How Facebook Posts Affect Your Job Hunt (image)

Survey question:  Have you ever rejected a candidate because of what you saw about them on a social networking site?


(survey below)


Below is part of an article published on TheAtlantic.Com

What are your thoughts?






Wharton comments on "Masculine Norms" and how they affect women’s career trajectories…


I don’t understand why professional norms are classified as either “masculine” or “feminine”. Perhaps a professional norm is sufficient without the hyper-focus on gender issues which mostly create unnecessary inflammation around examples.


‘Masculine Norms’: Why Working Women Find It Hard to Reach the Top – Knowledge@Wharton

Professional Wardrobe: Creative vs. Traditional fields (images)

This post hopes to de-mystify dress codes in Creative Industries vs. Traditionally-run organizations by providing very broad and simplistic descriptions of each.  Obviously, while professionalism is tantamount in all organizations, there are differences in acceptable office wear depending on the organization.**


image 1





What defines a “creative industry”
Generally, “creative” companies in various sectors create ‘widgets’ that are unique and based on intellectual inspiration.  Creative fields include: advertising, architecture, publishing, software, art, design, fashion, film, music, games, TV, video games, etc….

“Judging from her fashion, I would imagine that Kelly sees design as the proper combination of key pieces. Take a look at these more casual ensembles, for example. Each is a much simpler silhouette with a more every day aesthetic, but there is an eye catching quality to each.” 


Since innovation is key, creative workplaces value and reward individuals who can think “outside-the-box” and create inspiration.  Usually, employees work within small teams on specific projects.  The teams are focused on successfully finishing projects in a profitable and timely fashion. 

Have you seen anything like this on the market?
Where one might find status symbols of wealth and success in traditional corporations expressed in styles that boast of heritage and a craftsmanship, (i.e. Mont Blanc pens, heirloom jewelry, Rolex watches, cuff links, boarding school affiliated insignia, Hermes scarves, Louis Vuitton luggage, etc…), in fields where human intellect and originality affect products and profit, the more esoteric the referenced aesthetic, the more value the individual is deemed to add.  Professionals dress in ways that differentiate themselves to signify their individual brand of creativity.

Interaction among team members and the exchange of ideas are encouraged. As a result, professional dress in these fields often serve as opportunities by which to display creativity, intellect and imagination (image 1).  Having a well-defined personal aesthetic becomes shorthand for brilliance and originality.  What new idea can this person bring to the group?  


The creative individual’s personal “brand” is the value they add to their organization, thus, they wear their brand proudly on their sleeve.


Uzo of Nars Cosmetics dictating her own brand of professional-wear.  She is a recognized for the originality she contributes to her field.  She is paid to think outside the box.  Her individuality and creative discoveries inspire others in her field.

Established business models:
Traditional corporate environments emphasize the organization’s vision, and each employee’s objective is to execute orders given from the top of the chain.  There is less importance placed on a person’s uniqueness. If you’re not in position to command orders, you’re not being paid to come up with ideas.  Ideas and best practices are provided to you. 

In other words, each group or functional division operates as one unit (read: everyone dresses alike) carrying out tasks outlined by the head of their departments.  A blueprint for how things are done most effectively is in place and provides guidelines for the most efficient way tasks should be carried out.

The focus is on the organization as a whole and the objective is to carry-out processes vital for the organization’s life.  Innovative ideas are provided by the organization’s leaders whose experience and expertise provide the group with the best direction to take.  Leadership in these organizations are paid to figure things out and make decisions;
others are paid to carry them out.  


“Separately, we are organized, results-driven and efficient.  Together, we are a well-functioning machine that will ensure your day-to-day operations are run effectively.”
These environments function well when individuals are consistent, predictable and view themselves as part of the whole. In other words, bold and “outside-the-box” thinking and clothing distract and disrupt the efficiency of a functioning streamlined process.  Imagine how disruptive it would be if we introduced a blood cell with fabulously glittered fuschia hotpants and the latest chloe jacket to a group of uniformly efficient red blood cells delivering blood to an organism’s heart.  In other words, shocking your team with your originality may debilitate the team’s ability to function and affect the livelihood of the organization as a whole.

