Ask a Manager in the media

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

I talked with British Vogue about what to do if you’re being laid off.

The BBC referenced the AAM letter from the person who got in trouble for wearing the same dress every day.

CBS News referenced the AAM letter from the person whose company advertises every job all the time to make sure all their employees know they can be replaced.

Bloomberg did a piece on managers who try to be therapists (inspired by letters on Ask a Manager, according to the reporter who contacted me) and referenced the AAM letters about the office with a “condolence corner” in their meetings and the manager who made their team do mental health surveys every day.

I talked to MSN about how your social media use can affect you professionally.

{ 35 comments… read them below }

    1. Safely Retired*

      My thought on the dress post was that she should wear it once a week, on casual Friday.

  1. TechWorker*

    The advice on the CBS post to check whether openings are genuine by contacting a director is… interesting.

    1. OlympiasEpiriot*

      And it is a very good idea.

      My industry definitely is short on people, but, I have been wondering about these across-the-board metrics claiming so many open positions compared to available workers.

    2. Peanut Hamper*

      Yeah, this is different than contacting them to say “did you get my resume?”. It’s “is this position even real?” which is a whole different level of weirdness.

      YMMV (and definitely will) but I wonder if it’s not the worst thing to try to make some sort of contact and inquire about specifics. It still just doesn’t ring right with me, but things are definitely different now compared to the Before Times.

  2. English Rose*

    The dress post reminded me of a recent discovery – a stylist called Alyssa Beltempo (google her) who focuses on slow fashion and sustainability. She advocates buying minimal ‘stuff’ and exploring what’s already in your closet and putting it together in new and different ways. She has a great YouTube channel and does regular “Shop your Closet” online events which are really interesting and informative.

  3. English Rose*

    Great advice on social media use Alison. I have someone close to me who has fallen foul of this more than once.

    1. soontoberetired*

      I know way too many people who overshare on social media, and they don’t like to hear that it might effect their careers because it is “private” stuff. If you have 1000 or so “friends” it isn’t very private. I have a friend who posted way too much on why she didn’t like her husband (now ex), and about her jobs which she seemingly can’t keep. She doesn’t get it.

    1. Roland*

      Thanks y’all. I love Alison’s advice and the wonderful community we’ve cobbled together in the mess that is internet comments.

  4. Isben Takes Tea*

    The idea that someone “without” social media has something to hide is certainly a take. I have social media, but it’s not attached to my actual name, and there’s no professional reason to include the handles in my resume or cover letter.

    If you fall into the “25%” group mentioned in the MSN article, I’d encourage you to explore the idea that there is a different between “private” and “secret,” and that there are many, many good reasons someone does not want to broadcast their social media presence.

    1. kiki*

      In all the chatter about people working more than one 9-5 job simultaneously, I saw quite a few people saying that now they’re looking out for job candidates who don’t have a linkedin because that makes it easier to hide that they’re working two jobs. This frustrated me because LinkedIn just kind of stinks! I don’t want to read posts from my worst boss telling the world how great a boss he is. There are a lot of really valid and understandable reasons why somebody wouldn’t be on LinkedIn or other social media. It’s a bummer that having social media is becoming an expectation of some people.

      1. *kalypso*

        Does LinkedIn still have terrible privacy controls? To the extent that you have to choose between LinkedIn and avoiding an ex and/or abuser?

    2. HCTZ*

      I agree it’s quite a take. For those reading in that 25%, some of those additional reasons include some people just don’t like social media as a communication tool (me), feels it’s detrimental to our mental health (me with FB and IG), really only use it when called for (me with LinkedIn), only use it to consume vs. share (me with Tiktok)….I could go on.

    3. anywhere but here*

      +1. Nobody needs to know things about my life unless I know them in real life, and if I know them in real life, they don’t need any social media to check up on me!

      1. allathian*

        Yes, this. I’ve no interest in being on any social media, the only remotely social app I use is WhatsApp, and the vast majority of people I’m in contact with on there are in my contacts anyway. The only exception is the chat for parents with kids in my son’s class, and it’s not very active.

    4. Rainy*

      Yeah–all of my actual social media is under another name, I abandoned FB around the time my MIL became a nightmare (I didn’t like FB anyway, so it wasn’t a sacrifice), and I think the social media pieces of LinkedIn are stupid and unnecessary.

