Wednesday’s Workwear Report: The Oversized Blazer

Our daily workwear reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

This oversized blazer is $150 at Everlane, which is quite a bit more affordable than some oversized blazers I’ve seen. It also seems like it has a lot of structure to it, whereas many lower-priced blazers sort of look like really slouchy shirts. I like it as they’ve styled it here, with ankle pants and mules, but if that’s not your style you can also do a kitten heel or basic pointy-toed flat. The blazer has really good reviews on Everlane — a 4.7 out of 5.0, with 200+ people weighing in. It comes in black and the pictured grey herringbone in sizes 00–14. The Oversized Blazer

Two options in plus sizes are at Target — three-quarter sleeve and long sleeve.

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  1. I’m interested in learning to golf and don’t know where to start. Where do I find someone for beginner lessons? I am not terribly coordinated although I believe with practice I can make improvements in that area. I have a lot of extra time and some money to put toward this interest. I live in Texas and don’t belong to a country club if it matters.

    • Anonymous :

      Go to a driving range. They should have a pro who can give you lesson or be able to hook you up. Much less expensive than a country club.

      Your city may also have public courses. These can be a good place to learn also.

    • Is there a Women on Course near you? I’ve never taken it but have heard good things.

      • I belonged to Women on Course for several years and loved it. There were very frequent, low-cost opportunities to play, usually coupled with a short lesson.

        My first golf teacher was of the view that you shouldn’t actually play holes until you were hitting really well at the range. Maybe that’s right in the abstract, but I didn’t make any progress (or really start enjoying the game) until I started playing. I spent like a year periodically hitting at the range and getting bored/frustrated; Women on Course got me out playing multiple times a month and I got lots better very quickly.

    • Anonymous :

      Also, in your local driving range, maybe in the ladies’ room, look for things for women golfers. There is a group (perhaps local to me) of women professionals who golf. I think the main thing is networking vs golf, but also golf in a supportive environment. These groups are usually good to hook up with for recommendations, etc.

      Also, for any newbie: get a golf glove. Those blisters are real and for me were very unexpected since I played tennis and never had issues with blisters even with a 2-handed backhand.

      Also: wear a white polo shirt whenever you go someplace new. Some places have rules and I’ve found about them usually with a very nice warning for next time but since I can wear pajamas to work (almost), I had sort of forgotten dress codes as a concept.

    • Welcome to golf! I would start with googling ‘beginner adult golf lessons’ in your area and pick somewhere that has good reviews. If you’re comfortable with being in a small-group setting, there’s nothing wrong with that – it might even be intimidating to take a private lesson and have your coach watching every swing as you whiff a bunch of balls the first few lessons. If you want private training, you’ll pay a bit more but either style will get you started. You can often buy a pack of classes for a discount. Then, ask them what some nice low-key public courses are where people won’t be upset if you’re hacking around in front of them (and let them play-through if they’re playing faster – there’s no shame in needing more time when you’re new!). Stick with it – I didn’t pick up a club until 9th grade and it took me a year to get proficient. Two more years to be a decent player, and I ended up playing college golf. Once you’ve found a groove, you can join a golf course if you find one you love (doesn’t have to be a country club, though it could be if you want those amenities – almost every course will offer a yearly golf membership).

      Other tips:
      – See if the lesson place will loan or rent you clubs to start. Or maybe you have a friend with a set they never use you can borrow. I personally wouldn’t buy clubs until you can successfully strike the ball every time you swing (doesn’t matter if it’s flying perfectly or going exactly where you want, but you won’t start to develop your swing pattern until you’ve swung a bunch).
      – When you’re hitting consistently, go get your clubs. I got my last set of clubs after a fitting at a place that sells both new and used. I got near mint-condition ‘used’ irons for a very reasonable price. Don’t assume you need women’s, – I’m 5’10” and play men’s regular length clubs.
      – To play, you’ll need a bag, balls, tees and a divot tool (and sunscreen!). Look for the huge packages of “reconditioned” golf balls to start – you’ll lose a lot of balls your first year.
      – I would invest in a pair of golf shoes and a golf glove to get started. I golf regularly and I’ve given up my soft spikes and have been loving the Ecco Hybrid shoes (they still have grip on the bottom). Your glove goes on your non-dominant hand.
      – Once you’re hitting the course, get a skort (or long shorts or pants, personal preference) plus a couple golf shirts in tech fabric to go with it. I find the stuff that’s sold as “golf gear” really is better for golfing than normal clothes because it’s designed for swinging and bending.
      – I buy a lot of my golf gear on, and Trendy Golf USA has super cute stuff.

      • Anonymous :

        This is interesting. I am being told that in my city, no one can play school sports past middle school b/c they are way too competitive (high schools of 3000 kids so only kids who could be D1 college athletes actually get spots). The one exception is . . . girls golf.

        I am in a sunbelt state, so I can see this being good for them in the working world. They have done some “golf” lessons, but more in summer camp or at school and nothing that seems very real (they know the rules but I wouldn’t put them on a course). I wish I were better at golf (and am grateful that my clients are indifferent and prefer steak dinners to golfing). As a parent, I fear for my wallet. But maybe it wouldn’t be that bad and I ought to encourage it (they do swimming and ride bikes and kayak, so they are more outdoor sports participants than team sports kids, if that makes sense).

        It seems so do-able to read your account — can you tell me more?

        • Absolutely! For reference, I am from the midwest, played at a smaller high school and was (very surprisingly to me at the time!) recruited by 3 schools and ultimately played D3.

          Golf is a life-long sport. I think golf is absolutely worth lessons at any point. Not that people don’t and can’t play team sports like basketball/lacrosse/soccer/etc well into adulthood in pick up games or leagues, but in my experience the vast majority of people who were in those sports in middle or high school no longer play. If your girls want to try for the school golf team, it was a fantastic experience for me, I love that it’s an individual sport that still has a strong team element – best of both worlds. The best part of golfing in HS (I don’t know if this applies everywhere) was that we had access to the driving range and played all our team rounds for free (there was the standard school sports fee, but we weren’t paying per-round). Even new or mediocre players still get to play a round of golf (vs. sitting on the bench in a team sport). You don’t need to be a great player to enjoy the game, and improvement is possible for anyone who enjoys it and wants to work on it. You can also play as a family just like you’d go kayaking or cycling together. When I think back, many of my fondest memories from my teen years are on the golf course with my dad or my grandpa. My mother is a terrible golfer and even she enjoys playing a few rounds a year for fun.

          It took me 3 years of hard work back then to start shooting in the 80’s – and I’ve largely stalled out on improving my score now that I don’t play almost daily – but I maintain a very respectable game. Being on the golf course is as close as I get to meditating. It’s a peaceful place for me, and I love to play rounds alone just as much as I enjoy playing with friends (and occasionally clients, but more rarely). In regards to cost – you can find used clubs very inexpensively – I just dialed up craigslist and there were several sets of women’s and junior clubs with bag for under $150. If they get into it and love it, you can upgrade them later.

    • Also Google ‘Get Golf Ready’ which is a nationwide series aimed at beginners and organized through the PGA. The Executive Women’s Golf Association is also a good group. It is national but with local chapters. I belonged to a chapter for a few years, and they were extremely welcoming of golfers of all levels and also arranged lessons for beginners through the Get Golf Ready program in my old town.

    • I once took a golf class through the rec center at a local college–a big school, but not one known for golf or athletics generally. The captain of the women’s college team taught the class. It was a very affordable way to learn the basics. I also imagine that a college golf player might be interested in coaching for a reasonable charge–you could email a coach to see.

    • Golf: Parks & Rec :

      I’m also in Texas, and a few years ago, took lessons through the parks & rec department. They were super cheap; my class had only 4 people in it (coincidentally, all women); and we used their golf clubs. It was a great experience.
      If only Leslie Knope had been our instructor…..

  2. Former Retail :

    I ordered this blazer. The fabric is fairly stiff, making it boxy and unflattering on me, so it went back.

    • Anonymous :

      And the jeans are starting to look like Mom Jeans.

      • What? The jeans are fitting through the hips and tight around the thighs, what on earth makes them mom jeans? The fact that they waist band comes close to your actual waist and not around your hips where it’ll create muffin top on even very thin people?

        • The extreme high rise and the light wash are very mom jeans.

          • Former Retail :

            I think it’s all about how old you are. I wore these jeans in high school and now they’re back, along with scrunchies and high-cut swimsuit bottoms. Gotta go – I’m making a mix tape by holding my tape recorder up to the radio and Erasure just came on . . . .

          • I just don’t think the rise is that high. Pants should sit at the waist. Not at your hips and not across your belly.

            I thought light wash was in now?

          • High rise
            light wash
            snug cut (so there is a high camel-toe risk, esp. if you pack on a few pounds after buying)

          • 1. this is a medium wash, not a light wash
            2. high rise does not mean mom jeans if they are also skinny jeans (which is likely but unconfirmed here)
            3. These are not reading as high-rise, much less extreme high-rise, to me
            4. Mom jeans are ironically cool now


          • It’s totally about how old/hip you are, too.

          • Part of what made other jeans “mom jeans” was pocket placement and the stiff fabric.

      • Gap is literally selling jeans right now called Mom Jeans. It’s awful.

        • KateMiddletown :

          They look really good if you don’t have a flat butt and big hips… or if you’re wearing clothing a la Man Repeller and don’t care if they’re flattering or not.

        • Ok, so don’t buy them? Leave them for the cool, skinny 20-somethings. It’s not “awful” that they exist and are for sale.

    • BabyAssociate :

      I’m not a fan of the oversized blazer either, but I just picked up the GoWeave Classic Blazer and it’s gorgeous!

      • KateMiddletown :

        Can you compare the fabric to another blazer? Is it like the halogen or more like a schoolboy from J Crew?

        • BabyAssociate :

          I can’t speak to either of those. But it has almost a silky texture that I think works well with both casual and business casual. Last week I wore it with a t-shirt and the aforementioned mom jeans.

    • Well the model certainly doesn’t look happy about the jacket.

  3. Smithsonian for kids :

    Yay — we are taking the kids on a road trip to the Smithsonian!

    BUT, the weather should be cold (for us) and rainy. Do the various museums have coat checks or lockers (or can I just bring a backpack / Ikea bag for our stuff and lug it around with me)? Also, is it still better to eat inside in the cafeterias vs leaving for lunch and coming back?

    I haven’t been in a museum there since I was a fresh-from-school 20-something living in a group house on Capitol Hill, so it will be a very different trip for me but also very much looking forward to sharing it with my school-aged kids.

    Any other recommendations (including for Udvar-Hazy, which I’ve never been to but will also want to visit since it is on our way and we’ll have a car) for our demographic?

    • Yay for you to bring your Kid’s to DC! I’ll bet it will be a lot different from your days living in a group house on Capital Hill. I had friends who did that, and all of them are also now married, b/c the men there were anxius to meet (and have s-x) with us, but my friends held back on letting them get to frisky until after they got engaged. You probabley have your own stories to tell.

      As to your question, the answer is on the INTERNET.

      Stow Your Baggage: The Udvar-Hazy Center has lockers in two sizes. The smaller lockers accommodate small bags (such as backpacks) and coats; the larger lockers are 12″ wide, 15″ deep, and 29″ tall, and accommodates most carry-on size bags. A 25 cent deposit is required and the quarter is returned after the key is replaced. If you have baggage that does not fit in the lockers provided, you will be asked to carry your bags with you.

      You should ALSO know that security is big busness these days in DC. You can NOT just sashay into a place without going through security, and your bags will be inspected.

      Good luck on your return to DC. I wish I could be there with you, with my OWN kids! But I need a husband first. TRIPEL FOOEY!

    • Many of the Smithsonian museums have coat checks or lockers; it varies depending on which museum.

      For food, if you’ve got littles, I would stay in the museums for lunch. You’d need to get out of the mall area to eat well, I think, which may be hard depending on the age and tiredness level of your kids at that point. The area immediately around the mall is pretty devoid of places to eat that aren’t either jammed with other tourists trying to escape a museum, or *way* overpriced for what they are. The museum food is pretty good at many of the museums, especially the Museum of the American Indian. If you do venture off the mall to eat, I recommend the Hill/Eastern Market/Barracks Row area for plenty of options. If the mall is behind you and the LOC is to your left, keep walking down Penn Ave SE.

      • The Museum of African American History has a good cafe too (and is really excellent itself). Also, there are several good restaurants in Penn Quarter, not too far away from the east side of the Mall.

        • Patricia Gardiner :

          I think you need tickets for it way in advance since it is so popular – or wake up early and try to get same-day. This was true just a few months ago, may have changed.

          • Might be able to eat at the cafe without tickets! I hadn’t thought of that! I’m really interested in going someday…

          • Flats Only :

            Nope – the cafe is tickets only. much to the disappointment of all the DC foodies who wanted to make the scene there when it opened but didn’t want to wait 2 months for tickets.

        • Oh oops, I didn’t think about that. When I went on a Sunday in October they had tickets available at the door, FWIW.

      • +1 American Indian museum food

    • Flats Only :

      Definitely go to the Udvar Hazy center if it’s on your way. You can cover it in about 2 hours, or stay longer for the various movies, simulator rides, etc. Even if you don’t know much about aviation it’s really interesting. You pay to park your car, but the museum is free for however many people are in your car.

      • Yep, $15 per car. If you arrive after 4pm, parking is free, but they close at 5:30 (I think). Not sure about lockers, but they do have some food options there (haven’t eaten there myself). But you could definitely grab lunch before or after going in — would just be a 5 min drive.

    • Anonymous :

      One thing I would be mindful of, which is hard with kids, is to not bring a ton of stuff. There are metal detectors and bag checks, so the less stuff you bring the quicker you’ll get through. There’s a ton of food trucks outside the museums nowadays, but it depends on your willingness (and your kids) to eat food truck lunches.

    • There was an AMAZING article on doing Washington DC with kids in Conde Nast Traveler in the past 3 years. Google it. It had suggestions for ice cream pit stops, secret places, the whole shebang. It was so great that I sent it to my brother and SIL! Will try to post a link….

      • Link to Traveler article:

    • No Problem :

      The Smithsonian museums are awesome, but beware that they are tiring. I don’t know how old your kids are, but two hours in a museum is a lot even for an adult. You don’t need to see every single exhibit on this trip; just pick the one or two things in each museum you and your kids want to see. Maybe that’s the impressionists gallery and the sculpture garden at the National Gallery of Art, the human origins and gems and minerals at Natural History, and the star-spangled banner (definitely go see this!) and Julia Childs’ kitchen at American History.

