Ask Jack: Always Late, Kevin Needs Work, and Job of the Week

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Jordan has a gripe:

A co-worker, who sits right outside my office, waltzes into work around noon every day. We have relatively flexible hours, so people do come in between 8:30 and 11, but I think getting in at noon is just ridiculous! He doesn't report to me so I really can't say anything to him. I know for a fact that his boss had already told him several months ago to get in earlier, but has since given up. He claims to stay late at night but the few times that I've stayed late myself, he's usually gone before I myself leave. And this person is ALWAYS late on every single project he's working on! I know it's really none of my business, but it really irritates me when he comes in after I've already put in half a day's work. What to do?

Jordan, I feel your pain, but somewhere in there, you answered your own question: It's probably none of your business. It can be very frustrating -- at work, in life, even in popular culture -- when other people don't live up to our personal standards. But you can really only focus on your own behavior, being the best "you" that you can be, and hope it rubs off on those around you. In this case, if the person's boss is already aware, and deadlines are being missed, you'll just have to trust that it will be resolved one way or another.

Now, if those late projects ever involve you, that's an area where you can exert some influence. Always start out confronting the person directly, and not as an accusation: "Hey, I know you have a lot on your plate, but I can't meet my deadline unless you meet your deadline." Oh, this won't work, but at least you tried -- before ratting the person out. Effects on your own productivity is certainly something you can bring to the attention of your supervisor. Also, you may want to suggest a weekly staff status-report meeting at 11 a.m.; that could help kill two birds with your noon-arriving, deadline-missing amigo.

Kevin tweeted to us:

What job should I get?

Kevin, I don't know you very well, but you seem adept at social media; see my Job of the Week below. Otherwise, all I can tell you is to focus on both your interests and your skills. Now, talent is an interesting thing. It's not necessarily based on what you studied in school or on responsibilities at previous jobs you've had. People pick up expertise in all sorts of different ways. So it's up to you to convince employers that you have skills that may not be necessarily screaming from your résumé. Again, think about what you'd like to be doing, what you're able to do, and where those two categories overlap. Then see what's out there: in online listings like on AOL Jobs, in your local paper, on LinkedIn, through an employment agency, via "Help Wanted" signs, or just talking with friends and family (i.e. networking). Good luck and let us know how your search goes!


Last week's Ask Jack questions

Do you have a work-related question for Jack? Write it in the comments below (better answers to this week's questions are also welcome!) or tweet it @AOLJobs with the hashtag #AskJack.

Jack's Job of the Week

Let's give Kevin the first crack at this, but if you're near Tulsa, Oklahoma, and you like beef, there's an opening for a Social Media Specialist with Arby's. Hmm, you might have to deal with some customers' beef beefs! AOL Jobs has thousands of other job listings, across the country in every possible field. Do a search now; eat a sandwich later.

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