Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Meeting Notes

Meeting Notes is a weekly feature. Here we will dish on tidbits, news, and important things we think Working Girls should know. So scroll down to hear what we think you should glean from this work week.

  • While I should probably start this by saying this site is totally unethical, I have to also admit that I love it. The website Expense a Steak helps you generate fake receipts when you're in a bind for spending too much at your work lunch - the receipts even look crumpled! [Cup of Jo]
  • Careerwoman.com recently revealed new survey results that showed the top 5 reasons women change jobs. In order, they are family obligations, expanding opportunities, higher pay, relocation and last but not least job burnout. [News 8 Austin]
  • According to an analysis done by Consolidated Credit Cousneling Services, Inc., women trying to build their careers are more likely than men to incur credit card debt. The reason behind this travesty - women spend more on clothing and personal care items. [Cape Fear Business News]
  • Designer Adam Lippes complained recently about the turnover of interns in his house of fashion. He said, "It's rare to find an intern - especially one from a fashion school - that has good style. Because they try sooo hard, and it never works! You know?". [NY Mag]

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Scandalous!

Wow. So all of your stories of what got your office mill going were all, in a nutshell, amazing. And it was really hard for us to pick the winners. Our winners and their stories of office drama are below. Seriously these are must reads!

Congrats to all who won! And if you did win, please send me an email me at workinggirltwo@gmail.com with your complete address so we can have your Starbucks Doubleshot Energy+Coffee prize pack sent to you ASAP.

Winner #1 - Katie
"I had just started my first job out of college, getting adjusted to working having a work life balance (still working on that one). But anyway, per company policy, employees are not allowed to start a competing company with co-workers that they meet while working in our office. Ok long story short...someone narked by printing out some files they found on a zip. I walk into work the next morning and there are police dusting for finger prints on the printer. I know it's hard to believe. I still laugh about it today!

Winner #2 - Miss Burb
"This one girl was fired who was on the "Fun Committee" (think birthdays) and she actually TOOK the money she had collected and said she deserved it. Glad I never donated."

Winner #3 - Citizen
"One of my coworkers, who I assume was just bored one day, emptied a bottle of hand sanitizer on his desk and proceeded to light it on fire. This of course scorched his desk, and set off the smoke alarms. Strangely, he is still employed here."

"During a buyout of another company, one of my fellow employees called on our of local radio stations to share her concerns and aggravations on the merger. Her choice in verbage, and the fact that she said her boss's names on the air had people waiting at the door to escort her back to her car. Gossip was flying for days along with a copy of her on the radio. Wow - I guess if you are gonna complain on air is NOT the way to do it if you want to keep your job!"

Winner #5 - Bogeygrl
"I work in a very conservative office where if someone wears a skirt above their knee people raise eyebrows. But this story goes a bit beyond that. There is an older guy in our office who is fairly chatty; most people know him. He is about 65 and seems normal. Let's call him "Older Guy". The head boss gets a call one day from a man who is livid. Let's call him "Livid Man".

"Livid Man" says he wants "Older Guy" fired. When the boss asks why, "Livid Man" says that "Older Guy" has been swinging with his life. "Livid Man's" wife has also been posting all of her adventures online. In fact, "Older Guy" and "Older Guy's" wife and "Livid Man's" wife have all been swinging together! If this wasn't enough, "Livid Man" emails a video of the three of them getting it on. Because it turns out that "Livid Man's" wife is really into being watched or whatever. And "Livid Man" says that his wife is now filing for divorce because "Older Guy" is so freaking fabulous in bed.

Needless to say "Older Guy" called in sick for two weeks and I am totally serious."

Monday, November 9, 2009

That Guy

I have recently become addicted to the show How I Met Your Mother. I was late on the bandwagon, I know, and after watching tons and tons of reruns I'm really mad I waited this long to become obsessed with this show. Sidenote: yes, I have a crush on Jason Segel and no, I'm not ashamed of it.

So while watching one of my reruns the other night, I happened upon an episode where Barney Stinson (aka the greatest TV character of all time) gave a great nugget of info to the love of my life Jason Segel aka Marshall about how to not get laid off. He said, and I quote, "You just need a way to make yourself absolutely essential...You need a thing. Something that makes you fun and well-liked."

Which segued into the types of "those guys" in the office - the Food Guy, Toy Guy, YouTube Clip Guy, and so on. So in an effort to become indispensable Marshall became Fantasy Football Guy.

And while obviously this show is meant to be funny and not taken completely seriously, I started to ponder about this theory. Could it actually work in the work force? And I have to say yes I think it can. At my last job, there were tons of people who should not have been there but they had a 'thing' they were known for. Like I was indispensable because I knew how to work our mail system and where supplies were and sadly I could navigate our storage area like a pro. I had common knowledge of our office but it wasn't something that everyone could do. I had given myself a shield of some sort.

Recently at my office, a few people have been fired. And I know I'm not in HR so I can't say for sure they why, but of course it makes you think, 'Oh God, I'm next'. It's the automatic reaction. And I don't think I have a "thing" yet at my more recent job. I think my best bet is to become the Party Girl - not in that I get wasted all the time but that I always plan parties. Then I'll be golden!

What "guy" are you at work?

The Food Guy making tacos on How I Met Your Mother

Friday, November 6, 2009

Some Housekeeping Items

Here is your homework for the weekend. Go here and enter our Starbucks contest! As a reminder there will be five (yes five!) lucky winners of the following prize pack from Starbucks:

  • Stealth Switch - the "world's first desktop cloaking device" that uses patent pending technology to instantly and completely hide applications with a press of a foot-switch. The applications are not just minimized, they are made invisible.
  • $5 Starbucks® card
  • Starbucks Doubleshot Energy+Coffee coupons
  • Starbucks Doubleshot Energy+Coffee branded white board

All you have to do is post a comment (aka answer) to the following question: "Sip on Starbucks Doubleshot® Enegery+Coffee to upgrade your energy levels without raising eyebrows around the office. What's your best real-life story of how some idiot in the office raised eyebrows and stirred up the gossip mill?"

As a reminder, the contest ends at 9AM on Monday, November 9th - so you have all weekend to think of an answer!

For all my Chicago ladies, I have a few events that might be of interest for networking, noshing, and all around awesomeness.

First is the Winter Wonderland CRAVE party on December 9th. In store for those who purchase tickets is an opportunity to pre-order the hottest fashions from local Chicago boutiques, indulge in mini spa treatments, and sampling some great food (and drinks of course!) all under the same roof. I know I will be there - so let me know if you're going so we can meet up!

Where: The Historic Stan Mansion at 2408 N Kedzie in Chicago

When: Wednesday, December 9th, 7-10pm

Purchase tickets here!


Second event is happening next Friday, November 13th (and I'll also be in attendance there as well!). As part of her nationwide tour to promote her book, Girl on Top, career expert and author Nicole Williams will be having a networking/shopping event/party at The Limited in the Woodfield Mall. The evening will entail an amazing gift bag, an exclusive 40% discount on The Limited's new business chic attire, cocktails and free career advice. Totally worth trekking to the Chicago burbs for!

When: November 13th, 2009

Where: The Limited at Woodfield Mall
Schaumburg, IL

Time: 6-9PM

Click here to RSVP!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wardrobe Malfunction

Tomorrow, I leave for a business trip. This evening, I've been packing for said business trip. I've discovered that I hate all of my clothes. Okay, not all of them. But most of them.

I had a business trip last week which, for the most part, was rather casual and therefore easy. In packing for this trip, I've become increasingly frustrated with my clothing.

