Where I Got Published Today: Lifehacker

Want to Build Your Career? Ask Your Boss These Questions

When I was in my late 20s, I spent four years working as an executive assistant at a think tank in Washington, DC. During that time, I did my best to ask for feedback, but after reading Zhuo’s list of questions I realize how unspecific my requests were.

Asking “is there anything I can do to improve,” for example, is too broad; my managers gave responses like “you’re doing fine” or “I’ll let you know,” both of which probably meant “I can’t think of anything off the top of my head.” Bosses are busy, and—unless you’re making repeated mistakes or significantly underperforming at your job—aren’t likely to have constructive criticism at the ready.

If You Can’t Afford an Unexpected Tax Bill, Try Paying in Installments

One of the worst things about paying taxes is that you often don’t know what your tax bill is going to be until right before the deadline.

Some years, you learn that you’ve paid more than enough taxes thanks to withholdings and estimated tax payments. You get a tax refund. Great!

Some years, you discover that you haven’t been withholding enough cash from your paychecks—which means you have a tax bill due on April 15. Less great, especially if you don’t have enough money in your bank account to cover the tax burden.