Holiday Weekend Open Thread

Sorel - Cate The Great (Black/Pewter) - FootwearSomething on your mind? Chat about it here.

So last year, I started noticing lots of New Yorkers and other fashion bloggers wearing these Sorel boots. I’ll admit: coming from Ohio (where, at least when I lived there, people wore things like this more for practicality than fashion), I couldn’t believe it… but I have to say that I’m now so taken with them that I’m lusting after this pair, Cate the Great. They’re the epitome of ski resort chic — I wear them with a pair of leggings or skinny jeans (or even tights and shorter skirts) for running errands, meeting friends, or more. They’re $200 at Zappos. Sorel – Cate The Great (Black/Pewter) – Footwear

-------Sponsored Links--------


P.S… Stay tuned; I’ll try to round up some of the best sales I’m seeing/hearing about this weekend.  Happy Thanksgiving to all American readers!

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Pin on Pinterest


  1. Anonymous :

    Happy Thanksgiving! Love the boots, but could have sworn that Sorel boots got bad reviews for chafing at the back of the foot. Also, I can’t justify $200 snow boots when I live in San Francisco and only spend maybe 5 weekends in Tahoe.

    • I have these! Got them 50% off at REI since they only had one size left – mine!. Your heel definitely slides up and down, since the foot bed is stiffer than the typical shoe, combined with the fact that you should buy your snow boots a bit on the big side so your foot isn’t crammed in there with no air circulation. But, there is a removable layer (with all the insulation) and I don’t recall there being any major seams in the heel area, so I don’t know what chafing might happen.

      I was also astounded by the comment/reviews on the product that mentioned wearing them clubbing. I mostly consider them a cute, but practical, alternative for something that I’m likely to need anyway.

      • I live in a relatively high-altitude mountain town & have Sorel Caribous that I could only be happier with if they were a little warmer. I like the leg-gaiter look of these Cate the Greats, but Caribous have a knobbier sole with a lot more traction.

        • Anonymous :

          On the soles – I have a pair of Sorels with this sole. I love the look, but they are useless if there is any ice. Now obviously, walking on ice in any footwear is difficult, but the stiff soles with no traction on these made it worse. We get more ice than snow where I am, so perhaps they would be fine if you are in a locale with snow that doesn’t immediately melt and refreeze. Cute, though!

          • Have you found anything better on ice? I usually throw some Yaktrax on a less aggressive/snowy pair of boots if I know there’s going to be ice.

          • I found my running shoes to be better on ice, though useless in the associated slush. Have never heard of Yaktrax, but I’m definitely intrigued. I live in the South. We get 1 or 2 terrible ice storms a year. So if I can just add something to my existing boots, which I otherwise like, I’m in.

      • I think these are hideous. The fake fur is atrocious. Wearing them with skintight leggings or skinny jeans seems so bridge and tunnel. I’m not thin, but when somewhat not size 4 or under, 30+ chicks try to wear fake fur boots and leggings, I want to punch them and take their lunch money. Know your age, body, and at least have some sense of style.

        Kat, If I saw a 30+ mom pushing a stroller in these I would love at her.

    • I have these and love them. But I live in a very snowy mountain climate. I wear them to and from work and then wear regular shoes in the office. I also will wear them to and from the hospital from my office (and won’t switch if I’m only at the hospital for a short time). I wear them on the weekend with skinny cords or jeans. I love them! They do slide in the back of the heel a little, but when I wear my thick socks it’s less of a problem.

    • Noticed these while on Zappos the other night. Cute but not quite what I was looking for. I ordered the Weitzman “Furlure” boots (which I like but probably not enough to keep) and some dressier Paul Green boots ( which I do quite like for my biz caz Boston-area workplace. However, my husband noticed that the Greens were already wrinkling quite a bit where my foot bends, and I was concerned that they would look tired rather quickly. I realized that I don’t have any true nappa leather boots, only suede or patent-y types, so I’m not sure whether this is really a problem or not. Any thoughts?

    • Happy Thanksgiving to cat and all!

      My daughter has a similar pair to wear at her snowy college campus. She wears extra thick socks for the first few times she wears them in a season, and then her feet get used to them.

      • Brain fail *Kat*

        • Just another AWESOME winter book recommendation, from someone who spent 4 collegiate years in snowy upstate NY – the Ugg Aderondack book – they are so warm, comfy, great traction – a great buy!

      • are you kidding me? :

        LOL, my point exactly. A college to under 25 year old only can wear boots with fake fur poking out the top. After that age, you just look like you’re trying WAY too hard.

        • eyeroll – I wear these with my snow pants just fine, thank you.

          Signed, Over 30

        • Also over 30, and I have a similar pair that I wear regularly when it snows. Mine are real shearling and rabbit fur, though, so maybe the real fur makes it “acceptable” for those of us 26 and up. And yes, the are “fashiony” but I think I can pull them off without looking like I’m “trying too hard”. I’m sorry that you cannot.

          • While, I agree with you that being 26+ should not disqualify a woman from wearing a certain type of snow boot, wearing real rabbit fur on your shoes is far from “acceptable”–rabbits are the third most popular pet (right behind cats & dogs), not a pelt meant to be worn as a fashion accessory. I have a hard time imagining you would find it “acceptable” to have your boots lined with dog or cat fur. Please stop thinking that you are more fashionably acceptable or trendy because your wearing someone’s should-be pet.

    • clueless summer associate :

      I just bought the Sorel Joan of Arctic…for January, when I’m going to live in one of the Canadian territories…i.e. North of 60. When I bought them in Toronto, I was told they usually sell out quite quickly, and I was super surprised since it’s not cold or snowy enough in Toronto to really warrant these boots! I’m super surprised that people in major US cities would be wearing them…they are cute, but heavy and kind of overkill for a cool, slushy day.

      • Agree on the overkill for a cool, slushy day (or clubbing!) – but there are a few major US cities – Chicago, Minneapolis – where I could totally see these as being useful. Minnesota tends to get its winter on a pipeline from the Canadian territories…

      • Is Toronto outside the Ontario snowbelt? When I lived in Ontario I found it to be plenty snowy! Do you wear lighter snowboots, or go without? I’ve also found that even a bit of snow/slush/salt destroys leather boots in no time!

      • Equity's Darling :

        I have Sorels too- the Caribous. And they are so worth it. I find a bit of heel chafing at the beginning of winter, but within a few weeks I’m fine. And I feel like I can walk anywhere with no fear of slipping or wet socks.

        I don’t live north of 60, but where I live gets cold enough that the “rated to -40C” is really, really worth it.

      • clueless summer associate :

        I do just fine with leather in Toronto…I do find the salt gets to them, but as long as they’re waterproofed or sprayed, they do fine with the slush.

    • DC Association :

      I love Cate the Greats, ordered them last year but I am short and they were just way to tall and heavy. So, this year I got Sorel Torfino. Similar to Joan of Arctic but the boot shaft is nylon (?) instead of leather and they are much, much lighter.

