dear labby_edited-2

If there’s one thing we’re passionate about here at, it’s how to stay happy- at work as well as home. We get lots of questions about how to maintain healthy professional relationships in various situations, so we’ve brought in an expert who knows a thing or two about getting along with people- our resident labrador, Dear Labby. We’re launching this new column with a question from a reader who is interested in applying for an opening at work for which she’s not entirely sure she’s qualified:

Dear Labby,

I’ve worked for my clinic for over two years as an assistant/tech student and also have animal science experience from being an animal science major and volunteering.

My supervisor will be leaving in April and my clinic will need to fill the position. I would really like to offer myself for the position because I feel like I have some good ideas regarding training new employees and how to run a team. Do you have tips on how to approach this especially since I’m only an assistant at this point?

I feel like I could really help improve our clinic if I was the tech supervisor (and my husband and parents both agree too!) I’m just nervous about bringing it up at work even though I’ve been told by medical director how great a job I do and that I’m her favorite to work with. Help!

Upwardly Mobile in Mobile


Dear U.M,.

When it comes to doing well at work, there’s really two main components: how well you know your stuff and how good is your attitude. The first one is much easier to fix than the second one. (If you only knew how many service dog dropouts I’ve met in my day…just couldn’t stop eating bees on the job.)

It sounds like your director thinks you have a great attitude, so that’s excellent news. I don’t know how well you are qualified for this position you’re interested in from an experience point of view, but the good news is experience can be gained much easier than attitudes can be changed!

Who is your most trusted supervisor at work? I would just be honest with them and let them know this is the sort of position you are interested in, and ask for an honest assessment of your skills. There is nothing to be lost by letting someone know you want to improve yourself. Expressing an interest isn’t the same as demanding the position, so it’s not like you’re grabbing a bone from the alpha dog, you know?

If you are a good match, you’ll be glad you took the leap. And if you’re not quite ready, at least they know you are working hard to improve- and that’s a very good thing! This could be an excellent opportunity to request mentorship. Next time a position becomes available you will be first in line.

Dear readers, if you have anything to add, please do! I’m a sharing dog.

Need professional relationship advice? Dear Labby is here to help. Send your questions to and we’ll make sure to get it to Labby.