Dear Coach: Is it ever a good idea to tell a supervisor that work conditions are so bad that you plan to start a job hunt? I know this is...

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Dear Coach:

Is it ever a good idea to tell a supervisor that work conditions are so bad that you plan to start a job hunt?

I know this is an ultimatum of sorts but wonder if it’s helpful.

I could not be fired in retaliation because I’m in a union.

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Carol Kleiman:

It is a very bad idea, indeed. You’d just be asking for an unpleasant confrontation. Instead, ask to meet with your supervisor and discuss what’s wrong.

And if that doesn’t work, just leave if you’re going to — without any threats.

Dear Coach:

I have sent out targeted résumés with the help of a professional résumé writer and still have had no luck in finding a job. What should I do?

CK:

It may not be the résumé. It may be that there are very few jobs in your field and a lot of applicants. Keep trying.

Dear Coach: Is it redundant to submit a résumé by mail after filling out an online application?

CK: It may be redundant, but it’s also important to do.

And don’t forget to include the cover letter.

Dear Coach:

I’ve worked on the night shift at my company for 30 years. Exposure is nonexistent and the day-shift guys get the plum jobs.

I believe that the only way I can obtain a better position would be to get a degree in something else and leave the company.

However, I’m afraid to take such a chance. Please advise.

CK:

Risk taking is risky.

But you are at a dead end and it’s up to you to take action. But before you make a move, figure out what you want to do.

Talk to a career counselor at the college you might attend. You probably can go to school during the day and continue to hold down your current night job.

Dear Coach:

I’m finding it hard to find a job as a secretary and I think it’s because I’m middle-aged.

The young kids don’t want to hire their mother!

Do you have a list of companies that would love to hire a woman with experience and dedication?

CK:

There is no such list because, legally, every employer should be on it: No one should be discriminated against because of age or sex.

Try doing temporary work and getting inside of companies so everyone can see what an excellent worker you are.

Dear Coach:

I am in the bowels of hell.

My supervisor is a racist — and most of us are minorities.

We work hard but she tells us how stupid we are, that if we can’t take the heat to leave.

What should I do?

CK:

I think you already know you have to take her “advice” and leave, no matter how good the pay is.

E-mail questions to Carol Kleiman at ckleiman@tribune.com. Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News.