You see a colleague at work or at a networking event, and you remember his face, but try as you might you can’t recall him name. There’s a better way to get his nomenclature than just approaching him and mumbling “Hi, Johnbobjoelarry.” Find someone in the room that you know and ask him to introduce himself to the forgotten colleague. You get to overhear the name and repeat it back without embarrassment.


By Aleksandr Smechov



SHOW DATE: JUNE 12, 2013

So what religion are you? Are you gay? Who did you vote for in 2012? When do you plan on starting up a family? Do you have any health-related issues I should know about?

Chances are you won’t hear any of these questions during a job interview. Not only is it inappropriate to ask such questions—and pretty creepy—but it’s downright illegal.

Despite this, such questions still make their way into interviews. Usually it’s a genuine mistake—for example, you and your interviewer get chatty about how you grew up in a strict Mormon household, and he asks what religion you practice now, simply out of curiosity. Other times, the person interviewing you is inexperienced and doesn’t know what kind of questions are off the table. And once in a blue moon, you’re actually being interviewed by someone who knows better but doesn’t care, because they ain’t working with none of them kind of peoples. You know the ones.

Regardless of how and why the inappropriate question rears its ugly head, there’s only one way to answer it. You should never attempt to challenge the question or educate your interviewer—that will make you look combative and them look stupid, neither of which are going to bode well for your career prospects. Instead, you should say the following:

“That’s an interesting question, and I’d be happy to answer it.  But can you tell me how that relates to the job?”

With this response, you nip the question in the bud through mere curiosity. In other words, instead of seeming offended, annoyed, or cagey, you show that you are always thinking about the job and how to best do it—and that’s exactly what the best professionals do.




A new book on management (whose title we shall refrain from mentioning) encourages bosses to pay themselves first and everyone else later, as well as book vacation time before anyone else can.  After all, “you’re the boss, and you’re the one who counts.”

Yeah, you read that right.  Now let’s just hope your boss doesn’t read it anytime soon.

Whether or not your boss is the kind who only looks out for number one, you—AKA number two—needs to remind him that you have a life and needs of your own. We’re not talking about a big confrontation here; rather, we mean that you need to drop reminders now and again that you are not a slave to the office.

“I’m really excited to get the garden going for summer this year,” is something you can just drop into a conversation one day.  So is, “We’re hoping to make it to the Florida Keys this year.” In other words, don’t be afraid to sprinkle details about your life outside the office around now and then. That will remind your boss that you have your own needs. And it might just be the subtle reminders like this that ensure he never treats his number two as his bitch.



SHOW DATE: MAY 22, 2013

America is the country of come-backs—even among the disgraced and reviled. This month alone saw two politicians embroiled in scandals revive their careers: weiner-sexting Rep Anthony Weiner announced he’s running for mayor of NYC less than two years after stepping down, and South Carolina Rep Mark Sanford got his old job back after having to drop out of office for having an affair with a woman in Argentina—and paying for it with taxpayer dollars.

The lesson here is NOT “engage in whatever promiscuous behavior you want, because you will be forgiven. Rather, the lesson is to remember that there are always second acts in your life. If you screwed up big time in your last job, or if you were fired or disgraced in your own way, stop letting that hold you back. You can re-write your own story and own your history. Once you’ve taken responsibility for whatever you’ve done wrong, it’s never too late to start over—on your own terms.  The world will forgive and forget your past.  Now it’s time for you to do the same.



SHOW DATE: MAY 22, 2013

Are you proud of your resume? Have you spent lost of time and effort perfecting it, proofreading it, and ensuring it contains accomplishments and metrics? Great. But if it’s your only resume, you’re only halfway there.

You should always have two resumes. The first should be an industry-specific resume, where that you can use jargon and lingo unique to your industry. It is the resume you’d use for getting a job just like the one you have, but with another company.

The second resume you should have is a more general resume designed for changing industries.  It’s a great tool to have when you happen to meet someone in another industry who is looking for employees. And in this resume, you kill the jargon and lingo and instead talks about the skill sets you can bring (and how they would translate into another position in a different industry).



SHOW DATE: MAY 22, 2013

We get it. You’re young.  You’re hip.  You have your own unique style, and you don’t want to compromise that.  Good for you.  But there’s one item of clothing that is non-negotiable: SOCKS. It’s not just about being and looking professional. It’s about what happens to your shoes over time if you don’t wear socks: they begin to smell—no matter how “clean” you are. But back to professionalism: not wearing socks basically says, “I don’t care.” It’s like a big F-U to the world.  It’s like wearing a pair of sweatpants on a first date, or playing golf topless: It just sends a disrespectful message. So buy yourself a pair—or preferably a few pairs—and start wearing ‘em on the job…hopefully with shoes.




SHOW DATE: MAY 22, 2013

One of the biggest viral videos of 2013 is the episode of Kitchen Nightmares featuring Amy’s Baking Company. If you haven’t seen it, watch it NOW. We guarantee it will make you incredibly happy. Why? Because the restaurant’s owners, Amy and Samy, are the two worst bosses EVER. And why should that make you happy? Because you don’t work for them. And you never will. And you’ve just dodged the biggest bullet in the world when it comes to Monster Bosses.

But if you do have a Monster Boss—someone almost as bad as Amy and Samy (as hard as that is to imagine)—we want you to know what to do. Everyone has worked for a terrible manager at some point in their careers, but a real Monster Boss can have truly negative impact on your life. The stress you experience at work will begin to affect the rest of your life, jeopardizing your relationships, happiness, and health. And at the end of the day, a job isn’t worth all that.

