THE BRAZEN CAREERIST- Annual advice: Banishing the misery of office tyranny

Five things that are about to stop sucking at work

I used to write about my brother, Erik, a lot. I wrote about how I retooled his resumé to make his dead-end job at Blockbuster into the perfect collection of achievements. Then I let him guest-post while he was getting ready to quit the investment banking job he was sick of.

Now he's at Microsoft, and his job is to buy companies. (If you work with him, you know him by his real name, which he won't let me use.) I don't write about him much now because everything he says to me begins with, "Don't blog about this."

But I talk with Erik almost every day. Erik sends me great tips about the future of work. Here are a few. And if you don't think they're as good as tea leaves for the office, at least maybe this gives you insight into what Microsoft's acquisition team is looking at right now.

1. The tyranny of internships will be exposed, and companies will have to pay real wages.

Stuff White People Like ( has a smart and hilarious summary of why internships are for white kids. But, seriously, the fact that internships are practically essential starting blocks for a top-tier career is just ridiculous when you think about how well-connected you have to be to get into all the great summer internship programs.

2. The tyranny of the discreet job hunt will be exposed, and everyone will job hunt openly.

Accountemps reports that 75 percent of executives are comfortable with people job hunting while they're still on the job. And they would do the same themselves. This makes sense to me intuitively, because 25 percent of any office is people who are dead wood and are not going to look for another job– ever– and therefore don't want anyone else to. The big news here is that most people are looking all the time. And since job-hopping builds strong careers, the people who aren't are the ones who have a problem.

3. The tyranny of high heels will give way to the pricey, good-for-feet-but-still-sexy, heel.

Academic researchers are finding on many fronts that men like to work with women who dress like women. This means shoulder-length hair or longer, a good amount of makeup but not too trampy, and, yes, high heels. They don't have to be stiletto, but you need to look like you know how to pull an outfit together. This means that a lot of women are walking to work in flats and switching in the elevator, and kicking their stilettos off under the table during meetings. But that will end, soon, because the Wall Street Journal reports that shoe designers see a gold mine in saving female feet from career-girl frustration.

4. The tyranny of the prudish will be exposed for hurting productivity, and coworkers will flirt openly.

Flirting at work has a positive impact on productivity, according to Heidi Reeder, professor of communications at Boise State University. This news doesn't mean that upping the ante to sex actually ups the productivity level as well. In fact, you might ruin everything (especially if the sex is bad). But feel free to find the flirt in you, and use it to get ahead.