career

EmotionalIntelligence_Site

Emotional Intelligence vs. Scientific Intelligence

Women, honest question:  How often have you redirected a conversation, held back input, or even refused to participate in discussion when you’ve felt intelligent?  I know I have, on more than one occasion, mostly to gain social acceptance. We “smart women” who enjoy more authentic topics than the latest celebrity gossip and diet fad sometimes have a difficult time deciphering an appropriate social sphere for our contradictions, theses, and observations. 

Reasons why:

1. No One seems to notice. As human beings, eye contact is not only a sign of consciousness but also of rationality. When we make contact, we are connected to a person in a way differing from every other person in the room. We communicate ourselves in thought, speech, and mood. Therefore, when this contact is broken to look at the drama in the corner, the person who just walked in the door, and other distractions, we inevitably hear, “What is happening over there is much more interesting and deserves my attention more than you do, to whom I’m only slightly committed.” Don’t be deterred if this happens to you—you have something worth saying! Command attention and plow ahead. To be sure, we shouldn’t waste time fretting about the unintentional glance, so venture forth cultivating self-control and genuine presence. “Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.”—Desiderata

2. No one seems to understand. In my Myers Briggs personality code I am quoted as having “a unique brand of humor.” The blank stares, quickly faded laughter, and courtesy chuckles would more than suffice for evidence. The connections my brain makes seem foreign and out of place with the typical crowd, and so I turn to listening to the opinions of others. Turns out, upon further inquiry, the quiet crowd so often eliciting my anxiety was more startled by my intelligent chiming or adapting to my new vision provided.

3. No one seems to care. In a world increasingly dominated by raw intelligence (which is primarily focused on speed and ability to learn, understand, and synthesize) those of us proficient in the emotional health of friends and loved ones or new acquaintances often lack a venue to use our valuable skills. The ability to comfort and confide produces an intangible product, one of happiness and peace. This “unsellable” product, unfortunately, is seen as an embarrassing softness to be hid until private. Don’t underestimate the need for emotional intuition and learned intelligence emotions. At the same time, if you have the facts and theories to flaunt, by all means embark into that realm, traditionally dominated by males. “All men lead quiet lives of desperation.” –Thoreau

The solution: invoke your inner Jo March from Luisa May Alcott’s novel, Little Women. Dare to have a voice beyond what is deemed acceptable (and question who the “deemers” are). Embrace you free spirit that is uniquely and irreplaceably your own. Stop being a “nice” people pleaser (Oh boy, am I guilty of this one!!) and start being a Lady who chooses her words wisely and bears them with courage. If others are uncomfortable with the female brain, don’t let them infect you.  The world needs A LOT more intelligence!

GoGetterGirl

Interview with Debra Shigley, author of The Go-Getter Girl’s Guide: 5 Steps to a Recent Grad’s Career Search

Look up go-getter in the dictionary, and you’re sure to find a photograph of Debra Shigley. She encapsulates it all: Harvard-alum, journalist, author of The Go-Getter Girl’s Guide,and now creator of her internet cooking show, Deb’s Kitchen, that features quick and healthy recipes. On top of it all, Shigley is a mom of two! So how does a go-getter girl like her start a fulfilling and satisfying career? Here are five steps to follow straight from Debra Shigley:

  1. Schedule informational interviews instead of just blindly applying for jobs. As you might have guessed, most of the best positions are already filled by the time the post hits the Interwebs or a job listing. As annoying as this may be, you can use this to your advantage by being top of mind to a manager the minute something new opens up. Get on their radar with an informational chat long before formal interviews even begin.

  1. How do you get informational interviews? You have a real, legit interest in working for that company or for that person (maybe you admire their career path), and you send a short email describing your credentials and interest and asking if they have a few minutes for an informational chat or coffee. Another angle: work your alumni connections. Make use of your recent grad database, along with contacts from any clubs you belonged to as an undergrad or your sorority/fraternity. When it’s a few degrees of separation, people are much more likely to respond favorably to your chat request. Also, try not to leave an informational interview empty handed. Before you leave, while it can be tacky to ask outright for a job (but hey, if you’re bold, don’t let me stop you! just go for it!), it’s less off-putting to ask for other “suggestions” of contacts or resources you should be aware of. Maybe they can give you two other names of contacts to help you in your job search.

  1. Apply for post-grad internships or fellowships. There’s a bit of a shift happening in the internship world (thankfully) — more of them are paid these days. Maybe not your ideal starting salary, but an internship is still the best possible foot in the door. It’s like a finite “crucible” period where the employer can see how amazingly talented you really are and what an asset you’d be to the company full-time — not to mention a period for you to test the waters yourself and see if it’s a good fit for you, too.

  1. Utilize “niche” job boards. With all due respect to big job sites like Monster and Careerbuilder, I’m a much bigger fan of smaller, industry specific and school-based job sites. Why? Because you’re likely to face a lot less competition in terms of sheer numbers of applicants/resumes. If you’re searching for jobs online, find the right ones for your industry, and make sure to utilize your career services login for your college.

  1. Proofread everything and lead with your BEST stuff. I recently hired a post-grad intern, and I was AMAZED at the kinds of “application” emails people would send me. Just because it’s email (let’s be real: that’s the preferred way to apply to jobs these days) doesn’t mean you should have typos everywhere, sentence fragments, and grammar issues. No one really reads attached cover letters, either. Put your strongest three credentials/attributes in the body of the email, right at the opening — whether it’s your top college/graduating with honors, your specific experience, the close friend of theirs who referred you, etc. Also, consider jazzing up your subject line. “Great Candidate for the Marketing Assistant?” or something like that might just encourage the person to click the email open.