      Most or all of the museums do have a coat check. Definitely make a plan for eating at the appropriate times. You don’t want to realize it’s 1:30, you haven’t had lunch, the whole family is on the verge of a hangry meltdown, and you’re a 20 minute walk from whatever you want to eat.

      Also, the botanical gardens are awesome. And it’s warm inside!

      • Agree with all of this. It’s… a lot. The Building Museum is fun, too, but I think charges an entry fee?

        Get off the mall, too! You can see other fun visitor things and simultaneously see “real” DC. If you hit Georgetown (fun for a stroll and a bite to eat; a lot of common shops now, though) try: Dumbarton Oaks Gardens, The C+O Canal in Georgetown, the campus, etc. Visit the National Cathedral and the neighborhoods around it (backs up to the area near the zoo; Uber it). Go to the roof of the Kennedy Center and have lunch and a great view + space to wander free for your kids.

        Also, so glad they brought Julia Child’s kitchen back! It was closed for a brief period and I kept missing it. Watching Julia Child was such a memory for me as a child!

        • If you’re up near the National Cathedral or the Zoo, try 2 Amy’s for family-friendly lunch or dinner – I swear it’s the best food in DC.

          If it’s sunny, you might enjoy walking around Arlington National Cemetery- it could be nice for your kids to be outside.

          • It so is! Cathedral Commons has so many options nowadays, it’s awesome…2Amys is still a gem there!

            There’s also this awesome looking playground behind the National Cathedral. Depending on your kids’ ages, it could be a great place to burn some steam. Google Beauvoir Playground.

          • National Geographic has a nice museum too. Part of it is ticketed, but they also have another exhibit that is free and open to the public, and around the outside of the building are a lot of their iconic photos.

          • +1000000 to 2amys. Cactus Cantina next to it is also great, including for kids

    • KateMiddletown :

      How old are your kids? We went with teens and an 8 year old this summer and the 8 year old really enjoyed the American History museum. The Newseum (not a Smithsonian/not free) was running some sort of special where it was v reasonable for the 5 of us (kids free maybe?) and all 3 kids LOVED it. The older two really liked the Hirschorn, and we all liked the National Gallery of Art – leave 3+ hours for this one. I’ve heard the best food is at the Museum of the American Indian. Teens had seen African American museum on a previous visit; make reservations if you intend to see it.

    • There really aren’t many good food options nearby so I’d second the vote for the Museum of the American Indian cafeteria. It’s really tasty!

      Also maybe plan on an Imax film to break up the museum walking fatigue?

  4. Kat, I love this oversize Everlane blazer! Like the model, I am also a size 2, but she is 5 foot 10″. I am much shorter, and wonder if the oversize blazer will look dumb on me? She can carry it off being tall, as the blazer does not have a vent in the back. I hope this will also be good for me b/c my tuchus would stay underneath the blazer, and not pop out like a jack in the box, particularly when I sit down or worse, reach over the table to hand opposeing council with paper’s or a brief. FOOEY!

    As for the OP who wants to learn how to play golf, yes, go to a public golf course and then ask for the local golf pro if you can get instruction’s. Dad is a member of a club on LI, and the golf pro is always trying to get me to learn. I stay away from him b/c he always put’s his arms around me (ostenseably to show me how to swing, but I know he just is interested in squeezeing me and my boobies — DOUBEL FOOEY!) I am NOT that kind of girl and am not interested in learning anything from him. But the manageing partner is also a golfer, and he says that I need to learn if I am to become the manageing partner as I need to schmooze insurance client’s.

  5. Anyone work at a non-profit with thoughts on employee give days? I understand it’s common practice, and I’ve worked at several non-profits over the years that do this. My current organization does a big media blitz about it with hourly goals, interviews on FB live and other social media platforms and it just really rubs me wrong.

    • Anonprofit :

      Yes, but in academia (non-professor). I support the mission and goals of my institution on a daily basis, but get paid *well* under market in my field/area/market: I don’t have a ton to give. My current institution has a 100% employee giving goal that they make a huge deal about…so I just gave 20$ out of one paycheck, one time, and that is going to be it. I politely ignore the rest.

      • I worked for a nonprofit that had a stated goal of “100% of our employees give” and I would give $50 just so I wasn’t the only person not giving. But that was it. I worked many many off-hours events on behalf of the org that I didn’t have to to “support the mission of the organization. I have other nonprofit giving goals and giving more to the org I worked for would have taken money away from something else.

    • Anonymous :

      I hate it. I already work for you and give tons of time and energy for which you pay me peanuts. Leave me alone.

    • nonprofit fundraiser :

      I got forced to donate to an organization for which I was an unpaid, full-time intern….that stung. I gave them $5.

      Now I work in fundraising and we don’t have any sort of employee-participation requirement. Honestly we’re just trying to get 100% of our board members to donate…

      (Lots of our employees *do* donate, but we understand that many of them can’t, and we don’t even formally solicit them in most cases.)

    • I work in development/fundraising at legal aid. Our attorneys are significantly underpaid, and we do not obligate them to give. I know some organizations do, but it rubs me the wrong way. Plus, it is challenging to get the Board to give.

      We comp staff tickets at any events in exchange for volunteering. This was a change from my predecessor, who asked staff to pay. Volunteering generally consists of doing an hour’s work, which is not bad at a 3 hour event. People enjoy volunteering, and its easy tasks (set up of decorations, clean up so you get to stay till the end and take the leftover food home, collecting tickets so you get to greet all the attendees). We have significantly higher staff turnout at events now, which is beneficial as staff can mingle with donors and describe the impact of their work and what donor support is actually funding.

      • KateMiddletown :

        That’s insane that staff were made to pay for events. The entire point of most events is fundraising and if your staff aren’t there to gather names and do recon, why even have them?! This boils my blood.

    • I worked for a nonprofit that was part of a coalition of nonprofits that all had the same give day…we were very heavily pressured to give, so I gave $20 to another nonprofit in the coalition.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I’m on the board of a medical clinic that gets numerous grants that require full board and full staff participation in the donation drive. I think it’s a dumb grant requirement but I don’t hold it against my organization for following it because the grant keeps us in business. We accept even a one dollar donation to say we have full participation. Management makes clear to the staff that the giving requirement is only because of the grant and really, it is ok if they just give $1.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      WOW I am glad we don’t. We have stuff like… at our annual Thing, if you put a coin in this bucket you can get a sticker that says you put a coin in the bucket to wear around the annual Thing (which then, the theory is, encourages non-staff to give to the Thing) but I would be pretty unimpressed if I was expected to give a big ol’ donation.

    • Our nonprofit receives United Way funding. United Way, in turn, pressures us to do an employee campaign. I ask staff to donate even $1, and I usually donate like $5, to help with the percentage of employees who donate. It bothers me that a funder wants us to help fund the grants that we, in turn, may receive.

    • PatsyStone :

      The law school I work for (non-profit, but not exactly charity) does a big push for faculty and staff gifts to the school. They want a new building and are big on the 100% participation. I gave a healthy pledge in the last go-round, but after new knowledge of some salary info- I’m done giving.

      • Anonymous :

        I work in development. I’ve found that most non-profits that push staff to give also tend to pay the least, have horrific benefits, or have huge wage disparities between genders. This has been from both talking with colleagues and first-hand experience. My current place does not ask, and frankly, I would be much more happy to give because I see it as actual charity rather than peer pressure. I think the model of asking employees to support the cause is becoming more and more outdated. I know there are a few grants that do ask for 100% staff participation, but they are few and far between for most organizations I have worked with. The last place I worked used that excuse and did not get or ask for money from any organizations who have that rule, and IMO if you don’t run into that issue for 5 years then it seems like a scam to give that as a reason why everyone must give.

        • Yep to everything in your first sentence. The nonprofit I worked for – which pressured us to give – paid the executive director a ridiculous salary for our area and also consistently promoted and gave plum assignments to men over women. Not really “walking the talk” in my opinion.

      • Anonymous :

        My law school pressured graduating students to donate to a ‘class gift’ to the law school. In 2010. Maybe every law school does this, idk. I was still living on my loans – nearly $200k at 8.5% – and was praying that my firm didn’t rescind my offer like other firms were doing to my classmates. I was so put off by how pushy they were that I still have never given to my law school and I’m not sure I ever will.

    • Warning – Vent ahead: I am an immigrant (now a US citizen) working in academia (not faculty). When I first came to the country, I was struggling financially.

      This institution has an annual United Way drive.

      Each year the drive supported certain charities. Representatives (almost always from the main office staff, who also handled HR and payroll stuff) from every department used to be appointed to hand out, and then collect completed, pledge cards – and go after non-responders, often stressing that one could sign up to have a biweekly sum deducted from one’s paycheck.

      I always argued that I gave annually to the charities of my choice, two of which were local, and preferred not to use their pledge cards. There were prizes for the departments with the highest success. I was subjected to an unpleasant amount of guilt tripping, with comments at the time about my lack of US citizenship.

      Eventually the system was changed by United Way to one where one could have the donation go to one’s “write-in” choice of charity. I had evidently not been alone (although it felt like it).

      When I was promoted to manager of a sub-unit within a department, I refused to involved the staff and students of the sub-unit in this forced donation. I just announced that the pledge cards were available near the mail boxes, anybody could pick one up; the return address for the cards was also there, as was an explanation of what the United Way drive is.

      Now that is the system used in the whole department and maybe throughout the institution.

      • Anonymous :

        United Way has been involved in so many scandals, I can’t keep up with them all. Maybe that’s why they have to rely on 100% participation office-wide funding drives. Good for you for resisting!

      • Anonymous :

        The UW ED proximate to my work is a monster. They’ll have to fight me for a damn dime. I give generously to various other orgs that benefit from UW, although not my own org because there’s a long, bad history with “expected” donations.

  6. *repost since this was stuck in mod yesterday and got no responses.

    I’d love to hear stories about lateraling from one firm to another. I’m just starting the process and I’m interested in how long the search takes, whether you work with one recruiter or multiple, and how you network within an industry without outing yourself to your current firm. I’m in regulatory work in DC so the network is extremely small. TIA!

    • Anonymous :

      It just varies so much. It took me a year, but I was picky. I primarily used one recruiter but if other people called with jobs I listened

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve lateraled twice, once as a second year and once as a sixth year. I worked with recruiters both times but I didn’t end up taking a job through them. The first I found through a coworker and the second through LinkedIn.

      I will encourage you to not rely solely on the recruiter. The recruiter works for the firm. That’s who pays them. You’re not paying them, you’re the product the recruiter is selling. Ime recruiters will push you to consider positions that aren’t what you’re looking for, and some of them might not be 100% candid about why the position isn’t a fit for you.

      Think about your contacts who aren’t likely to spill the beans to your current firm. Associates who left the firm are great resources. Even if you didn’t work with them don’t be afraid to reach out; it’s kind of like cold calling your law school alum. Talk to your friends in other firms too.

      The risk that your firm will find out you’re looking increases the longer your job search takes and the more interviews you go on. I used to think that you should go on as many interviews as possible if only to get practice, but I’m less sure now. The greater number of people know something, the less likely it’ll remain a secret. At the last firm I left, I got really close to joining one firm (ultimately fell through) and the partner I worked for found out through the grapevine.

    • If you are in biglaw, I encourage you to check out laterally dot com. They list all the jobs the big firms have, and, crucially, how long that listing has been on the market (some firms post perpetually). I used recruiters and my network. It took about three months for me to find the right spot. I encourage you to do a lot of mock interviews–it had been a while since I last interviewed (OCI) and I just wasn’t as succinct as I could be.

      There’s lots of threads on this on Top Law Schools dot com and I recommend you troll around there.

      Good luck! I found the sweet spot was definitely 3-5th years and if they posted a range, the employer almost always wanted someone at the senior end of the range, not the junior end. Also, the definition of midlevel varied a ton. I had a firm say they wanted a midlevel and they told me that meant 7th year (whaaaa? how long is their path to partnership!).

      Also find out about origination credits too. They matter and you should negotiate them now.

      • Anonymous :

        This is super helpful, thank you. I’ve been looking for a way to keep an eye on the market as I’m a 3rd year now. (Not OP).

        Can you talk more about origination credits? How they matter and how you negotiated them?

    • I did a lateral move from a large regional firm to a large international firm (a somewhat “opposite move” from what most people do). I hated the person I worked for at my old firm, but he was the highest grossing partner and had a ton of power, so I couldn’t move within the firm to a different group. I did not use a recruiter, but rather saw a posting and then reached out to people in the group directly (based on going to the same undergrad for one person and same law school for another). I met them for coffee the next week, two days later I had an interview, and was offered the job a day later. But I was searching for about 8 months prior to this.

      I wasn’t worried about my current firm finding out about my job search – I would have done just about anything besides my then-current job. If your situation is not the same as mine was, then I’d follow the advice of anon at 9:49 about being a bit selective with your interviews and being careful with the recruiter.

      • This is really similar to my situation. This is down the road, but once you decided to leave, how did you phrase it to partners and associates at your old firm? I am hoping/planning to do the exact same type of work at a different firm, so I can’t use that as an excuse. It’s solely to leave a toxic partner I can’t otherwise escape.

    • BabyAssociate :

      I’m also in a DC regulatory practice and am in the midst of moving too. I’ll largely echo what the other posters have said. I primarily worked with one recruiter, but if other people called with jobs I listened. I expected the process to take ~6 months, but it actually took less than 2. In terms of risk your firm will find out…I’m not sure how much you can realistically do to mitigate that.

    • I wouldn’t worry too much about getting found out if you express that your search is confidential. Sure, sometimes word gets out but even small, niche areas aren’t having weekly calls discussing who came in to interview. I was given advice by senior lawyers when I started to lateral at year 2 – learn and make your mistakes at firm 1, then knock it out of the park at firm 2. I didn’t follow this advice (I liked my firm and decided on the in-house route rather than partner so it felt less applicable to me) but I think it makes sense. I’d be strategic about your move though – go for a practice area that will give you more off-roads (govt since you’re in DC, in-house, etc), a better shot at partnership (if you’re in a place now where that’s a long shot), or a better name for your resume if you’re at a smaller firm now. Don’t just trade same for same.

    • Definitely use your associate network, both to find openings and to ask about the practice groups where you’re looking to lateral. I’m also in DC in a niche regulatory area and there are some practice groups that are fantastic as well as some practice groups that are just awful.

      When I was looking, I went to a lot of happy hours and scheduled drinks/coffee/lunch with every professional contact I had. I was upfront that I was looking at my next step and asked how they were thinking about career pathing (or how they thought about it when they were my level). I ended up finding my next job through a contact who mentioned they knew a particular practice group was hiring.

