Tuesday, December 28, 2010
I hope all of you Working Girls had a great holiday break. I had 5 wonderful days off from work (including the weekend) and I enjoyed every second of it. However, all day Monday all I could think of was, "I sure don't want to go back to work tomorrow" (but in the same breath, I did give thanks for having a job to go to). Do you guys do that too? Usually, it's Sunday evening when it hits me that the weekend is almost over. Since I was off Monday, I just knew that I would have the post-holiday blues this morning. Well, imagine my surprise when I walked into the office today and I was in a very cheerful mood. It's funny that I thought that having 5 days off would put me in a bad mood upon my return to work, when in actuality, it was the exact opposite.
This made me think about how much we work in the U.S. I think we work WAY too much and I think that more days off would do wonders for productivity and moral (I personally found myself a lot more productive today than I'd been the last couple of weeks). On average, Americans get 17 vacation days a year. 17. The French get the most vacations days a year, averaging about 37.5. Wow! At first I thought, "we should be given more vacation days." But then, I remembered always hearing how many people don't use all of their vacations days because they are too busy at work or because they feel like things will fall apart without them. (Let's be clear. This will never be an issue for me. I'm taking every day that they give me.) So, giving more vacation days doesn't really help if people aren't going to take them.
So, what's my solution, you ask? I say we should have 4 day work weeks. 4 days to work, 3 days to rest. Think about our current weekends. We get off Friday evenings and have that evening and night to rest and unwind. I tend to find that I'm exhausted when Friday comes and enjoy an evening at home. Saturday comes and you try to cram a lot in that one day (errands, cleaning, etc.), because it's the only true full weekend day that you have (Sunday night you have to get in bed at a decent hour for work the next day). When Sunday comes you're already thinking about work on Monday. Am I right or is this just me? I think the 3 day weekend would allow workers to truly rest, relax and stay mentally sharp for the work week. Working Girls, what do you think? And who do I talk to about implementing this idea?
Monday, December 27, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Just as Lawyer Working Girl posted about her New Year's resolutions here, I'd like to take the opportunity this week to share some of my wishes for 2011.
To be completely honest, I hope 2011 includes a lot of change for me--both personally and professionally.
Let's dive right in and start with the personal stuff.
I'm currently in a long-distance relationship. While my man is only a 3-hour drive away, this can certainly get in the way of living the life we want to live. A lot of our free time is spent driving to see one another or cramming a thousand things into a short period of time. I'm praying that something changes here... and soon.
Of course as a working girl who has a career, I have a few prerequisites that must be fulfilled in order for that long distance to shorten (aka, one of us moves to be with the other). Note: My man is currently in graduate school for the next 3+ years and thus, he won't be the one moving.
Which brings me to the next bit--professional change.
While I have been "mostly" happy with my current job, I would love the chance to further my horizons, explore my skills, challenge myself, have more opportunities for growth and learning, and most importantly--love what I do day in and day out.
Several years ago when I began this job I was ecstatic. I saw room for upward growth and the potential to truly challenge myself professionally was easy to see. But lately things have been, well, stagnant (to say the least) and--probably like most of you out there--I'm overworked, underpaid and completely undervalued.
All of this coupled with the fact that the love of my life lives 150+ miles away makes my life as a 20-something working girl pretty unhappy. So what do I hope for in 2011? Lots (and lots) of exciting new changes.
What are some of your hopes, wishes, dreams and goals for the New Year?
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
- Inner circle: those you already know
- Middle circle: the people those people know
- Outer circle: the people the middle people know
So when looking on LinkedIn they conveniently have a system that mirrors a network with letting you know who is your 1st connection (inner circle), 2nd connection (middle circle), and 3rd connection/everyone else (outer circle).
Now that you can see through the networking system on LinkedIn, its time show you how to virtually network.
- Search for someone you are looking for specifically or look at one of your 1st connection contacts who has contacts you are interested in meeting
- If you are doing a search for a person, notice what level of connection you are with the person. 1st, 2nd, or 3rd? If you are looking at a 1st connections page and connections, notice if the person you are looking at knows any additional contacts.
- Now on to the important part, on the right, there will be a "Get introduced to a connection" button. Click this and it will bring up the connections you have in common. Select a contact.
