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This change is now live

As discussed in this meta post, with the changes to the close reasons we should really look in to updating the help center to match how we close questions.

Below is the current markup for the current article. If you have suggestions on how to change it, please feel free to add an answer or edit an existing one.

The Workplace Stack Exchange is a Q&A site about the workplace and other career-related topics. It is for members of the workforce to get answers on topics such as the job hunting process, interviewing, salary negotiation, and professionalism within the Workplace.

With your help, we're working together to build a library of detailed answers to every question about the workplace.

What questions are off topic here?

  • "I need advice on...", "What should I do?", or "Which job should I take?"
    • Questions looking for opinions on what to do but with no specific problem are suited for discussion boards (not a question/answer site) and generally will be closed on The Workplace as "primarily opinion-based." For information on how to write a good subjective question see here. Remember a real question has an answer, not just opinions or ideas.
  • "Is it legal..."
    • If a question requires a lawyer to answer it, we can't help. These situations are simply too specific and too complex to definitively answer on our site.
  • "Please review my resume/CV"
    • Questions need to apply to more than just you. Since this site is here to help everyone, and not review to a specific resume, these are not "questions" to us as they don't have definite answers.
  • "How do I learn to be a..." / "How do I perform the job of a ..."
    • Questions should be about problems you are encountering or have encountered in the workplace, and not the learning/applying of specific job functions.
  • "What salary/hourly rate should I look for? How much should I charge for X?"
    • Questions regarding salary are too localized to the city, timeframe, job sector and specific skills. Answers to these questions become quickly outdated and just aren't helpful to others.
    • For general salary hunting tips, see https://workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/896/how-can-i-determine-a-reasonable-salary-to-ask-for

For more help, see "What types of questions should I avoid asking?"

How should I answer?

Make sure your answer adds helpful information and is a complete, stand-alone answer. Read other answers first and be sure not to completely restate information that has already been posted.

Please note that answers should be backed up either with a reference, or experiences that happened to you personally. You should always include in your answer information about why you think your answer is correct.

Please look around to see if your question has been asked before. It’s also OK to ask and answer your own question.

If your question is not specifically on-topic for The Workplace Stack Exchange, it may be on topic for another Stack Exchange site. If no site currently exists that will accept your question, you may commit to or propose a new site at Area51, the place where new Stack Exchange communities are democratically created.

  • Edit to: "With your help, we're working together to build a library of comprehensive, actionable answers to questions about navigating issues encountered in the workplace." – Vietnhi Phuvan Aug 30 '14 at 20:45
  • Add: "Make sure that your answer includes your rationale for your answer. The rationale includes supporting factors such as references, facts, life experience and logical reasoning. Our readers want to know not just your answer but how you arrived at it. We want our readers to be able to use the structure of your answer as a guide, and come up with an answer that is more in tune with their requirements and their priorities, if they weigh your factors and your priorities differently than you do. We don't want your answer to be just an answer - we want it to be a decision-making training tool". – Vietnhi Phuvan Aug 30 '14 at 20:48
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The Workplace Stack Exchange is a Q&A site about the workplace and other career-related topics. With your help we're working to build a library to every question about the workplace related to:

  • Finding employment (resumes/cv/cover letters, recruiters, hiring-managers, interviews, negotiations, etc.)
  • Maintaining employment (promotions, pay increases, harassment, bullying, poor working conditions, communication problems, etc.)
  • Leadership in the workplace (motivating people, encouraging people, making decisions, holding hard conversations, intervening in unproductive situations, asking for and giving help, etc.)
  • Terminating employment (notice period, breaking the news, handing over work, reference letters, relieving letters, etc.)

What questions are off topic here?

Still not sure?

  • Many questions here describe challenging situations in the workplace. As you have written your question, have you taken the time to formulate a real, answerable, question? For example, "What should I do about an arrogant co-worker?" is not answerable, but "What can I say to my arrogant co-worker to ask her advice with my project?" is answerable.
  • Ask for help in our chat room The Water Cooler (requires 20 reputation)
  • Ask a question on The Workplace Meta about a specific question or rule
  • Look for another Stack Exchange site that may be a better fit for your question
  • If there isn't a place on the Stack Exchange Network where your question fits, you can create a new proposal for that topic on Area 51
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    As explained in the previous discussion, we should create a separate 'How to Answer' page if required. If a separate discussion is created on meta to cover what should be covered there, it can be implemented by Stack Exchange employees. – jmac Aug 4 '14 at 4:29
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    I respectfully propose to add the "leadership" line to the other three areas of on-topic questions. I don't think my wording is perfect, but here it is. Leadership in the workplace (motivating people, encouraging people, making decisions, holding hard conversations, intervening in unproductive situations, asking for and giving help, etc.) – O. Jones Aug 28 '14 at 12:39
  • Thanks for the input @Ollie! Looks like a good addition to me, let's see what the community says. Hope you drop by meta more often -- it's you and the rest of the community that makes the site work, and meta is the best way to make the community's voice known! Thanks again. – jmac Aug 28 '14 at 12:40
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    Thanks for the kind words, @jmac. I also added a bullet item to "still not sure" to help people turn rants into real questions. I did this because I think Workplace closes a lot of questions that are easily salvaged, and so discourages people who really do need help. – O. Jones Aug 28 '14 at 12:55
  • @OllieJones, you may be interested in this post which is designed to give guidance on how to fix questions that get closed as rants, etc. – jmac Aug 28 '14 at 12:56
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    Indeed, That's good material in that post you mentioned. I'm advocating for increasing the visibility of some suggestions about derantifying posts. I'm also advocating for writing those suggestions in a way that helps angry and frustrated people to move from ranting to problem-solving. It's possible this is the wrong place for that. – O. Jones Aug 28 '14 at 13:04
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    @OllieJones, I think brevity is generally better, as most people don't read long things (not saying that your comment makes it long). Currently the more detailed help is linked through on the off-topic section. Perhaps instead you could consider linking to the help center for closed-questions to let people know that if a question is off-topic, it can still be edited and reopened, so don't be afraid to make a mistake, just be ready to make an effort to correct your post with the help of the community. – jmac Aug 28 '14 at 13:07
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    @OllieJones great edit, the "still not sure" part might go better in the section above it though? I think that content definitely needs to be in the FAQ though, we get a looooot of questions here missing that part :) – enderland Aug 28 '14 at 15:42
  • Edit to "are you asking a question whose format is likely to get you an actionable answer?" – Vietnhi Phuvan Aug 30 '14 at 20:57

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