Career Advice

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

Morning Office Routines – What Do You Do As Soon As You Get to the Office?

morning office routines - what to do as soon as you get to the officeWe’ve talked a lot about morning routines from a health and sanity perspective — but I don’t think we’ve ever talked about everyone’s morning office routines — particularly about whether people have built any good habits for the morning routine at work, or how they ensure productivity as soon as they get to the office. Here are the questions about your morning office routine:

  1. What time do you aim to get to work?
  2. What is your commute like, and what do you do on your commute? Do you go straight to the office or stop somewhere (coffee shop, gym, daycare) along the way?
  3. What do you do as soon as you get to the office — talk with your assistant? Review a to-do list? Go to a meeting?
  4. Do you have any “first thing at work” habits that you’ve purposely built to maximize productivity for yourself — and have you had to break yourself of any bad habits (like, say, surfing the Internet for far too long in the morning)? Examples of this might be listing THREE things (no more!) that you want to get done on a Post-it, or avoiding the computer for an hour to focus on a paper project…
  5. Bonus Q – if extra work needs to be done, do you prefer to do it in the morning or at night? Do you prefer/need to be in the office for the extra work, or can you usually take it home?

For my $.02, these are some of the morning office routines I’ve used over the years:

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What to Say in a Goodbye Email

what to say in a goodbye emailWhat should you say in a goodbye email? We’ve talked before about what to do with your work email after you quit, as well as how to resign gracefully and have a great exit interview, but not necessarily about what to say in a goodbye email, so today we’re welcoming guest poster Amy M. Gardner to share some thoughts on what to say — and what NOT to say — in your goodbye email at work. Amy is a former law firm partner and law school dean of students, now a certified professional coach working with attorneys at Apochromatik — welcome, Amy!

What to Say In A Goodbye Email

1. Include where you’re off to next and your contact information. Some people don’t want to share where they’re going or can’t for a set amount of time because of a non-compete. In that case, send connection requests to people via LinkedIn and include only your personal contact information.

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Do You Keep Your Personal Life Private at Work?

how to keep certain parts of your personal life private at workKeeping aspects of your personal life private at work may feel necessary to you, or it may just be a personal preference. Maybe you’re worried that certain information about your life outside of work will make you a source of coworker gossip, or lead people to stereotype you, or even cost you your job. Or maybe you feel that some parts of your personal life simply aren’t anyone’s business. We thought it’d be interesting to talk about the things that readers prefer to keep quiet at the office — and why. Readers, do you keep certain parts of your personal life private at work? What parts, and why? 

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What to Wear on Your First Day at Work

what to wear on your first day at workHere’s a fun question for today: What are your best tips for someone on what to wear on your first day at work? Do you play it very safe with your interview outfit? If it’s a business casual environment and a suit isn’t appropriate, what do you wear for your first-day outfit?

We’ve talked about how to make your first day on the job a GREAT one, as well as what to wear on your first day at a very casual law office, but it’s been a while — I can’t wait to hear what the readers say!

Here are some factors that I would consider when picking out what to wear on your first day at work:

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How to Style a Sweater as a Layering Piece

how to style a cardigan as a layering pieceI recently saw some interesting photos at Banana Republic of sweaters styled as a layering piece, and since it IS that season where you may or may not need a sweater or cardigan, depending on temperature, wind, humidity, office AC, etc., I thought it might make an interesting discussion. If you’re not actively wearing the sweater, how do you style it? Do you wrap it around your shoulders or your waist, or do you just carry it in a bag? This can be very office-specific as well as location-specific, but here are the basic questions: Are there ways to style a cardigan that are “classic,” or does the sweater-as-accessories-look read a certain way to you, like preppy, casual, or (ahem) dated? Do you prefer to just throw a cardigan in your bag for your commute if you’re not wearing it? (In the past, we’ve talked more generally about cardigans in our guide to stylish cardigans for the office, and we’ve also discussed ways to button cardigans.)

For my $.02, I think both looks above are way too casual for a conservative office. If I needed to shed a layer before returning to my office I’d be far more likely to throw both arms of the cardigan over my shoulders, like below. But while I see a lot of this look in real life (enough that I’d call it classic!), I see hardly any images in the styled annals of Pinterest and style blogs, which makes me wonder if people see it as outdated. (Refinery 29 has their “cool girl” take on how to style sweaters that includes a very sloppy version of the below looks…)

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The Best Resources for New Managers

the best resources for new managersHunting for the best resources for new managers? Whether you’ve been recently promoted to management status or are hoping to get to a supervisor level in the near future, there are many good resources for new managers that are worth checking out, including blogs, videos, books, and podcasts. We’ve rounded up some of our favorites (as well as reader suggestions) for first-time managers below, but we’d love to hear from you! What do you think are the best resources for new managers? If you’ve recently been promoted to manager level, what resources have been the most helpful? What would you recommend to younger women looking to make it to management? 

(Of course, don’t forget to check out our previous posts with advice for new managers, including how to become a better manager, online women’s management training, how to become a better communicator, must-read business books, and how to become a leader. We’ve also talked about executive presence for women leaders, and you may want to check out our tips on how to step up your working wardrobe to get that promotion.)

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