A Cupcake Decorator Gets Fired for Being a Hero

For three sweet weeks in 2008 while the economy was on the brink of extinction, I decorated cupcakes. The job—froster at a cupcakes-only bakery—came from my roommate, who worked there on weekends. She was working part-time at the ACLU during the week. The decorator job opened up when she got a full-time spot campaigning for Death with Dignity.

Getting Feedback After a Job Rejection

Five years ago, I applied to a visitor services position at a museum that I was really hoping to get, and had a positive interview experience. Sadly, I didn't get the job, but someone gave me that tip that I should ask the interviewer about the outstanding qualities they found in the candidate they ended up choosing as a way for me to get feedback for improvement. Have you ever received feedback from a potential employer about your interview performance or how they perceived your skills and experience? Is this too much to ask?

Is Less Than a Year Too Soon to Switch Jobs?

We received the following questions below from Rosemary (not her real name), 29, who is working as a librarian in a medical context, but wants to make the switch to an academic library. She asked a question that many people worry about: Is it too soon to switch jobs?

The Givers

Last night I read Jerry Useem's 6,000-word feature in the June issue of The Atlantic examining a bunch of research that looks into why jerks get ahead and, as the saying goes, "nice guys finish last," to see if I could glean anything new from a relatively well-worn argument.

The Weekend I Spent as the Worst Booth Babe Ever

Regular Billfold readers may recall that I often joke about the disastrous weekend I once spent as a temporary booth babe. I figured it was about time to tell the entire story.

Should I Apply for This Job?

My friend Tim likes to send me links to job listings he’s considering and ask my opinion about whether he should apply. Pretty much without fail, my answer is yes (or really, YES!). There is always something—he's not sure he wants to work for such a large company, or he's worried that the hours will be too long, or he's not sure if he's really ready to leave his current job. But the thing is, it doesn't matter. He should just apply!

When Do I Tell My Boss That I’m Applying to Other Jobs?

Job searching while you have a job is a tricky thing to navigate. While it doesn’t feel good to be dishonest with your coworkers, you also don’t want them to think you’ve checked out—especially if you end up being there a while! The sad and uncomfortable truth is that it’s quite normal to have a period of deception while you hunt for other jobs and fake doctors appointments while you interview.

I ‘Leaned In’ at My Nanny Job—and Got Fired

One Wednesday night not long ago, I went to bed with a job and woke up unemployed.

The Dilettante’s Approach to a Career

Work is work. We do it because we need to make money, to pay bills, to have a roof over our heads. We do it to imbue our life with a tiny bit of meaning. It’s the thing that makes it so that we can do the stuff we really like, like yoga classes and coffee with friends and fitful bursts of shopping on windy Saturdays. It is energy expended in order for money to be made. The very word sounds trying. The hard consonant is a closed fist. "I can’t meet you for apple cider and donuts," you say, "because I have to work." There are sympathetic sighs; a tacit understanding. The discussion is closed.