You bought a house. Your colleague didn’t. It’s still okay to celebrate.

I applied for a position and over the course of two months had several interviews. I was asked to complete an assessment that included addressing four hypothetical situations. I was paid $500 for this job.

Next, they want me to do several more interviews. Additionally, and perhaps most disturbingly, the position is still posted online.

I’ve hired or promoted a couple dozen people in my career, and I’ve never subjected anyone to this kind of scrutiny. My fear is that this lengthy process is a sign that the company really doesn’t know what they’re looking for in this position.

What is your opinion?

– Anonymous

It is standard for job openings to remain posted until a position is formally filled and an employment contract has been signed. You are not really involved in a situation. You’re dealing with a long and, yes, convoluted interview process. Every time I hear about job searches that require so many interviews, I wonder why employers make things so unnecessarily complicated. But the rigorous process probably means they want to be as sure as possible about a new hire given the resources it typically takes to bring a new employee into an organization.

I am encouraged that you have been paid for the required evaluation. The organization understands that its work has value. All you can do is continue with the process and be your best professional self. Or, of course, you can simply withdraw from consideration if you’ve lost your patience. I recommend sticking with it. You have come this far. You are a contender. Good luck getting the job!

I have had trouble managing a relationship with a colleague. We used to intern together and our relationship was contentious. Before me, he had been the only intern for two years and earned a reputation as the “golden boy.” I brought a new perspective and work ethic that the team hadn’t experienced. I quickly became a valued member of the team and, as he later confessed to me, he became jealous and treated me negatively because he was insecure. He is a white man and I am a woman of color, which has contributed to our dynamic. He has a tendency to mansplain. Others on our team find his antics endearing, while I find them frustrating.

Now, we both work full time on the same team. Due to the pandemic hiring freeze, I started a year after him. During that year, he managed projects that are now part of my role. My work is more visible than yours. He can see what I’m doing, but I have no visibility of the projects from him. He continues to provide unsolicited and unhelpful feedback. Although he can see everything, he does not know the strategy behind it. I’ve tried to take it easy, gently rebuffing when he says the wrong things.

My patience is running out. I am doing my best to keep my head up and work diligently, especially since my manager is happy with my work. But it’s exhausting to hear constant criticism from someone who has no idea what they’re talking about, and to feel that communicating my discomfort to my manager won’t be received with understanding.

— Anonymous, Chicago

You have no obligation to listen to this man. Stop getting involved in these conversations. When he tries to offer unsolicited feedback, tell him you’re not looking for feedback at this time. Walk away. ignore it. Too often, we give ourselves over to blovian men for the sake of decorum. Life is too short. You don’t have to be rude, but you don’t have to indulge his nonsense. He can also tell you that he is not aware of all the information that is included in his work, so he would appreciate it if you would not comment on matters for which he only has a partial set of information.

Regardless, try not to be defensive as you are not the problem. You can also discuss this with your manager even if you don’t know if you will receive support. At a minimum, you can put this issue on management’s radar. Their strange interference is not conducive to a productive work environment, nor to your sanity.

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