$27 – withchic.com
$12 – riverisland.com
Consider these two statistics about finding work.
Job hunting can be a fulltime job in itself. After months of sending out resumes and filling out online applications without a callback, you might feel like giving up. Don’t despair, however. You might just be directing your resources to the wrong places. What often happens is people put most of their effort into the avenue that provides the lowest returns (job boards in this case). If you really want to maximize your job search efforts, it’s time to start using your network for all it’s worth. The chances of finding a job using your network are much greater than just utilizing job boards to find work.
People think that networking is about working a room or having to schmooze with upper management, so they’re immediately turned off by it. While it is necessary to attend networking events and approach people you don’t know (See # 10), many networking activities involve connecting with people you’re already familiar with. Authentic networking relationships involve give-and-take with the end goal of both parties gaining something.
Networking has gotten some bad press, but it’s time for that to change. Networking is best when it comes from authentic relationships that can be leveraged to the benefit of all parties involved.
A recent consumer poll showed that 79% of American women own between 2-10 bottles of perfume and 8% own 11 or more bottles. I’m somewhere in that remaining 13% that only owns one bottle of perfume. It’s not that I don’t like perfume. I actually love it, but there are reasons I have to be picky when it comes to what I wear. First of all, I’m sensitive to a lot of scents and I’ve been known to get asthma attacks from certain perfumes. Secondly, some perfumes smell amazing on another person but really horrible on me. Thirdly, my husband doesn’t like me to wear fragrances that remind him of his grandmother. Apparently, that’s a major romance killer, so powdery scents are out even though I’m often drawn to them.
My signature perfume is Viva La Juicy, by Juicy Couture. It took a lot of trial and error and clearing my nasal palate with coffee beans to find the right one. (Despite the somewhat scandalous name, I get a lot of compliments from men who want to buy it for their wives or girlfriends). This was the only perfume that my husband and I could agree on and I’m a firm believer that couples should be in agreement when it comes to fragrances. I dated someone back in my college days who wore a cologne that I had some type of aversion to. I couldn’t understand how it got past product development to make it to market. The smell of his cologne was so unpleasant to me that it became a source of distraction. I didn’t have the heart to tell him, so I endured it until our eventual breakup (and then I told him).
If you’re not olfactorily challenged (I’m not sure this is a real word) like I am, then you can enjoy the freedom of going beyond the typical day and night fragrance choices and wear a variety of perfumes for occasions that don’t only include weddings, dinner dates, and Christmas parties.
I will never forget the time I had to leave work early because I had the most adverse reaction someone’s perfume who walked past me in the stairwell. It started with itchy and runny eyes and turned into a twenty-minute non-stop sneezing attack. I literally couldn’t catch my breath. I don’t even know what perfume it was but I recall being overwhelmed by its potency. Many offices have moved to a “Fragrance-Free Policy” because some people experience reactions more severe than mine. Companies are also creating hypoallergenic perfumes aimed at minimizing allergic reactions. Laila, by Geir Ness is one such perfume. It’s a light and pleasant scent that is perfect for sensitive users.
MY RECOMMENDATION: I really like Laila by Geir Ness because it is a combination of fruity and water notes. The fruity note that stands out to me the most is watermelon, which I happen to love. It might just become # 2 in my collection after I let my husband smell-test it, but I’m pretty confident he will like this one too.
Olivine Atelier, a Vegan and Cruelty-Free product is perfect for those who want to give back. Part of the proceeds from sales go toward Every Mother Counts, a campaign to end preventable deaths caused by pregnancy and childbirth around the world. Every Mother Counts informs, engages, and mobilizes new audiences to take action to improve the health and well-being of girls and women worldwide. Definitely a cause I can get behind.
Baby holding is actually an occasion in my world. I will hold a baby any chance I get, but I’m always sensitive to how my perfume will affect the little ones I come into contact with. Burberry has an alcohol-free, hypoallergenic perfume called Burberry Baby-Touch. The product information sheet says “Burberry has developed a collection of scented products, hypoallergenic, specifically formulated in order to minimize allergy risks and to respect the delicate skin of babies and young children.” MY RECOMMENDATION: Burberry Baby Touch is a great fragrance for everyday wear. To me, it smells like a combination of baby powder and flowers. It’s not overpowering or offensive. It’s subtle enough that people won’t even be aware of you wearing it.
If you truly want to create a signature scent that is all your own, then layering is the way to go. The Atelier Cologne Necessaire Nomade set contains 8 x 0.14 oz perfumes in (i) Bergamote Soleil, (ii) Cédrat Enivrant, (iii) Orange Sanguine, (iv) Pomélo Paradis, (v) Mandarine Glaciale, (vi) Sud Magnolia, (vii) Figuier Ardent, (viii) Cédre Atlas notes that you can mix together to make your very own perfume. The combinations are endless.
