Author: Beth Taylor

Beth Taylor has a background in theater arts, education and psychology. She started writing the Undercover Waitress blog in 2011 to help educate and empower non-union women in the labor force. She originally joined the PayScale blogging team in 2013. Since earning her master's degree in clinical psychology in 2015, she works full-time as a clinician performing psychological evaluations and offering therapy services. She continues to write about psychology and behavior at work.

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Science Says: Embrace Your Impulsivity for Success at Work

We hear a lot today about controlling and treating impulsivity not just in students but also in adults in the workforce. But while there are obvious benefits to being able to control your behavior in a professional setting, being impulsive can also contribute to your success — if you do it at...
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How to Not Stress About Work When You’re Not at Work

So many modern productivity tools promised to help us finish work faster and increase our free time. But it seems that the opposite happened, and employees are now expected to work the same hours but produce more — or take their work home with them to finish up later. Email, computers and...
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5 Clues That Your Office Is a Psychologically Unhealthy Workplace

Do you hate your job? Your toxic work environment might be to blame. A psychologically unhealthy workplace increases stress, anxiety, and depression in employees. In a 2012 report for the Mental Health Commission of Canada, reported by Psychology Today, Martin Shain argued that even people without mental illness could experience issues as...
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Deflate Your Bullying Boss With Passive-Aggression

Bullying: it's not just for schoolyards anymore. Bullying is simply the act of humiliating and causing harm, sometimes physical, to other people. Unfortunately, bullying behavior is highly durable because bullies often get what they want. In other words, bullying works for the bully. Passive-aggressive behavior may deflate your bully's bubble.
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8 Rules for Office Kitchen Etiquette

The room in the workplace that is rife with the most conflict and emotional turmoil is not the boardroom, or your boss’s office, or that conference room that’s most often used for annual reviews. It is the office kitchen. (Photo Credit: ultramegakungfu/Flickr) Every office has a sandwich thief, and about 30 victims who...
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Independent Contractors: Are You Secretly an Employee?

There are rules governing whether employers may classify workers as employees or independent contractors. Sometimes people are hired (or contracted) as one type of worker, when their work fits the definition of the other. Here is how you can tell if your legal status matches the work you do. (Photo Credit: 4nitsirk/Flickr) The...
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The Pros and Cons of Unions Today

The labor movement has given the American worker benefits that today are often taken for granted, such as overtime laws, child labor laws, and minimum wages. The right to bargain collectively gives employees the power to demand reasonable treatment without the threat of being replaced by somebody less noisy. However, unions are...
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3 Warning Signs That Your Boss Hates You

Feel like the boss doesn't like you? It might not be paranoia. It's possible that the boss really doesn't care for you. Worse, he might even want you to quit. If that is the case, staying in your current position may not be the best way to advance your career. Sometimes, however,...
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Work Friendships Are Not Necessarily Real Friendships

Work friendships are good to have, but they are different from and do not take the place of real friendships. Recognize the difference between the two and enjoy the benefits of each, but avoid making the mistake of relying on work friends for real, personal companionship and confidence. (Photo Credit: djonesphoto/Flickr) Human beings...
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How to Motivate Your Team With Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

The science of psychology is full of theories about motivation and productivity that are relevant in the workforce today. You can use this knowledge to motivate your team, to increase their productivity, and to have a happy, energetic, and dedicated workforce. Incorporating Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is one great way to increase...
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When Your Gut Says, ‘It’s Time to Quit’

Quitting a job isn’t something we do on a lark. Financial considerations, career concerns, and a dearth of available alternatives keep many people at their current place of work even when they might prefer to be elsewhere. However, paying attention to sometimes subtle signs that you are done here may help you...
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A Brief History of Women’s Fight for Equal Pay

As long ago as 1776, Abigail Adams implored her husband to “remember the ladies” while drafting the Constitution. John Adams was not easily swayed, asserting that men “know better than to repeal our masculine systems.” Women have been fighting for the right to be treated as equals ever since, including the right...
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5 Things That Make a Psychologically Healthy Workplace

If you have ever torn your hair out wondering if you are going crazy at work, it is just possible that you’re OK, and the workplace is to blame. The American Psychological Association recognizes that psychologically healthy workplaces are most likely to increase your motivation, your confidence, and your job performance. There...
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Are Unpaid Internships Slave Labor?

The rising tide of lawsuits filed by unpaid interns for violations of labor laws are evidence that some businesses consider interns to be exploitable, free labor. There are reasons that interns are traditionally unpaid, but it may be time for this to change. (Photo Credit: Travis Isaacs/Flickr) Definition of Unpaid Intern The...
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Should the US Abolish Tipping?

