Coffee Break: How to Properly Say Good-Bye to A Co-Worker

Bye - dailymail.co.uk

Bye – dailymail.co.uk

I don’t like good-byes. Any kind of good-byes, in life or at work. And I’ve had my fair share of not-so great good-byes, what with awkward hugs, disorganized farewell get-togethers and running mascara stains (don’t judge me)…

However, when it comes to wishing a colleague farewell at work, there are a few unspoken, more or less flexible, rules to abide by:

1. Show you care! Whether your co-worker has decided to pursue other opportunities, has been laid off or fired, honor the relationship you’ve had! You may look into organizing a get-together at lunch or after work, or passing a farewell card around to be signed by everyone. Even if you haven’t interacted with this colleague much, or the initiative of sending them off with a gesture of some kind has already been taken by someone else, inquire about how you can participate and contribute!

2. Help them transition! Is your co-worker struggling to finish a project prior to leaving? Are there loose ends s/he is trying to tie before their final day? If you have the availability, offer your help, or point out to useful resources they could use. Your gesture will go a long way towards minimizing the work flow disruption, and will certainly get you brownie points in the team (not that that was your primary focus…)

3. Stay in touch! The corporate landscape is not as vast as one may think. You will probably run into your colleague in a different company, at an industry conference, or…in the natural products aisle at Whole Foods. So as much as possible, try to stay in touch. Exchanging Linked In or email information can do wonders towards preserving a good relationship. And who knows what the future may bring?

The Corporate Sis

Work It: Midi Pleated Skirt

Midi pleated skirt - $241.50 - nomia.com

Midi pleated skirt – $241.50 – nomia.com

Our Work It fashion feature today is this midi pleated skirt from Nomia. It combines two of my favorite fashion trends, the midi length and the pleats!

Love the elegant and comfortable length of this skirt, and the refined touch of the pleats. It makes for a great addition to a crop button-down or embellished tee for work or pleasure! It’s on sale for $241.50 at Nomia.com!

Work It, Girl!

The Corporate SIs.

The 411: Our News Update

News - huffintonpost.com

News – huffintonpost.com

Happy Sunday! Hope everyone is having a Sunday Funday, and trying to  relax before the week starts…yet again! And while you’re at it, check out some of the interesting news I liked this week:

Happy Sunday!

The Corporate Sis.

Week-End Pick: Vintage V-Neck Tee

Vintage V-neck tee - $10 - target.com

Vintage V-neck tee – $10 – target.com

Happy Saturday! The week-end is upon us, and so is easy, relaxed fashion…like this easy, breezy vintage V-neck tee from Target. Notice how hard it is to find the perfect tee, that’s long enough, has a V-neck deep enough (but not overly revealing), and goes as well with your favorite jeans and heels, or sweats and sneakers? Well, I may just have hit the jackpot here…

This vintage V-neck tee is the epitome of softness, and is made of 100% cotton slub. And it’s $10 to boot at Target!

Enjoy your Saturday!

Coffee Break: Got Happy Hour Etiquette?

Happy Hour - clotureclub.com

Happy Hour – clotureclub.com

I enjoy happy hour, it’s a nice time to bond with the team, have a drink, and unwind. And it’s outside of the office, no files, emails or meetings in sight for a bit…Except you may be able to take the happy hour out of the office (not all offices partake in this happy practice), but you just can’t take the office out of the happy hour! As happy-go-lucky as your co-workers and managers may seem, they are still…your co-workers and managers, so as you sip on your blueberry sangria, remind yourself that there is this thing called happy hour etiquette:

1. Happy Hour is fun, and so should you be! There’s a fine line between being a great employee and being a great and boring employee! Work extends beyond your cubicle or office, so extend your network outside of your traditional work environment! So do loosen up a bit and go enjoy! It’ll give you the opportunity to show a different side of yourself, and interact with colleagues on a  more relaxed and personal level.

2. Set your pace! Whether you choose to down one margarita or five, or if you opt to stay away from alcohol, remember you can set your own pace. I still like to be cautious and keep it to one, two drinks at a maximum. After all, it’s still work, except you have the option of getting hammered.