      I just love the names of Sorel boots :)

      • All I can say is, there is a good reason why Sorel’s waterproof model is called “Tofino”. Anyone who lives in my part of the world knows all about it….the only possible rainier place is, perhaps, North Vancouver. My winter boots are simply duck boots. #inwinterimightaswelljusttakeabath

        • This made me laugh. You’re so right! I’m originally from the Seattle area, so I thought I was prepared for Victoria/Vancouver Island winter weather. Ha. Totally ruined a pair of boots over a NYE trip a few years back. Still love the gorgeous NW though….

  2. MovingToCopenhagenOrGermany :

    Hi Ladies! I was reading the bike thread today, and noticed that 2 of you have apparently lived in Copenhagen! I’m applying for my dream job there at this very moment, and was hoping you might be able to give me some insight into the place. I was really excited about the idea until I read the book Culture Shock Denmark, which, honestly, freaked me out a bit since it made it seem like everyone would be really rude, and that I’d be lonely. So…how was your experience? Were you able to make friends? How’s life there with small children? I don’t speak Danish, yet, but would make a serious effort to learn. Are there some expats to hang out with in the meantime? Want to compare the experience of working vs moving to do a PhD? If anyone wants to compare Denmark to Germany, I’d appreciate that as well, since my other option is in Germany. Thanks!

    • Can someone advise me how to find overseas jobs (for Americans)? I am very eager to make a move but the only advice I have ever heard is to work for a US company that has branches overseas.

      • Always a NYer :

        I would look at different employment search engines for the country/city you’re considering. When I was looking for jobs in London, I searched for that on instead of Also think about a head hunter in your city of choice to do your work on the ground for you.

        Another think to remember is to find out what you need to do in order to qualify to work abroad (i.e. work permits and visas). I have dual EU citizenship so this isn’t an issue for me but a consideration for those with only US citizenship.

        This is also the time to reach out to those in your network who are overseas. You never know, they may know someone who knows someone who is looking for a new employee.

        So excited for you and good luck!!!

        • I would like to move to find an in-house legal job in London (also a dual citizen, but US qualified). Are you a lawyer? How hard was it for you to find a job? Thanks!

    • No experience with Denmark, but lived in Germany for a year. It is hard to make friends, but once you “break through”, they are life long (at least in my experience.) In general, the people I met wanted to talk politics and can be extremely opinionated (mostly American bashing…) but don’t mind a little bit of back and forth. It helps to learn the language (obviously) although many of the younger people in larger citites know at least some English. The culture tends to be much more formal, for example collegues who have worked together for years still call each other Mr. SoandSo or Ms. Soand So. All that said, it is a beautiful country, I enjoyed the experience, and have some very dear German friends. It can be, however, a definite culture shock.

    • So…how was your experience? Were you able to make friends? How’s life there with small children?
      I loved living in Copenhagen. As a general rule, I didn’t find people rude at all (and, imo, rude people are everywhere, so…)

      I moved there for my studies, so I had a built-in way to meet people. You would likely also do that since you’re moving for work. Danes can be considered rude (they mostly don’t talk to strangers on the bus, for example) but once you get into an environment where it is natural to talk to people – they couldn’t be more friendly. If you’re making an effort to speak the language, even more so.

      Where I worked in Copenhagen alongside my studies, it would be common that people brought in breakfast for special occasions (you had a birthday, you brought in breakfast, cake or candy for the office) and we would also go out together for Christmas lunch, spring lunch, “the partners are away”-dinners, and so on. I only caught the tip of the iceberg of this, being a part-time student worker, but the company would also arrange to have spots in various races if anyone wanted to compete and so on.

      It is also quite an egalitarian society. The personal assistants in the company and the partners were all addressed the same way – by first name. Only fairly old people, or the royal court, would address people by last name.

      There is an International school, and quite probably also an expat community tied in with that.

      Copenhagen is quite a child friendly city. (None of the friends I have from my studies moved to the suburbs when they had kids, the only move was to a bigger apartment) And it is common to see parents biking their kids around/to school rather than driving them.

      I’m happy to answer more specific questions – if there are anything in particular in the Culture Shock book that you would like expanded. You can also contact me at the linked N in my username.

    • No advice unique to Denmark; just wanted to say GOOD LUCK and I’M JELLUS!

      Alot of Jellus.

    • I was on exchange in Copenhagen and lived in a Danish dorm. I found the people I was living with to be the opposite of rude – they made a huge effort to help me get settled in, included me in all the holiday traditions (Christmas holidays are so much fun there) and were generally amazing. I can’t speak to what they would like to work with though.

      In my opinion, Danes are much more open in the summer than the winter – I think it’s climate related. So if you do move there, best to start in the summer when people are more social.

      All that being said, I never lived in Germany but have good friends there and loved traveling there (alone or with friends). I just prefer the culture – it’s a bit more in your face and German was imo easiest to pick up than Danish. So if I had a choice I’d pick Germany. Not sure what cities you’re looking at but if Berlin or Hamburg is on the list, I wouldn’t hesitate to go there. I think loneliness is unavoidable in a big move, at least for the first year. So if you do go, expect to be lonely for a bit no matter where you end up.

      • MovingToCopenhagenOrGermany :

        Woohoo! It’s so cool to get back from lunch and see replies=) Thank you, and, I’m very delighted to hear several of you actually found people quite friendly and helpful. I gave huuuuuge sigh of relief. That jives with my (brief) experience, so, maybe I’ll just toss that book out the window, and delve in and enjoy=) I lived in Germany before, and didn’t find it that hard to make friends, so, I think I’ll just trust that I’ll be ok in Copenhagen, too. Thanks for the good luck! I’m really excited about this opportunity. Though, LOL, looks like I’d be moving before summer, so, I might have to wait a few months for the ice and people to thaw=)
        Thanks also, N, for the insights into bringing in breakfast, and people staying in the city with kids. I love the idea of biking around with my kids in one of those big front-boxes=)

    • I lived in Frankfurt for a few years for work and also traveled to Copenhagen. I would definitely pick Copenhagen. It’s a more beautiful city and the people are more progressive and friendly. If you only speak English, Copenhagen would be easier to get around. Nevertheless, both would be a great life experience, so don’t hesitate!

      • anon in Germany :

        These are both really good points. Firstly, if you don’t speak German or Danish, the Danes should have better English skills, meaning that more people and aspects of their culture are accessible to you. Secondly, it really depends where in Germany you would want to live. I’ve only heard good things about Copenhagen (never been), but there are a number of cities in Germany that are nice places to live and potentially are more attractive (e.g. if you are crazy about the mountains). However, there are also a lot of cities like Frankfurt which are just very pragmatic and wouldn’t be particularly charming or child-friendly places to live. If you have a particular location in mind, there is a big forum for expats at Toytown Germany. Their snark to helpfulness ratio is like 99,9%, whereas I find Corporette to be 1%, but they are large and cover a wide variety of specific topics. Good luck with your application and move!