The problem, I think, is that I haven't taken the time to develop my wardrobe. When I first began working, I invested in a few quality items. The rest were all from lower end stores that were very affordable but low in quality. Three years later, I still have and wear some of these clothes and every time I wear them to work I hate them and I have the "I hate how I look, how could I put together such an awful outfit" feeling all day. Some of these things have really got to go.

I also haven't taken good care of some of the more quality items I have. Items that should be dry cleaned, don't get dry cleaned. Items that should be hand washed get sent out for wash and fold. What I'm left with are half ruined pieces of clothing. No one wants that.

Now, I'm making some shopping/clothing resolutions for myself:
  1. Stop purchasing cheap (in quality) items.
  2. Take inventory of what I have so that when I shop I know what I need and what outfits I can put together.
  3. Purchase more quality items that I'll wear for a while.
  4. Take care of said quality items.
Once I get these resolutions going, my next step is learn how to accessorize. I love buying accessories but hate wearing them. I always feel like I look foolish.

Friday, October 30, 2009

My Disappearing Act

I think I owe an explanation for my disappearing act, because like I said on our first post back on Monday WG1 had a much better explanation of why she has been MIA.

I've definitely been in a working funk lately. When my last boss left our company, I was in total and complete limbo. They had no intention of hiring a new Executive VP (even though that would make sense) so no one needed a new assistant. Everyone was pretty much scrambling to find a place for me to fit in. They knew that I wanted to keep doing the events, but what else would occupy my time? Before I had been doing various projects that popped up but that was all based on my workload from my old boss. My new boss suggested I become a Project Manager and work with consumer marketing. This included figuring out email schedules, working with new clients, and such.

So for almost two months they had me "shadow" someone who had been managing projects at our company for almost 4 years. And in the middle of those two months, he quit to go back to school. Which left me with his workload, zero understanding of what I was doing, and a mountain of stress. Not to mention I was uber confused. I knew that I still really loved events and they weren't taking those away from me, but now I was doing someone else's full-time job. And I didn't even like it! I wanted to say something to my boss, but the feeling that the only reason I still had a job was because I was filling in with what needed to be helped with, made me think twice about that.

In a nutshell, I wasn't a happy camper. I thought about getting an new job - even applied to a few. Of course, I heard nothing back because the economy is shot so I kept going about my business in a job I didn't love with a mountain of work.

Just last week, my new boss sat me down and proposed that I go back to working with merchant marketing - a job I had kinda been doing before in my old position. She suggested I work on their projects which would include working with the sales team. I would still be doing events but I would get to work on collateral for the sales team and all their supplemental marketing requests. All things I did at my old job. Things that made me feel more comfortable. Things that so far have made me a teensy bit happier.

I won't really transition into my new position until Monday, and really other than doing new things not much else has changed. I didn't get a raise and my title didn't actually change. Don't worry - all things that I will talk about with my new boss in the next coming weeks. I'm settling in for the moment, not just into my new job but also into a new desk (which is ten times larger than my old one and I'm no longer lodged next to all the creatives who I am convinced hate my guts).

Things are getting better and most importantly I'm back from the black blogging abyss.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Meeting Notes

Meeting Notes is a weekly feature. Here we will dish on tidbits, news, and important things we think Working Girls should know. So scroll down to hear what we think you should glean from this work week.

  • According to The Shriver Report: A Woman's Nation Changes Everything, 40% of families mothers are the major breadwinners. Some other fun facts - 32 women have served as governors, 38 have served as senators, and 4 out of 8 Ivy League presidents are now women. Despite these stats, NY Times contributor Joanne Lipman argues that women's gains in the working world have stalled.
  • Do career women make bad wives? According to a 2006 article in Forbes Magazine, research suggests that yes they. The author, Michael Noer, pointed out research that suggested that "career women" aka women who work more than 35 hours a week are "more likely to divorce, less likely to have children, and, if they do have kids, are more likely to be unhappy about it". A new article by Suzanne Venker revisits this research in an article here.
  • The face of home economics in high schools is changing to become more career focused. The subject which used to prep future housewives has started to veer towards prepping all students with "contemporary world skills". At a high school outside Houston, students can take teach training classes or architectural design. At a school in Wisconsin, students take advanced food science class while a school in Florida has a fashion design option. [Associated Press]
  • Is the recession harder on women or men? Some argue men since men have lost more jobs than women, but some experts say women are getting the brunt of it since working women are delaying have children or planning for smaller families because of financial burdens created by the recession. A study conducted by Citi revealed that 53% of working women indiciated that they work longer hours now to make ends meet and while women may make up 45% of the workforce, they only collect 38% of the wages paid. [Reuters]

Monday, October 26, 2009

First Day Back & We Have a Contest

So a break from blogging that was only supposed to last a long weekend turned into a 3 week hiatus. While WG1 has a pretty damn good excuse (not only did she just move into a new apt., she also had a huge event at work to do and crunch time was October), I on the other hand have less of an excuse and more of a case of laziness.

Today, as a welcome back to the blogging world after our almost month long absence, we'd like to announce a contest (in hopes to get you back in our good graces).

Who's giving the goods: In honor of their energy/coffee sent-from-the-gods drink Doubleshot® Energy+Coffee, Starbucks is hosting a contest across the blog-o-sphere to promote their drink that keeps you energized AND has dose of vitamins, protein, and minerals. Which means I basically want this in an IV at my office desk.
What you're playing for: Five (5) lucky bloggers will win the following
  • Stealth Switch - the "world's first desktop cloaking device" that uses patent pending technology to instantly and completely hid applications with a press of a foot-switch. The applications are not just minimized, they are made invisible.
  • $5 Starbucks® card
  • SDEC coupons
  • SDEC-branded white board

Not only that - but the blog with the most "valid" comments will win a special prize pack at the end of the contest (which includes a set of noise-canceling headphones which let me tell you, I need desperately!). So not only will you win the prizes above, but you'll also be helping me win sweet peace and silence at work. Can I just say I don't appreciate the fact that my next door cubemate likes to play techno at full blast every Friday in anticipation of the weekend.

Here's the nitty gritty: All you have to do is post a comment (aka answer) to the following question: "Sip on Starbucks Doubleshot® Enegery+Coffee to upgrade your energy levels without raising eyebrows around the office. What's your best real-life story of how some idiot in the office raised eyebrows and stirred up the gossip mill?"

The 5 answers that we think are the best will win the prize packs mentioned above. To get you thinking let me just say that the most idiotic thing I ever saw at work was when a co-worker got canned for watching porn at work - yea, no joke.

The contest ends on November 9th so get commenting Working Girls!

The fine print:
This promotion is solely sponsored by Working Girl and has not been endorsed or approved by North American Coffee Partnership. By entering, you agree to look solely to Working Girl Two for any claims in connection therewith, and not the North American Coffee Partnership. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Subject to Contest guidelines. Open to U.S. residents only. Contest ends November 9th, 2009. Void where prohibited. Starbucks Doubleshot® Energy+Coffee sent me samples and a prize pack and here's what I think. All the opinions expressed here are mine.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Yes, We're Alive!

Eek. So, you might have noticed that WG1 and I have been absent for a while (and by a while I mean almost 1 week and a half, but who's counting?!?). So we wanted to let you all know that we're alive.

Also...

...We are still recovering from our trip to Las Vegas last weekend where we partied like ballers, spent money like crazy people, and saw Britney Spears in concert (which was amazing and highly entertaining!).

...We're both super swamped at work with events, events, and more events. They take over lives. Seriously.

...Not only that but we're both busy in our after-work lives too! WG1 was apartment hunting and moving in with her boyfriend and WG2 has been helping plan an event for a board she is on and yes, just maybe she's been job searching (but don't tell!).

