7 Job Success Tips for the Millennial Generation

2 Oct

Hello all!  I’ve recently moved to Orange County and so the “urban” became a little more “suburban” hence the stopping of the blog.  I still think it’s worth continuing, though!  A topic at hand I thought I’d discuss is How to be successful at work, especially as a millennial.

There are many studies done on managing the Millennial generation (I would know because our office manager, probably a Boomer, invites me to sit on meetings where they discuss best practices on managing one of “us”!) and it’s safe to say, we are different than older generations, but not in a bad way.  Here’s my frank little list, gathered from my own experiences working in corporate America.  Feel free to sound off in the comments about your own views!

1) Improve your verbal communication skills.  With our head constantly stuck staring at our phones, it is hard sometimes for our generation to pick up the phone or make in-person meetings happen.  This is incredibly valuable for a few reasons.  Verbal communication often allows you to convey tone better than written communication would.  This also works in another way – emails are forever, so if you have some potentially bad news to share, it’s easier to do it in person so an email string isn’t forwarded around.

2) Network. It is so important to grow your personal brand inside your office as much as it is outside your office.  When you are involved in small office-wide things, people get to know who you are, and if they see success with passion projects, they are likely to call upon you to deliver other things for them.  One such example for me is I worked on a Diversity Day event for work, the Managing Partner seemed to like what I did, and then she called upon me to do other work for her that was more related to my job function.  She knew she could count on me because she saw my success in other areas – so important to build that personal brand!

3) Make friends at work, but be careful.  Don’t be that person who is constantly a negative Nancy – no one likes to be around them.  It’s important to find that balance – grow your friends network within the office but make sure you setup some boundaries.  Not everyone needs to know about your raunchy weekend hookups…

4) Take on new opportunities.  This is important.  We get bored easily so we’re always asking for new tasks, and often excelling at them (pat yourself on the back!).  But then again, our generation likes transparency, so if we hear that X person is being paid way more than us for us doing the same job, we are going to get a little upset.  We might kick and scream and whine to our friends and swear off accepting any new responsibilities (err… no comment if this is personal experience!) – but at the end of the day, we are only depriving ourselves of extra learning opportunities.  My Gen X mentor broke this one down for me, and I appreciate her very much for that.  Take a look at the big picture and how accepting new challenges benefits you and your professional growth.

5) Stand up for yourself. Now, I don’t suggest that you sell your soul when you take on new challenges.  If you really are taking on increasing responsibilities, you may deserve a title or salary hike to go with that.  Oftentimes, it is up to you to bring this up.  Start by creating a list of your accomplishments, new processes, succinct reasons why what you did was of value, do your research on websites like Glassdoor.com and Salary.com to gain competitive intelligence on like salaries, and request to schedule some time with your boss.  Go in to this meeting prepared, and just like you’d practice your elevator speech, practice this.  You can list off accomplishments and then make your dollar “demand.”  This is also where your communication skills come in handy – your salary negotiation talk should be had in person or over the phone so your boss hears your firm voice and has an opportunity to respond or talk this out.

6) Know when it’s time to move on.  This is also very important.  As millennials we are high achievers and love getting that gold star for a job well done.  Most of us (especially me!) came into a dismal job market.  I cried almost everyday at my first job out of college because I just didn’t have the mentorship to be successful at it.  This was a turning point – I realized that I just won’t be excellent at everything, and that was ok, and that it is ok to fail.  I left that job, struggled in this job market, and finally am in a place that I’m learning and am happy.  When it’s time for me to move on from here for the next big thing, I’ll know it.

7) Don’t burn your bridges.  Especially if you work for a small industry and want to stay there, don’t do this.  Leave a company graciously, be careful not to badmouth, even if you hated working there because they treated you like shit, there is no need to spread these rumors during your last two weeks there.  Sometimes, it’s just not worth it to assert that you were “right”.  You don’t want this to be the last memory of you to your peers.  Though, I don’t think this should discourage you from answering HR Exit Interview questions honestly, professionally, and thoughtfully.

This was super long, I know, but these are important lessons that I’ve learned in my 10 years working via my incredibly smart and talented Gen X and Millennial mentors.

Do you have any thoughts that you want to share? Any additions?  Feel free to sound off in the comments!

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Zara coming to Downtown LA!!! Figat7th

4 Jun

I am so beyond excited that Zara has announced that it will be opening it’s flagship store in Downtown Los Angeles next spring!  I can just imagine my husband’s excitement at me coming home with bags and bags of new Zara gear every time the store stocks up new stuff.  I’m already at the City Target weekly checking it out – Lord help my bank account once Zara comes to town!!

Proposed location of Zara in DTLA

Proposed location of Zara in DTLA

According to the LA Times, it will be a massive 27,000 square foot space, making it one of the largest in the USA.  Oh it will be heavenly.

