Episodes

  • It’s vampire time! 

    Yes, it’s a weird way to introduce this episode. But we’re not talking about the Bram Stoker version of vampires. This episode is all about the kind of people (fully alive, not undead) who suck the joy and energy out of your work day, i.e. the “paranoids,” “histrionics” and “narcissists” that inevitably infiltrate most offices.

    In that vein, we’re taking a page, literally, from the book, “Emotional Vampires: Dealing with People Who Drain You Dry” by Albert Bernstein. And joining us for a chat about how to throw open the curtains and burn these beasts with sunlight is the hilarious Akilah Hughes. She’s co-host of Crooked Media’s daily podcast “What A Day,” the author of a new memoir “Obviously: Stories From My Timeline,” a television correspondent for multiple networks, and just for kicks she’s also a popular YouTuber, stand-up comic and former Disney World employee. Workplace-wise, Akilah has seen it all. 

    Then, listener Sara is competing with her subordinate for a new job--which is awkward, to say the least. And listener Cassie is trying to deal with being laid off, but having to stay in her company to train the new team. OUCH. Liz and Rico have some thoughts for Cassie on how to stay positive in this tough work situation. 

    Last but not least, Liz and Rico read a letter from a listener who has been banned from every breakroom in her office, which makes us wonder if this anonymous listener has asked themselves why?

    As always, if you've got a burning workplace question and need some advice, don't hesitate to send us an email (that email, unsurprisingly, is also Safe@Wondery.com). You can also find us on Twitter, we’re @SafeFor Work. Don't forget to follow our sage hosts on Twitter, too; they're @SSLiz and @RicoGagliano. And if you want to check out Liz’s other show, Satellite Sisters, you can find it on Apple Podcasts or Art19.

    From our sponsors:

    Try Freshbooks for FREE for 30 days at freshbooks.com/safe and enter Safe For Work in the "How Did You Hear About Us?" section to get started.

  • The School of Greatness with Lewis Howes is the best place to learn how to dream bigger, live better, and make an impact. 

    The show features conversations with world-class game changers, and dives into topics from entrepreneurship and inspiration, to health and relationships.

    Subscribe today at: wondery.fm/safeforworkSOG

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  • Today we’re doing our favorite thing--taking your calls for (almost) the whole episode! We had so many great emails, that we wanted some extra time to chat work dilemmas with y’all. And while Liz and Rico love giving advice, it’s great when we can learn a few things from our callers. 

     

    Case in point, up first is listener Luc, who is having trouble choosing between two great job offers. Luc is also transgender and was kind enough to pass along the following workplace resources for the trans community:

     

    Learn how to update your documents: 

    The National Center For Transgender Equality 

     

    Know Your Rights at work: 

    Transgender Law Center 

    National LGBTQ Task Force

     

    Legal help: 

    Lambda Legal

    Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund 

    The National Center For Transgender Equality 

     

    Then, listener Carol wonders whether she should take the leap and go for some management training, when she’s not sure if being a manager is her cup of tea.

     

    And in this week’s MInd the Gap segment, Liz and Rico debate whether you should use emojis in work emails.

     

    Last but not least, we hear from listener Liliana, who is torn about whether to take a work opportunity that’s in line with her career trajectory, but not her pay grade.

    As always, if you've got a burning workplace question and need some advice, don't hesitate to send us an email (that email, unsurprisingly, is also Safe@Wondery.com). You can also find us on Twitter, we’re @SafeFor Work. Don't forget to follow our sage hosts on Twitter, too; they're @SSLiz and @RicoGagliano. And if you want to check out Liz’s other show, Satellite Sisters, you can find it on Apple Podcasts or Art19.

  • Listen to Dying for Sex at wondery.fm/DFS9.

    When she’s diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer, Molly decides to do something bold: she leaves her unhappy marriage and embarks on a series of sexual adventures to help her feel alive. These experiences are beyond anything she could have imagined, so she shares the details with her closest friend, host Nikki Boyer. The two best friends dissect these hilarious, often touching stories. And they growing even closer as they share Molly's journey together. From Wondery, the makers of The Shrink Next Door and Imagined Life, Dying for Sex is a six-part series about friendship, death, sex, and what you do with the time you have left.

