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Career Advice

My New Favorite Tool: Evernote

By August 30, 2012 Career, Life
Evernote

I am a huge note taker. I carry a journal with my everywhere and love to be able to jot ideas, snippets, photos, anything down. So when I first discovered Evernote my world was changed. Evernote is a mobile and web application that allows you to sync information across multiple devices.

You have one log-in and whatever you enter into your Evernote on your phone automatically syncs to your computer, iPad or tablet. You can jot down notes, save photos, clip articles or save links to your Evernote.

It’s so handy because while surfing the net, I can save full webpages or articles to read later on the train. And while doing my morning commute I can jot down ideas or work on articles and get to them later on the computer.

They have a free model as well as premium access. Evernote has really changed the way I store information and I highly recommend it to all my on the go ladies looking for an easy and efficient way to store your ideas. :)

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5 Things I Learned From #BlogHer 2012

By August 9, 2012 Career, Career Advice
BlogHer

As an avid conference goer, I didn’t many expectations for BlogHer. I figured it would be similar to conferences I’ve attended in the past. I would attend sessions, meet people and leave feeling the same way about blogging as when I arrived.

BlogHer was a rare experience. With over 5,000 bloggers (predominantly women, with a sprinkling of men) in attendance it was a tad overwhelming but extremely rich. There were bloggers from all walks of life; tech heads, mommies, style bloggers, natural hair, you name it.

There were great speakers including Martha Stewart, Katie Couric, Christy Turlington, Soledad O’ Brien and Malaak Compton-Rock. And there were funny, smart women all glowing and there for a collective purpose. With all the estrogen flowing and good vibes brewing, here are five things I learned from BlogHer 2012.


1. Get thee an iPad

It’s not that I didn’t know this before BlogHer, but after lugging my laptop around on day one and not using it once I realized it’s high time I trade up. Conferences are crowded, sessions are tight and having an iPad for quick note taking will be a lifesaver.

2. Find an Outlet and Park It

Your battery will die, it’s a guarantee. And outlets are a hot commodity. When you find one, park it and relax; you’re going to be there for awhile. To this note, BlogHer could have had more outlet stations. #smallgripe.

3. We’re All Very Fortunate

One of the most poignant things that stuck with me was when Katie Couric was speaking and Lisa Stone asked about women having it all. She responded clearly and definitively, “If that’s our biggest worry, than we’re doing something right. Let’s focus on the women for who having it all is not even an option.” Good stuff.

4. Bloggers Have A lot of Power

If I didn’t know it before I do now. Seeing the sheer amount of attendees, panelists and speakers was astounding. BlogHer and the network of female bloggers is seriously a force to be reckoned with. You betta believe it!

5. It’s Great to Come From Behind the Computer

The best part of BlogHer wasn’t the sessions, the speakers or the parties. It was meeting such amazing, spirited and dedicated women. I got to meet long-time blogging friends in person, make new ones and meet blogging idols. All in all, coming from behind the screen strengthens the connections behind it.

Did you attend BlogHer 2012? What were your thoughts? Did you enjoy it? What could they have improved upon?

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How to Deal with Burnout

By July 19, 2012 Career, Career Advice, Life Advice
How to Deal with Burnout

“To keep a lamp burning we have to keep putting oil in it.” ~ Mother Teresa

You’re spent. You have nothing left. You’ve been working feverishly at your side business, new job or project. Sleepless doesn’t begin to describe you and frankly you’ve had enough. You’re in the troughs of burnout and if you don’t do something fast, it’s not going to be pretty.

Burnout is a real and serious condition. You’re exhausted and the thing you once had such gusto for, is a distant thought. Early last year, I was on the receiving end of a serious case of burnout. I was working full-time, doing WordPress design and setup on the side and my roster was filling up, quick! I probably did something like 15 websites in the span of 6 months. Ker-azy!

I’d stopped working out, was lucky if I got 4 hours of sleep each night and was a general ball of emotions. I managed to finish what I promised people but after it was all said and done, I didn’t want to look at another piece of html code or set up another website.

I restructured my time and cut a lot off of my plate. I worked regular exercise back into my daily activity and started eating healthier again. I’m much more careful about what I commit to and saying no has come much easier. If you’re dealing with burnout or tethering on the edge here are a few tips to help you come off the ledge and restore your health and sanity.

1. Tie Up Loose Ends

If you’re working on a project and going full throttle, it’s not easy to just give up. If you have commitments, try your best to honor them and get things finished and off your plate. The sooner you complete things, the sooner you can worry about yourself.

2. Take a Week (or Two) Off

Do absolutely nothing. I mean go to work and stuff. But if you’re burnt out on writing, then don’t write. If you can’t look at another oil painting, then stop. Do sleep, get lots of sleep! Veg out, relax and don’t feel guilty. It’s your sanity or work. Always choose yourself.

