Month: August 2014

I’m 24 and Starting My First Job; Help!

Trying to forget the major crap hole my life feels like at the moment, I will admit, has been a daily process and I have been struggling about what I should post about this week. That is when it hit me. One way to forget my troubles is to delve myself into the troubles of others and hopefully give a few helpful tips to help someone else. So here I have another question, from one of my favorite sources XOJane:

The Question:
This might seem stupid, but I’m starting a new job, and I’m really anxious about general office policy. I’m going to be a staff accountant for a Midwestern hotel management company – and my second week will be out-of-town, staying in a hotel in a big Midwestern city, alone.
I was never given an official manual, like I have been at other positions – I’m expected to show up one day to do my HR paperwork, and then begin training the next day. I know it sound superficial, but most of my questions are just sort of basic office things that I actually don’t know:
-What is generally accepted business attire? I’m 24 and the new position is as an accountant. Does it vary between offices? Areas of the country? Or between types of accounting? What should I do if no one tells me???
-What should I expect for discussions of benefits and the like? Am I supposed to try to bargain for the best? How do I know what’s reasonable?
-What will I do for lunch? I know this sounds lame, but I live five minutes from the corporate office. I don’t want to go home and ignore everyone, but how do you get into a lunch group??
Help a girl out! Any advice you readers can give me is appreciated – including (and especially) advice on first week outfits and behavior. Help me start off professionally!

My Answer:
There probably is nothing that sucks quite as much as being the “New Kid on the Block” besides the feelings of excitement and adventure that I am sure are there some where. One also has to contend with the nerves and uncertainty that sometimes feel like they will overwhelm you and you will end up tripping on a piece of carpet in front of everyone and spilling your drink all over your new outfit and have to spend the rest of the day smelling like hot sticky sweetness and looking as though you can’t be trusted with an “adult” cup (I’m having a flashback i think) but don’t worry from my misery I’m sure you can find triumph and avoid some less than desirable situations.

First off, congrats on your grown-up job! Score one for you!

Alright enough of that on to your questions:

– My general rule of thumb (no matter where you are working) for your first week of work when it comes to attire; “Always go for a more formal look.” While I am sure that during the interview process (if it was in the office) you got the chance to see some of the other people you will be working with and what they were wearing, take a cue from them and just go more formal by one notch. So if everyone is in a relaxed business casual; go in wearing business casual by adding a blazer or a cardigan shell to your look. Continue along this vein until you get a real feel for the work place and what rules and aren’t acceptable for the dress code. Remember your new, your coworkers have been there longer and probably have some leeway as to what they can get away with but YOU just got the job so put in some more effort in the beginning. So that means no matter how nice your jeans are STAY AWAY and opt for mix-and-match separates that aren’t; too tight, too short, too revealing and derogatory (I shouldn’t have to add that last one but just in case) If you want them to take you seriously then dress accordingly.

– Now when it comes to the discussion of benefits normally that happens before you receive the offer when they talk to you about the salary being offered. So if there was a second interview that would have been the time to talk salary, PTO (Paid Time Off) etc. But since your next time in the office will be to do your paperwork you can assume that has already been set in stone and they will probably offer you the standard for the position. It seems that this will be an entry-level position for you so you really don’t have a leg to stand on thus there will be no negotiation. Come back in a year (probably more like 3-5) when you have some more experience with the company and something that only you can bring to the table and I am sure they will be willing to talk numbers with you then. Also expect to receive your employees “Handbook” when you go to fill out your paperwork, if not then ask if there is an orientation for new employees (I have worked at places where I didn’t have orientation until about 3 weeks on the job, so it happens.)

-Since you will only be at headquarters for one week before heading on the road, it is most important for you to try to break the ice with your co-workers as soon as possible. So don’t even THINK about going home for lunch! What more perfect time then when everyone is filling their bellies than to pick their brains on the latest goings-ons in the office? When you go in for paperwork, ask if you can take a walk around the office, if that isn’t appropriate (although I don’t really see why not but what do I know?) see if there is a communal lunch area or are people eating at their desks (note if there are a take-out menus hanging around if you go in the morning) or ASK HR where people normally go for lunch in the area. You never know your company might be one of the few that have a cafeteria where everyone goes to eat or they brown bag it for lunch and gather in common areas. Basically my point here is to not close yourself off from people and use the limited amount of time you have before going out of office to ask for opinions and tips from people who have already been the new kids.

We have all been where you are and will probably be there again so don’t freak over the small stuff and just breathe, it will all work out I promise. Don’t forget to check out my Tips from the CEO’s Office post to get some more helpful tips for surviving the work place.

