How to Get Ahead: Sarah Sands

Sarah Sands “I keep work and home entirely separate… Keep emotions out of the workplace. You should always be civil and considerate to your colleagues, as it’s not the place for emotional dramas and hurt feelings.”
[Sarah Sands, quote from ‘Grazia’ magazine January 18, 2010]

Sarah Sands


Journalist Sarah Sands was editor of the London Evening Standard newspaper. I think her advice works for everyone, including writers who work at home and freelancers who fly from one office to another.

We all work with colleagues, whether we communicate with them face-to-face, by e-mail or telephone. It does concern me that communication by text or social media – particularly Twitter – is open to emotional response simply because of the limit on word count. Never type in an e-mail/text/tweet something you would not say to someone’s face.

When I first became a magazine editor and had to manage staff for the first time, I pinned this to my corkboard where I could see it: Honey achieves more than Vinegar. I don’t know the derivation of the saying, it may be an old proverb. There is an American version: “You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.” I’m not sure about the flies analogy but the proverb applies pretty much to life, I think not just the workplace.

Try these tips to get ahead:-
Kate Turner
Kate Silverton
Gail Rebuck

Sarah Sands


‘Hothouse’ by Sarah Sands [UK: Pan] Buy now

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
Keep home & work separate: advice from #journalist Sarah Sands via @SandraDanby #amwriting


  1. Though sometimes difficult to follow, it sounds like very sound advice to me. Though I comment on newpaper articles fairly frequently, I’ve given up reading replies simply because they are often personal, rude, offensive and have little or nothing to do with the article.

    One thing about blogs is that hardly any commentators resort to outright rudeness even when they may disagree with an opinion. But then again people have to work on blogs, and read other people’s work. In fact it’s virtuallly the same as having a job. Except you hardly ever get paid.

    • I dislike the nastiness which seems to accompany some social media today. Blogging, in my experience, is a positive exception. 🙂 SD