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Latest Posts
by Liz Nottingham

36 posts

Liz Nottingham

Agency HR Director, FIPA

Dear Liz, how risqué can my Secret Santa gift be?

Dear Liz, how risqué can my Secret Santa gift be?

This year’s Secret Santa has just kicked off at my agency and I’ve drawn the CEO. I’m fairly new here so don’t really know her but everyone says she’s a real laugh. Listening to stories from colleagues it sounds like in previous years, people at the agency generally prefer ‘joke’ gifts, but what if she’s offended by what I get her and she finds out it was from me? How risqué do you think my gift can be? Read more

Dear Liz, what can I do to increase my skills at work?

Dear Liz, what can I do to increase my skills at work?

Dear Liz, I’ve been in my current role at an agency for a few years now and while I enjoy it, I’m concerned that I’m no longer learning anything new. I’d like to increase my skills – perhaps with extra training or a course – but it’s not common practice for employees here to do this and I’m not even sure if there’s a budget for it. How would you recommend I approach this subject with my line manager? Read more

Dear Liz, my manager favours my colleague, what do I do?

Dear Liz, my manager favours my colleague, what do I do?

Hi Liz, I am a Project Manager at a creative agency and work as part of a small team of 3 which includes another project manager and our line manager. I’ve been with the agency for 2 years while the other project manager and line manager have been working together for 5 years. Unfortunately it is beginning to feel like my line manager favours my colleague and they end up getting all the great projects and accompanying praise. Any ideas how I can address this issue with my boss without sounding bitter? Read more

Ask Liz: swearing in the office

Ask Liz: swearing in the office

Dear Liz, our new team assistant works really hard and produces great work but she has a very informal manner and often drops swear words into conversations when talking to colleagues. What can I do to encourage her to act more professionally, without taking away her friendliness? Read more

Ask Liz: Colleague Conflict

Ask Liz: Colleague Conflict

Dear Liz, our line manager recently told us we have a new colleague joining soon, who will be working alongside me. After finding out the name of the new starter, I realise it is somebody I clashed with at an old place of work, which is one of the reasons why I chose to leave. I don’t want to make anything uncomfortable within the office when they start, but I know they will remember our history. How do I approach building a new relationship when the old one is so damaged? Read more

Ask Liz: Socialising Dilemma

Ask Liz: Socialising Dilemma

I recently joined a young and dynamic agency where there is a large emphasis on after work drinks. Although I have attended a few of these, they are becoming so regular that I feel pressured into attending in order to build and maintain relationships. I have other commitments in my personal life and am finding it hard to balance the two, along with late nights. I’m also worried this will soon affect my energy levels at work, what can I do? Read more

Ask Liz: How do I negotiate Christmas leave?

Ask Liz: How do I negotiate Christmas leave?

My manager is making me feel bad about asking for time off between Christmas and New Year. I have plenty of holiday days left and the office is always quiet during this time. I have even offered to work from home one of the days and keep an eye on my emails. They have given no real reason why I can’t have the time off so how can I put my case forward? Read more

Ask Liz: should I fire a popular employee?

Ask Liz: should I fire a popular employee?

Dear Liz, a few months ago we hired a great guy who, as we thought, has fitted into the team really well. He’s had a really positive impact on the office, and everyone gets on very well with him. Unfortunately we’ve come to realise he doesn’t hold the skills we thought he did and isn’t progressing well in his actual role. Other people we interviewed may have fit the bill skill-wise, but wouldn’t have gelled as well into our working environment. What would you recommend I do – keep him or let him go? Read more

Ask Liz: how useful is the Myers-Briggs test?

Ask Liz: how useful is the Myers-Briggs test?

Dear Liz, I recently read a thought-provoking and interesting article on the usefulness of the Myers-Briggs personality test. The article argues the test is meaningless and likens it to a Buzzfeed quiz. Yet, it’s widely used within many businesses including in adland. What are your thoughts on the test and why is it still being used? Read more

Ask Liz: how do I handle the office gossip?

Ask Liz: how do I handle the office gossip?

Dear Liz, a colleague in my team has started to get a bad reputation for spreading rumours and being a gossip. She comes across as friendly and open, but people would confide in her only to find their business spread around the office. It has caused damage to relationships and the team’s morale. Is there a way I can tactfully approach her about this, without being confrontational and offensive? Read more

Ask Liz: how do I ask for a pay rise?

Ask Liz: how do I ask for a pay rise?

Dear Liz, I have been on the same salary for over two years now. I feel I make a huge contribution to my agency; I put in the hours and always meet my deadlines. I think I deserve a raise but would feel awkward asking for one, and the opportunity has never really arisen. Do you have any advice on how I can go about asking for a pay rise? Read more

Ask Liz: how can I work effectively under multiple managers?

Ask Liz: how can I work effectively under multiple managers?

Dear Liz, I work under three different managers, and I’m finding it hard to juggle the workload of all three. They all have different styles of working, and don’t listen if I tell them I am on a deadline with another manager/on another project. All of them believe their work is priority, and I understand that, but they place last-minute demands on me and are not approachable so I cannot talk to any of them. I feel like this situation is having an impact on the quality of work I produce as I’m always rushing, and stressed. Help! Read more

Ask Liz: How do I handle a rude colleague?

Ask Liz: How do I handle a rude colleague?

Dear Liz, I am finding it hard to get along with a new colleague. He is very rude, and is always swearing. Although it’s not always directed at someone in particular, and at times it’s in a jokey manner, I still find him bad-mannered and don’t believe it is appropriate behaviour for an office environment. Should I approach him directly about it or try to ignore it? Read more

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