Well then, until next time folks!
Sabrina

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August has not been kind

I remember thinking that 2014 was going to be an AWESOME year! I was going to do all these exciting things and meet fabulous people, not that 2014 is anywhere near over but, still… Can I just say that it has been a very hard couple of weeks for me? Not only did I learn that there was some issues with my Dad’s job (don’t even get me started on the pure fuckery that is going on with that situation) but for all to be quickly followed by car accident, I am just too tired for words. Thankfully, no one was injured in the accident although there was some damages to both vehicle’s , it is just material things, right? Now it is just getting through all of the red tape with the insurance companies and what not.

So needless to say, it has been a little hard to get in the right head space to write a post here and share with all of you. It has been a bit of a mad house but hopefully we are turning a corner and there will be better days ahead (keep the hope alive!) I am hoping that this week will be more of a smooth sailing and I can share some other news with you guys soon. Here is to September being better!!!

Sorry for this short one but I felt the need to at least say something today. Keep tuning in for resumption of posts this week!! Pray for a sister!

Until next time,
Sabrina

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Reflecting on the Journey to Here

As we spend our days and nights tirelessly pursing our dreams of a grander, more purposeful life it can be quite easy to get caught up in the end goal and forget to truly experience the present. It is something that every one struggles with; it is something that I am currently trying to navigate.

I have always been a planner; complete step A then on to B,C,D etc. Even with starting this blog I envisioned penning a few posts and then having to field constant invites from people who; want me to attend their events, promote their cause, wear their clothes and sit down for interviews. The Un-Life would have been my key to that magical land of sufficient money, opportunities and recognition. So I started with my introduction to the world, hey it’s me take notice before you miss out on all the greatness that is Sabrina! I seemed to have shouted across social media and NYC but things didn’t happen quite as I had intended and because I am but a mere human filled with flaws and all I begun to feel as though, once again I had missed the mark.

It wasn’t until last weekend at a dinner party that my sister had thrown in her bit of greenery in Brooklyn, that I was playing co-host to #SingleGirlProblems (with two artsy couples in attendance.) With the spirits flowing, the food eaten and the mosquitoes biting that the conversation seemed to all center on me and what kind of art I was into. Before this, we had heard about E’s amazing bag line that is being re-conceptualized into luxury wallets (more on this to follow, I hope), B’s sojourn to NYC to go to grad school for his MFA, JE and M’s freelance work as graphic designers and the admittedly awkward party they attended at MOMA recently and everyone knew that S (my sister, not me) is working in production and we had recently done the shoot for her designer friend HYE SUN MOON as mentioned in a previous post. So you might be able to imagine how ardently I wanted to impress this group with my projects to feel like I was actually doing something in comparison.

So I started, “I’m a writer; I’m currently working on a novel (sort of) and I have a new blog.”
B: “What kind of blog is it?”
ME: “I like to call it a “Life and Style” blog. That way I can write about what i think is relevant to my life but I can also do some style segments, book reviews, travel, millennial issue things as well.”
B: “That’s cool. Have you done any other kind of writing?”
ME:” Yeah, I used to write plays, even put up three shows in a year once a couple of years ago. HA!”
M: “Wait three shows?”
ME: “Two here in NYC and one in San Francisco”
B: “How did you end up in San Fran?” (his hometown as it happens)
ME: “It was really funny actually, I happened to see a call for submissions and before my good sense could kick in I submitted not thinking anything would come of it. Then I got the email for acceptance and had a panic attack.” This of course was met with a round of laughter.

M: “That must have been crazy organizing and getting everything together for all of the shows, wow I can’t even imagine what that must have been like.”
ME: “Not to say that I would do it again but I don’t know if I would say it was really that crazy but it was definitely an experience, I will say that for sure, I learned a whole lot.”
E: (who had been leaning quite heavily over the side of her chair this whole time and trying to fix herself another burger) Wait how old are you again?
ME: 25. This of course was followed by, She’s a baby! and what not because the average difference between me and everyone else at the table is about 9.25 years

I don’t want to come across here as asking for people’s awe and praise for what I have done in my life or anything like that I just want to make it clear but it was in that conversation with people who didn’t really know me and my own personal struggles with finding my “calling”, finding work and doing more than just “surviving that I had to take a step back and say to myself, “Hey, I have done a lot. I have something that amazes these people, I have accomplished things I can be proud of.”

