Got a Minute: Workplace Advice You Can Use

New column tackles everything from bad bosses to surly coworkers
  • New column tackles everything from bad bosses to surly coworkers

This article appears in the June 2019 issue. Click here for a free subscription.

"Thank you! Our time together was life-changing.”

That was an incredible compliment from a former colleague who needed some career advice and a much-needed boost of confidence to quit one job and pursue another.

I’m not a psychologist, career counselor or human resources expert. But after 30 years in the male-dominated commercial real estate industry, working on both the East and West coasts, I’ve learned a thing or two about navigating the work world and the necessity of bravery. That’s the genesis behind my new workplace advice column for Seattle Business magazine, “Got a Minute?”

Over the years, both male and female coworkers, friends and professionals in other industries have reached out to me, asking for insight on everything from office politics to salary negotiations to how to handle that uncomfortable elevator ride with the boss. Usually, that conversation begins with the phrase, “Got a minute? I could use some advice.” Seattle Business magazine is taking this conversation to another level. The “Got a Minute?” column will take your questions and offer practical, relatable, useful advice to deal with those inevitable and often tricky issues that arise in even the best of corporate cultures.

Just this week a woman I worked with in Philadelphia reached out on social media and said, “I’m at a critical crossroads in my career. I’ve been given the opportunity for a promotion over two other colleagues who wanted the job. Can you give me any advice on how you would handle it? I also need some advice on how to negotiate a salary increase. Any suggestions?”

I’ve survived multiple real estate cycles and career moves, all while living through the transformative experiences of becoming widowed in my 30s, getting remarried and starting a family, becoming a working mother of three children and a successful real estate executive.

These events shaped my perpetual search for the infamous work-life balance, the highs and lows of climbing the corporate ladder as a woman, the challenges and unique opportunities of different work cultures at both private and public companies and the need to mentor others as I have been mentored along the way. In other words, I’ve experienced the work world as most of you have: in the trenches. Now I want to share what I’ve learned along the way.

So, do you want to know what advice I gave my friend in Philly? Stay tuned and read next month’s column!

Got a question? Send it to

Beth Halvorsen is the former managing director of asset services for CBRE Inc. in Seattle, where she forged a successful career by overcoming a slew of obstacles in a male-dominated industry. She now helps others navigate tricky, complex workplace issues, including how to deal with difficult colleagues and situations. 

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