“Our business unit has a process in place that can produce those widgets in half the time.  We, as a unit, are important to the organization’s bottom line.”
Each individual piece must fit well and operate under the same cadence to make the machine run smoothly.


“Hi, everyone.  I look just like my teammates in my collared, button-up shirt, and neutral-colored palette.  Also, this practical handbag carries useful tools making me a productive member of the organization.”


The corporate palette is simple:  grays, black and navy suits.  From topical view, groups are seen as one.  Again, the culture emphasizes efficiency, order and respect for an established blueprint.  There is a defined uniform.


“Give me an assignment, and you can consider it done.  I have a Navy Seals background and my goal is to help carry our team forward.”

While I make broad generalizations to illustrate my points, each office has its own culture and a smart job candidate will observe his/her surroundings to gain an understanding of culture.  Until then, prevent being a distraction by erring on the traditional side and observe people to understand what is generally acceptable in your new office environment.

Any healthy and productive organization will incorporate elements of each “type” in varying degrees depending on short-term and long-term goals.


CONCLUSION:

Whether and how individuality is expressed will depend on your field, company and immediate team.  Some professional environments invite individual taste to encourage exchange of ideas between team-members.  More established companies with operations in place will demand new employees to work according to their guidelines.  In both cases, the goal is to be professional, respectful and appropriately dressed.  Observation of one’s surroundings is the best way to tell what is considered acceptable in your new environment.

image 1

(**note: representations of “styles” in the above images are in sterile and generic form to illustrate points more clearly.  We understand this is not necessarily an accurate representation of groups as wholes.  Again, images are for demonstrative purposes only. Thanks.)

Source(s):
Imaginization:  The Art of Creative Management (business models)
Kelly Wearstler article by the NY Post

Harper Bazaar’s How to Dress for Success article

 

 

 

Closet Essentials – what do you wear when you work from home? (images)


I.  BEING PUT-TOGETHER AT HOME


I miss writing about office-wear.  


I miss wearing office-wear.


If this is your first visit to 3P, I’ll prepare you for what some have called my “vain” side.  I’m into wardrobe, shopping and trying to look my best (call me a “girl”).  That said, even when I’m at home, I’m somehow more productive when I’ve taken the time to “put myself together.  Continuing to “dress for the day” helps keep my priorities in a professional context.  Being dressed for business tasks makes sure the television, web, and phone calls don’t distract me from what I need to do that day.


 Since my current priorities mostly involve conversations between recruiters and HR people online and by phone, I have to feel comfortable and at ease, without feeling so relaxed I lose my professional sensibility.  In other words, bunny slippers are not part of my working-from-home wardrobe.  Do you feel like a superstar right when you roll out of bed?


II.  STAYING INDOORS

If truly staying indoors, I love wearing soft cotton shirts and pants with that fit well (not just your ol’ one-size-fits all sweatshirt).  Monrow brand makes fabulous vintage sweatpants and soft cotton tees that are tailored to fit a young woman’s frame properly.  J.Crew is another good place to buy basics (during sales, of course).  Although the silhouettes I describe are loose-fitting or relaxed-fitting, they are lounge-wear and not sleep-wear.  Pajamas all day are not allowed off-campus past sophomore year.