- Here is the important part, the introduction. There will be two sections for you to write in, one for the person you are hoping to meet and the other for the person you already know. Ask the person you already know if it would be okay if he/she introduced you. Once both sections are filled out with messages to both, it will email your contact asking for the introduction. All that person does is accept and then the email you wrote to the connection you are hoping to make will be sent to them. Easy as that!
Some of the other tips that this coach gave were to make sure your profile is at least 90% complete and be sure to add a summary. It won't look very good it its only half filled out!
I hope this helps some of you in your job serach as we get ready to enter the new year. Hope you all are having a Happy Holiday season!
In Transition Working Girl
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
I don't normally do New Year's Resolutions. I mean, let's be real. I figure that if I wasn't doing something on December 31, the calendar now saying January 1 isn't going to make me start doing it. You know what I mean? But I completely understand why people do them. It's not only a new day, but it's a new year! It's a fresh start! It's a great starting place to make necessary changes in your life. I just believe that you have to come to the conclusion within yourself that it's time to make those changes and not just say you're going to do it because it's January 1.
Well, with all of that being said, I know that there are some things that I need to commit myself to doing, so I'm starting now mentally preparing myself so that hopefully but January 1, I will be ready to implement these changes. So I guess, what I'm really saying is that I am doing some New Year's Resolutions this year. Go figure.
So, what are my resolutions? I will spare you any personal resolutions and go straight to career resolutions (after all, this is the Working Girl blog).
First, I plan to utilize my evenings and weekends a lot better so that I can work on my passion projects. In a previous post I shared with you all that I also blog outside of Working Girl and I am engaged in other social media. Blogging and social media have given me an outlet to pursue my passions. I don't intend to be somebody's employee for the rest of my life, so I need to dedicate myself to working on my passions so I can build my own empire (insert evil laughter...ha. Just kidding.) How am I going to do this? Well, if I want it to one day be my full-time job, then I must treat it like it is a job. I must set aside "work" hours in the evening and on weekends, specifically setting aside 1 hour each evening and 3 hours each day of the weekend where I focus on my passions. That means, shutting off the TV, putting down and phone, and carrying my laptop to my desk to work (not that kind of working, mostly watching TV stuff I do now).
The second one involves the bread and butter job. You know. The one keeping the lights on and a roof over my head. We have specific targets and goals given by the boss that we should aim for each year, but I want to set my own personal goals. This upcoming year I want to...(silence). Hmm. Well. I'm kind of at a loss for a resolution related to my job. There are some things that I want to do, but they aren't really resolutions (and I don't want to share those prematurely, but hopefully, I will be able to share them with you soon!). Honestly, I can't really think of any resolutions. There are things that I should probably do like cut down on personal stuff/Internet usage during work hours, but that's a HARD one to stick to. Ok, ok. I know. Resolutions aren't supposed to be easy. If they were, we'd already be doing them, right? Ok. That will be my resolution, and hopefully, I will truly stick to it.
I guess that's about it career-wise. Anything else I want to do is more personal, but I must say, that if I can do the personal things, I'm quite sure that I will be a better person in general, which will carry over into my work life.
Working Girls, do you do New Year's Resolutions, and if so, what are they?
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy Kwanzaa to all you Working Girls and safe travels during the holidays!
Monday, December 20, 2010
Thursday, December 16, 2010
When I was a senior in college, I sent my resume everywhere. The last thing I wanted was to graduate and be jobless--and the idea of living at home was not an option. Thankfully, I had some PR contacts from my interning days and was able to use them to network and connect with others in the industry. But my personal experience was much different than today's job search.
In fact, with the advent of so many exciting social media tools, there are a variety of resources available online to take advantage of and using these sites throughout your job search can help you tremendously along the way. Two sites that I find particularly helpful are LinkedIn and Twitter. And here's why.
We've all heard the spiel. LinkedIn is the "professional" social media outlet. Consider it your "online resume," if you will. And believe it or not, this is absolutely true.
By posting your resume on LinkedIn, prospective employers and contacts can search your qualifications, background, skill sets and knowledge base, and garner a basic understanding of who you are as a professional working woman. You can join discussion groups, network with professional associations and view job listings. It's a great resource for your career--before and after the job hunt.