So we're sorry that we've been MIA. But we promise we'll be back in full force this Monday. And if you need a little Working Girl fix, you can always follow us on Twitter!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Queen of the Interns

On The Hills, Kelly Cutrone scared the crap out of me. Then, on The City, I decided I loved her because she was hardcore and hilarious.

In the clip below, I'm not sure how I feel about her. Kelly says, in the clip, that she's the patron saint of interns, that she made interning famous and that no one in the outside world knew what interning was before she was on MTV. I can't tell if she was joking or not. Either way, that's false.

I do agree with one thing though. She discusses that interns start working for her and believe their internships are going to be glamorous and then they become disgruntled when they learn they have to pick up heavy boxes or run errands. While I've experienced this with some interns, it's got to particularity true in the fashion industry where everything the public sees is oozing with glamor.

Kelly says that she always hires the "village girl," which she defines as the one who "stays late and helps clean up."

Interns don't necessarily have to stay in the office until 10 PM or empty the garbage cans but the ones who put in a lot of effort and go above and beyond at the ones who get noticed. Might be a good idea to listen to Kelly even if she is a little crazy.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Scared Workless

Like most people who sit in front of a computer all day, we at WG have been following the murder case of Yale graduate student Annie Le closely (pictured on the right). How could someone stuff her into a wall and not expect to be caught? Who was the murderer? And the question that has really been bothering us, what was the motive?

According to New Haven Police Chief, James Lewis, the grad student's death was one that resulted from workplace violence. "It is important to note that this is not about urban crime, university crime, domestic crime but an issue of workplace violence, which is becoming a growing concern around the country," Lewis said during a news conference today.

The suspect in the case is a lab technician named Raymond Clark III that worked in the same building as Le on campus. Numerous news reports say he served in a custodial role at the university campus overseeing the lab mice that Le worked with while pursuing her doctoral degree.

Just in case you don't know the details - Clark has been charged in the death of the 24-year-old Annie Le, who disappeared on September 8th. Her body was discovered five days later (on what was supposed to be her wedding day!). The body was found stuffed into a utility compartment behind a wall in the basement of the research building where she and Clark both worked.

Various news reports are now painting a portrait of Clark that depicts an angry employee who gave workers a hard time for not handling the lab mice or lab tools correctly. In fact, ABC News reported that Clark sent a text message to Le the day she disappeared requesting that they meet to discuss the cleanliness of the mouse cages she had been using. [ABC News]

As details still emerge, the talk of workplace violence has begun circulating. An American human resources firm stated that office suicides jumped 28% in 2008 from the previous year, which many attribute to the recession. [National Post]

According to the United States Department of Labor, violence in the workplace is "a serious safety and health issue" that in its most extreme form leads to homicide. Homicide is the 4th leading cause of fatal occupational injury and in 2005, there were 564 workplace homicides out a total of 5,702 workplace injuries.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Meeting Notes

Meeting Notes is a weekly feature. Here we will dish on tidbits, news, and important things we think Working Girls should know. So scroll down to hear what we think you should glean from this work week.
  • Men love powerful women according to a new poll by Date.com. When asked how they feel about being in a relationship with a woman who is more financially successful than than you, a whopping 100% said they were all for it. [via Reuters]
  • Dread the "Do you have any questions for me?" part of interviews. Savvy Sugar has a few tips.
  • Only 25% of behind the scenes jobs are held by women at the five major TV networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and CW). [Women and Hollywood via Jezebel]

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

That's Sick!

It's beginning to feel like autumn in New York. The days are getting shorter and I need a sweater or light jacket when I walk out the door in the morning. The onset of autumn only means winter is around the corner and I'm getting closer and closer to having a horrible cold or worse, the flu.

Every year, I seem to get at least one awful cold. Last winter, my sinuses were a mess. The winter before, I had strep. I dealt with a rotten case of the flu senior year of college. My poor grandmother, who lived about 30 minutes from my campus, had to pick me up and take care for me for four days. Ever since then, I've gotten a flu shot from the nurse at work and I sure plan on getting on this year.

There are few things I hate more than not feeling well (my mom calls me the dying swan every time I'm sick because she says I'm such a drama queen...this may or may not be true). So the moment I notice someone around at the office is coughing or sneezing or sniffling I start chugging water, popping vitamin C and washing my hands like it's my job.

This year, with all of the swine flu drama, I'm even more worried about getting sick. My office has been proactive and recently added signs in the bathroom with instructions on washing hands and antibacterial hand soap has been added to the pantry. Hopefully that's a good enough start to keep us employees well and at work.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Overloaded with Stress

On my calendar this week are the following: a charity board meeting, a doctor's appointment, dinner at my dad's, evening out at the ballet, mani/pedi, and a going away party for a co-worker. And those are events just Monday through Friday.

If it isn't apparent, I have a tendency to overdo it. I feel as though I work better when I have a lot going on. So in addition to my full-time job, I also serve on two charity boards, co-write this blog, and try to have a social life on the weekdays and the weekends. (Not to mention I have a very full schedule of TV to watch and I like getting at least seven hours of sleep a night).

In the past I haven't viewed my busy schedule as an issue, but recently I've started noticing a pattern of me sleeping in later on the weekends and doing less on my days off as well. In hindsight, it's probably not the worst thing in the world, I mean I could be falling asleep in meetings (ssh, we all know I practically do that already). But for some reason it bothers me that I'm not more productive on the weekends because while I like to think watching a movie marathon on Lifetime is a good idea for a Saturday, it's probably not. And I think I've realized why I do this - it's because I don't deal with my stress levels during the week.

See, I realized that all the things I do outside of work are a mechanism to make me forget work. After a long day at the office the last thing I should be allowed to do is go home and mull it over (while eating Ben & Jerry's). Because then I think about work (or worse do work) which makes me more stressed which leads me to sleeping less. So when I'm busy after work I have less time to think about my job, which in turn makes me less stressed and a better sleeper.

My dilemma is this. I need a stress buster. Obviously what I'm doing right now isn't working. I'm not sleeping very well these days and the stress of my new responsibilities at work are catching up with me so I've started doing more after work which leads me to my vicious cycle of using my weekends for sleeping 11 hours and watching My Nanny's Secret starring Haylie Duff on a Saturday night (yes, that may have been what I did this weekend).

I've thought about taking a meditation class, but me being zen is almost laughable. Massages always relax me but I doubt I will ever in my lifetime just have an extra $200 laying around. Give me wine on a weekday night and watch me complain the entire next day. Watching TV sometimes does the trick until the show stresses me out which leads me to think about my stress and then I'm back to the vicious cycle.

I need your help Working Girls! What do you do to unwind? What keeps the stress at bay? How do I break my vicious cycle?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Girls Night Out Winners!

Since I've had a very strong shopping bug for the past few weeks, I'm so looking forward to Shecky's Girls Night Out. As WG2 mentioned, I purchased my favorite black clutch at GNO back in 2006. This year, I plan on purchasing a new wallet. I've been using the same one for two years. Time to splurge on a new one. And maybe some jewelery. And clothes. And...I should stop.

Enough of my shopping wish list. Last Thursday, we announced our first giveaway: Two tickets to Girls Night Out in Chicago for one winner and two tickets to Girls Night Out in New York for one winner.

I wont keep you waiting. Our winners:

Chrissy in New York!

CC in Chicago!

Ladies, please email me at workinggirlone@gmail.com to claim your prize! We picked our winners at random using Random.org (which I discovered is really fun to play with, am I weird?).

