Friday, July 29, 2011

Fab Career Chic: SHOES!

These shoes are my current obsession! I have been looking all summer for lace up oxfords that are office appropriate and reasonably priced!!! Last week I finally saw the perfect pair. These will instantly update my fall wardrobe but can also be worn during the summer. I  have a lot of outfit ideas for these....

Vince Camuto Shoes

How to Stay Fabulous All Year Long…

Up until a very short time ago, I used to pride myself on being workaholic. Frequently you would hear me say things such as, “I never take time off in between jobs” or “I only take long weekends off-Not entire weeks!”  One of the craziest things I did was that after 2 months of working grueling 16 hour days on a Presidential Campaign (For a candidate that shall remain nameless as this is not a political blog). I flew back home to Los Angeles and returned to work within 24 hours.  I proceeded to work the next 18 months without taking any kind of a vacation. In between this I switched jobs and only took few days off for the Holidays. Even when I wasn’t at work I was obsessing about it or thinking about it and let’s not even talk about the incessant blackberry usage that would occur on my “so called” days off.

When after 18 months I finally took a week off, I was still emailing with coworkers.  Then I did something that I’m sure many Type A control freaks like me do - I took a “vacation” that was scheduled to the second. Wait, it gets worst.  I brought my nieces to stay with me for a week for what I know call, “Betsy’s See LA Week in a week of non-stop driving, museums, restaurants Tour.”  Needless to say, my lesson that week was that a) Vacationing with children is babysitting, not vacationing! b) Sometimes you need a vacation from your vacation.
A few months later, I started my dream job!  Did I take any time off in between? Of course not.  I immediately immersed myself in my new and exciting role!  After about 4 weeks I became sick, and then spent the entire spring with the flu, cold, and inexplicable aches and pains.  It was at this point I realized I had spread myself too thin.

It was also around this time, I started reading about the importance of vacations. Vacations help us re-group; it’s like hitting the refresh button on our brains. I thought taking time off implied I didn’t care about my career. All it did was made me ill, frazzled and moody all factors that can affect productivity and job performance. Everything I have read on the issue has confirmed this belief and I have also learned that sadly I’m not alone.  Joe Robnison reported on the Huffington Post, that, “Expedia’s just-released annual survey shows that only 38 percent of Americans use all their vacation days.”  I can’t help but wonder as to how this plays into this country’s high rates of stress/anxiety, and lower life span when compared to other developed nations.  

This is why, I’m so proud to report that next week I will be hitting the refresh button and taking a full week off and I will actually be leaving the city! You see in order to stay fabulous one must maintain a healthy work life balance.  I will admit I was freaking out a little this week as to how I would keep up with everything etc.  I’m hoping I won’t remember my blackberry and I’m fighting the urge to bring my laptop with me.  I plan on lounging by the pool, sleeping in and reading all those books I purchase but never get around to reading.  This will also be a good opportunity for some fabulous outfits.

Let’s finish off with one of my favorite quotes by the legendary Coco Chanel…. “A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.”

Stay Fabulous!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Women Who Own their Style at Work and Beyond

Okay there's a TON of fab fashion blogs out there...I feel as though I discover new ones every day. However, if you are not a size 0 it's hard to feel like there's anything that's applicable to you. I do find that Lucky Magazine has a good dose of fashions that are accessible in price and style.  Because as much as I would love to look like I’m walking down a runaway every day, my current job as a Non-Super Model/ Real Person makes it quite difficult.

My other favorite mortal (although she's cute enough to be a model) is Jessica Quirk from What I Wore. She is the epitome of effortless style and mixes designer items, with cute vintage and discount store finds. She also shares my love of cinched waist, 1950's style dresses. She recently wrote a book that I have been meaning to purchase that I’m sure will become a must have for fashionistas everywhere.

My bff and fellow fashionista introduced me to this great gal named Chloe, she is the creator of The Chloe Conspiracy . The real conspiracy is that Chloe is impeccably well dressed and somehow finds the time to links so that you can purchase the items she is wearing at discount prices and she even finds the less expensive version of the items she buys for herself.  She is a financially challenged fashionista's favorite gal!

Getting ready for my vacation, hoping to launch my, "Today I'm Wearing." section soon....

