Career – Corporette.com http://corporette.com A work fashion blog offering fashion, lifestyle, and career advice for overachieving chicks Wed, 17 Jan 2018 17:34:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.2 http://corporette.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/cropped-favicon-corporette-2014-AMP-32x32.png Career – Corporette.com http://corporette.com 32 32 Do You Schedule Breaks to Increase Your Productivity at Work? http://corporette.com/schedule-breaks-to-increase-your-productivity/ http://corporette.com/schedule-breaks-to-increase-your-productivity/#comments Thu, 11 Jan 2018 18:37:53 +0000 http://corporette.com/?p=74790 We recently discussed taking breaks at work: how long we work between breaks, if or how long we leave our workspaces on our breaks, what we do during them, and so on. While we’ve had many posts about productivity, including how to keep track of work to-dos, how to focus on work when other things […]

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schedule breaks to increase your productivity at workWe recently discussed taking breaks at work: how long we work between breaks, if or how long we leave our workspaces on our breaks, what we do during them, and so on. While we’ve had many posts about productivity, including how to keep track of work to-dos, how to focus on work when other things are on your mind, and the best Spotify playlists to help you focus, we haven’t talked a lot about taking breaks throughout the day. Can you schedule when you take breaks at work? If so, do you tend to take a break at the same time every day? Do you schedule breaks on your calendar as appointments so that others know you are unavailable?

Even though breaks were allowed and even encouraged at most full- and part-time jobs I’ve held, I still wouldn’t stop to take my first “break” until 1 p.m. or later. Even then, it might’ve only been break time because I didn’t want to miss out on the last call for the office cafeteria salad bar at 2 p.m. I did, however, almost always take 45 minutes for lunch when I could. I would make it a point to take a long walk, read a book, or meet up with a friend.

We realize that for some of our readers’ high-demand jobs, it’s just not possible to take breaks, at least not frequently. For instance, as a trial attorney, on my docket days or days with back-to-back-to-back client meetings, or when I had trial prep, breaks weren’t always an option. I would often eat lunch at my desk, if I had time to eat at all, and I was lucky if I could get a few minutes to check my personal texts or emails.

Here are some tips we hope you find helpful when it comes trying to schedule breaks to increase your productivity at work:

Why you should schedule breaks at all

Taking a break will improve not only your physical health (as we all know, sitting for too long is bad for us), but your mental and emotional health, too. Even just walking for five minutes every hour can be beneficial. You’ll return to your work more relaxed, refreshed, and ready to keep working. You might even improve your creativity enough to solve a previously unsolvable problem, just by stepping away for a few minutes.

How frequently you should schedule breaks to increase your productivity

Experts say that 90 minutes is the absolute longest you should work before taking a break — even if the break is just for 5-10 minutes. Ideally, you should work an hour or less between breaks to be the most productive. The popular Pomodoro Technique advises you to work for 25 minutes (ideally focusing on one thing only), take a five minute break, and then go back to work. (After four 25-minute blocks, take a longer break.) But the timing can vary here — a study a few years ago found that taking 17-minute breaks every 52 minutes was the best strategy for being productive, while another study found that participants who were given two short breaks during a 50-minute task were able to stay more focused and perform better.

A few ways to encourage yourself to take breaks — besides setting timers/reminders on your phone — are setting your Fitbit to remind you to get up and move periodically; using a physical timer, website, or app to follow the Pomodoro Technique; or installing an app like StandUp! that prompts you to get up and move frequently.

How to get the most out of your breaks

To re-energize and reset your mind throughout the day, breaks can include:

How do you spend your breaks — going for a walk, getting or making coffee, or taking a few minutes to stretch or do a couple yoga poses in your workspace with the door closed? Do you have a job where you are required to take breaks at the same time every day?