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Meeting Notes

Meeting Notes is a weekly feature. Here we will dish on tidbits, news, and important things we think Working Girls should know. So scroll down to hear what we think you should glean from this work week.
  • According to a survey conducted by the Equality and Human Rights Commissions survey of 44 of the leading companies in the United Kingdom, men working in the finance field in the UK receive up to five times more in bonus payments per year than women. On average, women only receive £2,875 compared to the £14,554 men receive. [via BBC News]
  • Married to a corporate executive? Now there are classes for spouses to learn how to make their executive mates successful in their business and be supportive. Collette Young, wife of 20 years to a corporate exec at Dr Pepper Snapple Group, began a company last year called ExecuMate with the the belief that an "engaged spouse can contribute greatly to that success and ultimately to the overall success of the company". [via Associated Press]
  • Shoplifting incidents and reports of employees stealing merchandise has rose at retail story by 7.3 percent in 2008. The rise has been contributed to the recent economic problems. [via WWD]
  • According to a new study out at the University of South Australia, women between the ages of 18-26 are less likely to buy from a salesgirl they think is more attractive than them. [via Stylelist]

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Pope is Holding Me Back

When WG1 and I started this blog, I set up my Google account so that I would get emails in my inbox when any news story mentioned the words 'career' and 'women'. And over the past year (or so), I've gotten a lot of random stories in my inbox (mainly because I chose very broad search words). But I think the most random was when this headline greeted me first thing in the morning: "Church harms career women".

Last week Cherie Blair, barrister and wife of the former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, said that one of the reasons women have come so far is because of the ability to control their fertility and "would prefer it if the Catholic Church took a more positive attitude towards contraception".

Blair went on to say that she doesn't think there is anything wrong with birth control and that without it she probably wouldn't have been able to achieve the things that she has.

A spokesman for the Catholic Church said contraception is known to cause four major problems, such as a lowering of moral standards, a rise in infidelity, lesser respect for women, and coercive reproductive techniques by the government, which is why the church takes a stand against it.

Obviously this subject is a hard one to approach. Religion is always a touchy subject. I grew up in a Catholic home, went to Catholic schools, and went to church on Sundays and I came to know the rules of the church very quickly. And while I might agree with some, their stance on birth control is not one of them.

In a way I think Cherie's statement came out sounding selfish, and I don't think she intended it to be so. I like to think she was trying to say that a life is precious whether it is planned or unplanned, however, I also believe in being able to control my body. And that birth control helps women who are in loving and committed relationships and those who are single control a 'ready factor'.

But do I believe the Catholic Church's stance on birth control is holding back career women? Eh, jury is still out on that one.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Better at Being a Grown-Up

Back in December, I blogged about how horrible I was at being a grown-up. I hadn't been to the doctor (regular and lady doctor) or the dentist in about two years. After learning that I needed a root canal due to my lack of regular check-ups, I shaped up.

I shaped up and I learned a few things.

If I could go back and do it all over again I would have made doctor's appointments the same day I got new insurance at my job. One of the reasons I never made doctor's or dentist's appointments in the first place was because it was so overwhelming. How many doctors are in Manhattan? How do you find a good one? One that takes your insurance? That's close to your office so you can go at lunch? You ask your coworkers, that's how you find the right one. When I finally told one of my coworkers how bad I was at being a grown up, she hooked me up with all of her doctor's names and contact information.

My root canal involved several visits to the dentist. Therefore it included paying the dentist's office each time and then receiving several bills later. But wait, they weren't bills. They were explanation of benefits (EOB) notices. This is when I had to call my mother. She explained to me that an EOB outlines how much your insurance pays for a procedure or visit and how much you, the patient, are required to pay.

"Mom," I said. "It says here that I only had to pay $250 for the root canal but I paid $380."

My mom further explained how important it is to review every EOB. She told me that doctors and dentists will often overcharge patients because so many do not review their EOB and the amount of money they receive from insurance companies is not as much as one would think. I was furious. I felt taken advantage of. I was a sweet, little 20-something who hadn't been to the dentist in ages and they knew I had no idea what I was doing.

All I had to do, she said, was call the dentist and tell them I was overcharged. I called and the immediately said it was a "mistake" and the amount would be credited to my next visit.

This is one of them many things I wish they would teach you in college.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Every Working Girl Needs a Girls Night Out

Every Working Girl knows that after a really stressful day at the office, you need a de-stress plan. One of our favorite ways to wind down is time with good friends and a glass of wine (yes, I admit, stole that one from LeAn Rimes).

And we have a giveaway for our Chicago & New York City readers that just might help you and a girlfriend unwind after a long day!

Shecky's, an online destination to find what is new and undiscovered in beauty, fashion and fun, has put together an event for you and your girlfriends that will make that bad day just melt away. Shecky's Girls Night Out where women can congregate to sample delish cocktails, try new beauty products and shop till you drop.

WG1 and I went to Shecky's Girls Night Out the summer we both interned in NYC (and lived in Chinatown...ick) and we both walked away with tons of goodies. WG1 still uses this adorable black clutch she picked up at the event (obviously, I am jealous I didn't buy it). Not only does the event have tons of shopping from cool indie designers and hot new boutiques across the US, but you also walk away with a goodie bag stuffed with fab products worth $100!

Enough with the chatter, here's the giveaway deets!

We will be giving out 2 tickets for one winner in Chicago and one winner in New York City to go to the Shecky's Girls Night Out event in their respective cities! The winners will be able to choose which day they would like to attend - Chicago's event runs from Sept. 15th - 17th and New York's event runs from Oct. 19th - 23rd.

To enter, you can leave a comment on this post by Thursday, September 10th at noon eastern time. To gain an additional entry, just tweet about our giveaway on Twitter by mentioning either @workinggirlone or @workinggirltwo and our Shecky's Girls Night Out Giveaway! And in your first entry make sure it tell us which city you would need a pass from!

And if you just can't wait to see if you won, tickets (with a goodie bag) are only $15. So click here to purchase your own tickets today.

Get commenting Working Girls!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Meeting Notes

Meeting Notes is a weekly feature. Here we will dish on tidbits, news, and important things we think Working Girls should know. So scroll down to hear what we think you should glean from this work week.

  • According to a new study, testosterone levels in women may have an affect on their choice of career. Researchers examined the testosterone levels in 500 MBA students at the Univ. of Chicago by measuring their financial risk aversion by using a computer game. Among the women studied, there was a large correlation between higher testoerone and lower risk aversion. [via WebMd.com]
  • In light of the recent unruly and unpredictable economy, the Examiner.com recently compiled a list of 100 career coaching blogs to help people find new jobs in this unsteady market. I really like how they have categorized them as well with such sections as "Recently Graduated", "Blogs for Women" and "Transition". [via TheExaminer.com]
  • According to the Randstad 2009 World of Work survey despite scale backs and bankruptcy stories flooding the news, U.S. workers are ready to push beyond "survival mode" at work and be more innovative. 90% of those survey said it's nice for companies to focus on the future and 83% said they'd like to expand their roles and responsibilities. [via Reuters]
  • According to NY Mag, a homeless girl named Bri recently snagged an internship at Elle magazine under advice columnist E. Jean. Apparently she entered an advice columnist competition while taking up residence in a Wal-Mart parking lot, which in turn led to an audition for a reality TV show (which she bombed). When she bombed, she decided to take matters into her own hands and email E. Jean herself, who offered her an internship! [via NY Mag]

Monday, August 31, 2009

Working Girl Cooks: Steak Salad

When I said Working Girl Cooks would be a bi-weekly feature what I meant to say was it would be a when WG1 remembers to take pictures while she cooks and isn't embarrassed to do so in-front of her roommates feature.