  • We’re starting today’s show with a question that hasn’t popped up in our inbox before: Should you be clean-shaven in your professional profile pictures? Listener Scott posed this to us in an email, and he’s calling in for a discussion on facial hair and whether that affects your chances of getting hired. And no, it really shouldn’t matter.

     

    Then, we address the subject of allyship both in and out of the office. What’s a success partner? How are they different?

    For more on that, we’re reaching out to Minda Hartz, one of the most interesting voices giving career advice out there. Minda started The Memo — a website that provides a forum and guidance for women of color in the workplace. She also has a new book entitled, “The Memo: What Women of Color Need To Know To Secure a Seat at the table.”  

     

    And we end this episode with a letter from listener Sean, who had some high hopes for a promotion. Since his company’s merger, management has gone radio silent, about his new position. Liz and Rico chat about what that could mean for Sean’s job. 

     

    As always, if you've got a burning workplace question and need some advice, don't hesitate to send us an email (that email, unsurprisingly, is also Safe@Wondery.com). You can also find us on Twitter, we’re @SafeFor Work. Don't forget to follow our sage hosts on Twitter, too; they're @SSLiz and @RicoGagliano. And if you want to check out Liz’s other show, Satellite Sisters, you can find it on Apple Podcasts or Art19.

    From our sponsors:

     

    Right now, Sakara is offering our listeners 20% off their first order when they go to Sakara.com/safe.

  • Getting offered a promotion is supposed to be a good thing. It means your hard work is paying off and your employers are taking notice. But what if, along with all the responsibilities and pressure that comes with moving up to management, the person who’s position you’re filling is now your subordinate. In short, you’re doing a switcheroo with your boss. 

    That’s exactly what our listener Ashley is preparing for. Today, we’re opening the show with her call, so Liz and Rico can give some tips on how to take charge, especially if her former boss doesn’t want to pass the baton. 

    Then, we hear from listener Stephanie who was recently let go from her job in a pretty terrible way. And for our Work Pop segment, we’re going to further discuss how to *not* fire someone, with a look at a scene from the sports movie, “Moneyball.” 

    Last but not least, we’re getting some intel about Google nightmares with fellow podcaster and former Google employee Sam Dingman. Dingman is the host of the podcast, Family Ghosts.

    As always, if you've got a burning workplace question and need some advice, don't hesitate to send us an email (that email, unsurprisingly, is also Safe@Wondery.com). You can also find us on Twitter, we’re @SafeFor Work. Don't forget to follow our sage hosts on Twitter, too; they're @SSLiz and @RicoGagliano. And if you want to check out Liz’s other show, Satellite Sisters, you can find it on Apple Podcasts or Art19.

  • The Rise and Fall of WeWork is a stunning story of hope and hubris. WeWork was the poster child for a new economy. Its founders wanted to revolutionize everything about the way people lived their lives. Its charismatic founder Adam Neumann had an intoxicating vision for the company — but did it ever match the reality?

    Subscribe today: wondery.fm/wecrashedSFW

  • Liz and Rico are advice givers by trade, but that doesn’t mean they’re equipped to give advice about how best to *ask for* advice.  

    So, since getting the advice you need is a pretty important step in anyone’s work life, we called writer Anna Goldfarb, an expert on that subject. She wrote the article entitled, “The right way to ask ‘Can I Pick Your Brain?’” and is giving five ground rules for advice seekers in five-ish minutes. It’s a classic SFW segment we like to call “5-in-5.”

    Then, we’re getting into Lingo Bingo, which includes some not-so-pretty office jargon like “cannibalize.” Graphic! And we’ll also hear from listener Pam, who’s having some trouble escaping an overly-talkative colleague.

    Finally, listener Elizabeth, who was a caller from the show’s early days, has gotten a great job since her first chat with us. Now, she needs some advice on how to get more paid time off (A.K.A. our favorite version of time off).

    As always, if you've got a burning workplace question and need some advice, don't hesitate to send us an email (that email, unsurprisingly, is also Safe@Wondery.com). You can also find us on Twitter, we’re @SafeFor Work. Don't forget to follow our sage hosts on Twitter, too; they're @SSLiz and @RicoGagliano. And if you want to check out Liz’s other show, Satellite Sisters, you can find it on Apple Podcasts or Art19.