3. Keep professional! Did I say it’s still work? So whatever you do, do not ruin your career by getting sh…-faced, punching your boss in the face, and telling your annoying co-worker what you really think of him. Keep professional, watch the gossip, and when/if you start catching yourself laughing excessively at your boss’s accounting jokes, it may be time to quietly proceed to the nearest exit…

Any rules for happy hour?

The Corporate Sis.

Work It: Initial Bar Necklace

Initial Bar Necklace - $10 - urbanoutfitters.com

Initial Bar Necklace – $10 – urbanoutfitters.com

Even before Carrie Bradshaw‘s iconic initial necklace, I was into cute, funky, yet still delicate initial necklaces. Hence today’s Work It feature, this adorable initial bar necklace from Urban Outfitters.

Love, love the delicate chain necklace, and just as delicate and dandy initial-stamped bar pendant. It’s original and perfect for work or play! You can choose between the C, E and S initials for now (and if your name starts with a different letter, use your alter ego’s). It’s on sale for $10 at Urban Outfitters!

Happy Friday!

The Corporate Sis.

Why Women Shouldn’t Have It All

Women shouldn't have it all - the root.com

Women shouldn’t have it all – the root.com

The first thing most people who come to my house notice is the set of our black-and-white wedding pictures on the wall. Granted, they are gorgeous, (well, really, the bride in it with the skinny waist and impeccable make-up is) if I may say so myself. Yet, that’s not the only reason they stare. They stare because they are crooked. And then they start slowly noticing all the wall pictures are…crooked too! And they tell me to get it together and fix it so it can look like it’s supposed to be…perfect! One more thing I have to get together…like the fact that I can’t walk straight without bumping into people constantly…

Pepsico CEO Indra Nooyi recently admitted at the Aspen Ideas Festival the surprising revelation that women can’t have it all. Really? Remember the 2012 cover story from the Atlantic “Why Women Still Can’t Have it All”? There was an un-surprising revelation as well.

In her epic (and much controversial) address to Dartmouth students, Scandal’s mama and screenwriter extraordinaire Shonda Rhimes tells students (and indirectly, women) to “keep it real”. As few women will admit, and as Ms. Rhimes so honestly put it out there, there is a price to success, and dreams sure ain’t free. For every major career milestone, something on the personal front is missed. And every story time could be spent at the office putting a last touch on that report or sending another pesky email. It’s called the opportunity cost of life, and unless you can be in two places at the same time or have your own hologram, there’s no escaping it…

Can women have it all? Well, could I straighten my wedding pictures? Or practice walking straight? Maybe, although I don’t like dwelling on absolute theories. Yet even more than racking my brain asking myself the hard questions, I’d rather get busy figuring out what makes me happy. And running around like a mad woman trying to have it all, or adjusting my wedding pictures so they can perfectly align, or even missing out on bumping into some pretty awesome people just to straighten my crooked walk, will get me closer to perfection. Except perfection is not what makes me (or most people) happy…

Truth is, I like my pictures and my walk slightly crooked, or the fact that one side of my hair curls better than the other. I like that I don’t have it all, because it keeps my crooked feet solidly grounded. Because it gives me something to work on, something to improve on.

If I had it all, if my life were just perfect, my wedding pictures straight, and if by some miracle I stopped bumping into people and started walking straight, I’d be happy for a hot minute and…what the hell would I have to do with the rest of my life?

Just sayin’…

The Corporate Sis.

Coffee Break: Layla Headphones

Layla Headphones - $99 - nordstrom.com

Layla Headphones – $99 – nordstrom.com

So I was never into the earbud-type headphones. Not sure if it’s the size of my ears, some ear wax issues, personality incompatibility, but I just can’t get them to stay put through an entire Beyonce jam (also take into account frequent more or less violent head bursts immediately following   any women empowerment lyrics)! So I was relieved to see traditional headphones come back in fashion…except if I’m gonna publicly jam to Beyonce’s “Diva” track, it’s gotta have to be in style.

Hence today’s coffee break pick, the Layla handphones. Loving the gold and white leather-wrapped headphones, not to mention the opulent, yet not over the top bling. These fit most iPhone, iPod and iPad products, and the sound is simply outstanding! Plus it’s probably going to match most of your closet (this fact alone is the justification of any purchase, really…I’m digressing again).

