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We have updated the custom off-topic close reasons according to two discussions held here on meta. The close reasons below are our new off-topic close reasons. As answers to this question, I am making individual answers for each close reason that explain why it is off-topic and how to edit the post to get it reopened. These answers will be linked in each close reason and are intended to help out askers who had their questions closed.


Questions seeking advice on company-specific regulations, agreements, or policies should be directed to your manager or HR department. Questions that address only a specific company or position are of limited use to future visitors. Questions seeking legal advice should be directed to legal professionals. For more information, click here.

This should be used for questions where the answer lies in legal advice or company-specific policies that cannot be answered by an HR specialist from another company. For instance:

  • My company is not allowing me to carry over vacation days, can they do that?
  • Is it legal for an employer to fire an employee for committing a crime?
  • How much notice do I need to give to leave my job?

Questions which ask for guidance on how to find the answer, rather than the specific answer for their company, are still on-topic and should not be closed for this reason.


Questions asking for advice on what to do are not practical answerable questions (e.g. "what job should I take?", or "what skills should I learn?"). Questions should get answers explaining why and how to make a decision, not advice on what to do. For more information, click here.

This should be used for questions that ask for personalized advice rather than answers that explain why and how. For instance:

  • Should I take the job in the big multi-national company or the up-and-coming startup?
  • What should I do if I hate my job but need the money?
  • What programming language should I learn?

Questions that ask for advice on how to go about solving a problem rather than what decision to make are still on-topic and should not be closed for this reason.


Questions require a goal that we can address. Rather than explaining the difficulties of your situation, explain what you want to do to make it better. For more information, see this meta post.

This should be used for questions which come across as rants because they focus on problems with an individual rather than asking how to solve problems related to a poor relationship in the office. For instance:

  • Why am I so smart and everyone around me sucks?
  • Why did I get rejected from this job I applied to?
  • How can I make my boss be less of a jerk?

Questions that ask how to deal with the consequences of an interpersonal problem are still on-topic and should not be closed for this reason.

Note: These are my examples, and there are probably better ones. If you can think of any, please feel free to edit the above to better match the concept

The answers that follow below are advice for askers who have their questions closed and want to fix them to get them re-opened.

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Questions seeking advice on company-specific regulations, agreements, or policies should be directed to your manager or HR department. Questions that address only a specific company or position are of limited use to future visitors. Questions seeking legal advice should be directed to legal professionals. For more information, click here.

Our goal here at The Workplace is to help out people in the future who are facing the same problem. When the solution to a problem is company-specific due to company rules or regulations, future visitors who come across it may not find anything that is helpful to their situation in a different company with different rules.

Questions about rules specific to your company are best asked to your manager or someone in HR. Questions should be able to be answered by an HR professional in another company, and shouldn't require specific legal expertise (see what is asking for legal advice?). Legal questions should be posed to your company's legal department or another attorney.

Another alternative is to edit your post to remove some of the company-specific details to ask a question that will apply to other people in the same situation but in a different company or position. For instance, instead of asking "How much notice do I need to give to leave my job?" you can ask "If my company rules do not state a period of notice, how should I determine how much notice to give?"

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    What does "company-specific" mean here? If I ask "My company has a policy of asking new employees to do X. In that context, blabla?" is it company-specific? Or does "company-specific" describe questions such as "Is sleeping at work accepted at Aramco?" – nic Jul 19 '16 at 7:49
  • Any questions about the policy are company specific. If you include the wording of a policy in a question and asked about doing something while trying to comply with that policy it may be on topic(assuming everything else in the question is on topic). But we can not tell you if something you want to do is in compliance. – IDrinkandIKnowThings Aug 3 '17 at 18:51
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Questions asking for advice on a specific choice, such as what job to take or what skills to learn, are difficult to answer objectively and are rarely useful for anyone else. Instead of asking which decision to make, try asking how to make the decision, or for more specific details about one element of the decision. (More information)

Our goal here at The Workplace is to help out people in the future who are facing the same problem. When people ask us for personalized advice, a lot of the specific details will not apply to other people who come across the question since their details may be slightly different and they can't determine whether or not the answer is appropriate for their situation. It's also hard to answer these questions objectively; we're not looking for collections of unsupported opinions.

Questions about what decision to make are best asked to your friends and family, or maybe Facebook. You can always try asking in our chat where the rules are quite a bit more relaxed. Sometimes talking through a decision can help, so it's best to pick a format designed for that sort of back-and-forth discussion. The Workplace is not that place though.

Another alternative is to edit your post to ask about why and how you should make the decision, rather than just what decision to make. For instance, instead of asking "Should I take the job in the big multi-national company or the up-and-coming startup?" you could ask a question that will help you make that decision, like "How can I figure out the financial health of a startup I am applying to by asking questions in an interview?"

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Questions require a goal that we can address. Rather than explaining the difficulties of your situation, explain what you want to do to make it better. For more information, see this meta post.

Our goal here at The Workplace is to help out people in the future who are facing the same problem. Often people caught up in an unfortunate situation will focus on the details and specifics of the other people involved, and that can make the question read as a rant which is difficult to answer, and difficult to apply to even a slightly different situation that someone who finds the question may be facing.

Questions that focus on how terrible a situation is are better suited for sharing with friends over a beer beverage of your choice. You can always try asking in our chat where the rules are quite a bit more relaxed. Sometimes just venting makes you feel better about the situation even though nothing about it has changed, so it's best to pick a format designed for more casual conversation. The Workplace is not that place though.

Another alternative is to edit your post to remove some of the more subjective portions that may be classified as a rant, and focus instead on how to solve the problems that this bad situation has caused. For instance, instead of asking "Why did I get rejected from this job I applied to? The hiring manager is clearly biased against people smarter than him." you could rephrase it to be a bit more objective, "How can I show off my intelligence in an interview without coming off condescending?" It may not make the interviewer any less of a jerk, but it will help you the next time you find yourself in that situation.

  • Maybe the link to the "Real Questions Have Answers" blog post is not required? If we went through the trouble of changing the title of that close reason, it sounds confusing to link it to a blog with the "old" title. – Masked Man Oct 29 '17 at 14:30

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