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Career hustle

Career hustle

Career #hustle: clothing edition

As an influx of interns and new employees flood the halls at work, I’ve been reflecting on when I started my own foray into the full-time, salaried, real-world life of working and #adulting. It’s been a long time (ahem) a few years since I first panicked about what to wear to an interview and how to look for an apartment in Toronto and thankfully I’ve learned a few things a lot since then, thanks to a combination of experience, mentors and wise friends. So in honour of graduation/intern/new job season I’ll be bringing sharing some of those lessons over the next few weeks. Now, since I have an arsenal of brilliant friends and readers, if there’s something you want to share on one of these topics throw it in the comments below!

First up – five things to have in your wardrobe when you start working that #professh life (sidebar: how has it taken me this long to write a post dedicated to fashion?!). Now these are pieces everyone should have, not just recent grads and interns.

This may seem a little basic at first, but bear with me, there’s more than meets the eye:

  • Blazer
  • Nice pair of shoes: this can be great pair of heels or flats but there are two important rules here: you shoes should be in good shape (not scuffed) and flip flops don’t can’t (yes, even leather ones)
  • Dress pants
  • Comfortable work appropriate dress
  • Nice blouse

Thinking, “I work for a super hip start-up and the dress code has basically been pulled from the Everlane lookbook with a dash of Zuckerberg’s hoodies”? Firstly 👏🏻 Everlane is my jam. But I get it. Dress codes differ greatly across industries and workplaces. In my first job I worked with students and was instructed to wear jeans and a t-shirt whenever I visited a school or gave a speech. If I had shown up in a suit and heels I wouldn’t have been relatable. In my next job I ran events that catered to a Bay Street and Government audience – they wouldn’t have taken me seriously if I was wearing jeans and a t-shirt with an inspirational quote on it. You have to know your audience.

But there may be a time when you’re asked to deliver a presentation to a client, join a meeting with the CEO, head out on a job interview, or even get invited to an event with a very “business” crowd. Having a few key pieces on hand means you don’t have to panic at the last minute and wander around the mall wondering where the heck Banana Republic and Ann Taylor are (3rd floor of the Eaton Centre – I got you). Instead you can just head to your closet and put together a combination that works for you and your needs. Meeting with a casual client? Awesome, grab your favourite dark wash jeans that make you feel like a rock star, but show them you mean business with your go-to blouse and blazer combo (and throw on those nice shoes while you’re at it).

A comfortable, work appropriate dress is a closet staple, because you just never know who might show up at a work event (pro-tip: invest in something stretchy enough that you can run in if needed)

Are you wondering why you should care? I dig your rebellious spirit. However, what you wear sends a message (remeber – know your audience). If you show up to pitch the CEO of a bank in those trendy track pants and a silk crop top odds are pretty good that they will be too distracted by your outfit to listen to the brilliant presentation you’ve laid out. You can let your personality shine through your outfit, just don’t let it distract from what’s coming out of your mouth.

Which brings me to my last point – these things don’t have to be boring. Notice I didn’t put a suit on here? I hate wearing pantsuits – I don’t feel comfortable or like my authentic self. However, I think the same thing can be accomplished with polished basics. I like to deliver suit vibes with my own twist – currently my black “suit” consists of lace dress pants, my black blazer, a blouse and heels. Boom. Suit. That said, you’re much more likely to find me wearing a dress with a pink houndstooth blazer, or a neutral blazer with colourful dress pants (a former colleague of mine defined my style as “the girl who wears colourful pants”).

A classic blazer with a colourful twist is my ideal wardrobe staple.

Don’t be afraid to inject some personality into these basics. Simple and classic silhouettes with a twist are the best way to let your personality sparkle, while looking put together and professh. The sparkly beauts below are my favourite way to elevate an otherwise drab outfit and instantly lift my mood. Just make sure to keep the rest of your outfit streamlined – pairing sparkly loafers with a sequin dress may read more showgirl than corporate boss.

Wondering where to find these things? Here are a few of my go-to’s to get you started:

  • J. Crew: there’s a reason this classic store makes up the majority of my wardrobe – they have perfected making quality, classic pieces with fun twists
  • Ann Taylor
  • Loft: their Rivera pants are my favourite work pants – they come in two fits and petite 🙌🏻
  • Kate Spade: perfect for comfy and quirky shoes
  • If you’re going to invest in one pair of comfy heels, make it Cole Haan – my last pair lasted five years of constant use
  • Artizia and Wilfred for those perfect, simple, elevated pieces

How do you approach wardrobe basics? Where are your go-to stores? Let me know in the comments below!

