work habits

From how fast you respond to email to being the office grump, your work habits affect how people see you. Here’s advice on mastering the right habits.

I’m good at my job but I’m worried I’m lazy

A reader writes: I have worked in a demanding and creative career for almost 20 years. I have no college degree and no formal training, and I lucked into my first gig due to timing and strategic volunteerism. When I started this work, my only previous experience was in retail and I was desperate to […]

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I’m supposed to be a superstar, but I don’t know how

It’s the Thursday “ask the readers” question. A reader writes: After over a year of utterly fruitless job-searching post-graduation (shoutout to my fellow Virtual Grads, Class of 2020), I landed a job, thanks in no small part to your fantastic resume, cover letter, and interview advice. It was not what I pictured myself doing, but […]

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do I care too much about email style?

A reader writes: I’m a freelance copyeditor for a firm, and emails are the only interaction I have with their communications team. I find myself appreciating the everyday fillers like “good morning” or “I hope you’re well” or “have a great weekend.” I know these are totally generic, yet it helps the interactions feel a […]

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I’m not productive every single minute of every day

A reader writes: Recently, our vice president decided she wanted to start time tracking for our department. She has positioned this as wanting to gain a better understanding of which of our internal clients are taking up the most of our time, and what type of work we are doing, which I can definitely see […]

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I don’t want to be the go-to person for everything at work

A reader writes: I keep becoming the “go-to” person who people rely on for more and more job functions until I’m unable to keep up. I’m the type of person who goes to my own birthday party and ends up fixing one friend’s phone and cleaning part of a different friend’s house before I go […]

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I get angry when employees make mistakes

A reader writes: I’ve got a question regarding how much “mistake tolerance” is expected in the workplace. I have very low, almost zero, tolerance for mistakes. Whenever I see a mistake in anyone’s work, especially trivial ones, I will get very angry. The rationale in my head is always “We have one job and one […]

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can you really ever get past being a procrastinator?

It’s a new “ask the readers” question. A reader writes: I’m a lifelong underachieving procrastinator, so this post and the other update that mentioned it caught my attention. In thinking about them, it occurred to me that although I’ve read a ton of books and advice on how to cure procrastination, I kind of never […]

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