Friday, January 29, 2010

Pump Some Iron

I don't know about you... but since the holidays my workout routine has been seriously lacking. I'm in one of those funks - they happen occasionally, especially in the dreary-post-holiday-winter season. It's cold, messy, and dark outside, what would you rather do - indulge in a nice warm latte or go to the gym? If you're like me at all in the month of January - you picked the latte.

But... it's time to get back on track! I've got a wedding to attend next weekend, and a beach-vacation coming up in just two short months. Plus - working out is good for your career!

Seriously. When you work out - you just feel better. Like Elle Woods said in Legally Blonde: "Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don't kill their husbands." Well said, Miss Woods.

In all reality though - exercise really is good for your career. You feel better, you'll sleep better at night and therefore be more productive at work. You're healthier - so you miss less days of work. Plus, I think there is an admiration aspect. Coworkers admire someone who puts effort into being healthy and maintains their health with exercise - because not everyone can do it. Like the saying goes, "If it were easy, everyone would do it."

Happy lifting, ladies!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I am Woman, Hear Me Roar

Today at a meeting, I got laughed at. That's right - laughed at. By our COO, in the middle of a meeting to brainstorm ideas and negotiate new ways of doing things. (I should clarify that later in the meeting a male coworker made the exact some suggestion/comment and his was taken seriously by the same COO.)

Did it make me feel self-conscious and embarrassed? Hell no. It infuriated me. A COO should never laugh at an employee, especially when we're meeting to discuss ideas. If you don't agree with me, then fine, disagree with me. But don't ever laugh at me. He just ignited a fire - I am longer going to be the "nice" girl in the office. I am taking charge, and taking names.

I've realized that over the years, I've become soft. I'm no longer the "hurricane" of the office that I used to be. Where did that get me? Laughed at. So yeah, I'm pretty much done sitting by and not being a force to be reckoned with.

I'm back, bitches.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Watch Your Mouth

A good article on what not to share with your coworkers - 13 Things Not to Tell Coworkers. It can tough spending 40+ hours a week with these people, and not getting personal. From experience - if you are going to get even a teeny bit personal - make sure it's someone you trust. Like, really, truly trust.

There are things I know about other coworkers that could be damaging if they become public knowledge. Luckily, I am not one of those people - that's the part of me that will always be the 'nice' girl.

But still, be careful what you say chickees!

Beauty & the Beast

When do you find the time? To do all those girly things that we all wish we could do more of? Like, an at-home facial or face mask, paint your nails, exfoliate & moisturize (with the good stuff) or do one of those moisturizing or shine-enhancing hair-masks?

Seriously? When does the busy Corporate Chickee... find time for pampering and beauty? I have a friend who assigns days to tasks. For example... on Tuesday nights she paints her nails, on Wednesday nights she vacuums her whole condo, and so on. Personally, I've never done that, but I maybe I need to start! Wednesday nights are out for any beauty treatments, because I play in a Wednesday night women's soccer league. The games are really late - so maybe Wednesday night's should be my clean-the-house night. (When I say clean the house I mean set a timer for 20 or 30-minutes and do as much as I can before it goes off.)

As for the other stuff - I try to grocery shop on the weekends, maybe Sunday nights I should paint my nails? I must type hard or something though, because my manicures (even when done professionally) rarely last a full week looking good. Sunday nights can be mani/pedi nights, and maybe Thursday night is a touch-up night? I'll work on this and report back on how it goes!

All I know is that I need to make this stuff a priority - especially in this economy where I'm scrimping and cutting back on things like massages and facials... I can't let myself go entirely to adhere to my budget! I mean really, last time I got a pedicure the guy looked up at me and said, "been a while?" eek! Besides, we all know that well-manicured hands and clear skin make an impression to the world around you, whether in business or personal life - being well-groomed says something!


I love these "Lacey" sunglasses by Coach... but I'm not sure if I could bring myself to spend a lotof money on sunglasses. I've always followed the rule to buy 'cheap' sunglasses, because of Murphy's Law. Buy cheap sunglasses, you'll have them forever, buy expensive ones, you'll lose them or sit on them in a month. The sunglasses I have now were $50... and I've had them for several years. By most standards, these are cheap, but to me these were more than I've spent previously. I used to spend $25-$30 on sunglasses, max. Since I didn't consider them cheap at the time, I was very careful with them. Now I'm wondering, does these mean I'm ready for good sunglasses? Hmm...

Shopping Recap

Happy Tuesday! I coasted through Monday - I was in a Monday-dreary-day-funk. Back in action now though... On Saturday my sister and I went shopping! I had some cash from a Christmas bonus and wanted to spend it on new work clothes. So, I took my sister with me. She would make a fantastic stylist - she's great at styling clothes and pulling together looks that work, and knowing what's going to look good with what.

Before we left I did a closet inventory - I looked at the clothes I generally wear to work: black pin-stripe dress pants, gray/black tweed-like pants, brown pants, and my black A-line skirt. Then I looked at my jackets and blazers, and finally my shells and blouses that I pair them with. I made a list of everything I have (I stuck to the basics, the stuff I wear the most, it would have taken forever to list everything in my closet!) so that when we were contemplating a new piece, and if I wasn't sure I could consult my list to see what else I have to go with it.

I wanted to make sure I came away with new pieces that would let me create several new outfits. Not one outfit I can only wear one way. We started at New York & Company and found: winter white dress pants (love them!), light gray/taupe dress pants, and solid black dress pants, plus a red & black graphic tee to pair with my black suit combos, and a wide black belt. Then I can go to my favorite shops like Maurice's (dress pictured above from Maurice's) and fill in more blouses and tops to pair with my new pieces. Still on my list is a black or gray sheath dress of a slightly heavier material - one that I can wear with cardigans and boots in the winter, or with peep-toe pumps and a belt in the summer. I have seen good ones on Maurice's website, so I plan to check them out there. Plus, Target had some cute little dresses like that, too.

