Do you make a great first impression?


(Note:  If you are not interested in being likeable, please stop reading)

Forget about eye-contact and firm handshakes, here are three ways to make a lasting impression…

related articles:
10 ways to make more time for yourself” by chronicbabe.com
“Nice girl = Bad Networker” (Thanks to Connected Life)

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


Article: Young and Underemployed (Forbes.com)

Forbes   Called-Out Comment Alert


Your comment was called out!

On this post: Young And Underemployed: The Lasting Effects Of The Lost Generation

 Undergraduate education is not technical school. Some of us attend school because we value a well-rounded education, not to secure employment after graduation. Educational background (undergraduate) are less relevant than internships, volunteer experience and on-campus activities. There’s a distinction between going to a trade school and attending a university.

Link to article 

Top 5 Reasons Unemployment Stinks…(img)

If you’re anything like my beautiful and amazingly brilliant friends, you, too, might suspect I’m having a great time not having to go to work everyday.  But, alas, life is not all champagne, caviar and sleeping in for the unemployed.


Here are my top 5 gripes about being unemployed:



5.  I have no excuse not to return my friends’ phone calls (my “brilliant and beautiful” friends)

Isn’t “work” always such a convenient excuse to avoid life outside of work?  Let’s be honest.


4.  I simply have a tougher time staying slim when I’m not stressed out everyday losing sleep and forgetting to eat.

Being online all day submitting resumes and conducting interviews via Skype is bad for my behind.  Staying indoors is bad for my behind.  Can’t skype while on the treadmill, unfortunately.  And, when one’s in her PJs all day, there isn’t much motivation to go outside, drive through all that L.A. traffic just to use the treadmill for 30 measly minutes.


3.  Speaking of which, I have waaay toooo many suits and not enough pajamas!  I only have about three lounging “outfits” to wear!


2.  When something goes awry, I can’t call and yell at the I.T. guy!  I have to try and fix the computer myself!!!

…and last, but certainly not least….

#1.  It’s hot in L.A. and the air-conditioning in my apartment (if I can call it that) is about as effective as summoning Batman using a candle and shadow hand-puppets instead of a Kleig light!

You never know how important a cool office is until it’s gone.  So stop complaining that you have to go to work!

(#6 was…the absence of free pizza and cookies the office serves during staff meetings.  Almost made the cut.)

; P

3P

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.


Food for thought…

…in other words, “have some perspective!”.  There are much more important things in life than your job.  Take care of those priorities, too.

Antique buttons…(images)

                                                     
Add character to your suits by adding antique buttons…


…search for buttons on etsy.com or ebay to find good deals…

Wishing for a new suit, but too smart to spend hundreds of dollars?  Ideas:

1.  add beautiful one-of-a-kind buttons to your existing suits.  (i.e. these antique brass buttons are beautiful agains a simple navy jacket)
2.  No time to hunt for vintage buttons?  Got bad taste?  We can help…info@myprettypinkponies.com

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

Maxim for Mavericks

The Maverick – A poem by Kent Healy

Beyond the constraints of a monotonous environment
Emerges a free mind choosing empowerment
Remaining free in spirit and in mind
The Maverick breaks through the tiresome conventional bind
Without regard to the status quo
There is much more out there, that they know
Always searching and thinking too
Never taking “no” for an answer, only “yes” will do
They inspire, create, invent, and explore
Allowing those around them to grow, know, and experience more
Their insatiable curiosity and compassion for life
Drives them to seek ways to eradicate strife
With a passion to serve
They help others create the life they deserve
And although nothing is certain, they will take a chance
The Maverick never ceases to ask the hand of opportunity for a dance
They blaze their own path pushing aside the imitations
Helping themselves and others exceed their own expectations
“You can’t do that,” they are told
But they always step forward, acting bold
They break the conformist mold and risk looking like a fool
But in the process they become the exception to the rule
The Maverick will not stop
Refusing to give up until they’re at the top
They define success and what it means to live
By accepting nothing less than the best they can give
They step up to the challenge and never abandon the cause
Helping humanity advance past its flaws
Because they think they can, the Maverick always will
They understand and use the power of free will

By Kent Healy

© Copyright 2011

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.

