Career

A CAREER UPDATE + MY GOALS FOR THE REST OF 2020

Here I am – in the entryway of a new path so to speak. My last day at my full time job is in a month. The brand is restructuring for the future and while, after 6 and a half years, it’s certainly bittersweet – I’m so thankful for the growth and opportunities that I was given while there and for the fact that I had some time to prepare for this.

If you know me personally – you know that my career has always been extremely important to me. I dreamed of a job in the New York fashion world in the same way that I suspect some women dream of children. I plotted and planned and for the past 12 years – I’ve done it. And yet now, on the precipice of such a big change, I have no idea what I’ll do next.

Which is, frankly, scary. But at the same time – a little bit freeing. Maybe I’ll finally take the plunge and do freelance work full time, taking on a range of clients that excite and inspire me. Maybe I’ll find an incredible job in an industry outside of fashion. Who knows? Although if you have leads send them my way 😉

While I can’t control everything about the next few months – I wanted to put together a list of goals for myself outside of work to keep me feeling happy and motivated in the midst of this big change.

  • Keep practicing the piano and ukulele. I’ve been half heartedly tinkering away on both over the past 6 months but want to get on a better, more consistent practice schedule.
  • Continue working on my novel. One of my big pipe dreams is to write a book (or who knows – a few!) and I have a pretty fleshed out concept that I’d like to dedicate more time to working on. In November I’m going to participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) – a program that helps you track your progress and set milestones so that ideally you’ve written an entire novel structure in a month!
  • Walk more of New York. If I’m going to have a little bit of extra free time on my hands – and before the weather gets too cold – I want to walk and explore even more of the city. My morning walks that I started at the beginning of the summer continue to be a true bright spot and contributor to my good mental health.
  • Catch up on my “to be read” book stack! I’ve already read quite a bit more this year than I have in recent years past – but I’ve got a big stack that I’d love to get through if I have extra time.
  • Dream big for the future. The road ahead feels wide open so I want to do my best to push through the fear of uncertainty and really think of what the next 12 years of my career could look like. The sky is the limit, right?

If you’re in the same boat, you’re not alone. This year has left so many of us grappling with seismic life changes. But I’m choosing to look at this through a lens of positivity and with an open mind. Onward & upward!

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ON CAREER: DRESSING THE PART

Earlier this year I moved in to a management role at my company. And while we have a super flexible “creative casual” type dress code, suddenly I found myself looking down at my beat up converse sneakers and thinking that I didn’t look like I passed for anyone’s “boss”.

Part of me still feels like a girl who should be running around the city in mini skirts. Part of me doesn’t feel qualified to be the boss. But the reality is that I’m a 32 year old woman who has 5 people that report to her. And while I don’t think anyone in the office probably gave it a second thought, my split ends and old sneakers weren’t exactly helping me build confidence in my new role.

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So last week I made a conscious shift. I chopped off the ends of my hair and dug through my closet for all of the nice clothes I actually own. I started planning my outfits the night before so in the morning’s I don’t fall back on grabbing a pair of jeans and running for the door. And I feel so much better already. Instead of feeling like I was giving up the old me… I feel like a slightly new and improved version of myself. Still feminine and a little bit playful but sleeker, more “grown-up”.

Dress for the job you want right? Or at the very least, for the one you have. And don’t worry, I’ll still be running around the city in miniskirts and converse… I’ll just save it for the weekends now.

Anthropologie Sweater via Nuuly Subscription | Franco Sarto Loafers | French Connection Slip Skirt c/o | Dagne Dover Bag c/o – similar here

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ON CAREER: WHAT KEEPS YOU UP AT NIGHT

I think its safe to say that work keeps a lot of us up at night. Stress over your next career move, worry about a big project deadline.. as an adult these are the things that go bump in the night.

I’m a notoriously good sleeper. I’m asleep before Adam’s head has hit the pillow after kissing me goodnight. Give me an 8 hour flight and I’ll be asleep before we’re off the tarmac.. the stewardess gently nudging me at landing. But lately, I’ve been waking up in the middle of the night consumed with thoughts of work.

I moved into a new role at the beginning of the summer and its been stressful as I transitioned into a more managerial position. Each week, without fail, come Wednesday or so and I’d start to get restless in the night. The sounds of sirens out my window not enough to drown out the noise inside my own head. Little things that I needed to add to my to-do list or bigger picture things like budget planning for 2020. And what’s worse is that first my brain would think of work and then it would veer into new (old) territory – that time I said the wrong thing to that person 7 years ago. The perfect comeback line I should have used on that ex-boyfriend. How it would have been best to stop at three tequila shots that time at that bar. You get the idea. It seems my transition at work was strangely digging up my entire past.

Joan Didion once said “I think we are well advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not. Otherwise they turn up unannounced and surprise us, come hammering on the mind’s door at 4AM of a bad night and demand to know who deserted them, who betrayed them, who is going to make amends.” This summer has been the first time I truly understood her.

But then last week – something changed. I launched a project at work and was really happy with the results, then came home and had spent the evening feeling very excited about a side project I’ve been working on, thinking about how it perfectly combines some of my passions and will be a great creative outlet besides my full time career. That night I predictably woke in the dark, but this time – my mind was bright with ideas. I was back asleep before I knew it. I’ve been sleeping soundly ever since.

It turns out – you may need to shake your mind awake so that you can sleep. There’s always going to be things to be stressed about (career-wise or life-wise), but for me at least – once I managed to flip the script and think of all the possibilities of the future, the missteps of the past started to quiet down in my head. Here’s to a solid eight hours.

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CASUAL FRIDAY + BEST BLAZERS FOR FALL

The Steele Maiden: Blazers and Denim - Casual Friday Outfit

Ahhh.. hello Casual Friday! We’ve made it to the end of my “Work” themed week (see the post here that mentions each week’s theme for the month of September) and so a focus on everyone’s favorite day of the work week seemed to be fitting. I’m lucky in that my office has a ‘creative casual’ dress code so my everyday outfits might be considered ‘Casual Friday’ by other people’s standards. That being said, if I’m wearing jeans to work I do try to dress them up a bit so it doesn’t veer too far into the weekend territory. Basically: casual… but make it fashion.

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FALL OFFICE OUTFIT INSPIRATION WITH LONDON TIMES

The Steele Maiden: Fall Office Outfit Inspiration with London Times

I always call this time of year ‘Back to Work’, like the grown-up version of ‘Back to School’. After the Summer it feels like the perfect time to brush up your workwear game before heading into Fall. So I teamed up with London Times (the sister brand of Maggy London – both of which are 2 of my favorite brands to wear to work) to serve up a bit of office outfit inspiration for the season ahead.

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The Steele Maiden © 2012

Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle. Based in NYC.