DEAR ABBY: I am 26 and recently started a new job that I consider a leap forward in my career. It's been only two weeks, and my boss has already told me she thinks I am "trying too hard" and "compensating for my age." Honestly, I was just excited to come in to work and do my best. This is my work ethic.
I have swallowed her criticism and am now lying low, but my confidence is shot and I'm now questioning if I made the right decision joining this company. I can try to be quiet for a few weeks, but internally it is torture. I thought I was hired for my leadership skills and experience, but apparently I am "intimidating."
I have tried to brush the criticism off and put it in perspective, but I'm really hurt that traits I have been praised for before are being picked over now. How do I put these feelings aside and continue to work, and what should my approach be? How much should I modify who I am? -- SECOND GUESSING
DEAR SECOND GUESSING: Sometimes when starting a new job, it is wise to remain quiet until one gets the "lay of the land" and understands how the company functions before jumping in. My advice is to continue to lie low.
If things don't improve, schedule another conference with your boss. Tell her you thought you had been hired for your leadership skills and experience, but if you are coming across to others as abrasive, you need to know so you can change it. Let her guide you. If it doesn't work out after that, recognize that not all job placements are a good fit and start looking for something that is.