Ask a Manager: How to navigate clueless colleagues, lunch-stealing bosses, and the rest of your life at work
By Alison Green
New Arrivals Island, 2nd Floor
So many commenters and reviewers (of both this book and the author’s long-running advice blog of the same name) have said “This is the guide I wish I had when I entered the work world!” Thus, I had to feature it and give it a plug for our students!
I admit to being a longtime reader of the blog, initially when I was first out of grad school and in a long and frustrating job hunt; and still now at times for its solid, no-nonsense guidance in navigating all sorts of sticky situations at work. I’ve not yet been in the position of managing others, but if I ever am, I think I will credit her blog for most of my practical management knowledge. Plus, it often inspires moments of eternal gratitude that I don’t work with any of the manipulative/micromanaging/inept/conflict-averse bosses or wacky/intrusive/insensitive/cruel colleagues that sometimes fill Green’s blog posts! (look out for the employee who’s putting magic spells on the coworkers she doesn’t like…)
Even if you’re not a regular blog reader, though, this book is great to page through and pick out a few apt scenarios to help you out when you’re facing a big interview, or paralyzed at the thought of writing a cover letter, or doubting whether and how you can negotiate for a raise. The chapters are organized into categories:
- Conversations with your boss
- Conversations with your colleagues
- Conversations when you’re the boss
- Conversations with your job interviewer
which make it easy to jump to the section most applicable to you at this time. In each section, generous use of numbered questions or scenarios, with second-person pronouns, make it easy to page through and identify any similar problems you might have. Green’s chatty tone and occasional first-person pronouns makes it easy to feel as if you’re just asking for advice from your closest workplace mentor.