Every job comes with its own set of rules that delineate what’s expected of you and what you can expect in return. So now you know everything you need to know, right? When you’re looking for a job, there are also rules. You apply using the method the company has requested, you prepare thoughtfully and dress well for an interview, and that’s it, right? The answer to both questions, sadly, is “nope.”
Getting a job and having one are full of nuances nobody explains, gray areas of human interaction that can leave you just plain stumped as to what you’re supposed to do. If only there was someone to turn to for smart advice.
Back in 2007, Alison Green started her site Ask a Manager. She was a manager herself at the time, and decided to offer her help based on her management experience and wisdom. (She’s a consultant now.) Green may have had no idea what she was getting into: Now she gets about 50 questions and day and answers about 35, with an average of 100 responses each.
Check out Ask a Manager — it’s eye-opening. You can start on the home page to see the latest questions and answers, or check Ask a Manager archive. My favorite feature is her “Surprise Me” button, which randomly presents some gem from her archive.
So what do people ask? Pretty much everything, as long as it relates to getting or surviving a job.
On her “About Me” page she offers a list of her favorite posts, which include:
- can your employer do that? probably — but you can still discuss it
- what to do when you make a mistake at work
- if you’re not getting interviews, read this
- our receptionist won’t stop hugging people
And her all-time favorite post:
- an ode to the bad managers of my past — in which Green pays tribute to the awful managers who showed her what not to be.
Really, Ask a Manager is an incredible resource. Odds are that Green has weighed in on whatever it is you can’t work out for yourself. She doesn’t claim to be infallible, but she’s smart and experienced, and sometimes you just need an answer from somebody credible like Green.
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