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Career Advice

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

Working Girl: The Discussion

working-girl-movie-discussionWelcome to the second installment in our discussion of some iconic movies featuring “working girls” — today, we’re discussing the 1988 movie Working Girl. You can find our earlier discussion of the 1980 movie 9 to 5 here. So, ladies, what were your thoughts on Working Girl? If you haven’t seen it before, what were your thoughts with fresh eyes — if you HAD seen it before but rewatched it for this discussion, did you have any new insights on the movie?

Warning, spoilers ahead…

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The Best TED Talks for Working Women

best-ted-talks-for-working-womenLadies, what are some of your favorite TED talks for working women? Which ones do you think about the most; which have you heard a ton about but haven’t yet watched? Some of the ones that I think about the most are:


1. Sheryl Sandberg, “Why We Have Too Few Women Leaders

This is the talk that came out before Lean In, and I’ve thought about the talk as well as the book a lot over the years.  Description from the page: “Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg looks at why a smaller percentage of women than men reach the top of their professions — and offers 3 powerful pieces of advice to women aiming for the C-suite.” (Here’s our original discussion on the talk, as well as our Lean In discussion.)

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7 Financial Steps to Take Before the End of the Year

Six Financial Steps to Take Before the End of the YearLadies, what end-of-year financial steps do you plan to take in the next few months? Besides making sure to buy a new planner (if you’re a paper-planner person, that is) and finish your holiday shopping, another thing to do before the end of the year is to take time to focus on your financial situation. Besides quick things like reviewing your W-4 deductions to decide if they’re still appropriate and checking that your employer has your current address on file so that you’ll definitely receive your W-2, taking these seven year-end career and financial steps will build a good foundation for the months to come:

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How to Break the Ice With Coworkers — Even While Traveling

travel-conversationHow do you break the ice with coworkers and make conversation, particularly while traveling together? Travel with coworkers can be awkward for exactly this reason — and hopefully our tips can help. We’ve talked about party-appropriate conversation topics, as well as how to steer a conversation away from sports or the like, but not in a while. Here’s the question from Reader B:

I read your post on travelling with co-workers, great notes. I am new to corporate travel and have a hard time keeping and making conversation. Some of my travels are one on one and others are with a small group. Do you have any tips, topics, etc., to discuss while on business trips with co-workers, especially when they are one on one?

Hmmmn — what should you talk about with coworkers? Readers were recently discussing this recently (I’m maybe remembering this conversation about adjusting to non-BigLaw, non-NYC life) and I agree — talk about anything! The best things (IMHO) are to find shared hobbies, ask about plans for the weekend, or even ask if they’re reading/watching anything good these days. I am not personally into sports (I even have a shirt that says “Hooray sports, do the thing, win the points!”) but if YOU feel like talking about sports, you can always float the conversation and see if your coworker wants to talk about sports as well. (Either way, check out Sports Ketchup, which bills itself as “The weekly newsletter of what you need to know to win a sports conversation in under 3 minutes per week.)

There are, of course, a few caveats:

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#FirstSevenJobs: What Were Yours?

firstsevenjobsThere’s a meme going around about your #firstsevenjobs — so I thought it might be a fun thing to discuss. (A lot of celebrities and business leaders have answered, including Sheryl Sandberg, Buzz Aldrin, Stephen Colbert, and more.)  My own answers kind of highlight my upper middle class youth, I guess — there aren’t many paid jobs in there! Still, it’s nice to look back on them and remember…

Ladies, what were your first seven jobs? What can you learn by looking back at them? (I included “unpaid internships where I had a boss” in my list — these days a similar position would have to be paid!)

1. (Paid) Lifeguard / Swimming Instructor, age 15-19

I loved swimming when I was a kid, and took pretty much any swimming class they had to offer.  Synchronized swimming, lifeguarding, sure! Right after I finished my lifeguarding class they were opening a new pool in my hometown and had signs up everywhere to apply to be a lifeguard — so I applied.  I did the interview in my JV tennis uniform (an early WTH moment in interview attire, I’m sure) and started work a month or two before I turned 16.  My memory may be a bit wonky here, but — in my memory we had problems getting the chlorine mix quite right, and from time to time would have to clear the pool and open the pool deck doors to let fresh air in.  Because it was winter, the cold, crisp Ohio air would mix with the warm, humid air of the natatorium, and create an instant fog — some of my best memories from that time period are climbing up on a lifeguard stand and feeling like I was sitting on top of clouds.

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9 to 5: The Movie Discussion

9-to-5-corporetteWelcome to our first movie discussion here on the blog — as noted a few weeks ago, I thought it might be fun for us to review a few movies about working women through the years that you may or may not have seen.  Today we’ll be discussing the 1980 movie 9 to 5.   Our next discussion will be of Working Girl, on November 1 — it’s available for streaming on Netflix, from your local library, and on Amazon. (Here’s a link to the trailer, and to the Rotten Tomatoes page, where it has an 84% fresh rating.) 

So let’s discuss the movie 9 to 5!

(Warning if you haven’t seen it — spoilers ahead!)

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