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The Patterned Blazer: From Thanksgiving Day to Casual Friday

{Photo credit: RSEE Photography}

So I blinked my eyes and somehow found myself right in the middle of Thanksgiving week. How did that happen? I’m convinced that the holidays pop up sooner and sooner each year. I find myself asking the following questions every year: a) “what am I going to cook?” and b) “what am I going to wear?”. I know…total first world problems. Though the thoughts always seem to pop up like clockwork the week of turkey day.

The most ideal move would be to find something in my closet, right? Perhaps. And there are years when I’m able to pull that off. Though other years, let’s just say my will power isn’t that strong. I would advise that you stay stronger than me but if you must buy, purchase practical pieces that you can pair throughout your wardrobe.

In the look pictured I took items I already owned and added a fun blazer. That’s right, the blazer was my only purchase! The remaining items were already in the Tiffany & Co. (a.k.a. me) closet! 🙂

I love the fall colors in this blazer paired with just the right brights to make it pop. Though what I love most is that I can take it from a streetwear look (or holiday in this case) this week to casual Friday next week. I give this blazer an A for versatility.

I hope this look inspires you to create a fun (and affordable) look for the holiday tomorrow. And even if you end up in sweats, know that you can still have an amazing, food-filled holiday with those you love.

Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving. I pray that you have a joyous day no matter how you style it! 🙂

Outfit Details: Blazer (New York & Company); White Tee (Target); Jeans (Old Navy); Purse (Forever 21); Boots (Aldo); Necklace (Vintage)

“Sisterhood In The Workplace”

(Image from http://pixabay.com)

I’ve been wanting to write on this topic for awhile but have struggled with the concept. What exactly does sisterhood in the workplace look like? Is it a standing Friday lunch appointment? Or is it more like having each other’s backs when you just need a listening ear to vent to? I believe it can be these things and more. Honestly, it may look different for various groups of women. Though the common thread should lead to things that are positive and advance women professionally.
Originally I was planning to do more of a commentary on the topic. I ended up outlining 6 tips instead to encourage women to make their own meaning of sisterhood in the workplace something positive and meaningful.

1) Co-workers first, friends second.

Women shouldn’t make their goal to be “friends” in the workplace. Keep it professional and if a friendship happens, let it be organic. I believe this is one of the key reasons for fall out and jealousy amongst women in the workplace. Things get too personal and the competition gets high. You’re in the workplace to do a job. Anything that gets too far away from that can get distracting and take you away from your purpose in that setting.

So allow the path to friendship take its natural course, don’t feel forced to do so just because you share the same workspace.

2) Know that there’s room for everyone to succeed.

Women young and old seem to express this desire to compete. Tell me if you’ve ever experienced the following scenarios or have heard of them happening to someone you know. Co-workers on the same level would rather battle it out instead of working together to create a cohesive team that everyone can benefit from. Women in leadership positions don’t want to help women in entry to mid-level positions because they’re afraid their job will be taken.

Well newsflash…there’s a seat at the table for all of us! The sooner women realize this, the better we can all become as we work to achieve our goals.

3) Keep your personal life at home.

Some women may disagree with me on this as they’d label it as being anti-social or isolated. Realize I say this from experience. I have personally experienced the downfalls of not practicing this tip as well as seen it cause issues for others. It’s similar to the point I made in tip #1. The more personal work relationships become, the more messy things get and performance is impacted. Just keep it simple and be an employee, not someone in need of personal advice or sharing. Save those items for your close friends, mom, sister, prayer partner…a trusted confidant. Not your co-workers. Again, if a genuine friendship develops, then great! Otherwise, remaining professional in your relationships can be a sure way to avoid the office drama.

Keep your personal life private until you build a mutual rapport that you can trust. Otherwise it can lead to comparison, gossip and jealousy (amongst other negative things) which never has good results.

4) Compliment other women.

