Meetings are a mystery. Everyone claims to hate them, and yet they proliferate on our calendars like Tribbles on Star Trek. The explanations for why that happens are many and varied, including different goals for management and staff, ineffective communication techniques, and just plain old ego. (If you've ever had a boss who loved to hear himself talk, you're familiar with this issue.) Here's how to keep meetings short and get back your time.
Hard skills will help you get the job, but if you want to keep it (and excel) you need soft skills as well. Knowing how to communicate effectively, rebound from a setback, and express commitment to your work will impress the boss, your co-workers, and your company's clients – all of which will make it easier to show off what you can do.
Chances are, by the time you start your first "real" job, you've had bosses before. But what was appropriate at the ice cream stand or landscaping gig might not be OK in your new office environment. Even if you've had tons of internships and lots of practice dealing with corporate culture, expect a learning curve when you begin your first professional job. Every company and manager is different. If you want to be a success, you'll need to learn how to adapt and communicate with your particular boss.
When we were kids, the rules of the playground were simple: don't snitch, unless you or someone else was in serious danger. As adults, it's slightly more complicated. For example, what if – like an Ask a Manager reader – you know that your colleague is planning to take paid maternity leave, and then quit? Alison Green's answer to that question, plus Dan Erwin's latest reading list, and Emmelie De La Cruz's tutorial on personal branding, in this week's roundup.
Instagram is more than just a convenient way to make your friends jealous of your brunch experience. It can also help you get hired – if you use it the right way. In this week's roundup, we look at how to get a job by paying attention to companies' social media feeds, plus why you should embrace change, and why you don't need to feel alone if you're unemployed.
Bad table manners are like any lapse in etiquette – when the problem is coming from someone else, it's immediately apparent, but if you're the offender, you probably don't even realize it's an issue. (This explains such mysteries as why there are still people who belch in public or trim their nails on public transit.) If you are an unseemly eater, you could be damaging your career and not even know it.