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.

can I tell clients I don’t talk on the phone?

A reader writes: I run my own small graphic design business. I work with some regular clients, but a lot of my work is one-off projects for small business clients. I’m always open to new clients, though I also have a steady stream of work, enough to be comfortable. Here’s the problem: often, a client […]

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how do I manage an unmanageable workload?

It’s the Thursday “ask the readers” question. A reader writes: I work in Big 4 Accounting, in tax. This industry is notorious for long hours during busy season and lack of work/life balance. My firm has flexibility, good benefits, and nice people; so, despite the hours, I’m reasonably happy. While I dream of taking a […]

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inside the weird world of out-of-office messages

With many people squeezing in vacation time before the summer ends, this is the season of out-of-office messages – most of them comprised of similarly bland boilerplate (“I am off work until the 7th and will answer your message upon my return”) but some of them decidedly more interesting. In a sea of generic out-of-office […]

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how do I adjust to working 8 hours a day?

It’s the Thursday “ask the readers” question. A reader writes: I’m currently a college student interning with a firm for the summer and doing office work for the first time in my life. I am a good student, entering my third year this fall, but I’m really struggling with work. I am working a normal Mon-Friday […]

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a manager scolded me for having a cold sore on my face

A reader writes: Is it unprofessional to go to work with active cold sores on your face? I occasionally get them and have never considered it to be a big deal until recently when someone at work commented on it. Last week I had a cold sore in the middle of my lower lip. It […]

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can I keep mentioning my period at work?

A reader writes: I work in tech, in a fairly close-knit, moderately progressive office, with a majority of male coworkers. Many months, I get really bad fatigue before or during my period. It can knock me out for anywhere from half a day to a day and a half. If I need to take time […]

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can I leave an unproductive meeting?

A reader writes: I work at an organization where we are very friendly and fairly informal. In our department, we have pairs of junior and senior staff working on the same portfolio, and everyone is supervised by the head of the department. I’m the junior in the pair, and my senior has known our boss […]

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asking to use the boss’s limo and other unprofessional mishaps

Ever look back at your career and realize that you weren’t always the consummate professional that you (of course) are today? A while back, I asked readers to confess their unprofessional deeds from the past. Over at Inc. today, I’ve got 10 of my favorites — including a temp who asked to borrow their boss’s […]

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