Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Open 5 Days A Week

by Lawyer Working Girl

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?

You've Lost That Christmas Feeling!

I started listening to holiday music immediately after Thanksgiving. Okay, fine. I started a few days before Thanksgiving. I had a tree in my apartment and decorated by the first weekend in December. But somehow, Christmas really snuck up on me this year.

It's always fun to receive gifts but I truly love to give them. This year, due to my unemployed status, I knew the giving part would be a little difficult. Thankfully, I landed a temporary freelance gig and started right before the holiday. Sure, it's only temporary but I'm thrilled.

After my first day, what did I do? Shop you say? No, I went home and cried to my mom on the phone. I was exhausted after working a full day. It had been months since I'd gotten up at 7am and worked all day. I was overwhelmed by the work. I knew I could handle it but I forgot how overwhelming is to learn a whole new set of processes.

And then I realized Christmas was just days away. At my old job, I always took a few days before Christmas off. My favorite days are the ones leading up to the holiday. (In fact, I had asked for a few of those days and they weren't immediately approved. It was the first thing that tipped me off that I might get laid off.) I was thrilled to be working again but a little part of me wished for a few more days of unemployment. After all this downtime, I was back at work during my favorite time of year.

I was worried that working would take away from the feeling of Christmas. The office was closed Christmas Eve and I was able to get out a bit early the day before and head to my Mom's house. As soon as I my sister picked me up, it started to feel like Christmas because we headed to the mall, of course! Had to get that Christmas shopping done!

Hope you all had a happy and safe holiday!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Editorial Resolutions

By: Editing Working Girl

It has been one heck of a year - both personally and career-wise - and if 2010 treated me this well, I can't wait for 2011.

This year I not only got a new full-time job, I was also able to kick butt in the freelancing world (by entering it). All of this change and success I have found has me ready to keep it all going full force in 2011, and with that, comes some resolutions.

Embrace the unknown - This year I was given more than one writing assignment that I wasn't too sure of, whether it be a topic I didn't know much about or needing to learn a new blogging software or even learning new style guides. That being said, I managed to pull it off in the end and have learned so much more than I would have imagined (especially at the software company I work for). Successfully writing about a new or foreign topic gives me a huge confidence boost. I want that all year long in 2011 - and just think of all the new things I will learn!

Focus on social media, really focus - At my full-time job I am in charge of social media and blogging initiatives and I want to kick it up next year! We have been working on a lot of brainstorming on ways to maximize our social media efforts to reach customers and I am ready to implement them all in the New Year!

Decorate my office - One of my tasks in 2011 will be to transform my office into a cozy place I am excited to go to everyday (though I love coming to work, my office is a bit lacking in color and playfulness). I want pictures! Posters! Frills and pink everywhere!

Blog, more - In 2010 my personal blogging kind of went kaput and took the back burner to all of my freelance writing and contributing. Not only am I ready to start my blog back up - I am currently applying for even more contributing!

Most importantly:
Don't think of work as a job - I've been inspired by workisnotajob. I hope you get inspired too.

What are your Working Girl Resolutions? Did you keep your 2010 resolutions - and are there any that will carry over to 2011?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

2011: The Year of Change

by Social Media Working Girl

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.

Fingers crossed.

What are some of your hopes, wishes, dreams and goals for the New Year?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

"Get Introduced" to LinkedIn

Last week Social Media Working Girl wrote about how to use social networking to find a job. Read her post here. It was full of great information and having just attended a professional coaching session where there was a section on LinkedIn, I thought I would expand on why its so great when trying to find a new job. Prior to this coaching session, I thought I understood LinkedIn, but its functionality is beyond that of just looking people up and viewing their profile.

Here is my version of getting introduced to LinkedIn:

When networking there are really three different levels of people you know and are trying to network with:
  • 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

New Year, New Me?

by Lawyer Working Girl

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

Is 'Title' Everything?

By: Editing Working Girl

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about titles and how they affect us. Not only do they delineate your position with the company, but also your responsibility. And ultimately, title can affect your future positions and opportunities.

In the editorial world, Editor-in-Chief is a title I have been striving for, and it looks like I am thisclose to getting my dream and dream title at a small, local newspaper. At the same time, it looks as if my Regional Editor title with another publication I work for may be changing into a regional contributor position, as the magazine is re-working their editorial priorities and structures. The writing world is an unpredictable one, and I have always been leery of transitioning into the world of newspapers. But to have the title of Editor-in-Chief, I would immediately make that transition and eagerly.

