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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?

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?

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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