Pictured: Deposit Photos / Swanlake1

Further Reading:

  • 3 Ways to Get Maximum Stress Relief During Work Breaks [Huffington Post]
  • Why You Shouldn’t Work More Than 90 Minutes Without Taking A Break [Lifehacker]
  • Why Taking A Break At Work Makes You A Better Employee [Health]
  • When, How, and How Often to Take A Break [Inc.]

 

How often should you schedule breaks to increase your productivity at work? WHY should you have scheduled breaks? We looked at some of the recent studies about breaks and productivity at the office, as well as the Pomodoro Method, to see the ideal work/break schedule...

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6 Books to Help You Achieve Your New Year’s Resolutions http://corporette.com/6-books-to-help-achieve-your-new-year-resolutions/ http://corporette.com/6-books-to-help-achieve-your-new-year-resolutions/#comments Thu, 04 Jan 2018 18:01:40 +0000 http://corporette.com/?p=74827 Now that we’re a few days into the new year, we thought it’d be a great time to round up six books to help you achieve your New Year resolutions for your career. Whether you’re aiming to get a new job, negotiate a good salary for a new job (or ask for a raise), get […]

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Now that we’re a few days into the new year, we thought it’d be a great time to round up six books to help you achieve your New Year resolutions for your career. Whether you’re aiming to get a new job, negotiate a good salary for a new job (or ask for a raise), get better at delegating to subordinates, find sponsors at work, improve your executive presence, deal with difficult coworkers effectively, or just improve your job performance, these are worth a read. If you’ve already decided on your career goals for 2018, or you’re still thinking about what you want to accomplish this year, these six books can help you figure out how to do just that.

 


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6 Books to Help You Achieve Your New Year's Resolutions: I Know How She Does It, by Laura VanderkamI Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time (2017) by Laura Vanderkam

I Know How She Does It (not to be confused with I Don’t Know How She Does It, a novel about an overwhelmed working mom) is the product of Vanderkam’s look at the detailed time logs (1,001 days’ worth) of working moms who make at least $100,000 a year. From analyzing the women’s schedules, Vanderkam came up with several strategies to share with readers who need help in achieving more balance in their lives. KJ Dell’Antonia, former editor of the NYT‘s Motherlode/Well Family, called it “the most positive take on work and family [she’s] read in a long time,” and its Amazon reviews give it 4.2/5.0 stars. (Note that Vanderkam also wrote 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think, which doesn’t focus exclusively on working mothers.)

6 Books to Help You Achieve Your New Year's Resolutions: Never Eat Alone, by Keith FerrazziNever Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time (latest edition 2014) by Keith Ferrazzi

In Never Eat Alone, Ferrazzi (who runs a management consulting firm) focuses on “the power of relationships” and explains how to reach out to people and make connections — not just for your own benefit, but for the benefit of those in your network as well.
Publishers Weekly‘s review noted positively that “no one will confuse this book with its competitors,” and Never Eat Alone has 4.1/5.0 stars at Amazon.

6 Books to Help You Achieve Your New Year's Resolutions: The 12 Week Year, by Brian P. MoranThe 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks than Others Do in 12 Months (2013) by Brian P. Moran

Speaking of New Year’s resolutions: In The 12 Week Year, productivity expert Moran criticizes the tradition of making annual goals and plans — “annualized thinking,” he calls it — and encourages readers to consider 12 weeks to be their “year” instead. Moran, who claims that his approach can help you get more accomplished in the time you have, explains how to structure your routines to make every day count, set goals, and increase accountability. The book currently has a 4.6 review score at Amazon.

 

6 Books to Help You Achieve Your New Year's Resolutions: Own It, by Sallie KrawcheckOwn It: The Power of Women at Work (2017) by Sallie Krawcheck

As Own It publisher Random House puts it, this book is “a new kind of career playbook for a new era of feminism.” Krawcheck, the CEO and co-founder of the women’s investment website Ellevest, explains how women can find success by ignoring and rewriting the “old rules” — to stop trying to act like men at work and to instead rely on your own skills and strengths to advance in your career. You can read excerpts of Krawcheck’s book at the Ellevate Network and at The Globe and MailOwn It currently has a 4.3/5.0 at Amazon.

