‘JT & Dale Talk Jobs’ is the largest nationally syndicated career advice column in the country and can be found at JTandDale.com.
Dear J.T. and Dale: Here is the situation I am now, I am 35 year old and studying for a bachelor degree in accounting. But now I’m unemployed have no experience in that field. And need money to finish it. Last year I found a job but was fired during my probation and the next one was as bank teller but was fired again during my probation and the last one as a receptionist but fired again all say I do my work well but my communication skill is not good. What should I do? — A.L.
J.T.: You’re going to have to address the big issue here: your communication style. Lots of folks struggle with communication styles on the job.
Dale: I know you’re being gentle by calling A.L.’s problem “communication style.” But mistakes are not a style. No employer wants to be responsible for rewriting an employee’s every memo, or for an employee giving the impression that the organization doesn’t have high standards for its professionals. If that sounds harsh, I’m sorry; but, A.L., your teachers let you down. You must find someone to coach you. If you do, in a matter of weeks you can be speaking and writing with greater confidence.
J.T.: Meanwhile, you can continue to look for a job. On interviews, simply state that you are working on your communication skills and are looking for the right employer to help you make the most of the accounting degree that you were so close to receiving. Further, I’d visit local temp agencies and share your story. The recruiters may have some advice for you, and may also know of some companies that would be a good fit.
Dale: OK, but say you succeed in finding an employer with a backroom accounting department without client contact. Then what? There is no reason to let this problem limit your career, A.L. Find someone to work with you one on one, then start taking classes. This is no different from someone who doesn’t drive a car wanting to get a job doing outside sales. Ask friends or relatives, find an out-of-work teacher, contact a community college — whatever it takes, solve the problem and let your career take off.
Jeanine “J.T.” Tanner O’Donnell is a professional development specialist and the founder of the consulting firm, jtodonnell.com, and of the blog, CAREEREALISM.com. Dale Dauten resolves employment and other business disputes as a mediator with AgreementHouse.com.
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