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Young businesswoman upset at work (Berc/Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Young businesswoman upset at work (Berc/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

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Setback at work? Here's how to regain your confidence Add to ...

In her 30s, Barbara Moses had such a terrible boss, working for him left her self-confidence shattered. She eventually had to quit the job and pick up the pieces of her career.

Most people will have some sort of negative work experience during their careers. Whether it’s an abusive manager, a job loss or an embarrassment at work, it can lead to what Ms. Moses calls a “crippling crisis of self-confidence.”

More from Barbara Moses

Ms. Moses joined Globe Careers readers for an online discussion about how to deal with bad work experiences that cause people to lose confidence at work. Ms. Moses, president of BBM Human Resource Consultants Inc., is a work-life expert, a regular contributor to The Globe and Mail's Careers section, and author of several best-selling books, including her latest, Dish: Midlife Women Tell the Truth About Work, Relationships and the Rest of Life.

You can replay the discussion in the box below.

11:43

Globe Careers: Thanks for joining Globe Careers for a one-hour discussion with work-life expert Barbara Moses. Barbara will begin answering questions at noon (ET), and you can submit your questions for her now.

11:55

Comment From Barbara Moses

Thanks for having me. I am looking forward to hearing readers' concerns.

12:00

Comment From mini

How do I best explain a 1 yearr gap on my resume spent job hunting?

12:02

Barbara Moses: It is very common today, especially for mid life and older workers, to be between jobs for more than a year. If you are talking about how to explain it on your resume, I would simply not address it. It will be obvious that you lost your job. However if you took courses during period or did an occasional consulting assignment, you should definitely show them. ...

12:02

Barbara Moses: In an interview simply indicate you were actively job searching. Nothing to be ashamed of- employers understand.

12:03

Globe Careers:  [Comment From Guest: ]

I'm 50 and the Academic I've work for for the last 19 years is getting close to retiring! Should I retrain or try and stay focused on a lateral move. FYI, I work in basic research!

12:04

Barbara Moses: That depends entirely on what you do for a living and how transferable your skills are. As a general rule, people who retrain at an older age are less successful in making a full career transition than younger conterparts. You might be better off leveraging skills you already have in your repertoire and re-packaging them in new ways.

12:04

Comment From Kingkaid

I was wondering how best to transition between careers. I used to work in a small company where my title sounded bad, however the work experience I gained was much greater. What is the best way to have people see past the title?

12:05

Barbara Moses: Some people actually give themselves a title which better captures what they actually did, or describe your work with a generic heading such as Managed ABC unit

12:06

Comment From Guest

Hello, in the IT industry will they even give a help desk position for an overqualified 40 year old? Heard ageism is rampant in that industry.

12:07

Barbara Moses: I am not an expert on that industry, but I can't imagine why they would be different than others. I know several older workers who were downsized from big jobs and took call centre jobs. What they care about is reliability and being intelligently responsive.

12:08

Comment From mark

I am 57 , male, fired for cause (political and economic) with a wrongful dismissal suit after 21 years of solid performance in a healthcare management position and when I am interviewing for new management positions feel anxious about the health of the future team and the true management style of the future senior leadership. Notwithstanding some PTSD from being fired how can one get a good assessment of the management culture and team health? If I am asking this question would this be a sign it is too early for this kind of position?

12:09

Barbara Moses: Once burnt, twice shy. Employers respect candidates who do their due diligence- asking questions about culture shows an awareness of your desire to have a good fit with your employer- which is important to the employer.

12:10

Barbara Moses: Be careful how you phrase these questions. You don't want to come across as obnoxious or arrogant. But simply as some-one who is interested.

12:10

Globe Careers: Barbara, can you comment on this reader's remarks:

When you are demoted it means that the company wants you to leave and will make your life miserable until you take the hint. It's not about being lucky to have a job. I have seen people bullied out of the workplace by being given horrible jobs like on-call 24/7 with no overtime pay for e.g.

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