We’ve all had those days where nothing seems to go right. It’s 2 PM at the office and nowhere near time to go home for the day. You’re slumped over your desk, your to-do list at your internship is growing by the minute, and you just realized you’re late for a meeting.
It can feel like you just need to crawl into bed and start focusing on networking and personal branding again tomorrow. Don’t give up just yet, The Brand Girls has three quick ways you can build mental strength and push through it instead:
PAUSE: Take a second to take a break, close your eyes and allow your mind to be still.
BREATHE: Time Magazine shares the results of a study on breathing patterns, which found that breathing actually has the power to change the mind or state of the mind. Wow! What more of a reason do you need to stop and take a deep breath right now?
REMEMBER PERSPECTIVE IS EVERYTHING: Inc.com lists perspective as one of their 18 Powerful Ways to Build Your Mental Toughness and at The Brand Girls we couldn’t agree more.
It’s easy to get caught up + overwhelmed in the moment, but rest assured that it’s just a moment. Remember that in the grand scheme of things, this one moment probably won’t be make it or break it. Stay focused and conquer the day!
You’re making your way through the first month of the new year with stride when the inevitable happens: you slip up on your professional goals.
It’s easy to freak out about the first mistake you make on your way to a big goal, but don’t worry, The Brand Girls is here with three ways to regroup after a professional setback.
1. Don’t panic.
Whether it was putting in extra hours to land a new client or impressing your boss with a new idea at your first job, no matter what your professional goals were - you can still turn things around.The most important first step is to not panic or overreact.
Remember, it’s called a slip up for a reason. No one is perfect!
2. Adjust your original goals.
Look back at your original goals and try to figure out where things went wrong. It’s okay to change your goals if things aren’t working or they no longer feel realistic! At The Brand Girls, we’re all about progress, not perfection.
3. Get back on track.
Don’t: Spend too much time on what you did wrong. You’ll stress yourself out and want to quit even more.
Do: Take the time to think about what you will do differently to prevent this type of setback in the future + get right back on track. Team BG knows you’ve got this!
With the new year comes resolutions that can be hard to keep. Colleges courses, the search for summer internships, and career building can all can all quickly pile up, getting in the way...of following through on your resolutions. The Brand Girls wants to help you be successful this year! Here are three easy ways to hold yourself accountable for your New Year’s Resolutions.
1. Say it out loud.
Tell a friend or family member about your resolutions. You are much more likely to do what you said because you know someone could will be watching!
2. Write it out
Write your resolutions on a piece of paper and put it in a place you look at everyday such as the bathroom mirror. This will help remind you of the promise you made yourself and will motivate you to follow through. This is one of our favorite ways to motivate ourselves at The Brand Girls!
3. Have an incentive
Let’s be honest, we all like getting rewards. When setting your resolutions, think of something you really want to do/have and make it your incentive. Say to yourself “When I do ____, I will reward myself by ____.” This will not only hold you accountable, but it will keep you excited about your resolutions.
The Brand Girls team loves helping you succeed. We wish you the best of luck in 2018 and hope you will use these tips to hold yourself accountable for your New Year's Resolution!
The holidays are quickly approaching, which can be exciting, but also overwhelming. You may have final exams, endless to-do lists piled up on your desk (and in your purse, and in your car, and on your phone), and year end goals to meet. Help!
It’s hard to believe the new year is almost here, but there’s no need to stress with our three easy tips for kicking off 2018 on a high note.
1. Plan, Plan, Plan
If you don’t already have one, it’s time to buy your 2018 desk calendar, planner, whatever works for you. Go through each month and write down important dates, prior commitments, potential vacations - anything you can already fill in.
Then pick one goal for each month and write. it. down. Bonus points if your goals all tie into your New Year’s Resolution. For example, if your New Year’s Resolution for 2018 is to slow down - maybe your January goal is to read a new book, your February goal is to do one thing for self-care each day, and so on.
Pro tip: Put these dates and goals in your phone too! Set a reminder that you’re halfway to your January goal of reading 2 books a month! It’ll give you a much-needed boost if you’ve gotten off track.
2. Build up your support
According to Harvard Business Review, you can’t achieve your goals without the right support - and we completely agree. If you really want to reach your goals this year, get ready to recruit some help. While they don’t have to achieve the same goals as you - your S.O., family, best friends, coworkers, gym buddies and mentors all play a role in keeping you on track.
On the days when you’re tempted to reach for the TV remote instead of a book, these people are going to help hold you accountable.
Make sure your team of supporters knows exactly what your goals are - and why you want to reach them. This team can play a huge part in your success, so choose your support wisely.
3. Hold yourself accountable
Having others hold you accountable can be really helpful, but don’t forget to hold yourself accountable too! Entrepreneur recommends doing this by tracking your progress - it will help you see how far you’ve come, but also remind you of how far you have to go.
Here’s an easy way to do this: Pick one day a month to “check in.” (The first or last of each month is usually easiest to remember!).
Create a Google Sheet or Google Doc that you go to on your check in days and update the status of each goal. At the end of the year, it’s nice to see how much progress you’ve made in 12 months - and it’s all in one place.