I remembered to take some photos and explained to my roommates what I was doing last week when I cooked one of my favorite meals: steak salad. Three things I love are spinach, steak and goat cheese. And that's all I need for this dish for one. Oh and balsamic vinaigrette, salt and pepper.

First I cooked a small steak that I picked up at Whole Foods. When I buy steak I just buy the cheapest piece I can find. I don't know if it's skirt steak, flank steak, whatever. I like meat and I like it cheap.
I seasoned with salt and pepper.


While the steak cooked (about 10 min, 5 min on each side) I tossed the spinach salad in the balsamic dressing.


Once the steak was cooked medium rare, I sliced into thin pieces and added it to the top of the salad. I also added goat cheese. Because a Working Girl One salad isn't a salad if it doesn't have goat cheese.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

TGISF: Thank God Its (Summer) Friday

I am so looking forward to work tomorrow for two reasons. One: tomorrow is Friday. Two: half the office will be out for a summer Friday.

I love summer Fridays. Even when I don't have the day off. Earlier this month I took my summer Fridays and it was fantastic to have a day off to sleep-in, get things done and enjoy my day. But when I'm in the office and most of the office is out enjoying their days off, I have time to get stuff done. There are less emails, less phone calls and less people popping up at my desk.

This week has been a little crazy. It was supposed to be my week to work on all the little events we have coming. I ended up spending most of my week working on our big event. Tomorrow will be my day to get organized and take some time so focus on the things on my to-do list that have been ignored.

Unless I totally jinxed myself by writing this post. I really hope not.

On that note, I'm going to bed and praying for a productive, uninterrupted day.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Meeting Notes

Meeting Notes is a weekly feature. Here we will dish on tidbits, news, and important things we think Working Girls should know. So scroll down to hear what we think you should glean from this work week.
  • Drink your way to more money! A study from 2006 shows that people who drank earned more money. People who drank socially make more contacts and had an easier time finding a new job that earned them more money. [CNN.com via Savvy Sugar]
  • The He-cession. It's being reported that men are suffering more in our current economic recession. More men are losing their jobs and families are suffering. Not only because they've lost their jobs but because their female counterparts are not earning as much. [via Jezebel]
  • Fall clothes! Autumn is around the corner and I could not be more ready for fall apparel. Work Chic has some advice on my two fall favorites: jackets and scarves.
  • I die! The Rachel Zoe Project is back in action on Bravo. My X sentence recap. Brad's attitude has shaped up and he's appearing to be a great Working Boy. Taylor's more cranky than ever. Rachel is Bananas and I cannot wait for the rest of the season. [Bravo]

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Penny-Pinching Days

Lately, all I think about are apartments and money. Apartments because the boyfriend and I are moving in together in October (please don't tell my Granny). Money because I'm saving for all the costs of moving (hiring movers, security deposit, etc.).

While I've been living paycheck to paycheck since I started working, I haven't been frugal by any means. If I saw a shirt I liked, I'd buy it. If I was far away from home and lazy, I'd take a cab. If I was out to dinner, I'd have a glass of wine (or 4).

All along the way, I've been saving what I can. Saving is important but I also strongly believe that living is important too. Especially here in New York. I don't pay a ridiculous amount for rent to sit in my apartment and watch TV.

These days, I'm keeping track of my money like it's my job. I've been making lunches (and breakfasts and snacks) to bring to work. Renting movies On Demand instead of going to the theater. When I do go out to eat it's for some cheap eats. I'm clipping coupons (and turning into my mother). I'm saving a lot more than I used to.

Since everything here is expensive I've been shopping around when it comes to where I shop. My two new favorites: Whole Foods and Bed, Bath and Beyond.

Whole Foods can be pricey. Very pricey. But not when you buy the Whole Foods brand 365 Everyday Value. For example, brand name yogurt at the average New York grocery story is $1.09. Whole Foods yogurt $0.79. Buying 365 Everyday Value cheese crackers is cheaper than buying Cheez-Its.

Bed, Bath & Beyond really does go beyond. Once my go-to for home needs, Bed, Bath & Beyond is now my go-to for all my drugstore needs. There is an entire drugstore within Bed, Bath & Beyond! Earlier this week, I went to Duane Reade to purchase a new hair brush (I'm pretty sure my little sister stole mine when I was visiting her last weekend). The brush I wanted was $10.99! For a Conair hairbrush! At Bed, Bath & Beyond a very similar and also Conair brush was $4.99.

Hopefully my savings at Whole Foods and Bed, Bath & Beyond, along with cutting back on shopping and dining out, will help me move with out going totally broke.

Monday, August 24, 2009

I Have Work Friends. When Did That Happen?

Today was my first day back at work after a week and half off of vacation. (Sidenote: If I could move to Europe right now, I would. My trip was fantastical. I love the Mediterranean. Everyone go there now.)

The first day back is always the worst. No matter what stress is involved. I spent two hours checking emails on Saturday and I still didn't get all caught up until 5PM today. The first day back almost always involves a lot of meetings, eating lunch at your desk, popping multiple Excedrin, and being "invisible" on Gchat so that you're not bombarded by all your friends wanting to know how your vacay was.

Today was not just a day of stress for me however. Today was a day of realizations. And that realization was that I have work friends.

I've been saying for a while now that I don't have many work friends. I actually moan about it a lot on this blog (and to WG1) and that's mainly because at my last job in NYC I felt like I had a lot of friends to commiserate with. I had people to eat lunch with, talk about reality TV with, and just generally chat with. And after a long vacation (or even just a day off), I would spend hours catching up with my NYC coworkers.

So I felt a little sad this morning when I got to work and I didn't have my NYC coworkers to dish with. Of course my new cube mates (I switched desks recently so I have new cubicle neighbors) asked me how my trip was, but they didn't ask me about any details.

Later in the day, I went to hang out with one of my work friends in her office. As I was complaining about all the work I have to do in the next few weeks, she responded with, "Yea you might want to get on that since you've spent the last hour making the rounds chatting up all your work buds. Have you done any work today other than socialize?"

And it was then I realized that I had work friends. Without even realizing it I had wandered aimlessly around the office for an hour stopping to chat with coworkers about my trip and their weekends (turns out one of my coworkers was born in Turkey! Who knew!). An hour! Spent talking to coworkers! And I thought I had no work friends.

Turns out I have nothing to moan about after all. After eight months at my new company, I have work friends. And that's a pretty nice realization to start a week off with.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Meeting Notes

Meeting Notes is a weekly feature. Here we will dish on tidbits, news, and important things we think Working Girls should know. So scroll down to hear what we think you should glean from this work week.
  • A new study conducted by ForbesWoman magazine recently reported that the best place for a woman to have both a career and children is NYC. It ranked highest among 50 cities based on earnings, access to health and day care, and cost of living. Coming in second and third were Austin, TX and Minneapolis, MN. [via Daily Mail]
  • I recently happened upon this new shrinkable umbrella. The user can adjust the umbrella by pulling a handle so that it adjusts to the space you are in. So "polite"! Put that on my wish list. [via Cup of Jo]
  • Summer is almost over, but these 101 ways to make a salad are too good to not let you all know about! Each salad featured in this NY Times article should only take about 20 minutes to make and use minimal ingredients. But they all look divine and perfect for cooking for one! [via NY Times]
  • If you're looking for a new or different career path (or new college major), most Americans have recently cited the medical field as the best field for young women to engage in. According to Gallup.com, 37% recommended medicine, and 10% recommended nursing. [Gallup]

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

No More Days Of Summer (Interns)

This summer, I had fabulous interns. Well, I had one bad hire but we don't have to go into that. I'm trying very hard to block out that memory.