  • It seems like it oughta be the dream position for an employee: You’re doing a gig you kinda like, but maybe they don’t pay you enough, or give you enough of a benefits package… 

    And then, you get another job offer.  

    At last, you’re in the catbird seat! If your current gig wants to keep you, they’re gonna have to sweeten the pot. Then the new gig will offer even more to steal you!

    But then you’re gonna need to somehow play these two employers off each other without either of them resenting you for it. Here to guide us through that tightrope walk is Anna Goldfarb. She writes about relationships, careers and pop psychology for Vice, Medium and The Cut. Anna also wrote the New York Times article, “How to Gracefully Leverage an Outside Job Offer.”

    Then, we’re playing Lingo Bingo which includes some controversy about the word “optics.” And later, we hear from listener Wendy who needs a game plan on how to leave her first job out of college. Finally, Liz and Rico chat with listener Ellen, who is having a tough time with the receptionist at her new job.

    As always, if you've got a burning workplace question and need some advice, don't hesitate to send us an email (that email, unsurprisingly, is also Safe@Wondery.com). You can also find us on Twitter, we’re @SafeFor Work. Don't forget to follow our sage hosts on Twitter, too; they're @SSLiz and @RicoGagliano. And if you want to check out Liz’s other show, Satellite Sisters, you can find it on Apple Podcasts or Art19.

  • We hear from a lot of listeners about the disconnect between their corporate culture and what the company SAYS their culture is.  

    For example, we recently had a caller named Carly who said her managers ruled by shame and fear but their corporate values called for them to be “Courgeously Forthright,” which would be hilarious if it weren’t so hard on people.  

    So when we got an email from a company named Tuthill about how they were shaping their culture, it got our attention. Chad Gabriel is Tuthill’s “Sherpa of Purpose” and he’s the host/narrator of the docu-series The Search For Aliveness. Today, Chad shares how being an actual human at the office can be good for everyone on the team.

    Then Liz and Rico analyze a clip from the NBC sitcom, “Superstore.” And discuss what that show says about giving feedback to employees. 

    And later, we read a letter from a listener who’s having a hard time getting hired because of the stigma that comes with being a military spouse. For some advice from a person who’s been there, Liz and Rico turn to Erin of the blog, “The Deployment Diatribes.” Erin talks about her own experience being a military spouse and gives some tips on how to land a job, even if you have to move around a lot in service of your country. One of the resources Erin recommends is My Career Advancement Account

    And last but not least we’ll hear from listener Catherine, all the way in New Zealand! Catherine is looking to make a career change and wants to know if she’s on the right path to take the leap.

    As always, if you've got a burning workplace question and need some advice, don't hesitate to send us an email (that email, unsurprisingly, is also Safe@Wondery.com). You can also find us on Twitter, we’re @SafeFor Work. Don't forget to follow our sage hosts on Twitter, too; they're @SSLiz and @RicoGagliano. And if you want to check out Liz’s other show, Satellite Sisters, you can find it on Apple Podcasts or Art19.

  • In the name of the new year and new beginnings — on this first episode of 2020 we’re gonna be listening to stories… by turns wonderful, horrifying and hilarious… about people’s first days at work. And when the SFW team was talking about this around the office, Liz Dolan herself said she has a doozy worth kicking off the show with, at a little company called Nike.

    Then we continue our theme of “first day of work” stories with one of our favorite guests Quinn Cummings. As a kid, she was nominated for an Oscar for her role in the movie “The Goodbye Girl.” She’s now hosts a podcast called “Quinn Cummings Gives Bad Advice,” wherein she gives listeners hilarious, but actually often pretty solid advice about work, relationships, and more. Quinn’s here to share what her first day on a commercial set was like as a kid, still picking gravel out of her knee.

    And finally we’ll hear from listener Matthew, whose company holds employees accountable through a department-wide newsletter. Passive aggressive much?

    As always, if you've got a burning workplace question and need some advice, don't hesitate to send us an email (that email, unsurprisingly, is also Safe@Wondery.com). You can also find us on Twitter, we’re @SafeFor Work. Don't forget to follow our sage hosts on Twitter, too; they're @SSLiz and @RicoGagliano. And if you want to check out Liz’s other show, Satellite Sisters, you can find it on Apple Podcasts or Art19.

