Monday, November 29, 2010

Headlines and College Sports

Having never worked in the newspaper world, I never have had the experience of creating the headlines, editing a story that is rushing to be printed or designing a layout. To be honest, I never truly thought about headline placement until moving to Texas.

The subject that brought up the topic? Football.

Don't get me wrong, I love football, or at least the NFL. But it wasn't until recently that I realized just how different growing up in California was from growing up in Texas (partly understood by a marathon viewing of Seasons 1-4 of 'Friday Night Lights'). I went to a High School where you had to play sports to fulfill your Physical Education credit and attended a UC that doesn't have a football team. This plays a role into my outlook on the obsession with college football in Texas.

But, when I have a hard time actually finding the news on a newspaper's website because the webpage is splattered with headlines about the latest loss or win of the college football team, I get a little frustrated.

Who decides that football is still important enough four days after the game to still be a headline? Why is the score of the game in bigger letters than information about the latest robbery or crime or even scandal within the police department? When did sports start to overshadow investigative journalism and reporting?

This can't be said of all newspapers, I realize, as I am an avid reader of the LA Times and rarely see news about USC or UCLA football, and if I do, it is in the Sports section, where it belongs. I understand the need to report about sports, but if it is going to be a headline, do we need to see the score of last Saturday's game the next Thursday? If everyone cares so much - don't they already know the outcome?

What do other Editing Working Girls feel about this issue? How do we decipher what is headline worthy and what isn't? Do you deal with college sports taking over the headlines of your local paper? Does it affect you positively or negatively?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

To Pay back or Not to Pay Back?

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you all are enjoying your day and have plans to eat lots of yummy food today. I can't believe it, but I am cooking my first thanksgiving meal EVER today. Wish me luck! Are any of you cooking your first one EVER too?

During this last week leading up to Thanksgiving, I have been giving a lot of thought about giving. Giving as it relates to many things but mainly when you are the beneficiary. Fellow working girls, I am talking about being on the receiving end in these tough times with so many unemployed or working paycheck to paycheck. It may be a loan from your parents or other financially well-off family members. The question I would like to pose is: How should we handle this: take it and be grateful OR pay it back?

I will start by letting you all know that I have borrowed money from my family before so this is something that I can relate to. My personal belief is that no matter how big or small the amount you should always pay it back, even if it is from the Bank of Mom and Dad or a wealthy Aunt.

Yes, I know that times are tough, and yes finding a job right now is even tougher. Our families are here to love and support us and have given us the tools to succeed. All too often I think people rely too much on these handouts. They don't understand that there is more to it than just paying back the money. It's about trust and showing those who we have borrowed from that we mean business, are motivated and understand this is their hard earned money, not ours for the taking.

An example of this is when my parents, who were young and in love, wanted to buy their first house. They borrowed a significant amount from my grandparents. At the time, my grandfather reluctantly said soemthing along the lines of "those kids will never pay us back". Well a few years later my parents paid back every penny they borrowed, much to the shock of my grandfather of course. But there was a trust built that if they ever needed to borrow money again my grandparents would be there to help out.

For me personally, I want to show my family that, yes I needed the money, but now I am ready to pay you back and show you I am a responsible hard working person. I know that if I am ever in a situation again where I need money, they will be more than willing to let me borrow it again because they know that I will pay them back. Again it's their money, not mine. It is simply a loan.

All too often I think young people rely on money flowing their way when times get tough. However, family members that continiously give money without ever expecting anything back are just enabling the situation. Sure we all go through hard times, but the more honest we can be with ourselves and pay back what we borrow, the less sticky everything gets.

So my advice is, borrow what you need and come up with a payment plan to pay back what you owe. Once you write that last payback check, walk away and hold your head high knowing that if you ever need to borrow money again, someone will have your back.

What is your take on this situation? To pay back or not to pay back?

Are you a thoughtful social media user?

As a social media working girl, I get pretty excited when a new social media tool or tech gadget hits the market. I've come to the realization that I want and need to experience these tools firsthand to discover how they function and what they can add to both my life and the business arena.

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

These Shoes Are Made For Walking

Working Girls, I need your help. With Black Friday and Cyber Monday approaching I want to make sure that I have a list of things to keep an eye out for. I haven't decided yet what to get my family and friends so for this Friday and Monday the items at the top of my list are for yours truly. (Do you guys buy yourselves holiday gifts too?)