It is funny what titles do to us. Now that I have been Regional Editor, I have been wondering if there will be future implications if and when I have to change my resume to say Regional Contributor. What if I don't have a chance to explain the magazine's transition and it looks like I was demoted? What if they think I couldn't handle the responsibilities of Regional Editor? Then I move on to thinking about the future Editor-in-Chief role. What if I don't get to play as much of a role in shaping the news as I would like? Are people automatically going to come my way if they don't agree with an Opinion piece, or the writer?

Most importantly: will all of these title changes affect how I work or my writing style?

I have always prided myself on my ability to take on any writing assignment, put in the research necessary and have the finished product on time for deadline. I don't want titles to change how I write or why I write or where I am headed.

Do you have a dream "title"? Do you feel the title you hold now will affect you in the future? Have you met someone who has judged you or placed you in a certain category based on that title? And most importantly - is title everything?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

In Transition No More

Guess what working girls? I am no longer in transition!

I can hardly believe it. Just last week I was writing about my frustrations and this week I received a formal job offer, accepted and resigned. My new position is exactly what I have been looking for and meets my goals and objectives and then some. The position is at a marketing agency and I couldn't be more thrilled. Plus my new company is woman owned-how cool is that!?!

Being in transition has been a long process and I want to give others hope that even in this economy there are jobs out there and they pop up when you least expect it. I started this process about a year ago when I realized I wasn't happy. Then spent most of the spring time telling others I was going to start looking, then summer rolled around and I finally told myself I was ready and then this fall I actually put the wheels in motion.

As I have mentioned I am a huge fan of networking so began the process of reaching out to others, asking to meet them and get introduced to their friends. And it worked! This is actually the second job offer I received as I turned the first one down and both were contacts of a contact of mine.

I look forward to sharing more about my current job and my new one!

So working girls, I am going to leave you with this: network, network, network.

Have a wonderful Thursday!
"No Longer" In Transition Working Girl

Social Media and the Job Hunt

by Social Media Working Girl

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

The Office

by Lawyer Working Girl

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

Work Relationships and 'Real Life'

by Editing Working Girl

At my last job, most of the staff was either a daughter of our boss or close friends of either those daughters or of our boss. This led to drama galore. With everyone seeing each other constantly in and out of the workplace, non-work and personal issues were constantly being brought into the office, as did the gossip that goes with it. As soon as I got my new full-time job and put in my two weeks, I vowed to personally never let that happen to me in a future work setting.

I do have one close friend at work, and she is actually the one who helped me get my job. She has the office next to mine, and it is nice to have a familiar face around and someone to grab coffee with from the second floor break room, get lunch with or just sit and talk with when things are a bit slow. Though her boyfriend works at our company also, along with most of the staff hanging out constantly and being close, there is very little drama brought into work. This may be because we are all divided between the three floors, or into different departments, or everyone is just able to separate work from their personal lives. That or I am too out of the loop to notice the drama, because my coworker is really the only one I have allowed myself to get close to, mostly because of the vow I made at my previous job.

I do wonder, am I missing out? Is keeping myself at a distance hurting me? I have plenty of friends outside of work to hang out with. I live with my boyfriend and I consider him to be my best friend. I have a running group I meet with twice a week. Almost all of my best friends from high school and college are still some of my best friends today and I set aside time to call them and catch up (as they are over 1,300 miles away from me in California). With all of these groups of people I get to interact with daily, am I missing out because I don't want to let my work friends into my personal life?

Though we are all Facebook friends and they can see my Facebook status updates and photos and many can see my Twitter, I still feel like it is a nice barrier to have as they aren't directly able to have actually seen the whole night of dancing Downtown last month or my whole visit home with friends - they are getting to see the person I want to present myself as through that medium.

Do any of you Working Girls have this issue? Are you able to take the break room talk further and turn it into Happy Hours or Girl's Nights? Have taking work friendships outside of work caused professional drama? Have you ever mixed personal and work relationships and hung out with a big mixed-up group? I want to hear from all of you!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Taking a Step Back to Breathe

Like every working girl out there, I desperately need a break and am anxiously awaiting the holidays like there's no tomorrow. All I need is just a few days off to wind down, refuel, take some much-needed R&R and enjoy a little "me" time.

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.

Why am I In Transition Working Girl?