  7. DMV Wedding Planner :

    I missed the thread yesterday, but I loved having a wedding planner. It was great for many reasons, but mainly because we didn’t have anyone else who was available to help (nor did we want to burden anyone), so having a planner coordinate things made my life so much easier.

    As far as a DMV rec — I used The Plannery. Link to follow. Can’t say enough good things about them.

  8. Europe - best early Sept. destination? :

    Hive, please help me organize my thoughts! Where would you go?

    Husband and I are trying to decide on the destination for 8 days (not including flights from the East Coast) in Europe in early September. Our first instincts are:
    (1) Rome + something (a few days on the Amalfi coast?)
    (2) if Rome risks being unbearably hot / humid because 90 degrees is only tolerable to me if I’m in a swimsuit, northern Italy (Florence + something (a few days in Cinque Terre? Venice?))
    (3) London with a few day trips
    (4) Athens + an island (but perhaps the same heat problems as Rome?)

    Other considerations…
    We visited Paris at a similar time last year and loved spending a whole week based in one city, since we really got to settle in to our Airbnb and get into a rhythm and not rush around, vs. interrupting with logistics and repacking. In an otherwise 8-full-day trip, spending one day relocating and resettling can feel like a bad ROI.

    We live downtown in a large East Coast city with access to restaurants from lots of different cuisines, decent though not outstanding theater, and museums (although we don’t make it to them as often as we should!), so one concern with London is that it wouldn’t feel “different” enough… is that concern totally misguided? Obviously London has an overwhelming amount of history and culture and it would all be new experiences technically… just wondering about the feel. I know people who have absolutely fallen in love with London but they’re all suburbanites who don’t venture into our own city much at all…

    • Fly into Rome, 3 days Rome + 5 days in countryside outside Florence. Fly out of Florence (or go back to Rome if you have a direct option from Rome)

      September won’t be miserably hot.

      Good accommodation options for Florence countryside –

    • I live in NYC and go to London as often as possible. It’s completely different and so wonderful.

    • I’ll give a plug for Rome if you have 8 days with maybe a one or two day trip on the side. You can easily spend an entire week just in Rome. My husband and I went there for our honeymoon and spent 7 days in Rome and did an organized day trip to Capri. I like being able to settle down in one location and really get to see the place. I know several people that have tried to do Rome in 2 or 3 days and you can only quickly hit the highlights. We went in early September too and it was hot, but not unbearable. In the evenings it was just cool enough to need a cardigan or wrap. It was perfect evening weather to sit outside, drink a bottle of wine, and enjoy a 2 or 3 hour dinner. Shoot, now I really want to go back!

    • In Samuel Johnson’s words: “when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.”

    • We did 10 days in the amalfi coast and florence in mid september last year. Amalfi was hot (80s-ish and sunny) and Florence was more like 45 in the mornings and 60 during the days. I loved the trip- we felt like we got time to relax in the sun, and also time to see some history/culture/shopping. We took the train from Naples to Florence- it was fairly easy, it’s just that the drive from Amalfi to Naples is about an hour. If you’re thinking about Amalfi, check out the Hotel Santa Caterina- it was AMAZING.

    • I hate heat and early September a few years ago I went with my mom to Copenhagen, Stockholm and Prague. Prague was almost too warm for me, so I would encourage you to look at the scandanavian cities. FWIW, Copenhagen was by far my favorite.

    • I visited Portugal last september and it was the perfect time of year to go: fewer tourists, lovely weather (70’s), and you may catch vineyard harvests. We spent 4 days in Porto and then 4 days in Lisbon. Did some day trips from both cities.

    • Europe - best early Sept. destination? :

      Thanks for the food for thought, all – finally had a chance to check back.

    • I have lived in Central Europe for most of my life. Early September weather can really vary – from full-on autumn to a true Indian summer. But I would never call it hot – definitely not in Prague :)
      I have travelled around Italy (given the short distance from Prague) – multiple times. I did not enjoy Rome that much, to be honest (it felt crowded, dirty, hot… but YMMV). On the other hand, the lake district in the north (Lago di Garda, Como) was perfect fit for me (easilly accessible by car, beautiful nature, great hiking as well as walks along the lakes, picturesque villages and cities – such as Verona) as was Tuscany and the Dolomites (btw excellent wines and mix of Austrian and Italian culture).
      From your list, Florence/Venice, Cinque Terre) sounds great.
      Prague in September can be amazing as well and 4-5 days should be more than enough – I would recommend adding a few other cities to your Prague trip (depending on your preference of nature vs city breaks).
      And lastly, you can never be fed up with London. I travel there 2-3x per year and I make sure to discover new parta of the city or to get new experiences. London feels completely different to anything in the US (my personal opinion) – the language, the culture, the attitude, … You should not be disappointed

  9. Paging “curious” :


    I’m the poster from yesterday who mentioned having a $200k income while DH makes about 10x that. You asked me to share more and I’m taking you at your word.

    1. I live in HK which has a very Low tax rate. But we also don’t get your SS etc.
    2. Grew up middle class in a 3rd world country (one generation away from being poor) and both Husband and I have worked nonstop for the last twenty years (early 40s) so it irks me when people say “no one should make that kind of money or whatever”. We don’t dictate our industry payscale and we love our jobs.
    3. Glad not to be in the US, apart from the taxation and other issues, because people, as far as I can judge from this site, tend to be super Super judgemental. Mommy wars, formula vs BF, you name it.
    4. We are grateful for what we have and we bring up our kids to be hardworking also. Regardless of the fact that they will inherit a lot from us. It’s not the money that defines us, it’s how we live our life. Sure we can afford nice holidays etc but when that’s over, its back to work as usual.
    5. To those who think I married well, as someone put it, I earned more than DH when we married, before he got his banking job.
    6. And no, I’m not a 50s housewife. In my poor country, in the 50s and 60s, women worked to keep things afloat.

    Sorry for the novella. And I’m sure I will get flamed for this again, so maybe I will just drop off this site now.

    • Nylon girl :

      Thanks for sharing. Happy to hear that the hard work has paid off and wish you continued success.

      • Plus one. The anti-success vibe of many of the comments here seem antithetical to a site for working women.

        • Tbf, OP’s comment yesterday was in response to someone asking if you chose to take a pay cut did you struggle with your personal self worth being tied to your income – something along those lines. OP’s comment, well I make $200k and hubby makes $2M, came off a little tone deaf. Of course maybe OP’s intended message was something like, hubby and I are a team regardless of who’s pulling in what % of the household income and there is zero good to come of me having any negative feelings about the fact that I earn a relatively small % of our income.

          • I don’t think it was tone deaf at all. The question was about income changes and differentials. She had that. I do think this defensive follow up is silly.

          • I don’t think the follow up was necessary but I’m not surprised given that a number of posters were pretty hard on her for a post that was relevant if not 100% exactly on point. If posters don’t think a particular reply is helpful to an OP, then they just need to ignore it and move on.

        • Ok princess

        • Right? I just think there’s a lot of financial naievete on all financial subjects here. I get that it would rub you the wrong way if someone said poor little me and was earining seven figures but I routinely see people not taking into account regional cost of living differences, or not understanding what you really need to make as you near retirement when you have zero family money. (Or in my case, negative family money, caring for an older parent who had nothing)

          Like telling the later poster who felt stuck in her $400k/year job that she should just take a lower paying job, or that she should just quit because surely she had made enough money for life. Major eye roll. Things are not that simple.

          When women post that they’re successful, maybe we should ask them what they do and how they got where they are career wise. I think that would be a lot more productive and mature than just venting your petty jealousy.

          • That poster said that she’d “give her left arm” for a job that paid 150k. She didn’t say she felt stuck in that job for financial reasons. She wanted a lower paying job that theoretically would give her a better personal life, and later followed up to reaffirm that and state that she had paid off all her student loans. The thread was about the idea that more money doesn’t make you happy, so it was reasonable to assume that she wanted a lower paying job to be happier. Go roll your eyes somewhere else.

            Also lol at success = money in your post and that the all those poors are just jealous and bitter and sad. Which is what the entire thread yesterday was about.

          • biglawanon :

            “I just think there’s a lot of financial naievete on all financial subjects here.”


        • Aunt Jamesina :

          Money is not the same as success.

    • Anonymous :

      Well yeah, calling us all judgmental brats you’re glad you don’t know isn’t going to win you any friends. Also major lolz at Hong Kong not being judgy

      • Anonymous :

        Idk anything about Hong Kong’s culture in this regard, I found that comment fascinating. Are Americans more judgy than other cultures? Do other cultures not have the kind of impossible expectations of women – that are reinforced by women – that we do? Can I move there?

        • Anonymous :

          Nope. I mean, as an expat sure you’ll miss a lot of it but no.

        • No idea about HK but having lived and worked in Europe for a few years, other places are less outwardly judgemental. Like people are judging you, just not to your face in the same way. That said plenty of side-eye at European moms who go back to work before their kids are old enough for state sponsored half day preschool at age 3 and who work fulltime when kids are in preschool.

        • One of my best friends is American-born Chinese. Her Hong Kong-born boss when she worked in HK would regularly greet her with gems like “You’re looking particularly fat today” and “Your skin is so yellow. Don’t forget to wear sunscreen, you aren’t in America anymore.”

          All of which is to say, no one will win this argument with anecdata because there’s judgmental BS in every corner of the world.

      • Agree on LOLZ re HK not being judgy. When I was there, the designer culture was outta control–fancy purses, fancy this, fancy that. Someone was judging someone else for that!

    • I really don’t care how much you earn and think it’s great you’ve been so successful, but the martyr complex about how “judgmental” people are towards you isn’t very becoming. I read yesterday’s thread and people reacted to you because your response was kind of tone deaf, not because Americans are all judgmental for no reason.

    • It speaks well of both of you that your marriage stays together regardless of who makes more money. Your kids are fortunate to have that example for them.

      • nasty woman :



        • No, not Ellen.

          Yes, it’s easier for marriages to work when there’s more money involved (or a LOT more money)… but a lot of couples struggle when the dynamics change. (In fact, there’s some fun research on what is strongly correlated with divorce, such as cost of weddings, cost of engagement ring, number of guests at wedding… and for men, a divorce trigger is being very invested in their wife’s looks, and for women, the divorce trigger is finding it very important that a man be a high earner. Turns out, life happens, looks fade, careers go through ebbs and flows, and wanting the surface stuff is a bad foundation for a marriage.)

          • nasty woman :

            Oh I’m not disagreeing that *gender roles* exist, I just can’t imagine patting someone on the back for being such A+ people just because they didn’t crumble to pieces when she made more money (which it seemed like was at the beginning of their relationship– now he makes 10x her salary.) Just seemed like good old fashioned s*xist garbage, a la Ellen, that’s all.

          • It wasn’t that, NW.

            I didn’t expect him to crumble to pieces when she made more money. There are men who marry young, have a wife with a nice job who supports him (financially and emotionally) as his career grows, and then takes off when he earns seven figures. There are people – women and men – who get resentful when one partner makes a *lot* more than the other, despite both having demanding jobs.

            Seriously, cool the “nasty woman” thing and consider how people sometimes behave. And then don’t get up in my face for… saying something nice to a stranger, FFS!!

      • I think I fall into this camp. If I could meet a man I TRULY loved and respected, the amount of money he made would be secondary. Most men, though, look at ME as their goldmine, which causes me to think that they would NOT be interested in me if I did NOT have a good job. This unfortunateley causes me to be defensive, and then starting to think the same way, which is not good.

        I think realistically that men should be looked to as equals, and if that means they do their share outside of a paycheck, fine, but my experience with my ex taught me that you can be a schlub without money or a schlub with money, and either way, you are still a schlub, and I should NOT be looking for any kind of a schlub. That is why I am over 36 and still UNMARRIED. FOOEY!

    • Appreciate these details! My husband and I make a little less (lower 7 figures), though with closer to an even split in NYC. I usually just keep quiet here due to a lot of what you’ve encountered.

      • I usually keep quiet too. But as I said, when you’re surrounded by 7 figure earners, it’s tough to keep up the self confidence at times:)

        Sure HK is all about designer stuff but no one judges you if you choose not to participate. At least not the people I hang with. If you have a chip on your shoulder about it, you’ll think they’re judging, sure.
        I don’t care either way.

        • KateMiddletown :

          I aspire to be a seven-figure earner. Props to you and your husband for bringing it home!

      • I think it’s great that they earn this much — good for them. The tone deaf part was saying “I don’t mind that I earn less than my husband” when you, collectively, earn more in one year than many families earn in a decade (or more).

        • Idk… a huge part of my self worth is tied to my career – being good at what I do, being recognized by others, feeling like I contribute something important to the world. I think I’d struggle to feel like my career, and by extension me, was equally important if my SO made literally millions of dollars while I… do not. Even though objectively I make really good money. Even though my household pulls in more per year than I ever thought I would see in my lifetime.

          • My self worth is still tied to my career, I do good and important work, and I will never see six figures in my lifetime.

        • That wasn’t tone deaf. It was a direct answer to the question, but you just didn’t like it. OP, thanks for coming back and talking more about this.

      • Anon for this :

        I stay quiet too for this reason. I feel like the money discussions always devolve into hating on people who make more than average, and I agree it’s ironic given the theme of this blog.

    • People saying no one should make that kind of money aren’t attacking you, they are criticizing the industry payscale. The fact that you and your husband are nice, decent, hardworking people doesn’t make any difference. The fact that we live in a world where anyone makes 2 million dollars a year is obscene. If the money doesn’t define you, great: can you please put that into action? That would mean supporting a social safety net for all the people who make less than 1% of your income, through your taxes and/or through charitable giving. Complaining about US tax rates (which are low compared to most other rich countries) when you have that kind of income is just petty.

      • Please read my comment carefully. We do support charity.
        And if you think US tax rates are low , maybe you need to see more of the world.

        • Not American but even I know that US tax rates are low compared to most other western developed countries (Cda/Aus/Europe). Tax rates for wealthy people in developing countries are often low.

          • KateMiddletown :

            See above, OP isn’t in a Western country.

          • I get that she’s not in a western country. I was addressing her comment that “maybe you need to see more of the world”. And I noted that for developing countries, the wealthy are typically taxed at a lower rate.

            As Sarabeth notes below, the US is on the low end of taxation for OECD countries – OP did not seem familiar with that as she was referring to US taxation as high. An appropriate comparator for US taxation is other countries with similar development levels – otherwise the comparison is apples and oranges.

