Worst Dressed

Okay, I’m not Carrie Bradshaw or anything but I like to think I know a thing or two about fashion. Because I like and care about fashion, I have fashion pet peeves and they got worse when I entered the “real world.” Some of the things that people wear I’m just… flabbergasted (I really wanted to use that word). Here are few of my not so “business casual” pet peeves that should never be seen in the work place.

1. A wise person once told me, “black and blue should never be seen unless in the washer machine.” NAVY blue and black should never be worn together, YOU LOOK LIKE A BRUISE. So please, no navy blue pants with a black belt and shoes.

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2. Black and brown. It’s just wrong. Pick one dark color or the other.

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3. There’s this one employee who wears kitten heels, which is only a 1.5 inch heel. But they are the kitten heels that your stripper grandmother wears. They have fake rhinestones and are obnoxious colors. This is not the senior citizen ball and you cannot walk in them. Just go barefoot.

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4. Speaking of shoes, wearing socks with sandals should never, ever, ever happen.

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I’ve seen all of these “faux pas” in my office over the past couple months. I’m going to write a book about business casual and what to wear to work so it can be given as a manual to all employees. But if you feel like a bruise, are wearing two dark colors, are wearing short stripper heels, or see socks where your toes should be, then change!

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And the winner is…

As we all know, the Academy Awards took place last night. All of Hollywood’s elite were out in full force in couture gowns and tailored suits, a gift bag filled with over $47,000 worth of stuff was given out to all the guests, and naked gold men were handed out to the best of the best… as if we could be anymore jealous of celebrities. If only the “real world” would take note and be like the Oscars on a daily basis.  

Even though I found last night’s telecast boring, besides anything to do with Jennifer Lawrence (LOVE LOVE LOVE her), the Oscars can be translated into a topic that every recent college grad should discuss with their employer, “how is success measured in the workplace?”

Actors get Oscars or a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, singers get Grammys, and so on and so forth. So what do YOU get for being successful in your work place? How do you know if you are being successful? Ask these questions during the interview process. They will help you decide if you want to be a part of the company.

Firstly, you should ask, “what does a successful first year look like?” Asking this question shows that you and your boss are on the same page on what it takes to be successful in your position. You will know what actions and steps you’ll need to successfully make an impact on the company. You’ll also show off your inner over-achiever. 

Once you know what exactly you have to do to be successful, you’ll have a better understanding of how success is measured at the company. However, it is better to ask because, this way, your boss will reveal what values he or she really cares about. Does your boss value customer service or how many reports you file? You will know what it takes to succeed.

Just remember to keep pushing yourself and your limits. Success is a direct correlation to hard work. And in the words of Drake…

PCD: Post College Depression

People are in the middle of the streets chanting Seven Nation Army. Purple and black are everywhere to be seen. Natty Boh man is dancing while encouraging the crowd to cheer.

That only describes a fraction of Baltimore last night after the Ravens won the SuperBowl. This time last year, I was a senior at Towson University, which is only 14.5 miles away from Baltimore. Needless to say, I’m really upset that I couldn’t be there for the experience of Baltimore after SuperBowl 47.

Baltimore winning the Lombardi trophy was just another instance that reminded me how much I miss college. Even though my senior year wasn’t ideal, I went through a rough break up, lived with and lost two of best friends because they ended up being totally different people than I thought they were, stop playing volleyball, and some other things that would constitute another post, I missed college so much that I went through a depression during the summer after graduation.

Being unemployed meant waking up, signing on my computer, and looking up/applying to every job I could on Indeed.com or CareerBuildering.com (repeat every day 5 times a day). I sent over 500 emails that summer, emails that probably went to the black hole somewhere in internet space.

I didn’t have money to go out all the time and quite honestly, I did not feel like going out. I just wanted to find a job and start my “post graduate life.” It was so discouraging and disappointing. That summer was one of the hardest summers I’ve ever gone through. Both of my parents were worried about me because for once in my life, they didn’t know what the future held for me.