Employees Can’t Be Fired for Facebook Complaints, Judge Says – Forbes

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”

hairstyle GUIdelines (images + interview)



Gui: Make yourself comfortable. I’m just gonna call my sister back .


Would you like some champagne or white wine?


PPP: No thanks, honey. So, you’ve been busy styling Harris Pilton. Anything interesting you’d like to talk about?


G: I love Harris Pilton. She’s a sweetheart and very private. I’m not at liberty to divulge much else.


3P: Fair enough. What we really want to know are some tips to looking fabulous. You’ve done hair for celebrities, TV show projects, music videos and as well as being the primary personal hair stylist for musicians on tour…For the everyday corporate rockstar who can’t wear a fabulous pink Afro-puff to the office, what are some tips to always looking chic without looking out of place?



GUI SAYS:
1. Get haircuts regularly – Fresh haircuts and color make as big of an impact as a facelift. Think about it. Your hair frames your face. When dark conservative suits create uniformity in the workplace, one’s haircut can subtly convey your own professional brand and individuality.


2. Communicate clearly with your stylist – bring magazine clippings with images of women whose hairstyles you like…it’s important that the model’s face shape, skin tone and hair texture are similar to yours. Don’t expect a stylist to turn your mullet into Slash’s Rockin’ ‘do.


3. Consider your lifestyle when choosing a style – If your daily life involves wearing a construction hat, it’s not practical to ask for a bleached and overly-coiffed ‘do (a la Gwen Stefani) especially if you can’t maintain weekly root touch ups.


3P: Great tips, Gui. Thank you for your expert advice. Xoxoxoxo.


**note: Gui’s statements were communicated with a sexy Brazilian accent. Can’t forget that**

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry



related articles:
10 ways to make more time for yourself” by chronicbabe.com
“Nice girl = Bad Networker” (Thanks to Connected Life)


princess diary: blogging & whining (images)

Finding and expressing one’s “voice” succintly is tough enough.  It becomes even more difficult when expressing your voice on a new medium… while learning how to communicate using said medium.

” waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!!!!! ”

(this rant continues…)
I’m not just sharpening my pencil and erasing words…I’ve personally spent day and night researching other sites, reading pounds and pounds of books about HTML, CSS, blogging, design, art, etc…, interviewing programmers and bloggers, and updating pre-formatted templates by learning how to read CSS and HTML codes (not my native language).

Before this project, I had no idea what “user experience” technically meant.  Let’s just say I have much more respect for programmers and what they do to make sites “legible” and “pretty” to a wide range of people.

With all that whining (and hard work), I now consider myself ‘princess of blogging’, and her majesty needs new outfits for her new role.

option 1 (fantasy):  royal blue long gown

actual princess
option 1 (real-life):  royal blue sheath dress

 

Office-appropriate version (Reiss)


The royal blue sheath dress above is a beautiful option for running
around town during the workday.  We recently discovered the line “Reiss”, an actual favorite of Princess Kate Middleton’s.  The tailored cut makes this dress flattering and feminine preventing that I’m-desperately-trying-to-look-older-and-more-professional “look” that I used to rock ten years ago (good bye, ugly suits!).

This dress works [pun unintended] at the office (+ blazer), after work get-togethers, or (if he’s lucky) during your date this weekend (- pumps; + strappy sandals).

option 2 (wishful-thinking):  black formal gown
Princess Letzia of Spain & Co.

option 2 (real-life):  all-purpose black dress

 
image:  Reiss

The
cliched “Little Black Dress” is a cliche because it is undeniably a “must-have”  piece that belongs in every woman’s closet.  A flattering black dress,
or as pop-cultural fashion-themed shows call it, “the LBD” [enter Heidi
Klum], is the Swiss-army knife of your dress repertoire.  Its “look” can
vary greatly just by updating the key accessories one wears with it: 
shoes, handbag, jewelry, date, etc…If dresses are the solution to rushing out of the house with no time to pair separates, the  “LBD” is the optimal solution for busy go-getters.  Why do you think busy New Yorkers like to wear black?  Efficiency.


