6 Back-to-School Habits Successful Women Still Practice

This post originally appeared on TheEveryGirl.com

If you’re like us, you never quite lose the nostalgia for that back to school feeling. A fresh start, crisply sharpened pencils, and the fun of tackling something new still get us excited in the early fall. Even after moving on to that post-student phase of our lives, there are ways we can capitalize on all of those feelings and translate them to best practices in our careers. This is a great time of year to practice these holdover habits from our school days!

1. Expand Your Network

A new school year used to be the perfect opportunity to make friends and grow your inner circle. After we graduate, it can be not only harder to hang on to our school friends, but we can also find it difficult to make new friends outside of that historic context.

Fall is a great time to revisit being diligent and purposeful about expanding your network. Most of your professional contacts are just getting back in the swing of things after Labor Day. It can be great timing to schedule a coffee meeting or lunch and have the baked-in talking points of what everyone did over their summer.

For extra credit, challenge yourself to push beyond the professional context, and think about those few gals in your work circle who you’d like to be better friends with. Sometimes all it takes is suggesting a shared yoga class or jointly attending a networking event to get past that awkward “let’s be friends” phase.


2. Check In on Career Goals

Without set deadlines and semesters to keep us on track, it can be tricky to find other ways to measure our progress on career goals. Again, fall is a great time to take a step back and set some tangible benchmarks on your goals.

What are you looking to achieve in your career before the end of this year? Before next year? Set aside an evening with your personal planner and actually book yourself some goal check-ins. The best goals are “SMART” — specific, measurable, actionable, relevant, and time bound.  Hold yourself accountable by literally booking appointments with yourself over the next few months to check in on whatever next career move you’re working toward!

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How I Became a 37-Year Old Fashion Intern

By Gena Dorris 

Fashion has a notorious reputation for being a nearly impossible industry to penetrate. Even more so if you’re older than twenty-five and don’t have a load of connections in the industry. An unpaid internship in the fashion industry is a rite of passage for young men and women looking to get a foot in the door. The market is extremely competitive and an internship at one of the major fashion brands, magazines or PR companies is worth its weight in gold. Many fashion industry hopefuls often complete several internships before landing their first paid full-time gig.

So what are the odds that a thirty-seven-year-old American coming to London to study would land one of the most coveted internships in the business? Seemingly impossible, but somehow I managed to do it. Ok so first, why would someone at my age come to London to study and pursue an internship? Call it a mini-mid-life crisis if you want, or just a wake-up call that life was passing me by and I wasn’t living up to my full potential. On the outside, I had what most women my age would consider a great life; an adoring husband, a beautiful home, loving family and friends. I had worked in PR previously for an NBA basketball team as well as local charities in my area. Life was good. Except…it really wasn’t. I longed to do something more and I knew that I could. I always felt like my life was much bigger than the small southern city I lived in. I was much more creative than corporate; and although the previous jobs I’d held paid well and positively impacted my community, they weren’t ever really ME.

Fashion had always been a passion of mine. I know thousands of people say that, but there aren’t really other words to describe it. I was the girl friends called for help planning an outfit or to find out the designer of a pair of shoes they saw in a magazine and couldn’t find. I can’t tell you how many hours I wasted at work looking at something fashion-related online. When I turned thirty-five it hit me that I hadn’t really done anything that I’d dreamed of doing. I’d never lived abroad. I’d never had the chance to pursue a career in fashion. I wasn’t utilizing my God given talents. And I wasn’t happy. Was it too late for me? Was this all I would be?

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7 Decluttering Steps To Help You Make Space For Living A Life You Love

This post originally appeared on TheGoodTrade.com.

By Jordan Moullette

Creating Space To Live A Life You’ll Love

We all know that good feeling when taking true action; distraction-less within an effortless rhythm and flow. It’s as if time magically disappears, and there’s nothing else but the moment before us as we follow our heart’s movement. However, many times there are surrounding components, or clutter for lack of a better word, that leave us feeling weighed down, overwhelmed and perhaps frustrated. There’s nothing worse than having those feelings get in the way of doing what we love most.

To allow for more indefinite action on our life’s path, here are 7 steps to clear the excess so we can have more space for our goals, dreams, and special moments in between.

1. Get Clear

Make space for intention. By deeply visualizing our ideal lifestyle, goal or dream we must first question and identify why we want to live the way we do. How does it feel? Look? Smell? How are we interacting with others, staying true to our values, beliefs and the environment?

2. Get Specific

Make space for growth. The more specific and detailed we can be about our intention, the better. This is where we can ask ourselves what it is we can take action on, starting today. One step at a time is all we need to know and that, in and of itself, can bring us closer to the growth we want to ignite.

