I love this new gingham trend that I see everywhere but I will be honest I have found a lot of the ruffles and gingham impractical for my everyday life. I love a cute, off the shoulder, ruffled gingham top but I could not figure out how to wear it in my everyday life.
Most days of the week I am in business attire so I don't like to fill my closet with too many weekend only items. So what is a girl to do who wants to get on this gingham trend in her everyday work life?
I have found some gingham work staples that I have pictured in these looks plus some other gingham pieces that I think are appropriate to wear in any work setting.
Just click on the pictures below (arrows to scroll left and right) to be taken directly to these gingham goodies - most under $100!
So you applied for a job for which you are not quite qualified - but you want it really - really - badly... To climb the corporate ladder you need to skip a few rungs. Do not fret over holes in your resume. Employers will skip over qualified applicants for one that is really hungry for the job and shares a sense of enthusiasm. But how can you make sure you land the job?
1) Research - You need to research the job and the company thoroughly and be prepared with specific business plans to show you will be ready on day one to learn and get things done. Find people inside the company you may have gone to school with or worked with - LinkedIn is your friend to do this. They can tell you about the company, its current issues, and maybe even your potential boss. Getting help from your network is key in this step. I also think it is important to read press releases or any public filings about a company. Understanding a company and its specific challenges can help make up for lack of specific skills.
2) Connect - Find others that do the job you want to do. Interview them. Ask them about how and where they learned the skills to do the job (this may lead to some good trade journals to check out). Also ask them about the biggest challenges they face and then think about how your current experience could help you tackle those kinds of challenges. I think many jobs have similar challenges like managing changing priorities, meeting tight deadlines or working with unpleasant co-workers. Be prepared with specific examples of how you have tackled similar challenges as may be faced in this role. This will make you seem like you can spot the important issues and think ahead to solve problems. If you do not have a big professional network, I highly recommend reaching out to your university to see if they can point you to alumni in the field. Alumni relations or career development offices are usually very happy to connect fellow alumni and usually keep a list with these kinds of details.
3) Show Enthusiasm - Still not getting the job? Find the company you want to work for and write a letter to the person you want to work for with your resume. Let them know you are eager even if they have no openings or you failed to get the job the first time through. Eagerness is hard to ignore so there is a good chance you will be the first call when something opens up.
4) Dress for the Part - This is a recurring theme on this blog it is so important to dress for the job you want. If you are applying for a manger position go in looking like a #bossbabe. It is ok to dress one step above what the official company dress code is. For example, if it is business casual, I still think a smart business look with a jacket is a good way to go. I give an example in these pictures featured in this post with my favorite suit (available in 4 colors) in the perfect year round weight. I also added some of my favorite work staples. Click on the pictures below to be taken directly to each item.
What are you favorite tips to landing your dream job? I know our readers would love for you to share in the comments!
For many people you head to a networking even immediately after work. You probably have not eaten in 5-6 hours and you are ready to cut loose after the long work day. I have few tips about what to eat, drink, and wear at your next networking event so you can get the most out of the event. After all, you are there to meet new people and grow your personal network.
1) Eat before you come - Early eating ensures you are not ravenous and will not spend your time in the buffet line. Plus the food is never that good anyway!
2) If you must eat, keep it simple and clean - This means do not pick up foods that will dirty your hands or the greasy items that will smear your lipstick. If you have a plate, do not pile it up in a mountain. If the event has passed appetizers, take only ONE piece with a napkin. It's not a contest to see how many mini quiches you can stick in your mouth. Chubby bunny anyone?
3) Drinks: know your limit - I am not a teetotaler by any means but I usually say drink no more than 2 alcoholic beverages at networking events or, better yet, stick to club soda. This ensures you will be on your best behavior and don't forget any new names!
4) Hold plate and glass in left hand - This ensures your right hand is always ready to extend and shake the hand of the new people you will meet at the event without having to wipe off sticky/wet fingers. If you have a plate and a glass, I suggest leaving room on the plate so you can rest your glass on it and put food around it. This allows the right hand to stay free.
5) Wear dark clothes - I always vote to wear darker colored clothes on days when I know I will be out late at a networking event. Inevitably when I wear a white shirt I get salad dressing on my top at lunch and then have to wear that look out to the networking event. Dark clothes will hide any food or drink disasters. An easy dark look is below that is full of closet staples like cardigan sweaters (available in 5 colors - $46 and under), comfortableheels (also available in 5 colors - $69) and black pants. Also you will not believe the dupe I found for this Celine bag! Just click on the pictures to be taken directly to each piece in this look. Arrows scroll left and right for more products.
Do you have any rules about networking events? Please share those in the comments! Now get out there and network!
Make sure your elevator pitch is moving you up! Last week we discussed the essential elements of a great elevator pitch. Now we discuss the specific how-to's to flesh out, write and put the perfect pitch into practice. This article's original post is referenced below and is the best summary of a specific plan I have found. I have used it to perfect my own pitch and I hope it helps you too. Cannot wait to hear it!
Write down what you do. Write it several different ways. Try writing it at least 10-20 different ways. Don't edit yourself at all. You will edit later. This first step is for generating ideas. Don't hold back. Ideas can be goofy, serious, wild, funny, or conservative. It doesn't matter. The goal is to get at many ideas as possible down on paper.
Write a very short story that illustrates what you do for people. If necessary, the story can be long. You will boil it down later. Paint a picture with words.
Write down your objective or goal.Do you want to make a sale, gain a prospect, enlist support for an idea, earn a referral, or something else?
Write 10-20 action statements. This is a statement or question designed to spur the action associated with your goal.
Record yourself. You can use Jott if you don't have a recording device. Jott is a free phone based service that translates your messages into text as well as providing an online link to the original audio.
Let it sit. Come back to what you've written with fresh eyes and ears the next day or later on in the same day.
Highlight the good stuff. Listen and read through what you've recorded and written. Then either highlight or circle the phrases that hook you with clear, powerful, and visual words. Obviously not all the words will fall into these categories. You still need connector words, but you want them to be as few as possible.
Put the best pieces together. Again you'll want to write down several versions of this much tighter pitch. Tell us what you do and why people should want to do business with you. Include elements from your story if you can fit it in.
Record these new ones.
Do a final edit cutting as many unnecessary words as possible. Rearrange words and phrases until it sounds just right. Again, the goal is 30-60 seconds maximum.
Dress Rehearsal. Run it by as many people as you can get to listen to you (read poor Uber drivers... I pitch all day long to them). Get feedback from colleagues, clients you trust, friends and family.
Done for now. Take your final elevator pitch and write it down. Memorize and practice it until it just slides off your tongue naturally.
Continue to improve. Over time, always be on the listen for phrases that you think could make your elevator pitch more clear and impactful. And then test it out. Every once in a while you will probably benefit by starting from scratch because things always change: you, your business, your goals, and your clients' needs.
Original post written by K. Stone, the author of Life Learning Today.
Pic courtesy of Pinterest.
Additional Resources: How to Get Your Point Across in 30 Seconds or Less by Milo O. Frank is a great resource for clear concise communications in general.
M.E.L. is an attorney and small business entrepreneur whose mission is to help professionals conquer the workaday world with style and poise.
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