Then in August, I finally got the job in Scottsdale, AZ. I thought the depression would be over. I cut people out of my life who did not put in any effort to be in it and I was ready to start the “post college chapter.” As it turns out, the depression was not over. I found out that I became not only depressed, but miserable and resentful because I was in a completely new place where I didn’t know anyone and I hated my job.

I would see pictures of my friends, on Instagram or Facebook, out having fun and hanging out and I became jealous and I resented them for that. Even the friends who I had cut out of my life made me miss my college life. It was hard to be happy and have a positive attitude when I felt so left out and alone.

However, I have realized that I am not alone. The friends who had stuck by me and the few friends who I have met in Arizona, have gotten my through this post college depression by being there to listen to me when I need it, no matter what. My parents and family have never left my side and they will do anything in their power to make me happy, even if my mom did not want to answer my phone calls because I was so miserable and unhappy about work.

My dad visited this weekend and we came up with a potential “game plan,” I’ll call it, Operation Joy, and he reminded me how amazing my family is. I should not feel alone or depressed because I’m about to start the new, new chapter of my life. I have a lot to look forward to and that helps me make the best of today.

My friend Katie told me today, “Yeah, I always get jealous of them but when I visit it’s always like we never left each other so I can’t wait for it to be that way again!!” I could not agree with her more. No matter how bad things are or how much they changed, my friends and family remain the constant factor that get me by. It also helps knowing that I’m not the only one who went through this.

I know this isn’t like a normal blog post and more like a sentimental heart-to-heart but the SuperBowl last night really solidified how not only how much I miss everyone but how much I appreciate them. Those players who fought so hard for something just reached the highest goal of the NFL. With the support and love of my family, I can reach my goals, as well. Surround yourself with encouraging, positive, and loving people and you’ll be able to get through anything.

Friday @ 5: 5 reasons I don’t want to hear “There’s drama everywhere you go”

Sorry this post is late. A coworker played at a bar last night and you should check him out! Anyway, ever since I’ve been thrown into this drama-filled real world, all I’ve been hearing is “there is drama everywhere you go.” Well you know what, I’m sick of hearing it and here are my reasons why:

1. Negative Nancy, nice to meet you. I’m a positive person and I try to be upbeat about life. However, dealing with all this drama at work has taken its toll on me. I’m obviously exploring other options and I want to be excited about them. I’m young and new to this whole corporate thing so the negative Nancy who says “well there’s drama everywhere you go” is such a buzzkill and really gives a depressing outlook on my future.

2. It’s just an excuse. I feel like people use this phrase because they actually hate their job and just want to generalize everyone else. Misery loves company. It’s like their thinking, “well if I make myself believe that there is drama everywhere, I’ll feel better about myself.” Yeah, no, I don’t think so.

3. Frenemies. Some people love drama so obviously they’ll stir the pot every chance they get. Simple solution: Separate yourself from them. I’ve learned at a young age to avoid this type of person and ignore the drama. If there is going to be drama, stay far away from it.

4. Why don’t you do something about it? If you’re sick of the drama, do something. Isn’t that what HR is there for? If HR doesn’t help then being looking for another job. Your happiness and sanity are worth more than petty office drama.

5. Did I mention.. that this phrase discourages the rest of the newbs? We get it, corporate America isn’t as awesome as college so can we focus on the positives of it? Thanks!

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The Hunger Games is a lot like job hunting

Okay, jobseekers aren’t a group of children stuck in a giant arena fighting it out to the death, all for the entertainment of a nation. But the parallels between the Hunger Games and job hunting are there.

Yes, the tributes are the jobseekers. Both groups want one thing, to be successful. However, their ideas of success are a little different. Jobseekers want to get a job and make it out of unemployment alive while the tributes just want to make it out alive. 

The reaping is like the application process. Your name (or resume) is submitted and it’s picked out by Effie Trinket (or the hiring manager). Those tributes, we’ll just call them jobutes, are selected to move forward to the interview process.