      • MovingToCopenhagenOrGermany :

        Thanks again for all these comments and insights. Great blog – thanks for the link! I speak some Germany, and no Danish. My Germany option is a very random place which I will keep quiet for privacy’s sake, but, not a cool fun city like Hamburg=)

        Thanks all!

        • In House Europe :

          If you have a somewhat anon email address and want to post it, I’d be happy to share insights with you (US lawyer working in Europe here as is obvious from my name I guess?) But for general advice – go for it! Small town Germany may be somewhat tough as there isn’t a huge expat crowd but if you speak German that will help Alot. Alot likes people who speak German.

          And as it is now 2 pm on Friday and no one else is in the office, I am going to go to the gym. Yay. :)

    • I love Copenhagen and Denmark in general. Love, love, love it. I spent a semester there in college and it is one of my favorite places. The city itself is beautiful, I loved biking there, really I just loved the city in general. I lived with a host family and was there with a program so had less experience with building a social network there. English is widely spoken, especially among younger people. It was common for me to start saying something (or, more accurately, trying to say something) in Danish only to have someone stop me with “just say it in English.”

      As far as culture, I would say that the Danish sense of humor is a bit on the dark side. I think you would find that people are more direct than in many places in the U.S. For example, my Danish teacher disliked “Minnesota nice”, because it didn’t seem genuine to her. She also described Danish as a rude language, as it lacks certain words and phrases like “pardon me.” Instead of saying anything, someone will just push by you on the bus, which could come across as rude to many people.

      Two other random Denmark thoughts: 1) All of the girls in my program joked about how we had never felt so ugly in our lives. Danish men and women are very put together and, frankly, very attractive people. 2) Hyggeligt is a Danish word with no direct English translation, but it’s closest translation would be cozy. This idea of creating a cozy place (which also involves people-a hyggeligt evening might be one where you spent time at a friend’s house for dinner with snow coming down outside, candles all around, and great conversation). Creating this feeling is a somewhat significant thing there, and one that I really enjoyed.

      • Failed to finish my sentence “This idea of creating a cozy place” with “is one of the pieces I remember most.”

        Also, one last random thing: to the best of my knowledge, there is one word in Danish that is used interchangeably for fun and funny. This led to a bit of confusion the first few times my Danish host mom said “that sounds funny” when I told her I was going to spend time with friends :)

  3. I LOVE Europe alot !!!!!!

    When I get married, I am going on a honey Moon to Europe. But I hope that I will be able to visit Eastern europe also!

    Happy Thanksgiving to all corporetes! I told the manageing partner I would be leaving early and he said YES I could leave early!!!!!!!


  4. Might any of you ladies have suggestions for a luxury surf camp in Costa Rica (or anywhere else for that matter)? I did one many, many years ago and had a blast but the accommodations and amenities were a bit lacking (think cots, running but not heated water, no A/C). This time around I’ll be with the husband and we’d like something a bit cushier (think private bungalow with a dedicated bathroom, gourmet meals and the option to walk to nearby restaurants in the village, etc.). We’re essentially novice surfers, in case that matters, and we’re looking for a place that focuses on surfing – although the option to do some yoga or have the occasional massage/spa treatment would be great. TIA!

    P.S. Love the boots, seriously considering ordering a pair!

    • I see these on Jetsetter from time to time – so might be a good place to start your research.

    • I don’t have a recommendation for a surfing-focused resort, but you might have luck finding a hotel you like in Tamarindo and arranging for surfing lessons separately.

    • Highly recommend Pura Vida Adventures:
      www [dot] puravidaadventures [dot] com. They are mostly a surf camp for women, but definitely have a number of coed weeks every season. My best friend and I went for a week three years ago; they’ve since moved the accommodations to an even more posh hotel in the same village (Malpais, on the Nicoya Peninsula). The focus is on surfing, but there is a yoga class most days and they had a great massage therapist who came to the resort whenever you had booked a session. We also went ziplining in the canopy, which was amazing. . . .

      • Oh, and it’s definitely fine for people who have never surfed before . . . all the way up to people who are accomplished surfers and just want to ride every day.

  5. I ordered a pair of these recently in the tusk/stone color and I got them about a month ago. LOVE THEM. I live in Alaska, so they are practical, but fashionable. It’s so easy to walk around looking like the Michelin Man up here. I’ll admit I don’t do a lot of serious recreation in these. I wear them to and from work and walking around town, but I have a shorter pair of boots for my real recreation (snowshoeing, sledding, etc) because the lower boot is less restrictive for my legs when being really active.

    I read a lot of the same reviews regarding the chafing and whatnot and I have yet to experience any of those problems. They’ve been great so far!

    • I wish I lived in Alaska! Hope your boots helped you dig out from that huge storm!

      • law talking girl :

        That huge storm was about 500+ miles northwest of the biggest population center in the state, where I’m betting Anon lives. Not saying a huge storm couldn’t be 500 miles wide… but that would truly be the storm of the millennium. We were not really affected by it down here in southcentral – got a few inches of snow, that’s all.

  6. Maddie Ross :

    I ordered the Sorel “Helen of Tundra” ones last year and they chaffed (chafed?) like none other. I ended up returning very soon after buying (so I suppose there is chance you could break them in, but I was not willing to try). This year, I ordered the ON knock-off pair and am happy with them so far. I live in the south and do not have much need for snowboots except on a few occasions during the winter. The ON ones are rubber on the bottom and lined with Thinsulate, so seem like they’ll be ok for a milder weather locale. And they are cozy for just wearing around.

    • I broke out my Cates this weekend and figured out why I didn’t get any chafing problems – I got them big enough that my heel slips with rubbing the back of the boot. Which works for me – walking in snow boots is a learned skill (like walking in heels, right?). And I don’t really consider Sorels to be an activity snow boot, more of a “keep your feet warm outside boot” for casual walking around or shoveling the driveway. If I was into winter hiking or planning to be more active in my boots, I’d probably consider something from The North Face or Columbia with more structure built into it.

  7. I have a pair of the Sorel Tivoli in the Pink Houndstooth pattern — they are pretty comfortable, I’ve had no problem with chafing, and they’re cute!

    Question — are any of you planning to participate in Small-Business Saturday? If so, do you think shopping on Etsy counts? And further, if we all go and buy things from Kanye East on Saturday does that make us all good people? :-)

    • Etsy in general does not count because they allow so much counterfeit mass produced items to get thru. Kanye East def counts tho! Im saving up to buy something from there I love the necklace someone posted yesterday(I think- the freshwater pearls coin necklace?)

    • Thank you for mentioning this; I was just agonizing over whether to say something about Black Friday/Cyber Monday and boycotting big box stores and Wall Street.

      Unfortunately, there are a lot of resellers on Etsy. But overwhelmingly, it’s a great community of talented, independent craftspeople who are incredibly grateful for each and every sale, no matter how big or small. (If anybody has questions about particular items or sellers, please feel free to convo me through Etsy.)

      I’m doing a free shipping promo now through the end of November w/ coupon code ELEVENELEVEN, or you can always get the 15% discount with CORPORETTE (your choice; unfortunately Etsy won’t let us apply more than one at a time).