  • So 12 months back, we ended 2018 with a couple of episodes in which Liz and Rico interviewed each other. This year, some other “Safe For Work” staffers are getting a shot at the spotlight, and stepping into the booth to talk about their surprising career paths.

    Up first is our producer, Audrey Ngo. She’s here to chat about going back to school after 30, and transitioning from a job as a makeup artist to the world of audio journalism

    Then Liz and Rico chat with our sound engineer, Mischa Stanton. Mischa’s discussing their  career path in audio and sound design, which led to some pretty interesting projects including work with a little-known company called Marvel.

    And in this week’s Work Pop segment, we’re turning to the NBC sitcom “Superstore” to see what that show says about workplace efficiency.

    Last but not least, we’ll chat with listener Cait who isn’t too happy with her new position in sales at her company, but wonders if she should just grin and bear it.

    As always, if you've got a burning workplace question and need some advice, don't hesitate to send us an email (that email, unsurprisingly, is also Safe@Wondery.com). You can also find us on Twitter, we’re @SafeFor Work. Don't forget to follow our sage hosts on Twitter, too; they're @SSLiz and @RicoGagliano. And if you want to check out Liz’s other show, Satellite Sisters, you can find it on Apple Podcasts or Art19.

  • A few weeks ago we asked you, dear listeners, to write us with your favorite upbeat work-centric stories, including your own career triumphs of 2019.

    Well (as expected), you didn’t disappoint. We’ll be hearing your stories throughout the show. Starting with a listener who’s also been an expert guest here on SFW, Kristen Meinzer. Kristen is an author and host of many podcasts including By The Book. She was also our first guest of the year back in January, when among other things we talked about about how she’d just been laid off. Today, if you look up “resilience” in the dictionary, Kristin’s picture should be right there next to it. She’s had a banner 2019, which among other things, now finds her as an expert on “royal subjects.” She’s here to tell us all about it.

    And in keeping with this them of “work wins,” throughout the show we’re sprinkling in a few feel-good work stories from 2019, including a man who managed to get hundreds of job offers by passing out his resume on the side of the road, a janitor who ended up getting his nursing degree at the university where he worked and a group in West Virginia who helped unemployed miners make a living by having them raise bees and sell honey. 

    Then Liz and Rico chat with listener Briony, who’s transitioned into a role that’s less emotionally taxing at the university where she works. Briony’s also got a great “first job” story about a gig in an esoteric bookstore. 

    We also hear from listener Crystal, who’s sharing a feel-good story about the school where she teaches in Houston. And how during a flood, their kitchen staff banded together to make dinner for the students after the storm.

    Finally, we end this super-positive episode with listener Jazmyne who found a light at the end of the tunnel at a job that wasn’t satisfying her, and even got some help with her clinical depression.

    As always, if you've got a burning workplace question and need some advice, don't hesitate to send us an email (that email, unsurprisingly, is also Safe@Wondery.com). You can also find us on Twitter, we’re @SafeFor Work. Don't forget to follow our sage hosts on Twitter, too; they're @SSLiz and @RicoGagliano. And if you want to check out Liz’s other show, Satellite Sisters, you can find it on Apple Podcasts or Art19.

  • We’ve all heard about digital detoxes, and why they’re worth undertaking. But that’s usually put in the context of its impact on our lives outside of work. So what do we gain from shutting off our screens at work? For a lot of us, our work happens almost entirely on screens! 

    For some practical tips on “going analog.” today we’re talking with Digital Detox and Human Connection Expert Holland Haiis. Holland is going to do a (kinda) quickfire round of our 5-in-5 segment. This is when we pose a problem to a guest, and they give us five quick solutions, in five-ish minutes. It’s really the most efficient way to conduct an interview ;).

    Then listener Elizabeth is afraid she won’t survive her probation period at a new gig, after moving from the U.S. to Switzerland for the job in question.

    And Liz and Rico chat with listener Maya who wants to know how to get paid what she’s worth, after underselling herself during her recent promotion.

    Last but not least, an anonymous caller wants some strategies on ending her boss’s string of meaningless meetings: a.k.a. THE WORST.