Say it with us “2018 is going to be my year.” Now, go make it happen!
For years business leaders have been preaching ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.’ With the rise of modern technology, it’s possible to connect with just about anyone.
Think about how quickly we see things go viral today, making people instant celebrities sometimes over night. But most people don’t consider this a potential strategy when it comes to business.
While social media is great for selfies and song lyrics, it’s even better for advancing your career.
This doesn’t mean you have to delete all of your old college pictures or high school rants. Instead, just make sure those accounts are private and create a work-only page that’s public. Easy!
We personally love the idea of a work Twitter account. It’s an easy way to make a name for yourself in your industry and start showing off your skills. One of our BGs made one back in October and some of her posts already have 3k+ impressions.
For example - if you’re interested in a career in sports, but have no sports-related work experience yet, creating a work Twitter account may be a good idea for you. Tweeting your thoughts about trades, big games, industry news and your opinion can help separate you from the pack.
Come Recommended shares that using social media is a great way to establish status + authority in your field. Bonus points because it gives you the opportunity to interact directly with your audience.
Whether you’re into sports, fashion, PR or poetry, using social media for business can show that you’re more than just passionate - you’re a thought leader in your industry. It shows employers you’re confident + prepared enough to engage in conversations on the subject.
Go snag a new Twitter or Instagram handle and try it out yourself. Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
At the end of December, people across the world prepare for the year ahead. There’s something about the start of a fresh calendar that motivates people to set new goals for themselves.
You hear things like “new year, new me,” “turning over a new leaf,” and “this is going to be my year.” Setting goals for a new year is so common, in fact, that we even have a name for it: New Year’s resolutions.
Most people set goals that are focused on their health, finances, relationships or careers. But according to Business Insider, 80% of New Year’s resolutions have already been failed by February. 80%!
A lot of New Year’s Resolutions fail because they are complete lifestyle changes. Let’s use health-related goals as an example since that’s a common one for New Year’s resolutions. We often see a lot of people setting goals like “I want to lose __ pounds,” “I’m going to run 3 miles a day,” “I’m not eating out at all anymore.”
Social psychologist Amy Cuddy tells Huffington Post that most of us tend to set resolutions that are unreasonable, and we lose motivation when we don’t see results right away. More effective resolutions are quantifiable and realistic, gradually becoming more challenging over time. This makes us more likely to achieve them and gain momentum that pushes us toward our next goal. “I’m going to start going to the gym 2x a week.” “I’m only going to eat out once a week.” “I’m going to drink 5 glasses of water per day.”
If you’re ready to finally achieve your New Year’s Resolutions this year, we have an easy tip that will instantly make you more successful.
The answer? Write them down and start today. There’s still over a month left until the new year begins, meaning if you start today you’re already closer to achieving your goals when 2018 begins.
Psychology Today argues that it actually takes much longer for the average adult to form a habit than the 21 days we’re often told. A recent study suggests it actually takes closer to 66 days for something to truly become a natural, recurring habit.
If you start today, you’ll be motivated to keep working toward your goal up until the end of 2017, and that motivation will only re-ignite once the new year begins.
Instead of focusing on the new year, focus on finishing out this year strong first- it will only help you continue to pursue those goals in the new year!
We’ve all been stumped by these tricky interview questions, and we want you to learn from our mistakes. Whether you’re asked about your biggest weakness or your leadership style, after reading this article you’ll be prepared no matter what question they throw your way.
Tell me about yourself. You’ve already got an elevator pitch - use it! This is the ideal time to practice your short and sweet summary about your background, strengths and what sets you apart from the rest.
Pro tip: Don’t overthink this one. You know yourself and what you have to offer. Our BGs practice perfecting their elevator pitches as part of our program.
What’s your biggest weakness? This question can feel like it has is no right answer. Why would an employer want to know what you’re not good at?
This is a great time to showcase your self awareness and humility by acknowledging that you’re not perfect at everything. We want you to think of this as a two-part question: addressing your biggest weakness and how you overcome it.
I was asked this in a job interview in June and responded with, “I’m a detail-oriented person and noticed I was having difficulty looking at the big picture. To get ahead of this, I created a list of goals for each of my projects that I put on the wall next to my desk. Whenever I feel like I’m getting stuck in the details, it’s helpful to look up and remind myself what the larger goal is.”
What will you not miss from the job that you’re leaving? Tricky! BG Amanda Nicoletti’s tip is to never speak badly about a former employer, no matter what your reason for leaving is. Think about it from the interviewer’s perspective: If you’re speaking badly about your current employer now, it could be the interviewer’s company that you’re speaking badly about in the future.
This interview is about YOU, so let’s make this question about you, too!
How do you manage your time?
BG Laura Hanus was a very involved student while at Northwestern University. In an interview, she was asked how she juggled all of her extracurricular activities while being a full-time student. Describing your time management skills can be tough! You want to show potential employers that you’re involved in different activities, but not overcommitted.
If you’re someone with a packed resume who is concerned about coming off too busy, be sure to talk about your experience prioritizing tasks. Whether it’s using a notebook, to-do list or blocking off sections of time for specific things - make sure to give an example!
