Career Advice

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

Flip-Flops: Not the Best Office Accessory (Poll Results)

Sigerson Morrison - 7948 (Green Patent) - Footwear

So about a week and a half ago we ran a poll about flip-flops — specifically, whether they were ever acceptable to wear to the office. Poll is ongoing, but thus far, these are the answers…

Are flip-flops acceptable to wear IN the office? According to 68% of you, NO.

Are flip-flops acceptable to wear to office-sponsored social gatherings? According to 70% of you, only if it’s a BBQ or outdoor event.

Are flip-flops acceptable to wear TO the office? 51% said sure, as long as you change into regular shoes when you get to the office. (A surprising 20% of you said No! Never.)

The picture above may not (according to most of you guys) be appropriate for the office, but damn they’re cute. Sigerson Morrison – 7948 (Green Patent) – Footwear, available at Zappos for $299.

What to Wear To . . . Work on the Weekend

what to wear to work on weekend

2017 Update: We still stand by some of this advice on what to wear to work on the weekend, but let’s face it: it’s an old post! Here are more recent discussions on comfortable workwear for late nights at the office, as well as an updated take specifically on what’s too casual for a weekend in the office.

In this feature, “What to Wear To…” we tackle attire for office events that are outside the confines of the 9-5 office day.

It’s the Aughts, and Blackberries and the Internet mean most work can be done from home. Still, there are times when there’s just no way around it and you’ve got to go in. This presents a special challenge: you want to look cute, cool, hip — but you’ve also got to look professional. If the hours are long you’re going to want to be extremely comfortable. Odds are good the air conditioning will be at full blast, so you also want to be warm.

We’ve found a bunch of great jackets that have a structured look to them, yet they’re made of fleece, jersey, and other fun fabrics — they’re almost as comfortable as your old reliable sweats. With a nice (non-ripped) pair of jeans, and a cute pair of closed-toe shoes (or even nice sneakers), these can maintain your dignity, broadcast your cool, and protect your comfort.

[Read more…]

Poll Results: We Are Not Fashion Police

why you shouldn't play fashion police at workSo about a week and a half ago we asked: At what point do you tell a colleague if her attire is inappropriate? In our theoretical situation she was wearing a see-through miniskirt…

– 51% of you would tell her only if you were good friends with her or were in some way responsible for her

– 37% of you said you’d tell her if it was something she might not realize (undergarment issues, etc)

– 18% of you said you’d NEVER tell her, under any circumstances

– 11% of you said you’d call HR and make them tell her

and 3% of you said you’d only tell her if she would embarrass the company.

If you haven’t taken the poll yet, it’s still open…

Photo by striatic, courtesy of Flickr.

What To Drink At An Office Cocktail Party

what to drink at an office cocktail party2018 Update: We still think this was an interesting discussion on what to drink at an office cocktail party — but you may also want to check out our latest (less judgy) discussion on what everyone is drinking in 2018

The question repeats itself often throughout the summer months: What’ll you have? What can I get you? The subject, of course, is alcohol. Whether you’re there for the summer or for the long haul, you still want to make a good impression at parties. If you’ve ever wondered what to drink at an office cocktail party, we’ve got you covered — behold, The Corporette Guide to Drinking.

Our 2-second tip: The best kind of drink is the one that is sipped infrequently. In other words, try not to get drunk until the after party.

Wine. This is always a safe choice. It may reflect a lack of imagination/decisiveness on your part, however.

Wine Spritzer. This says, “Dieter,” loud and clear. It can be helpful if you’re determined to make it to the after-after party, however, because you’re drinking a weak drink that’s already diluted.

Beer. Again, always a safe choice, although it may reflect a certain desire to “hang with the boys.” We don’t suggest getting this unless you’re actually at a bar and can choose bottle or draft.

Champagne. Party time! Excellent! There is a time and a place for champagne — black tie events, specific celebrations — but in general, champagne can get you drunk far too quickly and leaves the nastiest of hangovers. Also, at mass-catered affairs you’re unlikely to get good champagne, so why bother?

Colored drinks. Most colored drinks are, unfortunately, girly drinks. It also shows that you’re a bit high-maintenance (appletini? really?), especially if the party is at someone’s home or at a bar with limited options. Avoid at all costs. The one exception is the screwdriver: The vitamin C in orange juice is great for energy. If there is a special drink being offered for the party, however, trying it shows that you’re game and open to new suggestions.

Drinks mixed with tonic or club soda. These are great options, provided you’re talking more than drinking. The glasses (generally a lowball or highball glass) are safe, and communicate from afar that you’re not afraid to drink with the group, and that you’ve got a touch of class. Gin and tonic is a great summer drink, as well. If you’re on a diet go for vodka soda with a twist — tastes great and soda lacks the calories that tonic has.

Martini. Go classic here, or not at all. Vodka or gin, with an olive or a twist (or possibly an onion). Nothing colored pink, nothing flavored. Sip — do NOT drink. Only get it served “up” if you don’t tend to make a lot of gestures when speaking.

Whiskey/Bourbon. Like the martini, a classic drink, and like the gin & tonic, it generally comes in a safe glass. Only drink it if you’re familiar with it, though, and can drink it without wincing. This also tends to have a “drinking with the boys” feeling, but it says you’re up for drinking with the executives/partners, not for drinking with the guys on the baseball team.

Rum and Coke. Maybe this is a regional thing, but we say: drinking it is one thing — it’s a dark drink and no one can really tell what you’re drinking. But being overheard ordering it could be embarrassing. After all, isn’t that the choice of most 19-year-olds?

Shots. Unacceptable unless the person in charge starts it. Otherwise, save ’em for the afterparty.

Diet Coke. This drink says that you’re a party pooper and/or a dieter and/or a bad drunk. (Party foul, anyone?) Still, being suspected of being party foul is better than actually being party foul, so do what you need to do.

Current image via Stencil. Original image (2008) via Flickr: photo by DOS82.

For summer interns, summer associates, and at everyone employed at conservative offices like BigLaw, BigFour, and more, business cocktail party etiquette is a real concern. If you've ever wondered what your drink says about you -- and what to drink at an office cocktail party, we've got you covered.

Tuesday Poll: Are flip-flops ever acceptable?

Oh, come on, you knew it was coming: how can we have a blog about office-appropriate attire without addressing flip-flops? We’re going to have a multi-part quiz…

At left: FitFlops WalkStar Sandals – Silver – Womens (from Amazon)

flip-flops-for-work

flip-flops-for-business-socialflip-flops-for-commuting

Weekend Round-Up

Case of the Monday's Mousepad
– The WSJ explores the benefits of a feminine leadership style. [WSJ]

– Advice for those just starting out (or, uh, those who never paid much attention when they started out) regarding healthcare, taxes, and more non-fun adult-type stuff. [NYT]

– Tricky: Philip Galanes advises a boss not to tell an assistant to get a pedicure, even if the female assistant is in need of some serious fashion/grooming help. [Social Q’s – NYT]

– White shoe law firms: no longer conservative in the political sense. [The Volokh Conspiracy] If you’re curious about the political leanings of people in your office, go to Fundrace — it tracks any donations made over $200 in a searchable database.

– Neat: Note that SmartMoney has divided their site into “Life Stages,” including Single, Engaged/Just Married, Families with Young Children (age 0-10) and more. [SmartMoney]

– Miss Manners opines on who can — and can’t — wear white to a wedding. [wOw]

– Wheat pizzas from a box: some are good, some not so much. [WSJ]

Photo above: Case of the Monday’s Mousepad