me, talking about new grads (Marketplace), the difficulty of perfect responses (Quartz), and more

I’m excited to announce that I’ll be appearing on Marketplace regularly to talk about work — which really couldn’t make me happier unless someone also decided to make me the new host of the Splendid Table. I was on the show this this weekend, talking about how new grads can find a job, bad advice from parents, and more. My segment starts at 2:08 here:

I was also quoted in this Quartz article talking about why it’s hard to give a perfect response on the spot — especially to your boss. (Warning: the article talks about politics, although my quotes aren’t focused on that.)

And I’m on the latest Hannah and Matt Know It All podcast, talking about someone whose former coworker is trying to take her job away from her. The letter I’m responding to starts at 32:28, and my response starts at 36:17 here:

{ 44 comments… read them below }

  1. Jane Gloriana Villanueva*

    This will be great, Alison! Congrats on these opportunities. You really make the most of your 168 hours per week. :)

  2. Podcasts!*

    Horray, I love advice podcasts! I discovered Hannah & Matt Know It All through your first episode with them and I’ve been listening ever since. Can’t wait to check you out with them again!

      1. Karen D*

        Marketplace is my favorite NPR show, hands down, and in a universe that includes This American Life, that’s saying something. So happy about this!

    1. Zinnia*

      Another longtime Marketplace fan. It’s such a respected show, it really says a lot about your expertise. Congratulations Alison!

    2. ThisIsNotWhoYouThinkItIs*

      Another one here! I am excited you’ll be on Marketplace regularly! Congrats!

  3. PB*

    Thank you for addressing the stereotype of Millennial job hoppers! This is one I’ve run up against. I’m an older Millennial (I’m 35). I finished grad school in 2009, and there weren’t a lot of jobs around. My first two positions were short term contract positions that lasted very briefly. My third job I stayed in for a while, but left for a variety of reasons, one of which was that I was never going to advance in that job. If I ever wanted a raise, I needed to get a new job (and got a $10,000 raise by doing so).

    I think I’ll be in this job for a while, but when I was starting out, that was a dream. In those early years, I never stopped job searching, because my jobs always had an expiration date. Since I’m in an academic field, every new job meant picking up my whole life and moving to a brand new area. It was awful. Then, I started hearing about how “your generation just doesn’t stay in jobs!” I would politely point out to people that, while this is true, it isn’t always by choice.

    1. Karen D*

      Alison’s advice is spot-on, and actually had solid ways to deal with a common problem – which in this particular issue, I’ve seen a dearth of advice on.

      Also, I’m a little floored by her ability to answer questions live without a single “um” or “like.” I have heard very seasoned radio/podcasting personalities who still stammer in an interview situation.

  4. fposte*

    The Hannah and Matt question is making me think of a post here that I can’t find–somebody wrote in saying they’d agreed to switch jobs back with a co-worker if the co-worker didn’t like the new job, but when the co-worker brought this up *a year later* and wanted the OP to leave her job, the OP didn’t feel it was fair (me neither, hence my emphasis). Anybody remember that and have better Google-fu than me?

  5. Pam*

    Perhaps we could combine Splendid Table with Marketplace…… career advice, perhaps?

    1. JuniperGreen*

      I was just chiming in to say this :) It doesn’t take much hunting in the archives to notice the prevalence of food-related questions in the workplace! I think Splendid table could have a fun segment about “Dining with the boss” or the nuances of navigating the dreaded shared-check with coworkers!

      But hooray for the Marketplace segments! I’m always selfishly glad to have more AAM in my life.

      1. Falling Diphthong*

        One thing I’ve concluded going through the archives–nothing riles people up quite like the threat of taking away carbohydrates that they expect to be there.

    2. Temperance*

      Psh, I feel like Alison would be the perfect addition to “America’s Test Kitchen”. I mean, they don’t use the word “umami” in every sentence, and I don’t think Alison does either ….

  6. Falling Diphthong*

    This weekend I was reading “Show Me a Random Post” hits, and one was on management trying to argue that when they told an employee “other people have tried to dodge this requirement by doing X” they were clearly instructing her that she was expected to also do X, and when she instead followed both the letter and spirit of the rules (a call to jury duty) she later got in trouble and was told that she needed to read between the lines and understand these directives, even if they were couched as vague informational things or hopes or nonbinding suggestions. That even if they didn’t say “you must do X” it was clear that she was being instructed to do X and they were just carefully not putting it in writing. By trying to get her to dodge jury duty when she didn’t actually have a hardship they were violating both state law* and their own clearly written employee policies, so she was able to fight for the restoration of the vacation days they took away to punish her for not obeying their vague nonbinding suggestion like it was an order.