The interview process is actually sort of like how it is in the Hunger Games, except, sadly, Stanley Tucci isn’t the interviewer every time. Just like Katniss and Peeta, you want to show off your skills during this process, whether your skills include archery, camouflage, or Microsft Office. 

The actual Hunger Games arena death match is pretty much what goes on in the mind of the hiring manager when deciding who is the right candidate for the job. Then finally after all the blood, sweat, and tears, you get that magical phone call and BOOM you transform into Katniss because you’ve been hired!!

I’ve recently dabbled my feet back into the job hunting waters and I plan on being as resilient and hard working as Katniss. Through this comparison, there are many lessons, tips, and pieces of advice. Now while my hair is too short to braid to the side, I plan on kicking some Capitol bootay and find a new job!

Friday at 5: 5 resolutions for newly-hired college grads

I know New Year’s has already passed but it’s never too late to make a resolution. For those of your like me and exploring the depths of corporate america, you’re focused on trying to do your best. These resolutions will help you stay focused and make a lasting impression.

1. Learn one thing from every coworker. We learn 65% of what we know from coworker. Whether it’s a piece of advice, a fun fact, or a life lesson, you can learn so many things from the people around you. Learning one thing from all of your fellow coworkers makes you a better and well-rounded person.

2. Do one new thing each week. You won’t grow and improve if you don’t challenge yourself. I personally challenge myself through my creativity. I try and create flyers from scratch or write social media posts using SEO. Just because you do the same things at your job everyday, does not mean that you should plateau. Challenge yourself to push yourself further. Adding to your skill set only makes you more valuable.

3. Clear off your desk! The more stuff you have on your desk, the more frantic, frazzled and frenzied you’ll feel. You desk is sort of symbolic to your life, clutter desk, cluttered life. So declutter your desk and take steps towards organization and tranquility. Also, add some  personal or homey touches, such as family pictures or cute decorations, to your desk so you feel more comfortable and relaxed.

4. Designate at least 1 hour each day to not think or talk about anything work related. We spend, on average, 100,000 hours working in our lifetime. Now, we may not be able to vacay in the Caribbean every weekend but give yourself a break, enough said. You deserve it.

5. Network. Network. Network. Did I say network? Get out there and make connections and build relationships. Attend everything from happy hours, expos, open house, etc. We know this but ultimately it’s not what you know, it’s who. People talk and the more people you meet, they more you will be known. Building a network is catalyst for success. I’m a true advocate of happy hour, I mean it’s a win-win situation!

BONUS: Today I met with our company coach and he went over my Hogan Assessment. It’s basically a test that shows what kind of reputation you’ll have as an employee and your strengths and weaknesses. I strongly suggest that everyone take it. It predicts you what kind of work environment you like, what kind of employee you are, how you handle situations, etc. Because I do not have much experience in the real world, learning these things about myself was beneficial.

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Have a fabulous weekend y’all!

Breaking Point

Well ladies and gentlemen, it finally happened. Our coach left the marketing department this afternoon. She hit her breaking point today. Her guidance, expertise, experience, ideas, drive and so much more will be missed, especially by me. I was her protegee. I was a sponge ready to absorb knowledge and learn everything and anything I could. 

So now what?

It’s me and Mutey Mute now. We haven’t talked all week and haven’t collaborated on a project in a while. We have our first one-on-one meeting tomorrow. I’m actually very nervous, not only to be left alone with her in the future but I’m nervous that she will bombard me with accusations while holding a grudge about the past couple months.

My dad’s advice was some of the best advice. “If she start attacking you, just say, “Look I’m not here to live in the past. Coach is gone and we have to move forward.” Since I’m still working on professional confrontation, I may for once follow my parent’s advice. Crazy and desperate, I know.

Coach leaving is not only a breaking point but a turning point. We’re only 10 days into 2013 and shit has already hit the fan. Who knows what tomorrow will hold. Hopefully my 10am meeting will give me some inclination.

I have to take my sister from another mister to the airport tomorrow. Depending on how the morning goes at work, I may be hoping on a plane with her. Here goes nothing. Image