Ask Jack: Insulting Boss, Contract Work, and Job of the Week

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AOL Jobs reader Shilpy wants to know...

What if your boss constantly insults your intelligence and your personality (not having anything to do with work, mind you) in person and in emails and despite discussing it with her politely, she still continues to do it?

Shilpy, just remember: You're good enough, you're smart enough, and goshdarnit, people like you. (Sorry, I still can't stop thinking about that Saturday Night Live 40th anniversary special.) You are in what's known as a crappy situation. You did the decent thing by first attempting to confront this person directly. But some people only change if they think they're going to get in trouble. So it's time to go to human resources or to your boss's boss, and lay it all on the line. I hope you've saved those emails; having evidence is a wonderful thing. Of course, this process may strain your relationship with the boss even further, so you might want to see if you can shift to another department, or you may even want to go another company. Life is too short to get bullied at work -- find a place where you're treated with respect.

Ted says:

After a fairly lengthy period of unemployment, I've finally landed a decent job. One downside is that it's a contract position, but it is for a year, so that's OK. And they've told me there's a chance the position could become permanent. Any tips to increase my odds?

Ted, that is excellent! Congratulations. Let this serve as inspiration to all of you who have been out of work for a long while. Don't give up! I know it's frustrating, even soul-crushing, but the job for you is definitely out there -- keep looking, keep applying. Now, we definitely live in the era of contract positions: no benefits, no guarantees. These jobs can sometimes become permanent, when you prove yourself as a valuable employee, and when their internal budget situations get resolved.

Of course, a lot of that is out of your control. So for now, just be the best employee and coworker you can be. Show up early; bosses like that. Be thorough. Hit your deadlines. Offer to help. Personality-wise, strive for a happy medium. (I left a huge tip for my psychic -- now that was a happy medium!) Don't be the super-loud person, and don't be super-quiet. Be kind. Be aware of your eccentricities -- we all have 'em -- and don't flaunt them. A good worker who gets along with everybody? That's who they'll want to keep around! Of course, not to be Debbie Downer (there I go with the SNL again), but do keep your eyes open for other opportunities, just in case a permanent post isn't in the cards this time. Good luck!

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

Did you know that EDI stands for Electronic Data Interchange? Then you're already one step ahead of me for this EDI Analyst job in Aurora, Illinois! (Which happens to be the home of "Wayne's World." OK, OK, no more SNL, I promise.) Do be aware that it is a contract position, and the boss may call you names, but don't worry about it. As the listing says: "Geek. Nerd. Brainiac. No longer insults." This is just one of thousands of jobs coast-to-coast that you can find with a search on AOL Jobs. Party on!

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