 

6 Books to Help You Achieve Your New Year's Resolutions: Ask For It, by Linda Babcock and Sara LascheverAsk For It: How Women Can Use the Power of Negotiation to Get What They Really Want (2008) by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever

In Ask For It, the authors of Women Don’t Ask: Negotiation and the Gender Divide teach women how to negotiate effectively by explaining their four-phase technique and using real examples of professional women who were able to negotiate successfully. They give advice on developing a strategy, dealing with the answers you end up receiving from your attempts, and more. The book blurb written by Lois P. Frankel, Ph.D., the author of Corporette reader favorite Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office: Unconscious Mistakes Women Make That Sabotage Their Careers, says, “Ask for It provides the tangible tools and tips you need to get your fair share of the raises, promotions, and perks you’ve earned — and deserve.” The book has a 4.4/5.0 at Amazon.

 

 

6 Books to Help You Achieve Your New Year's Resolutions: Feminist Fight Club, An Office Survival Manual by Jessica BennettFeminist Fight Club: An Office Survival Manual for a Sexist Workplace (2016) by Jessica Bennett

As you can guess from the title, Feminist Fight Club, which was named to “best of” lists in 2016 by the Chicago Tribune, Refinery 29, Forbes, and others, takes a bit of a different approach than the books above. (Broad City‘s Ilana Glazer calls it “a classic, f*ck-you feminist battle guide.) The book has advice on dealing with sexism and other gender-related issues at work — including coworkers such as the Manterrupter and the Himitator (otherwise known as a He-peater) — and offers Feminist Mad Libs, a Negotiation Cheat Sheat, and more. It has a 4.6/5.0 on Amazon.

If you’ve read any of these books, would you recommend them to other women? Have you found any other career books to help achieve your New Year resolutions that you’d recommend? What are your career goals for 2018? How did you do with your career resolutions for 2017? 

Psst: In the past we’ve talked about must-read business books for women, the best books for becoming a better manager and becoming a better communicator, helpful leadership resources for women executives, the best reading for women MBA students, the best online women’s management training, the best TED Talks for working women, Kat’s and readers’ favorite podcasts, and Kat’s favorite articles for working women. (We also had a reader discussion of The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman, as well as a discussion of Lean In, by Sheryl Sandburg.)

Image at top and social media image via Stencil.

We rounded up six books to help you achieve your New Year resolutions for your career and beyond, including I Know How She Does It, The 12 Week Year, Never Eat Alone, Own It, Ask For It, and Feminist Fight Club! Which are your favorite books for career advice and practical self-help tips?

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Swearing at Work: Yea or Nay? http://corporette.com/swearing-at-work/ http://corporette.com/swearing-at-work/#comments Mon, 18 Dec 2017 19:22:46 +0000 http://corporette.com/?p=74470 Here’s a fun question for today: are you for or against swearing at work? Do you think less of colleagues and bosses who do it — or does context matter (e.g., you’re only against it if someone is swearing out of anger or swearing around little kids (or older colleagues)?) Or does your vocabulary rival […]

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swearing at workHere’s a fun question for today: are you for or against swearing at work? Do you think less of colleagues and bosses who do it — or does context matter (e.g., you’re only against it if someone is swearing out of anger or swearing around little kids (or older colleagues)?) Or does your vocabulary rival a sailor’s? Do you consider it a measure of closeness, of “being in the club”? (Does anyone do it to prove their mettle — I’m thinking of the characters from the video for parody video Bitch in Business.) What about crass sayings that aren’t quite swearing, such as “oh, he’s just swinging his dick around” — yea or nay? (Haha: any favorite phrases to share?)