3. If you can, Get Away

Preferably somewhere with a beach and serene water. You want to get away from obligations and responsibility. This is your time to restore yourself and I can’t think of a better way than with sand between my toes and the hum of the ocean in my ear.

4. Get Back to Health (& your other interests)

When I was overworking myself I let my love of fitness fall by the waist-side. I stopped working out and eating right. Once I took time, I made a commitment to get back in the gym and eat better. I vowed that I would never neglect these areas again. Whatever brought you joy and keeps you balanced, get back to it.

5. Learn to Say No

Burnout typically comes from over promising and over committing ourselves. Learn your limits. Burnout has a funny way of showing you your limits. Reevaluate your priorities and your goals and make sure what you’re doing is aligned with them. Say No, a lot!

6. Make a Vow to Yourself

Learn from your exhaustion. Take heed when you feel yourself floundering or being overwhelmed. Make a promise to take better care of yourself and treat yourself with care. Your light is too bright to burn out.

(Image Source)

Have you ever experienced burnout? How did you restore yourself back to greatness?

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Take Back Your Summer: How to Enjoy Summer While Working a 9 to 5

By June 28, 2012 Career, Career Advice, Life, Life Advice
Summer Fridays

While adulthood has its merits, there are a few things you miss once you become a full-fledged “grown up”. One thing high on the list is summer vacation. Gone is the freedom between June and August, no school or homework worries. As a working professional summer is spent in doors 9-5, staring out the window, dreaming of the beach. Oh wait, maybe it’s just me that does that. 

But summer doesn’t have to be a glass case of emotion. You can take back your summer and enjoy the warm weather, cool cocktails and summer fun just like you did when you were a kid. Maybe a little more now that you can afford all of the summer fun. 

Check out these ways to enjoy summer even if most of it is spent indoors. 

Go on Lunch

This seems like pretty obvious advice, non? Well us working ladies sometimes have to pull ourselves away from the screen. Break up your day by going outside for lunch. Dine al fresco and enjoy the glorious weather, if only for an hour.

Happy Hours Anyone

Summers were made for happy hours and most bars & lounges in your city have free flowing summer HHs. Take advantage and hit a spot you’ve been meaning to try. Set up a monthly meet up with your other overworked girlfriends and find a roof top to take in the sun after work. Your local City Paper should have info on upcoming events and specials. 

Take Your Vacation Days

Vacation days, PTO, whatever you call them, they are a blessing! And you should appreciate all your blessings :) Even if you don’t have a destination to hop to, you can take your vacation to lounge around the house, go on a road trip or simply do nothing in your own backyard. Having no obligations, makes summer that much sweeter and apparently taking vacation is good for your health

Pro Tip: Stockpile your vacation days in the winter and then take them in the summer. Check with your company’s HR department to make sure this is acceptable or not, of course! 

Bookend your Holidays

Another good use of your vacation days is to sandwich your holiday time and extend your time off. Most companies give time off for Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day. Use your vacation to take the days around the holiday off and BAM! long weekend here you come! Stay at the shore a little longer or take advantage of holiday travel deals. 

Take Advantage of Summer Fridays

Many museums, Piers and art galleries have summer events that cater to working professionals. Museum of Fine Arts Boston hosts a Summer Friday series (open courtyard, flowing wine) and Philadelphia’s Penn’s Landing has a Screening Under the Stars movie series (every Thursday). Seek out these events (usually happening from 5:30 – until) to take the edge off after a long day at work. 

Summer is meant to enjoyed and your employer understands that. Take advantage of what time you can take off and remember to get work priorities completed before shutting down!

How do you keep up the summer fun while working a 9 to 5?

(Image Source)

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Start Small, Go Big: Enter Daily Candy’s Entrepreneurship Contest

By June 25, 2012 Career, Career Advice, Entrepreneurship
DailyCandy Start Small Go Big


Calling all Women Who Werk! Uber popular lifestyle/shopping site Daily Candy is looking for fledging designers, artists, tech heads who are looking to step out on their own.

Their annual “Start Small, Go Big” contest wants to reward budding entrepreneurs with great mentorship (from the likes of Jonathan Adler, Sara Blakely, Andy Cohen and more), product development and access to tons of resource to launch your business into the next phase! 

Enter to be one of six lucky winners (plus one guest each), to be flown to New York and matched with a mentor to help launch your career. There are 40 days to enter. Don’t waste one! 

Learn more and ENTER the Daily Candy Start Small, Go Big Contest and pay it forward!