LessBrokeMoreBougie_Site

5 Quick Tips To Be Less Broke And More Bougie

After living off of boxes of Cup Noodles, PB&J sandwiches, and cheap clothing stores in college, your first real paycheck might seem like a huge chunk of change.

But even though you have a few more dollars in your purse than when you were studying Psychology 101, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be careful with how you spend them. Here are 5 tips to save your money while staying just as sexy.

1. Needs Come First

When you have a steady paycheck it can be tempting to go on a shopping spree or take all of your friends and colleagues out for a couple rounds of drinks…but make sure you have enough money for the essentials first; food, clothing, and shelter. These may all seem like obvious primal needs however they can be forgotten quickly when the green is blurring your vision. How can you do this? Make sure you have money set aside for your rent, utilities, food and any basic clothing you need before dropping it at the bar or Zappos.

2. Pause on Plastic

Credit cards might seem like your best friend, but they can also be your arch-nemesis! Studies show that when using plastic you’re likely to spend more than when paying wish cash. Rewards for high spending don’t make it any easier. Adults between the ages of 18 and 24 who are in debt spend almost 30 cents of every dollar earned in order to repay debts. Don’t be one of them – only use credit cards for big purchases that you know you will be able to pay off. And sometimes that designer bag and pair of shoes can wait until you have enough money saved up to pay in cash!

3. Douse your Debt

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers the average out of college graduate makes around $44,455 annually. However the average college student graduates with about $27,000 in debt. With interest adding rapidly to that debt, it is important to take care of those student loans as quickly as possible. Set aside a certain monthly amount you can live with to pay down your student debt, and have that pulled out automatically from your paycheck so you don’t have to think twice about it.

4. Set Money Aside

If you are planning to make a big purchase then save up! Don’t make impulse buys or decisions – that is a sure fire way to have buyers remorse. If you want to take a trip or buy a nice gift for yourself, open up a separate bank account. Then set aside a designated amount from every paycheck and before you know it you’ll have enough money saved up to pay for it in full, or at least for a hefty down payment. This way you will also give yourself enough time to avoid an impulse buy.

5. Have a Safety Net

Picture this; you’re driving down the side of the road and some jerk sideswipes your car, your back tire blows out and you skid to a stop on the side of the road. Right at that moment you look up and watch the car that hit you speeding away from the scene of the crime, and nobody had enough time to catch the license plate number. Life happens, and sometimes it’s not fair. You can help lessen this pain by being prepared. The Average American spends about $2000 dollars per year on unexpected expenditures. It is important to have a cushion for when life starts chucking lemons your way. If you are an employee with a regular income you should have about 10% of your income in a high interest savings account. Try not to touch this money unless you absolutely have to.

The Takeaway

It’s exciting to have some money in the bank and be able to go shopping or splurge for a night out every now and again. Just make sure you set money aside for the basics, pay off your debt, and are smart with your spending so you aren’t forced back to the Easy Mac.

DinnerGuest_1

How To Be The Perfect Dinner Guest

You were just invited to your bosses’ McMansion for a dinner party. OR you’re meeting his parents for the first time. They are both lawyers. In The Hamptons. Don’t. Panic. There are ways to avoid screwing this up.

These events can be hella awkward if you’re not prepared. Here are a few ways to keep things from turning into one gigantic pregnant pause of awkward embarrassment:

1. Be Prepared To Talk. Intelligently. – The easiest way to make sure that dinner doesn’t turn into a series of awkward pauses is to go prepared knowing something about the host and/or hostess and other guests. Be a good listener. You’ll be able to ask intelligent questions about them or their life if you are familiar with what they do.

2. Read the news before you go. Being able to jump in and discuss controversial issues and current affairs never hurt anyone.

3. “Never go to a party empty handed” – My Mom has been telling me this one since a very young age. Always bring something. Whether it’s a beverage to share with everyone, a flower for the hostess or a rare bottle of olive oil, it doesn’t really matter what it is. They will see that you took the time and care to think ahead.

TJHaul_BCam_MVI_0922.MOV.Still001

4. Use the tchotchkes – If you really don’t know the person, look for ways to connect using what’s around you. Ask them about things they have in their home, photos of their kids or pets, random caribbean cruise memorabilia, you get it. Doesn’t have to be anything crazy. Reaching out is better than awkwardly standing there waiting for someone else to start a conversation.

5. Offer To Help – You should always – sincerely – offer to help the host wherever is needed, whether it’s chopping veggies, serving other guests, clearing the table or doing dishes. *QUICK TANGENT* Personally I love when a man doesn’t offer to help, he just does. Without asking, he gets up and scrubs that nasty pot or he takes the garbage out before anyone even knows its full. There are few things sexier than a man doing things for others without being asked.

6. Leave five minutes before you think you should – Don’t wear out your welcome. Your hosts were kind enough to invite you into their home, now they probably want to go to bed.

7. Write a thank you note – It might seem like this is separate from the events of the dinner party but try thinking of it as your final act as party guest. Do your best to send it in the following day or two. Sending a note that talks about what a great time you had at their party a week or two after the fact doesn’t have nearly the same effect.

Did I forget something? Have any embarrassing stories of a dinner party gone bad? Let’s hear it!