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

Finding the Right Job

Dear Sue: My job (activating telephones) is very tedious. I've been increasingly unhappy about the job I am doing, since it is so repetitive. I would prefer to do a variety of tasks.

I graduated last year with a degree in computer information, which may be part of the problem. Can you give me any ideas about how I can stay happy and motivated with what I am doing? It is hard because I feel that I am under selling myself doing what I am doing. Please help!

- Underemployed

Sue Says: If you feel you are under employed and have the desire to do more, why aren't you looking for another job?

Life is too short to stay in a job you find boring. There must be a reason you went to school and graduated with a degree in computer information. If you believe you have the potential to be doing more than you are now, start looking for another job..

The longer you stay, the harder it will be to leave. You need to get out of the rut you have allowed yourself to be in. The best way to stay happy and motivated is to be doing something you enjoy. I am sure there are many other types of jobs within your field that you may find more interesting and challenging.

Think about where you want to be in five, ten years from now. If you allow yourself to stagnate, you will be in the same place you are now. Your boredom is a sign. Pay attention to it and start becoming the person you want to be and can be today.

Dear Sue: I made a bad judgment call a few weeks ago. As a result, my boss called me on something I did and she was very upset.

I've worked at the company for 18 years, but have only worked for my boss for 2 years. I really like her, but I am not sure she thinks she is able to trust me now. How can I reassure her I will not make the same mistake twice?

- Regretful

Sue Says: You can start by working at rebuilding a level of trust with your boss. Rather than ignoring what happened, use it as an opportunity to build a stronger relationship with her. Ask her for lunch, or make a special effort to talk with her about what happened.

Tell her how regretful you are, and that you realize she may have trouble believing in you, but that you are determined to earn back her trust. Talk about what happened, why you know what you did was wrong and what you have learned from it as a result.

The fact that you have worked for the same company for 18 years speaks volumes. Use that to your advantage. Once you have talked about it with her, try not to dwell too much on your mistake. Anyone can have a lapse in judgment and make a mistake.

Don't be too hard on yourself. If you are sincere, in time, (and it will take time), I am sure you will regain the respect and trust of your boss.

Dear Sue: I've been with the same company for 24 years. I have had a variety of jobs and am currently a department head.

My body can't do the physical labor like it used to and I don't want to work week-ends anymore. What should I do?

- Ready for a change

Sue Says: For starters, talk with someone in your company about other job opportunities. Depending on your skills, there may be other things you can do that are not as labor intensive. You won't know until you begin to look, so why not start today?

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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