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Adding Whimsy to Your Work Wardrobe

By June 18, 2012 Career, Career Advice, Fashion, Personal Style
Add Whimsy to Work Wear

Working Gals: Ladies Who’ve Mastered the Art of Work Whimsy (Source)

A Little Story

One of the highlights of my life: meeting then Senator Barack Obama and getting to personally ask him some serious questions (I interned in his Chicago office one summer).

Lowlight of that moment: wearing an ill-fitting blue & white stripped button down shirt that I had inherited from a roommate with it poking out the sides of my slightly-faded-if-you-looked-closely-enough cotton black pencil skirt that I think I had bought from Target years earlier.

I had been told to dress more conservatively and formally since the Senator would be in the office. And, at age 19, that’s what those words meant to me.

When I first started working in formal office settings, I had no idea what outfits were work-appropriate. And the clothes that I did have were mostly cheap items I had picked up in a hurry when I realized I literally had nothing suitable (ha – get it? Suit-able?) for a “business casual” environment.

Old Navy pants in black and gray, 2 for $40? Sure, I’ll buy them – never mind the fact that they aren’t long enough for me to wear with heels. I’ll figure that out.

Long-sleeved v-neck sweaters in every color of the rainbow from NY & Company for just $25? Don’t mind if I do….black, pink and purple should work just fine.

It’s been awhile since the Obama style debacle and I’ve realized that there are so many ways to spice up your work wardrobe! It can be expensive to buy silk blouses in new colors each season or different height heels, depending on what’s “in.” There’s no need to spend tons of money to look cute in the office. It just takes some creativity and little bit of whimsy.

I say, take one item and make it special. Here are a few pieces you can have fun with and add spice to your work wardrobe. 

Statement Necklaces

Pump Up the Pumps

Buy yourself a pair of pumps with a little bit of an edge.

Add a Scarf To It!

Sure, you might secretly feel like a flight attendant. But I guarantee it’ll be a unique look! Take a simple white blouse, add some brown or camel-colored pants, and tie a pretty scarf around your neck. I have never gotten so many compliments as when I’ve worn a scarf. Plus, you can get super nice ones for about $3 on eBay. If you’re willing to spend a bit more, here are a few other options: one, two, three.

Got a Strict Dress Code?

I know some work places are stricter than others when it comes to dress codes, but I promise you there is always a way to add a touch of quirkiness to any outfit.

The key with any of these items is to incorporate them as a regular part of your wardrobe (which means, if you’re like me, you’ll repeat them often since you don’t exactly have Oprah’s clothing budget), so you begin to feel comfortable wearing pieces that tend to draw more attention.

How do you add whimsy to your work wardrobe? What items do you wear to jazz up your work basics?

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Kickstarter: She Means Business; A Documentary on Women Entrepreneurs

By May 31, 2012 Career, Career Advice, Entrepreneurship
She Means Business Kickstarter Project

Did you know?

  • There are 7.6 million women entrepreneurs in the United States, generating over $1.2 trillion in revenue each year.
  • 40% of all privately owned businesses are owned by women
  • Only 1 in 5 women-owned businesses have revenue >$1 million dollars.
  • Only 3-5% of women-owned businesses get any Venture Capital funding and over 95% of all Venture Capital funding goes to companies with NO women founders.

SHE MEANS BUSINESS is a documentary about women entrepreneurs. It hopes to shed light on women entrepreneurs, their struggles and triumphs and enlighten the world as to why more women need to take the entrepreneurial route.

Executive Producer Jacqueline Baptist and Producer Elizabeth Dell are hoping to raise $200,000 to create this stellar documentary and shed light on the impact of female entrepreneurs.

Watch the video and check out more information on She Means Business on their Kickstarter page. You can view the list of entrepreneurs and donate to help get She Means Business made. 

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Office Space: 10 Inspiring Work Spaces, Stations & Offices

By May 24, 2012 Career, Career Advice, Life
Kate Spade

Every time I watch The Devil Wears Prada, I am enamored with the pristine and utterly chic office of Miranda Priestly. It was a space so creative that one would have no choice but to happily work (and werk) within it!

Since we spend the majority of our day propped at a desk, staring at a computer screen, why not make your workspaces a place of inspiration and creative energy filled with loving photographs, empowering quotes and of course a comfy chair and reliable computer.

Here are 10 creative work spaces to inspire you to revamp your work space and work your tail off in style. 

Pink Wire Desk, Hell Yeah!Source

Refined Black & White Source

Black Lacquered Desk / Source

 

Mid-Century Aesthetic by Kate Spade / Source 

Masterful use of Orange 

Romantic and Chic / Source

Love Maegan’s Stylish Office & Dressing Room / Source

Stately and Bold / Source

Offbeat and Quirky / Source

Invigorate Creativity with Color / Source

How is your workspace decorated?

 

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