Career Advice

Below, find some of our recent career advice stories. Have a question for Kat? Check out the Contact page.

In-Company Networking Events for Women

The WSJ has a story today about how the law firm Weil, Gotshal, & Manges recently had a women’s networking event at Henri Bendel’s, giving everyone $25 gift cards to get them started. Bendel’s agreed to give 10% of the profits to a charity, and Weil agreed to match those profits. (We knew we shouldn’t have cancelled that callback we got from Weil, darnit.) (Photo by pixxiestails, courtesy of Flickr.)

Jillian Bunyan, who had just arrived in New York from “rural Maryland” to intern at Weil, said the evening offered her a chance to interact with women she considered too high-up to approach in the office. “Being here sort of levels the playing field,” she said. While the big bosses at work seemed out of reach, at Bendel’s “you can talk to anybody about designer sunglasses.”

. . .

Two lawyers, Erin Law and Virginia Munoz who were hunting for a watch, agreed that men had the advantage of being able to bond more easily than women. “They can just do it whenever,” Ms. Munoz said. Women, she said, needed a reason to talk to each other. To her, male bonding seems effortless: “Oh you like sandwiches? Me too!”

We’ve already done one poll today, but we’re curious for comments — do you feel that firms should have special networking events for women? Beyond dinners or catered parties, what sort of events has your firm done that you’ve liked and haven’t liked? What sort of events would you like? Have organizers tried to do specialized events (e.g., shopping or spa parties) and been rejected by male managers? Do you feel like there needs to be something to “level the playing field,” as the above quote (from what sounds like a summer associate) suggests — either lots of liquor or two women grabbing the same cashmere sweater?

We have mixed feelings on this stuff. On the one hand, these women-only events feels a bit like those pink computers and Blackberries marketed towards women — false in some important way. But the shopping event sounds like fun bonding — much more fun than trying to balance a weak cocktail with a tiny plate of appetizers.

At Weil, Shopping & Networking Go Hand in Hand [WSJ]

UPDATE: Boo — unless we’re mistaken our comments aren’t working. Double boo. If you like please e-mail us with any comments ([email protected]) and we’ll post ’em when we get ’em up and running as updates to this post. (We promise we will NOT post your e-mail address or name.) Otherwise we’ll let you know when we fix the problem.

UPDATE 2: We’re back in business! Please comment away.

Tuesday Poll: When to Tell a Colleague Her Outfit is Inappropriate

can-you-tell-a-colleague-her-outfit-is-inappropriateLet’s set the scene for you: You enter the break room. One of your colleagues stands there, minding her own business and getting coffee. You notice that she’s wearing a khaki linen skirt that is a bit too short — when she bends over to put the milk back in the fridge you can see everything. When she stands up again you realize that the skirt is see-through, to boot. Your internal debate begins: should you tell her?

Photo at left by DCvision2006, courtesy of Flickr.

We’ve all had that unfortunate outfit mishap where a newly-purchased item of clothing doesn’t quite work out the way you want it to — it’s too low cut, it’s popping open, the skirt is shorter than you thought, etc. Some of these things, you know about — but other times, it takes a good friend to tell you. Would you want someone to tell you? How do you act when someone else’s outfit is inappropriate? (Note that for today’s poll, you’re allowed to choose more than one answer.)


Our tip: Young lawyers are often told to keep a conservative suit in their office, in case there’s a last-minute court appearance. This is not bad advice for all women working in conservative offices — keep a safe outfit (one that you know fits) at the office. It’ll save you when your outfit is accidentally inappropriate, as well as when you spill salad dressing.

Related (kinda): How to Tell Someone They Smell Bad At Work [SpeakStrong]

5 Tips For Surviving the Day After an All-Nighter

tips for surviving the day after the all-nighter2017 Update: We still stand by these tips for surviving the day after an all-nighter (and links have been updated below) — but you may also want to check out our more recent post on how to function at work without sleep.

