After being fired, ex-employee offered contract position

DEAR HARRIETTE: I was fired from my job at a media company that I dedicated years of my life to. The company was a startup, so layoffs were always inevitable, but I was let go in a way that made me feel like I had never been valued in the first place. Now that the company is under new management, they want to bring me back as a contract employee. This company has broken my trust, but I need the money. What should I do? -- Hesitant

DEAR HESITANT: Evaluate your situation. If you have not yet found another job and this one would help you financially -- at least in the short term -- go for it. Be sure to go in with your eyes open. You are being hired to fulfill a need that the company has. It is not personal. It is business. Consider that the new management is there to help smooth out the kinks from the previous administration. Since you were invited back, this suggests that you are valued right now. Your skills and experience must be needed, or you would not have been contacted. Before you accept, be crystal clear about your responsibilities. If you can have a formal contract, go for that. Negotiate the terms of your employment to the best of your ability. Start off with a shared understanding of your job to avoid confusion in the future.

Walk in with confidence and clarity. Be excellent at completing your tasks. Don’t hold a grudge about the past. Stay in the present.

DEAR HARRIETTE: My boyfriend and I got into a huge fight that very well could have ended our relationship. We talked everything out, and now we’re back on good terms, but I noticed that he deleted all of our pictures together from his Instagram. Does this mean that he wanted to break up? Should I ask him to put the pictures back up? -- Deleted

DEAR DELETED: You need to sit down and talk to your boyfriend. Point out that you believe you two are on solid ground now and that you have agreed to move forward. Check in to make sure he agrees. Tell him you noticed that he deleted all of his photos of you as a couple from his Instagram. Ask why -- if he says he did it when you were arguing, ask why he hasn’t put them back up. Find out whether this deletion is simply an act of the past or if it means something now.

This should not be an argument starter. Instead, it may lead to a deeper conversation. Honestly, images of you two being posted all over the internet is not the issue. The status of your relationship is. You weathered a big emotional storm. Are things really calm now, or are there more issues to unpack? Use this moment to examine your relationship and honestly examine whatever difficulties may be beneath the surface. Relationships work when people work at them and commit to going deep. If you two choose to explore your hearts, your dreams and your desires for the future, you may end up in a much more connected place.

(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to [email protected] or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)