DEAR HARRIETTE: I’m in the running for a new job at my company. The woman above me just quit to go to another company. It’s obvious (to me, at least) that this is the perfect job for me. I think my bosses like me a lot, and they say I am doing a good job. What should I do to lobby for this position? I want to get to the next level at my company, and I feel that now is my chance. -- On the Move, Philadelphia
DEAR ON THE MOVE: Take the time to research the job opening. What are the qualifications needed? Do you fulfill them? What makes you uniquely suited for this role? Develop answers to these questions so that you can go to your bosses and pitch yourself confidently as the right person for the job. Be proactive. Don’t wait too long to alert your bosses to your interest. You need to seem eager and prepared to step in. Don’t talk to your co-workers about it. Go directly to your bosses. When you present your strengths, do not compare yourself to any individuals in your company. Instead, speak to your interests and knowledge of the business. State with enthusiasm that you are ready to step into this next role. Tell them that they can trust you do to an excellent job.
DEAR HARRIETTE: When I was growing up, I never had to do chores. I know that sounds crazy, but it’s true. I was a good student and I convinced my parents that I had to do homework rather than wash dishes or make my bed. Now I realize that I didn’t learn basic skills. As an adult, I have always had a housekeeper, but now I am married and my husband hates the idea of a housekeeper. He thinks we should clean our house ourselves. I don’t know the first thing about cleaning, nor do I want to do it. How should I handle this? -- Need Cleaning Help, Raleigh, North Carolina
DEAR NEED CLEANING HELP: I wonder if there is a way for there to be a hybrid situation here. You definitely should learn how to do household basics. It is not too late for you to brush up on these skills. Your participation will encourage your husband. You can recommend that you also have housekeeping support of some kind on a regular basis to ensure that everything remains clean and tidy.
You may need to work on your husband to get him to feel comfortable about someone coming into the household who is not a family member. Your husband is not unusual in not wanting this extra person to be there. In order to get him to be comfortable about this, you need to choose someone who comes with strong recommendations and who is respectful of your privacy. Your active participation in cleaning your home should also soften your husband to agreeing to your request, since it shows that you are willing to agree to his.
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to email@example.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)