Have you ever been complimented by another woman in the workplace? It feels good right? Not in a validation type of way but in a sisterhood, solidarity type of bonding experience. Going to work isn’t always the easiest thing to get up and do every morning but when another woman compliments you it can make you feel like “yes, I’m here and I can do this!”. So if it’s a nice feeling for you, imagine how it will feel for another woman to receive a compliment from you.

Maybe she has on a cute outfit. Or she did a great job on the department presentation. Never pass up an opportunity to compliment another woman. I think this is something I should practice more of myself. I often compliment other women on their outfits because it’s the first thing I see. Let’s say it’s easy for a cute dress to catch my sleepy work eyes in the morning. 😊 But I need to practice complimenting others women for their work as well. It’s so easy to forget in between multiple emails and meetings but not at all impossible.

5) Seek to both gain and be a mentor.

Mentorship is an awesome thing. We all learn so much in our careers and even our lifetime on a much broader scale. So why not share that information? If I know a younger woman can benefit from a lesson that took me awhile to learn then I’m not going to sit back and watch her learn the hard way. Don’t get me wrong, there are people who just don’t want to hear what you have to say so sometimes it’s easier to just sit back until you’re asked for your feedback. Though often times, especially in a work setting, women are looking for wisdom from a trusted, mature source. Mentorship says “you don’t have to do this alone”. And I think we all can value a little guidance through the hurdles that come with career and life.

6) Just say no to gossip.

Oh gossip. The thing that keeps people most interested yet the very thing that divides. I get it, work is not always exciting. People long for something interesting and new to keep them going through the day. Though I don’t think gossip is the way to go. Think of the last time gossip ever led to something good. Either it ends up hurting the person being gossiped about or it causes messy relationships between those spreading the gossip when they begin making each other the topic of discussion. That’s when it all gets real. A little too real. Avoid gossip as it only breeds a negative environment, especially amongst women.

If you’re in the company of gossip you’re probably not in circles of productive, forward thinking. So seek out the circle that is. Also, be mindful of who is watching you. What if your boss is more aware of your gossiping ways than you think? It could make the difference between promotion and remaining stagnant. Job advancement aside, you just don’t want that to be a reflection on the type of person you are. So just say no to gossip all together.

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What are your thoughts on sisterhood in the workplace? Do you have any tips you think could help women build better professional relationships?

“I’m Focused Man!”: Remaining Focused In a World Full of Distractions

{Photo credit: RSEE photo}

For those who may not be aware, the “I’m focused man” reference is from an old Mya song featuring Jay-Z. He declares this phrase during the intro of the song. My guess is that it was one of those in studio moments where he and whomever he was talking to, be it the producer or other, were having a conversation before recording.

If this was the case, someone or a group of someone’s (Mr. Carter included), probably thought it would be cool to include it in the recording. Well I’m glad they did. It’s a simple line that speaks volumes to the listening audience…if they’re ready to hear it that is.

Today’s world is filled with so many distractions. Social media has intensified that by about a million. It’s so easy for people to drift off into a world other than their own and scroll for hours. Only to look up and realize they have the same check list with nothing crossed off and the same life issues they’re still avoiding.

Keeping up with who is dating who or every minute detail of Tamar Braxton and Vince Herbert’s recent divorce news won’t pay your bills at the end of the day. And know that it won’t bring peace to the situation you were trying to escape by scrolling in the first place. In fact, you’re more likely to feel more emotional disruption.

Maybe it’s personal life that has you distracted at work. This is common and we’ve all been there. Understandably so. However it’s a good idea to recognize the distraction and regroup so that you can focus on tasks at hand before it impacts your performance and takes a downward spiral. None of us want that.

Find what keeps you focused and centered. For me it can be as simple as turning on a relaxing Pandora station. Some other examples are sitting myself down in a quiet place to read my Bible for wisdom or escaping my thoughts with a good, empowering book. Honestly, there are even times when I come home after a long day and lie in bed doing nothing so that I can regroup.