In addition to LinkedIn group discussions, there are a number of chats that occur regularly on Twitter. These are hosted by various moderators and are open for anyone to join. By participating in these online chats, you begin to engage a niche audience that will quickly recognize who you are and become familiar with what it is you are looking for and interested in. Check out the many great Twitter chats available.
Additionally, by actively participating on Twitter by posting relevant and interesting content--via chats or simply by tweeting regularly--you will most likely gain a following of some sort. Continue the conversation further and use these followers as potential resources on your job search.
A couple notes...
Maintaining professionalism while also staying personal is what makes for an effective social media experience. Sure, these tools are entertaining and can oftentimes be an outlet from our working girl lives, but it's important to think carefully about how you market yourself.
What kind of personal brand are you creating? How do you want to be perceived? What do you want people to know (or not know) about you? Remember to be mindful of how you want to be heard.
Lastly, I advise you to embrace these tools on your job search. The career world and business arena as we know it have drastically changed. And this is only the beginning.
Have you used social media tools to land a job? What was your experience?
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
As this year starts to wind down, I have to take a moment to reflect on all of the great opportunities that have come my way career-wise this year. One of those, which is the biggest, is the promotion that I received a couple of months ago that I've already shared with you all. I believe that this promotion is really just the start of more great things to come with my company and I am excited about the possibilities. (Another truly awesome thing is receiving my first bonus with the company! WOOHOO!)
Another thing that happened for my company this year was our move to our new office space. For about a year and a half my company was in a smaller building and smaller office space. Then we began to hear talks about moving to a bigger office space, which was the first sign that the company was growing, and that got everyone excited. Now that we've been in our new space for a few months, I look back at our old space, and I'm telling you, it's like going from a Pinto to a Mercedes. Our new space is so much bigger and better than the old office and has new technology integrated in that helps us to stay connected to the outside world (hey, we spend a lot of time at the office) as well as connected with our colleagues in the various offices. I think the new office has even had an effect on everyone's disposition. After all, when you spend a majority of your day at a place, don't you want it to be nice and one that you enjoy?
That got me to thinking about the pros and cons of working in an office. I often think that I would LOVE to be able to work from home where I could stay in my pajamas and post up in front of the TV while I work (especially on COLD days like today). How great would it be to just walk to my kitchen for lunch rather than the breakroom to heat up the lunch that I brought or running out and spending money on food? Although that sounds nice, there are things that I would miss about working in an office.
I read this interview with the co-founder and President of a web application company, whose main issue with the modern office place is also high up in my "pros" column: that it is structured for interruptions. Well, what he calls interruptions, I refer to as the social aspect of working in an office. I love socializing with my colleagues. That's one of the things that makes going to work fun. And the camaraderie, which goes hand in hand with socializing. We build these relationships that are unique in that if we had not worked together, we probably never would have met and would ordinarily probably never be friends (and here I use the word loosely as I do not consider my "friendships" with all of my colleagues to be equal). Also, for some, but not for me, a pro of working in an office means "the office hookup." That's all I will say about that one.
Aside from those two things another pro of working in an office is that you have people to bounce ideas off of. I wonder how many multimillion dollar ideas came from two people sitting around brainstorming? Also, having to go to an office gives me set working hours. If I'm at home it seems that it would be a lot harder to separate time for work and time for personal. Another personal pro is that I get my daily exercise in by walking to the office and back home everyday. Maybe if I worked from home I would carve out gym time, but at least this way, I'm guaranteed to get in some form of exercise everyday.
So, aside from the con in the interview that I flipped into a pro, what are the other cons of working in an office? Ok, maybe he is right that there are a lot of interruptions throughout the day. And there are always meetings. Also, there are the colleagues whose personalities clash with yours, which is really only a problem if you have to work closely with them. There's also gas money/public transportation fare/parking fees involved with commuting to work.
I really can't think of anymore legitimate cons to working in an office. Now, that's not to say that if I were offered the option of working from home that I wouldn't take it, but I guess coming to an office really isn't that bad. So tell me, Working Girls, what are your pros and cons of working in your office?
