Independence Day

Published on July 4th, 2015 by Alan L. Sklover

“The bravest things we do in our lives are usually known only to ourselves.”

– Peggy Noonan

You might not have thought about it, but Lady Liberty always stands by herself. The quest to be free, and to help others be free, is first and foremost an internal quest. When my mother was a child, she arrived in New York harbor on a boat, and she no doubt saw Lady Liberty standing there, all by herself. At that moment, I’m certain my mother felt less alone. Just as Lady Liberty does each day, so, too, can each of us do something – however small – to help someone be free: free from hunger, free to express his or herself, free to pray (or not to pray) in any way they want to, and to be free from fear. Go ahead, lift a torch to someone. Enjoy your freedom to do so.

That’s what our blog efforts are all about. On behalf of all of us at SkloverWorkingWisdom we wish you a happy and safe 4th of July.

© 2015 Alan L. Sklover. All Rights Reserved

“Can I decline a job offer I already accepted without ‘burning bridges?‘”

Published on July 1st, 2015 by Alan L. Sklover

Question: Please, Alan, I want to know how to write a resignation letter to a new employer who made me a job offer. I accepted it, but before I started the new job, when I resigned, my present boss gave me the same package to stay.

I want to keep on good terms with this company that gave me a job offer, and get consideration if this employer has a new job opening in the future.

Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

Answer: Dear Kimaryo: I understand your predicament, in fact, I was once in your situation, myself several years ago, as a younger lawyer. And because I have been an employer for over 30 years, I have been on the “other side” also. While you cannot be certain that the employer whose offer you accepted, and are now declining, will consider you for other jobs in the future, you can do your best to achieve that result. Nothing is guaranteed, except that if you do your best, that is the best you can do.
Continue Reading. . .

Sklover’s Thought for the Work Week

Published on June 29th, 2015 by Alan L. Sklover

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“In the end, it’s all about love and work, isn’t it?”

– Charlie Rose

When I recently heard Charlie Rose say this, it struck me how much our daily work defines us, and that work may just be right up there with the quest for love in our lives. And it makes no difference whether you are a media executive, a waitress in a coffee shop, or a brain surgeon. New love and new work uplift us; loss of love and loss of work “downsize” us all. Whether we know it or not, “making a living” is a large part of “making a life.”

© 2015 Alan L. Sklover. All Rights Reserved

[If you would like to contribute a favored quote, saying or proverb, please submit it to us at].

“Interview After Employee Files a Complaint – 26 Pointers for Attending the Meeting”

Published on June 23rd, 2015 by Alan L. Sklover

“He who asks questions cannot avoid the answers.”

– Cameroon Proverb

ACTUAL “CASE HISTORY: Celeste was at the end of her rope. For 12 years she had worked as a Senior Sales Manager for a large handbag manufacturer, and had risen over time in title, responsibilities, and compensation. To say that she was highly regarded and universally admired by all who she worked with would be an understatement.

Recently, though, her employer instituted a new policy: all Purchase Orders had to be reviewed by Divisional Sales Managers for “accuracy.” Celeste was puzzled because she had never, in her 12 years, heard of “inaccuracy” in the Purchase Orders she submitted, or those submitted by anyone else. Not once. Regardless, she complied.

Shortly after, Celeste began to notice that Purchase Orders were being “corrected” by increasing the sales price by a few percent, and decreasing the large-order discounts applicable to those sales. Worried about customer complaints, Celeste inquired about the “corrections” with her Manager; she was told that it was not her job to manage her Manager.

Sensing that something was not right, Celeste called the (supposedly) confidential “Integrity Hotline” telephone number in her Employee Handbook, and left a message questioning the new “corrections” policy. Within two days, Celeste received an email from General Counsel’s office to requesting that she attend a meeting with an Outside Legal Counsel without being told the purpose of the meeting.

Celeste sensed that she had better “play” this carefully, and that this could come back to “haunt” her in one way or another. And, so, she called us for a consultation. It was good that she did, because the “meeting” was to investigate her — and her “false allegations.”

LESSON TO LEARN: At work, every now and then someone finds it necessary to question, object, or complain about something that is simply does not seem right, legal or tolerable. It could be workplace violence, a danger to health or safety, illegal behavior, bullying, harassment, discrimination, retaliation or any number of other things.

Whether it is you who filed the complaint or someone else, you might be called in to answer questions of an investigator from (a) Human Resources, (b) Employee Relations, (c) internal legal counsel, (d) outside legal counsel, or (e) some combination of these people.

Most importantly, you need to understand that, as an employee, you have an obligation to cooperate in any investigation, whether or not you believe it affects you and whether or not you want to.

But questions remain, most commonly (1) “How should I prepare?”, (2) “What should I do or say?”, (3) “Can I bring a lawyer with me?” and (4) “Could I be hurt in some way by what I say?” Because your job and career might be on the line, it is unquestionably a stressful and tricky situation.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Based on our many years assisting in such matters, here is what we advise our clients:
Continue Reading. . .

Sklover’s Thought for the Work Week

Published on June 22nd, 2015 by Alan L. Sklover

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“Don’t give up before the magic happens.”

– Fannie Flagg

Recently a friend told me that his daughter was “thisclose” to quitting her job. It seemed to be overwhelming, futile, and beyond exhausting. He urged her to simply hang in there, even if it was just by her fingertips, and even if it meant just going through the motions on a day-by-day basis. She did stay, and she did try, and is now proud, productive and passionate about her new position. No matter how difficult your job sometimes seems, remember that it’s always darkest before the dawn, and that life always seems most meaningless just before the magic begins.

© 2015 Alan L. Sklover. All Rights Reserved

[This quote was submitted by our BlogFriend Cary of West Tampa, Florida. If you would like to contribute a favored quote, saying or proverb, please submit it to us at].

Alan L. Sklover

Alan L. Sklover

Employment Attorney
and Career Strategist
for over 30 years

Job Security and Career Success now depend on knowing how to navigate and negotiate to gain the most for your skills, time and efforts. Learn the trade secrets and 'uncommon common sense' of Attorney Alan L. Sklover, the leading authority on "Negotiating for Yourself at Work™".

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