It’s on sale for $99 at Nordstrom, as part of their Anniversary Sale!

The Corporate Sis.

Work It: Crepe Two-Piece Suit

Two-piece suit - $237 - neimanmarcus.com

Two-piece suit – $237 – neimanmarcus.com

It’s the Last Call sale at Neiman Marcus, with discounts up to 70% off! I love this fashionable Albert Nipon crepe two-piece suit in ivory, with its original V-neck jacket. Other than for interviews and uber-formal work settings, I’m not much of a suit girl; so when I do suit up, I favor more fashion-forward, edgy but elegant pieces like this one.

The ivory color makes this suit even more striking, with its flattering tie waist and slightly wide-leg pants. The suit is on sale at Neiman Marcus for $237 (down from $395)!

Work it, girl!

The Corporate Sis.

Coffee Break: Any.Do App

Any.Do app - intrepid-llc.com

Any.Do app – intrepid-llc.com

What’s the one thing you wish you had more of? Ok, ok, there is more than one thing…Well, for me, it’s a bit more organization, a lot less chaos, and some time to read, sleep or hear my own raging thoughts uninterrupted. I digress…I really wanted to talk about better organization, and here my first paragraph is all disorganized…hence today’s coffee break pick: crowd favorite, organization app extraordinaire Any.Do.

What’s Any.do anyways? It’s a list-making and task management app, available on the iPhone and Android, encouraging the habit of reviewing your to-do lists on the daily. So what makes it so different from your crumbled, old notepad from Walmart? It has a date and time reminder, successfully integrates Geolocation, and prompts you to review your to-do’s and update them (no checkmarks or crossing through pages here). Plus it suggests other apps you may want to use to complete your to-do’s, and can synchronize your tasks between your phone and computer. The wildly popular app, which added this year alone another 4 million users, just brought its app model to the web back in May. So now, you can keep organized even without your cell phone nearby (don’t panic, your smartphone can still remain surgically attached to your hand).

Even better, it now has its own integrated Cal Calendar, so you never forget your crabby mother-in-law’s birthday again…

Have you tried the Any.Do app?

The Corporate Sis.

 

 

Work It: Drape Knit Jacket

Drape Knit Jacket - whitehouseblackmarket.com

Drape Knit Jacket – whitehouseblackmarket.com

Ever been on the hunt for THE perfect summer blazer? Well, we may just have found it. This drape knit white jacket combines the comfy feel of a knit with the elegant structure of a blazer…and has a stretch fit to boot (hello large lunch!).

Loving the sophisticated notched lapel and flattering slight peplum flare. Perfect jacket for summer meetings or after hours! It’s $110 @ WhiteHouseBlackMarket!

If you’d like to send us suggestions of a great office fashion pick, or a picture of you wearing great office attire, please email us at corporate@thecorporatesister.com!

The Corporate Sister.

Your Kids Are Ruining Your Career (Not)

Your kids are ruining your career - onemagusa.com

Your kids are ruining your career – onemagusa.com

I am a mom of two, and for the longest time, I heard the same old proverbial warnings: “Make sure you finish school before having kids”, or “You know once you have kids, it’s over!”. Or even better, “Work hard before kids because afterwards it’s all downhill from there!”. Basically, before I even conceived the very idea of conceiving a child, the message was clear: “Kids will ruin your career, and oh, maybe even your entire life.”

I was reading this article from Politico yesterday, in which Ruth Porat, CFO at prestigious Morgan Stanley and also dubbed as “the most powerful woman on Wall Street”, was featured. When you hear of women like Ruth Porat, you don’t exactly picture the traditional mommy thing. No pun intended here. I am not a traditional mommy, and frankly never aspired to be. Yet what struck me (and even made me go awww) as I read the article is that Ms. Porat keeps a note from her kids on her desk telling her how proud they are of her and the work she does. I know, awww!!! Clearly, her kids did not ruin her career…

Yet so many of us women at work seem to think that we have to choose between a great family and a great career. It’s not even like we could strike in the middle, and have an average family and an unbelievable career. Or an average career and a great family life. It’s an all-or-nothing game, hence the disheartening number of women in high management positions, and the sprint-race speed at which women exit corporate ranks to stay home as they start having kids. Again, makes it really look like as much as we love them, kids really ruin your career.