Monday, December 13, 2010
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Thankfully ladies, I'm this close to taking time off and couldn't be more thrilled about spending it at the beach. Yep, that's right--bring on the sunny vacay complete with an endless supply of frothy beverages, beautiful sand, reading, lounging, sleeping in, staying up late, and lots and lots of fresh towels.
While I'm away, I fully intend on weaning myself away from technology. For those who know me, this is quite a feat. In fact, I always promise that travel is not the time to tweet, check e-mail, blog and surf the Web... but it never actually happens.
And I know I'm not the only working girl with this terrible problem. Why don't we take the time we need to relax? We are constantly working our little tails off without taking a step back and breathing.
So this time, I'm going to focus on me and my vacation. No phone, e-mail, blogging, tweeting, Foursquare-ing, etc. And although the holidays are about spending quality time with family and friends, we working girls also must concentrate on ourselves.
This holiday, I am making the promise to keep my promise. No technology. Just the beach and me.
What are you going to do to rewind and relax during the last few weeks of 2010?
Put yourself first. You deserve it.
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Unfortunately, the sad reality for so many graduates is that there are no jobs available for them. This is frightening when you've just racked up thousands in student loan debt to attend law school. When I graduated from law school, I didn't yet know where I would be working. Luckily, just before I took the bar exam, I got word that I landed a clerkship. Whew! But I know several attorneys who graduated the same year as me who never landed full-time, permanent legal positions. And I'm talking, we are some years past graduation. Instead, several have gone on to pursue non-legal careers, while others have gone back to get Masters in other areas of study or are preparing to go back to school. I wonder if they wish they had skipped law school and gone to grad school instead. And underemployment is real for lawyers. No one enters law school thinking that they will graduate only to find themselves struggling to make ends meet. It makes people wonder, "Was going to law school the wise thing to do?"
Working Girls, how's the market in your industry? Do you find that there are just too many people in your industry vying for the same jobs? Have you had any experience with this in your industry?
Monday, December 6, 2010
Saturday, December 4, 2010
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Think about the last time you booked a flight or looked into buying a gift for a friend. You probably wanted to do a little research or compare prices before making this kind of decision. And chances are--you turned to the Web for a little guidance.
But as we all know, being a working girl leaves little room for hours of Web browsing. We hardly have time to go to the grocery store, let alone make a cost comparison chart complete with graphs and statistics to help us make the "right" or "best" decision on which computer is the better deal.
There are a number of online sites that help make our lives easier, and as Internet users and working women, we depend on these tools to help us compare and contrast without the hassle of spending tons of time perusing the Internet.
Earlier today, Mashable featured an article about a brand new Web tool that claims to make our decision-making much easier.
FindtheBest.com is a comparison engine that helps users make faster and better-informed decisions when looking for products and services--no matter what the topic.
So instead of worrying about which cookie you should make for the holiday bake-off, which e-Reader gives you the most bang for your buck, or where you and the hubby should travel for a little New Year's getaway, consider using this site (or others like it) as a way to simplify and ease your decision-making stresses this holiday season.
Happy December, working girls!
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Monday, November 29, 2010
Thursday, November 25, 2010
When I first heard about Foursquare, I immediately thought to myself, "Is this something I want to look into?"
Thanks to the wonderful world of apps, I was able to download Foursquare in a matter of seconds and get started. Since then, I've been hooked. I check in often (minus my home, office and other chosen places) and have turned my friends--and boyfriend--on to Foursquare.
Then not too long ago, Facebook introduced Places. And there are now a number of other location-based social networking sites that serve similar purposes.
But there's some skepticism about the safety of these sites. Why do you want to tell people where you are? What's the point? What if people rob your home when they see you check in elsewhere? Are you asking to be stalked?
The most important thing to remember is that discretion and thoughtfulness are key to being a successful social media user.
Not only will being careful and smart about your online presence help you in a professional scenario but it can also help prevent serious (and scary) situations that many skeptics stress over.
We'll talk more about self-censorship and good judgment as the social media conversation continues. In the meantime, I'd like to get your juices flowing on the subject.
Do you use these location-based social media tools? What's your stance on the issue?