Soft, light cotton henleys, tees, tanks are definite ‘musts’.  The weather in L.A. quickly changes from scorching hot, to rain, to fog in a matter of minutes.  Lighter pieces are ideal here because they can be layered easily without adding bulk to your figure.
Dresses are also great for their ease of wear.  Dresses allow for efficient ‘wardrobe-styling’.  If you have a comfy jersey dress, it cuts your outfit-hunting time in half!
III.  RUNNING ERRANDS
When I have to run errands, I like to dress comfortably but, slightly more dressed up than what I consider lounge-wear.  I prefer the casual version (or “weekend version“) of office-wear (you never know if you’ll run into your future boss).  What I mean is, I wear less tailored versions of button-up dress shirts, or loose-fitting cardigans with denim.  I still wear loafers (mocs) and not flip-flops if I can help it.
What I described is a good balance between being put-together, comfortable, and mature (professional).  If I run into potential employers, former colleagues or anyone in my professional network, I’d feel confident that I have represented myself in good form even outside of a business setting.  At the same time, if I run into my friends, I could join them for lunch without having to change out of the  khaki/polo combo or any other outfits that are not appropriate for my age and personality…
CONCLUSION:  PREPARATION IS KEY!
It’s important to be put-together if you want to be productive.  There’s something about looking mature that makes one behave more responsibly (for most people).  If your goal isn’t to sit around like a vegetable on the couch and if you’d like to prevent yourself from falling into a lazy unproductive lull, mentally prepare yourself by dressing, then behaving like the energetic and responsible go-getter that you are!!!  Even Kobe has to warm up before games…
What do you wear on the weekends?  Do you present yourself as a mature and capable individual?

(the other “closet essentials” post)…

Youth In The Office: Fed-Up! (Forbes article)

Forbes   Called-Out Comment Alert

The article:


“I’m 24. I live in New York City. I hate my job. Of course, I’m not supposed to say that. I’m supposed to feel accomplished to be young and employed and have benefits in this economic environment.


My life is a series of boxes on an assembly line. Today is just another box on my calendar. Every day I shuffle between a city apartment and an office cube, typing into rectangles, sending papers, signing papers, filing papers. What I do is not important. That’s the problem….”



Our response:

 Dear youth in the office: I, too, belong in this group. And, I, too, have felt your frustration. I’ve held various occupations since I was 16, and I’ve pushed paper in Dilbert’s office. I struggle between not feeling on track to achieve my full potential and a reality check. If I may make a suggestion that would provide you with a fresh set of eyes, it would be this: …
Sit in a “real” diner. One that Jonathan Gold would never been interested in visiting. Perhaps one in a struggling small town. Take a seat, look into the kitchen and observe the hourly workers prepare your meal.
Breathing in fumes and lard day after day in hairnets covered in grease…Then observe them when they clean up at the end of the day. Rinsing the kitchen mats, rinsing other people’s food off dishes, mopping the floor (I used to whine about this). Then reflect on your perspective again. Passion about one’s work often comes from being proud of the job you’ve done no matter what type of work you do. Pride in one’s work brings the “joy” you described. Enjoyment in one’s work comes with the sense of ownership you get when you give even the smallest paper-pushing task your absolute best effort while biting your tongue. It comes from feeling like you’ve grown and have crossed a rite of passage. All those people at the top whom I admire and strive to emulate have had to “do the dishes” at some point in their lives. It’s a prerequisite and a rite of passage for anyone on the path to achievement. Best of luck to you. Onward!


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On this post: Youth In The Office: Confessions Of A Fed-Up Employee


Are you settling for ‘good enough’? (links, images, videos)

misery isn’t happiness’s foe; ‘good enough’ is – in your personal and professional life! 

You’ve heard the comparison before:  a job search is like looking for a mate.

If this analogy is anywhere near accurate, then I’m currently reading the job seeker’s version of Neil Strauss’ “Rules of the Game”.
.
His name is Harper.  And according to the story’s main character, he’s “big in the right places and small in the right places”.  The book’s title is “Harper’s Rules”, and the story is an entertaining account of the relationship between a superstar recruit and her superstar recruiter.

I don’t have an opinion on whether or not I see job-seeking as completely akin to mate-seeking, however, I agree there are at least a few similarities.  More importantly for myself, however, are the witty Harper-isms that make me laugh out loud and take notes.

Some examples of what we call “Harper-isms”:

“You’re riding Secretariat, love.  You don’t need to get on the merry-go-round.”
.
“BOTTOM LINE:  If you’re acting like you’re leaving your job, you’re leaving your job.  It’s just a matter of timing and opportunity.  Sometimes we do the right things before we’ve figured out why they’re right.”
.
“Are you staying because they “need you right now” and you “can’t do that to your colleagues?”  Are you disillusioned  but held hostage by guilt?”
.
and my personal favorite…
.
“misery isn’t happiness’s foe; ‘good enough’ is.” !!!