When I’m focused, my creativity blossoms and I’m able to recharge. As a result I can handle things from a more positive place.

Perhaps you’ve been more focused on Facebook posts than your own dreams and goals. Or you find yourself at work doing more stressing about problems than getting things done. Note, I’m referring to distractions that aren’t seriously  life altering. There are some issues that may require time off or professional help. I’m not talking about those. Just the everyday stressors that we look back and say “why did I let that get to me so much?!”.

If this speaks to you, I’d encourage you to take a moment out and write down 5 ways you can get focused and back on your grind.

My hope and prayer is that you see a spike in your own productivity and motivation while knocking stress clear out of your view!

“They Call Me Mellow Yellow”


{Photo credit: RSEE Photography}

Some may say that Californians don’t know what “Fall” is. Especially in Southern California. Well I beg to differ. We rock our knee high boots and (thin) peacoats just like everyone else! Even if that means breaking out these pieces when it’s only 65 degrees. Call us spoiled if you will, but stylish- I’ll take that “s” word!!

As I’m typing this the weather is still in the 80s despite the calendar telling me it’s October. But honestly, I have felt a little chill start to come in the air. Particularly in the morning when I’m shuffling in the car to get to work and on weekend evenings when my jean jacket is a life saver!

Thanks to this newly acquired chill, I’ve decided it’s time to break out my fall attire. Even if I can’t comfortably wear those pieces for a few more weeks. For some reason I just love seeing clothes for the next season right before it’s time to start breaking them back in. Especially for fall!

One struggle I always experience when it’s time to transition into fall clothes is that it’s too hot to completely pack away summer fits but not yet cool enough to start rocking those long sleeves. That’s where layering comes in.

In this outfit I paired an extended short sleeved blouse with pants and a jacket. This way if it’s cold when I leave the house and suddenly the temperature wants to heat up, I can lose the jacket and still be comfortable.

The coat pictured is lightweight but still heavy enough to keep one warm. Gotta thank Zara for versatility! And the color screams fall even if it is still Indian summer here in Cali.
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Do you also take advantage of layering as the seasons change? If so, what are some ways that you transition your work wardrobe in the meantime?

Outfit details: Coat (Zara); Blouse (H&M); Pants (New York & Company); Necklace (Forever 21- similar); Pumps (Cathy Jean- similar)

“8 Tips to Branding Yourself as a Professional Woman”

(Photo credit: Shot By Kelley)

Being a young working woman is more about just waking up, rolling out of bed, throwing on whatever appears at the front of the closet and going to work to get a paycheck. Don’t get me wrong, not every workday is going to be a glamorous, hopped out of a Zara ad type of day. Though the effort you put in does matter. Even if it’s just enough to put on something professionally acceptable enough to wear to the work place.

We all have those days when we just don’t feel like it. Take it from me, there are more days that I don’t feel like dressing up for work than the days I do. However, I have learned that people are always watching so it’s always a good idea to have yourself together. And when I say people, I mean leaders and other individuals who may have influence on your next opportunity. Like they say, “dress for the job you want, not the job you have”.

While I think appearance is one of the key areas of branding, it is not the only. Check out 8 tips to branding yourself as a professional woman from a variety of areas.

1) Appearance

I covered this in the intro but cannot stress enough how important your appearance is as a professional woman. There are people in your workplace whom you may never speak a word to. (Especially if you work for a large company.) But no matter what, they will see you. That director of the marketing department you’re hoping and praying to get into, yep – she sees you! So always look your best. Make sure your hair is combed and neat. Even on the days you don’t feel like dressing up, always make sure to follow the dress code and present yourself in a way you would want to be remembered.

