Performance Reviews: Running With Feedback

Performance Review Feedback: Run With ItPerformance reviews can be a bit intimidating, but they can also be great learning experiences, particularly when you get critical feedback.  For today’s open thread, I thought we’d discuss: What’s the best feedback you’ve ever received in a performance review?  I don’t necessarily mean the best compliment (but ladies, please share those too!), but rather the best note that helped you learn and grow in your job or career.  Was it a direct message (“you must do X to get to Y”), or a general personality observation?  How did you take the feedback initially, and what did you do with it? (If you’re far enough away from it — what do you wish you’d done?)

For my own $.02, one of the things that my favorite editors told me, long ago, was that I was very introspective, and I seemed to be constantly assessing how I was doing.  It hadn’t occurred to me before that point that this was an unusual trait or anything worth mentioning — didn’t everybody do that? It was helpful feedback in that it stopped me from tripping over myself too much (although I’ve always suffered from Imposter Syndrome!) and even became something that I touted in later interviews.

How about you, ladies? What performance review feedback has been the most helpful in your career thus far?  What changed the way you looked at yourself or your job? (On a related note, do you have any tips or tricks for how to “get more” from your performance review, such as how to elicit better feedback, or to lay the groundwork for a promotion or better opportunities?  

Further reading:

 

Pictured: Shutterstock/aslysun.

Deal Alert: The Sale is on Sale at Nordstrom!

sale-on-sale-at-nordstromNordstrom is doing another day of “extra savings” (although allegedly this time it’s through 11/30) — the sales are great!  Be warned, though, when they did this last week (the first time I’ve ever seen them do this!), stuff sold out — I had a number of things sell out before I could check out last week. Sad trombone! (My solution tonight: first I shopped for my son and checked out, then went back and shopped for myself and checked out… then decided to do a sales roundup about it.)  Some of the nicer things I’m seeing:

  1. BCBG Generation Pinni Pump, was $79 now $38, lots of colors and sizes left
  2. Corso Como ‘Penny’ Pointy Toe Pump, was $128 now $48
  3. Sam Edelman ‘Linda’ Half d’Orsay Pump, was $109 now $55, 2 colors left
  4. Ivanka Trump ‘Sophia’ Pump, was $109 now $59, 10+ colors on sale
  5. not pictured: COACH ‘Rileigh’ Wedge Pump, was $195 now $87, 3 colors on sale
  6. (at top): SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker ‘Diana’ Pump, was $365 now $165 – 18 positive reviews, 3 colors left
  7. TONS of Stuart Weitzman (up to 62% off) and AGL flats (up to 55% off)… no “extra” savings on Ferragamo but tons of shoes marked 40% off.

stylish work shoes

More Notes on Workwear Clothing in the Sale

 

64 Thanksgiving Sales (and Kat’s Top 16) (UPDATED)

Office Style: 64 Great Thanksgiving Sales on WorkwearTONS of Black Friday sales have already started, huzzah! I haven’t noticed this before, but it’s heartwarming to see that several big brands have a charity angle — Zappos is sponsoring pet adoptions and donating up to $1.1M to Best Friends Animal Society, and Spanx is donating 20% of sales to Dress for Success. We’ve rounded up 64 sales for workwear; my favorite 16 are in bold. We’ll update the list as we go, and if there are any huge sales we’ll try to do a Deal Alert. Happy Thanksgiving, ladies! Thursday updates are in red; Friday updates are in green.  