Some of “Harper’s Rules” on finding the best path to your dream job:

  1. Put your personal network on notice.
  2. Use direct, simple language.
  3. Network with two headhunters that specialize in your niche.
  4. Do your homework.
  5. Your resume is a highlight film; it’s SportsCenter, not the unedited game footage.
  6. Your resume is an advertisement; it is not an affidavit.
  7. Don’t accept a counteroffer after terminating your relationship with your employer.
  8. Cultures don’t change.  You assimilate or you leave.
  9. If you’ve stopped laughing, quit immediately.
  10. If none of the original reasons why you took the job are still valid, or you settled for less than what you were meant to do, your dream will haunt you till you leave.

Yup.   He’s a sexy recruiter alright.  And, I like his style (Apologies in advance for the plethora of Harper-isms you’ll be seeing in our tweets as I finish reading the book).

Have a great day!!!

xo,
Meg@myprettypinkponies.com

.

Go, Secretariat!  Go!!!





More on this topic:
blog post by “The Regular Joe” that speaks to the same point.
More on the book, “Harper’s Rules” by Danny Cahill

Ideas to help you plan during challenging times…

Below is an article written by fellow 85Broads member, Christina McEntee.



The post provides a list of the dos and don’ts of Strategic Planning for organizations.  Christina’s suggestions help organizations remain effective during a challenging economy and operating with less resources.


I think these pointers are just as relevant for the individual facing challenges.  Would you apply ‘strategic planning’ to achieve your personal goals?


Strategic Planning In Challenging Times

September 15 2011





STRATEGIC PLANNING: Some Dos and Don’ts to Consider When Charting a Course to a Successful Future
Many organizations today understand that with the challenges faced in today’s economy, it is essential that they take a hard look at who they are, what’s important to them, and how they are going to move forward successfully with smaller staffs, fewer resources. They know they need to make some changes, but the task seems daunting. A well-mapped out Strategic Planning engagement can be enormously productive in helping an organization adapt and move forward.  
Considering a Strategic Planning meeting? The following are some insights into the process, which I hope you will find useful. 

1. DO Engage in Regular Strategic Planning. The world is changing so fast that strategies for success that made sense even a year ago may no longer hold true. Re-visiting and clarifying the organization’s mission, values, goals, and strategies on a regular basis helps to create a strong framework that will allow the organization to be flexible and effective in dealing with change.  (create a plan!)
2. DO Hire Professional Help.  Without an outside coach or facilitator, most groups get sidetracked or bogged down, and waste a lot of time. An outside professional has the ability to stimulate the group to get out of their usual ways of doing things, seeing things, and interacting with each other. And they will push the group to stay focused and complete its agenda. (ask for help or find resources to help you)

3. DON’T Expect To Coast Through It. An effective Strategic Planning meeting takes commitment and hard work. It will likely include pre-work, and often some carefully chosen reading assignments. The meeting itself may span several hours — or days. And once all this is done, the real work begins: holding oneself and others accountable to move forward with the actions committed to.  (be realistic with results and the amount of work…)

4. DO Expect That Sparks Will Fly. Tempers may flair, tears may be shed. Again, a skilled facilitator or coach will help the group navigate through the heated emotions and channel that passion into breakthrough creative thinking and action.   (prepare for heated disagreements and focus on your goals)

5. DON’T Be Surprised When Resistance Appears. As much as people clamor for things to change, most of the time we hope that the results can be different butwithout us having to be different. An important step in the process of redefining strategy and goals may be gaining awareness of our own resistance to changing how we do things.  

6. DO Notice How the Cream Rises to the Top. It becomes clear very quickly that there are those who just like to hear themselves talk — and those who are willing to take action. The structure and clarity of this kind of work empowers individual performers, which benefits the entire organization.  