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Why I started seeking career advice and Where I finally found it....

I started seeking career advice when during my first job out of college I realized that nothing about my university studies had prepared me for the life in an office and more importantly office politics. I mean, it always seemed pretty simple- “Work hard and rewards will follow, right?” WRONG!  I mean I’m a First Generation Latina- the graduation rates for people like me are pretty dismal so it’s quite an accomplishment to obtain a degree. Thus I’m not sure we have figured out what we are supposed to do when we obtain the magical college degree everyone kept telling us to earn.  Plus we don’t have our mothers, fathers and uncles and their networks available to recommend us for internships, jobs and fellowships so we have to fend for ourselves.  Nevertheless, when I graduated I was full of hopes and dreams and wide eyed naiveté about what awaited me in the professional world.

I very quickly found out that writing an office memo wasn’t the same as writing a 10 page research paper the night before it was due. Thank goodness for the kindness of my first boss who taught me how to write a memo, and was patient enough to tell me things another person wouldn’t have bothered to tell me.  From her I learned about the value of having a mentor and the importance of being a mentor to others. 

After about one year into the real world I ventured into my next job which is where I was faced with the cold reality of office politics. I quickly found myself wondering why my colleagues weren’t eager to help me or willing to share credit for projects… I turned to the internet and to my local bookstore to find answers to my problem. What I found was that many people feel unprepared for the working world, and that my values about work and life were shared by many of my cohorts.

My Favorite Places for Career Advice:

The expert on the Millennial Generation is none other than Penelope Trunk. After finding Penelope I knew that I wasn’t alone and that I was fascinated by what makes a person successful at work.  It was also the first time I allowed myself to think that maybe climbing the ladder wasn’t what I would want to do with my life.

I always turn to Penelope Trunk's Blog' Brazen Careerist . Sometimes when I’m having a particularly rough day I re-read some posts that I have found helpful in the past. She is so honest and "brazen" in her advice. In fact, her blogs have provided solace for me in my career journey...It was also through her that I discovered the Quarter-Life Crisis.  If you don’t know what the "Quarter- Life Crisis is, check out the link as you may find that you are suffering from this mysterious condition that comes when you realize that a) you won’t be rich and famous by 25 and b) that the "perfect" job, haircut, relationship etc. may not bring you the satisfaction you thought it would. At 28 I think im currently in the middle of Quarter-Life Crisis Part IV!

I also like to check out the BNET-Life at Work Section it has cool advice and also posts from people who are doing very innovative things when it comes to helping employees achieve the elusive-work-life balance.

My intention is to cross post interesting articles and share my own tidbits of knowledge. Stay Tuned…  

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Welcome! Why should you read this blog?

Today marks the beginning of a lovely journey. Hopefully others will join in on the fun...
The objective of this blog is to share fashion & career tips and when appropiate life tips and tidbits of wisdom. Lets get started by answering a few questions about me.

Question: Why should I read your blog? I already have enough places to waste my time on the internet..
Answer: I decided to start this blog not only to explore my writting style but also to have a place to share all the great fashion and career advice that I come across online and in print.  As a Latina navigating life and career with very few mentors and role models I wanted to help others find a space where they can see themselves reflected. Besides im funny and will share all the other funny, amusing stuff I read which means you will waste less time finding it. See im really doing you a favor here....

Question: What makes you think your life is interesting enough to blog about?
Answer: I have diarrhea of the mouth so I will probably share embarrassing stories that will make you feel better about yourself.  In all seriousness, I have spent SO much time figuring out where to find the best career advice all the while trying to look polished, professional and stylish at work. Im ready to share my knowledge with the world...

Question: Who do you think gets the "Best Dressed for Work" Award?
Answer:  This varies from time to time. Currently im obsessed with the ladies from Mad Men, Michelle Obama, and Kate Middleton. They are all classic, stylish and mix the new with the old, designer with discount stores and they know how to dress for their figure.  My all time favorites are Coco Chanel, and Sophia Loren (She may not be work appropiate for my office but I love her anyway).

Question: What does my career have to do with fashion?
Answer: Our clothes send a message to the world. This message is transmitted to the people we engage with on a professional level everyday. Clothes can say, "im creative" or "I dont care." You determine what the message is going to be. As for me, the message changes everyday.