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

Print Journalism vs. Technology

Anyone who took any sort of writing class in college has heard it: "Print journalism is on its way out." Anyone who actually majored in Writing/Journalism definitely heard it: "Good luck finding a writing job; this is a bad time for you to be graduating."

The source of these quotes? My college professors. Yes. Plural. Multiple professors.

We all know that newspapers are definitely struggling and that many are trying desperately to revitalize their image. What I find interesting is the way most of them are doing so: their websites.

Can technology save newspapers? In their print form, probably not. But just because newspapers in their print form start to dissolve, doesn't mean there won't be the need for journalists and that the news is dead.

Mashable says it best: Newspapers Are Still Dying, But the News is Not Going Anywhere. They discuss how newspapers will always be of value to those communities without access to the Internet, but soon the cost of printing papers will outweigh the benefit. This means more papers moving solely online.

What will the move to the internet mean for us in the industry? Will there be a strict distinction between journalist and blogger if everything moves to the web world?

What about magazines? Many are creating iPad versions, but still remain in print. I hear very little about the magazine world being in the same boat as that of newspapers, and am grateful to work in that world. Once I started interning for magazines in college, working for newspapers immediately was eliminated from my mind. Does this make me one of the lucky ones, or will magazines someday reach the same fate as newspapers - even if it is years later?

Can we look at this in a more positive light - is technology help saving print publications - both newspapers and magazines? Is technology helping a broader audience find the news? If newspapers and magazines were to stop being printed tomorrow, would technology help them survive?

I don't have answers to a lot of these questions, though they are always on my mind. What do you think, Working Girls? Even if you aren't in the Publishing industry, do you think this affects you?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Fitness in the Work Place

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.

To further the discussion on how fitness really does lay a role at work, I was flipping through the November Women’s Health and came across this article and wanted to share it with you. The article gives some validity to what people have been saying for years, working out makes you better at work.

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

More than Just a Pretty Ballet Flat

When was asked as a little girl what I wanted to be when I grow up, I don't think I ever had the answer. I probably considered everything under the sun--teacher, basketball player, artist, mommy... you name it. And now at the ripe old age of 20-something, I can safely say that I've found my niche (for now) and feel pretty comfortable with where I am and who I've become.

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

Working With The One You Love

So last week, I wrote about the different types of personalities in the office (feel free to revisit and add any personalities that you think I missed). Well, there is one group that I specifically left out, because I feel that they deserve a post all to themselves: the office couples.

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

Counting Sheep

It is no secret that stress and worry can effect your sleeping habits. According to this article about sleep deprivation around the world, "Monday-morning anxiety prevents 78 percent of workers around the world from getting a decent sleep on a Sunday night." What are we all worrying about?
I know that it is rare that I don't wake up at least once during the night, but what factors is this tossing and turning attributed to? The noises in the new house we moved in to? My boyfriend occasionally snoring? How early I always fall asleep? Am I stressed?
I will admit that my sleep habits have gotten much better with the new mattress I get to sleep on every night, but I also will admit that I am the poster-child for the part of the population that finds ways to worry about everything. Did I lock the doors before bed? Is the stove off? Is the washing machine making weird noises in the garage? If I don't either make my boyfriend get up and check at least one of these things or get up myself to check (which happens at least twice a week), I definitely have a harder time getting myself to drift off into sleep.
So how do I manage stress? Nine months ago, I couldn't have told you. My first edit deadline was a mess. I was up until all hours of the night re-reading copy sentence by sentence making sure each word was perfect. I thought I could handle writing my first feature with complete ease until I realized that 1,400 words is a lot of words. I hadn't yet mastered the interview and realized there were still questions I had that I didn't have time for. I was a newbie.
Now, I'd like to think I handle edit deadlines with a bit more grace. I usually have my edit in a day early and have built an excellent list of freelancers to take care of that feature for me. I am more prepared going in to each month as I now know what each section requires and what I need to do to get it completed. But editorial isn't my only responsibility in life.
I met with a friend of mine about a month ago and she helped change my weekly routine in the best kind of way: she taught me how to plan more effectively. Now I carry around a little Moleskin notebook wherever I go and it not only has a calendar, but it has my ever important to-do list. This list is split up into categories - i.e. my full-time position, my magazine, freelance and personal - and then I make my list based on this structure. It not only helps me see what I need to accomplish based on what position I am fulfilling, but gives me an idea of just how much I have to accomplish each week. I find myself doing tasks more efficiently and quickly because I love the accomplishment of crossing them out once finished.
It is impossible to avoid stress and worry completely, but as I have learned, it is possible to deal with it. Dreading Monday morning? Treat yourself to a pedicure or massage Sunday afternoon to help relax. Take a bubble bath. Even more drastically, try disconnecting from the internet world sometime mid-Sunday and see if the break from the busy world of social media helps you focus on only what you personally interact with that day, allowing for more focus on the immediate. Even work on setting up your plan of attack for the week. Seeing what I need to accomplish on Sunday night vs. right when I get into work on Monday morning helps me go into the week a little more prepared.
Are you one of the 78 percent of the population with sleep issues Sunday night? How do you handle stress and deadlines and making sure that you are refreshed when your alarm goes off, instead of dreading the day?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Dating Game