So how come the Ruth Porat of this world could achieve the supernatural feat of having kids AND kicking a… in the career department? Luck, favor, spiritual incantations? In her interview with Politico, Ms. Porat seems to think a healthy mix of career and family is the answer, rather than delaying one in favor of the other.

I would add that reminding yourself as you tuck the kids in bed tonight, that as mighty as they may seem, they can’t possibly ruin your career (or the one you think you had, deep inside that career-oriented head of yours). Actually, they may just be the the best people you’ll ever have to negotiate basic cleanliness contracts with…

Just sayin’….

The Corporate Sis.

Coffee Break: Are Tattoos OK at Work?

Tattoos at work - pinterest.com

Tattoos at work – pinterest.com

So I’ve got a couple of tattoos. And no, I’m not in my 20′s, nor do I work a blue collar, artistic or non-corporate job. I just happen to like them.

According to a 2013 Forbes article, while tattoo policies may vary from office to office, being inked is no longer a threat to employment. Even more traditional corporate, medical and educational fields are surprisingly growing more tolerant of inked employees. And since over 14% of the American population sports tattoos, it’d be hard to segregate anyways…

Besides, unless you’re a hardcore tattoo fan and have inked your entire body, you can always conceal your inked art under clothing. Or tattoo concealment policies at many companies can make you invest in appropriate clothing.

In any case, and although my body art is definitely more on the discrete side, I’d still wait for after hours to show it off…Just sayin’…

Are tattoos OK at work?

The Corporate Sis.

Work It: Mid Heel Pumps

Anneke mid-heel pumps - $59.95 - sole society.com

Anneke mid-heel pumps – $59.95 – sole society.com

One of my favorite working girls’ blogs, Corporette, had a great sponsored post yesterday on the amazing sale going on at Sole Society (check out the post and great shoe selections here). And of course, as the bona fide shoe addict I am, I couldn’t help but be all over the shoe sale, hence today’s pick: these Anneke mid-heel pumps!

Love, love these summer-ready leather heels with the sleek pointed toe and original stud heels! Perfect blend of corporate classic and biker chic edgy! As a busy mom racing against the clock (don’t ask who wins most of the time), I can appreciate the classy (and comfortable) mid heel, perfect from running from meeting to meeting, and still picking up the kids on time (somewhat).

These heels are $59.95 at Sole Society, and are perfect with your favorite work sheath, or your (slightly) worn jeans on the week-end!

Work it, girl!

The Corporate Sis.

How to Stop Thinking You Suck At Your Job

 

Career Stress - clutchmagonline.com

Career Stress – clutchmagonline.com

Happy Tuesday! Yes it is Tuesday, day 2 of the week, and it was honestly so difficult to get out of bed this morning I thought we were closer to Friday. But it’s Tuesday, and while it may literally suck for some of us under some type or other of work pressure, there are worse things…

Like mustering up all the energy you’ve got to head to a job you’re convinced you suck at…Or dressing up the sum of our loudly quiet insecurities under a crisp white button-down and sleek pencil skirt (or deceitfully self-assured business casual attire)…Or constantly shaking in your pumps in anticipation of that fateful moment when someone, anyone will call your bluff…

This is a common problem with women at work. No matter our qualifications, expertise or talents, we simply think we suck at our job. And while we know it’s not true, we don’t really know how to stop thinking it:

1. Stop trying to stop thinking you suck at your job! Forcing yourself to change your thinking overnight doesn’t work. If anything, you’ll probably push your brain into overdrive negative thinking! There’s a reason why you think what you think. Stop fighting it, embrace your journey and try understanding what’s triggering these thoughts. Then when you finally start understanding yourself, slowly let go…

2. Repeat after me: “I am awesome” yes, just like that! I learnt about the power of affirmations in the midst of one of my worst career stints. Despite being on the edge professionally, I would practice the mirror game as described in Jack Canfield’s Success Principles. I would just stare at my own reflection in the mirror and tell myself how awesome I am. Crazy? I’d rather use the term “forward thinking”. And it works…

3. Now go tell someone else! I don’t like secrets, they are heavy and uncomfortable. And they end up stinking. Don’t keep your awesome secret to yourself. After you’ve invaded every brain cell you have with positive affirmations, share the wealth and go tell someone else! Tell your boss about that great report you submitted! Remind your teammates how your awesome idea turned the project from drab to fab! At the risk of bragging, give yourself a public pat on the back…after all, when in doubt, you’ve got to tell the truth.