I know to this point I have been rather vague as to why I am in transition. I apologize about this as I mentioned when I first started blogging, I felt until I moved on it was best to keep these details on the DL for obvious reasons. I am looking forward to the day when I can share all the amazing stories (being sarcastic) regarding my current position as I think many of you will be able to relate to me.

However, this week has been especially challenging for me professionally and I wanted to share with you more of the "why" I am in transition. There are many events that have lead me to where I am. It's been roughly a years worth of frustrations that have lead me to being in transition. Mainly there are two things that when I pinpoint my unhappiness seem to be common themes. Are you ready for them. Lack of direction and poor leadership.

How many of you working girls have the same frustrations?

In terms of lack of direction, I feel there is no vision for where the company I work for is headed. It seems to have all these ideas, but no idea how to accomplish them, thus the wheels are spinning and no movement forward occurs. It's as though the company I work for is in the same spot it was when I joined, perhaps even going backwards. We have nothing that we can say we have done or accomplished. Since I am a goal oriented person, this has been eating away at me. I feel I express my thoughts on goal setting only to get shut down.

The second item, poor leadership, is a tough nut for me to swallow. This is because my boss is actually a really nice person, but does not posses the knowledge for the position they are in. Integrity is very questionable and, last but not least, motivation to focus on company items is minimal.

As you can see I am frustrated. At first I thought maybe I was the only one seeing this, but recently a door opened and someone else let me in that they are feeling the same way. I feel very lucky to have the position I do right now, but the more frustrated I get, the more it motivates me to work on the next opportunity, which I hope happens sooner than later.

So what are some of the reasons that have lead you to be in transition either now or in the past?

New Normal

by Working Girl One

A while back, I wrote about my boyfriend's crazy work schedule. Back then, I dreamed of him having a "normal" schedule - working nine to five(ish), Monday through Friday.

This week, he started a new job and some of my dreams came true. He now works Monday through Friday but there is a catch.

He was approached by contacts of his at another newspaper to be a morning news editor for a handful of local newspaper websites. It was an offer he couldn't refuse.

So in the time since I was laid off, he found and a started a new job and he wasn't even looking. That sure made this unemployed Working Girl feel awesome. But that isn't what this post is about and I'm honestly so thrilled for him. He has deserved this for a long time.

As an unemployed Working Girl, my schedule has changed drastically. Back in my working days, I was almost always in bed by 10:30pm and up at 7:30am. I really like to sleep. These days, I haven't even looked at the clock in the morning until 9:00am, let alone get out of bed, and I stay up until at least 1:00am. Before you get jealous, remember that I'm unemployed and it's really not as glamorous as it sounds to not have to work. I take that back, it is glamorous to not have to work but I do have to work.

Before his new job, my boyfriend would sometimes get home to our apartment in the city at 3:30am and sleep until 1:00pm. Now being the morning editor, he's up at 4:00am to be at work by 6:00am (he has to commute an hour outside of the city) and his shift is over at 2:00pm. This is much closer to a normal schedule because I get to see him everyday when he gets home from work now and also whenever I start working again.

I'm looking forward to this new "normal" schedule for us but I must admit it's going to take some getting used to. As I draft this post, it's almost 1:00am and I'd love nothing more than to snuggle myself in bed and read a book for half an hour. But he's asleep and has been since 9:00pm. Reading on the sofa just isn't the same.

Now instead of him coming home and waking me up in the middle of the night, I'm going to bed late and in the middle of his night waking him as I get into bed. I feel bad but I make up for it. I've set the coffee machine, poured a bowl of cheerios, ironed his shirt and made him a sandwich for his lunch. I'm fully aware that I've turned myself into a 1950's housewife. I'm really bored, okay!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Help Us Out!

Hey Working Girls!

Working Girl Two and I are working to make the blog better and we could use your help. We've put together a little survey to get your feedback. Tell us what you'd like to see more of (or less of), what you like and don't like, etc. Just click the link below to take the survey! It's only 10 short questions!


- WG1 & WG2

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

One In A Million

The legal industry has had a problem long before the recession. Yes, we've been hurt by the recession too, but long before that our industry was saturated with lawyers. For years, law schools have been herding students into their classrooms. That's great for students who aren't quite ready to enter the working world and for those who really want to practice law, but maybe wouldn't have the credentials to get in if the classes were smaller. But the problem lies when all of these students graduate. Now what? You've got a JD. Congrats. Now it's time to study for and take the bar exam. Good luck. If you don't pass, I hope you have a bachelor's degree that you can fall back on while you study and retake the exam. Or maybe you were one of the lucky few to secure employment and even luckier that your employer is going to stick by you while you take it a second time. When you pass, CONGRATS!! I know what a relief that is (I passed two different state bar exams on the first try each time *patting myself on the back*. Hey. Sometimes, it's ok to toot your own horn. *Toot toot*). If you don't have employment lined up then what?

