Introducing: Career Conundrums with Hannah Salton

4 mins

Elliott Scott HR is excited to announce the launch of a brand-new column with author and car...

Elliott Scott HR is excited to announce the launch of a brand-new column with author and career coach Hannah Salton

‘Career Conundrums with Hannah Salton’ gives our HR Community the opportunity to have their tricky career challenges answered by an expert. Hannah has over 14 years’ experience working in recruitment and career development, and every month will be sharing her thoughts on challenges that our audience has submitted. 

You can submit anonymous career conundrums to us for the opportunity to receive expert advice. Please complete the form towards the end of this blog and your dilemma may appear in a future edition. 

Hannah can offer advice on topics including: 

  • Managing professional relationships and conflict 
  • Career progression and feeling stuck 
  • Raising confidence and tackling imposter syndrome 
  • Growing your network and building a personal brand 
  • Implementing a big or small career change 

To kick off the series Hannah has answered two career conundrums from our HR Community:

‘I have what feels like a difficult relationship with my line manager and often feel treated less favourably than my colleagues. I don’t like confrontation so instead of addressing the issue I think I will just look for a new role and leave. Am I doing the right thing?’

Difficult relationships in the workplace are really common. They can provide great opportunities to learn more about yourself – but that doesn’t stop them being painful at the time! 

First, try an exercise where you put yourself in your manager’s shoes. What do you think their honest view of the situation would be? What would they say your strengths and weaknesses are? How does this match with your own view of your strengths and weaknesses? The objective here isn’t to place blame on either side, it’s to deepen your understanding of how they may be perceiving the situation. 

Many workplace challenges can be resolved by better, open communication. I would encourage you to articulate your needs and your preferences. Could you forge a more open and honest relationship with your boss, by sharing what you’d like them to do more of? Try and focus on your relationship and your communication with your boss, rather than comparing it with how your boss treats others. For example, you could ask your boss for more regular, detailed feedback, or perhaps let them know if you’d like a bit more praise. Explain why it’s important to you and the positive impact it would have.

If you feel you’re being overlooked for opportunities, be more vocal about the opportunities you’d like to take. If you have any suggestions for work you’d like to get more involved in, or some training you’d like to undertake, share these with your boss and explain how they would benefit the team. 

If this doesn’t work, you always have the option to look elsewhere, however you owe it to yourself to do what you can to see if the relationship can improve before you make the decision to leave. 


‘My current hybrid working routine really works for me however the organisation is pushing for more days in the office. How do I make a case against this and push back?’  

This is a challenge that many people are experiencing at the moment! It’s very common for there to be a disparity between what you and your employer view as the ideal balance when it comes to hybrid working.

Firstly, seek to understand if there is an official policy in place. Review your contract to see if there are any stipulations on how often you need to be in the office. It’s helpful to know whether the guidance is flexible or a strict requirement. 

Once you know a bit more, identify who is the most appropriate person to discuss this with. In the first instance, this will likely be by your manager. Approach the conversation by explaining that you’re keen to learn more about the policy and understand the reasoning behind it. 

It’s important to explain to your organisation why you believe it’s beneficial to have a more balanced approach to coming into the office. You may want to mention some of the personal benefits to you i.e. saving on commuting costs and time, but try and focus predominantly on the benefit to the wider team and business. For example, you will be more engaged and motivated when you are in the office, you are able to be more efficient and productive with getting stuff done at home – or whatever feels true for you. 

Approach the conversation in an open and collaborative way. Avoid giving ultimatums, or getting overly defensive or aggressive. Try and reach a compromise that works for both of you. If you don’t get the answer you want straight away, don’t be afraid to keep the conversation going. Ask your boss if you can revisit the conversation at a later date, and ask what you can do in the meantime to help move your case forward. 

Hannah Salton is a qualified executive coach, career consultant and former corporate recruiter who specialises in helping people that feel stuck in their careers. 

To find out more about her coaching programmes, you can visit Hannah’s website. For more career advice and tips, you can follow her on LinkedIn.   

Next month we will be bringing you another instalment of career conundrums. If you would like to see your question answered, fill in the form below. 

Guidance for submitting your query: 

  • Keep it as concise as you can, so we can give you the best advice possible: 150 to 200 words max
  • All submitted questions are anonymous
  • To manage your expectations, we won’t be able to answer all questions or respond to people individually 
  • If you need urgent help please seek support from your local Citizens Advice service or if your question falls outside career and workplace issues, contact your GP or mental health service such as Mind, Mental Health Foundation in the UK and for those outside CALM’s list of international services are available here
  • All queries are anonymous but by submitting them you consent to your question being shared across all of Elliott Scott HR’s platforms. Queries may be edited for clarity and conciseness. Our privacy policy can be viewed here

Disclaimer: The advice provided in this column is for informational and general guidance purposes only. We are not a substitute for professional or legal advice. This column, its author and Elliott Scott HR Recruitment Ltd are not responsible for the outcome or results of following any advice in any given situation. The decision to implement any advice offered in this column should be made at the sole discretion of the individual, you are responsible for your actions.