I can recall a Friday when I went into the break room at work and the president of the organization was sitting at one of the tables, reading the newspaper. He rarely ever came to my location. And was never EVER reported to be sited in the break room of all places! It was Casual Friday so I was dressed down. But imagine if I threw up the deuces going out the house in my sweatpants with my hair in a super messy topknot. Yeah, probably wouldn’t have made the best impression to the big guy.

2) Exposure

How you expose yourself at work is vital. Also, it goes without saying that the exposure should always be positive. Participating in activities outside of the office can serve you well because it shows that you are able to be (professionally) social with others. Getting involved in different committees can serve as a good opportunity for exposure as well. Have you been receiving those emails about the annual Christmas party planning committee and ignoring them despite your love for all things Santa and snowmen? Don’t be afraid to join in on the festivities. Way too swamped for that? Consider something more short term like asking how you can help out the day of or assisting with a smaller scale event. Any exposure is good exposure.

The overall idea is that you stay relevant. A day may come when you want to transfer departments and find that the hiring manager is the same person you worked with on that committee. If he/she knows who you are, that’s a great start to you expressing your interest in a potential opportunity.

3) Create a Voice

It is important that you have a voice in the workplace. Now this does not mean to be the loudest person in the office. More times than not, that can solicit more negative views than positive. But DO have a voice that others recognize and respect. Even if you don’t speak often, make sure that when you do speak it is always positive, professional and insightful. You don’t have to be an extrovert or even the most educated person whose good morning greetings have the intellectual ring of former president Barack Obama. Be yourself but make sure your voice is creating an image that you can be proud of.

You want your voice to remain credible. The same woman that’s known as the source of office gossip can’t be taken seriously when it comes time to select a candidate for promotion. Be careful that you don’t find yourself in that position.

4) Remain Humble

Have you ever worked with an individual that makes everything about themselves? Someone who points out their every accomplishment or kind deed. Isn’t it a bit irritating to hear them go on and on about none other than…themselves? So don’t be that person.

It’s okay to be proud of yourself or be excited about sharing your accomplishments with others. You’ve worked hard and should be proud. Who knows, those accomplishments could be inspiring others. Though you should also know when to be quiet and swallow the pill of humility. Know when it’s time to recognize others and take yourself out of the spot light. You don’t want to come off as insecure or self-centered.

I would venture to say that a woman who knows how to celebrate others over herself will go further long term in her career than a woman who is all about herself.

5) Surround Yourself with Positive Company

I think this one gets many women caught up in unnecessary, dramatic situations in the work place that could have been avoided. Maybe you’re not a gossiper in the office but someone in your work crew is known as the unofficial Director of Office Gossip. Ever heard the phrase “guilty by association”? Well it’s true. You are just as guilty as they are because your association promotes that negative activity.

So surround yourself with positive company. Even if that means opting out on messiness and rolling solo. I’ve had a do it myself on a few jobs and the end result was always nothing short of peaceful. And the times I have been able to find a positive social team always make for great, inspiring conversation paired with a confidence that I don’t mind being associated with those individuals.

6) Get a Mentor

Navigating the workplace as a young woman can be challenging. Trying to sort through politics, people, not getting sucked into office negativity (see above) and more can be quite a task. On top of it all, you’re trying to figure out how to advance in your career. Definitely some tough grown up stuff. That’s where a mentor comes in. A mentor can help you put things into perspective and think through your goals with you. You can certainly find a way to get paired with a mentor formally whether through your company directly or by your own networking. However, this does not always have to be a formal relationship with official titles.

Many of the women who’ve mentored me in my career have been former bosses or leaders that I met along the way. I can’t say I’ve ever had a formal mentor meeting. Much of these relationships have been built around casual coffee chats or chill dinner meetings. My point, find someone that can pour into you, particularly someone who is already at the level you’d like to be or in a similar leadership role. You can meet up every month or just put in a call/email as the need for guidance arises. As long as you find someone that can assist you as you shape your professional identity. Also, be sure to pay it forward. There will be a time when you are able to mentor someone so know that this is something you should openly consider, especially if someone helped you.