I can’t find the post now, but I know we’ve talked about this as a facet of gender relations in the office — in the past, I’d gotten the sense that male lawyers I worked with were deliberately toning their language down when I was around — whether it was because I was junior, a woman, or if there was something about me personally I can’t say. My solution was often to be the first to casually swear in front of them — but looking back maybe I made too much out of it.

In general, I like to joke that I was a sailor in a previous life, because my language — with good friends, at least — tends to be on the saltier side when kids aren’t around. That said, I’ve always felt that in writing (such as this blog) that swearing is the “lazy” way — there’s almost always a better word or metaphor that can be used if you take half a second to think about it. I tend to take that approach in most interactions with adults who I don’t know well, especially since I’ve toned my language down enough around my kids to reflexively say “sugar/fudge/darn it” rather than their other versions. (Interesting side question: is saying “sugar/fudge/darn it” at work equally off limits — the equivalent of bringing in homemade cupcakes to the office or some other office mom behavior?) In terms of swearing out of anger, I think there’s a difference between screaming at the universe (“fuuuuuck!”) or using it as an adjective (you’ve got to be f-ing joking) versus screaming it at a person (e.g., you f-ing asshole / get me the f-ing book) — and I think even the screamers I worked with would recognize that difference.

How about you, readers — are you for or against swearing at work? If you’re against swearing at work, do you view it as politeness, laziness, or something else? And if you’re for swearing at work do you view it as being a member of the club, being an adult — or something else?

Stock photo: Deposit Photos / RobStark.swearing at work - yea or nay

Career women discuss the surprising pros and cons of swearing at work -- and it's fascinating to see which commenters say they absolutely love swearing or see it as a "member of the club" type of thing versus the women who say NO, never. But as it turns out: EVERYONE hates when men "apologize" for swearing. Oh, our delicate @#$@# ears...

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How to Get a Poker Face at Work http://corporette.com/how-to-get-a-poker-face-at-work/ http://corporette.com/how-to-get-a-poker-face-at-work/#comments Tue, 12 Dec 2017 16:45:51 +0000 http://corporette.com/?p=74349 Have you ever worried that your face gives away your thoughts every time? Putting on a poker face is always a good skill to have, but especially with performance reviews (and bonus season) coming up, now is a great time to ponder how to get a poker face at work. Here’s Reader K’s question: A […]

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how to get a poker face at work - image of lady gagaHave you ever worried that your face gives away your thoughts every time? Putting on a poker face is always a good skill to have, but especially with performance reviews (and bonus season) coming up, now is a great time to ponder how to get a poker face at work. Here’s Reader K’s question:

A mentor of mine said one of my best qualities is that I’m genuine; however, I was told that resulted in being easily read and having zero poker face. If people can read me, they know how and where to hit, which isn’t good. How can I develop a poker face and be less easily read?

Good question, K, and I can’t wait to hear what the readers say. I also have a face that is far too easily read, but here are a few ideas on how to get a poker face at work (and beyond):

Pictured: Lady Gaga / Poker Face.

  • Sing a silly song in your head to offset strong emotions. A male friend told me years ago that he sang the MacGyver theme song to himself whenever he was about to cry, and that stuck with me. (Pssst: Here’s our last discussion on crying at work.)
  • Learn a bit about body language, because it can work with or against your facial expressions. If your face falls when you feel defeat, and then your body language follows (perhaps by slumping, crossing your arms or legs to protect yourself, etc.), the internal emotion only becomes stronger. If you feel defeat and you force your body language to do the opposite of your emotion (such as sitting up straighter, maybe even forcing a smile), then at the very least, whoever is in the room with you will be confused.
  • Cover your tells, physically if you have to — for example, rub your forehead or fake a cough or sneeze.
  • Take some lessons from media training, as shared by a commenter on Ask a Manager when they had an open thread on this topic. He or she noted to “relax your eyebrows to their natural resting position and take your tongue away from the roof of your mouth (it tends to go right there when you’re holding something back — it’s a physical response). This automatically relaxes your face and neutralizes your expression,” and also recommended carrying a small object you can discreetly touch to “center” you, such as a coin in your pocket.
  • Have a safe, neutral, go-to phrase. In one of my favorite movies, Joe Versus the Volcano, one of Meg Ryan’s characters blankly says, “I have no response to that,” whenever she’s confronted with something she doesn’t necessarily understand. The character isn’t really a great role model, per se — and you probably shouldn’t use it as often as she does in the two days Joe knows her character — but I’ve always taken power from the fact that it’s a valid response. You don’t owe anyone more than that. Other options here might be, “Tell me more about your thoughts on ____,” while you gather your own thoughts, or asking a question involving logistics or facts.