    As always, if you've got a burning workplace question and need some advice, don't hesitate to send us an email (that email, unsurprisingly, is also Safe@Wondery.com). You can also find us on Twitter, we’re @SafeFor Work. Don't forget to follow our sage hosts on Twitter, too; they're @SSLiz and @RicoGagliano. And if you want to check out Liz’s other show, Satellite Sisters, you can find it on Apple Podcasts or Art19.

  • We’ve all been there. Sometimes our emotions or the heat of the moment sweep away all wisdom or self-restraint, and we say something in a work setting that makes us wish we could rewind history.

    Alas, time doesn’t work that way. So for some tips on how to smooth over the potentially career-killing rough patch you’ve just made for yourself, we’re welcoming back Joseph Grenny.  He is a four-time New York Times bestselling author, and a leading social scientist for business performance. Grenny’s here to show us how to recover from blunders that could have long time effects on your career.

    Then later, listener Dave is trying to figure out how to save his health and his sanity, as he climbs the corporate ladder. And listener Susan is hoping to have a fresh start with her new boss, despite a questionable review from her old one.

    Lastly, we turn to you, dear listeners! Some of you were super helpful and wrote in with advice for our recent caller, Michelle, a Ph.D. student who was on our show a few weeks back, asking about how to dodge her nightmare of a supervisor.

    As always, if you've got a burning workplace question and need some advice, don't hesitate to send us an email (that email, unsurprisingly, is also Safe@Wondery.com). You can also find us on Twitter, we’re @SafeFor Work. Don't forget to follow our sage hosts on Twitter, too; they're @SSLiz and @RicoGagliano. And if you want to check out Liz’s other show, Satellite Sisters, you can find it on Apple Podcasts or Art19.

  • A few weeks back on the show, we were talking with our own Coach Larry about what to do if you base your entire identity on your job. Which unsurprisingly, is NOT the healthiest way to live.

    One piece of Larry’s advice was to make sure there’s “something else” in your life other than work, including creative pursuits. But how do you work an extra passion project into your busy schedule? And what if you don’t even think of yourself as especially creative?

    Today’s guest Laura M. Holson has some ideas. She’s a longtime writer for The New York Times and authored the article, “Forget a Fast Car, Creativity Is The New Midlife Crisis Cure.” Holson also started “The BOX Sessions,” a “creative gathering” that will happen in February 2020. Holson shares her personal story of finding creativity (and a knack for doing voice-overs), as well as some tips for starting a creative journey when you’re strapped for time.

    Then we’ll hear from listener Steven, who spends Monday through Friday as a steelworker and moonlights as a DJ. He needs some advice on how to leave his day job for a career he’s really passionate about.

    Liz and Rico will also chat with listener Carly who wants to know the best way to create “psychological safety” at work -- A.K.A. an environment where people aren’t afraid to speak up.

    And later, listener Karen was put in a tough situation at work when a whistleblower showed her some damning work emails, all written by management. Our favorite lawyer Laura Lawless writes in with some advice on the legal implications of those messages, and what Karen can do with them.

    As always, if you've got a burning workplace question and need some advice, don't hesitate to send us an email (that email, unsurprisingly, is also Safe@Wondery.com). You can also find us on Twitter, we’re @SafeFor Work. Don't forget to follow our sage hosts on Twitter, too; they're @SSLiz and @RicoGagliano. And if you want to check out Liz’s other show, Satellite Sisters, you can find it on Apple Podcasts or Art19.

  • So we’ve been getting a lot of questions lately from listeners struggling to deal with “button pushers.” These are other employees in the office who get under your skin, and you just can’t stop obsessing over them.

    To remedy that, we can think of no better expert than our own Coach Larry Seal. He’s the founder, CEO and an executive coach at Engaged Leadership. Today, Larry chats with Liz and Rico about how to “stay in your lane” when it comes to those annoying colleagues.

    Then, we hear from an anonymous listener who wants to create more paths for internal hiring at her company. And later, we chat with listener Maggie whose co-worker is getting too close for comfort, and just can’t deal with Maggie’s personal and professional success.

    Finally, Liz and Rico read an email from listener Emma, a first-time manager who wants to know the best way to motivate her employees. Kudos, Emma! And managers--take note!