And that is the point that I want to drive home with this post, although you and I have not accomplished all that have intended to (the end goal) and we are maybe just trying to figure things out to get through today; do yourself a favor and take a moment, today to reflect on all of things you HAVE accomplished, remember to take stock of hard lessons you have had to learn along the way and give yourself a big pat on the back because, you deserve it.

Alright crazy kids, it’s Friday!

Until next time!

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Indie Go-Go & Indie Chick Magazine

I just wanted to do a really quick post about a new note worthy cause. The Indie Chicks are an amazing group of mainly women, I did peep a gent or two on their author’s page, that have banded together to help women strengthen and empower themselves and each other. With stories, advice and tips that really matter. You won’t find too many of the “20 Tips to Blow Your Partner’s Mind” here but what you will find is a resounding message of self-acceptance and empowerment that can sometimes be lacking in today’s media.

theindiechickslogo

What started as an online magazine has quickly grown with The Indie Chicks premiere In-stands Issue just this past summer (maybe you have seen it at you local bookstore and didn’t know what it was about, well…now you do!) but they need our help to keep spreading their message and getting a Fall issue out.

Your Call to Action:
+ Check out TheIndieChicks.com and check out how they are helping others unleash their inner bad ass

Like what they have to say?

Visit their IndieGoGo page and make a pledge. If you can’t donate money that is okay, I understand. Follow them on social media, grab a button and help spread the word to your network about a Note Worthy Independent Cause that is worth supporting!

Until next time,
Sabrina

 

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HELP! I hate my Job!

Things have been a little hectic on my end with work, home and everything in between so I haven’t been able to post as often as I like and I am trying to do better! Anywho, it has been a while since I have done a career related post and an advice one so here is a perfect question I found on the Advice forum on XoJane, that I feel many can relate to:

I need your advice. I feel majorly unappreciated at my job and I so want to quit. Here’s the thing: I want to leave the corporate world and I’m scared to quit without having another job lined up. The problem is, I know if I find another job just like this one (sitting in a cube farm for 8 hours a day), I’ll be just as miserable. Also, I don’t know exactly what I want my next career move to be, but I know I want it to involve working for myself and doing my own thing. Any tips for what I can do in the meantime so I don’t feel like I”m staring down the deep dark hole of depression every workday?

My Answer:

First off let me just say, I feel you!, I get it no one wants to slave away at some job where you feel as though you are just another cog in machine that is easily replaceable and quite often overlooked. You have brains, ambition and drive so why should you spend your day pushing papers and fighting the copy machine. You are capable of so much more if only the higher-ups would give you the chance! I. Get. It. I know your pain, really I do. BUT I feel like I need to say something that might hurt your feelings a little bit; while I empathize with your feelings, I’m going to be the one to say to you that your situation is not out of the ordinary nor special so you are going to have to put your grown draws on and deal!

The amount of people who would kill to be sitting at a desk working regular hours and receiving regular pay should negate any sort of feelings you maybe harboring about how much your situation sucks. This isn’t to disregard the way that you feel at all but sometimes being a grown up means finding perspective and seeing the bigger picture. Because there really aren’t many people who don’t hate their jobs too but somehow they still manage to get; the job done day in and day out, pay their bills and provide for themselves/families.

You say that you want to leave the Corporate work place and venture into working for yourself. Great! Work is trending in that direction so there is no time like the present to branch out but you don’t know what it is you want to do? So what you are not going to do is actually quit your job, number one. What I think you should start doing is researching what skills you already have and how you can turn that into freelance work, take some classes to build up a skill set/trade that people will want to pay for or start networking with people who own their own businesses that you might be interested in for yourself maybe they could use some volunteers for their events or are willing to let you into their space to intern. Whichever method you choose just know it is going to take a huge commitment from you. Freelancers and start-up business owners that I know always talk about the years they spent working their regular day jobs (that they too hated) just to rush home and spend their every free moment working on their side projects for their business. For many of them it took 3-5 years (average) of seeing profits to actually make that final jump to solely working on their own business. So take the time to research both online and in person before making any huge changes.

Meanwhile surviving your current job situation is all about your attitude. So before you are tempted to commit serious to anyone, start looking for things that you do enjoy about your office; maybe it is an easy commute, you have a cool friend who you talk to about your plans or maybe there is a shop nearby that has the most amazing pastries/coffee/clothes/after work drink special. Find something that doesn’t drive you completely insane about the place and focus more on that then how much you hate it. The more you dwell mentally on what you hate, the more you will see to hate. So start thinking positive thoughts because really it isn’t the end of the world and frown lines are a bitch to get rid of.

Have questions you would like me to answer or discuss send them on over on the contact page!

Until next time!
Sabrina

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