@Work Advice

Columnist Karla L. Miller solves workplace dilemmas. E-mail questions to wpmagazine@washpost.com.

 

@Work Advice columnist Karla Miller (DEB LINDSEY/FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)

@Work Advice: ‘Is that legal?’ Karla, advisers weigh in.

Employees wonder about spousal surcharges for health insurance and posting vacation plans for all to see.

@Work Advice columnist Karla Miller (DEB LINDSEY/FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)

@Work Advice: When no more raises are in the cards

What should employees who are told they make too much money do?

@Work Advice columnist Karla Miller (DEB LINDSEY/FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)

Work Advice: They see problems down the line

If you know you’ve inherited trouble, should you speak now or hold your peace?

@Work Advice columnist Karla Miller (DEB LINDSEY/FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)

@Work Advice: Gone, but not forgotten

This reader was laid off. But needy co-workers keep getting in touch. Plus, how much notice is enough?

@Work Advice columnist Karla Miller (DEB LINDSEY/FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)

@Work Advice: Compassion — for all

How long should colleagues be expected to carry a co-worker who is suffering?

About the Contest

The @Work Advice Contest

The @Work Advice Contest

In 2011, we launched a contest in search of the would-be advice columnist with the smartest, savviest approach to navigating the workplace. Finalists, chosen by a panel of judges, competed in four rounds for the chance to write a series of columns for The Washington Post Magazine . Reader votes determined who advanced to the next round; judges chose a winner from the last three standing. That winner, Karla L. Miller, continues to write a weekly column for the Magazine.

Round 4: The results

Four contestants competed in the @Work Advice chat round. There was no immunity this time around, and we said goodbye to Abbey Kos. After that, readers rallied for their favorite in the comments.

Round 3: The results

Six contestants competed in our video challenge. The judges awarded immunity to Karla Miller and we said goodbye to Leslie Anderson and Dean Buckley.

Round 3: D.C. United Coach Ben Olsen

D.C. United Coach Ben Olsen: What should you do when your professional life interferes with your personal life?

D.C. United Coach Ben Olsen: What should you do when your professional life interferes with your personal life?

D.C. United's Ben Olsen needed help balancing work and famly.
Cindy Coe: ‘The more you delegate, the faster you’ll reach your GOOAALLSS!’

Cindy Coe: ‘The more you delegate, the faster you’ll reach your GOOAALLSS!’

Cindy Coe, an @Work Advice Contest finalist, offers advice on balancing work and family to D.C. United Coach Ben Olsen.
Dean Buckley: ‘Define and defend your family time’

Dean Buckley: ‘Define and defend your family time’

Dean Buckley, an @Work Advice Contest finalist, offers advice on balancing work and family to D.C. United Coach Ben Olsen.
Ben Olsen: The Solution

Ben Olsen: The Solution

D.C. United Coach Ben Olsen shares the real-life advice he received when seeking help for a problem he faced at work.

Round 3: BET CEO Debra Lee

BET CEO Debra Lee: How do you know when it’s time to look for a job you’re passionate about, rather than a stepping stone?

BET CEO Debra Lee: How do you know when it’s time to look for a job you’re passionate about, rather than a stepping stone?

BET CEO Debra Lee needed help meshing career and passion.
Leslie Anderson: ‘When opportunity presents itself, follow  your gut and go for it.’

Leslie Anderson: ‘When opportunity presents itself, follow your gut and go for it.’

Leslie Anderson, an @Work Advice Contest finalist, offers suggestions to Debra Lee on her career quandry.
Michele Woodward: ‘Do what you love and the happiness will  follow’

Michele Woodward: ‘Do what you love and the happiness will follow’

Michele Woodward, an @Work Advice Contest finalist, offers suggestions to Debra Lee on her career quandry.
Debra Lee: The Solution

Debra Lee: The Solution

BET CEO Debra Lee shares the real-life advice she received to deal with her career question.

Round 3: Cartoonist Nick Galifianakis

Cartoonist Nick Galifianakis: What should you do when a  co-worker’s personal hygiene is driving people away?

Cartoonist Nick Galifianakis: What should you do when a co-worker’s personal hygiene is driving people away?

Cartoonist Nick Galifianakis needed help dealing with a co-worker’s bad breath.
Karla Miller: ‘Let him know without humiliating him’

Karla Miller: ‘Let him know without humiliating him’

Karla Miller, an @Work Advice Contest finalist, offers advice to cartoonist Nick Galifianakis on dealing with a co-worker’s bad breath.
Abbey Kos: ‘I’d want someone to tell me’

Abbey Kos: ‘I’d want someone to tell me’

Abbey Kos, an @Work Advice Contest finalist, offers up suggestions to Nick Galifianakis on dealing with a co-worker’s bad breath.
Nick Galifianakis: The Solution

Nick Galifianakis: The Solution

Cartoonist Nick Galifianakis shares the real-life advice he used to solve his workplace dilemma.

Round 2: The results

Eight finalists competed in our “Biggest Problems” challenge. The judges awarded immunity to Dean Buckley, and we said goodbye to Rachel Homer and Richard Wong.

Leslie Anderson

“Like any relationship, once employees cease sensing connection to employers, the honeymoon is over.”

Michele Woodward

“The last few years have done a whopper on most working people. Let’s see if we can find a way for you to catch your breath.”

Dean Buckley

“I’d love to hear your stories and ideas on how to triumph over job insecurity ... But please, no murder plots.”

Abbey Kos

“We can’t afford to watch junior staff leave just because the guy who signs their timesheet is a doofus.”

Cindy Coe

“It’s hard to get much done when you think the guy in the next cubicle is plotting Workplace Domination”

Karla Miller

“The average worker’s focus is like the average American’s diet: all over the place and increasingly unhealthy.”

Eliminated in Round 2

Rachel Homer

“In an environment like this, the only way to get by is to focus on the tiny subset of the world that you can actually control – yourself. ”

Richard Wong

“When you face the work/family dilemma, remember it’s just a job. It’s not your life.”

Round 1: The results

Ten contestants competed in our “No Easy Answers” challenge. The judges awarded immunity to Karla Miller and we said goodbye to Nikki Stevens andMoira Forbes.

Eliminated in Round 1

Nikki Stevens

Read her responses to our Round 1 challenge.
Meet Nikki

Moira Forbes

Read her responses to our Round 1 challenge.
Meet Moira

Meet the Judges

Lynn Medford

Lynn Medford is the editor of Sunday Style and The Washington Post Magazine.

Carolyn Hax

Carolyn Hax has written an advice column for The Washington Post since 1997.

Sydney Trent

Sydney Trent is a senior editor for Style and The Washington Post Magazine.

Eric Peterson

Eric Peterson is manager of diversity and inclusion initiatives at the Society for Human Resource Management. He holds a Master’s Degree in Organization Development from American University.

Douglas LaBier

Douglas LaBier is a business psychologist and founder of the Center for Progressive Development, a nonprofit organization promoting psychological health in the workplace.