I'll admit it, I have just about zero experienced dating. My boyfriend and I have been together for nearly four years. We are celebrating our anniversary next week and it's not the anniversary of our first date or when we officially became a couple, it's the anniversary of the first time we drunkenly made-out at a party. Oh, college.

However, if I have learned anything from my favorite chick flicks and friends who are out there in the dating world, it's that the interview process is strangely similar to dating.

I've been lucky that I haven't experience the heart-wrentching break-up. Sure, there was that time when I was about 13, but I'm pretty sure that doesn't count. When I was laid off, I was terribly upset. I said to a friend "this is what it's like to have an awful break-up, isn't?" It's definitely similar. You are upset, you wallow around your apartment and eventually you get back in the game.

It's easy in the beginning because you are just writing cover letters and sending out your resume. But when the interview process starts, it's really game time.

You dress to impress. You get nervous before (what should I say?), during (omg, did what I just said make any sense at all?), and after (I hope I didn't say anything stupid).

After the interview, you spend a great deal of time writing and rewriting a follow-up and then reading and rereading before you finally press "send."

If you're lucky you get a second date, I mean interview, and you might be a little more comfortable and have a little more confidence because they must like you a little bit if they called you back, right? Then other follow-up, maybe a bit more creative this time to show them how much you want the job.

And then you wait and wait and wait for the call. Carrying your phone around with you every where you go.


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?

Let's Be Friends.

Hello readers! First and foremost, I'd like to take this opportunity to introduce myself. I'm now the new social media working girl around this part of the blogosphere and will be writing to you every Thursday from here on out.

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

What Type Are You?

I like to think that I'm a very pleasant person to work with. Although I try to always keep a good attitude, I will admit that occasionally I can be a bit moody. I mean, who doesn't have an off day every now and again? Once I realize that I'm in a certain mood I try to check myself and force myself to smile. After all, I'm a pretty positive person so I try to remind myself of reasons why I shouldn't be in a bad mood, but more importantly, I don't want to be labeled by my colleagues as Moody Working Girl.

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 , 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 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

The Truth About My Control Issues and Deadlines

I'll admit it: I like being in control. I first noticed this back in middle school when assigned partners for dreaded group assignments. I would often designate myself leader because I didn't trust my group mates to get their portion done well enough to ensure my good grade. This is a trait that continued throughout high school (even when I ended up writing a whole one act play by myself for my group) and is something I still see emerge every once in awhile.
Mostly? My controlling nature appears whenever deadline is approaching and I am waiting for quotes for an article.
I get anxious. I get eager. I send multiple follow-up e-mails and spend a lot of time searching the internet for any contact number I can find. Then I realize I need to be patient and remember my articles always get completed.
Working for the magazine as a regional editor has really helped me learn that I can't do things alone. I have a wonderful designer who takes my edit and photos I receive and, with very little direction from me, makes magazine spreads I am proud to have my name on. I have a Managing Editor who gives incredible feedback and helps me brainstorm whenever necessary. I have an Editor-in-Chief who is involved in all of our monthly edit meetings and always follows up with us to make sure we have everything we need. And I have a great Senior Copy Editor who taught me everything I needed to know to get this position in the first place. The staff I work with on a daily basis is incredible.
Most importantly, I have a great state of readers and runners who are at my disposal for information and features and I need to remember sometimes that though this magazine can easily become priority in my life, they have training and races and lives. They always come through and give me my interview and quote and actually take the time to pick up the magazine.
My controlling nature fights the urge to remember these things on a daily basis. This post will be bookmarked for future deadline havoc.
Keep me in line, readers. What trait(s) have you seen in yourself during your time as an editing or publishing Working Girl?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Grandpa as a Client

