Lisa from Chicago, Illinois asks:
Hi Red, I recently lost a job that I had for just a few months. I know I was doing a great job, but my manager just didn’t like me. This was the second job in the last few years in which I was let go after a short period of time, due to a personality conflict with the manager. The odd thing is that in all of my past jobs before these, I always got along well with others, was well liked and respected and had good reviews. So it leads me to wonder whether I’ve been giving off bad vibes? Am I unknowingly putting up a wall? Thanks.
Psychic Red ext. 9226 Responds:
From what I can see, you aren’t throwing off any noticeable bad vibes, or shutting yourself away from your co-workers. It looks more as if you’ve been a victim of circumstance. However, even though you aren’t shut down, you also aren’t melding and blending into the cliques that were established prior to your arrival. In a perfect world, this really wouldn’t matter—but in our messed up economy, employers tend to wield their power of selection like a child with a very sharp sword.
Looking at your last job, there was no way you were going to “win.” It didn’t matter how well you performed, how much of yourself you gave, who you befriended. Nepotism is alive and well there, and your manager had someone else in mind for the position. Because of policy or protocol you were brought in, but you never really had a shot at staying. As unfair as this may be, it is something that is completely out of your control, and I don’t see a way that you could have changed the outcome.
Keep looking at different opportunities, and try and find those openings and companies that you actually feel aligned with. Search for a place whose mission statement agrees with your long-term visions and goals. Even though you’re willing to work hard to earn your paycheck, steer clear of selling your soul to land just any job. Even though many of our waking hours are consumed by work and career, remember that being absorbed into the machine isn’t inevitable. When you strive to be surrounded by people who think more or less like you do and share similar professional ethics and beliefs, there is a lot less jealously and circumspection. Put in the effort to research potential employers and what they stand for, and when you come across a place that you actually feel good about working for, you will be embraced as part of the team and respected simply because you are you.
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