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
One thing that I don't think I've shared with you all is that I walk to and from work each day. (I love city living!) Well, with the days getting a little colder, I need to find a good pair of closed toe comfortable walking shoes. I know some of you are probably saying, "Just wear sneakers." Uh-uh. I want some cute walking shoes that would go with what I'm wearing. Maybe some flats, but nothing too expensive because these shoes will primarily be used for walking to and from work only.
Another thing that I'm looking for is a new work bag. I have a nice leather bag that I was carrying for a couple of years until the strap broke on my walk home from work one day recently. I think I could probably take it to be repaired, but I would really like a new work bag. My requirements for this bag are that it should be large enough to hold my shoes/boots that I will change into once I get to work and as well as hold my workday snacks (that might be a whole post for another day). My previous bag was a short strapped shoulder bag. I think I would like another bag like that; however, a small part of me is interested in looking at some cute messenger bags as well simply because having a bag that I can wear across my body seems so effortless for my walk to and from work.
That's it. Those are the 2 work related items that are on my list. (I'm not counting clothes because new clothes never really leave my shopping list.) If you run across something that you think is cute, let me know. Also, I would love to hear if you all have any work related items on your shopping list or your wish list for this holiday season (and if you plan to get up early Friday morning to grab a great deal on any of those items).
Monday, November 22, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
I grew up doing every sport imaginable. You name it, I probably did it. When I got to high school it got worse because there were times when I was doubling up on sports along with going to school. Then college started and I was burnt out on fitness and the thought of setting foot in a gym to get my workouts seemed so foreign. So I took the proper measures and avoided the gym most of college. Then I got my first working girl job and became so focused on proving myself in the workplace, once again my fitness lacked big time. Sure there were short stints of working out, but they were short-lived and I returned to hitting the snooze button in exchange for an extra half hour of sleep before work. This continued until last year when I stepped on the scale and realized my weight was quickly creeping up and my stress levels at work were going through the roof. While I was still within a normal weight range, I was not satisfied that my clothes didn’t fit properly.
So I made the decision to do something about it and stop making excuses. It’s now been a year and I feel amazing. I can even slip into those skinny jeans from college that I am sad to admit I held on to that long. What worked for me may not work for you so I will spare you the details of my many hours at the gym and focus more on finding the balance between my overachieving working girl habits and fitness.
Looking back, I realized it was essentially a time management issue that was causing everything to seem unmanageable and daunting. Yes, there have been trade-offs but now I am more efficient at work and throughout my day. My body understands the importance of exercising and actual craves it.
I started with baby steps and found a hole here and there that worked for my schedule. Soon I was actually taking 30 minutes at lunch to go for a quick run rather than working through lunch. Now I am actually one that gets up prior to work to go to the gym just because I realize how much of a difference it really makes in my day. There are days that I take off from the gym, but I feel so lethargic at work and the day usually drags on.
The other aspect of my fitness was what I was consuming when I was at work. I am a stress eater so the less I worked out, the more stressed I was and as a result the more food I ate. I have read about logging your food and started doing this as well. My plan wasn’t to be obsessed with logging what I ate, but to become familiar with what I was eating. I was shocked to realize I was eating meals that a 200lb man should be consuming. As a result I started packing lunches and bringing snacks to keep me full throughout the day and avoiding the cookie shop down the street.
A year later with the fitness and nutrition goals being met, at work I feel more on top of my game and have that balance that I used to crave.
Professional Skill/Attitude Improvement Compared With A Day You Don't Exercise:
- Motivation 32%
- Time management 28%
- Concentration 26%
- Stress management 26%
- Productivity 25%
- Accuracy 15%
*Taken from Women’s Health Magazine
Throughout my life and working-world journey thus far, I've admired a lot of women. From Katie Couric and Ann Curry to Julia Roberts and Rachel McAdams, I look up to quite a few leading ladies.
But if I had to choose one woman from the Forbes list of The World's 100 Most Powerful Women who has influenced me the most at this point in my life and career, it would have to be Tory Burch.
I know, gasp. I chose a designer. Here's why.
I wouldn't call myself a fashionista. I'm more of a traditional gal with a little bit of spice. I shop at places like the Gap, Nordstrom, Banana Republic, Kate Spade, Ann Taylor Loft and Neiman Marcus. I wear classics like cashmere sweaters, black slacks, ballet flats and clean, easy-to-mix-and-match items. But I also own red patent leather pumps, trendy jewelry, knee-high boots, leggings, tunics, belted dresses and paint my nails purple.