Young professionals like me who both live and work in Downtown LA need shopping options.  We literally have no place to buy clothing downtown (and no – I don’t consider the Macy’s a viable option!).  With Urban Outfitters opening in the fall, we’re making some real progress downtown!  I moved here less than a year ago and already the city has expanded immensely!  (City Target, Le Ka, Coco Laurent, Ross all opened up here).

It’s always been my main complaint about living in Downtown LA that there is no place to do shopping nearby – it takes 30 minutes to drive 10 miles to The Grove and then takes another 30 minutes or so to get to The Americana (Glendale), and if I need to go to Sephora and Zara, I need to make 2 separate trips as The Grove and Americana don’t have both.  I know…. #firstworldproblems.  But it’s totally an issue. Since I have the luxury of walking to work, the thought of getting into my car to shop just seems wasteful to me.

I wonder what non-DTLA residents think – would you fashionistas drive to Downtown LA to go shopping at the new Zara?

Paris in April – Packing, Preventing Pickpockets, and Getting Ready

2 Apr
Ready for our trip.  Passports, check, Euros exchanged.

Ready for our trip. Passports, check, Euros exchanged.

The husband and I are prepping for our upcoming Paris Trip this April, and we can’t wait!  In doing all our travel prep, we have heard so much about pickpockets so we  I decided to be more vigilant and order “Neck Wallets” from Amazon.com.   These are meant to hold your valuables and keep them from prying Gypsies!  We probably will store our passports, credit cards and money in these and hide them under our jackets once we land at CDG, and then if I plan to do “a lot” of shopping that requires a VAT Refund, I’ll need to hide my passport in this, too.  Frankly, getting a credit card or cash stolen IS bad, but getting your passport stolen is far, far worst.  Better safe than sorry!

Here are all four that I ordered.  I am only reviewing #1s, #3, and #4 as the Sacks & Such one was really terrible and cheap looking in real life.

Travel Neck Wallets Ordered from Amazon.com

Travel Neck Wallets Ordered from Amazon.com

I ordered two Lewis N. Clark Neck Wallets to do a little comparison, here’s the Deluxe one (#3).  It’s the Lewis N. Clark Deluxe Neck Stash and it sells for about $14 on Amazon.com:  

It seems pretty solid – it has multiple zippers for your items, can hold two passports easily, and seems pretty comfy to wear.  It is not too big.  I really can’t find anything wrong with this item.

Lewis N. Clark Neck Wallet

Lewis N. Clark Neck Wallet

Here’s the second Lewis N. Clark neck wallet we tried out (#4); it has some fancy RFID thing that supposedly protects your identity from being stolen.  So not the reason I ordered it….I just like the extra pockets because it makes organization a bit easier.  This one sells on Amazon.com for about $12.

Lewis N. Clark RFID Neck Wallet

Lewis N. Clark RFID Neck Wallet

We also ordered a Travelon ID holder from Amazon.com.  We really did want to make sure we were getting the right items for our trip.  This one was was a bit smaller because it had a snap closer that folded it in half (you can see it above).  That also made it slightly more bulky when worn.  What I liked about this one most was the hidden zipper in the back to stash your euros.  This wallet sells for just $9.50.

Travelon ID Travel Wallet

Travelon ID Travel Wallet

I think we’ll end up taking one of the Lewis N. Clark ones (the RFID one) and the Travelon ID Wallet.  My husband REALLY liked the Travelon one because it came with a pen. 😉  I guess it can be useful!

Which would you choose?

Sprinkles Cupcakes Opens Downtown!

26 Mar

I think I was more excited that Downtown LA was getting “big” retailers than I was that the new bakery opening was Sprinkles.  Truthfully, I prefer Newport Beach’s Suzy Cakes over Sprinkles, but I wasn’t about to complain.  Downtown LA just got way more hip!

Sprinkles Downtown LA - 7th and Fig

Sprinkles Downtown LA – 7th and Fig Shopping Center

The week of my birthday, Sprinkles Cupcakes opened up their first ever downtown LA bakery in the newly remodeled 7th and Fig shopping center.  I love this shopping center.  It has a great Target, tons of food options, a gym, and is supposedly getting a SEPHORA!  There truly is nothing that would make me happier than a Sephora in Downtown LA.  Ok – maybe a Norstrom in Downtown LA would make me happier.

Sprinkles Cupcakes Downtown LA

Sprinkles Cupcakes Downtown LA

I went on my lunch break to pick up my very own Sprinkles Cupcake.  I was very excited that the line wasn’t insanely long- I was actually in and out within 10 minutes.

Sprinkles Downtown LA

Sprinkles Downtown LA Shop

The only downside to the store is that they have just ONE door – so you enter and exit through the same door. It can be a bit awkward when you’re done paying at the other end of the store and need to squeeze past the person standing in line to leave.