I’m really excited to try these fragrant layers. I will probably make a day of this with my sister because she used to do this back in the day with her oils from Garden Botanika.
I tend to believe that wearing makeup to the gym is a no-no, but perfume, on the other hand, is perfectly acceptable. Gyms have a variety of unpleasant smells, so adding something nice into the atmosphere can’t hurt, right? For me, the obvious choice for a workout fragrance would be from an athletic company. I don’t want to be exuding flirtatious sexiness while on the elliptical machine. Strength and resilience, on the other hand, are exactly what I want. Adidas has a whole line of fragrances geared toward athletic and active women with fruity, floral and woody notes.
MY RECOMMENDATION: I have always found the Adidas fragrances a little too strong for my liking but I like the variety that the line offers. These products are an inexpensive way to expand on your perfume collection.
While I like the idea of having a signature scent, I am hoping that I will be able to expand my perfume collection soon. With so many choices, I’m sure I’ll be able to stay away from all powdery scents 🙂
(I’ve recently come across a perfume company called Demeter that I want to tell you about, but it will need its own blog post. Stay tuned!)
When your diet consists of only these ten foods, you have to be really creative to prevent boredom from kicking in. Thankfully, we have the internet for that. You can get thousands of recipes from Pinterest alone.
My favorite meal has always been breakfast and I’m always on the lookout for healthy, creative breakfast ideas. So when I came across this Sweet Potato and Egg Hash at Greatist.com, I almost couldn’t contain my excitement.
Not only is this recipe really delicious, it also gets an A Grade for nutritional value from our friends at CalorieCount.com. They have a really cool feature where you can analyze the ingredients in a recipe and come back with the overall nutritional value.
The only tweak I made was to remove the red peppers because I don’t like how they taste cooked. The dish is really satisfying and flavorful and I can see myself eating this on a regular basis.
My doctor told me I needed to lose 15 pounds after my last well-woman checkup. It didn’t come as a surprise because my clothes weren’t fitting right and I was feeling sluggish. I thought about going back to the gym, but that wasn’t a solution at that point in my life. Work was requiring me to be at the office 12 hours some days, so a gym membership would most likely have gone to waste. I don’t enjoy drinking shakes or eating pre-packaged/processed food so my meal plan would have to include a variety of real foods that were rich in nutrients and good sources of energy.
It’s important to know how foods affect you physically and mentally. Over the years, I’ve come to know the foods that are really bad for me. Processed sugar, gluten (yes, I’m actually gluten intolerant) and soy are foods that I need to avoid because they cause adverse reactions such as cystic acne, severe bloating, migraine headaches and of course, weight gain. Even with these restrictions, I was able to put together a varied selection of foods that were satisfying and healthy.
I wasn’t looking to “lose 5 pounds overnight” or by using any gimmick. Most times, if you lose a lot of weight in a short amount of time, you gain it back, with a little extra. I wanted my weight loss to be permanent and healthy. With that in mind, here is why I think this plan worked.
7. Sweet Potato
Even though this was a happy accident, I was thrilled about the results. Breaking down the numbers, my weight loss looked like this.
I lost the weight in November 2016, so when the Christmas season was upon us, I actually gained back almost 3 pounds of the weight I had lost. For me, it wasn’t realistic to only eat these foods while attending Christmas parties, client dinners and everything else that goes along with the holiday season.
UPDATE: I started the eating plan again the second week of February and I lost two pounds in the first week. Since I already know that this works for me, I’ve committed to continuing until I’ve lost 15 pounds. After that, I will probably add some more foods and experiment a little bit more.
Do you have any weight-loss secrets that worked for you? Are there any sure-fire recipes that you fall back on when you have to drop the pounds. Be sure to comment below. We’d love to hear from you.
PS – Stay tuned for delicious recipes including these 10 ingredients!
Self-care, an often neglected practice, is the care that is provided by you, for you. It can take on many forms, but at its core is a commitment to invest in your own health and well-being. As women, we give to many people around us. If we fail to give back to ourselves, we will eventually run out of resources to pour into others. That’s when burnout, frustration, and stress start to manifest in our lives.
Stress is higher among women than men, and Millenials experience the highest stress among the generations. This leaves female millennials at risk. High levels of stress can lead to health ailments, psychological problems, and relationship struggles. Left unmanaged, stress can be fatal. Taking time to invest in a healthier lifestyle can reduce the amount of stress and improve overall well-being.
If we don’t care for ourselves, every other relationship we have will suffer and we as women, put great value in our relationships. Self-care will look different for each person. I don’t really enjoy shopping, so that type of activity doesn’t energize me, but for someone else, a trip to the mall might be just what they need to recharge. Take time to know yourself and listen to that inner voice telling you what she needs.