And I love Tory Burch.
Tory Burch isn't just about providing women with chic clothing and fun-colored shoes. She believes in philanthropy, education, forward thinking, remembering your roots and the willpower to accomplish your dreams. She's an inspiring entrepreneur who cares deeply about the integrity of the product she produces.
Of course, it helps that her product is multi-generational. You'll see toddlers, teenagers, 20-somethings, 50-year-olds and grandmothers all wearing Tory Burch. Her look is timeless and sophisticated with pops of color and energy. The appeal is extraordinary.
But there's one other thing about this leading lady that makes me swoon. She's on Twitter. Now granted, she may or may not have a ghostwriter tweeting on her behalf, but she's there. Tory and her brand are connecting with stay-at-home moms, aspiring designers, nonprofits, the general public, charities and celebrities through the use of social media.
From tweets about her travels to Twitpics from the catwalk, Tory Burch makes both herself and her brand available, engaging the audiences and telling a true life story.
You see, Tory Burch isn't just a bright colored boutique in the middle of a crowded mall.
She's a woman who--like the rest of us--works hard day in and day out. She followed her heart and let her passions lead the way. But most importantly, she believed in herself and her dream. I'm tremendously inspired and greatly influenced by the beauty of Tory Burch as a working woman and as a brand.
Who inspires you in your career? Is there a woman you look up to and admire?
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Yes, ladies, in my office we have at least four confirmed, "it's all out in the open" couples. Let's take a look at these couples, shall we?
The Married Couple: The Husband has worked at the company for a good while and about 6 months ago, his Wife joined the team. Before his Wife came, he was constantly surrounded by other women in the office, one of whom my colleagues and I had labeled his Work Wife. Lucky for the Work Wife, she didn't have to suffer being dethroned because she left the company just before the Real Wife came to work with us. I rarely see the Husband and Wife together during the day, except maybe having lunch together. I think this is the way it should be. Most people who don't know them probably don't even know they are married.
The "We Met On The Job" Couple: We have two of these (possibly more that haven't been confirmed). As the label suggests, these couples met each other at work. They didn't know each other existed before walking through the doors of the company. They started working closely together and BAM! Next thing you know, they are sleeping over each other's houses, riding to work together, and listed as each other's emergency contact. I kid you not. To these couples I say, BEWARE. What happens when you break up? Will there be break-up drama? How will you keep from bringing that drama to work? Will you guys be able to continue working together after the breakup?
The "We Tried To Hide It But We Were So Obvious" Couple: This couple was "hooking up" long before they were an official couple. They thought that no one knew, but it was so obvious. Most never thought that they would actually make it to coupledom. Well, they fooled us all. They are now the office super couple - when you see one, you see the other. They are practically joined at the hip. We are all awaiting the day she comes in with a ring on her left hand.
So that made me wonder, "Could I work with my boyfriend or husband?" (This really isn't even something that I have to concern myself with since there is absolutely no eye candy at the office, in my opinion.) If we worked closely together, probably not. As I've said in previous posts, I like having my space and a life apart from the guy in my life. I wouldn't want to work alongside him all day and then go home and spend our evenings together as well. I think that's too much "us" time. On the other hand, I guess it could be comforting to know that you've got at least one person in your corner at work. You've got a permanent lunch buddy. And when it's time for those company events/outings/happy hours, you've got someone you actually enjoy talking to to keep you company.
But what happens if your significant other gets promoted to a position above you? This would obviously change your working relationship, but would it also change your romantic relationship? If this happened to me, I would be afraid that others would think that I'm receiving special treatment because of the romantic relationship and not on my own merits. Why would I think people would think that? Because I think that sometimes of one of our office couples.
Working Girls, what do you think about working with the one you love? Have you had a romantic relationship with someone you work with? Are there office couples where you work? (Better yet, are you lucky enough to have eye candy at your office?? Do tell!)
Monday, November 15, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Being an In Transition Work Girl has provided some eye-opening moments for me. There have been several to date, but the biggest one seems to be how I am labeled. I am proud of who I am and what I have accomplished since I graduated college, but there is one little label that seems to be holding me back.
