Our favorite turkey holiday is coming up at the end of November, which is why now is the perfect time to start giving thanks. Since most of us spend a lot at the office, it’s a good place to start doing activities that add value to society. Not only will you be helping out those in need, you’ll also be beefing up your résumé and developing yourself professionally. In addition, it’ll really showcase your leadership abilities to your boss and colleagues. Your superiors will appreciate these nonprofit ventures because they help build up office culture and strengthen bonds among your team. Read on for steps to starting your own “thanks giving” initiative at the office.
Not all workplaces are OK with employees sporting elaborate Halloween costumes on Oct. 31. But before you throw in the Frankenstein-printed towel on having a hauntingly fun Halloween at work, we've found a few ideas that conjure up the holiday's spirit and may not be too spooky to a conservative office. Run your ideas by your manager and HR before you organize any Halloween activities to make sure that they approve of your plans, and check out these five frighteningly fun ideas!
- Always aim for a polished, professional look. Regardless of your position or industry, keep things neat, clean, and work-appropriate. Whether you're the intern or the CEO, it's important to present yourself in a sophisticated way. Translation: don't let your bra straps show, keep clothes wrinkle-free, and steer clear of any footwear that's too casual.
- Invest in a tailor. Wearing clothes that fit makes a huge difference not only in how you feel about yourself, but also in how you're perceived. A perfectly tailored skirt or blazer makes you look sharp and put together, while an ill-fitting blouse or unhemmed pants can come across as apathetic. Show that you care about yourself and your job by getting your go-to items tailored.
- Narrow down the dress code rules. The definition of "casual" or "business casual" can vary from office to office, so before you show up in your Sunday sweats, ask around to find out what people usually wear. If you find that you're veering toward too-casual territory, remember that a structured jacket, jewelry, and nice shoes can help you dress up an otherwise relaxed outfit.
- Feel comfortable with casual Fridays. A casual end-of-the-week dress code is fairly standard, so don't hesitate to take advantage of the easygoing policy. Not sure how you feel about it? See what your manager wears on Fridays and use her outfits as a guideline.
- Be prepared for a variety of situations. You never know when an emergency event or an unplanned meeting might pop up, so keep a few items at the office to help your clothes shift from simple to sharp. Leave an eye-catching necklace, a pair of heels, and a classy bag in your desk just in case.
- Look for inspiration on the street. As you walk to work or grab your morning coffee, take note of what other professional women are wearing. Look around while you're on the bus, riding the elevator, or at lunch to see what works and what doesn't.
Do you have any work-wear guidelines? Share them in the comments below!
Every office has its dress code — official or implied — and some are stricter than others. And Summer is the season when the line must be toed most carefully. Think you have to ditch floral pants and bright heels in the name of office culture? Think again, friends. There are several ways to bring Summer's hottest trends to the office, and a handful of our favorite celebs have proven how. Click on to see how to be both work- and happy-hour-ready in no time.
If you're a busy gal who finds yourself heading to happy hours and other events straight after work, then you might know a thing or two about how challenging it can be to dress for both. That's why we looked to some of our favorite celebrities to get inspiration for day-to-night looks that stand alone. Have a look, and let us know if you have any tips of your own!
- Assess the damage. Take the time to step back and recognize where you may have miscalculated. Target the specific issue, identify who was affected, and find out if your blunder impacted any future projects.
- Communicate the problem. Be honest with yourself, your collaborators, and your boss. It's better that your manager hears about the mistake from you rather than someone else, so speak up and take responsibility for your actions.
- Ask for help. Once your misstep is out in the open, ask your manager for any suggestions. How might you have avoided the problem? Do they have any advice for tackling the issue? Your manager will appreciate the constructive dialogue and the fact that you value their opinion.
- Take precautions for next time. After the issue has been settled, pinpoint different techniques to avoid repeating your mistake. Did you miscalculate a key transaction? Vow to slow down and be more thorough. Forget to check in with a major client? Establish a calendar system that reminds you of important follow-ups.
Bottom line: everyone makes mistakes, so let go of the guilt and resolve to move forward. Consider the lesson learned from each misstep and see it as a chance to improve your working style and boost your professional development.
- Arrive late, coffee in hand. If you waltz into the office 20 minutes late, clutching a Starbucks cup, chances are it's not going to be well-received. If you're running short on time, skip the coffee shop and head to the office coffeemaker instead.