Here are the cupcakes I bought – one for me, one for my husband.  I ordered us both the dark chocolate cupcake, but, I got the one with the sprinkles for myself.  I have to say, for $3.50 each, I expected a bit more.  This was actually my first time buying my own Sprinkles cupcake, and I am not too sure I’d do this frequently (I’d eaten this at weddings or at work events previously).  I don’t think it’s worth the long lines I’ve seen at other locations, but it is very nice they are sprucing up downtown with retailers like this.

Sprinkles Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

Sprinkles Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

If you want to visit this cute new location, here’s the relevant info:

Address:
735 South Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, California 90017 [7th and Figueroa]

Hours:
Monday – Saturday 9 – 9
Sunday 10 – 8

Parking:

There is a parking structure, but I don’t think Sprinkles validates.  You can try to find street parking but that might be hard.  Or do what I did last time we went- shop at the Target in that plaza, get your parking validated, pick up a cupcake and leave. 🙂

Paris Trip Planning – Some outfit Inspiration for Casual Chic Tourist Look

6 Mar

My husband and I are going to Paris for the very first time in just 5 1/2 weeks (ee!) so I’m trying to think of what to pack/buy for my day-to-day wear.  Unfortunately, since weather varies so greatly, I’m a little unsure what to take but here are some ideas of cute ouftits I found on Pinterest for my museum visits and trips around the gorgeous city.  I created a board you can follow here with more inspiration.  I think I might lay out outfits for the trip before I go to plan a bit better:

The above outfit (image via Pinterest) is SO cute.  I love this red coat (and score – I have a red coat) striped top and black pants.  The only thing I don’t have on the above is the leopard flats, but lucky for me, Nordstrom has a pair of super fun leopard toms that seem to be comfy.

Image

The above all black outfit is to die for (minus the heels – I wouldn’t wear those in Paris!).  I like the girl’s use of a necklace for a pop.

I LOVE wedge tennis shoes right now.  I think the two above are wearing the super expensive Isabel Marant ones that I can’t afford…. but I have a pair of Target knock offs.  I’d pair this with jeans and a nice leather jacket.  I don’t own a leather jacket so that might be an expensive item to purchase!  Oh I would love to be miss Kate Moss above!

Image

I also want this above coat that I found on pinterest!! I absolutely love it, would kill to get my hands on it.  I just honestly have too many jackets.

Here’s another outfit that I absolutely LOVE, bc the colors are just on point and she’s layering.  I would have to really search for a sweater in this perfect pink.

and finally, the perfect casual outfit.  Chambray Chic.  I don’t have a chambray top or a scarf that fabulous so I’ll need to get both.  This would be great for the airplane or the first day in the city.

Michelle Obama’s FAB Jason Wu Dress part two

21 Jan

She did it AGAIN!  She pretty much put Jason Wu on the map in 2009 (and in my closet, thanks to the Target colab!) and surprise surprise… Michelle Obama wore a Jason Wu gown to the 2013 Inaugural Ball again this year.  Check out this crimson dress…. do you like?!

First Lady Michelle Obama wears Jason Wu

I LOVE how the Pres. stares lovingly at his wife,,, aww ❤

Her halter dress is freaking adorable, and I love that she cinches her waist to accentuate it. Her arms are KILLER…. you can see them better here:

Image

So apparently, according to this Huffington Post article, 15 designers submitted for this gig.  Pretty crazy.  I love that MOBama chose this dress, she is gorgeous in red.  *swoon*

PS: Michelle Obama apparently DOES pay for her dresses from her OWN money (she used to be an attorney) – just to put people at rest.

In other news…. have you heard about the new Target and Prabal Gurung colab coming up?! 🙂 *excited*

Travel or Designer Duds? What would you choose?

9 Jan

I’ve always told my husband money comes and goes, but you should work to travel and see the world, not spend it on material possessions (even though I won’t deny that I love designer handbags!).  I mean just today on Gilt, I saw a Carolina Herrera dress marked down from $9,999 to $2,499 – huge percent off, but REALLY?  Who has that kind of money to spend on A DRESS?  I told my coworker that I’d much rather spend that money on plane tickets for me and my husband anyday.  One of my facebook friends had taken a photo of an article in a magazine and I thought it was worth sharing, Here you can read it below:

Image

Interesting, right?  I have DEFINITELY felt buyer’s remorse after spending too much money on something, but I didn’t feel any such remorse dropping a whole lot of money recently to purchase tickets to Paris & Brussels for my husband and I.  I know I can look forward to a week and a half with my husband in two lovely European cities; a Louis Vuitton bag just wouldn’t do that for me.

So, as a goal for this year (let’s see how far I can get!) I’m going to indulge less on “impulse” purchases and instead, think things through and wonder if I could get similar items at a lower cost. 

Whose with me?