  • 6PM – Big sales on Cole Haan booties, tall boots, and Dansko shoes.  Black Friday: huge savings on designer bags, including Cole Haan, Coach, Lodis, Marc by Marc Jacobs, and Valentino — also, deals on NorthFace and NineWest.  PLUS, take 15% off your entire order with code BLACKFRI15. 
  • All Saints – Cyber Weekend, 30% off all styles with code CYBER.
  • Amazon – Take 20% off shoes, jewelry, watches and more. Up to 70% off clothing (prices as marked). Black Friday Savings, take 30% off clothing, shoes, watches and more. 
  • Ann Taylor – 40% off all new styles with code GIVE40. Plus, take an extra 50% off all sale. Black Friday sale: take 50% off everything. 
  • Banana Republic – 40% off your purchase with code BRFRIENDS.
  • Barneys New York – 40% off clothing, shoes and accessories for everyone.
  • Bergdorf Goodman – The designer sale is here, get up to 40% off now.
  • Brooks Brothers – Fall sale, up to 50% off sale styles. Black Friday special: 4 shirts for $199 (men and women’s), lowest prices of the year. 
  • Boden – 30% off everything plus free shipping and returns over $49 with code 7J4Z.
  • Bloomingdale’s -Big Brown Bag Sale; save up to 50% off on select items. Online only, take $25 off almost every $200 you spend on select items.  Free shipping and free returns.
  • Bluefly – Countdown to Black Friday – today, up to an extra 25% off designers like Saint Laurent, Ferragamo, Prada, Jimmy Choo and Burberry.
  • Brooks Brothers – Fall sale, up to 50% off select items.
  • Club Monaco – Online only, take an extra 40% off clearance. Online and in stores, enjoy an extra 30% off sale styles with code EXTRATHIRTY. 25% off $150+, 30% off $250+, 35% off $400+ with code THANKFUL. 
  • Coach – Up to 30% off with code THANKS2015.
  • Cole Haan – 50% off select styles, 30% off everything else. Free ground shipping.
  • CUSP – Up to 40% off designers you love.
  • DVF.com – Sale – enjoy up to 40% off wear now styles; ends Nov. 30.
  • Eddie Bauer – 30% off everything with code SNOWBALL, plus 40% off all outerwear.
  • Eloquii – Get 50% off your entire purchase + $25 festive finds with code BASH.
  • eShakti – Sitewide: buy 2 get 1 free; buy 3 get 2 free.  Ends today.
  • Express – 50% off everything, excluding gift cards and featured brands. Plus, free shipping.
  • Forever 21 – Early VIP access, Black Friday deals starting at $4.
  • Gap – 50% off everything with code EARLY.
  • Gilt – Up to 80% off designer brands with new sales launching Black Friday at 7 a.m. and noon ET, as well as Saturday at noon ET. Today’s sales include workwear brands like Rachel Rachel Roy, Maje, and Oliver Peoples.
  • Henri Bendel – Ends tonight: 20% off $100, 25% off $200, 30% off $300+.  Plus, free shipping on all orders.
  • Intermix – New markdowns at an extra 40% off (starts today).
  • J.Crew – Take 30% off your purchase, including stuff that is never on sale! Plus, 40% off hundreds of styles and 40% off all sale styles in stores and online. Use code HOLIDAY; valid Nov. 25 through Nov. 26.
  • J.Crew Factory – 50% off everything (seriously!) – prices as marked. Free shipping on $50+ with code SHOPGIFTS.
  • Journelle – Use code THANKSLOVELY to take 15% off orders of $150+, 20% off orders of $300+, 25% off orders of $500+.
  • Karen Kane – Take an additional 20% off sale styles with code THANKFUL15.
  • Kate Spade New York – New styles added to the sale! Black Friday, enjoy 25% off your entire purchase with code MERCI. Surprise sale: enjoy up to 75% off.
  • Lands’ End – 50% off all fleece, 30% off everything else with code FAMILY pin 2525.  Free shipping on $50+.
  • Last Call – Black Friday week: extra 40%-80% off everything! 
  • The Limited – 50-60% off everything with code BFWEEK, and extra 60% off all sale items. Plus, free shipping. Black Friday until 2PM: 60% off everything + free shipping. 
  • L.K. Bennett – Black Friday, 30% off everything with code THANKS.
  • Loft – 40% off everything with code TURKEYDAY.
  • Lord & Taylor – Black Friday deals are here! $20 off your $150 purchase with code BONUS (online only). 20% off regular-priced and sale items, 25% off fine jewelry with code THANKS.
  • Macy’s – Take 20% off with code THANKS and enjoy free shipping over $50; valid Nov. 25 through Nov. 28.
  • Madewell – 25% off your entire purchase with code CALMDOWN.
  • ModCloth – Black Firday, up to 40% off tons of new and favorite items.
  • Naturalizer – 30% off boots and 50% off handbags, plus free shipping.
  • Neiman Marcus – Up to 40% off regularly priced items in Select Better Apparel and 25% off in Kids at NeimanMarcus.com. Now through Nov. 30.
  • Net-a-Porter – Sale! Up to 50% off. 
  • New York & Co. – Dresses, sweaters and more up to 60% off, plus “secret deals” each day.
  • Nine West – 50% off almost everything.
  • Nordstrom – Designer clearance, up to 40% off. They’re offering an extra savings of 25% off through 11/30 — check out our workwear sale picks!
  • Old Navy – Take 30% off your purchase, or 40% off when you spend $100 with code EARLYBIRD.
  • The Outnet – Pregame: the site notes that clearance is coming soon, with 250+ designers up to 80% off.
  • Rebecca Minkoff – 25% off all orders, select styles up to 70% off.
  • Rebecca Taylor – Extra 30% off sale with code THANKFUL.
  • Reiss – Up to 50% off sale items.
  • RueLaLa – Tons of big deals on workwear brands like Karen Millen, Montegrappa pens, and Dr. Brandt skincare.
  • Saks Fifth Avenue – Thanksgiving sale, up to 60% off select styles with code HOLIDAY. Free shipping and free returns.
  • Saks Off FTH – Up to 70% off 1000s of deals.  Plus free shipping with code FREE4YOU.
  • ShopBop – Save up to 25% with code GOBIG15. And now through Nov. 30., spend $250+ and save 15%; spend $500+ and save 20%; and spend $1,000+ and save 25%.
  • Soma Intimates – B1G150% off for bras and pajamas, plus get 25% off luxe robes and throws.
  • Spanx – Save 15% off your purchase of bras and denim, and they’ll donate 20% of sales to Dress for Success.  Use code DFS.
  • Talbots – 40% off all markdowns. 50% off one item until noon on Friday (check out reader favorite, the Audrey sweater…)
  • Theory – Black Friday – enjoy 40% off. 
  • ThinkGeek: Ends tonight, 20% off all orders $40+ with code LIGHTSIDE.  (Tons of gift ideas for the geek in your life!)
  • Tory Burch – Spend $250, get 30% off new arrivals, sale styles and more with code THANKS.
  • Ulta – $3.50 off your $10 purchase with code 306487.
  • Uniqlo – Use code DEALS to take $15 off $100, online only.
  • White House | Black Market – New reductions up to 60% off — plus use code 60703 to take 30% off your entire purchase.
  • Zappos – Free pet adoptions! This Black Friday through Cyber Monday, Zappos.com will sponsor the cost of adoption fees for dogs and cats through Best Friends Animal Society, along with more than 100 of its No More Homeless Pets Network partners. And for every adoption from November 27 through November 30, Zappos will donate an additional $150 to Best Friends to help cover the cost of food, medical care, immunizations, training and more for animals awaiting homes. Total donation amount, including adoption fees, is a maximum of $1.1 million.

