Dear Gretchen: I injured my knee at work and fractured a bone. The doctor has instructed me to wear a brace and to use my left foot when driving to accelerate and brake. My condition is going to require medical leave to recover. I would like to ask for workers’ compensation. What is the best way to do this? I am afraid of getting fired. – Injured on the Job, Tampa, FL
Dear Injured: If you need medical leave, take it. You were hurt on the job and workers’ compensation is in place for that exact reason. The first step to receiving workers’ comp is to speak with your boss and your HR department so that you can report your injury. Ask about the next steps and how you file a claim. From there, find out what the procedure is to take time off. If you do not get the answer or support that you need, contact a workers’ compensation attorney to help you maneuver the ins and outs of your case and settlement. There are many legitimate reasons an employer can terminate your employment while on workers comp. However, they can not fire you because you applied for or are on, workers’ comp. That type of retaliatory termination is against the law. Be sure to educate yourself so that you know your rights. – Gretchen
Dear Gretchen: What do you do when the direction you were going in doesn’t work out? How do you pick up the pieces and find a new direction? – Stumbling in Oakland, CA
Dear Stumbling: Finding a new direction can be exciting and anxiety causing all at the same time. Give yourself the time you need to do some introspective soul searching on who you are, the experiences you’ve had, and what you would like to do with the time that you have left. Considering the legacy you want to leave in word and deed is always a good place to start your roadmap. When you consider what you want to be known for and the contribution you will leave when you are gone, you will find clues about your new direction. There are many good books that can help you define your life’s purpose. Working with a professional life coach is another way to pick up the pieces and find your new path. By asking thought-provoking questions and allowing you the space you need to talk things out, these practitioners are skilled at helping you define your way while designing your life. – Gretchen
Dear Gretchen: I am connected to a family member on Facebook that continually makes degrading comments about other’s religious beliefs and sometimes goes a little too far with racial stereotypes. While I feel obligated to remain Facebook friends, I don’t want to be associated with such a small-minded person. Do I unfriend her and cause a rift in the family? -Facebook Folly, Michigan, MI
Dear Facebook Folly: We all have people on our feeds whose posts we would rather not see or be associated with. If you want to remain friends but do not wish to see this person’s posts, simply click on the drop down button on the right side of their post and click unfollow. This will allow you to stay friends but not have their posts on your feed. Family rift averted! – Gretchen
Dear Gretchen: A client in a new territory requested pricing. The quote was higher than the price they had received from their previous rep. While I was home sick, the client had a call with their former rep as well as my manager, and requested their old rep be in charge of their account. They said I was too pushy. This is the second time a client has does this behind my back. I am a respectful and upfront person. I am very upset and would appreciate your advice on the best way to handle this situation. – Hardworking Twin Mama, Los Angeles, CA
Dear Hardworking: Sales can be a tough business. It takes strong communication skills and a lot of emotional intelligence to define and meet a client’s needs. Clients have the right to talk to whomever they feel the most comfortable with because, at the end of the day, it is their money that is being spent on the product or service. Since you have had this experience more than once, it may benefit you to invest in sales training. There are several good courses that can help you to develop and enhance your techniques. Regarding the rep whose territory you are taking over, have a conversation with this person and your manager, and ask to be caught up to speed on the accounts. Find out what makes each client tick and anything else that they can share that might be useful. Adopting a spirit of curiosity will help you in the workplace and with sales. – Gretchen
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