The tipping debate rages on. The restaurant industry in the United States relies upon customers tipping for good service in order to pay waiters and waitresses their wages. Servers try to give fast and friendly service in order to be rewarded with additional monies. But does it work? (Photo Credit: Manny Hernandez/Flickr) As...
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How Tattoos, Piercings, and Other Choices Affect First Impressions at Work

Fairly or not, people make assumptions about others based upon mannerisms, clothing, and personal appearance. Research on first impressions gives us insight into how to control and direct the first impressions we make on others. (Photo Credit: BrandiBruce/Flickr) The trouble with first impressions is that they are, by definition, made with very little...
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Should Women Wear Red to Work?

Colors have subtle and often subconscious effects on our perceptions and behaviors. Red is sometimes associated with anger, and is a bold, bright color to which men and women often respond differently. Should you see red in your work clothing? (Photo Credit: LiteWriting aka Loreen72/Flickr) Color Psychology Color psychology has garnered much...
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When Your Boss Won’t Stop Questioning Your Every Move

Some bosses can’t stop asking questions. “Why are you doing that? Will this really work? Are you sure? Why do you think so?” A barrage of this type of questioning makes many people feel that their bosses do not trust them. It’s like taking care of a curious toddler, but it’s not...
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Right Brain, Left Brain: Which Side Do Leaders Need Most?

The left brain is analytical, the right brain is creative, or so say many psychologists. In the past, good leaders used left brain skills more. Today, however, there is more need for right brain qualities in business. Perhaps we need a “whole brain” approach. (Photo Credit: JD Hancock/Flickr) In general, the left side...
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The 13 Best Jobs for Cat People

If there is one thing some people will never agree upon, it is which pet is superior: dogs or cats. These strong opinions are the result of innate personality differences in cat lovers vs. dog lovers. And, of course, our personalities inform our best career choices. (Photo Credit: elkit/Flickr) Cat People Personalities CBS...
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5 Tips to Handle Manipulative Bosses

It’s easier if you can just avoid dealing with manipulative people, but when the person in question is your boss, that’s not really possible. If you don’t recognize his pathology and learn to appropriately assert your own boundaries, you’ll lose yourself while attempting to please him. These five tips will help you...
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3 Leadership Myths Debunked

Are some people born leaders, and the rest of us are fated to simply follow them in awe of their natural skills? Or is leadership something we all can achieve? Dr. Ronald E. Riggio, an expert in organizational psychology, discusses the truth and the myth of leadership in Psychology Today. (Photo Credit:...
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4 Rules for Summer Office Dress Code Etiquette

With the welcome approach of summer and warm weather, many of us excitedly stash our wool sweaters and winter clothing away and stock our closets with lightweight attire. As much as we want to be comfortable at the office, tank tops and flip-flops are career-limiting moves. Follow these four rules to be...
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Are You a Supertasker?

The research is in on multitasking. Constantly switching back and forth from one task to another puts strain on the brain. This additional strain then decreases our ability to pay attention and to focus. It also places a heavy burden on memory. (Photo Credit: ryantron/Flickr) It has been said that driving while...
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Women’s Dress Code for Getting a Promotion or Raise

We all have days when we look in the closet and wonder how we are going to survive until we can do laundry. Depending upon where you work, this may be more or less of a problem. Some office dress codes are casual enough that if you have nothing clean but a...
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Paint Your Office Walls the Best Colors for Productivity

Color schemes in any office help set the mood or tone of the business. Forbes has a wonderful color wheel that indicates the different psychological moods that colors evoke. If you have the opportunity to paint your office walls or to change the color schemes where you work, consider how you wish...
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3 Reasons Why Working People Need a Welfare State

What would happen if the welfare state in America was eliminated? That’s the question that a Quora user recently asked. Many of the answers serve as reminders of the self-serving reasons why we should contribute to a social safety net. (Photo Credit: timetrax/Flickr) 1. Crime Rate Desperate people do desperate things. The...
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6 Public Speaking Tips for Shy People

If having to give a presentation at work makes you feel a bit queasy, you might not be sick. Instead, you might be a bit shy. You, too, can become an effective speaker. (Photo Credit: Victor1558 /Flickr) If you feel confident, you will come across as knowing what you are talking about....
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5 Threats to Work-Life Balance

Want to keep work from eating your entire life? Keep an eye on your daily habits. Little things can add up to unhealthy patterns that make you less productive and less happy — both at work and at home. (Photo Credit: StockMonkeys.com/Flickr) 1. Not Enough Noes You must have boundaries to maintain...
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Making Eye Contact With Your Boss May Backfire

