Coffee Break: Can You Let Family and Friends Use Your Employee Discounts?

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Photo credit: http://www.uhd.edu Photo credit: http://www.uhd.edu/caption

This is a touchy one. So you let your sis or your cousin on vacation from Minnesota use your employee discount card. No big deal, right? After all, why should’t others take advantage of your employee perks? You’re actually being nice and caring. Right?

My $0.05: Tread carefully here! This may seem a benign matter, but can land you in some unnecessary hot waters at work! Make sure to find and read your company policy about employee discounts, as it can vary from workplace to workplace. Most often, employee discounts are reserved to you and your spouse, and maybe your dependents.
Whatever you do, stick to the rules! Remember ethics hotlines and anonymous tips are increasingly used to report these types of violations, as minor as they may be. You don’t want to get in trouble for a tube of lipgloss…

Do you share employee discounts with friends and family? Any tips?

The Corporate Sis.

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Work It: Martha Dress

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Martha Dress - $148 - Photo credit: bodenusa.com

Martha Dress – $148 – Photo credit: bodenusa.com

Boden’s new Spring line has me seeing flowers blooming everywhere, like on this happy Martha dress. Loving the retro feel of the roll neck on an otherwise modern and chic day dress. The large prints are absolutely gorgeous in all their eye-catching vibe, and the fitted shape with a hint of forgiving stretch will fit most of us (especially after lunch). This dress is $148 at Boden!

And of course, I found the perfect complement to

Westminster bag - Photo credit: bodenusa.com

Westminster bag – Photo credit: bodenusa.com

this sunny dress, this amazing Westminster bag in sulphur yellow, also from Boden (pssst…it’s also available in baby blue).

The Corporate Sis.

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Why You Should Be Grateful for the Job You Hate

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smiling young ethnic woman wearing headsetWe talked about dealing with a job you hate, and how being enthusiastic can make all the difference at work.For the average person at work, making it through the 40+ hours a week chained at a desk you’d rather be filled with cupcakes than paperwork, gratitude can be a far stretch. At this point, you’re on survival mode, waiting for your big break when you can walk around the office with the biggest “I Quit” sign you can find…

For most of us, being happy at work, or even pretending to be, can feel like pulling teeth. One extremely powerful exercise my coach had me do is actually write down all the reasons why I was grateful for my job, including the fact it provides financial resources (and also has greatly contributed to my shoe collection over the years). After I was done with this simple, yet powerful, exercise, I had a new-found respect for my job and the current phase I was in.

1. Yes, gratitude can help you when you’re struggling at work: Most people stuck in jobs they hate, or facing life crisis, find that showing appreciation for the people in their lives dramatically, and positively, alters their focus. When you praise and help someone else, you also help yourself!

2. Gratitude creates stronger bonds between co-workers than constant complaining: Studies show happiness and gratitude have a ripple effect. If you know someone who’s happy and grateful, your odds of being happy and grateful are increased. While complaining about work may temporarily unite you with your fellow grumpy co-workers, showing appreciation will uplift both you and them. And make you more prone to a promotion as well…

3. Gratitude will help you move forward: Productivity on the job has long been linked to gratitude. Now that more feminine qualities like emotional IQ, compassion, and support, are finally seen as a large part of organizational success, it’s increasingly obvious the more appreciation you show, the better the results. And the better the results, the more you learn, and the faster you can move on up, sideways, or you know, out…

Do you show gratitude for your current job, although you may dislike it? How do you go about it?

The Corporate Sis.

So what do you think? Leave a comment and let me know!

Coffee Break: How Do You Deal With A Job You Hate?

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Photo credit: http://www.hire-intelligence.com Photo credit: http://www.hire-intelligence.com/caption

You may know the feeling, dragging yourself out of bed in the morning, brushing your teeth while trying to remember who invented the very concept of work, and heading to a job that for all intents and purposes, pays the bills (well, not that Michael Kors bag though), and that you…hate! How do you deal with hating your job but still having to put up with it because you’ve got to pay the bills? How do you muster a minimum level of enthusiasm for your job, when you’re dying to leave as soon as you get in? And what can you do to not want to change your diet to chocolate-based for the entire time you’re at work?

My $0.05: The rent’s gotta get paid, food needs to be purchased, and life’s necessities still need to be met. And it all requires a paycheck, which comes with a job, albeit one that makes you look forward to your next dentist appointment. If you must work at a job you hate, stop torturing yourself, do the best you can while finding ways to go after the job you really want (and not starve in the process). Do one thing to get yourself closer to your dream job every day, practice gratitude daily, and whenever you feel like throwing in the towel, picture yourself calling that successful frenemy of yours to ask for a loan…

How do you manage being in a job you hate?

