DEAR HARRIETTE: Recently, one of my co-workers was fired, and I'm finding it hard to keep going to work. He was my confidant, someone with whom I could complain about our supervisors, and a huge part of the reason I loved work. Now that he is gone, I don't know what to do. I can't follow him around in life, but I need to find something I love about work to keep me going. I lost my work sidekick, and without him, work is incredibly drab. How can I boost my spirits with this work environment shift? -- Man Down, Shreveport, Louisiana
DEAR MAN DOWN: It is time for you to focus on yourself and your goals. What do you want to get out of work? Can you figure out a path to getting a raise or otherwise improving the quality of your work? If you can come up with a plan for improving yourself, it may take the edge off of losing your friend.
On another note, you can decide to do good. During this season of giving, can you suggest a charitable activity that your company may want to adopt? By zooming in on others who are in need and figuring out ways to support them, you will likely come in contact with new team members, or at lease engage them differently. This can lift your spirits as well as the spirits of those around you.
Finally, you can stay in touch with your friend and schedule periodic "dates" to get together.