Job Interview Makeup


Jessica Pearson has got the interview makeup on lockdown

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?

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Sexism & Harassment in Uber – Did ex-Employee hurt her Personal Brand by Squealing?

As a personal brand strategist, I’m often asked my opinion on issues as pertains to how people comport themselves in the workplace and ways in which to better manage and grow their personal brands.

And so yesterday, my attention was drawn to a blog post by a former employee of the ride-sharing company, Uber detailing what could only be described as a horrific year spent as an engineer of the company.

Her post was filled with accusations of sexual harassment, blatant cutthroat dog-eat-dog office politics, poor organizational structure and an HR department that can only be described as grossly inept and dishonest.

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Dear Career Sensei – Should I disclose my Pregnancy in a Job Interview?

Marissa Mayer got the top job at Yahoo! while pregnant

Dear Career Sensei,

I’ve been interviewing with a company for a role that I really, really want.

So far, all the interviews have been offsite via phone and Skype but I’m scheduled to meet with the hiring manager next week and while my qualification for the job is not in question, I happen to be 20 weeks pregnant!

I don’t intend to disclose my pregnancy for fear that it would limit my chances of getting the job and with the right styling, I can conceal my bump.

I’m I being dishonest by keeping my pregnancy secret? Is a company within their right to rescind an offer based on such dishonesty?

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Could your Age be Affecting your Chances of Landing a Job?


Whoever coined the term “age is nothing but a number” probably never experienced any form of ageism or workplace age discrimination.

Age discrimination involves treating an applicant or employee less favorably because of their age and even though it is against the law to discriminate against anyone in the workplace based on their age.and even though no organization or hiring manager would admit to it, it is

Even though employers would never admit to discriminating against a job seeker based on their age, recruiters have been known to eliminate candidates from the application pool during the hiring process. This is because of the stereotypes associated with age in the workplace some of which are that older workers are out of touch with the latest technology and trends; lack the energy to compete, do not work well with younger supervisors, may want higher salaries and more benefits or are looking to retire too.

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! What are your plans for 2017? Did you make any New Year’s resolutions? For me, I’m not a believer in waiting for a New Year to make changes in my life because I’ve never really had success with following through with them.  Although some of the best decisions I’ve made in my life were made at the start of different  Year’s, I never categorized them as resolutions because I knew doing that may jinx them for me like all the failed resolutions I had made in the past.

I don’t know your plans are for the year but I am hopeful that you are committed to developing yourself towards a better you and I have compiled a list of simple lifestyle adjustments that you can apply towards achieving a more successful, healthy and fulfilling life.

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A Simple Guide to Help you Maneuver the Office Christmas Party

It’s that time of the year again and many offices are planning to have what has become a tradition of sorts in the corporate world; the office  Christmas party. The office  Christmas party has become synonymous with Christmas and has become so popular that it is a staple practice in countries where Christmas isn’t even an official holiday and Hollywood has even made a movie with  Jennifer Aniston in the leading role based on the shenanigans that have become synonymous with such parties.

While the office party is usually a time for employees to take a break from the stress of the job and have a moment of fun relaxation while mingling with their bosses at a more informal setting, many have misunderstood that there are principles that apply to such parties and have found themselves in embarrassing situations which have soiled their reputations long after the last guest walked out of the party venue.

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Dear Career Sensei – I want to quit my Job to start my own Business

Dear Career Sensei,

I am an intelligent and business savvy professional with over 10 years’ experience, 8 of which I’ve spent with my current employer. Though it’s a small company with a staff strength of less than 20, we control approximately 10% of the market.
There’s really not much of  a future for me here as I hold the highest office an employee can within the company, the only two positions higher than mine are held by the owners and co-founders of the business, a married couple.
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Why your online Activities May be Hurting your Job Search

In the early days when the Facebook userbase were mainly milenials, I would often update my status to reveal what I was upto from the important (job interviews, work functions) to the mundane (what I was eating for dinner). As the medium started to become more popular with generation x’s and baby boomers, and my network began to grow to include older relatives and colleagues, I began to tone down the amount of information I shared but would occasionally share my plans for Friday nights. My typical Friday posts were often funny depictions of my love for alcohol, so I’d share something like “TGIF- Totally single so tonight I’m going to be spending the night alone with a bottle of Grey Goose Vodka” or “I’m going to dance and get wasted with my girls tonight”, you know, typical single girl living a life of debauchery posts.

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How to Comeback from a Poor First Showing

A personal poor first impression incident happened early on in my career as an entry level e-business banking officer. Part of  my job scope at the time, included going to client locations to pitch our electronic banking applications to a group of often high ranking officials. It was a pretty standard routine, I would start off by delivering a  power point presentation to highlight the product features, follow it with a Q&A session after which I would launch the application and proceed with a live demo to emphasize how user friendly the products were.

I delivered these presentations so often that it got to a point when I could do my presentations without having to look at the slides and could predict the questions that would be asked  and answer them preemptively. I had also learnt from doing so many sales pitches that almost every audience had a ‘problem person’ and could spot them almost immediately I stepped into the meeting room. A ‘problem person’ in this instance refers to that one person that pretends to have more important things to do than being bogged with ‘your’ sales pitch, they usually spend most of the meeting fiddling with their phone/tab  and would only spring into action during the time for questions to ask questions with the sole purpose of throwing you off.

Over the course of doing these pitches, I had learned that to manage the ‘problem person’, I needed to pay them more attention than necessary and answer their questions as politely as possible no matter  how mundane or meaningless the questions were. The trick was to identify  them for what they were (distractions), navigate their obstacle courses as effortlessly as possible, stay on focus and never lose my cool or let them get on my nerves.

On one occasion, I was tasked with making a pitch for an important prospect of the bank and before heading to the  meeting my manager informed me of how big the prospects account was and the decision as to whether they would start banking with us rested on the product I was going to talk to them about. So I was already a bag of nerves heading into the clients office and it didn’t help matters when I spotted the problem person the moment he walked in as I was setting up. He sized me up and said to my hearing that he would have preferred someone ‘more senior’ than I was  to handle the presentation.

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Dear Career Sensei – I Hate my Boss

Dear Career Sensei,

My boss is lazy, rude, crass and vindictive and I really hate him.

He makes what would have been an otherwise great job stressful and even though I am actively searching for another job, I’m starting to think that it’s best I quit now because I fear that I may soon be forced to react to his  mood swings and constant condescension by lashing out at him and saying what I really feel about him which could lead to me  losing my job on the grounds of insubordination.

Please help because I am at my wits end.


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