ask the readers

Looking for crowdsourced wisdom? Here are reader discussions about life at work.

I feel mediocre compared to our new hires

It’s the Thursday “ask the readers” question. A reader writes: I’m nearing two years in my first post college job and in the throes of a quarter life crisis. This job isn’t my passion, but it is a good paycheck while I figure things out. For context, I’ve struggled with mental health for most of […]

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when out-of-office messages go wrong

A reader writes: The question last week about “thanks in advance” had me wondering about your thoughts on this person’s manager’s out-of-office reply in this video. I found it to be super condescending and way too much. What do you think? Would be interested in readers’ out-of-office messages. First, here’s the out-of-message for people who […]

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will office dress codes relax permanently after Covid?

It’s the Thursday “ask the readers” question. A reader writes: Could you talk about how the change to work-from-home has changed dress code (formal or informal) in the short-term, and if you think that some of that will continue on after offices reopen? For example, I notice that even when people are on Zoom calls […]

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how can I come out as queer mid-career?

It’s the Thursday “ask the readers” question. A reader writes: I’ve been with my employer for over 10 years and in that time my personal identity has shifted significantly from the professional identity I projected at my hiring. I allowed my colleagues to assume I was a straight, cisgender woman in a monogamous relationship. That […]

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how can I stop coming across as quiet and timid?

It’s the Thursday “ask the readers” question. A reader writes: I’m a few years into my career and am an introvert in an industry full of extroverts (advertising). Every time I have a performance review or am up for promotion, I get the same feedback — I’m too quiet, I need to contribute more in […]

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veterinarian is breaking under the weight of free-advice seekers

It’s the Thursday “ask the readers.” This is part question / part public service announcement. A reader writes: I am a veterinarian, and my profession has been hit hard by COVID. Documented burn-out and compassion fatigue are rampant in this field. The profession draws people with high levels of empathy and perfectionism, and a sustainable […]

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people who have been at work all along are exhausted

We’ve talked a lot lately about how anxious many people feel over returning to their offices later this year — and how much of that stems from a break in trust in the people and institutions that have shown they can’t be counted on to protect us. But plenty of people won’t be returning to […]

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how have other people helped you in your career?

Let’s talk about how people have helped you in your career, especially if you grew up in a family that couldn’t provide much guidance. What specific things did others do that helped you? Hopefully this will be good fodder for all of us to think about what things we can do to help other people, […]

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how should I deal with a pompous, sexist coworker?

It’s the Thursday “ask the readers” question. A reader writes: I’ve recently started a new job, I love my team, the work is engaging, my manager is amazing, the company culture really suits me, and they’re super flexible around Covid. But (there’s always a but) I’ve run into an issue with a coworker that’s impacting […]

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