Get sufficient sleep – Sleep deprivation is a leading source of stress, so be sure to get enough sleep every night. Power naps are great for reducing stress too.
Healthy eating – Nutrient dense foods help your body fight against disease and strengthen it against the effects of stress.
Physical fitness – Working out helps to produce endorphins, chemicals in the brain that make you feel happy.
Prayer/meditation – Prayer and meditation can be a source of comfort and help to change one’s perspective.
Reading – A good book can be more than an escape. Reading is said to relax the body and calm the mind.
Spend time with friends – Studies have shown that spending time with friends can help people to fight disease and cope with stressful situations.
Take a long bath – Some of the benefits of warm baths are pain relief, lower blood pressure and overall relaxation.
Unplug from gadgets – Technostress (the stress that comes from working with computers and other gadgets) is a relatively new form of stress. It can cause headaches, anxiety and physical problems (carpal tunnel, back pain). Unplug from your gadgets every so often to help your body reset itself.
Go for a walk at lunch – Too many of us work through our lunches and don’t take the break that we’re entitled to. Even a short 15-minute walk over lunch can significantly increase productivity.
Get a pet – Not only are pets lots of fun, they help to reduce stress by releasing feel-good hormones and lowering heart rate.
Go shopping – Buy those shoes you’ve been looking at for weeks. Treating yourself to a well-deserved gift is a sure-fire way to reduce stress.
Being intentional and strategic about taking care of yourself is essential to your well-being. Start treating this practice as a necessity, rather than a luxury and start enjoying the benefits.
Looking for a dessert that will satisfy your sweet-tooth but won’t derail your healthy eating? Mug-cakes, also known as cakes-in-a-mug, are the perfect small bites for these cravings.
If I had to choose between sweet or savory foods, 9 out of 10 times, I would pick savory. I don’t really have a sweet tooth which is great because I have a slow metabolism. Yet, even with a palate that leans toward savory, I still find myself with the occasional sweet cravings. Cake mugs are perfect for these times.
I like them because they’re bite-sized and they disappear after one serving. You don’t have to face the temptation of eating half a cake over the course of the week. So the next time your sweet tooth kicks in, take your pick of these (almost) guilt-free desserts. Many require only a few minutes of prep time and just a few ingredients.
They all look incredible but I think I’m going to try the 5-Minute Toffee cake first. My kids would be all over the Cinnamon Roll and my husband’s favorite will be Cake Batter.
Have you ever made a Cake in a Cup? Why not share your recipe in the comments below.
In an increasingly competitive and challenging job climate, it’s very important to differentiate yourself from other equally qualified candidates. Even an incredible record of achievement might not be enough to help you get a job these days. You need to show your prospective employer how your experience and training align with the goals and objectives of the organization.
Before you go for the job interview, do as much research about the company as you can. Go beyond the job description and determine how you can become a meaningful contributor.
Your key objective at the interview (outside of landing the job) is figuring out how you can add value to the department, division, and organization.
Play for the name on the front of the shirt and they will remember name on the back of the shirt.
Imagine that you’re applying for a VP, Innovation role for a large corporation. Think about some common interview questions that you’ve been asked in the past and frame them in terms of how you can add value to the organization. Here are some answers to typical interview questions keeping the company front and center.
Tell me about yourself.
I currently work as a Learning and Development Director. Here I manage the Learning and Development program for the companies 10000 employees. While I really enjoyed all of the aspects of this role, I would like to move my career forward in a leadership role. The VP Innovation role sounds like the perfect culmination of my past experiences and current skill set. I know it would present the type of challenge that I’m looking for at this stage in my career, specifically as it relates to putting your organization on the map as a leader in innovation.
What is your greatest strength?
Name one of your weaknesses.
My greatest weakness has always been my reluctance to delegate. Early in my career, this was borne out of a desire to prove myself at all costs. As my area of responsibility grew, this was a result of a poor use of resources. I’ve learned that effective delegation adds value to the company by balancing workload, increasing efficiency and building stronger teams allowing everyone to remain mission oriented.
Why should we hire you?
I think what sets me apart from other candidates is my ability to combine my professional experience with my people skills. Strong working relationships are very important to me and I actively seek to engage all stakeholders. Research has shown that companies that innovate are able to hold onto a greater share of the market for a longer time that competitors. Once you know how to find exactly what it is they need, you can more effectively engage your stakeholders. In an increasingly competitive climate, all stakeholders need to innovate and that is the service we want to provide them. For these reasons, I am confident that I can help your organization achieve its purpose of creating a culture of innovation among employees.
To recap, you want to present yourself as someone who will contribute to the success of the company.
If you take the time to learn about the company and align yourself with their vision, mission, and organizational goals, they will more readily see you as the asset that you already know you are.