        • OMG you need to get over yourself, OP. Stop taking everything so personally. It is absolutely valid to criticize the way wealth and resources are distributed in this world. It’s sad that you benefit from it and can’t actually see why it’s a problem, but just saying “it’s bad that the world is like this” is not a personal attack on you or your husband.

      • I’m so surprised people on this board think $2mm a year is obscene. The finance industry, especially in big cities, pays big. Private equity especially. Also big law partners make big money. How is this shocking to people?

        • +1. Yes, 2 million is insanely wealthy compared to most of the world, but most of our senators pull in WAY more than that and they’re not even the finance types. I, for one, would love to pull down one or two million a year because then I could have some of the luxuries I want without setting up all my kids to never have to work.

        • It’s not shocking – I am perfectly aware that there are people who make this kind of money. I’m even friends with some of them! It’s obscene, in the sense of morally repugnant. Again, this isn’t a personal attack on people with those salaries, it’s a critique of an economic order in which this is possible.

          I’ve seen plenty of the world; I’ve lived and paid taxes in countries with both higher and lower rates than the US. I can also use the internet, where a basic search will show that the US is on the low end of tax revenue as a percentage of GDP in comparison to other OECD countries.

          • Another Anon :

            Wait — it’s immoral to make lots of money??? I’m sorry, that’s just crazy. Do you think we should cap people’s salaries so they only make the amount that we as a society think is okay?

        • If you are surprised by this, I suspect you live in a bubble. That is crazy high income. To me, it is obvious that most people will think an income like that is excessive.

          It is shocking to those on this site, I think, because the vast majority of readers here don’t make anything like that and also do not know people who do (or who talk about it, at least). Most readers here are not in big law, and most big law partners earning 2 million a year are not women….

          It is shocking because there is something that still seems wrong to me about how capitalism works. That people who give very little value to society directly through their job are “valued” so highly.

          Maybe I’d love to see a laboratory that is curing cancer get that a year, or doctors treating patients with Alzheimer’s disease, or teachers turning around inner city schools when our school funding systems are so unfair and discriminatory. Not someone helping the rich get richer…

      • Anonymous :

        It’s always interesting to me that people are so quick to say someone making $2M a year in finance or as an executive is obscene, where objectively most people are working their [email protected]@es off. But no one bats an eyelash when professional athletes or celebrities make significantly more for work that, at least to me, seems far more trivial. I’m not saying we don’t have a massive income inequality problem, but it’s not that people are making too much it’s that others at the lower end of the spectrum are making too little.

        • Anonymous :

          I don’t recall ever having a discussion here about professional athletes/celebrities “salaries.” I think it’s completely absurd and ridiculous that top professional athletes and celebrities make as much money as they do (and that college athletes make no money, while their institutions profit off them immensely). This is coming from a sports marketing major who worked in sports for seven years, topping out before I switched careers at $32k in DC.

        • I used to think those athletes and actors were crazy overpaid. But now I don’t. Do you have any idea how much $$$ movies bring in? A hit TV show? A superbowl victory? I realized I would rather have the star actor/athlete (the top 1% of their field) get paid a larger portion than for all of it to go to the front office/producers/owners…. wouldn’t you?

          And only a tiny proportion of actors/professional athletes/singers etc.. make the big bucks. Most barely make a living, or only have a few years/decades of work before they are shoved aside.

          Bankers can bank….. for many decades… and bank those big bucks they do!

          • Anonymous :

            I’d rather society stop putting more value on sporting events and commercialism TBH.

          • But people really, really, really love their sports.

            I prefer classical music, art museums, theater…. but most of our culture does not.

            It really gives people a lot of pleasure. And it makes a ton of money. I still would rather the players who are getting mutilated be paid well (and many still aren’t….) than the owners.

    • You sound like you have your head on straight. I’m sorry so many folks were so rude to you yesterday. Assumptions about landing a good catch or 50s housewives hurt us all.

    • If you are surprised by this, I suspect you live in a bubble. That is crazy high income. To me, it is obvious that most people will think an income like that is excessive.

      It is shocking to those on this site, I think, because the vast majority of readers here don’t make anything like that and also do not know people who do (or who talk about it, at least). Most readers here are not in big law, and most big law partners earning 2 million a year are not women….

      It is shocking because there is something that still seems wrong to me about how capitalism works. That people who give very little value to society directly through their job are “valued” so highly.

      Maybe I’d love to see a laboratory that is curing cancer get that a year, or doctors treating patients with Alzheimer’s disease, or teachers turning around inner city schools when our school funding systems are so unfair and discriminatory. Not someone helping the rich get richer…

    • Anon for this :

      FWIW, I didn’t see the thread yesterday until this morning, but I get it to a certain extent, OP. I’m a nonequity biglaw partner making $300k a year. My fiance is a biglaw equity partner with comp in excess of $2mm. I understand completely that we make an enormous amount of money – it’s literally mind-boggling (ie, I can’t even really figure out how to conceptualize it) to me, because I come from a middle-class background (parents were public-school teachers). Still, I grapple with weird feelings about this, including concerns that my job will be seen as less important because I make less (even though I could easily support a family on my salary alone), and that if I took a job that paid less than my current salary, that my career would be further diminished in the eyes of many.

      FWIW, not my fiance – he’s super-supportive of my career – but I often do feel like our social circle (and a lot of American society) treats salary as a perfect proxy for value as a person, and especially in law, there’s a lot of transparency around comp so people know if a job change leads to a comp decline – and judge accordingly.

    • One thing I think we all kind of missed in the charity threads is that even if the richest women on this site gave half or more of their money away, it wouldn’t “solve” problems. You could feed every child in South Sudan for five years on some of these salaries, but the second the money goes away, poverty and malnutrition will be back. Many of us, including myself, still support direct services that help people NOW (Doctors without Borders, etc.), and supporting effective charities seems like a good goal overall, but laying the guilt on OP for not being able to “create social safety nets for all” is just not realistic.

      • This is…not necessarily true? There’s some promising research on direct cash transfers, for example, suggesting that they can alleviate poverty in the longterm, since many people choose to spend them on things like education or starting businesses. I certainly think that social safety nets are best conceived of as a function of the state – but that’s why the taxation part is important as well. OP doesn’t have a personal obligation to single-handedly create a social safety net, but she does have an obligation – indeed, we all do – to support a level of taxation that allows the state to protect our fellow humans from the trauma of extreme poverty.

        • I don’t disagree, but high taxes also don’t (by default) equal effective governance and use of resources. Personally, I resent the high taxes I pay in the U.S. because I don’t see the benefit – we have crumbling infrastructure, no universal safety nets, no maternity leave, godawful pre-K, insanely expensive higher ed, etc., but I’d be more than willing to pay more to get more. I’d go up a tax bracket happily if it meant we got Scandinavian-style social safety nets, but right now, I’m pissed that I pay a lot and don’t see anything in return. I can appreciate that my tax dollars help some who are in need (Medicaid recipients, etc.), but even their coverage is rife with problems and is perpetually on the political chopping block.

    • curious.... :

      I really appreciate your reply. I was the one who asked those questions.

      I was wondering if you were in Hong Kong. Your story reminded me of someone I know, who is also in Hong Kong. I also suspected you might not have grown up here, which of course gives you a unique perspective.

      Best of luck to you.

    • No worries :

      Thank G-d but people are not as judgemental in person in America as they are behind “Anonymous” on this s i t e.

      you mentioned the mommy wars — even the Moms side of this s i t e is less judgemental than this thread, no worries! We <3 you. And the fact that you fit in here and I do, too, making 1/4 of what you make, so dump 'em.

      • Odd, however in HK there are no mommy wars or other very polarized issues surrounding women’s work/life choices? Let’s reframe that into Nanny Wars… or even basic workplace rights There’s a lot of judgement placed on Filipina nannies/other migrant workers and their rights.

      • biglawanon :

        “Thank G-d but people are not as judgemental in person in America as they are behind “Anonymous” on this s i t e.”

        Except they likely are, they just don’t outwardly show it. I am not American, and how even outwardly judgmental others are of my choices as a mother don’t make any sense to me. Why do they care in the first place? Why is it socially acceptable to behave that way?

    • Bye, Felicia.

  10. gov employee q :

    How long did it take for you to earn a GS15? I’m a federal employee in DC. There are aspects of my current job that I do not love. I am at a GS14, step 2. I am eager for the GS15 and have demonstrable qualifications for the promotion, but currently promotions are on hold at my agency. Should I try to switch jobs?

    Looking for perspective especially from more senior federal employees. Trying to gain perspective on the long view (many aspects of this job are wonderful; the one or two bad aspects are really bad, however). Former colleagues who are older males with families advised me to job hop regardless of the position/agency until I hit the GS15. I would not mind doing this, and for the sake of my family would obviously like to earn more, but I do realize my work life will be long, and I would like to be happy and develop expertise in a position.

    For what it’s worth, I do not want to be a manager. I would be seeking a nonmanagerial GS15 here or elsewhere.

    Finally, I recognize from prior discussions that this question will alienate some people based on the income bands. Please trust that I am a decent person, regardless of my pay grade and how much of it I give to charity :) I appreciate this community and look forward to your responses.

    • Is there any hope of promotions being “off” hold in the future at your agency? I’m a GS-15 attorney, and it took me about 8 years to get there, but there are some agencies or offices within agencies where only supervisors can be GS-15s, even attorneys. My advice would be to apply for any GS-15 openings that you are qualified for, but I wouldn’t agency hop to another 14 position in hope of a promotion unless you have a very clear idea of what the promotion path looks like at that agency.

    • Govt employee 18 years, last 5 as a 14 and am wrestling with whether I want to go for the 15. I’m in a regional office, so there are fewer opportunities and most of them are managerial so my struggle is whether I want to manage or not.
      What’s your end game? The prestige of the 15? Or are the jobs you want 15s but they are only taking laterals? For me, I’d rather find a 14 job in an agency I like than make the jump for a 15 in a different agency that might not be as good. (but again, this is from the regional perspective where it’s a lot harder to move from agency to agency because they are not all local to me)

    • I was hired as a GS-15, but step 6. To answer your question, it took me 3 years to get to step 9 (which is the same salary as step 10, so I am maxed out).

      I came from private practice and was surprised to learn that most legal jobs in DC are at GS-14. I assumed that most were GS-15, but that’s not the case at least in my agency. It tends to be that only some select few in the general counsel’s office are a 15. But I don’t know how it is in other agencies, but my sense is that 15s are a bit hard to find in terms of jobs.

    • I think it depends on you agency. I’m in a region and became a 15 after about 7 years, which is basically the norm in my office. I am not a manager. Honestly, except for the raise & my ability to think, “what are they going to do to me, its not like I can be promoted,” it has had no impact on my professional life. So I personally wouldn’t switch to become a 15. But I’ve only ever worked in one federal agency, so I can’t speak to others.

    • I’m an attorney at DOJ. I came in (straight out of a clerkship) at a GS-13. If I remember correctly, they bumped me up to a 14 after 6 months and then up to a 15 a year after that. But that could be DOJ and/or attorney specific. Are you a lawyer?

    • I think it really depends on agency, region, and purpose. I’m unsure why you would need to seek out a 15 role just for the sake of being 15; is it because your anxious to go the SES route? I have no experience or knowledge about SES because I don’t want to be SES. Hiring all over the government is really tricky right now, so I would just sit tight and see if things change at your agency. I would love to know the reasoning behind the job hopping until you hit 15 when you don’t want to be a manager–just to get the raise? Maybe this is the difference between men and women and agency dependent, but I came to the government for the intangibles. The extra $10K the 15 would give me will never be more important than working precisely 40 hours a week and never checking emails or getting emergencies off hours. At least for me, getting a 15 would mean giving that up.

  11. Would like to hear from anyone who made a major career change mid-career. My skills feel infinitely transferable some days (I get things done! I organize people! I refine messaging and strategize and manage people) and less so other days. If you saw my title, it would seem very niche. But sometimes I talk to friends in very different fields and I think, “I could do that.” Obviously not something like law or medicine, but fields as varied as academia, nonprofits, or consumer products.

    My industry is very young and male-dominated. I am not sure how many more years I’ll have. I really like what I do, but I worry about what might happen in 5 or 10 years…

    • I segued out of a soul crushingly old-man dominated corner of government for similar reasons. Here’s what I can recommend from trial and error:
      1) Ask friends/alumni network connections who work in your desired field to talk through your resume and help you “translate” your current industry jargon into that of the one you’re trying to move into. Gov is probably an extreme example, but each department will have its own phrasing for similar things and it can really brand you as the wrong tribe.
      2) Look for intermediate roles that get you halfway there, even if they’re also not what you want long term either, if they help you develop skills and experience you’re seeing in your dream-industry job postings.
      3) Look for relevant professional certifications that can help you demonstrate skills and a commitment to changing fields

  12. Office politics :

    Question for the hive: to what extent do you think office politics played/plays a role in your success at work? Recently, a supervisor I was working with (not my direct boss) became head of our office and it I’m getting a ton more recognition and more opportunities. I’ve worked here for years, just trying to do good work and be friendly and kind to everyone, yet this mans promotion seems like it’s going to be the thing that really makes the difference in my next promotion.

    Is there a strategy to these things? I can’t tell if I finally got lucky or I spent years wasting time. Any insight would be helpful!

    • I think this is what people mean when they talk about a sponsor, not just a mentor.

    • It sounds like the “right” people finally noticed and appreciate your work, which would not have happened if you hadn’t worked hard.

      Don’t you ever wonder how some people are promoted? Definitely politics/favoritism, whatever you want to call it.

    • It’s huge. I’ve been on the fortunate side of office politics and have worked my tail off to stay in the good graces. I generally receive good projects and I am able to get good projects and promotions for my direct reports as well.

      • Agreed, it’s huge. Promotions, visibility, good projects, recognition, forgiveness for mistakes, etc. often depend, to varying degrees, on how much you are “liked” or “in” with the in crowd (read: powerful people) and not necessarily the quality of your work.

        • +1 – the biggest myth we buy is that hard work is all it takes. You’ve got to get in with the right people and network.

      • This! I am a very junior associate, who happened to really get along well with a senior, almost partner, associate who is the rockstar of our practice group and also the firm generally. Thanks to our relationship and having done good work for senior associate, and frankly, that senior associate really likes me (very similar personalities), I have received a lot of awesome opportunities that most junior associates at my firm and in my market simply do not generally get. Most importantly, I always have someone championing me at the table with key partners, who in turn review me and send me work. Super thankful for senior associate, but understanding that not everyone has that opportunity and that is lame.