7) Professional Development

Professional development can make a huge impact on your career. It could be as small as taking a 2 hour class on advancing your computer skills or a more extensive opportunity such as attending a 3 day conference in your area of expertise. Find a way to continuously upgrade your knowledge in the workplace.

Many companies have funds for professional development so make sure to talk to your supervisor about how to best utilize those funds for your professional growth. In addition, there are companies (particularly larger ones) that offer free workshops. Even if it doesn’t pertain to your direct area of work, still attend! You may gain skills that can be applied to your position.

8) Be Mindful of Social Media

*Sigh* This is a tough one. Many may argue that you are free to put whatever you like on your social media accounts because it is your space uncontrolled by others. While this is true, you also have control over how you are perceived based on what you post on social media. Especially if you have a public account. This forum is not the best place to post scandalously clad pics or shots of you getting wasted in Punta Cana last summer. Many employers go straight to social media accounts these days because these pages won’t just tell you everything you want to know about a person but everything you need to know as well.

Don’t get passed up on that great job opportunity because of something as simple as what you posted on social media. Either be mindful of what you post or set your page to private. Even with a private page, proceed with caution as there is a way to get around everything on the internet.

One last point on this topic, be mindful of who you’re friends with on social media. Being friends with co-workers can be nice as you can get to know more about each other outside of work. Though I would suggest you only do this with those you trust and can see yourself being friends with long term. Those that you casually speak with or who seem to want to be connected on social media just to see what’s going on with you, not so much. It wouldn’t be fun to find out something you posted was shown to your boss or used against you in some other way. So keep it simple with those friend requests.

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Have you already been practicing any of these tips and found them to be helpful in your professional experience? If you have, how so? Do you have any tips that I haven’t mentioned here? Please be sure to share. 😊

“Can You Hear Me Now?”: What To Do When Your Ideas Aren’t Being Heard In the Workplace

{Image credit: pixabay.com}

Have you ever had a moment at work where you have this amazing idea, one that has the potential to resolve that big problem? You know, the problem that has everyone scrambling eagerly for a solution. Well you have the answer which is great but you don’t seem to be heard. So suddenly your bubble has been burst and left a huge puddle of soapy bubble juice (because I don’t know if there’s an actual a name for it) all over the floor. In a figurative sense that is. Unless you work at Toys R Us. I digress.

It’s frustrating when you feel like you aren’t being heard. Whether it was that one occasion or on a daily basis. It’s easy to take it personal, shut down and never speak another idea out loud again. Well you could do just that but what would that be contributing to your employer and more importantly, yourself? You were hired because of the unique set of skills you possess. That idea you hold back could be the difference of whether or not you receive a promotion. Sticking behind your idea could be building the tough as nails, thick skinned type of confidence you need to get you to the next level.

Below are 7 tips to help you cope with these moments of disappointment and maintain your confidence.

1) Timing is everything! Be patient.

I have witnessed this pretty frequently through my own career. Sometimes it’s not the case that your answer isn’t heard or will never be utilized. It could be that the timing just isn’t right. So be patient. There have been occasions where I’ve made a suggestion that didn’t get recognized right away but a colleague or superior came to me weeks later wanting to discuss the idea in more detail as we prepared to implement it.

Had I morphed into a 6 year and stomped away like a brat the moment my idea wasn’t heard originally, odds are a follow up opportunity wouldn’t have come my way. Patience truly is a virtue!

2) Let the other person process your idea first.

This is a follow up to my first point. You never know what space a person’s head could be in upon the presentation of your idea. Maybe they’ve had a bad morning and can’t focus. Perhaps they have multiple projects going on and the project associated with your idea is at the bottom at their priority list. They had to chase their dog down the street and put him back in the kennel all while trying to get themselves and their kids out of the house that morning. Their spouse texted them asking to transfer money to the in-laws again. The possibilities can go on.