The Corporate Sis.

So what do you think? Leave a comment and let me know!

Work It: Raincoat

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Raincoat - $190 - Photo credit: nordstrom.com

Raincoat – $190 – Photo credit: nordstrom.com

Happy March! Good news: winter is on its way out. Bad news: piles of melted snow, messy puddles, and torrential rains are awaiting. Hence today’s pick, this Ralph Lauren hooded single breasted raincoat from Nordstrom. Loving the simple look of this raincoat in racing khaki, as well as its practicality. This coat is $190 at Nordstrom.

I’d pair this easy coat with a sturdy, yet elegant pair of rain boots like our prior selection. Another option would be these well-priced Jeffrey Campbell rain booties from Shopbop.

The Corporate Sis.

 

So what do you think? Leave a comment and let me know!

This One Quality Will Get You (And Help You Keep) The Job

Photo credit: http://www.girlsbasics.com Photo credit: http://www.girlsbasics.com/caption

A great manager once told me “You’ve got to work with gusto!”. Showing up to work (especially on Monday mornings after a major snow storm), with the biggest smile on your face, can seriously feel like a new form of tyranny at times. Yet, a pep in your step and a smile on your face may very well prove to advance your career more than stellar performance. Better yet, under stressful job interview circumstances, a healthy dose of enthusiasm can bring you on top in a tight race.

According to a January 2015 Gallup poll, it appears only 31.5% of U.S. employees were engaged at work in 2014, with millenials coming in as the least engaged generation. Gallup’s definition of an engaged employee is one who is “involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to their work and workplace”.Let’s keep in mind this level of engagement is the highest since 2000 when Gallup first began measuring this performance indicator.

A 2013 Harvard Business School survey on employee engagement found 72% of respondents believe employee engagement has a direct link to high performance. In other words, the more employees are engaged, the more successful they are, and the better off the company’s bottom line. Basic, right?

This is all to say your employer wants you to show enthusiasm and passion at work. Whether you feel the latter or not may matter to you, but not so much to your boss. Sounds unfair, and even bordering on oppression? Maybe…Yet it’s the reality in most workplaces.

So if you happen, like most people, to be chained to the necessity of earning a living to do things like pay your rent or eat food, do you have to pretend to love your job even when you don’t? Well, you may just have to, or avoid that “cheery voice required” customer service job…

Do you feel being enthusiastic is a (forced) pre-requesite to success at work?

The Corporate Sis.

So what do you think? Leave a comment and let me know!

The 411: Weekly News Update

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Dr. Maya Angelou - Photo credit: huffingtonpost.com

Dr. Maya Angelou – Photo credit: huffingtonpost.com

Happy Sunday!

Hope everyone is enjoying their week-end, and welcoming the month of March, and hopefully the beginning of Spring. Not that we don’t enjoy the snow, but we’ve just about had enough here in the Northeast…And as you’re peeking out your window looking for the first signs of Spring, here are the news that made us smile, cringe, and shake our heads this week:

 

  • In beautiful news this week, and as an inspirational ending to Black History Month, one of my favorite authors, speakers, actresses and equality champions of all times Dr. Maya Angelou is to be honored with her own US postal stamp. And in homage to this “grande dame”, Huffington Post lists 10 things you didn’t know about Maya Angelou’s incredible life;
  • In other beautiful news, The Root reveals the Senate Panel’s vote to approve Loretta Lynch to become the first African-American woman US Attorney General;
  • Still in smile-inducing news, Her Agenda reveals Facebook and Linked In are teaming up to launch a new college program to empower women in tech. By the way, check out this Smart Asset‘s listing of the best cities for women in tech too;
  • In other tech news, the FCC voted to pass the Open Internet Order, aka net neutrality rules, and Lifehacker tells you what it really means for you;
  • In an encouraging bid for women everywhere, Business Insider shows women’s wages have been up for the past 35 years, while men’s have been flat. Now we just need both to equalize, please and thank you…
  • Speaking of wages, New York Mag celebrates the minimum wage raise for tipped workers in NY, while Fortune writes about Walmart pledging $100 million to boost jobs;
  • Harvard Business Review charts up what millenials really want from work, across the world, while Business Insider looks at how they completely change the economy. Whoa!;
  • Forbes found out the key to productivity is indeed not in your mornin’ joe, or the next productivity system (read about this new productivity method though), it’s actually getting out of the office. Just don’t do this when working from home;
  • In case running a multi-billion dollar company is up there on your to-do list, Fast Company shares a few secrets from women who are doing it day in and day out;
  • In fashion news, Inc. lists 6 fashion week trends you can wear to work and not look like you fell off the runways. Also, check out some of the major work trends we saw on the Fall runways, here, here and oh there too…
  • If you’re looking forward to your next dentist appointment more than you’re looking forward to work, Ask A Manager discusses managers organizing “fun” at work;
  • Introverts be happy! Finally, it’s been proved more networking is bad for women, and Harvard Business Review tells you all about it;
  • In juicy bits, Fortune MPW invites you to meet the new trophy husbands, and don’t we love it;
  • Last but not least, the head scratcher of the week, heck, make it the month, what color is #TheDress? The Wrap has a confirmation from the designer’s mouth, but we’re still puzzled as to how that made it to front news…Anyhoo…