What is it? I am being labeled based on the industry I am in rather than my skill set/degree. I have to admit, I feel a bit stuck. My background is in marketing and I have held various positions within both agencies and industries. However, the one thing that seems to keep defining me is the industry I am currently in. I might add I have held this position for only two years and it sticks out like a sore thumb.
Am I the only working girl facing this problem?
Here is an example: A few weeks ago I contacted a friend who works at a big company in the city where I hope to relocate to see if she knew of any openings. Given that her company is one of the fastest growing in the world, she immediately sent me the postings for the area of the company that fits my current industry. I felt helpless because how am I supposed to say thank you for your help, but you have it all wrong.
When I accepted the position I am in currently, it was because the word “marketing” was attached to my role. I viewed the position based on what I would be marketing not because I loved the industry. There are many that would probably see the industry I am in as amazing, but I just don’t have the passion for it at this point in my life. I am young and crave more of a corporate environment.
So over the last several weeks, I have tried to put on my thinking cap and figure out how to market myself. I am trying to overcome this label that has me pigeonholed and I see as a major road block for the next step in my career.
What are some of the labels you are experiencing as a working girl that you would rather get rid of?
To give you a little preview of how I got to where I am today... In 2007, I graduated with a journalism degree and got a job working in PR. After about a year, my job transitioned into a full-time magazine career in which I am now the senior associate editor of an international trade publication.
Shortly after, the company needed someone to "man the social media ship" and of course, I jumped at the opportunity. It's been a tremendous learning experience and one I'm truly grateful for. The vast amount of information available at the click of a button ceases to amaze me and my passion for technology and the Web continues to expand by the second.
From my grandmother on Facebook to my obsession with tweeting, you'll hear firsthand how social media influences my life--from both a personal and professional perspective.
Despite my 8-to-5 day job, I'm also a 20-something writer, blogger, AP style fan, friend, daughter, girlfriend, sister, shopper, mama to the cutest miniature schnauzer in town, wannabe foodie and OCD Post-it lover. I thrive on organization and list making, and my life wouldn't be complete without a good steak and cheap wine.
Oh, and I love all things Mac.
I'm uber excited to join the lovely ladies of this blog and hope that you find my content and ramblings both engaging and entertaining. After all, social media is honest and real, and I'll do my best to bring that to all of you--with of course the occasional hilarious story thrown in the mix for comic relief.
Thanks for welcoming me to this community. Let's be friends.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
This got me to thinking about how I look at my colleagues and I realized that there are so many personality types in our office. So here's my list of the Office Personalities where I work:
- The Busy Body: This is the person who always wants to appear busy. Most people see right through the act and realize that she's just shuffling papers around and not doing any substantive work. Shuffling papers will not help you move up the corporate ladder.
- Mr. Important: This is the person who not only thinks that he is super important, but wants everyone else to believe that he is super important. (insert eye roll) This person is probably in middle management and wants those not in any sort of management position to know that he is somebody. This person is closely related to The Busy Body.
- Super Stressed: This is the person who lets every single thing stress her out. Bosses beware of putting this person on a project with Mr. Cool.
- "S" On My Chest: This is the person who always wants to save the day. You know, the one who wants to be involved in everything and volunteers anytime the boss needs someone to do something, even if it's something that has absolutely no bearing on their performance evaluation, like picking up donuts for the office meeting.
- The Check Collector: This person comes to work for one reason and one reason only--to collect a check. He isn't giving any extra. He's not staying late. He's not volunteering to do anything. In fact, he's doing the bare minimum to avoid being fired. He will not do any more than is required, so don't ask.
- The Loner: This person is usually seen eating lunch alone. She rarely socializes with any of her coworkers. She is not part of any office clique and likely will not attend any office social function. She comes to work to work, not to make friends.
- The Social Chair: This person is often planning the next after hours function. Birthday, Happy Hour, Monday Night Football? He's got it covered. But don't expect him to be the one to buy the birthday card for everyone to sign. He will let The Den Mother take care of that.