7. DO Include Everyone. While the leadership of an organization may be most involved in determining the Strategic Plan, for this plan to actually work all levels of the organization must be engaged and included. People support what they help to create. 

8. DON’T Neglect to Celebrate. Planning and execution are hard work — especially if your goal is to take the organization down a new path. Take time out to celebrate your early wins!   (Acknowledge your small accomplishments – they are important)

9. DO create goals that you can measure. How long will it take? What resources are needed? What is the desired outcome?  What gets measured gets done. (Quantify)

10. DON’T Stop Now. Become a Culture of Constant Improvement. Strategic Planning allows us to respond actively to the question: How can we be better at what we do? As innovation is stimulated, the organization becomes more attractive to all its constituents — staff, members, clients, shareholders. (Kaizen)


Thank you, Christina!!!

Christina McEntee has worked with individuals and companies in the U.S., Europe, and the Far East. She has a background in leadership, sales management, and strategic planning, and has held the position of President and CEO, and VP of Sales of a NASDAQ-traded company. Today, Christina advises individual professionals as well as businesses and non-profit organizations on issues of strategy, sales, and individual performance.


Project Management (link)

It’s Fall, and if you’re a student, this week is about meeting recruiters on campus to receive free pens and passively listen to them pitch their company.

 Those of you entering Project Management, below is a link to by Donna Fitzgerald’s recent article with some pointers.

Article:  Advice for women entering project management

Best of luck on your connections and interviews.

3P

Dressing for Fall (When "Fall" is actually still Summer) (images)

In other parts of the country, Autumn is the time
of year when you pull light sweaters out of storage anticipating a drop in
temperature.

It’s already mid-September, and it’s still pretty
warm out in SoCal.
 What does a girl do to prepare for the frigid a/c
indoors while keeping cool and fresh outdoors?
Layer a soft blouse underneath a light sweater.

Keeping a light cardigan at the office at all times
is always a smart move.
 It’s a great “band-aid” for unexpected
cold weather or if you drop lunch on your blouse.
That said, when it’s warm out, a light blouse
that’ll keep your body cool and comfortable works well underneath a light
sweater.
 Below are a couple of good examples of light bouses for your professional wardrobe to take you through the change in temperature without missing a beat.

The burn oranges and warm browns are still light
enough to wear with your warm-weather palettes.
 The cognac, light brown and butterscotch leather will keep you looking polished as you introduce deeper fall colors with your suits.

Need help? Ask your network!

I just listened to a podcast about how to ask for help.  If you’re like me, it sometimes makes me feel weird to ask friends for help.  Especially when I need it.

The podcast below provides the following tips on how to ask your professional network for help when you’re job-hunting.

1.  Email is ok* (*not mass/spam email!) – not ideal, but ‘okay’.
2.  Reconnect first
3.  Give them an idea of what you want.
4.  Follow up!  Follow up!  Follow up!


PODCAST:  How to ask your network for help.
(Michael Auzenne and Mark Horstman)

The Bias against "Creativity" (Forbes)

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry


From: Forbes
Date: Fri, 9 Sep 2011 08:05:36 -0400
To: prettypinkponies
ReplyTo: Forbes
Subject: Your comment was called out

Forbes   Called-Out Comment Alert


Your comment was called out!

On this post: Managing The Psychological Bias Against Creativity

If the major deterrent to accepting “creative thinking” in the workplace is low tolerance for uncertainty, I would surmise that highly-regulated and high-risk industries have don’t evolve as quickly as others due to lack of innovation (“creativity”). Do you have any thoughts about the relationship between  regulation and innovation? Thank you for posting this article. Much appreciated. 3P


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Careerwear: pre-Fall ’11 (slideshow)

If you’ve been following our blog since birth (April), you probably understand that our main audience is the “profession-elle” if you will (read:  girls who work Full-time jobs for a living).  Hence, a lot of the “fashion” on our sight serves the girl in the workforce.