National Public Radio (NPR) published a report about the effects of making eye contact, and it is not what you might expect. (Photo Credit: SamJUK/Flickr) Western cultures generally teach that making eye contact equates with good communication skills. Those who make eye contact while speaking are thought to be more connected to their...
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Touchy-Feely Jobs for Touchy-Feely People

Reach out and touch someone — for a living. (Photo Credit: David Robert Wright/Flickr) “Face feeler” is a real job. A face feeler is paid by the company to feel the faces of other people right after they have used specific skin products, such as soaps, lotions, or razors. One Professional Face...
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The Best Job for Adrenaline Junkies

Jump out of a plane, unsure if your parachute will work, and get paid for it? Parachute testers do it every day. (Photo Credit: The National Guard/Flickr) Bored with your job and starting to consider finding something more interesting to do? Risking your life for a living would definitely create more adrenaline...
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Can Your Employer Force You To Lie?

There has been a lot of discussion over the past few years about what employees can and can not say on social media sites. It is one thing for employers to ban employees from posting negative things about the company, but requiring employees to post positive things about the company is another...
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Chocolate Consultant or Chocolate Taster?

Chocolate has been linked to some of the “feel good” chemicals in our brains, so professional chocolate tasters and entrepreneurial chocolate consultants must be some of the happiest people on the planet. Their dentists must be getting rich, too. (Photo Credit: EuroMagic/Flickr) Chocolate Tasters Godiva Chocolates hires tasters who would more aptly be...
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Opinion: Internships Should Not Be Paid

Employers offer interns valuable education and job training. If they must pay them, as well, then internships may become a thing of the past. (Photo Credit: IntelFreePress/Flickr) While we appreciate that some businesses may take advantage of the opportunity to “hire” interns, and wrongfully neglect to educate them while benefiting from their...
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10 Worst Things to Spend Your Money On

Whether you work part-time or full-time, love your career or are waiting for your big break, you are best off making wise spending decisions. Avoid these top 10 money pits like the plague. (Photo Credit: Tax Credits/Flickr) We all work hard at our jobs with our eyes on the prize: the paycheck....
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Get Paid to Have Fun: Water Slide Tester

It doesn’t get much wilder and wackier than getting paid to go down water slides. (Photo Credit: Nat Tarbox/Flickr) If you love to swim but being a professional mermaid is just too far-fetched, your dream job may be working as a water slide tester. This job is real. Last April, Seb Smith...
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Get Paid to Sleep at Work: Get a Job as a Bed Tester

Some people hate to get out of bed to go to work in the morning. Other people go to work in the morning to get back in bed. (Photo Credit: guzzphoto/Flickr) Hotel Chatter called attention to the dream job of professional bed tester when it profiled Travelodge’s Director of Sleep, Wayne Munnelly,...
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Teddy Bears Need Repairs, and It’s a Real Job to Fix Them

If you always wanted to be a surgeon but didn’t make it into medical school, consider become a teddy-bear repair technician. This wild and wacky job is quite real. (Photo Credit: falcon1961/Flickr) The Lutz Children’s Museum staged a great event back in 1994. They had their first ever teddy bear clinic, in...
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This Is a Real Job: Doll Clothing Fashion Designer

If you always wanted to be a fashion designer, consider designing clothing on a smaller scale. The wild and wacky job of designing fashions for toy dolls is big business. Big toy makers such as Mattel and Hasbro hire doll fashion designers with the same credentials as many getting their start in...
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This Is a Real Job: Writing Fortune Cookie Fortunes

If you always wanted to be a writer, but just can’t seem to sit still long enough to craft the next “War and Peace,” do not despair. Consider writing fortune cookie fortunes. This wild and wacky job only requires one or two sentences per publication, a short (short) story writer’s dream job....
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3 Most Important Rules for Working Teens

If you’re a teenager with a job — or a family member of an employed teen — you should be aware of the protections offered by The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938. The FLSA mandates restrictions on child labor. Individual states have additional youth labor rules and regulations; any time...
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Pros and Cons of Waiting Tables as a Second Job

You have a job, but you are considering picking up work on the side. This may be a great way to meet financial goals, such as paying off debt or growing your savings account. Waiting tables as a second job has its own unique set of pros and cons. You never know...
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2 Reasons Why You Must Maintain Eye Contact During Business Communication

Pay attention to how much eye contact your boss maintains with you during meetings. Employees who get more eye contact are more likely to get better perks, promotions, and raises. Status and Influence A recent article in the Wall Street Journal refers to a growing body of research indicating that eye gaze...
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America Is the No-Vacation Nation

The labor movement in the United States of America has won workers some important rights and benefits, such as weekends and overtime pay. There is still more work to be done. President Franklin D. Roosevelt first signed the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) into law in 1938. Considered revolutionary at the time,...