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.

Speaking up Means Risk

Q. There are so many things about my new office that I know could be improved, but I'm the new kid on the block and wonder if I dare mention them to my supervisor. I don't want to make trouble, but if these things were fixed, the place would function more efficiently and it would make all of us look better. Do I chance it?

Ans. You do, but not so fast. Start listing your observations with suggestions and print them out. Then put them in your bottom drawer for a few months. You may see there's a reason for the way things are done, and you may cross some of them off. If, at the end of six months, you still feel sure that your suggestions ARE productive and will make things better, ask for a meeting with your immediate supervisor and suggest them. Do not complain. Do not be negative. Suggest them verbally in a positive and pleasant way. Then hope for the best. But remember you are taking a risk that your supervisor will think you are criticizing his management. It may cost you in terms of favor, promotions, or raises; so be prepared for that.

Saying Thanks Without Bonus

Want Xmas Job? Go for It!