Ladies, do you have any to add?  

Office Holiday Party Etiquette

Office Holiday Party Etiquette | CorporetteI’m working on a monster post about what to wear to your office holiday party, and in the meantime found all these great articles about office holiday party etiquette, which we haven’t discussed in forever — so I thought we should discuss today, as a bit of a precursor to the “what to wear to your office holiday party” post. (Although of course feel free to share what you plan to wear to your party this year!)

For my $.02, it comes down to some simple rules:

  • If it’s your first holiday party, don’t assume — talk to others so you know what to expect, because there can be a huge variation in office holiday parties. Some offices have a midday Santa hat+suit kind of luncheon; others have a Friday night affair at a hotel ballroom.  (One of my old offices did the hotel ballroom for the low key affair, and another black tie ball in January just for attorneys.) If you can’t ask anyone, look for clues — if it’s a Friday night after work, odds are good that people are going to be still wearing their office clothes (with one small tweak like a party blazer or statement necklace).  If it starts at 5, it may be over by 7.  Another way to gauge the formality: where the event is held.  If it’s chosen for locality (the closest hotel ballroom, the closest restaurant, etc), odds are it’s going to be more low key than an event a bit further from the office.
  • Do not get tipsy, let alone drunk.  Save it for the office after party or when you’re at an event that isn’t affiliated with work. (Many moons ago, we also talked about what your drink says about you at the office cocktail party.)
  • Make it about the people, not the food or drink.  That’s a good hallmark of any party attendee, but it goes doubly here.
  • Talk to everyone.  Fight the urge to huddle in the corner with your friends, or only try to network with the VIPs.  It’s a great time to smile and laugh with your subordinates, as well as support staff.  A corrollary:
  • Don’t just talk about work.  If your boss comes over and needs to discuss a project, that’s one thing — but assume that people want to talk about anything but that.  Politics and religion are still dicey topics, of course, but there are a ton of other party-appropriate conversation topics.
  • If the next day is a work day, it’s business as usual. 

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Cute Office Supplies: When To Use Them

Cute Office Supplies | CorporetteOur post the other day about the cute file folders got me thinking: When should a professional woman actually use cute office supplies? Should you use them only in a home office? Only for presentations? As part of a cohesive system for all of your office work? (Pictured: Smiley Face Binder Clips, $4 for 40 at Amazon.)

For my $.02, I’ve always loved cute office supplies — something about going to Staples or Kate’s Paperie or the like takes me back to the happy feelings of back-to-school shopping. (Yeah, I was that kid.) But once I got to my law firm, this is how I actually used them: for personal things in my office only. I had a nice folder for keeping track of my CLE credits, and a nice folder for holding my old timesheets and the like — things that I filed myself and didn’t need to hand off to someone else. They sat on my desk (as part of my organized office system) and made me happy — but they were but a small pop of color amidst the seas of red Redwelds, brown Bankers Boxes, and beige manila folders. It was still worth it to me to seek out pretty things and buy them, but it was just for a bit of silliness to cheer me up at the office.

Ladies, when do you use cute office supplies? Do you have a place for them in your life?

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The Best Tights and Half-Slips for Work

Nordstrom 'Everyday' Opaque Tights | CorporetteWhich are the best tights for work, and where can you find them? What about half-slips for underneath workwear? Reader K wonders…

I work in a very casual office, but with winter upon us, I would like to change up my typical pants/sweater wardrobe to add more tights. Can you do a post on the best tights out there? The best opaque, the best durability, the best for patterns/textures, and best quality for price. I’m a bit overwhelmed by all the offerings, and without knowing which brand seems to have the greatest appeal, it’s hard to invest $20 (or more) for what amounts to a pair of tall socks. Along with that, where on earth do we find half-slips anymore?

Great question, Reader K. We haven’t talked about tights in a while (and it’s been eons since we talked slips!), so let’s discuss.

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