DEAR HARRIETTE: I just hired a recent college graduate for her first fulltime job. She’s been doing a good job, but I can tell she’s nervous about the three-month trial period that my company enforces. She’s been here a month, and she constantly tries to do a good job, though she’s made a few minor mistakes with the copier and coffee orders. I can’t reassure her she’ll have her job past the three-month period because she may get complacent, but I want her to stop being a ball of nerves at work. She’s doing well! – Reassurance, Denver

DEAR REASSURANCE: You can be a cheerleader. Point out to this young woman that this is her opportunity to demonstrate how well she can do the tasks she is given, as well as how quickly she can recover from mistakes. Point out that every single person makes mistakes – from the boss all the way down to her. That’s life. How you face and fix the mistakes you make is what the job requires.

Encourage her to relax into her role so that she can notice how best to do her job. Point out that staying skittish about the future is one way to cause more mistakes. She should try to feel confident in her ability to figure out how to solve problems, to ask questions when she has them and to stay committed to doing the very best that she can. If she can stay that course, she should be putting herself in the best possible position for success.

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DEAR HARRIETTE: A few years ago, I got fired from a bartending job. I was immature and not doing my best, so it was definitely deserved. The restaurant that I now work at is under new management, and, as luck would have it, I’m working for the same guy who fired me years ago. I’ve grown up a lot in the past four years, and I feel completely confident about my ability to do an amazing job. I’ve been debating pulling my new manager aside and telling him that or just letting my actions speak for themselves. Should I be worried about losing my job because of my new manager’s old perception of me? – Grown Up, Dallas

DEAR GROWN UP: If you haven’t already, by all means go up to your new boss and say hello. Welcome him to the restaurant, and tell him that you look forward to working with him. I would not remind him of the past or assure him that you are better today. While he is top of mind for you, the same may not be true for him.

Follow your gut and show your new/old boss what a professional you have become. Demonstrate that you are a clear asset to the staff. Essentially, make yourself an invaluable team member by continuing to do what you have been doing on this job. If you feel so inclined, up your game and become even better. When the time comes, you can thank this man for inspiring you to become a better bartender when he fired you years ago.

— Lifestylist and author Harriette Cole is president and creative director of Harriette Cole Media. You can send questions to [email protected] or c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.