What
jet-setting princess wouldn’t want to add an element of efficiency to
her dressing ritual for the [unlikely] days she’s running [a tad bit] late?

option 3 (fantasy):  date with a prince
option 3 (real-life):  dinner date
 
Another
essential item for socializing princesses (whether imaginary or
legendary) is a classic cocktail dress.  The dress above is another design by Reiss
which can be worn to a dinner date or dinner-party.  The classic A-line
is a feminine and traditional choice creating a ladylike image (a la
our favorite Spanish princess).  It’s feminine, elegant, flattering and efficient
(see “option 2” above).

In conclusion, during those moments when you want to reflect regal elegance, stay towards the less ostentatious side of the frilly / not-frilly continuum.

Fallen Princesses Exhibition

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”?

Wednesday – Grace Kelly (img)

What she wore on Wednesday…

wednesday

wednesday by prettypinkponies featuring clutch handbags

Tuesday Outfit (img)

Perfect suit separates to wear late summer/early fall

Tuesday

Tuesday by prettypinkponies featuring suede heels

thanks

This post is to thank everyone who has supported, visited, advised, encouraged and provided their time to visit the prettypinkponies blog and site.  You are wonderful!!!

As of today (the blog’s one month anniversary), blog traffic reached its 2,099th mark; 1,000 of which was from this past week.  The rate at which traffic flows to our blog is exponentially increasing, so thanks especially to those who mentioned the blog to their friends.  Visits came from all over the world: Germany, France, United Kingdom, Luxemberg, Italy, Indonesia, Pakistan, Malaysia, Philippines, Hong Kong, Austria…  The stats indicate that ‘office furnishings’, ‘closet checklist’, and ‘adding to basics’ were the more popular posts.  Eventually, we hope to get an understanding of what content visitors find most useful, entertaining, worthwhile, etc…and focus on connecting and gathering the information from our trusted friends and advisors to provide our readers with valid information they will find useful in their everyday lives.

Needless to say, this is a learning experience for all involved and it’s pretty interesting to experience the blogging ‘world’ and the capacity to connect with people everywhere.  The web is such an amazingly dynamic tool, yet its potential and value intangible; it can hardly be defined, it is constantly evolving, and its qualities and influence are shaped by us all.  We look forward to growing with all of you…perhaps, eventually, we will all help one another reach the point Maslow refers to as “Self-actualization”.  At that point, it will no longer matter what anyone wears.  Till then, we ask that you continue to visit, comment and share.  prettyplease.

Thanks, again, everyone.  Rock on.

xoxoxoxoxo,

3P

Wait!!! Read this before splurging on that designer dress… (images)

Is that new dress worth the splurge?  Let’s see how much cheaper it would cost to try and re-create the same designer look:



While we can appreciate the craftsmanship of a designer dress, sometimes, it truly makes very little difference in presentation whether or not what you’re wearing costs over 3x as much as a much similar ensemble.
The few times high-cost in designer clothing can be worth the price you’re paying:
1)  The quality of fabric – cashmere, silk, leather, etc…
2)  Service – does the store offer great service (alterations?  selection?  appointment with qualified and informed stylists?  extensive knowledge on what makes the product unique?  etc…)?
3)  Shoes – Poorly made shoes are just plain bad for you.  They’re uncomfortable, they need to be replaced more often than well-made shoes, and they affect the “spring in your step”.
The key thing to remember is that THE WOMAN MAKES THE CLOTHES.  In the end, it’s YOU who dictates your presentation, not the cost of the garment.
Cheers!
3P
(Sources:  experience shopping and buying too many clothes, experience working in clothing stores, pageant-training, conversations with salespeople, etc…)
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