We have nothing against trendy, teenage styles, however, there are too many blogs on the web that cater to the “trendy”.  Classic-styled girls can be “bloggers”, too!

Secondly, the corporate woman might be as stylish as the trend-setting teen, but her style needs to be a bit more restrained and professionally-appropriate.

One way of expressing individuality in a professional environment is with color.  Greys, Navies and Beiges aren’t the only colors welcome in Corporate America.  However, these neutrals are necessary “anchors” for brighter pops of color (which, left on their own would be too loud and distracting).

Corporate-Cathy you are not!  Differentiate yourself.

This fall, we see a lot of color-blocking.  Reds and oranges grounded by black, stone, and gray is a popular palette (below).

Michael Kors

A solid deep fuschia dress (a la Zac Posen) conveys power and femininity in a polished way (below):

Or, what about a bright orange sheath to take you from bright summer months to autumn (below)?

Don’t like sleeveless?  How about a shift dress in pumpkin (below)?

PRE-FALL/TRANSITIONAL PIECES
COLORS: ORANGE, RED
ANCHOR COLORS: STONE, GRAY, BLACK
ESSENCE: AUTHENTIC, SOPHISTICATED, INTELLIGENT, CHARISMATIC, CONFIDENT, CHIC, PROFESSIONAL, SELF-ASSURED, FEMININE, SUCCESSFUL, GO-GETTER, RELEVANT…ETC…



Cliff’s Notes:

Linked In? (podcast)

Are you “linked in” with your professional network?

Listen to this podcast by Mignon Fogarty, Inc.’s “Money Girl” for basic tips on how to best utilize LinkedIn (free) as a professional resource.

Related posts:

“Nice girl = Bad Networker”

Closet Essentials – Part II. Checklist (images)

 Checklist/tools: 
(retail and corporations refer to this as “business casual”) shirt, casual bottoms, flats, bag
“Business Casual”:
What a ‘worker’ wears in an office setting and other professional environments – vs. workers at a construction site – when formality isn’t required etc..
1.  basic white button up + closed toe pumps 2.  the sheath dress 3.  khakis + dark closed-to pumps 4. blouse + pencil skirt 5. separates  6. basic white shirt + solid black A-Line skirt
Your boss might appreciate your new Bottega Veneta bag, however, he/she cares more about how well you do your job and whether or not you can identify and respect office culture.  While some might have the luxury of expressing their unique individuality (including taking their pets to the office) at their workplace, many people start at an entry-level position in a large, secure company for health benefits, a steady stream of income, mobility and other smart reasons.  I can’t speak for all offices around the world, however, there’s a universal guideline to what is considered an “appropriate” and professional wardrobe.  Again, it would be prudent to start with basics and observe your particular company and office culture and deviate from the basics once you’ve learned what is ‘acceptable’ at your particular office.  Once you’ve got the basics down and earned a stripe or two, then perhaps you can add some “flair”.  When you’re at the top, you can wear and make people wear whatever you want.

Here are some common sense considerations that A LOT of professionals are too smart/busy/ lazy to think about:
  • fit, proportion, fabric, color(s)
  • clean?
  • stains?
  • wrinkled?
  • distracting?
  • comfortable?
  • appropriate undergarments?
represent your maturity, respect and professionalism at the office.  dressing like like you know your industry will set the tone for yourself as well as those around you.  carpe diem!
(to be continued…)
“Closet Essentials” Series:  Intro > Part. I checklist > Part II. / checklist > Part III. / checklist

Office Space (images)

What does each space tell you about its inhabitant?

What is your office’s primary function?
Does it reflect your professionalism and the good work you produce?
Does it have an effective organizing system?
Does it provide comfortable seating for guests, clients, prospective clients? 
Does your space inspire creativity, focus, motivation?
Have you eliminated distractions?
Do you and others respect the space as a designated work area?
How does it help you accomplish your goals?
What personal items remind you of your values?
How does it deter “time-wasting” colleagues?
Is there consistency in the message your office conveys?…Or, does it talk too much without getting to the “point”?
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