My point is, you never know what variety of things a person has on their mind at a given time. And even when someone is laser focused on what you are saying, everyone processes things differently. So give them time to do just that.

3) Pick your battles.

On the flip side, even some of your best ideas may never make it to fruition in the workplace. You just have to pick your battles. But know that all is not lost. My advice would be to pull out your trusty notebook (hardcopy or digital) and jot down those ideas. Then keep them in a handy place for future reference. You could end up utilizing them in a future position. Or who knows, one day when you have your own company (if that’s your goal) you may see what was just another idea that got shot down become the blueprint of your vision.

4) Know your position.

Whether we like to acknowledge it or not, there is a pecking order in the work place. Not to say that you should think of yourself as a peon. Never that. Though it is important to recognize your position. If you’re in an entry level position, odds are you’re not going to have the same voice as a CEO. Continue to voice your ideas but always do so in the most respectful and humble manner possible. Perhaps this humility will be the distinguishing factor that makes you stand out and have your idea implemented.

5) Recognize your environment.

I realize that some people may struggle with a scenario I haven’t spoke on yet in this post – the competitive co-worker. You know, that person that doesn’t let you get an idea in without trying to sabotage it all. Perhaps they shoot back with an idea they proposition as “better” or take your very same idea and twist it to make it seem like this genius suggestion was their own the whole time.

A colleague once told me “Messy people never win”. She was referencing a different type of situation. Though it still applies here.

Even though that person may crawl under the depths of your skin as they scheme against your great ideas, know that this is temporary. It won’t last and they won’t win. So know your environment and how to professionally work through the politics. Don’t let them allow you to give up on your ideas. The temporary discomfort will pass.

6) Reposition your ideas to use elsewhere.

In tip #3 I suggested that you document your ideas in case you need to wait to use them at a different time. To elaborate on that, consider using your ideas in another space. What are you involved in outside of work? Perhaps that new tech advancement you wanted to be made can be utilized your PTA group. Or that awesome team calendar that you put together can be shared with friends who need help getting organized.

Want to step it up a bit? Pair your idea with your expertise to profit your business or creative venture. The practice will help build your professional portfolio and assist others in need at the same time.

7) Talk to the source. Meet with your boss.

My dad has a saying “don’t go talking to the janitor”. There is a story behind that but to simplify for times sake, the message is – address your issue with the source. Don’t discuss it with everyone else that’s not able to resolve it.

Perhaps you’re frustrated because your boss is the person you feel is not listening to your idea. Ask to meet with him/her to express how you feel in a calm and professional manner. Most times, supervisors appreciate the feedback of their employees but are often so overwhelmed with their own work, on top of overseeing staff, that they may come off as unapproachable or uninterested. One-on-one conversations are always best because it allows both parties to talk through the situation.

It could be that they value your idea but right now is just not the right time (refer back to tip #1). Or maybe they misunderstood your idea at the time of presentation but have a better understanding now that he/she is in a space to ask more specific questions.

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What are some methods that have proven to be successful for you in these types of work place situations? Or if you’re someone who hasn’t been successful in this area (yet), don’t be discouraged. Know those ideas have been planted on your mind, and even heart, for a reason. So keep plugging along. They will be implemented at the right time and in the right place. Hang in there!

The Black & White ReMIX

{Photo credit: RSEE Photo}

I remember when mixing prints was seen as a fashion faux pas. One that would solicit looks that said: “Did she [or he] look in the mirror this morning?”. Well fashion has evolved and as a result accepted this mashup into the cool kids group.

Mixing prints used to be seen as “too much going on”. Though nowadays, when done tactfully, it can add just the right touch. For instance, on mornings when I see a black top and grey pants I think “Perfect! I don’t feel like making the effort so I’m just going to go with it!”. Then I find a leopard print scarf with black and white shoes and voila! That quickly I just jazzed up basic without a tremendous amount of effort.