Target + Neiman Marcus, 70% off?! What was so wrong with the collection

2 Jan

Ok really, the collection is now 70% off?  I couldn’t believe it when they dropped down to 50% last week (but you betcha I was happy to get a refund for the difference on my Tory Burch lunch box and thermos).  I was one of the few that logged in to order items from Target.com the night the collection launched (the Brian Atwood Gloves, Lunch Box, Thermos, and the Prabal Gurung Clutch) but when I went in to check out the items the next day, I was utterly disappointed in the quality.

Disappointed that the Marchesa dress didn’t come in my size and annoyed that the Atwood gloves felt cheap (hello, I’d paid $49.99 for them) and that the clutch looked like something I’d worn when I was 12.  I immediately returned the gloves and the clutch.  The Oscar de la Renta handbag was just embarrassing.  I wonder if the design team felt the same way.  I wouldn’t want my name on that bag.

Although I LOVED the Altuzarra Tray, I could not justify the $80 price tag for it.  It was just too much money to be spent on a tray, and it was seriously huge.  The tray was heavy and seemed to be very sturdy, but there was no room for it in my 1-bedroom apartment.

Altuzarra Tray for Target

Altuzarra Tray for Target

Still, when the collection went on sale for 50% off, I didn’t hesitate to purchase the little Caroline Herrera notepad set to add to the Christmas gift I had gotten for a friend and the DVF Yoga Mat for myself (bc yoga mats do usually cost $25!).  I looked at the adorable little girls dresses, but, because my brother and his wife don’t know the gender of the baby they’re expecting, I decided not to get either.  They were SO CUTE but too big a risk to take when the return by date is Jan 5.

Jason Wu for Target little girls dress

Jason Wu for Target little girls dress

I feel like this Time.com article covers the disastrous launch well.  They hit the nail on the head on the pricing of everything and the utter randomness of the collection.  Like, why the hell did Tory Burch create lunch items when her bags/shoes/clothes are INCREDIBLE?  Why didn’t DVF offer a wrap dress but instead sell a jewelry box and yoga mat?  Why did Marc Jacobs‘ “clutch” look like shit?  Why did Judith Leiber create a $60 compact mirror?  I loved almost every piece of the Jason Wu for the Target line this past spring, and the Missoni line was amazing too.  I just don’t really understand how they tried to sell us a bunch of random shit this winter for sky high prices.

Also, an employee at the LA City Target told me they got the biggest shipment of items in their store of any other Target store.  That may explain why the shelves were fully stocked the afternoon of the launch and still remain stocked.   What did you think of the items in the Neiman Marcus for Target collection?  What were your favorite pieces?

Election Day in DTLA – 2012!

6 Nov

Hello world!  Today is it – so glad it’s finally election day because I’m pretty sick of the debates and the commercials on TV (my husband made me watch the news instead of Dancing with the Stars last night – tear!).  But I’m also terrified of really ridiculous measures getting passed so I decided to exercise my right to vote! 🙂  [like really, County Measure B? SMH]

Vote by Mail Ballot

Vote by Mail

Alrighty, so because I am incredibly impatient, I thought I would request a “Vote By Mail” ballot.  Great idea, right?  No lines, happy me!! woo hoo.  Only problem is, I forgot to mail in my ballot early!  Luckily, the system anticipates idiots people like me so you’re allowed to drop off your ballot at polling locations in your county – sweet!

I looked up my polling location up on Google and found that it was on on Hill & 2nd at some placed called Angeleus Plaza… definitely not a spot I want to walk to or around after dark so I decided to drop my ballot off during my lunch break.  The place was packed with senior citizens – adorbs (they wouldn’t let me take photos).  I was SO excited that it took less than 15 minutes to get in, drop off my ballot, pick up my nifty sticker and get out of that part of town!!  Woot.  Here I am post-voting (it’s almost a crime not to have your “I Voted” sticker in DTLA – proud!):

So if you guys aren’t familiar with downtown LA, Hill street requires you to walk down a steep hill to get to (hence the name!) – which means you must walk up that hill to get back to where you came from (duh).  I wasn’t feelin it today (hello 4 inch heels!) so I decided to be a little adventurous and take the Angel’s Flight Funicular, which is this super short train ride that costs only 50 cents!  Saved me the pain of walking up a hill (and hey, it’s November in LA – which means 80+ degree weather, eek!).

Angel’s Flight Railway – shortest railroad ever!

Hope you guys all voted today, too!!  For fun things to do tonight to celebrate election night, here are some things that are going on!

Park Your Politics: Grand Park’s Election Day Viewing Party at Grand Park, for info go here

Perch’s “Nonpartisan cocktail party” where if you show them your “I voted” sticker, you get one of our delicious signature cocktails on us! Click here to go to their Facebook page to see more.

What are you doing tonight to watch the results?!  Share with me here!

xoxo,
Sidra

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