      But really, if someone thinks I have something to hide because I’d rather my personal life (both online and IRL) not be something my employer is privy to, they’re just telling on themselves and I probably don’t want to work for them.

  5. Nanette*

    The post about the 100-day dress challenge (wearing the same dress every day) made me laugh. A co-worker and I happened to do that same challenge at roughly the same time. Nobody in our office noticed. Nobody at all (even my partner didn’t notice for nearly a week). We finally started telling people. I can’t imagine anyone at my job even commenting on it. That whole scenario sounded crazy.

    1. Alice*

      I’ve heard about this and it sounds like a great idea I would love to try myself (and I don’t really care if anyone notices) but in one of my first jobs many years ago one of the interns was the absolute talk of the office because he wore a green vest on top of a shirt every single day for a year. It became the topic of emails, water cooler gossip and people would frantically make eye contact when he came in to the office every morning. Even people in other departments knew about the “Green vest guy”! It was a silly thing at the time and many years of age and experience later (plus a lot of our office being hybrid) I can’t imagine anyone raising an eyebrow.

      1. Anon for This*

        So, I considered doing this, and actually wrote into Alison about it, and I feel I should circle back and say…I made it less than a month. I constantly felt grubby, the dress material wasn’t great, and it felt like it deteriorated quickly, I was so mad at myself.

  6. Firecat*

    Social media is such a crapshoot with how it is used at work.

    I’ve worked at places that:
    Fired someone for posting “This week sucked. TGIF.” On their lunch break.

    Passed on a candidate whose profile pic was them as JC Superstar in a play. (Sign they would be religiously bias apparently).

    Preferred a candidate whose profile pic was them sloppy drunk over the “boring” one with nothing offensive.

    As well as where I currently work which is very reasonable and gives you as much privacy as possible with a reasonable social media policy.

    1. Peanut Hamper*

      When I was hiring, I always checked social media accounts, which were inevitably pretty boring.

      There was one candidate who did include his PornHub user name though, which I thought was rather daring or careless. FWIW, we hired him, he made a few not great mistakes, and eventually quit to go back to work at his family business which he was desperately trying to escape from. (It was a bit of an ugly duckling kind of situation for him.)

      I don’t work there any more (thank the FSM!) but I still think about this person from time to time and wonder what’s become of him. He was an interesting person.

  7. Marzipan Shepherdess*

    Re: the dress post. Someone should tell Office Busybody Jan to watch Rachel Maddow (on MSNBC) if Jan thinks that choosing and wearing look is somehow inappropriate for the office. Rachel Maddow wears the same black blazer and black blouse for every. single. show. And you know what? None of her viewers cares what she wears because they’re not watching a fashion show! They’re concentrating on her keen observations and riveting presentations!

    And chances are that what that LW is producing at work is far more important than what she’s wearing, too. How unfortunate that her spineless boss doesn’t realize this, tell Jan to shut up and have the LW’s back.

  8. ClosingTime*

    Confession – I discovered that dress post at some point last year. I liked the dress so much (and the concept was intriguing) that I saved that link. Eventually I was in a mood to try something new and bought one of those dresses. And a few months later I started the same challenge(!) Work wise, it wasn’t an issue. I’m semi hybrid and could dress it up with skirts or blazers or even palazzo pants. And No. One. Noticed. Except my mom, but that doesn’t count. It was a great experience and I still love that dress! Funny that it came from AAM.

  9. anywhere but here*

    The advice on social media is a mixed bag – some of it is prudent and some of it is just absurd employer overreach. What employer cares enough to vet your social media for grammar and spelling errors? And why would anyone want to work for them??

  10. SB*

    Someone I work with did a similar clothing challenge because of environmental concerns, then proceeded to wash & tumble dry the outfit every day for a month to ensure it was ready for wear the next day. Small steps though I guess.

  11. Never The Twain*

    The action of the manager in the case of the ‘100-day challenge dress’ issue is a classic example of a weak manager deciding to sort out a worryingly glowing ember by drenching it with this pail of – oh, darn it, gasoline.
    Refusing to go to the minimal effort of squashing Jan, he now finds himself outed on the BBC website and on the wrong side of history both as regards sustainability and misogyny. Way to go.

  12. mw*

    Also there was a character named Alison Green on the April 4 episode of FBI on CBS. A journalist who gets held hostage…

Comments are closed.