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

Staying Motivated

Dear Sue: I've just started selling for a direct sales company. I am happy to be out of the corporate world, but I am wondering how I can stay focused now that I am on my own.

How do I get people excited about what I am doing? And how do I get people to respect what I do and stop comparing it to the way direct sales used to be?

- On my own.

Sue Says: The best way to get other people excited about your products is to be excited about them yourself. When you are confident and respect what you are doing, others will too. Don't expect people to come knocking on your door. You are the one who will have to reach out to people and generate excitement about the products you are selling.

You can stay focused by setting goals for yourself and by using the products so you can speak from personal experience.

Dear Sue: I am in the process of looking for a better job. I've had several interviews and would like to know if I should be following up with a thank you note after each interview or if I should only do it for the jobs I am really interested in.

If I should be writing a note, what should I say? I don't want to risk saying too much, or not enough.

-- S.B.

Sue Says: By all means send a note after every interview you have. After all, you never know where an offer might come from. You don't need to write a lengthy note or include too much detail.

A hand written note is preferred as it is perceived as being more personal and is more likely to be read.

Write a short note of thanks for the meeting and add a positive comment about the company or the position. Try to make a comment specific to the organization so it doesn't appear as though you are writing a form letter. If you are interested in the position, say so. And, don't forget to take the time to write neatly and legibly. Good luck in your pursuit of a better job.

Dear Sue: I am wondering what the standard time is for a potential employer to make a hiring decision?

-- Wondering

Sue Says: The amount of time it takes to make a hiring decision will depend upon the number of people involved in making the decision as well as how urgently someone is needed.

When you are interviewing it can't hurt to ask when the decision will be made, but keep in mind that the answer you receive could change.

Dear Sue: Should I have a heart-to-heart talk with my supervisor about her condescending nature? She has no idea that she is rubbing people (including me) the wrong way.

She's bright, hardworking, and generally a good person, however, I've started distancing myself from her socially because of her know-it-all character. Would it be wise to be honest with her? Or should I avoid her socially and keep our relationship on a professional level?

-- Friend or foe?

Sue Says: You can try having a talk with her, but only you know how strong your friendship is. You will be doing her a favor by leveling with her, but you risk offending her no matter how tactful you try to be.

It may be difficult to approach her unprovoked, but if she ever were to ask you if anything is wrong, by all means, be honest about your feelings. You will be doing her a favor. For now, be with her when you want and don't feel the need to make a permanent decision about your friendship -- you may want to wait and see what happens in the future.

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
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