Tag Archives: Workplace

Please, Call Me Bossy

Powerful. Ambitious. Bossy. Raise your hand if you’ve been called these words. *Raises hand.* Now tell me, were you viewed in a positive or negative light when someone used these words to describe you? Let me guess…

This post is likely going to trigger some strong emotions, dear reader, but stick with me. Of late, I’ve had what feels like hundreds of conversations with talented, experienced lady friends, who are walking around their respective workplaces walking on eggshells. Many are struggling with confidence or are letting past descriptions dictate how they show up in current roles. I’ve heard “I need to take back my power but don’t want to come off as intimidating” or “I feel like my team needs direction but I don’t want to seem bossy” Insert eye roll here.

our deepest fearLadies, I’m here to tell you, you’re likely going to be too much for some and not enough for others. That’s life. My question to you is: “What words would you use to describe yourself when you’re at your best?” If it’s powerful or ambitious or honest, so be it. These are not dirty words that shouldn’t be spoken. Powerful women stand in their own sun, radiating light for all to see. Ambitious women strive for more and are hopefully bringing others along on their journey. Bossy women don’t take no for an answer. To me, these are all beneficial actions. Sure, there are bossy women who are bitches, ambitious women who sell others out. I hope that’s the minority of women AND we have the opportunity to rewrite this story.

Take a few colleagues who you trust and discuss these words. How are they received in your workplace? What can you do to help other women embrace their power, their ambition? Corporate cultures are hard: typically they’re well-defined by only by a subset of leadership. They’re big on collaboration and you’re definitely working in teams. So how do you bring your powerful, ambitious self to work without ruffling all of the feathers?

It’s a balancing act for sure. I’ve been told I’m too much: too extroverted, too talkative, too honest. So I’ve started having conversations about my big, bold, beautiful personality upfront. Let’s make some agreements on how we’re going to work together so we both claim our power, so I’ll know when to ease up so you can step up. It’s not a magic potion that works every time but it’s absolutely helped. I encourage you to give it a try.

The quote above is what sparked the idea for this post. It was read to me during a coaching class and immediately tears filled my eyes. I pride myself on being authentic, yet if I dim my light because I perceive that others can’t handle it, am I really being my true self? It certainly made me reflect and step fully in my power.

Dressing the Part

As mentioned previously, I often contemplate different aspects of the working world. As a young professional just starting out, you want to stand out and prove yourself. This means everything, from big things like completing assignments on time to little things, like how you dress. Whether you like it or not, your image at work absolutely matters.

Dressing professionally is a skill, one that takes time to develop. I am, by no means, a fashion expert. But, in these few short months, I’ve picked up a couple of tips on how to dress the part.

1. Outfit: Absolutely embrace your own style and be comfortable. But comfortable doesn’t translate into sloppy. Make sure you are wrinkle and lint free and without rips or stains. Make sure you match; black and navy blue aren’t the same. Ladies, skirt length is important, watch anything too far above the knee. My biggest secret: the power of the blazer; it instantly dresses up any outfit.

2. Accessories: I love accessorizing my outfits. I try to match my shoes and purse but it isn’t necessarily a must. Shoes shouldn’t be too worn and bags should be able to close, especially if you are a commuter. For jewelry, bold, colorful pieces are fun but keep it balanced. If you have on a big necklace, don’t wear giant earrings. Anything you’d wear (or have worn) to a club is probably out.

3. Hair: My hair has a mind of its own so this is probably the hardest aspect of my image. Keep it simple and tamed, as much as possible. Of course, sometimes the weather gets in the way. For more advice on how to weather-proof your outfit, check out Levo League’s tips. Gentlemen, your facial hair needs to be cleaned up regularly. A modest beard is fine but looking like Wolverine isn’t.

4. Make-up: Again, stay true to your own style but don’t take it too far. You can wear colorful eye shadow but be careful on how much you apply. Check your face before meetings for smudges. If make-up isn’t your thing, that’s fine but face moisturizer is a good idea for men and women alike.

These are just a few tips I found helpful when dressing for the workplace. Before I leave the house each day, I ask myself: Would I want to talk to this person solely based on their appearance. I know that sounds a bit shallow, but how you dress for work does matter. People who don’t know you based their initial judgement off of your appearance. Additionally, dressing well makes you feel empowered and gives you an extra boost in confidence. Your image becomes a part of your personal brand.

Do you agree with my tips above? Is there anything you’d add? Share your thoughts!



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