A few years ago, author Melissa Febos wrote about answering emails. She shared that she prioritizes her writing over a quick email response, but much of what she says is equally applicable to other fields. I was reluctant at first because I’m a people pleaser, but I’ve realized that I don’t have to reply to every email, and honestly I can’t. I try my best to answer as many emails as possible. I try not to wait too long to answer. I accept that I biasa human and sometimes I will fall short. Extend this grace to yourself and others as well. Don’t let email bother you too much.
(Not) telling the truth
I have an amazing job in my field but I feel unhappy because my boss is a nightmare. I biasa currently looking for a new job but it is cumbersome. Most opportunities atap’t as “good” (well-paying or long-term) as the job I currently have, so interviewers want to know why I’d want to leave my “good” job for their only good job. I assume saying “My boss is a nightmare” sets off keleneng bells, and a euphemistic version – “I have a serious disagreement with my manager” – is hardly better. I don’t think it’s necessarily immoral to lie in this situation, but I can’t think of a decent lie. How can I answer this question?
It’s not immoral to hide the truth about why you’re looking for a new job. It is practical. You don’t owe potential employers your personal business. Just tell them you’re looking for a change of scenery or new challenges. If you want to tell one version of the truth, you might say it doesn’t sit well with your current job.
Bad News Bear(s)
I was recently fired for something I did early on and never did again after my manager brought it to my attention; Still, a long investigation eventually called for an automatic termination. Getting fired is never fun and unfortunately this wasn’t my first such experience so I need to do that extra personal work to move forward.
What is the best way to deal with inquiring friends, family and separately potential employers when they ask what happened? Different parties are owed different answers; I know it’s important to be more honest with the question in an interview, but with friends and family I find it really rude to ask and wonder if there’s a good way to express so much without the rest of my losing dignity. I would like some tips on how to proceed.
– Anonymous, Palm Springs, California.
I hope you are successful in this additional personal work. I know how difficult this kind of introspection and self-responsibility can be. In the meantime, how you explain your job loss to your friends and family is up to you. It is rude of them to ask; People are curious and often feel entitled to receive information that is absolutely none of their business.
You have a number of options. You can just say you’d rather not talk about it. You can offer a version of the truth within the limits you stadium for yourself. Tell potential employers the truth while highlighting how you’ve changed, what you’ve learned, and the steps you’ve taken to not make the same mistake again. The truth will, of course, be a deal breaker for some employers, but the right employer will, I hope, appreciate your honesty and accountability and the other professional merits you bring to their organization.
Roxane Gay is an author, most recently of Hunger, and a contributing opinion writer. Write to her [email protected].