I am going to be a better person at self-promotion because I don't brag enough. Ryan Paugh, who was basically my intern when I met him, and now he’s almost my boss and definitely my social-skills mentor, tells me that I am popular because I’m interesting but that I suck at self-promotion. (He uses, as an example, the day I promoted an event on my blog a few hours after it actually happened.)

I do not tell Ryan to shut up because he has taught me a ton about myself since the day I started working with him. And in fact, he makes me feel qualified to tell you how you can fire up your career by paying close attention to the people with the least work experience.

1. Recognize interns are gatekeepers to the good stuff.

When it was time to promote my second book, I went to Keith Ferrazzi, author of one of my favorite career advice books. I needed a quotation from Keith that said something like, “I am The Great Keith Ferazzi and I can tell you for sure that your career will be crap and you will die drowning in the blood of a rabid coyote if you do not buy Penelope Trunk's book.”

Just so you don't get confused, I'm going to start calling my first book my first book and my second book my second book. At this point, I have written enough about oral sex and family atrocities that you will not be shocked to hear that my first book is really a memoir that my publisher – out of the University of Colorado — decided was too disturbing to be sold as a memoir, so it was published as a novel. Read more

Hi there. You are probably here because you read the article about me having Asperger’s syndrome. I have never seen the Mail on Sunday, but it must be a big publication because thousands of readers are coming to the blog from London today.

(For readers who did not see the article, I like it. Here’s a link. And, sidenote, the author, Louette Harding, was so good at interviewing – so patient and so insightful and I wish I could talk with her every day. But maybe that’s just because we talked about me and this is just evidence that I am really hard to be friends with.)

If you are here for the first time, here are some shortcuts to posts I’ve written about having Asperger’s syndrome:

Why I need a sick day to register my car

Five ways to be less annoying

5 Ways to make telecommuting better

Why I’m difficult at meetings

How I deal with sensory integration dysfunction

Really, though, almost all of this blog is about having Asperger’s syndrome because most of my writing is me trying to figure out the rules for succeeding in the workplace. I know that people say I have an odd take on the rules, but I think I’m usually right, I’m just more literal and more blunt than most people.

Here are some examples: Read more

It's the fifth annual Penelope Trunk Q&A. It's not that I don't answer questions. I actually answer almost every question I receive. But only rarely in a blog post. The problem is that most questions suck. Look, here are posts about how to ask good questions.

In fact, I’ve been getting so ornery about questions sucking that I did a webinar about how to write a good blog post and I got pissed off in the middle because the questions were so bad that I walked off camera and half the video is Ryan Paugh telling me not to be a brat.

So, in the spirit of not being a brat, I am answering questions that I think are interesting. Read more

When I first met the farmer, I knew he was not a normal farmer because normal farmers don't email bloggers for a date. But also, he gave himself away because he quoted Garrison Keillor to me. Then, when I thought I could not put up with him dumping me anymore, and this time would be the last time, just as I thought that, he started reading Moby Dick, and he got so excited about certain chapters that he'd read them out loud to me on his porch in the bright sun of long summer nights.

When I first started forwarding my mail to the farmer's address, he had to buy a larger mailbox. “Why do people send you so many books?” he asked. “Don't they read your blog? You never review books you like.” [This is largely true.]

During the tumult of our move to the farm I stopped opening the packages. But the farmer got curious, and he started reading the books. It turns out that he doesn't like them any more than I do. Here are my summaries of his summaries: Read more

You don’t need to be a basketball fan to know that LeBron James has been deciding if he should stay with his current team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, or move to another, more winning team. ESPN set aside an hour-long special episode for James to announce that he’s going to the Miami Heat.

James is extremely talented and has been called the next Michael Jordan. He is a free agent this year which is the genesis of the hoop-la surrounding his decision, and he has been madly courted by multiple teams.

Many sportswriters have said that the widespread obsession with James’ decision is totally over the top. The New York Times called the ESPN segment an ego-a-thon, which it may well be. But there’s more to our fascination with the decision than just our natural tendency to be drawn to celebrities. James encapsulates the issues each of us faces when we decide if we should relocate.

It’s friends and family vs. opportunity. James grew up in Akron, OH without a father. His basketball coaches played father figure roles to him. The Cavaliers picked him up when he was only 18, and he’s been there for the last seven years. This is his home, his support system, and his roots. Read more