Readers: If you consider yourself to have a good poker face, what are your best tips? For those of you who had to develop a poker face, what’s your advice? 

Social media image credit: Shutterstock / Photographee.euhow to get a good poker face at work

Nothing's worse in a business situation than feeling like your face betrays EVERY thought! A reader wondered how to get a poker face at work -- so we rounded up some tips from body language to mental hacks. What are your best tips on how to get a poker face at work? Come join the discussion.

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Tips and Tricks for Holiday Networking http://corporette.com/holiday-networking/ http://corporette.com/holiday-networking/#comments Mon, 04 Dec 2017 19:09:39 +0000 http://corporette.com/?p=74071 2017 Update: We still stand by this advice on holiday networking, but you may also want to check out all of our posts on holiday business etiquette. Here’s today’s question: what are your thoughts about holiday networking? What kind of events (whether through your office, professional organizations, alumni connections, or even friends’ parties) do you think are […]

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holiday networking2017 Update: We still stand by this advice on holiday networking, but you may also want to check out all of our posts on holiday business etiquette.

Here’s today’s question: what are your thoughts about holiday networking? What kind of events (whether through your office, professional organizations, alumni connections, or even friends’ parties) do you think are the best for holiday networking — and what are your best tips for having a successful networking experience at a holiday party? Perhaps importantly in 2017: What are the boundaries of networking these days — do you avoid politics, for example? (A related Q: do you think networking at parties is ever crass? For example — you go to your mother-in-law’s party and groan when, say, a trusts and estates attorney starts hammering in how you need a will and should really call him! How’s Tuesday for a call?)

Some general tips on holidays and networking:holiday networking tips for women lawyers

  • Watch your alcohol intake, especially if you might be making or renewing connections in a professional capacity.
  • If you’re at an office party, definitely take this opportunity to get to know other people in your company, and avoid the temptation to stick with your friends.
  • As far as party-appropriate conversation topics — If you’re going to talk politics… do your best to be informed, and keep any anger to a low simmer. If you happen to be the kind of person who can’t stand politics and has avoided FB and the news since the election, and you find yourself in a conversation with people who clearly DO care about politics, just do your best to slip away into a new conversation — you are probably not well advised to admit that you don’t know what’s going on these days. (Along these lines, if you have a number of parties coming up, you may want to check out our post with tips for following current events, and considering signing up for something like The Skimm for at least the month of December, or check out some of their Skimm Guides to bigger issues.) You can also check out our post on how to negotiate conversation topics.
  • Even if you don’t intend to network, definitely bring your cards with you! I always seem to be that person who shows up to events and realize I have three cards left in my wallet and left my card case at home. (Fun fact: when I was single I felt weird handing out my law firm business card for prospective suitors, so I bought special cards with just my first name and cell number on them. I jokingly called them my “playa” cards and felt so uncomfortable even having them that I wound up giving my husband my law firm card anyway when I met him.)

Let’s hear it, readers — what rules do you follow for holiday networking? Politics this year: yea or nay?

Psst: we’ve talked before about office holiday party etiquette, what to wear to the holiday office party, and which of your coworkers should get a holiday card.

Picture via Stencil.

