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How to Be Your Own Best Advocate

Be a Winner in the Job Survival Game

To keep from being "voted" off the work site, consider these association survival techniques:

  • Make contact with the association. Become a member. Find out what the benefits are.
  • Know your contract. Many of your job duties and responsibilities are spelled out there.
  • Check out your probationary rights. In this trial period, your rights may be different or non-existent. Find out how long you are on probation.
  • Know what your benefits are. Sit down with an association rep who can explain what you're entitled to.
  • Follow your supervisor's directions. You may not like the order but you have an obligation to follow it. Grieve later.
  • Check your personnel file. Take time to look at your file at least once a year. Make a list of the contents, sign and date the list, and keep it with your important papers.
  • Don't sign anything until you have checked with the association. Don't be pressured or persuaded to sign anything until you fully understand the document.
  • Take someone with you. If you think a meeting could lead to discipline or you are discussing a serious issue with your supervisor(s), request to have an association rep with you.
  • Don't let problems get out of control. Don't wait too long to bring up a problem or issue with your association rep. If you are going to file a grievance, you have strict timelines to follow.
  • Ignorance is no excuse. Claiming, "I didn't know!" usually won't get you out of trouble.
  • Be on time and do your job to the best of your ability. If there are problems accomplishing this, see your association rep.




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