      • +1 Being on the “right” side of office politics and remaining in their good graces makes a world of difference. I work hard, but having office politics go in my favor has definitely been an advantage.

    • At most of the organizations where I have worked (publicly traded co, law firm, FI), being on the right side of office politics is usually more important that quality of work. You have to know how to play the game, not mind playing the game, and hope it works out for you. I’ve seen really hard workers who produce good work get pushed out because someone higher up the food chain who rarely worked with the person didn’t like them. Same with someone who offended someone higher up for some unknown reason.

  13. Long time lurker with a question for the hive.

    I need to have an initial conversation with a member of my staff about performance. Normally gold start, a+ student, been slipping lately (not taking initiative to get things done without direction, coming in late, not producing fast enough). We’d talked initially about me becoming a little less directive post-promotion to help them grow and clearly that isn’t working. So time for a conversation.

    The thing is, I like this person and don’t want it to come off as deflating. I’m struggling to find the right words and am genuinely concerned about them as it’s way out of character. We were pretty intensely busy for the first two months of the year; so slowing down a bit is expected (and welcomed). But we’re past that.

    So I’m thinking first of going through the status of projects, in case I’ve actually missed something. Then I think I need to transition into the conversation. I want it to be direct but caring. So, what do I say?!?!

    So far all I’ve got is “Lately, I’ve noticed things have been a bit off in your performance and I wanted to check in and see if you’re okay.” I don’t want them to have to share details, but I do want to offer to support them… but I also need them to get back to work. Not sure how to message that.

    • I think you’re being patronizing and it won’t come across well. “Hey, I know you can do the work because usually you do. Lately you’ve been coming in late and not turning things around fast enough. Look, we all have off times but you need to turn it around.”

      • Yeah when I try to soften it doesn’t sound right. My preference is to say, Hey I’ve noticed your performance has been off (example 1, example 2) lately. I know I can count on you to turn it around and if there’s something you need to make that happen let me know.

    • S in Chicago :

      From an HR standpoint, I would avoid your phrasing. If the employee says to you they are struggling with a health issue whether physical or mental, you’re opening the door for problems if further down the road performance continues to decline and you need to terminate. It’s also not your business. Instead, I would keep it task focused and see if there are any challenges on the projects themselves that you aren’t aware of. “Here’s what needed to be done and the time to do it that wasn’t adhered to. What do you need from me to help you be successful in accomplishing this the next time? “

      • You need facts as to what needs to change, concrete action items and maybe a schedule to check in and review.

  14. I am floundering a bit at the moment and will be taking a personal day on Friday to try to regroup my life. I have very little energy, am disorganized at work, have too many projects on, am falling behind and losing sight of bigger goals, and haven’t made time to take care of myself in about a month. This is very very unlike planning-obsessed me and I’m worried I’m vitamin deficient or approaching burnout somehow. Any advice on how I can structure this day and my weekend to regroup and restart? I’m already trying to make a list of what needs to be done today, next week, and next month and even struggling with that.

    • Start by giving yourself permission to take a true half day off – don’t worry about your ‘to do’ list. Sleep late, eat too much ice cream, watch too much trashy tv. Have a great lunch with a friend. Then spend the afternoon figuring out where you go from there. Any movement forward is a step in the right direction. You don’t have to do things in a certain order. Starting is the most important part.

      • FWIW, this would not work for me at all, and I would wind up more stressed. I would sleep until I naturally woke up, exercise, shower, and then sit down, maybe at a coffee shop with a coffee and a healthy-ish breakfast and write out my goals, and then breaking them down into steps based on time frame for accomplishing the goals. I cannot “regroup” by eating junky food and watching trashy tv, as neither gives me energy. Of course, YMMV, but I would focus on activities that will make you feel confidant and energized. I might clean and organize my house, for example, because being organized makes me feel more energized to take on other aspects of my life.

        • Every response on this thread was a poster giving ideas about what works to help them relax. Not sure why you picked on mine. Perhaps trashy tv isn’t acceptable to you but visiting a botantical garden is? shrug.

          • I actually think this response has a lot of merit and wasn’t picking on you. I agree with the respondent that every time I take a “me day” and spend it on the couch, I end up feeling worse. A gentle walk or a yoga class or something else that’s a little more active tends to be more helpful.

        • I agree with Anon @11:04. If I were feeling like the OP, I would need to make a plan to actually tackle the issues that are bothering me. (But I also love some junk food and trashy TV — just not in this specific set of “I need me time” circumstances.)

    • turn off all of your alarms and sleep until your body wakes you up. Do NOT structure your days off (except to make sure you eat and get outside some). Give your brain a chance to rest.

    • I had an accidental one of these Monday. Woke up feeling sick, took a sick day, slept til noon. Then got up and had two cups of coffee and deep cleaned the apartment. Vegged with The Crown and having groceries delivered. I felt infinitely more put together after that.

    • You can’t regroup by working harder. Take a day off. Go walk in a botanical garden. Go to a museum. Sit in a cafe with a book. Do something restorative.

    • I think you need at least two days off. Agree with other comments not to plan the life out of it. Good luck and I hope it helps restore things.

    • Friday morning make a one item list that says “no lists until Monday morning”

      Go for a mid-morning walk if it is beautiful where you are (I’m in NorCal and it finally looks like spring here). Take your phone and some money and walk yourself to a lovely place for a late breakfast or early lunch for one. Do NOT read your work email. Grab a newspaper or a magazine if you like to read at solo meals.

      Get your hair cut (and colored if that’s your thing) over the weekend, and get your nails done. Organize your closet by color so that it’s easier to get dressed in the morning.

      If you wear makeup, look at what needs to be replaced and toss anything that is old or looking grungy. Get new replacements – I personally love a trip to Sephora. Do the same with skincare and hair care. And let yourself free – throw away those samples you are never going to use, and pare down your toiletries shelf to a reasonable number of items you actually use.

      Go to sleep early and wake up late all weekend. Do not check work email. Delete it from your phone if you have to.

      If yoga is your thing try to fit that in. If you think you need to change your eating habits, this weekend is the weekend to throw out the junk in your fridge and pantry and go to a nice grocery store and buy healthier, but still delicious, stuff. No harm in buying a pretty bouquet of fresh flowers to brighten up your space – I like to take a couple of blooms and put them in a bud vase on my dresser for a little pick me up in another room.

      Overall, your goal should be a focus on yourself and your serenity. You want to picture yourself on Monday morning going to work refreshed and having an easy, put-together morning where it wasn’t hard to find an outfit, your morning grooming routine was simple and not cluttered, and you had something delicious and healthy to eat for breakfast and take to work for lunch.

      In this headspace Monday, make a brand new list.

      • This is beautiful, thank you for taking the time to write it all out <3

        • You are so welcome! I have been where you are … you know what they say, you have to put on your own oxygen mask first.

    • I left you a looong response that went into m o d. Please check back.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      What works for me is perhaps a middle ground of what everyone above has suggested. Like, definitely sleeping extra, but not sleeping the day away. I like to do things that make me feel good in a “go get em!” way rather than a “mmm let’s nap” way… like I would book a nails appointment, maybe tidy the house with a facemask on, then hang out in a pleasant coffee shop with a book. Not mind-numbing stuff, but treating my mind to something different. When I’m trying to reset, I also find it helpful to do things where I can have successes — like even little things, crafts projects, crossword puzzles, etc. — so at the end I’m like, “oh yeah, I’m a person who CAN do things!”

    • cake batter :

      I’m somewhat planning obsessed also, and my ideal reset day would be to schedule for the house to be cleaned in the morning while I went and got a pedicure or some other relaxing spa treatment and/or read a book in a coffee shop. Then, once the house was clean, I’d come home and tackle some organizing project I’d been meaning to do, which might seem like work, but to me, it’s somewhat calming because I regain control of something. For me, organizing my closet and toiletries/makeup would be perfect for this. I could get rid of things (removing bad juju from the house and restoring order) and bonus, it’d make it easier to get ready on Monday. Then, I’d get some of my favorite takeout and watch a movie with a sheet mask on. I agree with the person above who said focusing on your serenity is important – and for me, that means restoring order.

  15. Ladies: I found the comments over the last few days about charitable donations inspiring. Some of you are amazing in your support to worthy causes! I’ve been doing pretty well, but just went online and doubled my donation to our local United Way. It was the right thing to do!

    • I agree. The conversation here spurred me to review my budget and make charitable giving a larger proportion. I am very lucky that I have been getting good raises for the past four years, but all I did was move that to savings. The kinds of causes that are important to me — women in prison, refugee rights — have lots of small organizations that do good work in my city and being able to write a check a few times a year really does make someone’s life better.

      • pugsnbourbon :

        Same here. My income bracket is far, far below a lot of folks here but it was really inspiring to see how much people give. I’m hoping to increase my giving to PP and Partners in Health, plus there’s a new local non-profit founded by a student that I want to give to.

      • Anonymous :

        Can I ask why women in prison? Not being snarky – just want to know what that cause supports exactly.

        • Moonstone :

          I think there are big-picture issues around incarceration in the US, but the specific program I support sends books to women in prison. Partly because pretty much my worst nightmare is to not have access to books.

    • Patricia Gardiner :

      Awesome!! Thanks for sharing!

    • I appreciated it as well. We just created a donor fund, and as part of that fund we will be required to donate 10K annually to charity. That is a huge step up for us, but I’m glad we’re doing it and glad that DH was the one who made the suggestion.

    • I just saw on FB last night that a tech company in the block chain space (ripple? Something like that) funded ALL the protects on Donors Choose! I’m so happy to hear that all those teachers got what they were asking for.

      • That just gave me goosebumps. I love Donors Choose and direct a large portion of our giving there. I’m so so thrilled to hear this! What a cool example of one corporation being able to do direct good in the world.

        • I hope this doesn’t make regular donors give up on donors choose! There will always be new projects to fund

    • Senior Attorney :

      Wow, that’s great!!

    • Anonymous :

      I’m also inspired to give more. Does anyone give to a charity that helps Syria? If so, which charity and why did you choose it?

  16. Low fragrance shampoo :

    Can anyone recommend good low or no fragrance shampoo? I’m sensitive to strong-smelling ones. I have very thick, slightly wavy hair. Bonus points for no parabens or SLS.

    • Live Clean clarifying shampoo. Very very mild apple scent. Cleans well but it’s gentle.

    • You could try Free and Clear – it’s hypoallergenic and free of pretty much everything. I was not a huge fan though, and I have straight thick hair. I am also sensitive to strong fragrances, and I actually use Paul Mitchell One. It has fragrance but isn’t strong and the conditioner properly softens my thick hair.

      • Marshmallow :

        I’m allergic to basically all fragrance and I use Free and Clear from Amazon. It’s pretty “strong,” like gets my hair squeaky clean and is not really moisturizing, but it doesn’t irritate my skin.

    • I use the $2 shampoo from Trader Joe’s and my hair has never looked better.

    • Trader Joe's :

      Trader Joe’s Nourish Spa Balanced Moisturizing Shampoo. BEST shampoo out there (I’ve tried them all. I have wild Latina hair and I swear by it).

    • Anonymous :

      Baby shampoo

    • cake batter :

      Costco Kirkland brand shampoo and conditioner! No scent, SLS free, and like $10 for a liter size.

  17. I have a job offer that for various reasons, I am going to turn down. However, the hiring manager is in a role that I would like to work towards some day. Is it awkward to ask to stay in touch from a semi-mentor type of way? This is someone I only met during the interview process, and I guess I already feel vague guilt for turning down the job.

    • One suggestion might be to decouple the job offer with the mentoring request. Turn down the job offer, do it very nicely and mayyybe offer some reason as to why you can’t take it now but imply that you could take it in the future. Then afterward, reach out via LinkedIn or something and say that even though the offer of employment did not work out, you would still like to stay in touch given your industry or whatever. Then figure out a way to keep in touch and get mentoring advice.

      • “Then figure out a way to keep in touch and get mentoring advice.”

        Don’t do this. Seriously. These relationships need to be two-way streets, not somebody mooching advice and connections off of somebody they barely know. Trying to force a mentor relationship with somebody out of thin air is not going to go over well.

    • I’m not sure, this is tricky. Even though people generally understand that there are various reasons someone doesn’t take a job, it’s still a little bit frustrating when your top candidate turns you down. That said, assuming you don’t want to work at the company, maybe you don’t have anything to lose by reaching out.

    • I don’t think you should. You don’t really have anything to offer this person in exchange. It’s totally fine to turn down a job offer, but you just need to accept all of the consequences of that, including the fact that your relationship with this person remains interviewer/interviewee.

    • If the hiring manager is in a professional association that you’d find helpful, that is a good place to start for information that would lead to your preferred position, perhaps.

  18. I learned this week that a friend is losing her battle with cancer and entering the final stage of life. We are not terribly close (she moved far away a few years ago), but we have been friends for several years now and she is someone I really like/admire. She is not up for visitors or phone calls, but friends have been invited/encouraged to send email and snail mail messages. Can anyone who has been through something similar suggest a possible script for such a note? I’m really struggling with striking the right tone – it seems that any acknowledgement of the gravity of the situation makes the note feel too heavy/morbid, but at the same time a light-natured note does not feel appropriate either. There is obviously nothing “good” to say here given the generally awful nature of the situation, but any advice would be sincerely appreciated. Thanks, hive.

    • Could you share your favourite memories with her? Kind of reminiscing.

      • Anon in NYC :

        Yes. Favorite memories with her, and also favorite memories about her (i.e., mutual friend told you Friend was so kind/funny when Friend did x, or you thought she was so principled when she did y). Tell her the things that you admire about her. For example, when a friend’s mom died, I wrote in a card to my friend that I had always admired what a good mom her mom had been and how close she and Friend were, and that I hoped to emulate that relationship with my child.

        I don’t think that acknowledging the situation feels morbid. I think you can say something along the lines of, “I was so sad to learn about the progression of your illness. You have meant so much to me over the years. Remember _____?”

        Let go of perfection here, and just tell your friend how much you care about her. There is no right way to do this.

      • Yes, the memories. This is so, so, so nice. She will re-read it again, and will appreciate every word.

        Just say you are so sorry that she is going through this difficult time. That she means a lot to you and you have such happy/strong memories of your friendship. Then mention/list/highlight a few. Small things, big things. Anything. The fact that you remember ANYTHING about her will make an impact, as it reinforces that you will not forget her after she is gone.