We share our best holiday networking tips and tricks -- and ponder whether political talk is ever a party-appropriate conversation topic.

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Sexual Harassment, Office Culture, Resumes, and “Boys Being Boys” http://corporette.com/sexual-harassment-office-culture/ http://corporette.com/sexual-harassment-office-culture/#comments Thu, 30 Nov 2017 17:39:57 +0000 http://corporette.com/?p=73995 We’ve all been hearing and talking about the surge of men getting fired, losing control of their companies, and otherwise being disciplined for sexual harassment and other bad behavior — and we’ve all been heartened by the groundswell of support for the women and men brave enough to come forward. I’m hopeful that we are […]

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sexual harassment, office culture, resumes, and boys being boysWe’ve all been hearing and talking about the surge of men getting fired, losing control of their companies, and otherwise being disciplined for sexual harassment and other bad behavior — and we’ve all been heartened by the groundswell of support for the women and men brave enough to come forward. I’m hopeful that we are at the beginning of a tectonic shift in the way sexual harassment is handled at companies, where the default becomes “I believe her” — it’s about time. (Full disclosure, considering the stock photo: this is not a #metoo story, but my heart goes out to the many, many, many women and men who have such stories.) There’s been a lot of discussion and think pieces on this topic in the press — but here are a few questions I haven’t seen discussed that might  be interesting topics here: 1) How do you think these past few weeks will affect the companies, colleagues, and protégés (both male and female) of these men? How will they ever distance themselves enough? 2) For those of you who work at men-dominated firms where, perhaps, a “boys will be boys” attitude has prevailed in the past, has anything changed in the past few weeks? What are the positive changes you’ve seen (whether from HR, company/firm-wide meetings, etc.) that make you optimistic about the future?

With regards to the first question about resumes and protégés: Let’s say you run a production company in Hollywood. A man comes in to interview for an opening and his resume notes that he worked closely with Harvey Weinstein — which, before a couple of months ago, would have been a huge resume boon (granted, there’d been rumors about his behavior). Do you consider his resume? If he makes it to the interview stage, do you ask about it — whether he “knew” what was going on and was ok with it, whether it was part of company culture that he accepted and perhaps expects at your company? If it’s a woman instead of a man — with the same resume — how does that change things?

I’m thankful to be one of the seemingly few women who doesn’t have a #metoo story (at least not that at the office that I can remember), but I’ve been watching the news closely in part because I worked closely with a male VIP in my law firm days and with a female VIP in my journalism days, and they’ve always played a large part in my resume and in job interviews. Fortunately, neither has been accused of anything (knock on wood) but I can’t help thinking that if either were, then future resumes/interviews would be very, very, very different. (Obviously this is a totally minor concern in comparison to those of the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted, but it’s something to think about.)

Readers, what are your thoughts? 

Psst: In the past, we’ve discussed a lot of sexism issues, including sexual harassment at workhow to deal when you work with sexist pigs, what to do when your client hits on you, and how to make your boss stop flirting with you.

Further reading:

  • The 4 Redemption Narratives We Are Currently Using to Minimize This Sexual Harassment Hellscape [Jezebel]
  • The sexual-harassment epidemic has been diagnosed. What’s the cure? [Washington Post]
  • The Conversation We Should Be Having [The Cut]
  • The Insidious Economic Impact of Sexual Harassment [Harvard Business Review]
  • Sexual harassment doesn’t just happen to actors or journalists. Talk to a waitress, or a cleaner [The Guardian]
  • (There are SO MANY other great articles and opinion pieces about this groundswell — I kind of love everything by Rebecca Traister — please feel free to share articles that have stood out to you in the comments!)

Stock photo at top via Pixabay.sexual harassment at male-dominated offices

In the post-Weinstein era, women working in male-dominated offices talk about sexual harassment, office culture, and "boys being boys." Great discussion with the readers (both those who are #metoo as well as those who are #notmetoo!)

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