Do You Keep Your Personal Life Private at Work?

how to keep certain parts of your personal life private at workKeeping aspects of your personal life private at work may feel necessary to you, or it may just be a personal preference. Maybe you’re worried that certain information about your life outside of work will make you a source of coworker gossip, or lead people to stereotype you, or even cost you your job. Or maybe you feel that some parts of your personal life simply aren’t anyone’s business. We thought it’d be interesting to talk about the things that readers prefer to keep quiet at the office — and why. Readers, do you keep certain parts of your personal life private at work? What parts, and why? 

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What to Wear on Your First Day at Work

what to wear on your first day at workHere’s a fun question for today: What are your best tips for someone on what to wear on your first day at work? Do you play it very safe with your interview outfit? If it’s a business casual environment and a suit isn’t appropriate, what do you wear for your first-day outfit?

We’ve talked about how to make your first day on the job a GREAT one, as well as what to wear on your first day at a very casual law office, but it’s been a while — I can’t wait to hear what the readers say!

Here are some factors that I would consider when picking out what to wear on your first day at work:

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How to Track Billable Hours: Tips, Tricks, and Best Practices

how to track billable hoursThis question is for the lawyers and others who have to keep track of your time — what are your best tips and tricks on how to track billable hours? If you’re a lawyer who reviews time sheets (either at a firm or in house), we’d love to hear your thoughts on what’s acceptable, what’s NOT acceptable, and what’s a red flag for you… It’s been a while since we’ve discussed time management, so let’s ponder…

Here’s Reader C’s question:

I thought it might be fun to do a post about all things billing. For newer attorneys, or those interested in transitioning from gov’t/etc., it could be really useful to learn the general rules and what more senior attorneys look for on their bills. For others it would be interesting to see tips/tricks for billing, key terms, billing as a way to market to clients and other related things. (E.g., my firm sends out a billing insert of a short article with each month’s bills).

Great question, Reader C! In my experience people tend to fall into two categories here: the obsessive billers who keep track in 6- or 10-minute increments — and the people who will definitely, totally get you those timesheets from six months ago asap. (We’re right on top of it, Rose!) The more cases and billable matters you have to keep track of, the more you have to be the first, obsessive person — whereas if you’re stuck on one never-ending project (doc review, anyone?) you can swing towards the second end of the spectrum.

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Tips for Dealing with Migraines at Work

Migraines at Work: Tips for DealingA migraine striking while you’re hanging out at home is bad enough, but migraines at work are even worse. Not only do you have to deal with debilitating pain and other symptoms, but you have to consider how to handle the situation in a professional way — when all you want to do is go home. Taking a few steps while you’re not in the middle of a migraine can make times like that a little easier. How do you deal with migraines at work? When you have to go home during the workday or call in sick, do you specifically say that you have a migraine? Is your boss usually understanding? 

Psst: We’ve also talked about how to function at work without sleep, how to explain an embarrassing illness (not that migraines should make you embarrassed!), how to handle a client meeting while drugged with cold medicine, and how to handle frequent doctors’ appointments. We’ve also had at least one great reader discussion with advice about migraines.

Here are some tips for how to handle migraines at work:

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Swearing at Work: Yea or Nay?

swearing at workHere’s a fun question for today: are you for or against swearing at work? Do you think less of colleagues and bosses who do it — or does context matter (e.g., you’re only against it if someone is swearing out of anger or swearing around little kids (or older colleagues)?) Or does your vocabulary rival a sailor’s? Do you consider it a measure of closeness, of “being in the club”? (Does anyone do it to prove their mettle — I’m thinking of the characters from the video for parody video Bitch in Business.) What about crass sayings that aren’t quite swearing, such as “oh, he’s just swinging his dick around” — yea or nay? (Haha: any favorite phrases to share?)

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How to Deal with Extreme Coworkers

how to deal with extreme coworkersReaders, what’s your best advice for how to deal with extreme coworkers? We’ve talked about what to do when your boss has it out for you, as well as difficult coworkers who throw temper tantrums, but not in a while — so I asked lawyer/journalist Rebecca Berfanger to offer some advice… – Kat

Have you ever had a coworker or a supervisor who took things to the extreme at work? Maybe she screamed often or threw things, maybe she bragged about how she gave up sleep in order to put in longer hours, maybe she worked every holiday and weekend, or maybe she never took any breaks, not even to leave her desk or eat? Maybe she survived only on lattes? Did this coworker or boss expect you to be equally extreme in order to prove your loyalty to your job or clients? Was it actually an expectation of all coworkers — or just this one?

We’ve talked about difficult coworkers before, but this is more about those who know they are acting extreme and expect you to put up with them, or they believe that to be successful, you must behave in a similar way. If you’ve never had to work with an extreme person at work, consider yourself lucky. Studies have shown that a toxic work environment can cause extreme stress, including post-traumatic stress disorder.

So how can you deal with extreme coworkers?

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