you stated a specific date to be your last day? Or are you staying on until they find a replacement for you?

Determine what your last day of employment will be, and hopefully your supervisor will be able to work around your timing. The fact that you are leaving voluntarily and on good terms, leads me to believe that you have the opportunity to work out an arrangement that will be good for both of you.

Dear Sue: I am in a management position and am one of three people with equal responsibilities, accountability and the same job description. I found out that the other two people make more money than I do, yet I have more years with the organization and am the only one with a college degree. I am upset by knowing this, but am not real assertive and do not know how to address this. Do I tell the boss I know that the others make more than I do? Do I ask for a raise? 

- Unsure

Sue Says: Of course you can ask for a raise, but in addition to requesting it because the others who have a similar position are making more than you, base your request on your performance and achievements as well.

Rather than insinuating that you know what the others are making, tell your boss you have reason to believe they are making more and would like to find out if it is true and if so, why.

Request a meeting with your boss and come prepared with more questions than demands. Once you have the information you need you will be in a better position to ask for what you feel you deserve and want. Good luck.

Sue Morem is a professional speaker, trainer and syndicated columnist. She is author of the newly released 101 Tips for Graduates and How to Gain the Professional Edge, Second Edition. You can contact her by email at or visit her web site at

Send Sue your questions by clicking here: Ask Sue
For more Ask Sue articles, click here.

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