    As always, if you've got a burning workplace question and need some advice, don't hesitate to send us an email (that email, unsurprisingly, is also Safe@Wondery.com). You can also find us on Twitter, we’re @SafeFor Work. Don't forget to follow our sage hosts on Twitter, too; they're @SSLiz and @RicoGagliano. And if you want to check out Liz’s other show, Satellite Sisters, you can find it on Apple Podcasts or Art19.

  • So we’ve all met this person, or maybe we *are* this person: someone so wrapped up in their job that it provides them with their entire identity. Take that job away, and they’d be totally unmoored.

    It’s not a good place to be psychologically, I think we can agree. And here to help us identify when we’ve crossed the line into the dark zone, and what to do about it, is our own Coach Larry Seal. Seal is the founder, CEO and an executive coach at Engaged Leadership, and he’s seen this play out more than a few times. 

    Then we’ll hear from listener Kita, who wants to know how to “stay in her lane” and ignore her lazy co-worker, or “LCW” as we say in the SFW studio. And later, Liz and Rico chat with listener Lindsey who needs some advice about bringing up her imminent 3-week vacation, when she’s about to start a new job.

    Finally, caller Stephanie wants to know the best way to keep in touch with some higher-ups who are leaving her company, just in case she needs those connections in the future.

    As always, if you've got a burning workplace question and need some advice, don't hesitate to send us an email (that email, unsurprisingly, is also Safe@Wondery.com). You can also find us on Twitter, we’re @SafeFor Work. Don't forget to follow our sage hosts on Twitter, too; they're @SSLiz and @RicoGagliano. And if you want to check out Liz’s other show, Satellite Sisters, you can find it on Apple Podcasts or Art19.

  • We’d like to think we have some experience saving our listeners from bad advice. After all, we have a segment that’s literally called “Bad Advice.” But in a SFW twist, we’re gonna chat today with Quinn Cummings, whose job is to actually give what she calls “bad advice.”

    As a kid, Cummings earned an Oscar nomination for her role in the movie “The Goodbye Girl.” She’s also an author, and now hosts a podcast in which she answers listeners who seek her advice on topics from work, to relationships, to wigs. It’s called “Quinn Cummings Gives Bad Advice,” but we think her advice is pretty good. In that spirit, we’re gonna set her loose on a few listener emails today!

    Then in this week’s Work Pop segment, we’ll find out what the ABC sitcom “Better Off Ted” can teach us about how NOT to boost company morale. And Liz and Rico advise listener Jennie on how to escape some “golden handcuffs”: where you have it so good, it’s tough to leave your job, no matter how badly you want to hightail it outta there.

    And last but not least, we’ve got a letter from listener Tamara whose team is making some big demands in their review meetings.

    As always, if you've got a burning workplace question and need some advice, don't hesitate to send us an email (that email, unsurprisingly, is also Safe@Wondery.com). You can also find us on Twitter, we’re @SafeFor Work. Don't forget to follow our sage hosts on Twitter, too; they're @SSLiz and @RicoGagliano. And if you want to check out Liz’s other show, Satellite Sisters, you can find it on Apple Podcasts or Art19.

  • We don’t wanna seem cynical, but we think future generations might be able to call this period of history The Age Of Disillusionment: where we’re constantly disappointed by and losing faith in all sorts of institutions and leaders. Especially in business, where it’s easy to feel increasingly like nice guys finish last.

    But we don’t believe that has to be true. Here to tell us how nice leaders are actually GOOD for business is Marcel Schwantes. Schwantes is a speaker, executive coach, podcaster, and columnist. He is also the host of Love In Action podcast and has some ideas on how to be the best nice leaders we can be.

    Then Liz and Rico will chat with listener Jason who feels like he’s not getting paid enough, compared to some new hires at his company. 

    Later, in this weeks’ Work Pop, we’ll revisit the NBC show 30 Rock, for some insight on the value of mentor / mentee relationships. And finally, we’ll hear from listener Jen, who has been eyeing an elusive promotion.

    As always, if you've got a burning workplace question and need some advice, don't hesitate to send us an email (that email, unsurprisingly, is also Safe@Wondery.com). You can also find us on Twitter, we’re @SafeFor Work. Don't forget to follow our sage hosts on Twitter, too; they're @SSLiz and @RicoGagliano. And if you want to check out Liz’s other show, Satellite Sisters, you can find it on Apple Podcasts or Art19.