The #metoo and Times Up movements have opened up the conversation on sexual harassment and gender inequality in the workplace. While these issues have existed for as long as time itself, these movements has kept them in our consciousness by dominating the awards season thus keeping the topic in the news cycle.
The momentum of both movements has brought about a mindset shift for me concerning a career advice that has been passed down and one I have abided to religiously; “never badmouth a former (or current) employer”.
The argument for this piece of career advise is that most organisations would not hire a candidate that speaks badly about a former employer because such candidates cannot be trusted as they can also speak ill about you when the opportunity arises.
First of all, let me be the 200th person to wish you a Happy New Year. I don’t know about you but last year was kind of a tough year for me, I had some spectacular highs and some devastating lows but I am super excited to have it behind me and looking forward to what this New Year has in store for me.
Starting from my first work place experience as an intern up on till this day I have had at least 5 different work spouses. Even though at the earlier point in my careers, I wasn’t aware of the work spouse concept, I am thankful for those relationships as they made each one of those jobs easier and some have led to lasting friendships.
Because I am a thought leader in personal branding and all things career related, people are always seeking my opinion on personal crisis control and reputation management. So it did not come as a surprise when I got a phone call from a friend shortly after Scaramucci’s firing (or resignation) hit the news. She wanted to know if there was any way he could recover from such a public firing, how he could salvage his reputation and thrive thereafter.
For the average job seeker, the job hunting process is often a grueling process which can often time feel like a full-time job in itself. In this digital age, job seekers have to be smart in order to get the best possible outcome for their job applications. You have to learn how to manage your time by working with a job search schedule, build your resume to make sure it gets to the hiring manager, grow your network for job referrals and know the right job websites to focus on to find up-to-date job listings.
I am the only woman in a team of 3 and get along quite well with both of my colleagues. One of my colleagues whom I would refer to as “A” is very hardworking, helpful and is a team player whereas the other whom we shall call “B” is equally hardworking but tends to spend a lot of his free time on unproductive activities like water cooler conversations.
“A” has very poor hygiene habits, he comes to work looking unkempt, wears the same outfits for days on end without washing them leading to a BO and has the worst breath I’ve ever been unfortunate to experience.
“B” avoids interacting with “A” thus making my job more complicated than I’d like. When I raised it with him, he told me that he would rather be reassigned to another team than work with “A ” as he finds him repulsive (his words) and if reassignment was not a possibility he would rather quit his job than continue to work with him.
I love wearing a power suit. There’s just something about them that gives me an extra confidence boost. My de-facto color for my power suits has always been black and to an extent tan but I’ve always loved the idea of wearing an all white power suit even though I’ve never managed to pull it off.
I like the color white and know that I have the right skin tone to pull it off but up until now I have never worn an all white ensemble (even a dress!) in my professional life mostly because I fear that it would be covered in stains ranging from my makeup to baby snot before I make it out of the house.
The most white I ever wear is a white shirt or blouse underneath a solid colored blazer or a pair of white trousers paired with a dark shirt/blouse.
But seeing this photograph of Rosemary Conley aged 70, wearing a white power suit so effortlessly made me have a re-think. While I don’t plan to wear a white power suit to the office anytime soon, I have resolved that I would be wearing one on my next speaking engagement! Read more
With all the different national days and awareness months, the Equal Pay Day is one that I can get behind because let’s face it, we still have a long way to go as women in the workplace as the overall pay wage gap has been projected to close in 196 years!
So what exactly is Equal Pay Day? It’s a day set aside to bring awareness to the discrepancies that exist between men and women in the workplace. It was started in 1986 by the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE) to highlight the wage gap between men and women. It is fixed on April to symbolize how far into the year women have to work to earn what men did in the previous year, yeah you got that, an average woman would have to do 16 months worth of work to earn what the average man doing the same thing would earn in 12 months!
So as women and men who support women, we should continue to bring awareness to the gender wage gap by celebrating this day while also showing support to the organizations that are participating in the 20% counts Equal Pay Day campaign. and as women, we ought to up our negotiation skills ante. This is the only way we can break the glass ceiling
Its’s not enough to raise awareness without upping your negotiation skills (you will need this to negotiate a better salary, raise, promotion) and demanding for your seat at the table, as this is the only way we can break the glass ceiling.
My client, Anabel once told me of a time she was asked to represent her boss at a conference. She was more than excited to fill in for him as it was going to be a gathering of her industry bigwigs and some of the speakers were people she had looked up to and inspired her decision to pursue her career.
Impressed with some of the ideas that one of the key speakers shared, she resolved within herself to meet the said speaker and tell her just how much her words had impacted her. During a break in the session, Anable noticed the speaker who was also a highly respected CEO chatting with other attendees and made her way towards the group. After hovering around awkwardly for a few minutes, the CEO noticed Anabel and waved for her to join the conversation. She joined the circle but was too star struck by the portfolios of the other people within the group to join in on the conversation. The CEO noticing her uneasiness gently led her away from the group, smiled at her and asked her how she was enjoying the conference and wanted to know what she did and the organization she was representing. My client opened her mouth but didn’t know where to start from.
For years job candidates have been advised to dress in formal attire when going for a professional job interview. The rule of thumb being that suits should be in solid colors (black, navy or dark gray) while coordinating shirts/blouses should be in neutral colors and accessories should be minimal. Men are advised to keep their hairstyles neat by opting for traditional haircuts (taper and buzz cuts) and going clean shaven or with a neatly trimmed beard while women are encouraged to keep their hairstyle simple (buns, ponytails, the classic bob etc) and keep hair away from their faces.
So you have got your interview wardrobe and hairstyle covered, what about your makeup? Is there an acceptable makeup look for the professional woman going for an interview?