It was a fun day - my sister and I hadn't spent the day at the mall in ages. It was especially nice for her, I think, because she's got two little ones at home and rarely gets to shop for herself!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Climbing the Corporate Ladder

Yesterday was a GREAT day! Yesterday morning my boss called me into her office to let me know that she is passing off a group of her clients (I also service a group from the same company) so that I will manage all of those accounts, and grow it into a large, national account! I'm really excited about this opportunity!

This is a big step towards putting myself in the right position, professionally. The more accounts I manage entirely on my own and grow into a larger national client, the more valuable I become to my company.

I'll just think of this as my first rung of the corporate ladder! Happy Climbing!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Ever Feel Like This?

Today is one of those days. My computer won't print double-sided, so an IT associate tried to fix it, now I can't print at all. My computer is slower than molasses, and I feel like all I am doing today is waiting for IT to fix things/run reports/do stuff for me, so I can get back to my clients.
In the meantime, my clients are breathing down my neck - requesting detailed reports and expecting them same-day seems to be the norm now. 

Clients are more demanding than ever lately. My assumption is because the economy is down, employees are either doing more work than ever before, because their counterparts have been laid off, and/or they realize that they can be demanding, and if their vendor doesn't like it, they'll go elsewhere. They know that a vendor is going to do whatever necessary to keep the business. The downside of this is that we're training clients and vendors that they can treat their colleagues like garbage, and expect higher quality services and more in-depth services, at a lower price point than ever before.

What does this mean for worker-bees? Crazy, stressed-out days full of urgent requests, reports needed 'yesterday' and punishing client meetings ... 

But hey, at least we're still employed! 

Monday, January 11, 2010

Personalize your Space

I've never really had a space to 'decorate' before, and even know, I think we're think we're encouraged to keep it to a minimum. However, some personalization is expected, right? The only personal touch in my office right now is a very outdated photo of my niece on my mouse pad. I do have family pictures as my desktop background and screensaver, but only I can see those!

Way back when... I somehow got the idea that too much personal stuff in one's office will make coworkers not take you seriously, or somehow think you're not really dedicated to your job. Not sure where I got that... because my boss' office is covered in personal pictures, trinkets, etc - and no one questions her dedication to work! I have never had a framed photo at my desk, or pictures of friends and family, not a thing.

One thing I am really itching to do is head to The Container Store and go nuts on office-organization stuff. I love organizing, color-coding, anything like that. So a place like The Container Store is a bad place for me to go unless I have lots of money to blow!

So with my brand-new office, I'm thinking about how to personalize. I'd like to have some fresh flowers - but with my black thumb I think it would be better to go for some faux flowers. Then I wonder is that tacky? Fake flowers in your office? I know myself though, and real flowers are just not realistic for me. I also don't have that much work space, so I don't want to clutter it all up with personal stuff. I tend to like the minimalist look when it comes to offices - but maybe I should add a small personal touch? I'll have to do some research... more to come on this topic!

What's for Lunch?

Recently I have seen healthy lunches as a common topic of discussion, so I thought I'd share one of my favorite lunch-time staples!

Of course in an ideal world, my lunch would be leftovers from last night's home-made, delicious dinner. In the real world, we probably went out to eat last night, or had a fix-your-own night, as I call it, which usually means I'm eating cereal and my husband's on his own! So, I've tried to find the healthiest versions of prepackaged lunches possible. I found Amy's Kitchen - a brand of organic, natural, whole food prepared meals! I love them. I love that they cater to so many different lifestyles and dietary needs. They offer vegan meals, vegetarian meals, even gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, and so on, products.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Ann Taylor

Love this dress! I think I will be doing some shopping at Ann Taylor soon! They seem to have a very nice petite section, and with the sales, I think I'll find some great pieces at some decent prices.
You can't bargain shop too much with business clothes. Splurge on the staples - like suits, handbags, coats and jackets - and some staple shoes, like a great pair of black pumps. Then go cheap on little trendy blouses, or trendy shoes... style it up all cute with sunglasses and jewelry. If you scrimp and save on all of your items - you'll look like you did. If you spend big on the main pieces that you'll have forever - 1. you'll have them forever, because they'll actually last more than three seasons, and 2. you'll look fantastic - quality items just hang better on you.
But don't forget about your tailor - a good tailor can make a $40 pair of dress slacks look like a $150 pair of slacks if they fit you perfectly!

Keeping it All in the Air

Welcome to 2010! It has already been a crazy year! This week at work has just flown by... one of those days where every time you look at the clock half the day has passed! I think I've stayed late almost every night this week - on accident! Not only was this week busy, but I am also managing the workload of a vacationing coworker. Let me tell you, it is not a light load! Let this be a lesson - never leave for vacation without tidying up every detail... I already loaded dates in my calendar to prep for my April vacation so that I will not leave my coworkers to juggle my events and leave my clients in the lurch.

That said, work has been fantastic. I feel a renewed sense of purpose... and I have been super motivated to improve my performance. Task number one... maybe this is a new years resolution - become more detail oriented and improve my time management skills. By nature I am actually not detail oriented. Many people throw this term around in interviews - while I can be detail oriented when necessary, I am a big-picture thinker!
And of course we can always improve our time management skills! That said... gotta run, I have lots to do!