But all Monster Bosses are not created equal, and how you handle a Monster Boss depends on what kind of Monster Boss you have. So, let’s look at the three kinds of Monster Bosses and how you should handle each:

1. The CRAZY YELLING AGGRESSIVE MONSTER BOSS. This is Amy from Amy’s Baking Company. This boss has a terrible temper, robust vocal chords, and will never be satisfied by your performance. She’s confrontational, lashes out at you constantly, and is probably regarded as “crazy” around the workplace.

What’s important to know about this Monster Boss is that it’s NOT ABOUT YOU. This Monster Boss is deeply insecure.  She’s stressed. She’s probably under great pressure from an outside source, whether her own Monster Boss or something unseen (financial or personal issues). In other words, this Monster Boss isn’t responding to anything you’re doing wrong, she’s coping with her own demons. And that means you can’t take it personally (even when she calls you a “moron”).

Once you understand that, you should see how to cope with this boss: Trying to fight back will be like throwing gasoline on the fire. So instead, take it down a notch. When the boss gets emotional, stay calm and cool.  When the boss makes it personal, keep it professional.  When the boss yells at you, don’t yell back. Simply apologize—even if it’s not your fault. These tactics will keep your boss grounded and feeling in control. And over time, she’ll stop yelling because she’ll realize how crazy she looks. Sure, this strategy might bruise your ego a bit (who wants to apologize when it wasn’t their fault), but so what—would you rather be right or be happy?

2. THE PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE MONSTER BOSS. This is Samy. This boss won’t yell and scream. Instead, he will be manipulative and underhanded in ways you may not even see. Instead of confronting you, he will tell someone else about your flaws.  Instead of screaming, he will write you off and start ignoring you. And when you’ve crossed this person too many times, he will slowly and quietly do whatever he can to dismantle your career from the inside-out.

The best way to handle this boss is to earn his trust. Direct confrontation will not work; if he felt confortable with confrontation, he’d confront you. And avoidance will only lead him to think you don’t like him, which will make things worse. But by proving yourself to this boss and showing that you respect him, you can remain on his good side. While he’s not particularly loyal, he is petty—so as long as you don’t give him things to nitpick, you’ll stay in his good graces.

3. THE MONSTER YOU CREATE. Sometimes the boss is not a monster at all—you’ve just decided he is.  For example: if your boss yells at you for frequently being late (and you are late), your boss is not a monster. You are! It doesn’t matter if your boss is particularly nasty about it—he is within his rights if you are being negligent and repeating the same mistakes over and over.

If there is even a remote possibility that you’ve created a monster, you need to check in with yourself. Get real: Did you cause this? Are you working as hard as you can? Are you overly sensitive to criticism in general? If the answer is yes, then you need to adjust your behavior. You need to become more responsible at work and stop creating stories that are convenient for you but ultimately untrue.

If you follow the instructions above correctly, you should start to see a change in your relationship with your boss.  If not, then it’s possible that your situation is simply irreparable, and that you need to start looking for another job.  That may be a tough pill to swallow if you love your job (or if you’re terrified of being able to find a new one), but you owe it to yourself to have a job that doesn’t make you miserable.




SHOW DATE: MAY 15, 2013

On Facebook, there’s no way to know who’s viewing your photos and how often (bad news if you want to know who’s checking you out, good news for stalkers). But that’s not the case on LinkedIn.  Very few people know that LinkedIn has a feature that allows you to see who has been looking at your profile.

This is a gold mine for you! Why? Because recruiters frequently use LinkedIn like Google; they do searches on job title, functions, companies, etc.  So if a recruiter finds you on LinkedIn, chances are you have something they want! Therefore, do some research on the people viewing your LinkedIn page. If you discover that one of them is a recruiter, that’s an invitation for you to reach out to him/her and let them know you’re looking for a job!  It’s what the experts call “Passive recruiting” and what we call “being smart and proactive.”



SHOW DATE: MAY 15, 2013

Are you always trying to network with the people at the top of the “corporate ladder” because they’re the ones with all the power? Well then you’re very likely missing out.  You should be networking just as actively with the “newbies” and the “young-uns” as anyone else. Sure, they might not be in a position to hire you now, but some stars rise faster than others, and you never know where that junior executive will be in three years’ time. Even more importantly, though, it’s the younger crop of workers who have the newer, fresher ideas.  They can provide you with tools and techniques you might not otherwise be aware of.  And they’ll also keep you hip and relevant, meaning that never again will you be the laughing stock of the office for thinking the assistant with “Bieber Fever” is out sick.



Every week, Auntie Evan and Uncle David scour the news to find a Hire or Fire of the Week. Hires display impeccable aplomb and go above and beyond what they’re expected to do on the job. Fires do the opposite. Tune in every week to see who’s getting Hired or Fired next.

SHOW DATE: MAY 15, 2013

Chris Christie has gotten a lot of flack for his not-so-girlish figure. In fact, there are numerous blogs dedicated to the Republican’s governor’s weight, many of which feature photoshopped images of him gorging on something inedible (you know, because fat people love eating car tires and hockey sticks).  While these comments might be tasteless, they reveal a bigger belief: According to the Center for Creative Leadership, people with larger waistlines tend to be perceived as less effective in the workplace.

Well, instead of sitting idly by and moping about his perceived weakness, Chris Christie did something about it: he recently acknowledged that he had Laparoscopic surgery to decrease his weight.  Not only will this make him healthier, but it will increase his workplace credibility, and could substantially better his chances of getting a job he’s been rumored to be eyeing for some time: President of the U.S.

Let’s face it: It sucks that we are judged on our appearances as much as we are. It often seems downright unfair. But rather than ducking the issue or living in denial, Governor Christie accepted the importance of appearance and did something to change his own.  And for that, he gets a “hire”.