- The Den Mother: This person is the one who handles all of the things your mother would do if she worked with you. Is there an office birthday? Not only will she bake the cake, but she will also slice it and hand it out to everyone. She will buy the card and make sure everyone in the office signs it. When the party is over, she's the one in the breakroom cleaning up the mess. This person is often known as The Busy Body as well.
- Mr. Needy: This person is the one who acts helpless anytime they are given a task. He always come to you with a lot of questions when the answer is usually right in front of his face. He's always at your desk or in your office wanting you to help him with something. He needs you to hold his hand through everything. Bosses beware of putting Mr. Needy on a project with Ms. Independent.
- Ms. Independent: This is the person who would rather work alone than in a group. She feels that if something is going to be done right, then it's best that she do it herself. If put on a team with people, please do not put Mr. Needy on her team. It will drive her insane.
- The Office Gossip: This person knows everything that's going on around the office--who's having marital problems, who's dating who, and who's looking for a new job. If you don't want your business to become part of the conversation, stay far away from The Office Gossip.
- Mr. Cool: This is the person in the office who is very laid back. Nothing seems to bother him and he's never stressed about anything. His motto is, "I will do what I can today and what doesn't get done today, I will do tomorrow." Deadline? Performance evaluation? Presentation? He won't break a sweat. Bosses often think that pairing this person with Super Stressed will have a calming effect on Super Stressed, but they are wrong. This will only make Mr. Cool lose his cool.
Which one am I? I'm probably a little Ms. Independent and a little Ms. Cool, but I would love to know how my coworkers would describe me. Well, now there is a way to find out what your coworkers think of you. At Honestly.com , you can give and get candid reviews of your boss, coworkers, or business partners. You can even take control of your business reputation by creating your own profile (although I personally think what others have to say about you is more telling than what you have to say about yourself). If someone asked for my personal opinion on my colleagues, would these labels be the main thing that stands out in my mind about them? It's very likely. If one of my colleagues had to give a personal reference on me, what would they say?
Working Girls, do you have any of these types on your office? Are there any that you would add to the list? Would you use a service like Honestly.com to rate your coworkers?
*Please note that these labels are not gender specific. He/she, him/her, and Mr./Ms. are interchangeable.
Monday, November 8, 2010
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Over the last couple weeks, I've been struggling to work with him. It's always hard to combine two personalities in a new work partnership so that things work smoothly. Sometimes there are clients who are easier to click with, but others, it takes going over a few bumps and humps, a misunderstanding here and there, to get to where you're like, "OK! I think we've got this figured out!"
I think the main reason for difficulty with this new client is the age difference. I'm 28 years old, he has a daughter who is 30. Yeah, so automatically, he thinks he's a little smarter than me because he can't help but think of being and acting fatherly when speaking with me. And with that age difference comes the hardest part, how we communicate. In our world of email, text messaging, IM, etc. I had no idea I was confusing this guy from the get-go. For example, I had sent him within an email a link to a video I wanted him to watch, and he didn't realize that that blue underlined text was something to click on. He didn't know what a link was! Oh, my. And then, he was annoying me with all his phone calls that seemed to drag on ... oh, his life stories, just what I need to hear. Should I bill him for this time? haha.
Before we made our work partnership official, there were several phone calls. Not a problem, this is normal, except each call lasted 45 mins. or so. OK, old man likes to talk. A lot. I made it a point to clearly spell out my preferred method of communication in my proposal to him: email. I hoped this would lessen the number of phone calls. Nope.
Anyways, sorry to ramble, but I've learned that instead of throwing in the towel like I had wanted to after the first three calls in the first 24 hours of him being my client, I needed to learn a few things. I can't always work with people who are like me. I need to work with people who are unlike me and learn from the experience. So my preferred work style is to communicate via email and his is via phone, why can't we compromise? Of course I could accomodate him, I mean, look at this guy. He's 72 and hiring a young PR girl to help him re-introduce his product to consumers. How cool of him. And this new business for me is coming from a referreal who is helping him build even further exposure through social media. Would your everyday 72 year old man even know what social media is? It's impressive and admirable.
Do you ladies ever struggle with communicating with someone you work with, someone who seems to be on a completely different planet from you? How did you overcome it? This has been such a huge learning experience for me, I can't wait to hear your stories.