Mrs Frank, your favorite agony aunt, is here to answer your questions. Submit your career dilemmas on the current job market or your work problems and Mrs Frank will come to the rescue with her answers and feedback. Your details will be kept completely anonymous and for those with confidential questions, please be reassured that they will treated in the strictest confidence. Submit your questions here and see below for some recently answered queries:
I do many more personal errands for my boss than executive work, should I raise this as an issue?
The answer to this really depends on what they hired you to do in the first place. Doing personal errands is part and parcel of many roles but if you were hired to focus purely on business related tasks then you should definitely discuss this with your boss. It is one thing to be scheduling business meetings and booking their lunches and quite another to be picking up their dry cleaning and buying their groceries!
I desperately want to progress my career but I feel my boss just avoids the topic because he wants to keep me working for him. What is the best way to handle this?
If you really do want to progress then you can't allow your boss to avoid such a crucial conversation. Book a time in their diary and be honest about your aspirations, and if they don't support you then I suggest you decide just how desperate you really are to progress. Staying put in a role with no future would be a sure fire way to go nowhere, fast. Be brave and take the appropriate action to move forward. If you have a good boss then they will not only understand but they will actively encourage you and support you in your ambitions. Good luck!
I think my boss is cheating on her husband, I feel really uncomfortable and don't know what to do. Please help!
You think? Or you know for certain? It might be something entirely innocent so don't jump to any conclusions. Remember, you're there to support, not to judge. That said, if you find yourself being asked to book hotel rooms and being asked to lie to their spouse then it’s probably time to find another job. Alternatively you could be courageous and have a difficult, but very important, conversation to clarify what’s going on and set your boundaries. Hopefully you’ll find a solution, after all it might simply be her personal yoga instructor! Let’s hope.
I'm constantly covering for errors that my manager makes and I'm starting to think I should just let him get found out, what should I do?
It depends. If your manager gets fired for incompetence and you're their EA, then you might lose your job too and then you wouldn't be very smart. Then again, if you're likely to get promoted to their position upon their unfortunate demise then you may have hit the jackpot! Try to work out why these errors are happening and help as a first option. One has to remember that managers are under a lot of pressure and your job is to help make their lives easier, not harder, so maybe you should take a different view point all together and cut them some slack.