Family questions

A single woman applying for jobs is thrown by the question of whether she has a family

The next problem: my smoking boss

A male in his 20s is irritated by his boss’s frequent absences while he nips out for a smoke

Boss on holiday

I need to dodge an invitation from my manager who is staying close to the Mallorca villa I am renting

My ‘gem’ of a job

A mother of a child with special needs has a ‘perfect’ part-time management post but is miserable

My pill-peddling son

My 18-year-old son has been selling his ADHD prescription medicine to other students at his school

Disillusioned in DC

My perfect job has turned so bad that I am driven to distraction

Smart or shabby?

In my office some people are relaxed about dress and others not so, and I am eager to create the right impression

Save my secretary

My employer has decreed that no one below board level can have secretarial assistance, so I have to sack my PA

I am seen as aloof

A reserved lawyer’s work is outstanding but his boss wants him to be more sociable

Lucy Kellaway
©Daniel Jones

Lucy Kellaway on colleagues’ feedback

Her angle on the perils of 360-degree feedback and other student dilemmas

Needy jobseekers deserve a helping hand

A banker feels besieged by former colleagues seeking help

An ego-free way of selling yourself

As a banker seeking to change career I have been turned down for having ‘too much ego’

Top job and two infants

I am about to get a great new job at the law firm I work for but I am also three months pregnant

Attitudes to money

I want to buy in an upcoming area but my fiancée wants to rent in a trendy district

My ideas get stolen

I work for a firm with little respect for the intellectual property generated by employees

Peer review poser

A person senior to me, but not my direct boss, is a bit of a jerk. No one tells him about problems, so they fester

MBA v Mandarin

I am trying to decide whether doing an MBA or learning Mandarin would be better for my career

Dear Lucy...

FT readers consult Lucy Kellaway on problems from absorbing too much (food) culture while studying abroad to a student who steamrollers their classmates during group work

Save me from the foot fetishist

I have become convinced that a colleague from another department passes by my desk specifically to look at my feet. What should I do?

How to publicise my job offer?

I’ve been headhunted for a job I don’t want, but I want my employer and colleagues to know about it


Dear Lucy Lucy Kellaway, FT columnist and associate editor, offers her solution to your workplace problems in a fortnightly column in the Financial Times. In this weekly online edition of her 'agony aunt' column, readers are invited to have a say too.

E-mail Lucy your problems to