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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Ask DR.JOB Q and A: Don't Ever Assume Failure

(Q 1.) I WAS HIRED FOR MY CREATIVE TALENTS and have done well but management recently fired several people and gave their work to those of us who remained. One of my new jobs involves math and I don't do math well. Do I tell management I don't want to cooperate in this new downsizing-or try and struggle through it, possibly making such a mess I'll be fired?

(A) THERE'S NO REASON TO 'CRYSTAL BALL' and assume that you'll fail at the new jobs assigned to you. Give yourself a chance, and with a positive attitude go to your superior immediately whenever you hit a problem with the new work. Ask that it be explained and at least show a cooperative attitude. If after a few weeks you still believe you can't do that work, explain that to your boss, asking for some other work to help lighten the office load.

ASK DR.JOB Tip of the Week:

Balancing Real Job Fears vs. Imagination