      • Interesting. Are there signs you can look out for to tell the resellers from the craftspeople?

        • look at their location, and read their shop profile. It’s pretty clear if they are an independent craftperson they will talk about themself and their craft. If they don’t talk about themselves, they’re probably a reseller. If they are located in asian countries, they are often resellers. I only buy from US based sellers, shipping is cheaper anyway, and I’d rather keep my money somewhat local.

        • Browse around on Regretsy sometime for side-by-side comparisons if you’re really curious. What qualifies as “handmade” is always a topic of intense discussion on Etsy forums, and I don’t want to go off on that here.

          In jewelry, I tend to suspect a reseller when I start to see the same metal components over and over. The biggest trends in the last year have been owls, octopods, wing charms, and these orchid findings:

          img3 [dot] etsystatic [dot] com / il_570xN.254152891 . jpg

          You can almost be sure anyone using them in their designs is not doing their own metalsmithing.

          • AnonInfinity :

            Just looked at Regretsy. There’s a pic of some elephant underwear that made me laugh so hard I hurt myself.

    • PS: Yes, it makes you the very best people.


    • I love Small Business Saturday! I live in a “walking neighborhood” with lots of small shops and I try to remind my husband (and friends) that those charming little local shops won’t be there if we don’t patronize them.

      American Express has a link on their website where you can share the promotion with your social network on Facebook & other sites.

    • Small Business Saturday? How about Small Business every day?

      I try to avoid the malls and box stores between now and mid-January. I made a list of relatives and what I’m going to get them for presents, and for a few of the female ones, I wrote “Jewelry from Etsy?” Love the craftspeople on there! (And I love that so many of them are women! We women business owners need to stick together!)

    • There is an art market in my area that is usually the last Saturday of every month but this month (and in December) it’s both Saturday and Sunday. The artists are fantastic. This guy’s paintings are incredible: and for you shoe ladies out there, here are some hilarious works of art:

    • Yes, definitely planning to participate in Small-Business Saturday! I have a favorite stationery and used book store I’m going to visit, and lots of other shops on that street.

  8. I have the Sorel Joan of Arcadia (red and tan) for my cold, snowy, upstate New York city.

    The foot does come out of the boot a little without heavy socks, but I have experienced no chafing (wore them all last winter). I wore them only when it snowed (all the time) and not out to nice places.

    I saw those Old Navy knock-off ones, and frankly, I was so chagrined that Old Navy can get away with BLATANTLY knocking off another company’s design that it caused me to stop dead in my tracks and stomp in the store in disbelief to look at them more carefully.

    The nice thing about the Sorels is how warm they keep your toes.

  9. I bought the Land’s End version of this that Bonnie posted in the comments recently. They were on sale for something like $30. But they’re suede. I am a total idiot about snow – only visit it maybe once per year – but I assume suede + snow is a bad idea?

    • Here’s the link to the boot. The day Bonnie posted about them, Land’s End had 40% off all shoes.

      • Anonymous :

        You could waterproof them with Nikwax, but it will change the color (think tan goes to chocolate brown). I Nikwax’ed some payless boots and they got me through three years on NYC slush.

    • They won’t be waterproof, so they won’t be too useful in slush, but if they’re water resistant and you treat them regularly with waterproofing spray, you should be ok as long as you avoid wet snow, slush, and puddles.

      • We take our kids up to the Donner Pass/Truckee/Tahoe area to sled. The snow is relatively powdery most of the time, but it can be up to the knee. Do you think these would be OK for that?

        Thank you, Jas. You seem to know about snow!! If I can help you with earthquakes, let me know. ;) Signed, a native Californian

        • I do seem to talk about snow a lot! I think you’ll be fine. Just be sure to wear decent wool socks that will hold some heat even if they get a bit damp. Even if they were 100% waterproof, you’re going to be getting snow over the top of them from the sledding.

        • If you’re sledding, you should wear snow pants, which hang over your boots. No reason snow should get into the top of your boots.

    • North Shore :

      I got those, too. I’ve already been wearing them with skinny jeans or cords, and they look cute. I do need to treat them with waterproof spray before the snow comes, though.

    • I was pleasantly surprised with them and that I could fit them over my calves! I think they will be good for powder snow or even light slush. They will probably soak through if submerged in slush for an extended period of time. Have fun sledding!

  10. I have a pair of Sorel Caribous that are great. I’ve gone snowshoeing and snowmobiling in them several times and they’re very warm with great traction. I do get chafing on the back of my heel, but I accidentally got them a size or so too big, so that’s not really surprising. I figured I’d have to wear serious heavy socks, but it turns out they’re warm enough with regular wool socks, and the felt lining compressed a little.

    • Love my caribous too. I’ve had them for 10 years in a snowy mountain climate. They’ve held up beautifully and no chaffing. I think correct sizing is important. Big enough for thick wool socks but not so big they flop around too much.

  11. Would not wear anything this heavy where I live, it is just not that cold here.

    What I think looks good for work this season is black tights, black sweater or turtleneck, and a narrow patterned or textured skirt just above the knee. The skirt has become an accessory!

  12. fly a way :

    I am looking to streamline my day to day briefcase. It must hold regular sized manilla file folders. The height requirement is stumping me.

    Does anyone have the Brahmin Arno? Will it work?

    Link in next posting.

    Many thanks; also for sites other than Nordies that might have sales?

    • fly a way :
      • Anonymous :

        I love my Jack Georges briefcase/tote. It is a bit more understated than the Brahmin bag, so your style may dictate. I like the look of the Brahmin, too, but can’t speak to functionality.

        • I’m a Jack Georges fan, too, and I just got an email from them about Black Friday, but it’s a little mysterious. I’m not sure whether they’re having discounts that day or just reminding you to shop there.

          FWIW, Small Business Saturday, I bought my current Jack Georges from a neighborhood luggage shop. :)

          • I adore my Jack Georges bag. It is a great streamlined briefcase alternative. And I’m pretty rough on my bags and its held up really well.

        • OP here, can any of you tell me your ‘style’ … there are options out there and I can’t determine which would hold 2-3 files (letter size) fo about an inch thick each…so many seem to be designed for laptops.

          I do like what I see.

          Do you mind not having “feet” on the bags? Does that effect their wear?


          • I have the Chelsea collection Alexis business tote. I think it has feet on the bottom.

          • I have this one,

            and what I love about is that it basically looks like a really nice handbag, but can fit my laptop and/or slim files. This one has traveled with me for over five years and still looks great.

          • I have the Milano as well (I think – scored it on sale at TJ Maxx for $80!), in a medium blue. I really like it, and it does have feet. I can cram a few letter size manila folders, or a letter size redweld stuffed with paper, or a small binder. On days I’m really schlepping, I have carried a laptop, a large binder, and a full redweld, but I can zip it up (fine for me as I’m just hauling it to the car for my drive home).

            I have several nice Coach briefcases, as well as a spring green laptop bag from Franklin Covey, but the Jack Georges is my go-to. Love it.