  19. Candidate : Oversize Blazer Style :

    Any tips on working an oversize blazer look? I’m thinking of trying to thrift an actual men’s blazer. I want to find one that fits through the shoulders (my shoulders are rather broad so I think it’s doable), and has a distinctive masculine style either from the cut or from the fabric. Do I just need to rock it with confidence? Or are there pointers the hive can give me?

  20. Little Morning Luxuries :

    What is your little morning luxury to start your day off right? I’m working on slowing down my morning routine (therefore getting up a bit earlier) so that my mornings don’t feel as rushed and my day starts better. I often, if not always, have the chance to read or watch a few minutes of a Netflix show in the morning, and I always make myself a caramel macchiato using my espresso machine (excellent purchase! Improved my mornings and my budget immensely). But I’d like to hear what you do. As it gets warmer, I’m hoping to add some intentional outside time besides the walk with the pup- maybe sitting on my balcony to eat breakfast or even going up to my building’s roof.

    • At the Office :

      My morning luxuries happen at the office. My early morning is SUPER rushed–I am a morning workout person, so it’s go, go, go until I get to work. I do have a few small luxuries in the morning by way of beauty products. I don’t wear much makeup, but love creams, warm masks in the shower, my Clarisonic because gym face is real, and my Herbivore rose hibiscus hydrating face spray.

      Even though I am in biglaw, so there is always a ton to do, I come in, print out my daily task list, fill it in while listening to music, enjoy my breakfast that I packed from home (fresh OJ is my breakfast treat) while reading something I want to read that is not work related (so many a tiny chapter from a book or a New Yorker long read), get a couple of small tasks handled, go downstairs and grab some expensive-ish loose-leaf tea (for summer, I steep and put in a big tall Tervis with ice back in the office).

      For me, it is the little things like the fresh orange juice or the loose-leaf tea or the warming face mask and having cute stationary in my office. On the weekends, I have a long walk with the pup (my absolute favorite) and eat a different breakfast with some kind of pastry or other small treat.

    • In the spring/ summer/ fall if we’re all ready on time (me and kids), we eat our breakfast outside. If the weather is bad, or if it’s winter, we play our favorite dance song on Alexa and have a mini-dance party before we get coats on. Starting the day off with fresh air (or a little cardio) does wonders for my demeanor the rest of the day.

    • Buy really nice soap. Enjoying a few extra moments of the aromatherapy and luxurious lather in the shower helps me start the day on a positive note. TJMaxx is a great place to buy all kinds of nice soap for cheap.

      • pugsnbourbon :

        +100 to the cheap soaps at TJMaxx/Marshalls. I look like a nut going through and smelling them all, but it’s such a treat.

        I also like getting a little outside time, especially once spring finally arrives.

    • About one morning a week I come in late because i have no meetings (doesn’t matter that much because we all work long hours) and take more time getting ready in the morning.

      On a normal workday I have a really nice cup of tea in an antique China cup at my desk while I’m laying out my to-do list for the day (bullet journal) and it feels really nice. I make sure I at least put everything on my desk into a neat pile before I go home at night so that I walk into a peaceful space in the morning.

    • My morning luxury is riding my money-eating horse, so that’s definitely high on the luxury scale. :) Starts the day off right, for sure.

      And some good coffee – I wake up thinking of coffee and it’s such a treat to spend a bit of extra time making that perfect cup of coffee. If I had outdoor seating I would definitely sit outside on nice mornings and enjoy my coffee in silence, before the craziness starts.

  21. Tall Maternity? :

    Does this exist? I’m 6 feet tall and pregnant with my first child, and I’m having the worst time finding maternity clothes for work. Nothing is long enough, and I can’t find a single store that offers tall sizes in maternity.

    So far I’ve gotten by buying a couple of pairs of my normal pants in a size larger than I usually wear, but I’m well into the second trimester and it’s becoming clear that that isn’t going to work forever. What do tall pregnant ladies wear to work? Help!

    • Been there. :

      I also had a very hard time with this when I was pregnant with my kids about 10 years ago. I ended up wearing a lot of dresses. I also found long maternity pants at the Gap online. Good luck!

    • Also tall and pregnant :

      Harder with summer coming in, but boots to hide the fact that leggings were too short were one solution for me.

      Otherwise, yes, dresses – but I haven’t solved what to do now that we’re ending the legging + boots season. Bare legs? (But then having to contort to shave?)

    • Asos and long tall sally both carry long maternity clothes.

      • KateMiddletown :

        LTS is limited to jeggings right now, it seems.

      • Tall Maternity? :

        Thanks for the recs. I checked Long Tall Sally recently and even though they say they carry maternity, they only have two items – jeans and a pair of leggings (I can’t wear either of those to work, unfortunately.)

        Asos has both tall and maternity sections on their website, but I haven’t had any luck finding anything that is maternity for talls. I wonder if I’m missing it somehow?

        • They don’t have a special section for tall maternity, but just do a search for “maternity tall” and a bunch of stuff will show up.

    • KateMiddletown :

      Dresses and tunics and long shirts on top of cropped pants. For dresses, look for Midi length, which will just be regular length on you. I also bought a few non-maternity dresses in a size up in Tall (Old Navy.) I just made a large order from ON/Gap, which has maternity pants in tall sizes. They all skew more casual than suiting, but the ON ponte ones have pockets and belt loops at least (they look more professional than the Gap ones that are similar.) I like J Crew’s button downs which come in tall, so I pair that (untucked) with a blazer or cardigan + the cropped pants. Not the most formal look, but I’m not mad that I’ll be giving up suiting for a while.

      Also following for additional ideas b/c I know the layered look isn’t going to fly in the heat of the summer.

    • I thought J Crew had tall maternity online.

    • 5′ 9″. Not for work maybe, but I had a strapless (non-maternity) maxi dress that stayed on by virtue of a bunch of a elastic at the top, and I lived in that thing.

    • Anonymous :

      Betabrand has a maternity version of their yoga dress pants that come in lengths.

    • You have a few inches on me, Im 5’10 but my staples have been as follows.

      Winter 15 weeks to 23 weeks Beta brand yoga pant work pants in long sized up one size with tunic tunic type tops and blazers
      A pair of black blanqui leggings that I wear with booties and dresses and blazer or stretchy pencil skirt (google philosophy pencil skirt nordstrom rack) /and maternity top with blazer
      From 23 weeks to current,a very large 28 weeks ( My baby is 99th percentile in height and weight estimates right now this is the dress I have in multiple colors and wear often
      I also have this one

      My office is not super formal. I am in med device and wear a blazer nearly every day but some people dress much more casual than me. I also get pregnancy leeway and no one expects me to be in heels everyday.

    • I think Dorothy Perkins in the UK does.

    • I’m 5’11. There are tall clothes out there, but my default was skirts, especially when pregnant with my fall baby–i really needed maternity clothes late spring/all summer long.

      My other 2 were early summer babies so I needed maternity clothes from Feb/March on, and ended up in a lot of skirts and wrap dresses for work, and (long/tall) yoga pants.

  22. I’m applying for a job that asks me to put “something interesting” about myself. What would you write?

    • Put down a hobby, I guess.

    • Most people do something like running a marathon or climbing a particular mountain or traveling to an exotic destination.

      I think it’s more interesting if you can tie your answer to something about the organization. Tech company? You run a website or have a blog (that is sfw). Non-profit? You were homeless for a bit as a child (or other circumstance).

    • Senior Attorney :

      I used to put down tap dancing and it seemed to go over well.

  23. Has anyone remodeled a bathroom? Doing a master and kids. Anything you were particularly glad you did? Anything you wish you’d done? Lessons learned?

    We’ve got a contractor we like and we are budgeting extra!

    • In floor heating, if you can manage it

    • Don’t do anything trendy! We remodeled a bathroom 5 years and used a trendy mosaic tile border, and I really wish we hadn’t. It already looks dated to me.

      • I agree with nothing trendy in terms of things that are permanent, but I’m a fan of on-trend things that can be changed relatively inexpensively (like pulls & lighting).

    • Be mindful of cleaning restrictions on certain materials. Our travertine tiled shower is lovely, but travertine can be really fussy to clean because so many products can damage the finish.

    • Senior Attorney :

      No white grout on the floor because it’s super hard to keep clean.

      If you do a niche in the shower, put it somewhere out of the way. It seems like a great design feature when it’s empty but much less so when it’s full of your bottles and razors and so on.

      Jets in the shower! I regretted not putting them in after I experienced them at a friend’s house. (Fortunately I married the friend and moved to his house so now those jets are mine!)

      I agree about not doing the latest thing. Pick something you love, preferably consistent with the style of the house. My house was built in the 30s so I picked vintage-y tile and fixtures and it looks great and I think it will age well.

      Lovely Husband put electric outlets inside the drawers in his master bathroom because he hates having stuff sitting on the counter. So he can charge his electric razer, for example, without having it sitting out.

      Once you go fancy Japanese-style toilet, you never go back.

      • KateMiddletown :

        Your bathroom sounds heavenly.

      • +1 to the Toto toilet seat and in floor heating. Think through your space needs and constraints. We eliminated a jetted tub that I never ever use to do a huge focal point shower that I now adore. And we added in A LOT of storage, which makes getting ready so much nicer and more pleasant.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Long response in mod so check back! Have fun with your project!

    • We put in a lot of cabinets and made sure to add electric sockets in the back. That’s been fantastic for us.

    • Pick tile that you love and won’t get sick of! Trendy is OK, as long as it fits into your style overall and you’re not picking it because it’s THE LOOK.

      I would also say be practical. Pick materials and finishes that can take some abuse and are easy to clean.

    • Anonymous :

      Under floor heating; tile and grouting color that does not show the dirt; really good extractor fan and heater; shower head of adjustable height and can be hand held if needed; storage space; easy cleaning; seat in the shower; liberal use of towel bars well anchored (look at handicapped regulations) – someone will need them some time); tub (unless you have one elsewhere in the house); “separated” WC; shower water contained under all circumstances! Consider two sinks.

    • Doing an all-white bathroom has been the best decision I ever made.

      I have a 100plus year old house so it was important to me to stick with period appropriate stuff. We kept the original sink and tub, and the toilet which was probably replaced sometime in the 1930s (and is a surprisingly great toilet) and did white subway tiles around the tub/shower and white Carrara marble 6” tile flooring (which has been available for at least 100 years). Our white is the first shade of eggshell above pure white because the pure white wouldn’t have matched the white of the sink and tub.

      The all white theme allows us to add color through paint. Right now the walls above the tile and around the rest of the room up to the picture rail are a pale aqua. We alternate between using all white towels and light teal towels.

      I can see myself making a change to the wall color in the next few years – I’m thinking lavender or periwinkle – and all that will require is a bucket of paint and a few new towels. We always use a white cotton bath rug because it looks cleaner, can be bleached, and doesn’t break up the look of the room as much.

      A bonus to all white is that it looks larger, and as my master bath was carved out of a sleeping porch in the 1920s and has a weird shape, i appreciate that. When i pad into the bathroom in the middle of the night to pee, and the room is lit only by moonlight, it always looks fresh and clean because it’s white.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yes, I did all-white in one of the bathrooms in my 1930s house and it’s amazing. Only regret is that darned white grout on the floor…

    • cake batter :

      In the kid bath, include a hand shower in addition to the normal shower head. It’s SO convenient for bathing kids, dogs, or even spraying down the tub to clean.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      Shower bench facing a shower install with jets. It is so lovely and useful for leg shaving, injuries, or just at the end of a long day.

      Pro tip, if you think you might want to use the bench for, um, romance, be sure to try out the height and depth before you give measurements to the contractors otherwise it might be kind of useless for that type of activity.

  24. Sort of the opposite of the wedding planner questions: anyone have tips for opting out of the wedding-industrial complex?

    My ideal wedding is basically church + restaurant meal, no bridal shower, no bridal tea, no engagement party, no bachelorette party. (In fact, there will not be a bouquet toss: I’m not having my unmarried woman friends, ranging in ages from 38 to 45, vie for a bouquet with my 20-year-old cousins.) Everyone will have to travel for the wedding (we moved for jobs), and that’s already a lot to ask (and a completely amazing thing for anyone to do for us). Late 30s, so most of our peers either have kids (and associated costs of travel, babysitting, etc.) or find weddings to be increasingly painful.

    How to deal with questions? Handle vendors? Find good wedding planning websites wherein it’s not all about finding the perfect vision for a wedding that defines “us” as a couple? Explain to family and not-close friends (culturally, who do months of parties that often involve destination events) that we’re doing this? Any other tips?

    • Site: A Practical Wedding dot com. Also, just say no. Most vendors I encountered were totally fine with what I did and did not want. I was lucky not to have any pushy family members, either.

      • Baconpancakes :


        They also have a book that compiles everything in an easy-to-read format, if you’re interested in that.

        Re dealing with the actual logistics, get a DOC. The general advice for whenever you’re doing something out of the box for a wedding is to tell people about it really excitedly. “We’re not going to have any bridal party because we just want everyone to have an amazing time at the wedding and we’re so glad our friends and family will be able to celebrate with us! We’re really looking forward to seeing them all!” If you’re really excited, and people have a shred of decency, they won’t argue with you. But you do have to go in with an excited narrative and just barrel it through the conversation.

        • Yes! Just ramp up the excitement! Tell people your awesome plan and convey it’s awesome. Don’t start with what you’re not doing; just say what you are doing (and make it clear that’s the limit). But mostly, sound excited!! You’re getting married! You’re in love! Church weddings! Food! Family! Friends!

      • KateMiddletown :

        That site plus Bridechilla podcast. Do your thing, and don’t let the ba$tard$ get you down.

      • Thank you for those suggestions!

    • I did this and we had two people tell us our wedding was the best they’d ever been to and like, 10 people come back to us two years later to compliment the restaurant. We did a City Hall wedding and restaurant dinner on a weekday with no music, flowers, bridal party, or bridal shower, but we did get a wedding cake and a photographer. No one asked us any questions about why we were doing it this way and everyone had a fantastic time (thanks to the restaurant having delicious food and open bar).

    • I think what you want is really admirable, but on the other hand, if people have to travel they may expect something bigger/better than just a restaurant meal with zero frills or extras. I know I’d be kind of disappointed if I shelled out a bunch of money on travel to go to a super basic dinner.

      • Oh, don’t worry – guests will know, so those who are travelling to see us get married know what to expect, and those who want a big show and fancy decorations will know to stay at home. :)

        • No one is going to skip a wedding because of the decorations. That’s not what I mean. But I believe that holding a wedding means you need to be a good host and make it enjoyable for your guests beyond basic church ceremony + basic dinner. It doesn’t mean spending a ton of money on over the top fancy things.

