Dear Career Sensei – How do I tell my Colleague that His Breath Stinks?

How do I tell a coworker he has bad breath?


Dear Career Sensei,

I am the only woman in a team of 3 and get along quite well with both of my colleagues. One of my colleagues whom I would refer to as “A” is very hardworking, helpful and is a team player whereas the other whom we shall call “B” is equally hardworking but tends to spend a lot of his free time on unproductive activities like water cooler conversations.

“A” has very poor hygiene habits,  he comes to work looking unkempt, wears the same outfits for days on end without washing them leading to a BO and has the worst breath I’ve ever been unfortunate to experience.

“B” avoids interacting with “A” thus making my job more complicated than I’d like. When I raised it with him, he told me that he would rather be reassigned to another team than work with “A ” as he finds him repulsive (his words) and if reassignment was not a possibility he would rather quit his job than continue to work with him.

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The White Power Suit

I love wearing a power suit. There’s just something about them that gives me an extra confidence boost. My de-facto color for my power suits has always been black and to an extent tan but I’ve always loved the idea of wearing an all white power suit even though I’ve never managed to pull it off.

I like the color white and know that I have the right skin tone to pull it off but up until now I have never worn an all white ensemble (even a dress!)  in my professional life mostly because I fear that it would be covered in stains ranging from my makeup to baby snot before I make it out of the house.

The most white  I ever wear is a white shirt or blouse underneath a solid colored blazer or a pair of white trousers paired with a dark shirt/blouse.


Rosemary Conley wears a white trouser suit from The Fold


But seeing this photograph of Rosemary Conley aged 70,   wearing a white power suit so effortlessly made me have a re-think. While I don’t plan to wear a white power suit to the office anytime soon, I have resolved that I would be wearing one on my next speaking engagement! Read more

Happy Equal Pay Day!

With all the different national days and awareness months, the Equal Pay Day is one that I can get behind because let’s face it, we still have a long way to go as women in the workplace as the overall pay wage gap has been projected to close in 196 years!

So what exactly is Equal Pay Day? It’s a day set aside to bring awareness to the discrepancies that exist between men and women in the workplace. It was started in 1986 by the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE) to highlight the wage gap between men and women. It is fixed on April to symbolize how far into the year women have to work to earn what men did in the previous year, yeah you got that, an average woman would have to do 16 months worth of work to earn what the average man doing the same thing would earn in 12 months!

So as women and men who support women, we should continue to bring awareness to the gender wage gap by celebrating this day while also showing support to the organizations that are participating in the 20% counts Equal Pay Day campaign. and as women, we ought to up our negotiation skills ante. This is the only way we can break the glass ceiling

Its’s not enough to raise awareness without upping your negotiation skills (you will need this to negotiate a better salary, raise, promotion) and demanding for your seat at the table, as this is the only way we can break the glass ceiling.

Happy Equal Pay Day!