“Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself”

The above quote is one of my favorites from Gabrielle Bernstein. Gabby uses the phrase as a call to get rid of all the crap in your life that is blocking you from your true self. I think this is a great mantra for your career path and day-to-day work life as well, but my version comes with a little tough love.

It’s not uncommon to feel like a victim of what is happening to you in work or the job search. When your pitch goes unanswered, your boss is too busy to meet, or your resume has gotten no responses, it can feel like the universe is working against you. Here’s a little harsh reality – if you turn the problem inward and see what you can do about it personally, often you can find an answer and shake up the pattern. The victim mentality (“This is just busy work”/”Everyone is ignoring my cover letter”/”I’m just not good enough to get the job I love”) does you no favors.

Here are a few ways you can “check yourself before you wreck yourself” at work:

Get in front of the mirror and be honest - Time to get real. What lies are you telling yourself about your work? Are you pretending to be dedicated to the job search but doing little more than a quick indeed.com hunt once a day? Do you get negative about a task you hate doing, so you rush it and make mistakes only to make you hate it more? Give yourself the good, hard truth. Are you really doing your best work, or are nasty little negative thoughts and intentions messing it up?

Start from scratch - Whenever I want a new start, I write out all of my negative thoughts and worries until I can’t write anymore. Through all the rants, I pull out what REALLY needs to be addressed (my resume needs to be reworked, I need to get out of office politics), and I trash the rest. You can start with a new, clean slate and a fresh impression. That’s the beauty of having a career – if you think you’re stuck in a rut, there is almost always a way out if you look with a fresh pair of eyes.

Surround yourself with people who want to work hard too  – In my experience, workplace Negative Nancies either a)want to slack off and not do any work for a number of reasons or b) Like to complain about work so it seems like they’re working hard or c)work far too hard, don’t help themselves, and are generally unhappy. Do you really want to be any of these three? Find people in your school, community or office who you admire for their work ethic. Take them to lunch or notice their note-taking habits in a meeting. Pick up some good habits for yourself – these are free gifts!

See yourself succeeding - If you picture yourself happy at your job on a daily basis, down to what you do each morning at your desk and the lunch break you take midday, I guarantee you will get there. It might not be tomorrow, but if you start thinking about what would make you happy at work and strive towards that in every way you can, I promise you’ll find you are inherently working harder and opportunities will open for you. Just the way karma likes to pay the positive people back.

 

Do you find yourself in a personal wreck and not sure how to get out? How do you check yourself?

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The Twenty Something Bucket List

Making lists and batching tasks-love this concept for organizing my to-do list.

I’m celebrating my birthday today (at work, doing desksides – don’t worry) which always brings up a fun feeling of a “new year” ahead. I know I just wrote about keeping your mind open and away from a check list, but there are definitely a few milestones and bucket list items I’m looking forward to crossing off this year. Even if you’re still trying to figure out “who you are” and what you’re about, I do think it’s good to have some short term or passion-point goals to keep you moving and thinking. You may just find yourself while on the journey. Here’s what’s on my list:

  • Take more photographs (for the blog, and for life)
  • Find my go-to specialty recipe
  • Run the New York City Marathon (training starts this week!)
  • Read just as many non-fiction books as fiction (and watch just as many documentaries as Orange is the New Black episodes)
  • Inspire a new client campaign and see it through to the end
  • Host a real, adult dinner party
  • Go to a wine tasting (or whiskey tasting)
  • Meditate every day (or try to!)
  • Bring host/hostess gifts to every party
  • Volunteer for a local NYC organization

What is on your Twenty Something Bucket List?

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Other Internships To Try

As summer internships come to an end (le sigh), many college PR students are scrambling to find yet another PR internship. As you know, internships are the best and really only way to put you in a good position for hiring after graduating college. While many PR students sector themselves into only taking PR agency internships, consider looking into other opportunities that will broaden your experience. Particularly in media.

Other Internships to Try

  • Hospitality group. Learn the ins and outs of event planning.
  • Local TV/radio station. Become familiar with how your local broadcast station plans and books segments.
  • Website/blog. Broaden your writing skills and learn how story ideas come to fruition.
  • Magazine/newspaper. Learn about deadlines, how reporters and writers like to be pitched and much more.
  • Photography studio. Brush up on your creative and planning skills.
  • Wedding planning. Learn more about event planning and client relations from demanding brides.
  • In-house. See everything from the clients perspective at a fashion, beauty or lifestyle brand.

What are some other internship opportunities that are valuable for PR students?

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Creating Your Dream Apartment on a Budget

ApartmentLiving

We frequently receive emails with questions about moving to New York and living in a big city on a budget. I wrote a few posts the past few months while I was looking for an apartment, and now that Adrianna and I finally have a new camera I plan on posting more on the decorating process. Have to be honest, it’s a little intimidating! There’s a lot to think about when making your new apartment a home, and to me it’s one of the most important parts of the move-in process. If I don’t make my place a welcoming sanctuary from crazy-city life, things get a little nuts.

With a little planning and thought, you can have a dream apartment in a city without headache.  Here are a few things to consider:

Be honest about your space - Are you in a little shoebox studio? A strangely arranged railroad style apartment? No kitchen to be had? It’s okay to be honest about your apartment’s flaws. Decor is all about embracing the quirks and bringing out the best in your apartment. Don’t work against what you cannot change. By picking the right sized furniture and complementing colors, your space can feel much larger and more cohesive than it actually is. Which leads to…

Work the assets - This is an easy way to make a big impact in your apartment on the cheap. For me, that’s the sunshine that comes into my bedroom that practically lights up the whole space. I plan on keeping most of my walls white to keep things bright and only adding soft, breezy curtains for night. Maybe your apartment has a faux fireplace or a long wall that can be used for a gallery wall. The easiest way to bring a “homey” feel to your apartment is with properly placed accents, and things like prints from Etsy or a new paint color can be found for little cost.

Figure out what you like – I have to give big credit to Pinterest here. Before the site, I had no idea what my decor taste was. After many years and a LOT of pins, I figured out that I really like mid-century modern designs with a lot of color and modern trends. And yes, I embrace my feminine side with lots of flowers, blues and pinks. Head to Pinterest and just start pinning EVERYTHING that appeals to you. When you’ve gathered 100 or more, look at the elements that are similar in each photo. Maybe it’s soft lighting and candles with a white couch. Maybe you like punches of color in the kitchen. Maybe you see metallics everywhere, including in fabrics. Embrace your taste, and find a way to highlight it in each room with pillows, bed spreads, or fun accessories.

Don’t buy into high prices - Especially on your first few urban apartments, it’s silly to spend too much on furniture and accessories. Chances are you will be moving every couple years, and your furniture may not be able to come with you. I may settle on a piece that I really want (aka “I NEED A GREY COUCH!”), but I’ll look EVERYWHERE to find it. Once I’ve found a price point I can feel good about, I make a purchase, even if it isn’t the exact replica of the Pottery Barn couch I’ve been dreaming of (one day… it will be mine).

I’ll be posting more on the blog about apartment living, tips and tricks. You can check out my apartment inspiration board on Pinterest here.

 

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