          • I’m not really clear on what elevates a ceremony or a dinner above “basic.” For me, a favorite hymn at the church service, or a champagne toast at the dinner would be enough to make it feel like a wedding. As a guest, the opportunity to meet other people important to the bride and groom is a big part of what makes it feel like a wedding to me.

            OP, you are inviting people who care about you–if you make things personal (you are already doing this by the choices you’ve outlined!) and celebratory, I believe your guests will feel appreciated.

      • This. About half the guests traveled for our wedding. We planned some group events (boat tour, hike, post-wedding brunch) that guests could opt at their own costs if they wanted. We also did a coffee and cake the afternoon after our wedding for out of town guests and close family. My parents house + leftover wedding cake and coffee+ fruit trays. Very simple but appreciated.

        I would also encourage you to think about simple versions of events. A bachelorette doesn’t have to be a trip to Vegas. You can just have dinner and drinks out with your girlfriends. My bridal shower was just afternoon tea at my aunt’s house -very simple and meant a lot to some of my older relatives, including a few great aunts who were not well enough to attend an evening reception but were able attend an afternoon tea.

        • +1

          Your friends and family will want to celebrate you. Have a fun dinner with your girlfriends! You don’t have to be a total Grinch just because you want a simple wedding.

          • My girl friends live in NYC, GA, CA, and TX. Wedding will be in IL. Three of them have had babies in the year. Where should this “fun dinner” be?

          • Anonymous :

            The day before the wedding? If you’re having a rehearsal, as many churches do, grab coffee or drinks /dessert afterwards? or have coffee together at a kid friendly place the afternoon after the wedding?

            If I flew in for my friend’s wedding and just got to talk to her for 5 mins on the wedding evening, I’d be a bit disappointed. Don’t underestimate how little time you may have with each guest at the wedding itself, even if you have a small wedding. I was surprised how little time I had with everyone. You’re balancing your time between lots of different people.

          • Anonymous :

            Or don’t do it. You don’t need to take every suggestions so literally. None of these things are mandatory. You asked a question and posters shared what worked for their own simple weddings. If you don’t have girlfriends in town for a dinner/drinks, or if it doesn’t work for you, don’t do it.

          • Anonymous at 1:15 pm, I get what you’re trying to say, but some of my question was how to deal with people who get judgy about a smaller, simpler wedding. That some people then sprang in to suggest boat tours or used the words “total Grinch” is… well, both tone deaf and proving my point.

          • Full of ideas :

            Get over it. People will judge you for something else anyways. It’s your wedding, stop worrying about what other people are saying/judging and do what you and your future spouse want to do. It’s not that complicated

        • Agree – if they’re travelling to you, I think it would be so fun to have some planned group activities that bring everyone together and have them mix and mingle – but in ways that reflect you both and don’t feel forced. A casual arrival-day BBQ with some fun outdoor games. Low-key brunch the day after. Perhaps offer to cover the cost of a babysitter for a three or four hours so your older friends who are parents can come and have time to relax with you sans kids. I’ve traveled for several weddings and my general attitude is: if I’m spending $500+ on flights and hotel, you should host some opt-in/opt-out stuff so your guests can see you for more than a couple hours.

        • Anonymous :

          @ Anon 1:36. You literally asked “Any other tips?” And then responded negatively to anything that wasn’t a suggestion you wanted. I had a small simple wedding – 50 people in a restaurant. See small events at family houses as described above. I certainly didn’t call anyone Grinchy.

          You identified that you had a lot of people traveling, we had a lot of people traveling so I shared what some of our friends/family enjoyed. Main thing they enjoyed was opportunities to spend time together and get to know each other. I wasn’t even on the boat tour because I had a trial that ended two days before my wedding but with close family and friends spread between 2 continents, 3 countries and 6 cities, I love that they had an opprotunity to spend lots of time together and get to know each other.

          • This is asinine.

            I am a grown woman who has been to dozens of weddings and has decided, for Reasons, to have a simpler wedding. I literally asked for advice for handling judgement and pressure to do more, to which you literally responded by suggesting boat tours. Another poster literally used the words “total Grinch.”

            If you think I am being rude as f-ck by not having a morning-after brunch, huge decorations, or a boat tour, then just move along.

      • OP, have the wedding you want. If you’re concerned about your guests’ expectations, you can signal in the STD/invitations what type of wedding it will be. An invitation is not a summons, and your potential guests can make their choice.

        I’ve been to a ton of weddings of all sorts, and I’ve chosen to decline invitations to a lot of weddings. I’ve never made that decision based on how big of a party the wedding was going to be.

      • I just flew across the country for a small wedding with a basic restaurant reception. Good food, good drinks, good company. I did not feel that anything was missing at all.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I think you might be overthinking this. Just arrange the ceremony with your church, call the restaurant to reserve a spot, invite your friends, and enjoy getting married!

      If you want to do something (hire a photographer? get fancy flowers for the tables at the restaurant? buy a [email protected] dress?) just do those things! The things you don’t want to do? Don’t do them!


      • Rainbow Hair :

        I hope I don’t come off as dismissive above! I did about what you’re talking about and it was pretty painless and fun.

        A restaurant that’s used to hosting parties will shepherd you through the process of setting that up, making a reservation, etc., and the church will help you set up the ceremony… they’re professionals, they can make it happen! And to give you some comfort, when the restaurant where we had our reception said, “are you going to rent linens?” I said “no I like the wooden tables” they said “thanks!” And, “are you hiring a DJ?” “no but can we play our own music?” “Yeah, sure, here’s where you dock your iPad.” etc.

        • You did not come off as dismissive; the Anons above you did. It’s that attitude – that I am a crappy bride if I don’t set up (expletive) boat tours and multiple weekend events – that I need help handling.

          • Just ignore it. It’s not true. You don’t need to take any notice of it.

          • Anonymous :

            Wow. Literally no one said that.

            When people travel for weddings, sometimes they enjoy the opportunity to get together with new family/friends more than just on the one evening of the wedding. It’s helpful if the bride/groom facilitate that. If they don’t want to, or only some guests want to participate, that’s fine too.

      • This is great advice. We used a restaurant comfortable with planning, they set everything up, and it was so easy. They put little menus at every seat, etc. We did have one relative go in the morning to put flowers on the tables, but it was a 25 person wedding and super small.

    • Your wedding sounds perfect.

      My perfect wedding would also be a simple non-denominational wedding in an interesting/beautiful church. No extras. And then a FABULOUS dinner at a restaurant I love. Maybe a photographer…..

      Planning extras like ?boat tours, or special lunches for girlfriends etc…. Just…. no.

      Your plan sounds great.

      • (Laughing) Thank you.

        My girl friends are overly excited by the lack of bouquet toss, bach party, and bridal shower.

    • Your wedding sounds perfect.

      My perfect wedding would also be a simple non-denominational wedding in an interesting/beautiful church. No extras. And then a FABULOUS dinner at a restaurant I love. Maybe a photographer…..

      Planning extras like ?boat tours, or special lunches for girlfriends etc…. Just…. no.

      Your plan sounds great.

      • Anonymama :

        I can see why the boat tours would seem unnecessary, but everyone has to eat! And having a plan for a time/place for people to eat lunch on a busy weekend in a place where they don’t live seems like it would make things easier, and less stressful, for everyone. I was actually terrible about planning this kind of thing and then didn’t get to spend as much time with out of town friends as I would have liked to.

        But also, just do what you want to do and don’t worry about what people say… most people are well-intentioned but also they’re not you, so who cares if they would have done something differently. Smile and nod, respond graciously, but you don’t need to be defensive about it or concerned about it.

    • We’re 36 and 40 and getting married in just a couple weeks – in a destination chapel with our minister from home and immediate family only with a restaurant reception to follow. When we first got engaged, people were all excited and asked about plans, and I simply said, “Thank you so much! We’re actually planning to do something small with just immediate family.” *Everyone* understood and there were no hurt feelings. My cousin with three little kids actually told me she was a bit relieved – the travel costs and headaches would have been difficult for her family.

      As far as vendors, I simply searched for those who matched my vision, just like any other bride would. I looked for those who had intimate weddings on their sites and who seemed like the reasonable, down-to-earth people I’d want to have involved in my day. Our wedding – not including my dress, his suit, and the honeymoon – will be about $3500 for everything – the AirBnB vacation house for everyone to stay in, the rental cars, the various vendors, and dinner.

    • Anonymous :

      Pick out what you want and if you think it’s great, chances are that others will too unless you do something truly weird, like you want to have a potluck at a park or something and all your guests are traveling. What people really want in an after-ceremony celebration is some combination of good food/alcohol/dancing. Rarely does a wedding hit all 3. If dancing isn’t your thing, maybe people will be excited to get an actual tasty dinner instead of the usual wedding reception fare.

      You should remind yourself not to feel guilty if you do end up wanting some traditional things, though. Traditions are popular for a reason. I didn’t like the idea of a shower or bachelorette either, but I’m glad I did them after the fact. You don’t have to do something over the top. Dinner with friends is a lovely bachelorette.

      Also, planning a simple wedding is pretty easy and you truly don’t need a planner. Everyone kept asking me those trite questions like how stressed was I, how busy, etc, but in reality there’s not much to do unless you want to do it. After you pick the venue, you really only need to coordinate invitations, dress, decor/flowers, seating chart/place cards, music if using, ceremony logistics, and then menu selection (the fun part). All of these can be short activities – I feel like I barely spent any time on it and that using a planner would have taken almost the same amount of time.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Honestly, if your friends are mostly in their 30s-40s and spread out over the country, things like bachelorette and showers basically solve themselves. I’m not having them for this reason. People asked, I just said everyone already had to travel for the wedding, so I wasn’t going to ask anyone to travel twice, it’s a reasonable answer and no one pushed. And I’m not doing a bouquet toss, because we literally only have 2 not-married female guests. Just say no to things. And pay for it all yourselves so you can say no to things without getting a guilt trip.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        I had three single friends at my wedding and was not about to parade their lack of coupledom to everyone – it felt so wrong to me.

    • I basically had this wedding last year, only I had the wedding ceremony itself at the restaurant, which I really recommend. It kept the energy up through out and just reduced the amount of schlepping everyone had to do.

      It was a blast and very genuine to who we are as individuals and as couples.

      I frankly don’t find weddings, including my own, that interesting as a conversation topic so I had surprisingly few conversations with people about it beyond a few early generalities.

      Our wedding was a total blast. The ceremony was incredibly moving and most of the wedding guests cried (but not in a schlocky way, i promise) and then the party was a total rager.


  25. When do you go to the doctor for cold/flu symptoms? I’ve had what I thought was a cold for 3 days, but today I finally took my temp and I have a slight fever (100.5), bad headache, really bad wet cough, not improving as fast as usual with a cold. I assume this doesn’t rise to level of medical attention?

    • KateMiddletown :

      Colds are rarely accompanied by fever: I’d go to the doctor now.

      • And have the doctor do what?

        OP, do you have a nurse line you can call (check your insurance card). That’s where I’d start. If you do have the flu, you are past the point where any antivirals are going to help (I think), and going to the doctor is just going to expose more people to being sick.

        I’d say that as long as you aren’t in any of the other risk groups for flu complications (elderly, immuno-compromised, etc), then you are probably best off staying at home and resting – lots of fluids and sleep. If you want a second opinion on other options, I would probably try *calling* the doctor/nurse first, before going in.

    • I’m otherwise healthy, but I wait until I’ve had a fever for several days before going to the doctor.

    • If your cough is keeping you from sleeping, it may be worth it to go to the doctor for a promethazine with codeine Rx. It’s a cough syrup that’ll make you sleepy and suppress your cough. They may not prescribe it if you have fluid in your lungs (a wet cough).

    • No reason to see a doctor, unless you need a doctor’s note for some reason. It’s too late for Tamiflu and there’s nothing else they can do unless you’re actually in respiratory distress and in need of more serious care (if that’s the case, then go asap).

      • +1. For the cough, Mucinex is your friend to help thin the mucus. Spend some time in the bathroom coughing/spitting that gunk out. Steam up the bathroom in the morning to loosen it up, if need be.

      • +1

        Just gotta get through it. Doesn’t sound serious enough to see a doctor. Try tylenol, over the counter expectorant/Mucinex (better to cough it up rather than suppress it), drink drink drink, sleep sleep sleep.

        If you are coughing up green/red/yucky smelly stuff, are short of breath, are dehydrated and can’t keep fluids down then I might go.

        Not worth going otherwise.

    • Call your doctor’s office and speak to a nurse. That’s what I do (for myself and my toddler) and they can usually give you an idea of whether or not you should go in.

    • Thanks everyone. Appreciate the advice. I’ll stay in bed for now.

      • In addition to the call-the-nurse rec, you can see if you can schedule a phone appointment with your doc – if doc thinks you need meds, they can prescribe it for you and you can pick it up without having to go in for an actual appointment

  26. I had this blazer in the late 1980s/early 1990s and might have worn it on some of my early dates with The Hubs. It actually came from an old boyfriend and I kept it all these years because it was a really nice (and warm!) Harris tweed.

    Am I too old to wear it again, styled almost exactly as per the Everlane photo? My general rule is to pass on a style if I wore it last time around, but the possibility of pulling out that old blazer has me tempted . . .

  27. Becoming a SAHM :

    Cross-posting with the moms site: Has anyone on this site left the workforce for a few years to become a SAHM? DH and I are decided on this, I’ll be a SAHM later this year for a variety of reasons (financial, HCOL area, his long hours, cost of 2 daycares, etc…). Plan is for me to go back to work in 4-5 years. I’d love to hear from other women who did this and felt like they did it successfully. I plan on keeping up with my professional memberships/networking opportunities, reading business journals so I’m in the loop with trends, etc…while I stay at home. Any other advice? Also…any advice on resigning? I actually have a great job and work for a good company, but like I said, this is the best choice for our family (plus I just want to stay home with my kids!).

    • Have you approached your current company about taking an unpaid leave of absence? Or asked about transitioning to a part-time role?

      NY Times had a good article a few years ago – ‘The Opt Out Generation wants back in’ or similar. Returning to your career can be a huge challenge. Best to mitigate and plan your on ramp before you leave to the extent possible.

      • Becoming a SAHM :

        Part-time isn’t an option as part-time daycare would be more than the cost of my part-time salary. And yes I’m well-aware of the financial and career hit I’ll be taking. We did a lot of research, calculations, and soul-searching before making this decision. I will check out that article though, thanks.

