How Smoking Cigarettes Can Impede Your Promotion



We know it’s tough to stop smoking. But simply put, if you smoke, you smell like an ashtray.

That means your co-workers have to smell that ashtray. Over time, that smell seeps out of your cubicle and makes its way into surrounding areas like some invisible swamp monster.


It’s something hard to get if you’re a smoker—mainly because smokers can’t smell themselves, their clothing, everything they touch.

What’s the real impact on you, the smoker? People don’t want to be around you (unless they all smoke and can’t smell anything either). If people are avoiding you, that’s already diminishing your chances of getting a promotion.

We enjoy having a cigarette every once in a while, but some of us can’t stop at one. We recommend getting help and talking to your doctor about Chantix, or wearing a patch. Just get that smell out of the office.

5 Questions You Should Never Ask Your Gay Co-Worker



NFL prospect Michael Sam may be the first football player to come into the league openly gay. This ties in nicely with our theme these week: coming out of the closet at work.

Why is it so important to come out at work?

Who you are is integrated into who you love and who you spend time with outside of work. So many people say it’s not relevant whether you’re gay or not at work, but the truth is, keeping your status under the radar impedes your workflow.

It’s a constant distraction, the whole tiptoeing around the issue, the avoidance of the subject. “Is he or isn’t he” and “is she or isn’t she” and “can I talk about my same sex partner or not.”

Distraction on both ends only decreases productivity and keeps everyone from doing their best. Meaning, less chances at a promotion and poorer overall company performance.

The worry with Michael Sam is that any team that takes him will suffer the consequence of a media shitstorm. The supposed conversation is going to go something like: “Congrats, [star quarterback], how does it feel to win? Oh, and by the way, how does it feel to have a gay teammate?”

It’s going to dominate conversations, and any team that takes him on will take on his load of baggage.

At least, that’s one side of the argument. But who doesn’t bring baggage to the workplace? Who among us doesn’t have something that’s twisting us up inside?

Donte Stallworth, a retired NFL receiver, said some wise words on the subject: if, as a coach or player, you’re distracted by the fact that there is someone gay on the team, it’s over for you. The fact that you’re not good enough on the field as to be sidetracked by media scrutiny says something about your skill as a player.

It’s the same on the job. When the new gay employee comes into work and you start obsessing over the fact that they’re gay, you’ve already lost. You’re stuck in the last century, and your workflow suffers.

You want to be the amazing leader pulling people into the 21st century.

If you’re gay and afraid of coming out of the closet, a good majority of the time (we’re going to say 90%), you’re exaggerating the reactions you’re going to get. In fact, telling your boss before you’re even officially hired is ideal, rather than waiting to “prove yourself” in a straight light before coming out.

The sooner you can breathe easier, the sooner you can start working more productively.

And for those in the presence of a gay co-worker for the first time, here are five things you should never say to them after they come out (thanks to DiversityInc for the ideas):

1)  Oh, I knew you were gay!

2)  We’re not close enough for you to share that information with me.

3)  Are you the guy or the girl in bed?

4)  Has life has been difficult?

5)  Which bathroom do you use?




Executives loathe raising the minimum wage. They are going to try and scare you by saying that higher wages mean fewer jobs, and your job might be on the line if you go out there and vote for your representative in congress who wants to raise the minimum wage.

This is lie. In fact, there are statistics to back this up.

States with the lowest minimum wage are the poorest in the country. Yet, states with the highest minimum wage are having some of the strongest economies around right now.

Don’t buy into the argument that being in favor of raising the minimum wage is threatening your job—stats prove otherwise.

The receptionist at your company, the cashier at McDonalds—they work hard too, and they need to put food on their table as well. Their kids eat well, they feel great, do well in school, get great jobs and boost the economy.





When you’re at work and you’re leading a team through stressful circumstances, you tend to be the supreme and smack down your employees when something goes awry.

Sometimes, this is unnecessary. Sometimes you have to be a leader and you have to inspire and educate rather than be, well, a biatch.

Last week, Auntie Evan and Uncle David got into a full-out war between each other, and their office manager got sucked into the crossfire.

The argument started over their non-profit organization, Essay Busters, which helps inner-city kids in New York get into college.

Roberto innocently posted on his Facebook page an idea he had about choosing a different charity every month and raising money for it.

Auntie Evan read this Facebook post and went ballistic, calling Roberto up at 11pm and ranting about how much of an embarrassment it was for the executive director of one organization to talk about giving money away to others.

To Auntie Evan, it was analogous to when you’re friends with your wife on Facebook and you send out a post asking if anyone would like to have an affair.

But instead of coming down like a ton of bricks, Auntie Evan could have understood that this was a brain glitch, it wasn’t personal. Instead of getting emotional and raging, he could have explained it in a way that was educative and understanding.

Bosses make mistakes too. Even in a position of power, there are consequences of raging on your employees; when employees give a lot to an organization and they don’t feel respected, it makes them want to pull back.

Luckily, Auntie Evan made amends during last week’s Job Talk Live radio show.



Executives loathe raising the minimum wage.

Don’t listen to their insubstantial arguments claiming that higher wages will equal fewer jobs and more work for you.

This is a lie.

States with the lowest minimum wage just happen to be the poorest states in the country.

How about a veritable fact? California has led the country’s economy for the past 20 years while having one of the highest minimum wages.

