Alison’s blog, also titled Ask a Manager, is an entertaining and informative wormhole that I don’t recommend visiting unless you have the next few hours open for endless clicking and scrolling. First of all, I admit: it’s fun reading about other people’s work drama. You won’t believe some of the nonsense these letter-writers and their coworkers get up to. The beauty of the Ask a Manager blog though, is that Alison Green actually has fantastic advice for navigating the sometimes murky waters of work life.
I can no longer reasonably call myself a “recent” college graduate, but I am pretty new to the corporate world. I’ve had plenty of jobs, but they’ve almost all been for small or family-owned businesses, and they’ve had limited potential for growth. Now that I’m in a more corporate position where I am interested in working my way up the ladder, questions are popping up left and right. There are so many unwritten rules inherent in office life, and when you combine that with a persistent case of impostor syndrome, it can all feel pretty overwhelming at times. Luckily for me, Alison Green is here to help.
Ask a Manager is a fantastic resource for all things work-related, including interview tips, dealing with bosses, dealing with coworkers, discussing your salary, and achieving your career goals. Alison gives reasonable and solid advice, drawing on her years of experience as a consultant and chief of staff. This is clear in her responses on the blog, but the best part of the podcast is getting to hear her interact with people and really lead by example. If you pay attention, you can hear Alison employing the techniques she often recommends to others, and to great effect. I love her calm, even manner and tendency to say things like: “Does that seem like something you could see yourself doing?” and “What I’m hearing you say is ___________. Is that correct?” You can learn so much just from listening to Alison talk to people, even if she wasn’t giving out amazing advice the whole time. Additionally, as she mentions in the show, it’s much more effective to hear her demonstrate tone than it is to read about it, and listening to this podcast really drives home just how important tone is in the workplace.
A couple of other things I appreciate about Alison:
- She never shies from the hard truths. If a letter-writer is being unreasonable or deluding themselves in some way, she’s not afraid to call them out accordingly. However, she always does so with grace and patience, and always manages to make a productive conversation out of it.
- She actively fights against stereotyping millennials. There are a lot of ugly assumptions about millennials in the workforce out there, and she doesn’t abide by them or encourage them.
I really can’t recommend this podcast enough, especially to my peers just getting started in their careers.
Listen if you Like: Advice columns, self-improvement, getting promoted.