A couple weeks ago I landed a new PR client. As most of you know, I'm a Work-at-Home Working Girl as well as a PR Working Girl. So anyway, this is my most unusual client yet. For one thing, my point of contact for this new client, the CEO/Founder, is 72 years old. He's a sweet, old man. Can I add maybe a little crazy/cooky, too? Sigh.

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.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

May I Have Your Attention Please?

Some years ago I self-diagnosed myself with ADHD. What are the symptoms, you ask?
  • Often fails to give close attention to detail or makes careless mistakes (sometimes);
  • Often has difficulty sustaining attention to tasks (often);
  • Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly (rarely, only when I'm not interested in what the person is saying);
  • Often fails to follow instructions carefully and completely (no, not really);
  • Losing or forgetting important things (very rarely);
  • Feeling restless (all the time!);
  • Often fidgeting with hands or feet, or squirming (YES!);
  • Runnng or climbing excessively (um, no);
  • Often talks excessively (please. I can't stand when people talk too much);
  • Often blurts out answers before hearing the whole question (no);
  • Often has difficulty awaiting turn (maybe, but not really).

Ok, so maybe I don't technically have ADHD, but I feel like I do. My attention span is very short. I'm one of those people who needs to have multiple things going at once. If I don't, I just might start fidgeting and squirming. When I'm home, I'm usually on my laptop, watching TV, tweeting and texting from my phone, and eating. At work...well, I will only share this with you if you promise not to tell...

At work, I work. I do. Seriously. But I also, read my favorite blogs, check personal email (I have 5 different personal email accounts), tweet, check my blog stats, draft blog posts, hop on Facebook, send text messages, make personal phone calls (gotta make my hair and eyebrow appointments), browse the Internet (I'm always checking to see if I can find a great deal on Amazon), chat with friends via instant messenger, chat with colleagues via instant messenger...hmm, what else? Oh, snack at various points throughout the day. Ah, and yes. Listen to my iPod. Not only do I listen to music, but I also listen regularly to a few podcasts (ranging from sports to NPR to a not safe for work after hours show).

Again, Working Girls, I do real work too. Despite, what I just said, most of my day is actually spent doing real work (real meaning the work I'm paid by my employer to do). But you can understand, right? My work days are LONG. If I don't do some of this stuff when I'm at work, it will never get done.

So Working Girls, what are you doing during your work day (besides reading Working Girl, of course!)?

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Editor Letter

The hardest thing I have to write every month is my Editor Letter. To give myself some credit, I have gotten much better, but when I started with my publication earlier this year, I was at a loss.
I write for a running publication and at the time of starting the position, had yet to even run a race (if you don't count my single year doing Track and Field in high school). Therefore, my first letter said I was a spectator of running. Seriously.
The amount of pressure I put on myself every month was ridiculous. I would save the letter for last, hoping the need to write it would disappear or that some idea would magically appear out of thin air and I would write the most prolific 400+ words I have ever written.
It took awhile for me to realize that it didn't matter that I didn't have years of experience under my belt or had yet to run a 5K. What mattered is that I was trying and planning. It was in my Editor Letter that I declared I was going to run a 5K and a half-marathon, and here I am today getting ready to run my second 5K this upcoming weekend and have my half-marathon training program starting December 1.
The Editor Letter isn't where I am supposed to spout off all of my knowledge about the sport - it is where I get to share my stories and set goals myself in a space readers can see I am just like them. It is where I can relate to the rest of the Texas running crowd and hope they'll look for me if they attend the same races.
I never used to pay attention to Letters from the Editor much. Now I try to pour through all different magazines reading them at the store or Barnes & Noble when I get the chance. I have become fascinated with all of the different personalities that shine through and all of the different writing styles and layouts. The Editor Letter is really the place to be you.
Do you read the Editor Letter in magazines? Do you have to write one? What is your favorite - and least favorite - part about them?