Monday, September 19, 2011

What Are YOU Working Towards?

The movie, “I don’t know how she does it” has unleashed a flurry of articles on the subject of women and the work/life/kids/husbands balance. In the movie (which I hope to see with gal pals soon) the main character balances and demanding career in finance with her child rearing responsibilities, without ignoring her husband, friends etc. I literally, “don’t know how she does it,” I thought to myself. I think that about her and all the mommies that I adore and even my friends without children but who nonetheless still have incredibly demanding lives. I feel overwhelmed with my 20 something life which at the moment involves a totally understanding partner and a 4 pound dog. Let’s not forget my large family which never fails to create drama in my life at the most inopportune times.

Given the many demands of our modern lives, it’s easy to get lost in the mundane details of everyday tasks. However, movies like this make me think about what my life could be like in the next 5, 10, 15 years. What about you? Have you asked yourself what kind of life you want in the next 5 to 10 years? Are you currently on a path to achieve this lifestyle? Are there any conditions in the workforce or in your current career path that are a hinder for you to achieve that lifestyle? Do you want children? It may seem very unromantic but its super important to consider your choice in partner when analyzing how you will run a Fortune 500 Company, and achieve your dreams of motherhood and meet your bff for coffee/drinks once a week.( Of course, I will one day be doing all these things I addition to volunteering and weighing 120 lbs. Haha)

On a more serious note, I would really like to believe that no one should have to choose between having a fulfilling personal life or having a successful career. I myself struggle with this statement as I realize it may sound na├»ve or unrealistic, especially for those of you working in especially demanding fields. But I believe that we have the opportunity to change things. The generations before us were busy opening the doors for us. Now that these doors are (almost) wide open it’s important to think about what we will do once we are sitting in that corner office or to think about whether or not the corner office is what we’re chasing after.

 I realize that these are all very self-indulgent, bourgeois/yuppie problems. My mother never even had the option to consider this work life balance. Working wasn’t a feminist statement, it was an economic necessity. Whenever I think of all the women like my mother and all of the trailblazers like that came before me. It is then I pause and realize that thanks to all of their hard work I am able to sit here and blog about the difficulties of being a modern woman. Then I think about my nieces, sister and all of the other women coming behind me!

The conditions for women and everyone else will only change if the woman entering the workforce NOW decide that they will break with the status quo and start changing things up once they are in charge. As that old saying goes, you need to be the change you wish to see in the world!! I want to leave you with video by someone I have been admiring for a while. Sheryl Sandberg is the COO of Facebook. I love a woman who is bad ass at work and manages to look stylish, fabulous and put together! She gave a very poignant speech on women in the workforce. In her speech she references how women abandon the workforce before they meet their true potential. I wonder though, how many women are put off by the seemingly overwhelming prospect of having a career in a workforce that hasn’t adapted to all of the changes that have occurred in the lives of women and men in last 60 years.. Let me know your thoughts. I especially want to know if you disagree!

Stay Fabulous!
Betsy Aimee


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Put Your Best Blog/ Boot Forward...

Hey Friends,

I have been busy on my blog. No, not devising new posts. I have been working on the layout of the blog and learning all the intricacies of the Blogger site.  I have discovered so many new sites and blogs based on people's blog rolls, that I knew I wanted to provide the same on my blog. I hope to continue to add to the list/s. You wil notice that I have created a list of my favorite Fashion and Career Blogs/Websites. Yes, I read a lot of these everyday. Yes, I dont sleep as much as I should. I also created a spur of the moment About Me section. Take a look and let me know your thoughts on these new sections. It's easy to feel like my blog is an ugly duckling compared to all the awesome blogs out there. However, i'm confident this is only the beginning!  Lets move on now...

Lets talk 2011 Fall Boot Looks!

In the middle of  blog re-design I have been searching the internets for the perfect boots. I first searched for some inspiration! (See Above an below) My desired price point is 150 dollars or less.  I'm having a hard time narrowing it down from a list of favorites.  I decided it would be helpful to develop a criteria after all, my financially challenged self cannot break its own rule regarding impulse purchases!

Here are some of the things that im considering before making a purchase like this:

1) Comfort- May not seem important when you are eyeing cute styles online or at the store. Many of the boots have high heels and platforms to support them but this doesnt always equal comfort. Here's a tip read the online reviews before purchasing anything.  This also helps you make sure that you know whether or not to order a size up etc. Besides, if you're anything like me you are always rushing in to the office and uncomfortable shoes wont help you get there any faster. The pictures above and below are examples of casual work looks that are also comfortable.

These are super comfortable and versatile! The wedge heel keeps them current. JcPenney Honey Cott Boot

2) Versatility- This is key, the shoes must transfer for day to night and vice versa.