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

Home Offices in Little Spaces

This past weekend, PR Working Girl showed us her GREAT office - which just served to remind me of my lack thereof.

I used to have an amazing 'cloffice' (closet+office=cloffice - it really is more fun to say), which I have abandoned because I am in the process of moving in with my boyfriend. It is a great change and a much needed move, but it brings up the issue of office space.

We have a bedroom that we have designated as the office, but with a recliner and his large desktop computer/desk/bookcase (which we needed badly once we combined our libraries), I am in a bit of a limbo. The other two bedrooms are pretty full with our bedroom furniture and with my old bedroom set completing the guest room. So just where do I choose to sit and write my freelance articles or perfect my editor letter?

I guess the real question - is a personal desk in the home office necessary? We both have full-time jobs (and I have my own office I retreat to there), so why shouldn't I be able to write at his desk or at the kitchen table?

I don't know if it is just the fact that I am worried about not having a consistent space to write in, or if it is really that I just want a bit of space in the house to make my own and keep separate from the whirlwind that is combining our things.

Have any of you gone through this same thing - trying to find office space in a house that is already complete? What did you do? I have been slowly gathering ideas from Tiny Ass Apartment (a GREAT resource for decorating and developing small spaces) and want input of other editors out there!

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Here I sit in my brand spankin' new home office. Oh, how I love it. My husband built it for me utilizing some leftover closet space upstairs. How nice of him. I'm going to thank him with his favorite dessert this weekend, a banana cream pie made from scratch. This recipe looks amazing.

So you may remember my complaining over the summer about how being a new Work-from-Home Working Girl was super tough and how I was losing my mojo because I didn't have a dedicated work space? Oh my gosh, what a difference this little office makes. I feel like a real Working Girl again, not a pj's girl pretending to be a Working Girl. In fact, I can't seem to tear myself away, I love this little nook so much!

One of my girlfriends made the cute "cheerful" banner to help me decorate the new space, since cheerful is an attribute she knows I love to (try to) incorporate into both my work and everyday situations. Because a little cheer isn't just for the holidays, you know.

And don't laugh ... but yes, I may have a mild obsession with The Plain White T's. Well, more like with their lead singer Tom. I know, I'm twelve.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Decisions, Decisions...

As working girls, we are forced to make decisions all the time--from what shoes to wear with an outfit to how we effectively communicate and collaborate with others in the workplace. No matter what kind of working girl you are, these decisions happen constantly, whether we realize it or not.

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!

Office Parties

The holidays are just around the corner, and you know what that means working girls...office parties! This is always one of those times of year when people at work come out of their shell and let loose.

I have worked at companies big and small-and they have held parties to that matter as well. My most memorable holiday party though is from my first job out of college. Its not a story of someone hooking up with someone else or dancing on the table, no a superior got a freshly cooked platter of fish (juices and all) spilled on him from an Italian place. He was one of those people that just took it in stride and laughed it off with the rest of us. The rest of the night he smelled pretty fishy though! Guess you had to be there to think it was funny. Poor guy! :)

What is your funniest office holiday story?

Here is a little "how to" guide on how to not embarrass yourself at this years company party. Click the picture to see it larger.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Working Girl Holiday Gift Guide

Happy December Working Girls! It's officially holiday season so we thought we'd put together a little Working Girl Holiday Gift Guide. Really, it's little. But hopefully it will help you with some of your shopping or maybe even your own wish lists.

"Not only is the stationary cute but this is a no-brainer. Everyone loves stationary with their name on it (proving that we are all narcissists)." - Working Girl Two

"This is the perfect coworker gift and it helps
save our earth! It doesn't hurt that it's on sale at Amazon.com for $14.89" - Working Girl Two

For your male coworker. "Guys can't resist cookies, especially if it comes in a tin with their favorite college teams logo." - Lawyer Working Girl

"Typically calendars are quite boring, but Linda and Harriett's
calendars are beyond cute and I don't know any Working Girl that wouldn't want this hanging near her desk." - In Transition Working Girl

"Help a fellow Working Girl take her shoes from day to play with these adorable clip on pom poms by ban.do!" - Working Girl One