    *Yes! The answer to “is this legal?” was “No, not in your state, very explicitly.”

    1. Mike C.*

      In listening to the answer about job hopping, that’s seriously an amazing answer. Both seeing what happened to our parents and the desire not to job hop are really, really great points.

      I hope there are folks out there who heard that and are inspired to take a longer term look at things rather than looking to hire a replacement cog to meet the next quarter’s goal.

  7. cleo*

    Woo hoo. I love it when my favorite things overlap. And it’s cool to hear your voice Allison. Congrats on Marketplace.

  8. Emily*

    Good for you, Alison, nice! I’m also a longtime fan of the show and the weekend companion show (though I don’t listen much anymore, but I’ll definitely tune in for your segments).

    I’m also a big fan of Splendid Table as well, great show. I think Francis Lam is doing a nice job so far. ;)

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      Ha, I do not know, first because I’m on Marketplace Weekend rather than the weekday program, but secondly because they just call me and we record my segment; there is no hanging out :)

  9. Daffodil*

    I’ve been super curious to hear your take on Comey’s job situation and how he handled it. I also 100% understand if you don’t want to touch political topics on this blog, so this is the last time I’ll mention it unless you open up conversation further. :-)

    1. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

      Me, too! I had so many questions when he was fired, but the Quartz article offers one slice of the pie, and it’s pretty fun to read :)

      (Also: Marketplace. What!? That’s so badass!)

    1. Temperance*

      I think so …. but I might be the only person who hates Lynn Rossetto-Casper and “The Splendid Table”, so we’re in good company.

      OK but one thing we can all agree on: “A Prairie Home Companion” is terrrrrrrrrrrible.

    2. IvyGirl*

      The way he says “Mahhkutplayyyysssss” does make a flinchy. But the content is acrs.

    3. Karen D*

      I can see where it would get on people’s nerves but they actually are going for the effect of a cocky, non-serious vibe. In interviews he’s talked about the constant evaluation of whether something is “Marketplacey” enough for that show.

      His story is actually pretty dang cool, and he’d make a fascinating AAM interview subject. He was a fighter pilot in the Navy, then a staff officer in the Pentagon, then in the Foreign Service (“Oh, why the heck not?”) in China for awhile. So his whole life he just basically went from one super-duper cool job to another. And I kind of love his voice but I’m weird. I also love listening to Lizzie O’Leary; she’s like the total female Kai Ryssdal. But I miss Tess Vigeland…. I wish someone would lure her back on-air.

      The Splendid Table is like splinters under my fingernails, and I can take A Prairie Home Companion or leave it. I do like listening to Garrison Keillor, but the music is not really to my taste.

      1. NotoriousMCG*

        I think what really kills me is ‘THIS is MARKETPLACE’ like an old timey game show host. It’s just grating to me for whatever reason. I have a friend who was an NPR reporter who was the only person I found who immediately was like, ‘YES I know exactly what you’re talking about!’

      2. JB (not in Houston)*

        I love his voice! I find it soothing. And I also love Lizzie O’Leary. I follow her on twitter, and her ventings about people violating the Quiet Car warm my heart. But I also love the Splendid Table, and I’m sad Lynn retired! Can’t stand PHC, though.

        But I think we *can* all agree that Alison being on Marketplace is pretty darn cool.

  10. Tabby Baltimore*

    “Sally” is possibly not as smart as everyone thinks she is. If I understood the letter writer, it’s a STATE job. I can’t believe Sally could work at the place as long she did and not ever pick up on the fact that–assuming the vacancy announcement is posted after the hiring freeze is over–*she’ll have to re-compete for it* against other applicants, some of whom might be more qualified than she is. Either that, or Sally’s laboring under the delusion that her former supervisor has an amazing superpower enabling him to completely avoid the STATE’S legally-mandated hiring processes and magically slip her into the role. LW has proven herself; I hope her supervisor will not renege, and will commit to working her into the new role despite the difficult hiring circumstances.

  11. Never have a good name picked out*

    Congrats! Although I have to admit, after years of lurking, I’ve developed kind of a mental voice that I read Alison in – kind of a matronly voice I suppose – now all the posts are going to “sound” different in my head!

    1. Confused Voice*

      Me too, I never expected her voice to be as high! Maybe I have a terrible gender bias where I attribute manager qualities to deeper voices.. Anyhow, congratulations on the gig!

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