Category: Dear Career Sensei

Dear Career Sensei – How do I tell my Colleague that His Breath Stinks?

How do I tell a coworker he has bad breath?


Dear Career Sensei,

I am the only woman in a team of 3 and get along quite well with both of my colleagues. One of my colleagues whom I would refer to as “A” is very hardworking, helpful and is a team player whereas the other whom we shall call “B” is equally hardworking but tends to spend a lot of his free time on unproductive activities like water cooler conversations.

“A” has very poor hygiene habits,  he comes to work looking unkempt, wears the same outfits for days on end without washing them leading to a BO and has the worst breath I’ve ever been unfortunate to experience.

“B” avoids interacting with “A” thus making my job more complicated than I’d like. When I raised it with him, he told me that he would rather be reassigned to another team than work with “A ” as he finds him repulsive (his words) and if reassignment was not a possibility he would rather quit his job than continue to work with him.

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Dear Career Sensei – Should I disclose my Pregnancy in a Job Interview?

Marissa Mayer got the top job at Yahoo! while pregnant

Dear Career Sensei,

I’ve been interviewing with a company for a role that I really, really want.

So far, all the interviews have been offsite via phone and Skype but I’m scheduled to meet with the hiring manager next week and while my qualification for the job is not in question, I happen to be 20 weeks pregnant!

I don’t intend to disclose my pregnancy for fear that it would limit my chances of getting the job and with the right styling, I can conceal my bump.

I’m I being dishonest by keeping my pregnancy secret? Is a company within their right to rescind an offer based on such dishonesty?

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Dear Career Sensei – I want to quit my Job to start my own Business

Dear Career Sensei,

I am an intelligent and business savvy professional with over 10 years’ experience, 8 of which I’ve spent with my current employer. Though it’s a small company with a staff strength of less than 20, we control approximately 10% of the market.
There’s really not much of  a future for me here as I hold the highest office an employee can within the company, the only two positions higher than mine are held by the owners and co-founders of the business, a married couple.
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Why your online Activities May be Hurting your Job Search

In the early days when the Facebook userbase were mainly milenials, I would often update my status to reveal what I was upto from the important (job interviews, work functions) to the mundane (what I was eating for dinner). As the medium started to become more popular with generation x’s and baby boomers, and my network began to grow to include older relatives and colleagues, I began to tone down the amount of information I shared but would occasionally share my plans for Friday nights. My typical Friday posts were often funny depictions of my love for alcohol, so I’d share something like “TGIF- Totally single so tonight I’m going to be spending the night alone with a bottle of Grey Goose Vodka” or “I’m going to dance and get wasted with my girls tonight”, you know, typical single girl living a life of debauchery posts.

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Dear Career Sensei – I Hate my Boss

Dear Career Sensei,

My boss is lazy, rude, crass and vindictive and I really hate him.

He makes what would have been an otherwise great job stressful and even though I am actively searching for another job, I’m starting to think that it’s best I quit now because I fear that I may soon be forced to react to his  mood swings and constant condescension by lashing out at him and saying what I really feel about him which could lead to me  losing my job on the grounds of insubordination.

Please help because I am at my wits end.


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Dear Career Sensei – I’m in Love with my Boss


Dear Career Sensei,
I’m in a fix. I think I’ve fallen hard for my boss!

She’s hot, flirts with me, assigns the best projects to me and sings my praises to our director.
My colleagues have even noticed that she treats me differently and now refer to me as ‘Teachers Pet’ behind her back.

We are both single with nothing to lose should I go ahead and ask her out?

Yours Truly,

Hot and bothered

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Dear Career Sensei – Why Can’t I wear shoes I’m comfortable in?


I have just taken up a new job as a sales representative. Yesterday I was informed by my manager that I am not allowed to wear flat shoes to work and that I must keep my hair either in a bun or straightened shoulder length.Dear Career Sensei,

While I don’t have an issue with the hairstyle, I’m uncomfortable in heels, I told my manager this and she suggested I wear kitten heels or wedge shoes.
I wasn’t informed about a dress code during the interview process and the employee handbook makes no mention of these (it just states that we should be professionally dressed to work). Isn’t this discrimination?

Yours Truly,

Uncomfortable in Heels

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Dear Career Sensei – I’m I too Old to Switch Careers?

Dear Career Sensei,

A friend sent me your post on switching careers and while I found it insightful, I think that it is not practical in my case.

You see, I am 38yrs old with over 10 years experience as a bank teller. I feel very unfulfilled at my job as it is too monotonous and there aren’t many growth prospects (have you ever heard of a Chief Teller Officer?). I would really love a career in Public Relations because I always had a flair for public speaking, writing and I really enjoy engaging people in deep, meaningful conversations but I feel that my first degree in Computer Science and post-graduate diploma are unrelated to my dream career.

Even if I take your advice of educating myself by taking PR courses and certifications, by the time I’m done I would be at least 40. Would any firm hire a 40yr old greenhorn?

Yours truly,

Sick and Tired Bank Teller

Dear Sick and Tired,

I’ll just start by saying it’s never too late to start over. There are many cases of pensioners ventured and succeeded in new and different fields after retiring from their first careers. 
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Dear Career Sensei – Should I Snitch on the Boss?

Dear Career Sensei,
I was recently passed over for a promotion that my supervisor and I were so sure that I would get. My supervisor recommended me for the promotion but informed me that our director chopped my name off the list because she felt I wasn’t qualified just yet. It really frustrates me that the said director gets to make such important decisions on my growth within the company when she doesn’t work directly with me and is not privy to how committed I am to the job.
I am gutted because I’ve given my all to this job and even turned down another offer 3 months earlier because I was certain I was going to get this promotion Read more

Dear Career Sensei – Can I file a sexual harassment complaint?


A male colleague has been making unwarranted sexual advances towards me and it has started to cause me discomfort and affect my performance negatively.
He hasn’t come outright to say anything to me or even lay a finger on me but he’s fond of throwing sexual innuendos my way under the guise of paying me compliments or cracking vulgar ‘jokes’ whenever we are the only ones in the cubicle.
I want to report him to HR but I don’t have any concrete evidence as it is very subtle and he only does it whenever we are alone so its hard to make a case.


Your wise counsel would be very much appreciated.
Sad Lass

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