Career hustle, Hustle for happiness

Funkytown

Last week we talked about the ripple effect one small, positive chance can have on your life (missed that post? Check it out here). Even when great things come our way, sometimes we can get into a bit of a funk. I’m not sure if it was all of the rain we’d been having, the slow thaw of Spring or the fact that apparently Mercury was in retrograde (??? who else has a coworker that tracks this? 🙋🏼) but the last few weeks there were days when it felt like the whole city was in a bit of a funk. Thankfully I have a few standby’s that I like to keep on hand for those mid-day slumps when you just can’t even: Continue Reading

Career hustle

Coffee #hustle: how to rock a networking coffee

Got a networking coffee planned this week? Or maybe you read this post and decided that you’re ready to start flexing those networking muscles? In any case, good for you!

To help you get excited and feel prepared, I’ve put together some lessons I have learned and things I’ve seen in action to help you prepare for, and rock, your next networking coffee. Continue Reading

Career hustle

Career #hustle: Meet Amber

Meet Amber of Creating Light Studio

When I  had the idea for this series I made a “dream list” of the women I knew who were doing incredible things that I wanted to profile – Amber was on this list.

I had the privilege of working with Amber a few years back. She is one of those people who leads with her heart. She’s smart, well-spoken and so passionate about her work. Coincidentally we sat down to chat about this profile on International Women’s Day and had the most incredible conversation about the power of supporting women, setting boundaries and dealing with perfectionism (she refers to herself as a “recovering perfectionist”, something I both admire and am striving towards myself).

I have been so inspired by her entrepreneurial #hustle and was thrilled she agreed to be part of this series. I learned so much from the hour we spent laughing, chatting and catching up over coffee. I learned even more when I read the insights she shares below – I know they will inspire you to think about your own journey in a new light (her ultimate career goal had me going 👏🏻). When you’re done reading, check out her beautiful Instagram feed – her ethereal photos will make you want to spend a day in front of her lens, creating light together. Continue Reading

Career hustle

Squad, assemble!

(skwäd/ɡōl) (noun) (plural noun: squad goals): an inspirational term for what you’d like your group of friends to be or accomplish. Used best when placed at the end of a directional statement.

Credit: urbandictionary.com

While I’m sure many of us would love to be part of the seemingly perfect posse of girl power excellence T-Swift has assembled, I think assembling your own squad is so important. And I don’t just mean your BFFs.

Continue Reading

Career hustle

#Hustle Challenge: LinkedIn

Mac book pro with a notebook and pen

There are SO many ways to brand ourselves online, but when it comes to putting our best professional self forward LinkedIn really has become the winner 🏆.

It’s such a simple and effective tool for connecting with people, finding interesting jobs and showing off your amazing skills. But you know that feeling of dread you get when you need to update your resume? And yet after you’ve updated it you feel like a professional rock star, ready to take on all of your career goals?

Yeah, that’s how I often feel about updating my LinkedIn profile. Continue Reading

Career hustle, Hustle for happiness

Busy and exhausted: the new status symbols

Photo credit: Samuel Zeller

The phone chimes, the number of unread emails continues to creep higher, and all it takes is for you to pick up the phone or log into your email *just to check* what’s happening. Before you know it, hours have gone by and your Saturday has been consumes by tasks, replies and BBMs (yes, I work somewhere that still uses Blackberries 🙈). But it’s okay, because you were too busy to have noticed the beauty that was brewing for you outside. And frankly, it couldn’t wait. Continue Reading

Career hustle

Career #hustle: Meet Kat

This is the first in a series that I’ll be featuring on here, spotlighting (mostly) young professionals so you can find out just what jobs are out there, how they got them and lessons they have learned thus far into their professional journey.

Meet Kat, a chic, thoughtful girl boss working in media. She’s already kicking 2017’s butt and starting to plan a very exciting side hustle!

I’m so excited that my first post also features my bff: Kat. We’ve been friends for 16 years (😳 how?!) and she is seriously one of the coolest people I know. She’s that girl who can rock a onesie and fur hat in public and look chic AF doing it. Kat is also thoughtful, creative, giving and works in a role I know so little about – media planning. So let’s dive right in. Continue Reading