I’ve found a trick to this pairing that makes it work: find a base color. In the outfit pictured I chose black as my base. A top with floral print set against black, black and white gingham pants, black pumps all topped off with a solid black necklace. The black base allows for consistency without falling into the basic black and white trap if you’re looking to kick things up a notch.

How do you feel about wearing mixed prints in the office? What are some of the tricks that allow you to have fun with your work outfits while mixing things up a bit?

{Outfit details: Top (H&M); Pants (Zara); Heels (Cathy Jean – similar here); Necklace (Forever 21 – similar here)}

“From Top[shop] to Bottom”

{Photo Credit: RSEE Photo}

Guess who’s back?!I know…it’s been a minute! I’ve been so busy at my 9-5 that I was neglecting my passion project. Well I’m here with new fashion inspo for the work place!

I think many people, especially women, stuggle with being professional in the work place yet staying true to who they are style wise. How do you know when to push the envelope and when to seal it shut with Elmers glue for extra security? Depending on your work setting this could be a debatable topic.

Recently I came across the Topshop skirt pictured. It was so funky and 90s – not exactly your typical combo for a business meeting. But it was my mission to make this professional chic. I wanted to shake it up while keeping it business.

*Disclaimer: If you work in a conservative office setting, I wouldn’t recommend this Clueless vibes skirt. Not even for Casual Friday. If keeping your job is the priority then consider it for weekend wear. It pairs well with sneakers too.

For those that have more liberal work settings (using the word liberal very loosely so know your dress code well) or work in creative spaces, this look could work. The blazer and blouse dress it up in just the right way that says “Ready for the 10 o’clock meeting boss!”. Note: I made sure to wear black tights with the look to compensate for the short skirt straight out of a Madonna video.

And for those that are still questioning whether or not this look could work for their workplace, I encourage you to mix and match it up! Swap out the skirt and tights for black slacks. Or this of other occasions such as date night or brunch with friends. As the weather begins to cool down one could add a thick duster sweater in lieu of the blazer, keep the skirt and tights then add a pair of cute ankle booties.

Here’s to being your (professional) self while you kill it from 9-5 and beyond!

Outfit details: Blazer (Topshop); Blouse (New York & Company); Necklace (Target-similar); Skirt (Topshop); Tights (Target); Pumps (H&M)

4 Reasons Why “The 4-Hour Workweek” Is a Game Changer

I recently finished “The 4-Hour Workweek” and it was a game changer! Author Timothy “Tim” Ferriss has this unique, captivating writing ability that is a hybrid between tough love and “here’s how to step your game up”. The title could possibly imply that it’s a guide on how to significantly minimize your weekly work hours and escape the “rat race”. Well, in a sense it is. Though I gained so much more. Allow me to share.

1) I’ve realized how much more efficient I can be as an employee.

Ferris gives numerous tips on how to increase productivity and efficiency in business. An employee of a company could certainly gain from this wisdom. Even though much of the advice Ferriss provides is directed toward business owners who can decrease their time spent being the machine behind everything and utilize the extra time pursuing a life they love.

He also shares significantly how an employee could use his models to work remote from anywhere in the world. (My mind just drifted off to creating an Excel spreadsheet while sitting beachside on the Amalfi Coast. *sigh*)

One area of advice Ferriss provided was regarding the checking of emails. He advised to only check emails twice per day. And strictly forbids readers from checking first thing in the morning. Something I regularly do then find myself engulfed in way past my desired end time. He also mentions that email isn’t instant messaging, it’s a form of mail. This really stopped me in my tracks. I sometimes feel as if I have to get back to emails as soon as they come in. Being a quick responder could be seen as courteous and professional. Though too quick could be grounds for becoming trapped in my inbox and distracted from other items on the to-do list.

2) It shoved me into dream big NOW mode.

