I think I blew it. I’m interning at a CPA firm this summer, and attended a cookout held by one of the Vice Presidents. I wasn’t there for 30 minutes when the person I report to pulled me away from a conversation and told me I needed to go home and change my top. She said it was “inappropriate.” I was mortified. I didn’t know what to say except “Ok;” but when I left, I didn’t come back and we’ve never talked about it. I get that my blouse was probably too revealing for a work function. Now, I feel like things aren’t as good between this woman and me as they were before the cookout. I’m scared this is going to hurt my chances of getting a job offer from this firm when I graduate in December. Should I keep my mouth shut or say something?
Worried about possible job offer
Dear Worried about possible job offer:
I am glad you realize the top you wore was not appropriate. I suggest you have a discussion with your reporting official as soon as possible. Express your contrition and the valuable lesson you learned. Keep it short and to the point. Of course, actions speak louder than words; so hopefully, before the end of your internship, there will be another social event away from the office where you can actually show your understanding of proper attire. And of utmost importance, give two-hundred percent to your work! Best of luck!
I’m a mentor to one of the new salespeople in our office. I think he’s a natural when it comes to relating to customers and making sales, but he’s lacking some common sense and good judgment when it comes to things he does outside of his sales responsibilities. If I have to correct him on things pertaining to his sales techniques, I’m fine with that; but I’m not comfortable correcting him on personal stuff like photos on his Facebook page or his colorful stories around the water cooler. Can you help me out?
Struggling with mentor responsibilities
Dear Struggling with mentor responsibilities:
I completely understand why you are struggling with this. Typically, it is so much easier to correct or give constructive criticism to someone about their work skills versus their personal conduct. That being said, as this salesperson’s mentor, it is your responsibility to give him help and guidance with both. Remember, the way in which you deliver your message is critical to the way it will be received. Be sure your tone conveys sincere concern versus condescension and judgment.
© 2013 Rozanne R. Worrell