Summer interns are truly the best kind of interns. Summer interns can come in three to five days a week. Summer interns can stay in the office all day. Summer interns, because they are working more often, learn quickly and can we an amazing asset.

Last week, the last of my summer interns left to go study abroad or go back to school to enjoy the college life that I miss oh so much. And I, along with the rest of my department, am left with no one to help us with our work load.

I tried my darnedest to get a head start on interview and hiring interns for the fall semester. I emailed HR weeks before the fall semester would start and ask for our internship to be posted on local college sites. I received a decent number of responses and sent applications to some.

No one has "jumped off the page," if you will. But before even reading their full applications, many applicants turned me off. When asked when they are available to work I got some very limiting responses. One answer: I am available Monday and Tuesday after 3:00 PM. Another: Available Monday through Thursday for a total of 10 hours per week.

Students have classes and a number of universities put a limit on the number of hours students can intern during the school year. But these limits aren't helping anyone. Companies aren't getting the most of the interns and interns aren't getting the most from the companies for which they intern.

As an editorial intern at a women's magazine I worked one day a week. I loathed that internship and I believe it was because of my short schedule. Every day felt like the first day. No one knew who I was. Though, it didn't help that my desk was in a closet. Interns who were in the office for two or three days a week learned more and learned it quickly. It took much longer for me to get the hang of the job. I wasn't a real asset to the magazine.

When I finally got to the applications there were spelling errors and grammar error all over the place. Now, I'm not exactly one to preach. I cannot spell to save my life and my grammar could be better. My advice to applicants: proof read! Back when writing cover letters was practically my job I sent a cover letter to an editor at Teen People (RIP) only I forgot to change the name from a Cosmo Girl (RIP) editor to the Teen People editor. From then on, I had a friend, roommate, parent proof read all of my cover letters.

Tomorrow, I plan on scheduling some interviews and request more applications.

Monday, August 17, 2009

We Need a Contributor!

Once upon a time, Working Girl had Working Girl Contributors. Girls from Boston, LA, and Dallas (and other cities too!), who all wrote about their own experiences of just being out of college and trying to find the perfect job and dealing with college withdrawal.

And we want to bring this feature back to Working Girl! And to do so we'd like to involve our readers. Because we all know you're the ones we (and the rest of the world) want to hear from - real girls in the working trenches.

So here is our plea - we need contributors!

The Assignment
This past week, WG2 had a wardrobe malfunction when her wrap dress got blown open by the wind and she showed all of Chicago that she wore Spanx to work. We want to know about your worst wardrobe malfunction. So tell us all about it!

The Rules
The entry should only be one-page long in a Word document (double spaced please). We will only accept one entry per person. All submissions should be sent to workinggirlcontributor@gmail.com and need to be in our inbox by 5:00PM on August 24th. That's one whole week to figure out your story and submit it. We will post our favorite submission on Working Girl in September.

Any questions? Shoot us an email at workinggirlone@gmail.com or workinggirltwo@gmail.com. Or you can always tweet or DM us on Twitter as well - @workinggirlone and @workinggirltwo.

We can't wait to read your entries!

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Summer Job Files: Editorial Intern

The summer before our senior year, WG1 and I each put down a down payment on NYU summer housing before we had even started looking for jobs or internships. We were ballsy to say the least. The both of us just knew we'd find something, anything because we just had to live in New York City.

It will probably come as no surprise to any of you that WG1 and I each had our first real job interviews on the same day. (Yes, it seems we literally do everything together). We both put on our best WG interview outfits and trekked into the city super early, had our interviews, and then celebrated our success by eating a grown-up lunch at Rue 57 (we even had Midori Sours even though I'm pretty sure we weren't 21 yet...scandalous).

While waiting to hear if we had snagged these pretty awesome internships at women's magazines, we started to interview at places we weren't as excited about. I personally interviewed at a publishing company where I was offered a paying job almost on the spot. While I was kinda bummed I still hadn't heard from the glam editorial internship at the women's magazine, I was excited that this job was paying (something the internship was not).

And then a few days later, I got the call from the women's mag I had interview with- I had gotten the internship! I was in! Only downside was that the gig wasn't paid, but unlike WG1 I only had to work 2-3 days a week.

WG1 and I moved into our NYU apartment and instantly became friends with two of our roommates and I have to say that summer was insanely fun and it made me fall in love with NYC. We went out almost every weekend (and weekday), went to museums, tried new restaurants, shopped way too much, and even (kinda) enjoyed living in Chinatown.

While most of our roommates had pretty typical internships, mine turned out to be utterly unique. For starters, since the women's mag that I interned for was relatively new (only 3 years old at the time), we worked out of the editor-in-chief's Upper West Side apartment. My desk was a kitchen table and her dog slept on my feet while I wrote articles on a computer that I was required to stash away in a closet at the end of the night.

My magazine itself was quite small - the editorial team only consisted of four people, two of which were interns. This meant of course that I was able to do a lot of writing and acquired a lot of writing samples. Our magazine also did a lot of smaller events, which is probably where I got my first taste of what it was like to work in event marketing. We made goody bags for Hampton Jitney passengers, worked street corners handing them out, put on a beauty event at Perricone MD, and even worked a fashion show (which I couldn't help out with because school had started womp).

What I loved most about my internship were the people. Since the company was so small, I ended up getting to know my coworkers really well. We all seemed to be very in sync and I loved to come to work just so we could chat, brainstorm, and complain together. We were a little family.

The story of my internship that summer is just beginning, because while I loved the people I worked with, I can't overlook the fact that I worked for the devil. But she didn't wear Prada, she wore vintage.

To Be Continued...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Screwing Around on the Job

Have you ever slept with someone just because you thought their job was sexy?

I recently came across this Marie Claire blog post written by a woman named Maura Kelly who recently met a glam & fab woman at a glitzy party. They got to talking about her interesting job - how she does high profile events and how she has access to things not a lot of other people do. The one drawback to her job? That guys are more into her because of her job and how she often wonders if they're sleeping with her or her job.

This whole concept got me thinking. My job is not nearly cool enough for people to envy me for it, but as an event planner I do get a lot of perks. You know, a free pen from Marriott, a bathrobe from the Gansevoort, a free meal, tickets to a Cubs game - all things that they try to throw at me so I use their hotel for an event. Sure these things are kinda cool, but definitely not something that would lure a guy in - or for a guy to try and screw me over for.

But I see this woman's point. We hear about gold digging women quite often (like in Kanye West songs), but what about the gold digging dudes? The guys out there looking for the hook up from women with cool jobs? We don't hear about them that often. And I'm not talking just guys out there who are looking for women with wealth, but women with perk-related jobs.

What kind of jobs do you think men go gaga over? My guesses would be anything having to do with modeling, acting, or sports-related. And yes, I just did a large stereotype. Sorry boys!

It also got me wondering about what kinds of jobs turn me on. I think a man in uniform - policemen, firemen, soldiers - all sort of turn my head (especially during Fleet Week - right WG1? Wink, wink). I have to admit anything finance related makes me yawn, but bring up writing and I'm instantly batting my eyelashes no matter what the dude looks like.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Meeting Notes

Meeting Notes is a weekly feature. Here we will dish on tidbits, news, and important things we think Working Girls should know. So scroll down to hear what we think you should glean from this work week.
  • Abercrombie hires for looks. American Apparel hires for style. At least, that's what they want you to think. [via nymag.com]

Monday, August 10, 2009

Julie & Julia Makes Me Want to Go Work

I just got home from seeing the movie Julie & Julia and I feel super energized/motivated to just do something! Anything! Maybe even cook (or not because WG1 is the cook/baker...I could burn water).