I think many of us have, at some point, been a slave to the “someday” syndrome. You know, “someday I want to travel the world” or “someday I’ll start hobby x”. Well sometimes “someday” comes with valid reasoning. Take finances for example. Perhaps one can’t fulfill their dreams of traveling the world because they have bills up the wazoo. In that case, it may be true that the dream has to be tabled for a later date. Though that doesn’t mean one cannot start planning. Perhaps writing a list of desired locations or creating a savings plan. It’s only step one but very often step one is the catalyst to seeing through every other step to achieve the end goal.

As Ferriss puts it: “Most people can do awe inspiring things. Sometimes they just need a little nudge.”

3) I’m reminded that the world is literally at my fingertips.

At one point in the book Ferriss breaks down how living internationally can be much less expensive than we would think. He provides two expense break downs per month based on travels to Buenos Aires, Argentina and Berlin, Germany. He further explains how long term international travel can eliminate expenses back at home. For example, one (most likely) will not be paying utilities, buying gas for their car or other expenses they’d regularly be shelling out for weekly or monthly. Therefore making international travel a bit more attainable and accessible than one may think.

4) It provided resources along with strategies.

I think finding an inspiring and motivating book is easy. There are millions out there. Though a book that also provides the resources on how to get and stay going on your dream journey is a gem. He literally lists websites on a gamut of topics from how to access your PC abroad to discounts on international lodging. He even shared resources from mothers traveling with young children and parents juggling international travel with the education of school aged children.

“What are the websites?!”, you ask. Well you have to read the book for that! 😊

***

This book not only challenged me personally but inspired me to be a better professional in the workplace. It will definitely be a book that holds its spot on my bookshelf of lifetime reads to refer back to.

Have you read “The 4-Hour Workweek”? What did you think? Haven’t read the book but plan to after reading this post? Please let me know what you think after reading!

5 Reasons to Get Excited About Going to Work On Monday

{Image credit: https://pixabay.com}

I know, you probably saw the title of this post and wanted to do one of two things:

a) Ever so kindly thump me in the eye (*ouch*)

-or-

b) Eagerly start reading because after all, what in the world could be exciting about going back to work on Monday?!

Maybe you even had both thoughts!

Well I admit, Sunday nights aren’t always a breeze when you have to go from chill mode to 5 days of hitting the grind all over again. But perspective is everything. The more you dread Monday, the more dread it will meet you with. So let me give you 5 reasons I’ve found to be excited on a Monday morning. Just one will do but if you have all 5 then…score!

1) New Audio

I use the general term “audio” because this could include a few types: a new album, audiobook or podcast episode. Many of audiobooks and fun podcasts have helped me through numerous days of traffic. Especially when I’m really engaged in the topic. It helps take my mind off of parking lots disguised as freeways and overthinking a work day that has yet to start.

2) New Clothes

Have you ever worn a new outfit on a Monday? It’s like walking into the office like…Beyoncé! There seems to be a joy and confidence that comes with a new outfit. Even if “new” means a closet revamp of what you already own.

3) Amazing Leftovers

Have you ever went out to eat on a Sunday or cooked a great meal and thought: “I can’t wait to have this for lunch tomorrow!”? This could even be better than the new clothes! After all, it’s the little things, right?!

4) Work Event

Now hear me out on this one! I’m referring to the exciting work events, not the Monday 8am meeting you’re dreading. (*crickets*) You know, the potluck that the department has been planning for the last 3 months. Or the birthday lunch that makes a 2 hour break acceptable while eating at the office fam’s favorite eatery.

I think this is why working people look forward to the holidays so much. But we welcome the out of season opportunities too!

5) After Work Engagement

Now the thought of post work plans on a Monday after 8 hours at the office could be quite scary. But…the right plans could make all the difference. Meeting a friend for happy hour? Going to a swanky networking event? Suddenly added a little spice to your Monday, huh?

***

So you see, Monday doesn’t always have to be that bad. Just give yourself something to look forward to!