Happy Sunday y’all!

The Corporate Sis.

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L’Edito: Keep Calm and Be Diverse

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keep-calm-and-be-diverse-14If there’s one thing the whitest, most male-dominated Oscars managed to accomplish this year, it is to spur a gigantic, inspiring wave of Diversity awareness. From Neil Patrick Harris’ hilarious, yet on-point introduction “Tonight, we honor the best and whitest…sorry, brightest“, to Patricia Arquette’s rousing speech dedicated to women’s equality (and this despite the unfortunate media backlash that ensued), not to mention discussions around LGBT, national security, immigration and suicide issues, Diversity was at the front row this year. The peak of the evening was John Legend and Common’s rendition of Selma’s song “Glory” , that left everyone in tears, as the Oscars brought about more sincerity about Diversity than was frankly expected.

Days later, social media erupted with the backlash around comments made by Fashion Police’s Giuliana Rancic towards Disney star Zendaya Coleman’s dreadlocks, joking about the fact they smelled of “patchouli and…weed”. Since then, Rancic has issued an on-air and over social media apology, which Zendaya has elegantly accepted, yet her co-host at Fashion Police Kelly Osbourne has left the show, allegedly as a result of the tumultuous events.

Talks of diversity were, and still are, very much heated everywhere these days. And while it’s a good thing for diversity (or the lack thereof), to be exposed in bright daylight, we have to be careful to focus on what is really at stake for people and minorities everywhere. I am in awe of Selma director Ava Du Vernay’s request to cancel protests over the lack of diversity in Hollywood, and her refusal to allow all the talks about race, gender and class to detract from the beauty of the movie itself. As she says in an interview with The News, “With all due respect, all of these issues around race, gender and class are a distraction right now to the beauty of a film about freedom fighters who fought for justice and indignity; the rest of it is kind of media-created hype.”

Yes, we do have to talk about diversity, and find ways to expose the problems created by the lack of it and remedy these. Yet, we must also keep in mind Diversity is a medium of inclusion, not exclusion. While condemning the lack of it is necessary, our focus should be on creating art, products, institutions, laws that promote the acceptance and advancement of all equally, and that are recognized as such. In order to promote change, we must not only talk about it, but also work at it. And most often, the work that accomplishes the most change is also the one that speaks more through its results than its heated conversations…

What do you think of the recent heated media debate about Diversity?

The Corporate Sister.

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Coffee Break: Is It OK to Skip Happy Hour?

Photo credit: http://www.pet360.com Photo credit: http://www.pet360.com/caption

We’ve talked about proper happy hour etiquette before. Yet, what happens when happy hours doesn’t exactly ring your “happy” bell? What if you perceive happy hour more as an annoying, and unpaid obligation to spend more time with work colleagues? Is it OK to skip happy hour altogether, or does it have the potential of harming your career?

There are obvious reasons why sharing a drink or two with your boss could benefit your career, other than the sheer fact the company may be footing the bill. Yet, if after-hours drinks with co-workers are really not your cup of tea (no pun intended), there are ways to go about turning down the invite.

My $0.05: After starting a family, I’ve had to skip a happy hour or two. And yes, whether we like to hear it or not, it does affect that “social” part of your career advancement. Is it OK to skip it? There is no rule that says otherwise, however, you may want to strike a healthy balance between declining too frequent after-hours invites and attending a healthy percentage of them as part of your team integration.

Thoughts?

The Corporate Sis.

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