Oh yes, and do some actual work too…

The Corporate Sis.

Coffee Break: Desk Feet Hammock

FUUT Feet desk hammock - $30 - fancy.com

FUUT Feet desk hammock – $30 – fancy.com

It’s coffee break time, and right about now, all you want to do is prop your feet up, sip on your second third cup of coffee, and imagine yourself laying on the beach…Except you’re at your desk, the beach is nowhere near, and your feet are still sore…unless of course you have the amazing FUUT desk feet hammock, that is!

I stumbled onto this pretty cool invention on Fancy.com, and as soon as I saw it, I knew I had to share it…and have it! What’s a desk hammock, you may ask? It’s simply a smart, original way to replace that extra chair to prop up your feet. It hooks on either side of your desk, and lets you literally put your feet up and relax…as you’re cranking up the weekly report! It’s $30 at fancy.com, and it’s seriously cool…office cool that is!

The Corporate Sister.

Lunch Break: Zip Detail Sheath Dress

Zip Detail sheath dress - $91.90 - nordstrom.com

Zip Detail sheath dress – $91.90 – nordstrom.com

It’s lunch time, and time for some Monday corporate fashion! We are all over the Nordstrom Anniversay sale this week (which is up until August 4)! Today, our pick is this sharp Ellen Tracy zip detail sheath dress, which combines great style with an impeccable professional look.

Loving the exposed zipper which adds a touch of unexpected originality to this otherwise classic cap-sleeved sheath dress! The slit skirt is also a great addition to this dress, as are the elegant and comfortable side-seam pockets. On sale for $91.90, this dress is perfect for work and…after work!

Seen a great, work-friendly fashion pick or brand you’d like to share? Please email us at corporate@thecorporatesister.com!

The Corporate Sister.

8 Ways You Can Apply Total Quality Management To Your Career

galleryhip.com

galleryhip.com

Happy Monday! Yes, it is Monday, it seems to come back every week…Hope everyone had a great week-end, and is ready to start this new week in full gear. I know I am…

One of the management approaches I have always found most relevant to businesses is the Total Quality Management concept (TQM). TQM originated in the 1950′s, and has gained prominence in the ’80s. This approach is concerned with providing customers with satisfactory products and services, by fostering a company’s culture, attitude and organization that emphasizes effective, waste and defect-free processes.

As I’ve considered the careers of successful corporate sisters (and brothers), I’ve also come to notice how most of the biggest and most influential careers are built on these eight (8) principles, which also happen to be TQM’s governing principles. And as we strive in our own careers, we should also integrate these powerful principles into our own, and ask ourselves the right questions:

1. Ethics: Are you aware of, and following the business code of ethics of your organization?

2. Integrity: When it comes to honesty, morals, values, fairness, and sincerity, are you comfortable with the way your conduct yourself at work and handle your responsibilities?

3. Trust: Are you trustworthy when it comes to your career? Do you feel like you inspire trust to management? Do you take pride in your work and are committed to it?

4. Training: Are you taking sufficient trainings to acquire more skills and advance your career? Are you also involved in providing training for others?

5. Teamwork: How do you handle teamwork? Are you productive in team environments? How do you handle issues that arise in teams?

6. Leadership: How are you demonstrating leadership in your career? As a manager or a supervisor, is your leadership style effective?

7. Communication: Is your communication style effective? How do you envision your communication style and efforts affecting your career at different levels of management?

8. Recognition: Is recognition important to you? As a manager or supervisor, do you recognize your direct reports in an effective manner? Do you also proactively recognize your own contributions as a team member?

How are you applying TQM to your career?

The Corporate Sister.

 

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