Steer conversation away from politics

Dear J.T. & Dale: My husband and I both have gotten laid off from our jobs two times in the past three years. We’ve decided that we’re going to become teachers because it has job security. What do you think? – Brita

DALE: I come from a family of teachers – dad, sister and two uncles – and because of them, I revere the profession. I hate to think of it as a fallback career. Here’s why that matters to you: If you don’t have a passion for the work, you’re not going to excel. Maybe you feel that being mediocre is OK at this point, but I hope not. I also hope you won’t bring that mindset to teaching. My father had a marvelous saying, “Where there’s no learning, there’s no teaching.” That was a proud professor taking on responsibility for getting his students to learn. And I believe that getting laid off taught you the wrong lesson: The goal isn’t to hide from change, but to excel at it.

J.T.: Moreover, I don’t believe there is such a thing as job security anymore. Every job is temporary. And while a role like being a teacher might seem secure, there are changes in education that could upend that stereotype. If you feel that you and your husband would make great teachers and would enjoy it long term, then go for it. But don’t just do it because you’ve lost your jobs due to market changes. As I said, every job is temporary – this is the new normal. Now is the time to learn how to deal with job insecurity: Build up your savings, live below your means, and keep up your skill sets so that you stay relevant in the marketplace. You can also try starting your own business on the side. When people have a side hustle, they tend to enjoy their work more and are able to save more as well. And they can use the side hustle to bridge the gap between jobs. Gone are the days where we work at some company our entire lives to get a steady paycheck and a gold watch. Now is the time to learn the new rules to employment. Don’t think about job security; think about how you can stay employed over and over again. That’s the real key to success.

Dear J.T. & Dale: I have a co-worker who is obsessed with politics and talks all the time about how she can’t stand the president. While she knows not to talk about it in front of our conservative management, for some strange reason she thinks it’s OK to talk about it with me. I’m not a political person, and my concern is that people will think I agree with her. What can I do to make her stop? – Wagner

DALE: You say that your co-worker expresses her opinions to you “for some strange reason.” No, not strange. Remember the old saying, “Silence gives consent.” (How old is that saying? It comes from Plato.) Your co-worker made a few comments and when you didn’t object, she kept going.

J.T.: I would pull your friend aside and have a very honest conversation with her. Tell her that it’s very clear that we are not supposed to talk politics in the office and that she is making you extremely uncomfortable. Tell her you apologize for not making it clearer sooner. Tell her you care deeply for her as a co-worker and don’t want to see her get in trouble. Tell her that if you notice her talking about it again, you will mention something to get her to stop, and walk away if you have to. Honestly, politics and religion are things that should be off-limits in the office.

DALE: No point in making an enemy. Simply make it about you, not her, saying something like, “I’ve decided I just can’t talk about politics; it’s too distracting, and I need to focus.” Then you mention some relevant work issue and change the subject. Guide the conversation, don’t kill the relationship.

Jeanine “J.T.” Tanner O’Donnell is a career coach and the founder of the leading career site www.workitdaily.com. Dale Dauten is founder of The Innovators’ Lab and author of a novel about H.R., “The Weary Optimist.” Please visit them at jtanddale.com, where you can send questions via email, or write to them in care of King Features Syndicate, 628 Virginia Dr., Orlando, FL 32803. (c) 2020 by King Features Syndicate Inc.

 

Share Your Story

Nativo Sponsored Content

Ad Tango


"

taboola desktop

MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS

1
West Side brewhouse movie theater sets reopening date
ABQnews Seeker
Flix Brewhouse on Albuquerque’s West Side ... Flix Brewhouse on Albuquerque’s West Side will reopen Sept. 30.
2
Local docuseries to highlight Santa Fe cuisine
ABQnews Seeker
Santa Fe is a world-class destination. ... Santa Fe is a world-class destination. Greg and Teresa Zoch are highlighting the City Different's cuisine in the docuseries, 'Santa Fe Foods.' 'Teresa and ...
3
ABQ doughnut shop finds itself ‘the perfect COVID business’
Business
Company growing by leaps and bounds Company growing by leaps and bounds
4
Rio Rancho development almost ready for home-building phase
Business
Land preparation for the new Las ... Land preparation for the new Las Residencias subdivision in the heart of Rio Rancho is right on track to wrap up by Halloween.
5
Flying 40 awardees weather the coronavirus storm
Business
The pandemic clipped the wings of ... The pandemic clipped the wings of many companies on this year's Flying 40 list of fast-growing techn ...
6
Flying 40 climb to new heights
Business
Lentech Inc. has steadily ascended the ... Lentech Inc. has steadily ascended the ranks since joining the annual Flying 40 list of fast-growing ...
7
Asian theme to grace 24th annual Flying 40
Business
Japanese artistry will grace this year's ... Japanese artistry will grace this year's annual Flying 40 awards event, scheduled for Wednesday at t ...
8
One-on-One: Katie Hagan — Head Vintner, La Chiripada Winery
ABQnews Seeker
By Ellen Marks For the Journal ... By Ellen Marks For the Journal Credit 'crazy curiosity and determination' for the lives Katie Hagan has already lived — and she's only 32. ...
9
SCOTUS rulings are final - until they're not
ABQnews Seeker
In James Joyce's classic short story ... In James Joyce's classic short story "Grace," a tipsy Irishman gives a comically garbled history of ...
10
Eating larvae, fighting bulls: All to close a deal
Business
Did you know that I am ... Did you know that I am a retired bullfighter? A friend and I were having lunch talking ...