- Dress inappropriately. Your boss doesn't want to feel like your parent, so she won't be thrilled if she has to regularly address your workwear. Keep things professional and remember to err on the conservative side.
- Regularly bring up your accomplishments. Patting your own back is fine every once in a while, but high-fiving yourself for every little victory is sure to frustrate both your co-workers and your boss. Save the boasting for your year-end review and always note your successes with a purpose — as in, say, while negotiating salary.
- Say you'll "try" instead of you "will." When you're asked to finish something, that means you're expected to finish it. Form your responses carefully, as even small tweaks can have a huge effect. Instead of saying, "I'll try to get to that," nod and assure your boss by saying, "No problem, I will get to that as soon as I've finished this."
- Ask personal questions. Your boss will offer personal information as she sees fit, so refrain from asking anything too intimate. Small talk is fine, of course, but remember to maintain professional boundaries during conversation.
- Tattle on other employees. Most information finds its way through the grapevine, so chances are your boss will find out about any significant scandals from someone else. Nobody likes the office tattler — and telling your boss someone else's secrets would say more about your character than theirs, anyway.
- Reply to all her tweets. You may be Facebook friends, but that doesn't mean you need to "like" every status or comment on every one of her pictures. Keep the interactions minimal so that you don't aggravate her with hourly notifications that say you've commented on five more of her Instagram photos.
- Keep your energy up: You can't muster enthusiasm if you aren't feeling well, so it's important to stay healthy and take care of yourself physically. Eat well, get plenty of sleep, and stay hydrated to make sure you're bringing your best self to the office each day.
- Practice positivity, no matter your mood: Even if you've missed the bus, forgotten your lunch, or spilled your coffee, don't let your frustration show. An optimistic outlook can be contagious, so steer clear of complaints and maintain a sunny, cheerful attitude — you can always vent to your pals once 9-to-5 has passed.
- Give credit where it's due: Everyone appreciates a little pat on the back, so make a point to recognize your co-workers and even your managers when they offer help or come up with an amazing idea. Did your boss give you especially clear, constructive feedback? Say so! Calling attention to others will show that you don't need to hog the spotlight.
- Point out the littlest victories: Achievements keep people's moods afloat, and daily high fives — both literal and figurative — can encourage your co-workers to move forward. Be genuine about it, though; there's no need to give out gold stars for each and every project, and if you do so too often, it won't seem sincere.
- Don't forget to say thanks: Gratitude can go a long way, so be sure to speak up and show your appreciation when co-workers are there for you. Whether it's for tidying up the kitchen or helping you fix your laptop, a simple thanks will promote a more positive, productive environment.
- Don't draw any extra attention to the situation. If people aren't talking about it, don't bring it up. There's no reason to dish on last night's shenanigans with all your co-workers, so skip the "What was I thinking?" small talk and bring up job-related topics instead.
- Apologize and accept responsibility. Accidentally offend someone with your behavior? Own up to your actions and say you're sorry. It's better to step up and deal with it than to push it aside, because ignoring the problem may build unnecessary resentment.
- Redeem yourself. Should any issues arise, address them with honesty and humility. What you said or did under the influence may have reflected poorly on your character, so this is your chance to demonstrate a bit of integrity.
- Steer conversations elsewhere. If the incident continues to come up, do what you can to redirect the dialogue. Laugh off any light jabs, then let it go. The only way other people will move on is if you do, too.
- Try to learn from your mistake. Actions speak louder than words, so back up your apologies with sensible, office-appropriate behavior. Prove yourself by sticking to one or two drinks next time and remember that what you do outside the office still reflects on your professional reputation.
Hoping to build better office relationships? Avoid these four topics you shouldn't bring up with co-workers.
- Consider why you feel uncomfortable. Decide whether it's the nature of the subject, the way it was approached, or your own experience with the topic that made you uneasy. If it's something that you feel extra sensitive about, see if you can just move on. Your co-worker may not have realized that the conversation was inappropriate.
- Put yourself in their shoes. Ask yourself why they opened up to you. Is it because they're lonely? Because they're hoping to build a friendship? Try to recognize their motivations so that you can better handle the situation.
Keep reading for more TMI-fighting tips.