work habits

do I really have to have career ambition?

A reader writes: I’m the type of person who works for one and only one reason: to earn a living. I do a good job, but this is 100 percent because I’m terrified of starving in the streets and 0 percent because I genuinely care about work or want to build up a “career.” There […]

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do I have to wear a bra when I go back to the office?

A reader writes: I (25, she/her) have been lucky enough to work from home this past year. I am halfway through the vaccination process, which has made me think about going back to the office sometime soon (it’s open, and for the time being management has left it up to us whether we’d like to […]

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how to say “I don’t know” with confidence

A reader writes: I am in a scientific field in a project management role. I have been at my company for just over a year and it’s been hard to get a solid grip on how some things are done around here. Overall, though, I feel like I’m doing pretty well. My question is about […]

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is “dear sirs” outdated or sexist?

A reader writes: I am hoping you can settle a debate that was brought up at work. Is “Good morning Sirs” correct, either grammatically or in modern convention? A female colleague hates it when emails are sent out to senior leadership and contains the greeting “sirs” because she feels that there is an assumption she […]

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is there a professional way to call BS?

A reader writes: I’m working on a project which is being done in a non-standard way. The process we are using is not the norm, but it’s something we end up doing somewhat frequently. While talking about it, a coworker asked me to walk him through something because he “didn’t have any experience with this […]

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I’m always late to everything!

It’s the Thursday “ask the readers” question. A reader writes: I’m a recent-ish college grad and am working my first position related to my college major (although I’ve been working since I was 17). My entire life I’ve been late to everything. I have no idea why. I’ve tried clocks and timers and tricks, talk […]

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I thought of work as my family — and then they laid me off

A reader writes: Recently, I have been silently replaced while furloughed through no fault of my own, although I was led to believe that they would be bringing me back. I somewhat feel betrayed because I loved the work and the job had my absolute loyalty and attention. I read the article you did with […]

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can I recover from a bad reputation at work?

A reader writes: I’m a professional in an office setting (working from home now but usually we are in the office) and I’ve been at this job for about seven years. For a large portion of my time working here, I was a nightmare to supervise and I’m surprised and grateful I wasn’t fired. I […]

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has Covid killed work-life balance?

When Covid sent much of the country into lockdown last March, most workers whose jobs became remote overnight figured they were in for a few months of working from the kitchen table; few of them expected they’d still be doing it a year later. Yet here we are, with kitchen tales across the nation still […]

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