          • Sorry – *can’t* zip it up that full. But can with just a couple things in it.

    • I have a Brahmin bag that’s more tall than wide, but forget the name of it, and can’t seem to find it online. I’ve had it for about a year now and carry it everyday. Fits my laptop, manila folder, the leather is still beautiful. I love it (and get compliments on it semi-regularly).

    • Love my Jack Georges briefcase. It’s more than 10 years old, though, so not a model that’s still made. Mine is closest to the current “Platinum Special Edition Double Gusset Flap Over Briefcase” — but mine is only a single gusset. It can fit three letter-size manila folders each about an inch thick without any problems. If you scroll down on each of the individual pages the Jack George website will give you the dimensions. Standard letter-size manila folders are 9.5″ on the shorter side, including the sticking-up tab.

  13. Happy thanksgiving ladies!

    I’m reposting my question from earlier, since there were no takers on the morning thread.

    I’m applying for a legal fellowship at organization B. Prior to law school, I worked for a long time with organization A, which has a “strained” relationship at best with organization B. My substantive experience at B is highly relevant to A, and anyone at B would be very familiar with what A as an organization does, though not necessarily what people in my position there do.

    I think they are going to look at my resume and think its great experience and interview me, or they are going to hang my resume up and gleefully throw darts at it while doing that evil laugh thing like in cartoons. Could really go either way.

    Should I send a long-ish cover letter discussing my experience and “what I learned” about B while working at A in detail, or should I cover it briefly and move on?

    Also, when someone is applying for a fellowship as an entry-level person, what do you want to see from them in a cover letter about what they hope to get out of the fellowship and what they hope to contribute? How should those two things be balanced?

    • Forgot to say – thanks in advance for all responses!

    • Former MidLevel :

      I would keep your letter short – one page is ideal. As someone who reads a lot of cover letters now, I hate ones that try to detail what the applicant will contribute (e.g. “My high grades in Con Law demonstrate the depth of legal analysis I will bring to this position…”). Not only do those sorts of letters tend to come off as pretentious, but they rarely convey useful information.

      Focus on why you want *this* internship. Do you have a geographic connection? Does it fit well with your subject matter interests? It’s not clear from your post if A and B do the same type of work, but it appears they are related in some way. But are they related enough that you can say something like “As you can see from my enclosed resume, I have interest and experience in immigration law…”? If they do slightly different things in similar fields, maybe something like: “Now that I have some experience with the direct-service side of this industry, I’m eager to learn more about the administrative side.” But as far as the “strained relationship” goes, there is nothing you can do. So don’t mention (or sweat) about it. Don’t summarize your experience or what you learned–leave that in your resume.

      Clearly, there is something about organization B you like–tell them what that is. Who knows, maybe there are other people who have “switched sides” as well.

      • Thanks for the advice. I wish I could be more specific, but it’s a unique situation and I don’t want to out myself! I’ll keep it short.

  14. working stiff :

    I was wondering if any corporettes had read the recent NYT/dealbook articles on the woes of young, suddenly unemployed finance types and a related op-ed, written by a current Yale student, on the evils and inherent problems with big bank recruiting on Ivy league campuses I’ll post the links in a separate comment.

    Personally, I think the article about the finance types was a bit unfair, and really skewered these 20-somethings whose biggest mistake was probably agreeing to be interviewed. Not that they need or deserve special sympathy, but the general outcry over the article was alarming – some of the comments were vicious. Did anyone see them / agree with them / disagree with them?

    On the Yale op-ed, I thought it had some interesting points, but as someone who went through an investment bank program after graduation, I actually think they have merit. I didn’t stay in banking, I left after 2 years. But yes, I did pick up a lot of great skills that have served me well in my career (which has nothing to do with Wall Street) and there is something to be said for the rigor and forced learning curve that these programs put you through. A few years later, you’re a much more valuable hire for all kinds of corporate and non-corporate roles — same goes for consulting programs.

    I agree, it would be nice if fewer of our “best and brightest” went into Wall Street and more of them went to work on fixing major world issues. But in that case I really think we have to start earlier and get more people interested in math and science and engineering so that someday, they can start solving some of our world problems around energy, the environment, world hunger, etc. If we’re waiting for the on-campus recruiting office to do that for us, I think that’s way too late.

    Ok, enough rambling. Just wondering if anyone else had seen those articles and had any thoughts about them. Happy Thanksgiving!

    • working stiff :
      • thanks for your responses. I’m not sure how “start earlier and get more people interested in math/science/engineering” would ever be easy. if that’s how you read the comment, that certainly wasn’t the intent … yes, i do realize that you can’t just say, “hey kids, be an engineer!” and fix the problem. but just because it’s not easy, doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing, especially when you have all this smart young talent at stake and the financial industry is snagging the lion’s share of them.

        driving more interest in math, science, and other fields — fields with more specialized expertise, that is, and with students more likely to fuel industries other than finance — would, by definition, mean starting young, and also making those fields more attractive, including trying to address many of the issues you are highlighting (the crazy workloads, the poor job market, the high tuition, the sexism). yes, it’s a long, slow, complex process, but so is the trend that got us here – a 15, 20 year path of steadily increasing wealth built by the financial industry, and an equal erosion of value in fields that used to be more attractive to students. anyway, if we could make these other needed fields more appealing, and make the career path more apparent, perhaps we wouldn’t have so many students heading to finance for lack of other clear goals.

        anyway – the article was actually about on-campus recruitment of banks. thanks for listening, though.

        • The thing is, if I could start over, I would have majored in economics or finance instead of engineering. I always liked money/business stuff, but fell into engineering because I was good at math and science. Once I got into law school I focused on financial classes and loved all of them.

          • Economics would have been fine, too. Plenty of math and world problems to solve there! ;)

      • LadyEnginerd :

        Made me think of this article – the argument is that finance cannibalizes entrepreneurship in other sectors of the economy by paying huge amounts of money to those who are best prepared to innovate:

        Oh, and I absolutely agree that we need people not to be afraid of STEM. We don’t necessarily need more engineers, but we do need more people to be trained to think like scientists and logically test hypotheses. Unfortunately that’s an uphill battle given that not only the general public, but also many elementary school teachers think of science and math as a subject they didn’t like in school with lots of confusing facts as opposed to training in how to problem-solve.

    • karenpadi :

      I haven’t read the articles. But I don’t think it’s as easy as “start earlier and get more people interested in math and science and engineering”.

      I am an engineer. There are so many hurdles for getting people to stay in STEM programs that are never addressed. To start, STEM grades aren’t inflated quite like liberal arts/business grades. What 18 y-o wouldn’t want a 3.5 GPA instead of a 3.0? Also, what 18 y-o wouldn’t rather take history and psychology rather than calculus and physics their first year in college? Plus, as an engineering major, I wrote more pages per semester than my journalism/English double-major roommate.