I think we all know that the story centers around Julie Powell, author of the blog the Julie/Julia Project, and superstar chef Julia Child. Originally, I didn't really want to see this movie since I definitely want to be a foodie, but I definitely am not (I could eat chicken fingers every night for dinner if asked). But my dad offered to take me to see the movie and out to dinner and I can't pass up a free meal/movie, so I accepted. And to say I was pleasantly surprised is an understatement.

Don't worry! I don't intend to put up any spoilers! I just want to talk about how inspiring these two women are to WG's.

I know I am young. I'm only 24. I've only been out of school for 2 years. But I'm sure if you read this blog quite often, you know that this was not the career I pictured myself falling into. Right now I currently work in marketing and corporate event planning, and while I love it I know it's not my first true love (because if it was I probably wouldn't be writing this blog). Yes, everyone, I too, like many other bloggers, want to be a writer. I have wanted to be a writer since I was a little girl. I used to write books when I was 10! But sometimes paying the bills is more important than finding a job that makes you want to jump out of bed at 6AM every morning because you're so excited to be there.

Watching Julie Powell and Julia Child being portrayed in this movie tonight reminded me that being happy at work is essential. Julie Powell blogs her way to success after not finding satisfaction with her job that pays the bills, and Julia Child found her calling in cooking much later in life after dabbling somewhat in espionage. Yes, espionage. And it made me want that feeling - that after I leave my 9-to-5, I want to feel like I accomplished something.

And so right now I can't be a stay-at-home writer, but I can appreciate that I finished everything on my to-do list today or that I kicked ass in a meeting. Find happiness in the little things until you find that big thing that makes you jump with joy.

What they Powell and Child had in common in this movie was finding joy in what they do. And really this should serve as an inspiration to all us WG's. If you find joy in what you do for a living, then ultimately you will lead a happier life - that's the lesson I learned today while at the movies.

P.S. Sorry if this post makes zero to little sense. After the movie, my dad and I hit up Filipo's (which was AMAZING - go there!) after the movie where we each finished a bottle of scrumptious wine. And then to top it off, our server Annette, loved us so much she made us take shots of limoncello with her that was made with Everclear. Yea, not a good idea. Everybody in the club getting tips(y).

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Working Girl Cooks: Cooking For One

I spend a lot of time thinking about food. Mainly, what I'm going to have for dinner. I love reading food blogs and watching the Food Network, but I have a difficult time cooking meals for one. I take that back, it's pretty easy to pan-fry some chicken and put some greens on a plate. But a Working Girl can only eat so much chicken.

I'm a fairly new cook. My news year's resolution, which I've finally decided to start practicing, was to cook or bake something new once a week. I've yet to find a site or blog that focuses on cooking for one, so I've decided to start a bi-weekly feature here on Working Girl called Working Girl Cooks.

Inspired by a friend's tweet, I decided to cook goat cheese and roasted corn quesadillas. Corn is one of my favorite summer veggies, and I'll eat practically anything with goat cheese.

The original recipe can be found here. Below is the WG1 version.

Ingredients
Half a bag of frozen corn
Half a container of crumbled goat cheese
6 corn tortillas (6-inch)
Salsa

Instructions
I defrosted the corn in the microwave and then sauteed the corn in a pan over medium heat. In the future, I would follow the original recipe more closely and use fresh corn, since I suspect it may brown a little nicer.
I then transferred the corn to a bowl and combined the goat cheese. Yum.


I put the mixture onto the tortilla and topped with some salsa. I then put the tortilla in the pan until the tortilla browns a bit. I topped with another tortilla and flipped! I then repeated with a new tortilla.


I made three tortillas, had some salsa on the side for dipping and some diced avocado because I just love avocado. Almost as much I love goat cheese. Voila!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Meeting Notes

Meeting Notes is a weekly feature. Here we will dish on tidbits, news, and important things we think Working Girls should know. So scroll down to hear what we think you should glean from this work week.
  • Back in March, it was announced that publishing house Conde Nast was ridding its ranks of all receptionists not on "editorial floors", but rumor has it that all the remaining receptionists will be laid off in the (very) near future. [via Gawker]

  • A lot of women are up in arms about Hollywood's recent treatment of women in movies (example: Sandra Bullock's bitchy boss character in The Proposal and Meryl Streep's portrayal of Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada). The most recent culprit is Katherine Heigl's control-freak TV producer character in the movie The Ugly Truth who is tamed by manly, brutish male character played by Gerard Butler. [via NPR]

  • A report presented in July by the Women and Work Comission in London stated that women are still paid almost 23 percent less than men in on average but the economy could benefit up to 23 billion pounds if that gap were closed. [via New York Times]

  • We are uber excited for the new Alexis Bledel movie, Post Grad, to come out on August 21st! We think a lot of us will be able to relate to the theme of not being able to find a job after graduation. Trailer below!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Three Day Weekends Every Weekend

It's only Tuesday and you're already counting down the to the weekend. Friday can't come sooner. Wouldn't it be nice if you could count down to Thursday instead?

If you were a government employee in Utah, you'd be used to this schedule by now. But there is a catch of course, employees have to work 10-hour days Monday through Thursday to make up for the lost time on Friday.

According to this article from The Atlantic, 82% of the employees prefer the new work schedule. The state of Utah has also found that the change is helping them a be little more green. They've saved $1.8 million in electricity and eliminated 6,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide.

Scientific American said that many local governments have been looking at Utah as they consider changing their work week. This could very well catch on in local government. And maybe further to other industries?

If my office changed to a 4-day, 40-hour work week, I'd have to work nine to seven without a break for lunch. Some weeks, I eat lunch at my desk every day and I'm at the office until 6:30 every night. Another half hour every night wouldn't kill me. Then I'd have Friday off and Thursday would be the new Friday.

This is all fine and good. But I spend a lot of money on the weekend. Even when I'm making a effort to spend less, I spend more on a weekend day then I do on a week day. I shop, go to the movies, go out to dinner and more. Could I afford a 3-day weekend? Not to mention instead of my company spending money to keep the office cool in the summer or warm in the winter, I'd be spending my own money on that for an extra day.

Comments on The Atlantic article bring up a number of other concerns: Would an extra day with your kids make up for two less hours with them each night? Would this really work in most industries? Would letting employees work from home for a day be a better idea for business?

Something that seems so simple and beneficial to all involved, may not be so.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Suing Mad

As reported by the Huffington Post, a woman filed a lawsuit last week against Monroe College where she received her bachelor's degree because she can't find a job.

The woman, 27-year-old Trina Thompson, claims that the Bronx school has failed to provide her with what it promised her when she first enrolled - help from the Office of Career Advancement to provide her with leads and career advice. Because she hasn't found a job and has claimed to not have received adequate attention from the college, she is requesting that the $70,000 she spent on her information technology degree be returned to her.

A lot of this lawsuit seems to be tied up in what Thompson feels is false advertisement. If you peruse Monroe College's website, you'll see that they promise a "focused, career-oriented, quality education" and state that every student will receive a Career Advisor who will provide them with one-on-one assistance. The site goes on and on to tell them just how they can help them - resume writing, job search strategies, and even boasts that they have an E-recruiting tool where you can find job postings. So Thompson's lawayers are going to have to prove that she was pulled in by a lure of a false promise that wasn't delivered on.

I guess I'm having a hard time thinking how they're going to prove that Thompson didn't receive adequate attention. And if Thompson's lawyers manage to win this case, then is our country (and world) going to go suing mad? Couldn't I just as easily sue my own college for not finding me a job after I graduated?