        • Once you’re settled in as a SAHM see what kind of time you have, and if possible, be open to an entrepreneurial side hustle like consulting or something (but please not selling lularoe!) where you bring in a little money, keep your work brain engaged, and have something to talk about when you decide to go back to work in 4 to 5 years.

          I sense a slight defensiveness in your answer to the other poster, but you have to remember you’re posting on a working women’s board, and I would assume good intentions here – we are going to be most focused on making sure you’re able to maintain your earning potential long-term. Getting back into the workforce will not be easy – it’s best to do what you can to keep your skills relevant.

          • +1 to your second paragraph. Anonymous’s reply was thoughtful and not aggressive at all.

        • I’d consider thinking about the cost of daycare as an investment in your future, not as a dollar-for-dollar cost. I think it will be quite challenging for you to step out completely for 4-5 years and return to the level you were at prior to leaving. Highly recommend thinking about this a little more before you do it & re-framing how you’re viewing daycare costs.

          • This. I see networking/ keeping up with “business journals” to be insufficient and honestly easy to stop doing (I mean really, what are you more likely to do… play with your wonderful kids/do the nth task that needs to get done today, or sit down and catch up on journal articles?).

            Maybe you’ll lose money for the first few years because of daycare, but it’ll most likely be paid back in spades when you try to reenter. FWIW, among my friends it’s common to look at a parent’s salary being canceled out by daycare (or halved, whatever the case may be) as a wash for a few years in service of maintaining that parent’s long term earning potential.

    • I quit my job and stayed home for 18 months after my third kid and found it hard to get back into the workforce. We had to move to a different city to make it happen, away from all of our family support. However, I am in a great place now and think overall it was for the best. If you are an attorney, check out the OnRamp fellowship. Other industries have similar programs. Good luck!

    • Why do you think you’ll be able to go back in 4-5 years? Most people really struggle with that. I think you’re being naive if you think reading journals will help. You really want to leave a great job to come back as a part time secretary? Nope. So you wind up staying home forever. Until he leaves you improvrished.

      • Becoming a SAHM :

        LOL thanks – this is not helpful at all. I doubt that I will come back as a part-time secretary, but maybe I am naive and I will :) I am sure that it will be a struggle, but I know for a fact that many women have done it, my mother-in-law and my own mother included. So I was just hoping I could hear from some other women who had!

        • Hey do what you want. Good luck. Maybe don’t ask for advice if you don’t want to hear it.

        • Triangle Pose :

          Try moms board or another site? I don’t think there are going to be many women on here who have the info you want.

        • You should probably seriously consider *why* you aren’t getting the advice you want. Think about if your expectations are unrealistic.

    • I’m having a very difficult time re-entering after being away for caregiving. I am in an intense professional field. I kept up membership in professional societies, went to educational conferences, kept all my licenses up to date with continuing education requirements, did some volunteering in relevant fields. But of course this is not sufficient and my skills are rusty and things change quickly in my field and now I am older…. and slower.
      It’s true. Now many doors are closed to me. No way ever re-entering with the same trajectory, and the things that colleagues say to me about my potential are truly…. shocking. No empathy, for sure, and my leaving was not entirely my choice as you are doing but because of tragedy.

      Just as long as you understand that chances are low that you will return in a similar capacity to where you are now. You may step backwards, and have to re-train as I will do. You will never make as much money. Some places will never hire you. The major Universities where I live have made it clear I will never be considered. I would be a little worried about doing what you are planning, even if my marriage was solid (divorce…..), but completely understand the desire/motivation. But if I were you, I would look like crazy for something I could do part time. Like crazy.

      • And of course, you cannot compared yourself to your MIL etc… Times are different, you don’t know the future of your marriage, you likely have a very different career. It is also very different if your career is something with more choices/flexibility, like nursing/education/accounting and you are less ambitious. It all comes down to where you see yourself going long term.

    • I did this successfully, but mostly because I had a very desirable and difficult to attain professional designation before I left the workforce. Also, I returned before the 2008 downturn. And I was probably just lucky. I think you can definitely have a career after SAHM but be open to the idea that it may be in a different field than you are in now and may require going back to school.

      • Seattleite :

        This seems similar to our scenario.

        My wife did this successfully but she’s in an incredibly in-demand field of advanced practice nursing and we live in a major city with several hospitals in the area.

        While she was out of the workforce she kept up her certifications and was able to re-enter the workforce at the exact step where she left. I think this is an absolute unicorn scenario though.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I have no advice but I bet you could get some on the mister money mustache forum in the parents’ section.

      • Anonymous :

        Yeah those people are obsessed oddly with stay at home parents and home schooling. It’s a terrible financial choice but they believe in it as gospel.

    • I was a SAHM for5 years after our first child was born. it was EXTREMELY hard to get back into the same type of work that was not admin (think mgmt consulting/banking/law). And by EXTREMELY difficult, I can say it took 24 months for FT job search, attending every ACG/ Women in Finance/ CFA networking event in a one hour driving radius in my MCOL city. I applied to over 400 jobs and had 4 interviews and one job offer. This job came created for me as I got to know a few in-house recruiters and they sent my resume to the right ppl. Stil in the same position 4 years later.

      Given how every workplace and industry is changing by huge leaps thanks to technology and policy… fading out now may well mean looking at huge alternatives for your career in 5 years. I think of what my industry/workplace was like 4 years ago when I started and it is very transformed. So much outsourced offshore and delegated to machine learning (think e discovery for example).

      but we don’t know your current situation right now… hang in there as long as you possibly can. If you deem necessary… honestly think through what else you can do for a job in 5 years in case you can’t get back in.

    • Good Luck :

      I’m sorry there aren’t any glowing positive stories here. Not the most encouraging responses.

      If I were you, I’d try to find a way to work as a freelancer/contractor and complete side projects from home when you have time. Maybe you don’t want to pay for part-time childcare, but could you fit in a few hours a week when your kids are asleep or your spouse can watch them a couple evenings? Maybe your employer can hire you as a contractor for a specific on-going project, or you can network in your field to land desirable projects. I’ve done this with freelance writing, but there are other areas of expertise where this could work as well.

      This way you’ll still have something to list on your resume and you can keep one foot in the field to stay up to date.

      • I really like this advice.

        My only addition is to look at the career profiles of high-ranking women in your industry, in your city. If a lot of them have kids (not just young kids) or grandkids, then you know that your plan is doable. If they all don’t have kids, have a stay at home spouse, or have one foot out the door buse they had kids at 42 and want to stay at home now… then there’s not much advice anyone here can offer you.

      • I did this/am doing this and it’s perfect. I’m home with the kids for all intents and purposes. But I’m keeping a foot solidly in the door.

        I’ve been “out” for 2 years and I’d be really, really stale if I hadn’t been keeping up with the exontrcat/freelance work. Plus, it helps me justify a biweekly cleaner, mani/pedis and other splurges along the way.

    • I did this. It’s not as impossible as people imagine, BUT with the caveat that I was only out about two years, and during that time, I took on work on a contract basis. There was virtually no “gap” on my resume when I returned to the full-time job search a few years later because I had made an effort to find projects I could do from home when I had childcare available or in the evenings / during my kids’ naps. It sounds like you have thought about this a lot, and if it is the right decision for your family, go for it. Stay current in your field, understanding that some fields, like law, may allow for work from home options more easily than others. It also matters how senior you are when you go out, and how you handle the exit. For the record, I went back 2 years later within about 2 months to the same employer I had previously left. While that may be a rare scenario, nobody knows your situation as well as you do. Best of luck.

    • I am doing this-ish now. I got laid off when I was 7 months pregnant with my second (thanks) in early 2016. I put out some feelers and did some interviewing in my 3rd trimester (that was fun.) and eventually had someone offer me a part time contract gig (remote) that would start up when my baby was 2 months old. I got 10 hours a week of childcare and did it’s it was awesome. It led to a few more opportunities and eventually when my second was 15 months she went into PT daycare (15 hours/week) I was up to working about 15-20 hours/week. My older one was in preschool about 15 hours a week.

      I’m now pregnant with my 3rd, working very flexibly part time. I’ve had several offers over the years for a full time gig, but I don’t want to go back yet and we don’t need the money. I’m doing all 1099 work (so lots of taxes and no benefits) but it has amounted to about 60% of what I was grossing working 65 hours/week and I’m working mayyyybe 15/week on average. I work closely with 2 other people that do a lot of the work hunting work; I execute and they leverage my contacts and experience.

      I think this board is hard on the concept but it really is possible. Journals alone won’t keep you relevant but small projects will. Hiring a babysitter at $15/hr on a regular basis for the most part shouldn’t be more than you earn, but if it is, think of it this way- as a fully full time SAHM you’ll be paying for a babysitter anyway.

      I am so glad I stayed home(ish) when I fun preschooler. Babies are really boring. I find SAHM playdates grating and was super happy when the kids could just be dropped off. Some people love the baby phase though!!

      • I did this kind of thing quite successfully starting when my daughter was one–pretty profitable consulting, loads of flexibility, and kept my hand in. My husband and I were very happy with the trade, and I loved the time with our kiddo. I’m afraid the real mommy tax comes later.

        I eventually moved into a half-time staff position with one of my consulting clients. Now, with my daughter turning 15 this summer, I am STILL not in a full-time position commensurate with my experience. I work 30 hours/week in a solid position with a prestigious title and piece together consulting jobs on the side. I’m not complaining–it’s a good life and mostly interesting work.

        I’ve come very close three times to landing the kind of leadership position I would surely be in if I had worked full-time through those years, but I don’t quite make the cut–not enough progressive leadership experience, just a bit too old, etc. etc. Go in with your eyes wide open: the decision to stay home is a financial and career hit that is lifelong.

        • I believe it. I stepped out at a VP level. I would likely return at a director/sr Director role (about the same salary, but less authority). I may also continue to stay in the consulting game- we are thinking about producitizing some of our work and eventually selling off the assets. TBd, but as long as We can still make it work financially, we will. We bought our “forever” house and built our lifestyle around our current income, which could be 2 midlevel mgmt roles or one VP and one part timer. And easily just one VP if we wanted to cut back on frills. We are maxing retirement, contributing to college funds, and this year finally paid off all student loan debt. No other debt. The extra money in the bank doesn’t pile up fast like it used to, but we’re fine with that. It’s growing not shrinking.

  28. My random thought of the week :

    At Universal Studios with the kids, and I suddenly realized: I probably strive to be Ravenclaw or even Hufflepuff at home. At work? Totally Slytherin. Am in the process of acquiring a new Slytherin coffee mug for the desk. Heh.

    • Horse Crazy :

      This is my favorite comment. And I totally understand – Ravenclaw on the outside, Slytherin at heart :)

    • Anonymous :

      So jealous. I love HP world and wanted to buy all the stuff. Enjoy!!! You might be the first person to not claim Gryffyndor. I have an HP World key chain that I LOVE! Mug sounds perfect!

    • Anon for this :

      LOL!!! 100% me, too! Nothing wrong with being “ambitious, shrewd, cunning, strong leaders, and achievement-oriented” with “a certain disregard for the rules” ;)

      • My husband told me I was a Slytherin based on that description. I didn’t take it as an insult.

    • BelleRose :

      LOL!!! 100% me, too! Nothing wrong with being “ambitious, shrewd, cunning, strong leaders, and achievement-oriented” with “a certain disregard for the rules” ;)

    • God I love Harry Potter.

      • ME TOO. I may or may not have watched all 8 movies one lazy rainy weekend a few months ago. I forgot how much a part of my growing up those books were.

      • I recently listened to all the books on audio during my commute. I forgot what a joy they were, since I hadn’t read them since I’d been a teen. I was so sad when I finished them.

    • I’m a total Slytherin. Welcome to the darkside.

  29. Thanks all for the skincare recs leaning toward Korean skincare yesterday morning. Frenchie, I went to Innisfree and ordered a few of their sample kits – both for me and for my teenage daughter (the clay stuff for her) to see what works.

    Shadow, I just saw your long response this morning and I’m going through it now. Thank you!

    • Anonymous :

      I am going to have to go find this thread; thanks for mentioning it! I love the one Innisfree product I’ve tried.

    • The Frenchie is My Favorite Kid :

      I’m glad you found some options :)

      My oldest one really likes the Nature Republic and Etude House products – makeup and skin care :) I think they are geared towards teens.

  30. I visited Portugal last september and it was the perfect time of year to go: fewer tourists, lovely weather (70’s), and you may catch vineyard harvests. We spent 4 days in Porto and then 4 days in Lisbon. Did some day trips from both cities.

  31. Anonymous :

    Super long shot but I wonder if anyone has ideas – litigator at a big firm for 10 years; financial regulator for 3. As I’m thinking about my 40-50s (late 30s now), I’m
    dreaming of being on an executive track at a NOT financial company. My whole career has been financial services and I’d love to work someplace that does or makes something tangible, not derivative products. This is impossible right? I know people usually say – go in house and try to switch to business. I’ve looked for in house jobs for years and can’t break in — someone always gets it over me. In the meantime I’m looking at jobs like – strategy analyst at a hotel co (meant for a 22 year old probably) and wondering if I could work my way up to an SVP one day if someone let me start at the bottom. I have a business undergrad but LONG time ago from a Wharton kind of school; ivy law school and my career has all been business type of litigation. Seems like an impossible switch but I figured i’d seek some opinions before letting the dream go.

    • Anon in NYC :

      What about healthcare companies? You have litigation and regulatory experience – I can see that being really helpful in that field.

      • +1. Specifically look at Compliance/ Ethics in healthcare or pharma or other heavily regulated industries. Also look at Contract Management and/or M&A (sometimes called Corporate Development), which are usually a blend of legal and financial skills. To the extent you understand financial statements, call that out on your resume and cover letter.

        Also think about what level you’re targeting. In your 30s, you probably are a shoo-in for a manager, a stretch for a director, but you’ll want to be thoughtful about the salary expectations and how you’re talking about your experience. Pharma managers are in the$100-125K range and have several layers above them, and aren’t seen as “executive” yet. Show that you understand that level, have a passion to support tangible manufacturers, and want to prove yourself as you establish this company as your career, hopefully eventually becoming a high performer with potential to advance and lead a department.

  32. This model looks miserable.

    • Who wouldn’t be? 1990s redux.

      Sure, if I were extremely young and hip and worked in an artsy/creative industry, I might go for a boxy, masculine jacket. In that case, I would buy it secondhand or in the boys’ department–or steal it from my tragically cool, slim boyfriend. But buy this one? No way.

      I’d like to see some powerful, flattering jackets for the office now, please.

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