      Engineering students have class on Friday mornings and two labs a week. Engineering classes are more likely to start on time (if not early) and go late. I was constantly shocked at the difference between my engineering friends and the other students when we had to join the general population for certain liberal arts requirements. We were prepared for class, on-time, we had our homework done, we participated in class discussions, we didn’t skip class (we’d have classes where only the engineering majors showed up), and we didn’t pack up 10 minutes before class officially ended. Looking back, it would have been much easier to not be an engineering major. I don’t blame the kids who dropped out freshman year.

      Plus, engineering as a career is pretty dead-end in the US unless you go into management. It’s not a path to riches and it’s not a paradise of being able to solve world problems any more than law or finance is. Even more troubling for women, engineering is chock-full of sexism and boys’ networks. There was a WSJ article a few years back about a MIT scientist who is male-to-female trans (sorry if I have the terminology wrong) and how she is treated less seriously now than she was as a man.


      So no, just encouraging more kids to go into STEM won’t work. The best proposal I’ve seen is to subsidize engineering majors so that they pay much lower tuition than other majors. I know that the deciding factor for me to stay in engineering was that one of my bigger scholarships was dependent on me being enrolled in the college of engineering.

      • well…one way to encourage more women to go into engineering would be to have hotter male engineering students! I’m kidding…sort of. I started college wanting to major in poli sci and go to law school, but dated a cute guy in my calc II class that was an engineer, and long story short I got an engineering degree. i’m actually dating a different engineer now, who’s also really hot.

        I second everything karenpadi said, engineering is HARD. I worked full time while going to law school (which I finished in 3 1/2 years) and that was a walk in the park compared to majoring in engineering and not working. no one ever skipped class. we had design hours on wed morning, and tues was a big party night. we had to take way more credit hours than liberal arts majors, and write at least one, if not two 20+ page lab reports a week. (and when I got to LRW my prof said engineering students always do well with legal writing!)

        Initial starting salaries are decent, but there’s only so much more you can make, unless you run your own company or are a big rainmaker for someone else. i’m glad I got the degree, but if I could go back, I don’t think I would have done it.

        • karenpadi :

          That was one perk of being an engineer–I knew more guys than all my non-engineer girlfriends.

          I like your point about taking more credit hours than liberal arts majors. If you follow engineering curriculum, you start to notice a trend that things/classes keep getting added and nothing is removed. So, to fit a new two-credit class into the curriculum, they take two formerly 4-credit classes, make each three credits and add a lab to one of the courses. It’s a constant upward spiral.

      • I’m a classically trained scientist who works at an FFRDC (Federally Funded Research and Development Center, think Lawrence Livermore, Los Alamos National Labs, etc), and work mostly as an engineer these days. Actually, I am half time engineer and half time manager. I found that my people-skills are better than many (not all!) engineers at my lab, which makes me ideally suited to management. So my salary is more than I ever expected it to be, and double what I’d be making at an academic institution.

        But that is just the salary part. The other part is that I adore the synergy of minds coming together to create something innovative and new. It is this part of my work that brings me back enthusiastically ever day. It is FUN! (Mostly)

        Just another perspective…

    • I saw the articles but read them only after seeing your post. The reaction is not so surprising – although Dealbook posts don’t generally attract that many comments, certain themes seem to bring out a more generalist readership who tilt left/ liberal/ anti-Wall Street/ anti-big business and who are not shy about making their views known in the comment section.

      I don’t know if you recall Facebook’s sale of shares to GS and its clients earlier this year – it was extensively covered by Dealbook, there was a similarly vitriolic reaction then as well and it also went for pages and pages.

      My own thoughts : I’ve been in financial markets for over 15 years now and this looks like the bottom of every other cycle I’ve seen – hand-wringing on one side and gloating on the other. It’ll be the reverse at the top of the next market cycle – we’ll all believe it’s different this time and that we deserve for the IPO to jump, the deal to be a double-bagger etc etc. We kind of do it to ourselves – so no need to feel too badly for us !

  15. Am I the only one dreading Thanksgiving? Bah!

    • Anon for this :

      It’s usually my favorite holiday but this year I’m in the hospital with pregnancy complications (looks like little peanut will be just fine though and I’m feeling very thankful for that). And the food here stinks. :/

      • Good luck to you and your little peanut. Sorry you’re in the hospital, but as you say, lots to be thankful for. Best wishes to you.

        • Important to get someone to bring in good food for you unless you are on a restricted diet, I have vowed never to eat hospital food.

          • The brith center where I had my daughter was affiliated with a hospital and so the food was “hospital food” but it was so good! I was very surprised with the quality.

    • Un-turkey :

      I used to love holidays. And then my brother got married. Because I don’t like my psycho-in-law, I now dread holidays. I think working would be better… Why did he marry a witch?

      • My brother married a witch, too. I feel your pain.

        • I am so often glad that my sister married someone awesome (even if it took my parents some drama to realize it). I can only hope eventually my brother does too, but I worry.

      • Mine is about to! Maybe the wedding will get called off. The nice thing is that everyone else hates her as well…so complaining about her has turned into a real family bonding experience.

        • While, I complete understand the sentiment, that kind of statement makes me feel sorry for her. I obviously don’t know what kind of person she is , but I have found that the complaining (as justified as it may be) can quickly develop into a habit and mindset about a person that may cause you to overlook some potential good qualities – or alienate any potential relationship you may have with that person.

          Maybe for Thanksgiving you could find a couple of things about her that you are genuinely thankful for?

          • I second this. When I read the first comment, my first thought was “oh my gosh, I hope you’re not my SIL complaining about me!” Extended family/in-laws are hard and I recognize that there are certainly circumstances where people are truly deplorable or difficult, but I also wonder if people don’t almost undermine their relationships with their in-laws by dreading and complaining about them. My MIL and I had problems at the beginning, but once I began to realize that she is not my mother and is obviously going to be different than my own mother, I started being able to accept her actions better. I also stopped complaining about her to other people, even jokingly. I figure, if you say something enough, you start to believe it, even if it’s not true.

          • I third. I did not like my sis-in-law when she first married my brother, but I’ve come around. We will never be best friends, but she loves my brother and I’ve really gotten used to her, more than anything else.

            I think getting married myself also changed my perspective on this. It’s hard to come into another family when you didn’t choose them and they didn’t choose you.

          • anon for this :

            One of my brothers married a woman that no one in the family was in love with (other than him). My step mom (his mom) made a conscious decision to accept my SIL with open and loving arms, and to continuously try to find aspects of her that were admirable and laudable (for instance, she really is a wonderful mother to her kids). I’m sure it hasn’t been easy for my stepmom, but she’s really set a tone for our family, and it’s helped all of us accept my SIL for who she is, and accept her into our loud, sometimes dysfunctional, always loving family

    • AnonInfinity :

      I’m okay with Thanksgiving, but I am dreading Christmas.

      • I dread holidays to the max and finally just talked with my in-laws about “excusing myself” from Christmas. I grew up Jewish, so I’m not into Christmas and I just don’t dig the way his family celebrates. This year I am joining them for lunch (after the 5 hours of present-opening madness are over) and I just couldn’t be happier. This after many, many fraught years and hurt feelings/stress/dread.

