How to flirt your way to the top

A banker proud of his ‘professional’ manners is dismayed by the popularity of a new colleague

Graduate talent makes a mentor seethe

A banker resents the arrogant lazy trainee he is nurturing

Dear Lucy . . . 

Agony aunt Lucy Kellaway takes a firm line on soft skills

Must I shell out on every staff gift?

The collection plate goes round too often - can I ignore it?

Can I decline the job move collection?

A middle manager asks if it is acceptable to skip the donation that internal moves prompt

Rise above a conniving weasel colleague

A member of my team withholds information and tells tales

How to handle a non team player

A member of my team refuses to share information and is prone to finger-pointing others to managers

Was I in my job too long?

I am job hunting and suspect I’m disadvantaged because I stayed with my last company for 18 years

Is doing an EMBA fair on my family?

Should I let my company choose my business school and do online courses offer better value?

Should I tell my new boss the truth?

I kept quiet when I should have told my forbidding superior that she had lipstick on her teeth

Should I thank my boss for my bonus?

An analyst asks if he has committed a serious faux pas for not thanking the boss

Stalled internship

An English intern at a German company finds that she is sidelined

Am I better off going to a bigger-brand school with more of a reputation?

Lucy Kellaway on whether location matters when studying

My smoking boss

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

Family questions

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

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

I have what I thought was the perfect job but dislike it so much I can’t think of what else to do

Smart or shabby?

I want to create the right impression in an office with vague dress codes


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.

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