Dear Coach: I'm 57 years old and plan to retire at 62. But right now I'm very close to burnout and want to take off an entire month. How do I approach...

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Dear Coach:
I’m 57 years old and plan to retire at 62. But right now I’m very close to burnout and want to take off an entire month. How do I approach my boss about this?

Carol Kleiman:

Ask directly and give plenty of notice. I assume you mean to take it without pay, so that should make it easier to get approval.

Present a thorough plan of how your work can be handled in your absence.

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But don’t say you’re burned out — you might be burning your bridges.

Instead, just say that you need to attend to personal matters. And give a specific date when you will return.

Dear Coach:

I have attached my résumé to my e-mail to you. Can you tell me what I’m doing wrong?

I’m beginning to wonder if pacing the streets with a sandwich sign declaring my availability might be my only hope.

CK:

I’m sorry, I get scores of requests every day to analyze résumés, and I simply don’t have time to do so.

You might want to contact a professional career coach in your area and go over your résumé in person.

But I do know from your e-mail that you are articulate and communicate well.

Start networking with people in your field, join professional organizations or start your own.

And forget that sandwich board, at least for now.

Dear Coach:

I recently was interviewed for a job, and when I didn’t hear back, I called the sales manager.

During the conversation, he asked my age and told me how attractive I am.

He asked me to send another copy of my résumé and a photo, so he could give them directly to his boss.

Is this appropriate? I really want the job, but I’m very offended by him.

CK:

The age question is illegal, and you shouldn’t answer it.

And asking for a photo also is unacceptable.

You should report that guy. And don’t believe for one moment he’ll help you get the job. Continue your job search.

COACH CAROL’S 15-SECOND DRILL:

If you’re fired, ask for an in-depth explanation of why it happened.

Only Donald Trump can arbitrarily say, “You’re fired!” For other employers, it’s usually a long, thoughtful process. You can learn from it.

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