We’ll let the numbers speak for themselves.




You’re glued to your monitor, typing and clicking away furiously at some intense work project you have to finish by tonight.

That doesn’t mean you can’t visit and say hi to your co-workers. You’re not aiming to look like the lone wolf who does all the heavy lifting at the office—you want to be the office leader, the one who works his ass off while having open communication with everyone around him.

And that doesn’t mean just emailing your boss and co-workers. Drop by their office. Amidst the huge load of work, it will make you look like the guy or gal in charge.


happy man looking at computer (Small)


The job you have right now is your real dream job.

Whew. That was a bold statement.

Usually, this flies over most employee’s head. You’re investing into a career path you’ve spent years cultivating and dreaming about, and that mentality of fear, of not being what you said you would be in college, is actually costing you an amazing life. An amazing life you could be having right this moment.

By escaping your job for your “dream career,” you’re actually making a big mistake. Your current job can give you all the satisfaction and fulfillment that you require as a human being.

But here’s the thing: you continually deny the possibility that your current position can give you everything you need.

The skills that you have been honing to peruse your dream career can be put to use at your current job. Your current work situation, if you look deeper, can satisfy the very same urges. Work at an office and want to be a film maker? Create a web series for your company. Flipping burgers but want to be in business? You are in business. Work your way up to corporate.

You need to make a powerful choice when switching careers. And part of that choice is knowing that what’s right in front of you could be just as amazing, if not more. So many people think the answers lie on the other side.

There’s an old Buddhist axiom: wherever you go, there you are.

The success is yours to have, no matter where you go. Even if you’re in McDonalds in a polyester suit asking if you’d like fries with that—success is there.

While you’re busy worrying about the thing you always wanted to do as a kid, you could be moving up in your own career. Everything you talk about having with a new career path, you actually have at the moment. Sit down with your boss and ask them what else you can work on, something to do with your college major or a skill you learned from a hobby you’re passionate about.

Don’t try to escape your life situation. Accept it, embrace it and make your current job into your dream career.




We were shocked when we read this statistic: nearly 90% of Americans come to work when they’re sick.

Why do so many Americans do this? They’ve used up all their sick days.

That’s not a punchline, that’s a veritable reason. And it’s not because they’re sick all the time: 75% of Americans have admitted to taking a sick day off in order to do something personal. For example, the brand new Xbox1 game you’ve been fervently waiting for is released on Wednesday at midnight and you take Thursday off to play all day. Or Bloomingdale’s is having a last call sale. Or Whatever.

Sick days are not personal days. When you call in sick for some extraneous event, you’re putting that event over your job. If you need to take a personal day, be honest with your boss about it and ask for one.




There’s been a lot of coverage of 13-year-old Jahi McMath, who was declared brain dead in December. The controversy arose when Jahi’s mother, Nailah Winkfield started a legal battle to keep Jahi’s breathing apparatus in operation even after she was declared legally dead.

Whether the family should keep her alive or not is not a topic for this article. We’re more focused on the extended family gathered around by Jahi and her parents in news reports. It’s been the same group of people for the past few weeks.

It’s admirable that they’re supporting her. But we can’t help but wonder what these family members do for a living that allows them all this time off. We’re also wondering the position their co-workers and supervisors are put it. Everybody’s going, “OK, we feel really bad for you,” but after some time this begins to shift. We all know this because we’ve experienced it before; the sick relative you have visit or the kid athlete you have to support during meets.

Eventually co-workers start asking, “Where is cousin McMath? Why isn’t he here? Why am I doing his job?” Everybody wants to be supportive, but eventually people stop cheering.

If in a few more weeks the extended family is still on TV, there’s not going to be just one angry, insensitive a-hole on the job—there’s going to be a group of resentful co-workers who are secretly hating that they have to pick up the slack.

The bosses of the extended family members hired them for a reason: to fill a gap in the company. When they’re not on the job, other employees must fill that gap.

At some point, support turns into resentment. They’re tired of you being sick all the time, they’re tired of you being at your son’s events every week. For a little while, they wanted to support you. But now they’re not even talking about it.

In the case of Jahi’s parents, we understand the need to be by her side. But there is another type of person out there, and some of you know who you are: the tragedy/family junkie.

Tragedy/family junkies are easy to spot. They’re the people who need to take a day off to grieve over a train derailment, or attend their kid’s track meet every time. These people are really good at making people feel guilty for not supporting them.

What you don’t realize when you fall into this mind frame is you’re accreting gradual resentment; co-workers will start to ask themselves why they can’t see their ill mother or their daughter’s game. The boss wants to avoid this collective attitude at all costs, and that means eventually firing you if things continue the way they’re going.

There are other ways to give back to people. It’s great to be supportive and attend your kid’s meets, but it’s just as great to be a role model by going to work and getting promoted. If you’re the guy who’s constantly leaving early, you’re not displaying yourself as an exemplar, but someone who lacks leadership qualities and work commitment.

When you do fall into a situation where you have to be there for someone, you can still check in on work. Sitting and staring at the individual is a martyr game: it doesn’t get you anywhere.

You can be present at the bedside while being present on the job with FaceTime or Skype or whatever. This goes for the inverse as well. The McMath extended family can be present at work and, at intervals, check in on Jahi.

Stop playing the tragedy/family junkie card on the job. Co-worker resentment will only be followed by a docked pay or, worse yet, the boot.