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Being a PA isn’t just about diary management

This article originally appeared on TheGuardian.com

By Geoff Sims

The days of Mad Men-style secretaries and typing pools are long gone – nowadays PAs make key decisions and manage budgets.

Ask any successful leader how they achieve their goals while battling a diary full of commitments, a deluge of emails and requests for their time, and most will say they couldn’t do it without their personal assistant.

PAs and executive assistants (EAs) are at the heart of organisations, working side-by-side with chief executives and leaders, playing a key role in supporting decisions.

Technology has replaced the typing pool, releasing PAs from routine clerical tasks and creating opportunities to take on new responsibilities. Some of the duties traditionally belonging to middle management have also been taken up by PAs during the recession. So while a PA will still be expected to book meetings and juggle diaries, they might also be running their own team or conducting meetings on their boss’s behalf.

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We Need to Keep Talking About Unpaid Internships

Krista from Team DC penned an op-ed about her thoughts on unpaid internships and why she believes that things need to change. 

I remember learning about internships in high school. During many college campus tours I was constantly touted to about that particular school’s amazing internship program by overeager student tour guides and how 9 out of 10 students completed at least one internship during their time at school. I was always going to do an internship. I knew this. It has long be promoted as the way to try out a career to see if it is the right fit. You could build your resume in short bursts and learn real-world experience while learning in a classroom. However as I began to do research I was shocked to find out how many of them required a full-time commitment yet were unpaid. This struck me as extremely unfair.

Internships themselves, whether they are unpaid or not, are an issue. Today not only are millennials expected to be college-educated, but we now must also have work experience in our chosen fields before even being handed our degrees. Increasingly paying upwards of $60,000 a year (in the U.S.) for your higher education is not enough, you must also now devote your free time to an unpaid internship. And we are also meant to be grateful that a company is willing to let us do work for free. Also let us not forget about the internships that actually require previous experience.    

Our parents did not need to work for free. They were not expected to have professional experience before even being handed a diploma. They graduated from school and entered the workforce with an entry-level (usually full-time) position. They could immediately start paying back loans and saving for the future. Maybe they didn’t even have any loans because any free time outside of school was filled with a part-time job and not an unpaid position. Tuition and student loans are now too high and overwhelming for anyone to be working for free.

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One-on-one Coaching with Donna – Summer Sale

SUMMER SALE – One-on-one coaching offer!

Want to brush up or perhaps re-discover those PA skills? Do you need to feel motivated again? Do you want to work on networking and learn how to build up your contacts?

From now through to the end of August only, you can have 2 hours of one-on-one coaching with Donna for just £99 (usually priced at £150).


Photo Credit: www.davewillis.co.uk

All this and much more whilst working from Donna’s own textbook in a Central London location, book now, dates are limited.

 You can be a PA who kicks A!


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11 Ways to Relax That Aren’t Exercise or Meditation

This article originally appeared on ManRepeller.com

By Haley Nahman

Everyone I know, including myself, is busy and distracted on an infinite loop. It’s a curious conundrum, considering we’re all armed with more than enough information on how to de-stress. But the “surprising benefits” of exercisemeditation and work-life balance, documented ad nauseam, are beginning to feel like drawn-out humblebrags. Sometimes, they just seem insurmountable. And try as we might to convince ourselves that binge-watching TV helps, I don’t know anyone who feels refreshed after two+ episodes.

I wanted a pocketful of ways to take the edge off that don’t feel so intimidating, patronizing or, worse, counterproductive. So I asked the team to tell me how they do it. What little practices do they have in their arsenal to genuinely get off their mental hamster wheels? What actually works?

Read on to see what they told me and then share yours, too.

  1. Rearrange furniture

“I rearrange all of the art and furniture and items in my apartment and usually do some sort of cleaning out of something (books, clothes, kitchen cabinets) in the process. My brain enters this hyper-relaxed state where I’m actively considering space and meaning and emotion but in a non-literal language that makes my mind kind of…hum? Does that make sense? And then I blink and it’s been four hours and I have a few missed calls and emails but I don’t care because I feel wonderful.”

2. Go for an ice cream walk

“What is an ice cream walk? Great question. The process is pretty simple. Step one: exit your abode to go for a walk. Step two: walk toward an ice cream shop — any ice cream shop. Step three: order an ice cream. Step four: eat ice cream. Impromptu walks are one of my favorite ways to clear my head, but adding ice cream into the mix makes it feel like an intentional way of treating myself, literally and figuratively. I recommend Van Leeuwen if you happen to be ice cream-walking in NYC.”

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