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I have the impression I need some coaching on how to deal with my job related issues. I find my career important but face some doubts navigating office politics, managing people, communicating and similar.

I mean general issues where I don't know what strategy to take in some situations, how much information I should share with my manager, etc. My manager is actually the biggest part of the problem. Yes, I could ask questions on here, but I would need to go to great lengths to make me unrecognisable in case the involved visit this site. Also, I find it important to get some advice from people who know me a bit and who know the culture. I feel I frequently need some objective career advice and reality check.

I'm not sure where to search for this kind of help though given that I don't earn enough to spend 100 euro a week on therapy.

Are there any other options apart from a shrink and a coach?

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    Could you give us a specific example or two of what you’re struggling with? – Jay Jun 8 at 18:08
  • Have you thought about talking to your manager about these issues? If that's not an option, there are a lot of participants in this community with a depth of experience handling these types of issues. See How do I ask a good question? – AffableAmbler Jun 8 at 18:29
  • Have you considered finding a mentor? Although all topics may not be appropriate there (especially if they work in the same company, which is not strictly required, but those are the easiest to find). Books, workshops, diplomas and similar could work too (and your company might even be willing to pay for some of those). You may be able to get therapy for free in some places. I don't think there are any other options (except asking your questions on a site like this). – Dukeling Jun 8 at 19:39
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    This is just a fire hose of vague questions that can not be answered without specifics. – user10399 Jun 10 at 7:55
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For your more broader issues, it'll probably be more cost effective for you to buy a few office-related self-help books and read those.

Forget office politics - simply concentrate on your job and communication that relates to the work you're doing.

Your core concern here is your communication with your manager. For clues, look at how other people interact and try to understand those interactions (without looking as though you're snooping).

There's also clues in your own interactions with your manager:

  • If they're asking too many questions, it's an indicator that you're not giving those details up front and your manager is having to drag them out of you. Listen to those questions and try to pre-empt them for next time around

  • If they're looking as though they're not engaging or look distracted, then you might be giving too much detail, or it's not relevant to this conversation. You then need to think about what your manager needs from you for this meeting and deliver that. Or ask.

I'm guessing that you're fairly new to the workplace and finding that things are overwhelming. If so, try not to worry - all of this comes from experience - you aren't expected to be perfect from the start, learning is part of the job.

A lot of what you learn will come from observing others and learning what behaviour succeeds, and what doesn't.

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I agree with one of the other suggestions, if possible a mentor outside of your immediate management line is the best option. Ideally there would such a scheme in place, but that very much depends on the company. Is there somebody there you could speak to, informally? Most workplaces have a go to person, normally a combination of them being experienced, knowledgeable but mostly approachable - the office Uncle so to speak.

If none of these are an option how about friends/family? They might not know the company culture, but they do know you.

Most important thing - this is very common, especially for people starting out in a professional environment. I was lucky in that we had a big gang of us start all at the same time when I started work, some with a bit more experience than others, and in different things. We sorted things out in our peer group (And we still pick each others brains 20 years later, even though we don't work together any more). Not everyone is so lucky (I wish we could recruit in the same way as our new starters tend to have to figure stuff out on their own)

If there are any peers you can reach out to, that would be great though. Probably turns out the super confident high flyer feels similar things to you. Join in on any social activities there may be going on, even if you don't feel so comfortable to start with.

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