        Thanksgiving, on the other hand, I was not able to weasel out of. Maybe next year.

        • You sound sooo ungrateful. I wish I had a family. why are you soo miserable? Seriously, I find comments like this more depressing than spending the holidays alone.

          • Thank you for having such supportive comments. If only we could celebrate the idea that everyone celebrates in different ways…

          • Anon for This :

            I think sometimes it’s less about ingratitude and more about recognizing how you can best actually enjoy these people. My BF’s family is great, and I love them at all other times, but I’m removing myself from their Christmas celebration this year. I’ve done Christmas with them for the last several years because my parents are divorced (they each usually travel individually to see extended family). Last year I decided I can’t take it anymore.

            Every family has traditions, but one of theirs is that only family members can put presents under the tree. Even after so many years being there – and even as the only non-relative present! – I have to store my gifts elsewhere; also I always have to give my gifts last. At any other time these people are the most friendly and welcoming you could imagine, but they’ve made it clear that their traditions are 100% inflexible. Also, they are all last-minute shoppers. BF and I were flat broke all last year, but with some very careful shopping we were able to swing Christmas. His sister (who, like everyone else, knew about our money problems) calls at 5 PM Christmas Eve wanting BF to go in on a luxurious gift for their parents because she (guess what??) couldn’t find anything else suitable.

            This year, I am doing my own Christmas at my own house and people can show up or not. The people you honestly treasure at every other time of year can become totally thoughtless and obnoxious at the holidays!

          • Huh: Perphaps you are not aware of any families affected by severe mental illness and/or drug addiction or alcoholism? Many, many people suffer through the holidays because of long-standing dysfunction and abuse.

    • Thanksgiving became one of my favorite holidays when I stopped spending it with family. Usually it is just me and my husband, eating turkey at a nice restaurant, counting our blessings. Sometimes we spend it with friends, but usually turn down offers to eat with friends and THEIR families.

      Holiday drama is so over-rated.

      • Louise: Great idea. Some of my favorite holidays are ones I spent with my mom at a restaurant.

        My boyfriend is really into “ritual,” which I have never been. It’s frustrating.

        • my ritual is sitting on my ass and doing as little as possible ;o)

        • Is your bf into ritual because it’s always other people (probably his mother, and other women) stumping up to do all the work to set it up all cozy and fancy for him? If your bf is willing to do his share of the work to make the ritual happen, then that’s perhaps not so bad.

          My brother-in-law “loves ritual,” but only because he never lifts a finger to do anything or exert any effort. I’ve stopped saying that he likes ritual and have just taken to calling him “entitled and spoiled.”

  16. SF Bay Associate :

    Don’t forget that lots of stores that will offer promos for Black Friday/Cyber Monday will do price adjustments –> you can buy now, and get an adjustment on Monday :). Chat with a customer service rep to check (and be sure to also check if you can get an adjustment if you use a coupon code you found on retailmenot or such), and then shop today to get a jump on selection!

  17. Is there a site for tracking the price on products? I googled but it is turning up kind of scammy looking sites. I really want a Clarisonic Mia for Christmas but don’t want my mom to be spending that kind of money on it.

    • If you are an Ebates member, go to their site. They have a build-in product/price search. I took a look for you, lowest price I saw was at buyDOTcom.

    • Got stuck in moderation – sorry if this posts twice:

      If you are an member, go to their site. They have a build-in product/price search. I took a look for you, lowest price I saw was at buy DOT com


      • Seconding ShoppingNotes dot com. They only track prices as they go up and down; I’ve never gotten any spam from them.

        • Thanks to you both. I am a ebates member and will check out the tracking function as well as Shopping Notes.

    • I like Pinx. Free, easy to use, sends me emails when price drops.

  18. Speaking of boots, I am thinking about buying the Deerfield Equestrian boots from L.L. Bean (link in the reply). The description doesn’t say anything about the shaft height (I really hope that isn’t a bad word)! I really like at least a 17″ shaft height in brown boots. Does anyone have experience with these boots by any chance?

  19. Hi everyone!
    I am in my late 20’s and am still searching for the *right* career for me. I am unhappy in my current position now and have been considering getting an MBA and making the leap into consulting but I’m nervous about the cost of MBA programs and the weak hiring right now. How did you all know what the right career path was for you??

    • Don’t go into debt.

      -Associate attorney with a lot of debt who would rather be a park ranger but who has no other option than to continue being an associate attorney.

      • Another associate attorney :

        Associate attorney who would rather be a park ranger, have you looked into IBR? If your payments were capped at 15% and your loan balances forgiven after 10 years, perhaps you could swing it. I’m a junior associate who hates being a lawyer, and I’m considering leaving the law for a career in human services…

    • MBAs are extremely expensive. Unless you’re going to a top tier school, it’s probably not worth it in this market, especially without a career plan. And the top consulting firms really only hire from the top B-schools.

      Your question is a too open-ended for a neat & tidy solution, but here are some questions you should ask yourself.

      Do you like/are you good at:
      – working with people? People different than you?
      – writing? Researching? Reading and editing?
      – math, numbers, financial info?
      – statistics and data?
      – sitting in an office, in front of a computer?
      – talking to/dealing with people all day long?
      – selling?
      Do you need to achieve some sort of mission or goal with your work, or do you mainly want to earn money for rent and pursue your dreams on the weekends?
      Are you financially well-off? How much money can you live on?
      Where do you want to be? US, overseas? Big cities, small towns?

      You get the idea.

    • I agree that (at least in this economy) you shouldn’t start an MBA program unless you are independently wealthy or get a full ride scholarship. You should also decide what type of job and what level of firm you want to target before you start. For example, McKinsey hires a distinct group of MBA graduates, mainly from top schools and/or with specialized backgrounds. Regional consulting firms are quite different, so again it depends. I have friends who got full rides to Wharton and their trajectories are much different than that of someone who went to a lower tier university without a name-brand. Not to say that’s bad, it’s just that it would be better to figure out that before you spend the time/$$$.

      You might be interested in this recent article:

      • Thanks for your input! I currently have no debt so I could possibly afford to pay for an MBA with some planning. My current employer used to pay for an MBA but (because of the economy) the program has been suspended.
        I feel trapped! I am not happy at my current job; I originally wanted to pursue a JD/MBA but because of the cost decided that was just risking too much. I don’t know how else to get out of this situation. My company over-hired in the boom days so it is difficult to move into a new department. I also really dislike where I am living and really, really want to get the heck out of here. I am at a loss; I feel like the outlook for every career is so terrible right now but at the same time I don’t want to not pursue a career path I am excited about and have regrets later.
        I am about to have a post quarter-life crisis!!

