I’m a college dropout. My parents were pestering me to find a job. I have since successfully attended an interview and found myself a customer service job.

My job scope is to find customers for gold investment and it’s commission-based. Some of my colleagues have been promoted to managers just because they have potential clients. However, my team manager is not that active and he doesn’t come to work frequently.

I feel left out. I really don’t know what to do. Should I quit the job? I’m suffering from depression because of this.

Confused

It is not uncommon for those lower down the ranks to end up paying for the incompetence of senior management. But, just because you are lower in rank, it doesn’t mean that you are helpless and have to suffer the consequences of your incompetent manager. The key to getting ahead is being proactive. Stop waiting for others to make a move. You have to take the bull by the horns and do something about it.

The first thing you may have to consider doing is talking to your manager. Find out why you have not yet been promoted. Ask him what you need to do in order to get promoted. Sit with him and work on a plan with clear deliverables, so that you will be able to identify what you have achieved when the time comes for you to ask for your promotion.

If you feel that you need someone else to drive and push you towards your goal, identify others in your organisation who can help you with this. They can be your friends in your organisation. Or, you can identify another manager to model yourself after and drive yourself to achieve the same or more.

If talking to your manager doesn’t help, you may have to consider taking the matter to someone more senior in the organisation. But, before you do this, you must make sure the fault is with your manager and not with your work performance. You must do everything you can to make sure your work is impeccable and without reproach.

Work on your confidence. This is not just about talking to your managers, but also to improve yourself and be better at your job. Working in sales, you would have to have a high level of interaction with people and it would be of no help at all if your confidence is not in tip-top shape.

You got this job with the qualifications you have. Your employers were well aware of your academic history when they hired you. So, do not let the fact that you dropped out of college affect you. The fact that you even mentioned it in this letter means that it is something that bothers you. The question now, is this bothering you enough to affect your job performance? Your challenge would be not to let it do so.

Dear Thelma
IS something bothering you? Do you need a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on? Thelma is here to help. Write to Dear Thelma, c/o Star2, Menara Star, 15, Jalan 16/11, 46350 Pet aling Jaya, Selangor or e-mail: star2.thelma@thestar.com.my. Please include your full name and address, and a pseudonym. No private correspondence will be entertained . The Star does not give any warranty on accuracy, completeness, usefulness, fitness for any particular purpose or other assurances as to the opinions and views expressed in this column. The Star disclaims all responsibility for any losses suffered directly or indirectly arising from reliance on such opinions and views.