We’ve all been there — stuff needs to get done, and stuff needs to get done now. In the high-stress job, the all-nighter (sometimes several nights in a row!) is par for the course. One of my bosses once said she reveled in looking like crap the next day, wearing it as a badge of honor. I don’t. If you look sloppy and tired and incoherent, well, that’s how you tend to get treated. So, that said, here are my tips for surviving the day after an all-nighter, after the jump…

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Weekly Round-Up

– A Boston Globe columnist explores what things women should never wear, including an item of clothing so vile it inspires the columnist to ask: “Is there anything a woman could wear that says more loudly, ‘I am not to be taken seriously in either the professional or sexual arenas’?” We’ll let you click to find out what that is. [Miss Conduct]

– Ms. JD has a hilarious assessment of an article on a male author’s article, “How to Use Gender Bias To Ensure Your Career Success.” Tip: no giggling or crying. [Ms. JD] A more serious piece (written by a woman) on how to negotiate boardroom-speak is here. [The Glass Hammer]

– Bunnyshop has a guide to international hair salons. Handy! [Bunnyshop]

– Learn from the mistakes of Zoe Cruz, Carly Fiorinina, and Martha Stewart: Maintain your “Feminine Mystique.” [Boston Herald]

– Tips for boosting your brain power and preventing Alzheimers. The tip we like: use your non-dominant hand for basic things such as brushing your teeth. [WSJ]

– Do you travel frequently for work? Here are the top 20 airports to avoid. [Forbes]

– NYT has 31 Places to Go This Summer (and avoid the Euro). [NYT]

– Addicted to caffeine? Us too. Here’s a guide on how to break the addiction. [New York]

– If your parents and grandparents are just starting to think about divvying up their estate, we recommend this article: you may have a very interesting Thanksgiving dinner ahead of you. [BusinessWeek]

– Ooh, great round-up of different online stores to sell you local produce. [NYT]

– A musical version of the movie 9 to 5 is coming to Broadway! Musics and lyrics written by Dolly Parton herself. [ET] [Photo above: Nine to Five – Sexist, Egotistical, Lying Hypocritical Bigot Edition – Full Screen]

– Finally: a cool little video on The Girl Effect. [YouTube via Feminist Law Professors]

Generation Pantyhose

pantyhose-for-workThere’s an interesting story in today’s WSJ regarding pantyhose, and how it causes a generational divide between workers. That’s definitely true! We here at Corporette think they should be worn on the most formal of occasions — court appearance, meeting with the CEO, etc — but for daily work they aren’t necessary. We were surprised, a few weeks ago, when we ran our first poll and 50% of you said that they weren’t ever necessary. At left: SPANX All The Way Up! Pantyhose Hosiery.

Anyway, our jaw dropped when we read the article in the WSJ:

This is the issue that lately has occupied the mind of Jim Holt, president of Mid American Credit Union, a small financial institution in Wichita, Kan. Mr. Holt is 58 and a three-decade member of the U.S. Army Reserves. He joined Mid American, which has 50 employees, four years ago, inheriting a dress code that prohibited, for women, such things as boots and mules, or backless shoes. The company required “hose” at all times — even under pants. [Read more…]

Excuse us for the lack of posts

working girlWe apologize for the lack of posts — in addition to our day jobs taking up far too much of our time, we’ve been working on a big story (should be up by Friday): a review of all the new invitation-only online sales sites. We’ve also been working on various technical glitches on the site (and we’re happy to report that the RSS feed link is now working again).

In the meantime, allow us to post a clip of one of our most favorite make-over movies: Working Girl. It’s funny how Sigourney Weaver’s character doesn’t look that out of style — the shoulder pads are a bit much, but still. We were trying to find the clip where Joan Cusack says, “But it isn’t even lea-tha,” but, alas, we could not. (If you have it, please e-mail us!!) (Full video after the jump…)

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