        • LadyEnginerd :

          No concrete advice about MBA/no MBA, but please make sure that you’re making a move towards something that could be a dream job, as opposed to doing anything to escape where you are now. I say don’t do anything, particularly don’t take any concrete steps towards an MBA until you have had time to reflect about some dream career options after some time away from the job where you are unhappy (like at the tail end of a vacation). Reflect too on whether you don’t like your larger career, or your specific job. After a few informational interviews and a lot of research, I think only then will you be prepared to make a more rational decision about where to go next.

          • Sydney Bristow :

            I think this is great advice. Having a clear goal in mind if you ultimately decide to go get your MBA will probably make school that much better for you and that way you won’t be taking on the incredible expense for something you aren’t sure you want.

    • If you really want to do consulting, then the MBA can be a good idea (although I agree with Coach Laura and anon to think about this before making the leap).

      I also agree that you should not go into significant debt, but you might be able to swing the MBA without loads of debt. Does your state school have a decent MBA program? If so, the debt could be manageable with in-state tuition. An MBA is only two years after all. Think twice, though, of you want a job outside of your state because those employers may prefer an MBA from a different type of school (e.g., ivy league). Also, don’t be afraid to ask for scholarships, aid and other ways to cut the cost. You might get more help than you expect. For example, some of my friends got a full tuition waiver when they agreed to T.A. an undergraduate class while in their MBA program. Most of them got also got some sort of aid if they asked for it (even if it was just a token amount). Finally, night programs could be an option if you would be willing to keep working to avoid the debt.

      You should also do a reasonable cost/benefit analysis if you haven’t already. Consider what you are earning now, what you would probably earn after the MBA, what monthly payments would be on expected MBA debt, and intangibles (e.g., a realistic assessment of how likely it is you will be happier as a consultant versus your current position).

      Good luck!

      • I have spent a lot of time considering this but I am still not confident because of the cost. Which I will be entirely responsible for on my own (same as undergrad). If you are in the “right” career for you now, how did you know it was the right choice??

        Many of the careers I am interested in you can’t exactly try beforehand so even though I have talked to people in the field I am still nervous about making the switch..

        Thanks again everyone for your insights!

        • What did you say is so bad about the job you have now?

          • My job isn’t bad – it just isn’t a good fit for me. I don’t find it challenging or very interesting. I am concerned that the longer I stay in this field the harder it will be for me to leave. I work with a great company but it’s not in an industry I see myself staying in.

          • How did you get into a not- a- very -good -fit -for -me, not -challenging -or -interesting -job in the first place?

          • Turkey –

            “How did you get into a not- a- very -good -fit -for -me, not -challenging -or -interesting -job in the first place?”

            I can’t reply under your original comment so I am posting here …. That is a great question. Basically I left a job I really enjoyed and relocated to a very, very tiny little town with my husband because he landed a job at a very, very large company here. I took a job at the same company because they had an opening in an area where my degree makes me qualified and there are very limited options around here. I am not exaggerating when I say my choices were essentially to take this job or be unemployed/underemployed. In this area there isn’t an option to do the type of work I was doing previously.

          • So how would you get and MBA in this tiny town?

          • There are two top 25 MBA programs within driving distance…

          • O.k. Sometimes things are just meant to be. If that is truly your situation, if your husband has a good job, if you are settled in the location you both want to be (or your husband wants to be), if there are no other job options, if there are two top MBA programs within driving distance, if you are seriously thinking about it to the point where you need to ask others for advice, if you figure out a way to pay for it, if you visit the schools and like the curriculum, this is what you are meant to do. Do not overthink beyond this point. Education is never a bad thing. Your degree will be worth something big to you in the future in ways you can’t know now.

          • Turkey,

            Thank you for calling me out on overthinking. :)

            I tend to do that quite a bit, and of course I rationalize it but in the end I just never make a decision. Glad to hear that there are other peole that believe education is always a good thing. I heard to many people say their graduate work was a “waste”.

          • too*
            Hate when I do that!

        • If your inner voice is telling you to be worried about cost, you should listen to it. It could be that costs would be problematic or it could be something else seems off and you aren’t really sure you want to go through with it.

          I am not sure there is a *right* career for everyone. I may be cynical, but one way I look it at is that there are about 1,000 awesome jobs in any given field and about 1,000,000 people that want them. Plus, only about 100 of those jobs would probably still seem awesome once you actually got them.

          I told a friend last year that was considering different careers: money, time, or fun; pick 2 because you will rarely if ever get all 3, and if you only get 1 of them then that is not a good job. Perhaps that is oversimplified, but many jobs will require a significant trade-off on one of those items (i.e., no time to yourself, not much money, or not much fun).

          So if you have already thought about what is right for you, maybe spend some more time thinking about what is wrong for you. Then, focus on careers where the jobs include reasonable trade-offs. Would you be able to tolerate not having enough money for things you want all the time? Could you put up with a more boring job if it paid enough and left you time for yourself? Do you easily get overstressed so that a high-pressure environment would be intolerable? [etc.]

          I decided to become a lawyer because I needed more economic security and I knew I wouldn’t mind the day-to-day drudgery of being a lawyer. (I don’t consider it drudgery the way many do. I like researching and writing and thinking about things and I am also usually not intimidated or stressed out by crazy clients, short deadlines, or the other “negatives” of my job.) Unlike a lot of my friends in law school, I went there with a purpose and knew what life as a lawyer would probably be like. The economy was better back then, so I didn’t have the concern that I wouldn’t find a job. Even though the economy was pretty good, I went to a school where I could pay in-state tuition (which took 2 years of advance planning so that I could establish residency first). That meant that I graduated with manageable (although still significant) debt.

          You should also seek the advice of those that know you well and tell them to be honest. If they think you are looking into the MBA because you aren’t really sure what to do, they will hopefully tell you that.

          Good luck!

          • Thanks for the great thoughts. I agree with trusting your gut but it is really hard for me to understand if my reservations are from not being confident in my career choice or if it is because of the responsibility of paying back a large amount of debt. I suspect it might be a little of both – that and the whole going “into the unknown” aspect.

            My dilemma is do I stay in a low paying, boring job and have no debt, but feel unfulfilled or do I risk taking on a large amount of debt to make a career change and increase my odds of finding more challenging, fulfilling work? I absolutely know what I am doing right now isn’t working for me.

            It is a shame that because of the lack of job prospects and extremely high cost of tuition I (and many others) have to debate furthering my education.

          • So – you are in this tiny town where you only had one option with your existing qualifications (based on what you said above). Is getting an MBA going to open up opportunities in this small town? Or are you going to still be limited by the offerings available there?

            And if there are 2 major MBA programs within 30 miles, are there not also more job opportunities in your field in that 30 miles? Is your husband going to be in this tiny town for the rest of y’all’s lives, or is there the possibility of moving in a few years? Is there someway to alleviate the boredom from the current job (that’s the vibe I’m getting – is that you’re bored, rather than being in a toxic environment) through continuing education in your field?

            Maybe you’ve covered this – but is there no middle ground between boring job and MBA/debt?

  20. I personally lust after the old-school LLBean tall waxed-canvas hunting shoe. Not warm like these, but kind of the equivalent for my (wet and chilly, but not typically snowy) climate.