Ask Dr. Job’s chief contributor, Sandra Pesmen, is a member of the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame and author of “DR. JOB’s Complete Career Guide.”

Winner of several journalism awards, Pesmen is a graduate of the University of Illinois Media College at Urbana, and is listed in several Who’s Who editions. She also has been Corporate Features Editor of Crain Communications Inc., founding Features Editor of Crain’s Chicago Business and a reporter/features writer for The Chicago Daily News.

For information on partnering with, please contact us.

Forgive Self for Unwise Affair

Q.When I joined my last company 30 years ago as sales manager, there was a super saleswoman on staff 15 years younger than me. We became a team. I gave her the best accounts and she doubled their sales. We went up the ladder together. I brought her in to all meetings and gave her the opportunity to speak up and shine when many of the concepts actually came from me. Although we both were married, we became "more than friends" for several years. Eventually that part of our relationship ended. Recently, I was suddenly demoted and this woman had my job. That meant I reported to her until I was able to retire a few months later. I'm angry that I was so naïve that I let her take advantage of me for so long, and then steal my job. I never saw it coming. I'm trying to adjust to a completely new life in retirement, but I'm still angry. How do I get rid of it?

Ans. Since you admit you were naïve, you've done the hardest part. Now it's time to forgive yourself. It's over. Put it behind you and move on. This isn't just about the job. It's about being used unfairly by a colleague who was trying to get ahead. Let's hope you would be equally angry if a man had done that. Either way, it's time to look around at all the good things in your new life of freedom and start enjoying them. That includes the loyal wife if she is still with you.

Don't Sabotoge Your Career

Reader Questions Community Colleges