Tag Archives: Jobs

Motivation Mondays: The Devil Wears Prada

Today’s Motivation Monday post is brought to you by Thought Catalog. If you never visited their site, you really should check it out. They post hysterical articles and tons of random lists that are often applicable to the life of a 20 something. Their posts are guaranteed to improve even the worst days.

A couple of weeks ago, I found a Thought Catalog post titled “15 Life Lessons from “The Devil Wears Prada.” Intrigued, I clicked the link, read their list of tips and found that I agreed with all of them. If you haven’t seen the movie, I’d absolutely check it out this weekend. The quick summary: Anne Hathaway lands her dream job at Runaway, an iconic fashion magazine. She then meets her boss, Meryl Streep and quickly realizes how demanding and challenging her new position is going to be. While some the antics of Hathaway and Streep are a bit exaggerated, there are some helpful pieces of advice for those starting their careers or working at internships.

My favorite points from Thought Catalog include:

1. Never Show Up To Meetings Unprepared.

– No matter how much you hate your boss, position or the work you’re doing, you must come prepared to meetings, presentations, etc. Not being prepared will ultimately cause you more stress than preparing did.

5. When Things Get Hard, Complaining Gets You Nowhere.

– Sure, there will be days when you’re frustrated, when your boss gives you the most ridiculous project to work on and the list goes on and on. Hopefully, the good days outnumber the bad ones. You can vent for a minute or two, but complaining to your co-workers is a bad decision.

10. Appearance Matters, No Matter What Anyone Says.

– This especially holds true when you work at a fashion magazine, like Hathaway does in the movie. However, regardless of where you work, your overall appearance does matter, from head to toe. You are a professional so the way you dress should convey that.

15. An Amazing Job Isn’t Always A Job That Makes You Happy.

– I’ve seen this happen to a bunch of recent graduates. You think job x is your dream job and is going to make you oh so happy. Then you come to find you hate it. Experience is the best teacher, meaning you won’t know what your dream job is until you start working and trying different things. It’s okay to admit you were wrong; it’s trial and error.

When you’re interning or just starting out, you will be asked to do things that you feel are beneath you. But remember, respect isn’t given, it’s earned. You have to prove yourself…everyone started out the same way. Some days will be better than others and you’ll work well with some bosses and not so well with others. Don’t let one experience define the rest and keep searching until you find what makes you truly happen. Never settle!

Check out the rest of Thought Catalog’s lessons from The Devil Wears Prada here. Share your own advice too!

Resigning With Grace

For the last two months, I have been working for Sansone Toyota as their Delivery Coordinator. In short, I take people to their car after its purchased and show them how to work everything from their Bluetooth to their windshield wipers. It has been a great job, a distraction and a paycheck. But, now I’m ready to move on and give my two weeks notice. To say I felt and probably looked like a deer in headlights was an understatement.

Before I even thought about resigning, I made sure my job at PwC was definite. I had an offer letter, all my 401K and insurance information as well as a start date. With all of those pieces to the PwC puzzle, I felt confident it was time to give my two weeks notice. I had never resigned from a job before so this was completely new territory. Based off of this experience, I came up with a few tips that helped me resign with grace.

1). Have a Plan: Before I went into work on that faithful Monday, I practiced what I was going to say and how I was going to say it. I also thought about the best time to speak with my boss; earlier in the day would work better than later at night.

2). Be Concise: When I did sit down with my boss, I kept my little speech short and to the point. I tried not to hesitate and avoided words like um and like. By doing this, it showed I was comfortable and confident in my decision.

3). Don’t Burn Bridges: I explained to my boss that I wasn’t leaving because of anyone at Toyota. It was just time for me to move on and focus on my career. I also thanked him for the opportunity and said I was glad to have worked for him. In turn, he said I could use him as a reference and that he wanted to stay in touch. It’s important not to burn bridges since you never know when a previous boss or co-worker might come in handy.

4). Think About What You Learned: When I first started at Toyota, I thought the job was pointless and was pretty miserable. Now, I realize that I’ve learned a lot during the last two months. I’ve improved my customer service skills and developed more patience. I’ve also been working with solely men, which is completely different from working with women. I have realized these differences and changed my communication style based on them. All of these skills will be valuable at any job I have in the future.

