the roots of Ask a Manager…

Just came across this and thought you guys might find it interesting.

In January 2007 — before Ask a Manager existed — I was feeling antsy about the many ways in which I was seeing job candidates torpedoing their own chances. Itching for an outlet to rant about it, I wrote this article for The Washington Post — much of which will probably sound familiar to regular readers.

Once unleashed, I apparently couldn’t stop — and Ask a Manager was born four months later.

{ 11 comments… read them below }

  1. Anonymous*

    It definitely does sound familiar, but it puts it all together in one nice package. Maybe you should put that link somewhere on your blog as a permanent fixture!

  2. Kimberlee*

    I read this immediately before another blog I follow linked to this article ( as great advice for job hunters. My favorite part: “As your weakness, identify a strength you take to an extreme: “Sometimes I get so caught up in my subject that I give people too much information,” for example.”

    I posted a link to this very article on the blog and told her where she could find GOOD career advice. :)

      1. Kimberlee*

        Hahaha, well, hopefully the blogger will start reading better career advice (and start pointing her readers to it!)

    1. Perrin*

      I checked out the link you posted. I think you and Alison would interested to know the one of the sources quoted ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ by Dale Carnegie was published in 1937! (Could they possibly get a more current source?)

      Coincidentally, I just listened to a ‘This American Life’ podcast titled How to Win Friends and Influence People where the first story is about how advice taken from this very book went wrong for someone. Interesting listen:

      1. Ask a Manager* Post author

        I know that episode of This American Life and I love it!

        Anyone who is not listening to This American Life should start immediately! It’s the best.

  3. Jack*

    Interesting enough, i stumbled into your article while few days ago I was working the post’s archive. The question is: how did you get the space on their website? Just sent them the story with a kind request for publication, or had a connection?

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      I’ve had the Post publish a few articles by me over the years, just by writing the article and sending it to them as a submission. If they like it, they buy it.

      This is different from the standard advice about how to get published; usually you’ll read that you should formally query first, etc. I’ve always just written the thing and sent it off, and have had good luck that way. (The first time I did it, I was 17 and had no idea how it was supposed to work. And then after it worked that first time, I just kept doing it that way!)

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      No, on the philosophy that employees’ private lives are private and irrelevant to their performance on the job — a philosophy I’d encourage any employer to hold.

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