Personally, I believe that our educations and the services our colleges/universities give us are just tools. We then use these tools to procure employment. Essentially it is up to us to find jobs, but we can choose to utilize places like career centers and people like career advisors to assist us in finding that job. They can't just magically make it happen for us - we have to do the legwork ourselves.

What do you guys think?

Friday, July 31, 2009

Summer Job Files: Sitting on Babies

In honor of the summer, each week we take turns to recount a summer job we had back in the day. [Editor's Note: Back in the day refers to when we were in school...sigh...college].

Two weeks ago, I told you all about my summer of overachievement. The summer when I worked not one, not two, but three jobs to support my drinking career in college. So in addition to being a camp counselor, hostessing at a restaurant, I also baby-sat.

The great thing about being a counselor was not only the camaraderie of hanging out with other counselors or being able to be outside all day, but also that you got to meet a lot of kids. These kids who are with you day after day begin to feel attached and then all of a sudden their parents are asking you to baby-sit. I got a lot of sweet, high-paying baby-sitting gigs out of my camp counselor days.

One of my favorite kids to baby-sit was by far a six-year old boy named Grant. Since the camp that I worked for (and Grant attended) only lasted until the first week of August, the two of us both had time to kill until we both went back to school. Grant's mother didn't work, but hired me anyway because Grant "loved" me and because she wanted "alone time" during the day to work out with her trainer, go shopping, etc. so for a good portion of August I baby-sat Grant while his brother attended a circus camp (and no, I'm not joking - I once had to pick him up and they were getting clown lessons...so creepy).

And it was great for the most part. Grant's mother liked to keep him out of the house (probably so he could destroy less things), so she would often pile $100 into my open palms and tell me to take Grant to a movie (the first and last time I saw Spy Kids), go mini-golfing, or go paint pottery. We were hardly ever in his house.

I'm sure there as an ulterior motive to this, and later in the summer I think I figured out why. See, when Grant, who was quite rotund, was out of the house he had less opportunities to steal snacks from the cupboard. The only reason they even had fattening food like Oreos or pizza in the house was because Grant's older brother was stick thin and unlike Grant he barely ate at all. One night when I was asked to baby-sit, Grant found the hidden cupboard of snack foods in the house which I was explicitly told not to let him eat.

We had been watching a movie on TV and he had announced that he was going to the bathroom. 10 minutes pass and I realize I'm watching this children's movie all by my lonesome, so I go to look for Grant and find him in the kitchen on top of a counter smashing Oreos into his mouth like it's the end of the world. He spotted me and immediately booked it, running into the closest bathroom and locking himself inside with a sleeve full of Oreos and refused to come out until he had eaten every last one.

Grant wasn't my only baby-sitting escapade that summer - I also had the honor of baby-sitting for a little girl named Gabrielle, who was probably the most annoying little girl I had ever met. But money won me over and I ended up using my days off from Grant to baby-sit for Gabrielle. Since she wasn't allowed to watch TV (which is seriously the worst thing ever for baby-sitters - seriously, moms let them watch TV with us!), I would suggest we go for drives...and then I would do errands. Wow, I just realized how horrible this makes me sound. But in my defense, usually we'd end up at Target or CVS and we'd play in the toy aisle or we'd pick out outfits that we thought looked cute on her. Does that make me sound any less horrific?

My baby-sitting adventures were interesting that summer - I think I ended up baby-sitting for at least 4 families that I met through camp. Overall, it was a great way to make some extra cash, and I continued to baby-sit for multiple families while in college.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Working Girl Reads "The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl"

Once upon a time, a blog named Working Girl met an author/blogger/artist named Working Girl. They quickly realized that they were very similar in that they both liked to talk about their real experiences in the Working Girl trenches.

Unlike WG1 and WG2, Karen Burns (aka Working Girl), has a teensy bit more experience than we do and she wrote a book about all 59 (yes! 59!) of the jobs that she has had in her lifetime. For the past few weeks, WG1 and WG2 have been reading Karen Burns' new book "The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl: Real Life Career Advice You Can Actually Use". And we love it! Not only does she dispense her great words of wisdom, but she uses her real-life stories to do it. By separating her book into sections entitled "Clueless", "Confident" and "Carefree", Burns is able to relate to all Working Girls in any stage of their career (cause we've all been one of those 3 things at one point!).

Below is an interview we conducted with Karen Burns - and we hope you check out her blog and buy her book! Trust us - it's worth every penny!

WG: How did you decide to write this book? And how is it different from other career advice books?

The book was a friend’s idea, when she found out how many jobs I’d had. She was in publishing so I took her seriously. What’s different about The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl is that the advice is based on stuff that happened to me in my 59 jobs (yes, really 59). Each chapter—there are 59 and they are short—relates a story from one of my jobs and then gives career/life advice based on what happened in the story. It’s fast and easy. You can pick it up, open it anywhere, and start reading. Oh, and it’s illustrated with cartoons of “Working Girl” (that’s me).

WG: Out of the 59 jobs you've had, which was your all-time favorite and which was your most hated?

I really hated my “envelope sorting” job. It was so-o-o boring and the conditions were awful, super noisy and absolutely soul-deadening. My favorite job was in Paris (I lived & worked in Paris for 3 years—it’s in the book!). I worked freelance, mostly writing marketing materials in English for French companies. One of my regular clients, a design firm, would occasionally ask me to come along when they pitched business to potential clients. They wanted to look like an international firm so I was there to be introduced as “the American.” I got paid just for being American. It was kind of cool.

WG: What is the one thing you want people to take away from your reading your book?

That you will probably have to search for fulfilling work, for a great job—it won’t just fall in your lap. Maybe it will, but don’t be surprised if it doesn’t. And that making a mistake—in your career or in life—is not the end of the world. We are allowed to make mistakes. We need to make them! (I guess that’s two things.)

WG: We love the mission statement idea! Do you find that your mission statement stays or the same or changes often?

Your basic mission statement, in that it reflects your heart’s desire, will stay the same. However, the ways you devise to accomplish that heart’s desire may change.

WG: Of all your eternal truths, which is your favorite or the most important?

“It’s never too late to be the person you were meant to be.” It’s not original; I believe I read something like it in “Middlemarch.” But I think it’s very true.

WG: What advice would you give Working Girls during the current recession who are having a hard time finding a job?

Cast a wide net. Network like mad. Get creative. Stay positive. Don’t give up. Be a bright shining light. And remember that people have always survived hard times and you will, too.

WG: What advice can you give all the new (fresh out of college or HS) Working Girls out there?

Enjoy your life and your work. Especially, do a good job in whatever position you find yourself in, because all jobs are worth doing well and because doing a good job makes you a good person. And thus a happier person.

WG: How did you decide to jump ship and move abroad? What advice would you give WG's who want to take the same plunge?

It’s always good to line up a job before you go. If you can’t do this, and in any case, save up a lot of money first. Work at getting some contacts in your target country. Find out what the laws are for foreign workers in your target country. Think the whole project through; try to anticipate the “worst that could happen” and come up with a plan for what you would do if it did. Be prepared for things to not go exactly as planned, and brace yourself for some loneliness at first. It’s not easy to live in a foreign country, to be “a foreigner”—try not to be discouraged by this. Persist! Living abroad is tremendously fun and tremendously challenging. You grow. You get smarter. You become more…..sophisticated. I highly recommend it.

WG: Do you believed you have discovered your true path?

I always thought it was my “true path” to earn my living by writing and reading so, yes, I think so.

WG: We're stealing this one from our interview with Karen Burns on her blog! If you could not work a day more in your life, would you take the opportunity to do so?

No. I need something to do. I need a challenge, some project that absorbs me and feels worthwhile. Isn’t that why we’re alive?