Q: I've realized my boss is out to get me no matter how hard I work. He's put me on probation but he's told other people in the company...

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Q: I’ve realized my boss is out to get me no matter how hard I work. He’s put me on probation but he’s told other people in the company he wants me gone. I feel completely unappreciated and betrayed. How do I fix this?

A: To fix your situation, you’ll have to do two things: Admit where you have no power in your current circumstances; and focus more on your present reality than on what is fair.

You may indeed be correct that your boss has not appreciated your hard work and has betrayed you. You may even be right that none of what is happening to you is fair. But being right that other people are behaving badly doesn’t help you.

We all need to have an emotional rest stop where we vent, complain and rant about circumstances we don’t like. We then have to make a decision: Do we remain a victim, or direct our energy into getting what we need?

Think of your current circumstances as being like gravity. You may not like it, but it’s a fact. You can spend a lot of time being upset about gravity, or work around it.

If your boss wants you gone, most likely the only question is when and how. Your immediate problem is how to take care of yourself financially.

Take control of what you can influence, like evaluating your finances. Do you have savings, can you cut costs, or can you negotiate a severance package from your current employer? In addition, consider how you can add income. Can you work part time or even sign up for temporary work while you look for a new job?

When we have a conflict with our boss, it isn’t the conflict itself that scares us. What scares us is confusing our job with our survival.

In reality, our survival isn’t dependent on one job, company or boss. Our survival depends on our willingness to cope with our circumstances. The good news is, nobody has control over that willingness. The only person who can be out to get us ultimately is ourselves. Everything else is just a temporary setback.

If you aren’t out to get yourself, be as gracious as possible with your current boss. You may make him question his behavior if you exit gracefully to another job. You’ll simply confirm his opinion if you loudly proclaim his shortcomings on your way out the door.

In the long run, your boss had the ability only to take away this one job. You’ve got a whole career ahead that he has no power to influence.

The last word(s)

Q: I work in an office where one of the female managers often bakes cookies. Is this a good idea for women?

A: Not unless your first name is “Martha” and your last name is “Stewart.” Employees can get confused about whether you’re their mommy or their manager.

Daneen Skube, Ph.D., is an executive coach, trainer, therapist, speaker and author of “Interpersonal Edge: Breakthrough Tools for Talking to Anyone, Anywhere, About Anything” (Hay House, 2006). She can be reached at 1420 N.W. Gilman Blvd., No. 2845, Issaquah, WA 98027-7001; by e-mail at interpersonaledge@comcast.net; or at www.interpersonaledge.com. Sorry, no personal replies. To read other Daneen Skube columns, go to www.seattletimes.com/daneenskube