work habits

why the littlest things at work can be so maddening

Judging by the mail I get at here, a lot of us feel quite strongly about relatively minor things at work. Some pet peeves make perfect sense, like being annoyed with people who leave food splattered inside the microwave or thinking dark thoughts about that guy who takes all his calls on speaker phone. But […]

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how to criticize someone’s work without making it awkward

So, you’re working with someone whose work isn’t exactly what you need it to be, and you need to ask them to do it differently. Maybe you’re their manager, or maybe you’re a peer who’s overseeing the project they’re working on. Maybe the correction is relatively minor, or maybe it’s a big deal. Either way, […]

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I’m addicted to snooping in my boss’s email

A reader writes: I have access to my boss’s email account so that I can send email on his behalf/search for things in his folders. It’s not a privilege that’s supposed to be used often. Unfortunately, I’m a compulsive snooper, and I find myself opening his account a few times a week to read emails. […]

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do I really have to use formal openings and closings in every email?

A reader writes: I just attended a training where I was told a professional email MUST begin with one of the following: • Hello [Name], • Good morning/afternoon/evening [Name], • Greetings [Name], • Dear [Name], • Welcome back [Name], • Thank you [Name], The trainer also said a professional email MUST end with one of […]

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I have no motivation to do my job

A reader writes: I am absolutely done with my current job. I’ve been here for just over six years now and, honestly, I probably stayed here longer than I should have (I was starting to get bored around two years ago). However, my coworkers are lovely, my boss is super supportive, the benefits are amazing […]

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how to write the perfect out-of-office message

When you’re out sick or on vacation, crafting a perfect out-of-office email message probably isn’t something you’re terribly stressed out by. It’s a simple message – how tricky could it be? Well, to that I say, have you ever paid attention to other people’s out-of-office messages? There are some weird ones out there. Some give […]

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I’m terrified of making mistakes at my first job

A reader writes: I am a big fan and long-time reader of your blog. I am thrilled to say that after following your tips I have been able to land my first real job! I am very excited as I am just about to graduate from college (tomorrow!) and I couldn’t imagine a better position […]

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how to shut down gossip at work

A reader writes: My workplace is a generally nice place, but there is a lot of gossiping and complaining. Voices carry and we have a lot of people coming through, so there’s a risk that if people are gossiping, other people could end up overhearing colleagues talking about them or someone they know. It doesn’t […]

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