These are just so fun. I'm a sucker for boots with hardware. However, not sure about the versatility of these. I definitely need to visit them in person. Seychelles-Theory Boot

3) Material- I love suede shoes. These may work in California as we dont get much rain. But if you live in a place where weather is an issue Suede may not be worth the investment  Keep in mind things like this when you are deciding on a pair.

Love the metal detail an wood heel on these. It really makes these special and a bit unique. These are just under my desired price point. These also come in several suede colors. I think these are my favorites so far... Nine West

4) Style- You should know what fits into your wardrobe. There's riding boots that can work for the office and there's some daring styles that can work for the office if paired with the proper items.  This year there's so many styles to choose from ankle boots (cute with dresses, skirts and skiny jeans), riding boots (good with everything and super comfortable), over the knee bots, and the famous booties (similar to ankle boots). It's helpful to have a plan for example I know that I want a pair of ankle boots to wear with dresses, skirts and tights this season. I also want new riding boots cause my old pair is 3 years old.

These are basic and under 100 Dollars! Yay! I love these. Can you tell I love hardware details? Found these at Victoria's Secret-Steve Madden

Happy Shopping Everyone, I look forward to sharing what I decide to buy!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Is Graduate School the Answer?

I have always wanted to go graduate school. It probably has to do with the many statistics I have read that state that women need to go to graduate school to earn as much as men.  I also genuinely miss the academic environment and the excitement of an empty notebook on the first day of school. I loved school, the subjects I studied, the late nights of studying and the many books I read.
After college I also realized that school was simple, you do the work you earn the grade! The work world isn’t so easy. You can’t go to office hours with the professor to explain why you couldn’t do your work on time (not that I did that often). As we all know, the hardest workers don’t always get the highest reward and there’s not a syllabus that contains all the deadlines and relevant information.  Naturally, all these previously mentioned facts make me want to run back to the simplicity of the academic world.
 I do think graduate school is worthwhile, for those who are going into a field that requires licensing and credentials such as a J.D or a M.F.T. It’s also valuable if you are simply expanding your knowledge in the field you are already pursuing and are completely certain this is the field you will continue working in once you obtain your degree. But for the rest of us confused, souls, what are the rewards of graduate school? Do these rewards outweigh the costs?  Now if anyone has the answers to these please do let me know! (Please note that if you are personally wealthy and/or have parents that will pay for graduate school these thoughts may be irrelevant to you.)
In the meantime, I have pursued my own research and performed mental math and have come up with no formula that would allow to pay for my living expenses and my tuition given the hefty prices of some of the fancy programs that have caught my attention. The other issue is the radical lifestyle change that would have to occur. In college, my lack of funds meant living paycheck to paycheck and sometimes only having enough money for gas and one meal   for a few days.  I wonder if I could be happy going back to that.  
There’s another issue to ponder about, if graduate school isn’t a precise means to an end then is it worth pulling yourself out of the workforce? Could you learn things in the workforce that would supersede an MFA, or Journalism Degree (I use these as recently these are the ones that I have been considering). 
I suggest that if you are confused about what to do next, want to explore your options while keeping your day job, or if you want to feel as though you are still learning in your free time, you should consider the following things:
1)      Take Classes at your Local University- Many schools offer Open University to students who have their degree but want to take other courses. This is a good way to explore those subjects that interest you before committing to a two-year program across the country.
2)      Take Classes at your Local Community College- An even less expensive way to explore other options. These classes also tend to have flexible hours.
3)      Consider a Certificate Instead of a Master’s Program- Depending on where you live Universities can offer certificate programs that can offer you a new set of skills. Such as Business Development, Communications, Marketing.   This might sound completely controversial and it completely depends on your field. I’m not suggesting that you reject that offer from Columbia University!
4)      Switch Jobs- You want to work in healthcare, then what are you doing working in retail management!?  Do not be deceived by graduate school programs that claim they will find you a job and place you in marvelous internship. If you are having a hard time networking and selling your skills now, graduate school will not solve this problem for you.
5)      Informational Interviews- Talk to people who pursued fields that interest you and find out if they went to graduate school etc.  Don’t be shy people want to share their experiences. 
Currently, I’m working on option number 3 and I will definitely keep you posted on my progress!
Stay Fabulous,

Friday, September 2, 2011

Asos Love!

This week was pretty insane in my 9 to 5 life. Thus I havent been able to implement the many outfit and blog post ideas that have been running through my head.  I did however want to share with you my most recent purchase (ok, except for that top I bought today, shh!). I have been spending a lot of my free time on Asos. I'm a huge fan of any website that offers free shipping on purchases and returns!!

In the past this site only shipped to the UK but they recently started shipping to the US too. Ok, so they aren't paying me to rave about them, but I just couldnt help myself!

I also wanted to share the bag I purchased. for the bargain price of 40.00 ! I love a bold, bright bag :)  It's a great evening bag but can also transitioned into the day time with jeans and moderate accessories.