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.

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Do I Tell Boss About Offer?

Q.1 I've been offered another job and want to tell my boss about it because I like him and I like this job, and am not sure I'm going to like this other one as well even though it offers more money and better benefits. Do I talk with my boss to try and make this decision?

Ans. No way. YOU must make this decision alone and take the risk and blame yourself for any negative consequences. But take a piece of paper, draw a line down the middle, write pros of both jobs on either side. Then write cons of both jobs on either side. Tally those and choose the job you really want to get up and run to every morning. Once decided, go to your boss and tell him your decision, either to stay even though you've had a fine offer, or to leave because you can't refuse it. If he bids you farewell and wishes you lucked you KNOW you've made the right decision to leave. If he asks you to stay, and throws in some benefits or bonus money, think seriously about taking him up on that and remaining at your desk. But remember, you can only do this once if you stay. Next time you'll have to just say goodbye.

Q.2 I am finally able to hire some additional staff at my small company and have been contacted by a service agency that's encouraging me to hire a returning serviceman. I want to help because I really am grateful for the sacrifice of these men and women, but I've seen some stuff on TV about their post-traumatic stress and I don't want to invite trouble. This is a pretty peaceful office. What are your thoughts?

Ans. Hold everything. Jumping to those kinds of conclusions is where misconceptions begin. As part of Warrior Care Month, the Army recently unveiled the "Hire a Veteran" education campaign which dispels concerns about the impact of post-traumatic stress disorder, and traumatic brain injury on job performance, the cost of reasonable accommodations for the disabled and lack of knowledge on how military skills translate to non-military jobs. At least give some of these great patriots a try!!! You will feel good about yourself and probably be surprised at what a great job they will do for you. See

Q.3 I'm facing the workplace for the first time and everyone is telling me to do something different. My parents told me to buy a suit and try to go for interviews. My teachers and friends told me to get on the Internet and search classifieds. My school counselor said to network among friends and family-however that's done. I'm wondering where I can get the best advice that I really can rely on?

Ans. There's a ton of advice available in all those places and more, but most people don't think of asking the advisor who will do the best job for them. Getting contradictory advice just confuses you, as you say here. Raul Valdes-Perez discusses the best way to choose the right advisor in his book, Advice Is For Winners: How To Get Advice For Better Decisions In Life And Work. He suggests you make the decision that you need to find an advisor. Figure out whom among the many choices that will be. Do background searches and have questions ready for the meeting. Ask those questions, then try and evaluate that counsel objectively. This should help you move forward with more confidence. Also remember you may be surprised by finding the best advice from those friends, family, and neighbors who sincerely care about your welfare and pass along tips about openings in their own companies. That, by the way, is networking.

Q.4 I've just started to give leadership presentations at corporations based upon a handbook I self-published and everyone that heard them gave me very good reviews and references. I am having trouble marketing my speaking engagements and don't want to spend the money to hire a marketing company. Do you have any other suggestions?

Ans. You usually have to think about spending money to make money, but in this case you can try and do it yourself as a start. Let your fingers do the walking through the Web, looking up any companies you believe can use your marketing advice. Keep phoning and leaving messages on voice mail because, sadly, few marketing directors answer their phones anymore. At the same time, call the switchboard and ask for email addresses of the same marketing directors, and send them a proposal by email that matches the phone message. Then keep calling and phoning until you do get an answer. That's pretty good marketing work and will show them you know what you're going to talk about.


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