What Should I Do If I Have No Work To Do In My New Job?

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about how to
handle a situation where there seems to be no work in a new job. 


I just started a new job 2 months ago, in the same field of work as I’ve done for 27 years. I couldn’t wait to work for this company, because it sounded like the perfect place to work: It’s a small company, seemed like a lot of nice people, I’d have more variety, I’d be creating the “standard” for new employees and moving up the company, as I was told, is common place.

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Delayed Reviews Make Me Anxious and Annoyed

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a second review being delayed and delayed:

Hello, I have been at my current job for a year and 4 months. I graduated college in May 2016 and this is my first “adult” job. We are a relatively new (3 years), very small private company and there are only 9 of us in the office. My co-workers and I report to our Director of Operations, and she reports to our COO. I love it here- my co-workers are amazing, my superiors are very relaxed, and the work environment is super casual. The only thing that bothers me is that my supervisor does not follow through on things that are said.

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My Promotional Interview Was A Sham, Now What?

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about what to do when it seems
the results of a promotional interview were determined ahead of time. 

I have been an employee for a local government organization for almost ten years now. A promotional opportunity opened up and everyone who has worked with me or is working with me told me that I am best qualified for this step up. I have a flawless work record, outstanding work performances, I have been at that location the longest, I get along great with everyone, etc….. So there is no reason why I shouldn’t be promoted.

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A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a failure to get promoted:


I have worked at my current job for over 10 years. I am overqualified for the position but planned to find an internal position that met my skill level eventually. Many people came to this company as a result of losing employment during the “Great Recession” and had a similar plan. I’ve applied for 20+ internal positions with only one phone interview.

When I recently asked my HR representative to review my resume for any problems, she agreed and also tried to find out why I wasn’t interviewed for any positions, I was eventually told by her that I’m considered to be too ethical and managers felt threatened by my paralegal background.

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Someone I Mentor Is Trying to Take Over My Work.

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors: How do I deal with someone I mentor
but who now seems to be taking over my position?

I worked with a person at another facility and thought she was intelligent and hardworking. As a result, when I was promoted to the Department Coordinator position I asked my manager to consider her for my old position. Ever since this person came to our department I have mentored her and spent considerable time training her. She now seems to think she can insert herself in my new position and interfere in my job responsibilities. Unfortunately our manager does not correct this behavior.

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Told I “Wasn’t Working Out” In New Assignment At Work. Now What?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about going back to a former assignment
when a new one didn’t work out.



I was a warehouse associate at a company for a year, then I was promoted to working in the field. After three weeks in the field I was told “it wasn’t working out”. What can I do now? I’m not sure why it wasn’t working out and no one really told me. My old job is still available, is it automatically mine to resume?

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A Year At My Job. How Can I Get a Promotion?

A question to the Workplace Doctors about how to get a promotion in spite of limited tenure.



I’ve done an amazing job in my position in a short amount of time. I want a promotion. We’re a small department and I’m the most senior person with my title and, again, I’m excellent at what I do (constant praise by boss on my work and I’ve really moved the company forward).

Another employer (not in my field) just contacted me and offered me an interview for a position they are trying to fill. I am somewhat interested in the position. More importantly, I am thinking of going through the application process to get the job so that I can use the job offer to negotiate a promotion and raise at the CURRENT job so that I can stay there (without moving on to a new job).

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Toxic Ex-Coworker at New Job!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about going to a new job where a past enemy is employed.

I was in a very toxic work environment for about two years, so much that I started seeing a therapist and taking short-term medication to help me with the stress and agony. The place was fraught with bullies, gossips, backstabbers and office politics due to the extremely flat nature of the company where everyone was vying for limited promotions and recognition. Everyone seemed miserable.

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How Can I Tell My Boss I Have Too Much Work To Do?

A question to the Workplace Doctors about feeling overworked but not knowing how to tell the boss. 


Question: I want to speak to my boss about him giving me too much work. I have been pushy about proving myself by initiating a lot of projects (inside and outside the bounds of my job responsibilities) and sprouting ideas–all of which have been very successful in a very short amount of time. However I feel that as a result, now my boss entrusts me with a little too many responsibilities (it’s too early to ask for a promotion, by the way).

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Ask for a Promotion?

I’ve been at my job for a year now and I want to ask my boss for a promotion but I’m not sure how. Because it’s a fairly new and small company, there have not been any previous employees of my same title to look to for examples of how it’s done (i.e., moving up the ranks). There is one person who has moved up the ranks, but she’s made it clear to other people that she’s not going to give away the secrets to her success.. All she says when they ask for suggestions about changing their title is “Talk to the boss”. My work is solid and I’ve achieved a lot of results and accomplishments on the job over the last year. There are no formal evaluations. There have been a FEW low lights (personality related), but overall I get along with everyone on the job. Should I drop hints that I want a promotion or should I be direct and ask my boss about “opportunities for growth?” (He’s too busy to ask to go to coffee so any talk will be in his office).I have been quantifying my work so that I can show results of my work over the past year to my boss. I don’t want to appear too eager and ambitious, and I’m a bit wary of how the environment might be if I ask for a promotion and am told no and then have to continue to work there.. But I do want to try and want to make sure I do it in the right way.

Signed, Want to Try

Dear Want to Try for Promotion:

Don’t hint! Don’t gossip with coworkers about a raise or your status as apparently you or some coworkers have with the one who got promoted. Doing that conveys an impression of dissatisfaction and jealousy.

Rather, request an appointment and an evaluation. Since yours is a small company and there is no formal evaluation system, a boss should understand that you want to get a reading from him about how well you are meeting his expectations. Other than a brief cordial greeting once you enter his office, I think he will respect something like, “I’ve been here for about a year now and I would like to know how you see my work.” Or, “I think you would like to see what I’ve compiled on my assignments.” Bring in the numbers and any quality indicators of projects completed and suggestions of what you see ahead.

See your boss as a career adviser. Then if he says, “Not now”, you can get a idea of when and if. And if the “when and if” provides ample prospects for you in your small company, you need not feel uneasy about continuing to work there. Also follow up conversation should give you some sense about what to expect as to promotion. If he provides nothing tangible, you can decide if you want to pursue what’s next, possibly, by asking, “What do you see for me next? Or “To get promoted, do you want me to ask for one?” Or “Have I taken on the responsibilities and accomplishments that merit promotion?” Or “Have I earned a raise?”

Talking about what you see that might cut waste—wasted supplies, time, and money—and innovations are the kind of attitude and talk a boss likes to see in you. My signature sums that up: Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS. Will you tell us if these thoughts make sense and/or spark other ways to answer your concern for promotion and then what you do? You don’t owe us for these thoughts, but they are intended to help you on your career path and we will appreciate an update.

William Gorden


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