Moving up in the ranks is a big motivator for a lot of employees, especially Millennials. But many struggle with how to be a great leader without coming off too harsh. Female leaders especially are often labeled as ‘bossy’ or ‘aggressive.’
Being a leader can be challenging, but with these 4 easy tips employees will be begging to join your team.
Lead from the heart: This recommendation on leadership for the modern millennial woman comes from Forbes.
Leading your team using open communication, compassion, empathy and poise are great ways to make sure you’re respected and loved as a boss.
DYK: In 2016 there were 11.6 million women-owned businesses? Wowza.
Respect people’s differences: A big part of being a great leader is respecting that everyone is different. We all have different backgrounds, experiences and learning styles; that diversity is part of what makes our world go ‘round.
As a leader, you have to take these differences into consideration and that often means taking a different approach with different people. Jell stresses the importance of being in tune to different employees’ personalities for this exact reason.
“Once upon a time, there was a young engineer. He spent his work hours in an enclosed cubicle at an office where personal computers and scientific calculators were designed. He liked to work alone, preferring solitude over committees and team meetings.
His name was Steve Wozniak. He was an introvert. And he invented the first Apple computer.”
Think from someone else’s perspective: Half of people who quit their jobs cite their boss as one of the main reasons. That’s why Office Vibe says encouraging work-life balance is so important. A simple way to do this is to think about each situation from the employee’s perspective.
For example, your team is on a crucial deadline for your company’s CEO when an employee comes in late. What do you do as their manager?
It’s easy to think of the project for your CEO as the bigger priority, but taking a minute to think about it from your employee’s perspective may change your reaction, making them more responsive to your approach.
Look at the big picture: A significant part of being a leader is looking at the big picture and delegating specific parts of your plan to others on your team.
When your team gets stuck, looking back at the big picture may help you make the right decision. What is your ultimate goal? What is your company’s mission? Does this align with our values?
Our biggest tip? An elementary school throwback:
Treat others the way you want to be treated and you’re already halfway to being a great leader.
For years, everyone has been searching for the ultimate secret to career success.
- Waking up at 4 am?
- Working through your lunch break?
- Prioritizing your to-do list?
While we all know there’s not just one way to get to the top, our favorite secret to success at work is an easy and effective one.
Find a mentor.
We’re not talking about a lunch buddy who you can vent to about your boss, we’re talking about a real mentor.
Think of your mentor as someone you look up to who you know will always steer you in the right direction. The Muse actually recommends having more than one type of mentor.
They recommend connecting with “You in One Year,” a “Five-Year Guide,” and “Your Career Planner” who all help with different aspects of your career readiness.
One reason to connect with a strong mentor is because they can inspire you, and our friends at Forbes agree. Seeing someone who has reached some of your professional or personal goals is a little reminder that they are reachable.
A great mentor can give you the extra boost you need to kick things into high gear at work. They’re often leaders themselves who can connect you to successful people in your field.
Think about it: When you screwed up a major project, who would you call first for advice? If you’re torn on a tough decision, whose feedback do you trust?
Mentors are often a great sounding board for both professional and personal decisions, and they don’t always have to be someone you work with. Many professionals find their best mentors to be former colleagues who know them and their work ethic, but aren’t as closely tied to their career decisions.
Choosing the right mentor can be tough, but there’s nothing wrong with having more than one! We recommend having mentors in a few different areas, so you get diverse opinions and advice.
We’ve all been there. A coworker says “wait, you’re how old?!” in a meeting and then it feels like the only thing someone in the office thinks about when they look at you is... your age.
While there’s nothing wrong with being young and successful, a lot of times your age (and your looks) can determine how you’re seen by others at work more than your work itself.
Let’s have a chat about what I like to call PYGS (Pretty Young Girl Syndrome). It all comes down to yet another age-old stereotype: the pretty, young, ditz.
A lot of people see an attractive young woman and assume, intentionally or unintentionally, that being attractive is her most powerful tool. Little do they know, being attractive and being smart are not mutually exclusive characteristics.
It can be a difficult stereotype for women to overcome. How often does someone jump to the conclusion that a woman has either beauty or brains?
“Because society values women for their appearance, this carries over into the workplace. If we are not used to taking women seriously for their intelligence and hard work in general, then these traits may be overlooked by employers or coworkers,” says Dr. Jennifer Brandt, Director of Women and Gender Studies at High Point University.
“Or, women are prejudged based on stereotypes, and passed over for assignments and promotions because they are not seen as "mature" or "serious" enough for the task.”
It’s an issue that women in business, especially women with higher job titles, seem to face fairly often. Iman Oubou, crowned Miss New York in 2015, shared her take on the subject in an interview with Harper’s Bazaar she titled “I Was Told I Was Too Pretty to be a CEO.”
But, no matter what anyone thinks of you, or the way you look, the only opinion that really matters is what you think about yourself.
Reminder: You are a #girlboss - not because of the shoes you wear or how much makeup you have on, but because of your attitude and work ethic. Never forget it!