Ask a Manager in the media

Here’s some coverage of Ask a Manager in the media recently:

I talked to the New York Times about keeping boundaries between your work life and your personal life.

I talked to Today about how the definition of “looking professional” has changed. (This one is old and I forgot to post it earlier.)

I talked to Vice about how to motivate yourself to write cover letters.

I talked to Bloomberg about employees who don’t want to go back to the office.

I talked to the Forward about what the future of work holds.

I talked to Bored Panda about office food thefts.

{ 16 comments… read them below }

  1. HannahS*

    That’s really cool, Alison! Your reach is expanding…imagine…soon, you may influence UNTOLD numbers of workplaces to behave in reasonable ways!

    (…can you make mine better? Ye gods it’s coming apart at the seams…)

  2. KuklaRed*

    I’m so glad you do all this talking! You get the word out. I recommended your site at work during some manager meetings and there were many who had not heard of you. They are all fans now.

  3. Lizzy*

    Thank you Alison for all of your hard work and advice! I started my first job after college in November and your site has been super helpful (and entertaining.)

  4. Message in a Bottle*

    Great articles!

    The Vice one especially resonated.

    “Even worse, the economic chaos caused by COVID-19 has left many people without jobs or trapped in jobs they hate but need—and either of those employment situations can make talking up one’s strengths and skills feel impossible.”

    I make myself write the cover letters. I find it’s easier if I can connect the company in some way. But if I’m not excited about the role or working there and just send it for ‘practice’ or because I’m curious, it’s just sounds so boring. When I’m excited, that stands out in the letter somehow. I still wait to last minute, though. It reminds of high school when I would start homework at 10:00pm.

    “I think a lot of what constitutes professionalism in general, not just professional appearance, is BS, frankly. I think it’s often oppressive and bad for women and bad for people of color. ”

    Yes and yes. I hope the experience of the pandemic can change this but I’m not holding my breath for it.

    1. RabbitRabbit*

      Pre-pandemic we had a food thief for some time in my office, and then it stopped. I mentioned the lack of thieving to the big boss at one point and she simply stated that the person was no longer working there. I have no idea what the triggering event was or who had been doing it, but that was a relief at the time.

    2. twocents*

      It’s a little shocking how brazen the thief was! Did they seriously think someone wouldn’t notice unopened packages being opened or Valentine’s day truffles missing?

  5. Sunshine's Eschatology*

    I’ve been reading this column for a long time, but somehow this section of the Vice piece turned on a lightbulb in my brain for approaching cover letters and distinguishing them from resumes:

    ‘Green suggested thinking back to past compliments from supervisors when you’re trying to come up with skills to highlight and tying them to an anecdote to make things feel a little more grounded. Anyone can say they are a “team player” who “works well under pressure,” but not everyone can talk about how their kickass presentation sealed the deal with a hesitant client, or brag that they’ve got spreadsheet customization skills that their coworkers have described as “lit.”’

    Maybe it helps that I have just figured out macros in Excel, but this really drove it home for me!

  6. CJM*

    Thanks, Alison!

    I’m especially interested in the work-from-home issue for employees whose jobs support it. I’m retired now but wrote software and was unusually noise sensitive. On the few days each year I was allowed to work from home, I was happier and more productive than when working in an open office full of distractions.

    My daughter recently changed companies so that she can work from home permanently. Her former employer insists that everyone has to return to the office soon. My daughter was so happy with her quality of life as she worked from home during the pandemic (she lost 30 pounds, saved an hour or more each day on the commute, etc.) that she decided to find a job that guarantees remote work. So she responded to a recruiter and made the jump! I’m very happy for her.

  7. Software Engineer*

    I mentally cheered when I saw you quoted in the Bloomberg article! You’re doing important work here, and I’m glad to be a (tiny!) part of it. Thank you for fighting the good fight for workers everywhere!

  8. crandell*

    “This one is old and I forgot to post it earlier.”

    As a longtime reader of this blog, I’m so happy that you’re successful to the point that you forgot that you were quoted on a Today Show piece.

  9. Jean (just Jean)*

    Mazel tov on all this coverage! It’s so nice to see your balanced view of putting work in its place (which may be 100% of one’s life, or less…as long as we don’t make that choice by default). The world needs to hear your message.

    Re specific articles: I enjoyed the NYTimes piece. Haven’t read the others yet because I have to get back to work. ;-)

  10. Mimmy*

    I was particularly interested in the “looking professional” piece as I have been wondering about standards for job interviews. It seems that workplaces are trending somewhat more casual. I’d asked in last week’s Open Thread whether suits for interviews were becoming outdated and it seems like a nice blouse and pants may be okay. I am glad to see the standards of professional appearance are changing, although I have no plans to dye my hair green anytime soon ;)

  11. BrazilianGuy*

    How do you manage to work that much, keep this blog and go for so many media exposures, Alison? It is marvelous how do you manage your time :-)

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