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

Don't Be Overlooked

Dear Sue: I left my last job when someone else got the position I was hoping Iíd get. My manager seemed surprised when I told her I was disappointed. Now that I have another job I want to be sure I am not overlooked a second time. What do I need to do to ensure this doesnít happen again?

- Overlooked

Sue Says: You need to make your desires and ambitions known. Never assume management or anyone else knows what you want; no one can read your mind. People focus on their own issues and problems first; few have the time to worry or wonder about everyone else. Never assume others know how you feel or what you want. Hinting at what you want by making subtle or sarcastic remark isnít enoughóyouíve got to be specific and tell others what you need. It doesnít do any good to hope for a promotion or anything else you want if no one else knows what youíre hoping for.

Whether you want a promotion, an increase in income, or an understanding of what you need to do to get what you want, say something. Donít keep it a secret or talk to others who have nothing to do with the situation--talk to the people involved and be specific about your desires and intentions. Donít rely on others to speak for you, drop hints, or beat around the bush. People canít read your mind or fill in the blanks.

If you want something, itís up to you to get it. Let others know what you need and ask for what you want. Thereís no guarantee youíll get what you ask for, but you will increase your chances.

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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