When I did actually resign, my boss was super supportive and respected my decision. I am very grateful for my experience at Toyota. I’ve met some awesome people and cultivated different skills. Now it’s time to move on to the next phase of my life.

The Most Important Job

When you hear the word job, you probably think of a profession or career. You relate the word to what you studied in college and how you earn money. But there’s a lot of other really important jobs in my life that have nothing to do with money.

I have a job as a daughter, sister, niece, cousin and friend. Those roles are much more important to me than my career. Don’t get me wrong, having a successful career is important but being a big sister is my favorite and most important job. Lucky for me, this position didn’t require an intense job search.

I have three younger siblings: DJ who is 19, Samantha who is 9 and Antonio who is 8. I love my brother DJ but this post is more about Samantha and Antonio. When both of these rugrats were born, I was beyond ecstatic and thought I’d teach them everything. While I’d like to think I’ve taught them a few things, in the short time they’ve been around, I have learned so much from both of them.

Samantha has a big personality: she will give you her opinion and ask all sorts of questions. You can tell from one conversation with her that she’s wise beyond her years. At almost ten, Sam walks to the beat of her own drum and usually doesn’t care what anyone says. It’s something I admire in my baby sister and know she’s going to run the world one day. Antonio is the most lovable little boy, always there with an encouraging hug or smile. He tells me he’ll give me hugs and kisses even when he’s a grown-up; I can only hope that’s true. With Samantha and Antonio, I don’t have to be a Rockstar, I’m just their big sister Alex. I don’t have to make Dean’s List or have an amazing job; I can just be. In their eyes, I’m a Rockstar just because I spend time with them and that to me is the greatest gift they’ve given me.

One day while scrolling through Pinterest, I found a tattoo of fingerprints in the shape of a heart. I instantly fell in love and knew it would be the perfect tattoo for Samantha and Antonio. People wondered why I’d get my little siblings’ fingerprints as a tattoo. Wouldn’t I do that with my children? It’s true, they aren’t my kids, but they feel like it, probably because of the age gap. There’s not a thing in the world I wouldn’t do for either of them. They both have changed my life in so many positive ways and are my main motivation for achieving success. I got the tattoo this past Tuesday and have fallen more in love with it each day.

My new tattoo serves as a reminder of the importance of my job as big sister. I have four eyes and ears on me at all times, watching my actions and listening to my words. I also have two people who don’t judge me and love me unconditionally. Sure, we fight like all siblings do but there’s nothing that can come between us. I hope in the years to come my relationship will only get stronger with Samantha and Antonio. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for these guys and am so lucky to be a part of it.

The Right To Be Picky

Job searching is a full time job especially for someone like me. I have an color-coded spreadsheet broken down by location. I have five different cover letters tailored to specific positions. I must apply to at least two jobs everyday and update my spreadsheet weekly. I know it sounds a bit crazy but I need to do everything in my power to get a job, right?

When I look at a position, I envision myself working at that company in that role. Most positions include public relations, marketing, communications, social media or development somewhere in the title. However, after hundreds of applications, I started to apply to anything remotely comparable to my skill sets.

Fast forward to yesterday when I commuted into Manhattan for an interview with American Express Publishing. The position was for a Business Assistant, someone to complete administrative tasks and enter some data into spreadsheets. Certainly, I could manage that. The man I interviewed with, the Director of Finance, thought otherwise.

This man was the definition of honesty. He said my resume was impressive and that he could tell I was eager to learn. He appreciated me coming in on such a miserable day (hurricanes in Manhattan yesterday) but said I wasn’t right for the position. Mind you, I barely had spoken at this point. He offered to hold on to my resume in case a position opened in their PR department. We shook hands, I thanked him profusely and back I went to New Jersey pretty disappointed.

Yes, rejection isn’t fun nor is commuting in the rain. But, I was reminded that I do have the right to be picky when applying for jobs. I am allowed to pass up opportunities that aren’t right for me. I am allowed to wait for the right job to come along. It doesn’t have to be perfect but it can be close. I don’t have much patience so this is hard for me. I am going to try and remind myself of this experience every time I read a job description.

I was also reminded yesterday that being passionate is important. My interviewer saw how passionate I was when talking about the career I wanted. He praised me for it and said it was more important to be passionate then to be employed. That alone was worth the wet commute into Manhattan.

Do recent graduates have the right to be picky? Don’t be afraid to share your opinion!

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