"Dear Carol, I'm struggling to navigate my first real job"
I have my first job, but my boss, who is only two years older, treats me like her personal assistant. And I can’t seem to say no to her requests. My other workmates advise me to set limits. But I am too shy to do so. Is that normal? I’m just not real-world smart.
Dear First Job,
Yes, that’s normal. You’ll become more confident with time and will pick up lots of street smarts, too. For now, good for you for having a job and a boss who knows you’re more than competent. Start saying to yourself: “I used to be shy, but I’m getting bolder.” And “I used to be only book smart, but I’m gaining experience.” If your job is to help your boss, you may need to do just that. If, however, you believe she’s taking advantage of you, try saying, “Sorry, I don’t think I can do that for you. I have too many deadlines of my own.” Setting limits is hard for all of us, but it’s important. And sometimes saying yes to yourself means saying no to someone else.
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