As I was running to the subway this morning with gifts for my co-workers in one hand and an umbrella in the other, I noticed someone reading an article on “A Not So Merry Holiday”. While it’s the most wonderful time of the year (to some) it can still be extremely stressful making sure everything goes smoothly between work, gifting and planning. We all know it’s important to stay focused this month, so here are some tips on how to beat holiday stress.
Try to eat well and make time to exercise. You’ll feel better about yourself and can relieve some stress while exercising.
Plan ahead. I’ve mentioned this before, but can’t stress it enough (pun intended).
Get extra sleep. 10pm is now my weekly bedtime.
Take time for yourself. Take your lunch break, decorate your apartment, wrap gifts or bake cookies.
Be realistic. If you’re overloaded with assignments, speak up at work. If you can’t afford extravagant gifts, look up some DIY ideas. It’s the thought that counts.
Remember what the holidays are really about. The three F’s: family, friends and food.
Still have fun! Get into the spirit and knock some items on your bucket list before it’s too late.
This month we’re giving you a few gift guides with our favorite things for loved ones this season, but every PR girl and guy has their own holiday wishlist. It can range from that perfect holiday entertaining segment to a new iPhone case. Adrianna and I have been talking about our wishes for the season, and while there are some things specific to us (we both want this SLR camera so badly!) there are a few things we’re sure you can relate to:
The perfect Today Show placement for a client with slow coverage
To be followed on Twitter by a minor celebrity
To actually go ice skating this winter in Central Park (Good luck to us!!)
A kiss under the mistletoe
A new coffee mug for the office
Praise from that stubborn client that gives two word responses to paragraph-long emails
New riding boots to trudge through NYC weather
A gorgeous holiday gift guide placement for one of our clients
Can you believe we’re almost through with the first week of December?! Before we look forward to the holidays, below is a look back at our favorite #PR101 tips from Twitter. Thanks to all that are included. Keep tweeting Xo
Since it’s year’s end, many of you will be having check-ins with your managers and talking about your growth at your PR firm and in your career. Whether this is your first or your fiftieth manager meeting, this sit-down is a great opportunity to have a candid conversation with a superior about your work performance, any needs or questions you may have in your current position, and get a little insight into your place at the company. The more you communicate during these meetings the better, so this is not the time to be shy! Here are a few tips and topics to help you through your next manager meeting:
Start thinking about the conversation a week ahead – This is not the time to rush into a meeting unprepared. Some companies have formal review packets or worksheets you are required to fill out prior to your conversation with your manager. Whether you have this guide or not, be sure to give some serious previous thought to the questions you want to ask and topics you want to cover. Note: this is NOT an opportunity to complain about a peer, your company, or a client. If you have these issues, schedule a different time to seriously address the topic. Otherwise, may seem as though you are making an excuse for poor performance
Address any concerns you have about your own performance – If you are admittedly slow at monitoring reports, or cannot get a hold of your superior’s writing style, this is a time to call it out. If you recognize your own weaknesses and show how you’ve tried to solve the problem, you’ll be displaying awareness and determination. Ask your supervisor how you can improve here (sometimes, it’s really all in your head and you’re doing just fine!)
Ask how you can start working above your own level – It takes everyone some time to settle into their own position on their teams, but as PR people we are also perfectionists, and that means we’re always trying to prepare for the next step. If you’re looking to grow at your firm and in your career, always strive to work at the level above your own. Ask your manager what tasks or responsibilities you can take on to start moving ahead
Take notes and set goals – Throughout the meeting, be sure to take notes and highlight any key pieces of advice or suggestions that your manager makes. Work together to make two sets of goals – a few easily attainable responsibilities and tasks you can achieve by the next meeting, and milestones you hope to reach in the next six months or year ahead. Keep these goals in a separate document on your desktop or in your calendar so you can look at them frequently
It’s the time of year for gift giving, including your friends and frienemies in the office. While we’d like to think that we’re “close” with all our working girls and guys, be sure not to go too overboard when getting holiday gifts for those in the office. Our firm has a “secret santa” or “white elephant” every year, and we have to buy our chosen person a gift under $25 to share before our office holiday party. The hope is to be thoughtful, but still fun and not too personal. Below are a few budget-friendly ideas for any office holiday gifts or friends you would like to treat this season.
Also keep in mind it is a good idea to purchase a little something additional for your superiors in the office – even if it is just a card. Show your appreciation for the care they took in your career this year!
A good friend of mine recently sent me an interesting article I think worth sharing. It talks about how to deal with the different types of mean girls you may have in your office. Luckily where I work, I can’t say I’ve had many mean girl encounters, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a common problem others are dealing with – especially since a majority of public relations professionals seem to be female.
Are women in the office really meaner than the men? As workplace relationship experts (and women), my colleague Kathi Elster and I wanted to uncover whether the “mean girl” label was just another toxic stereotype, an example of women being judged more harshly than men for the same bullying behavior.
We interviewed more than a hundred female workers in 20 different industries. And we examined a wide range of research about women’s behavior both in and out of the workplace. Our conclusion? The answer to the question of whether women are really meaner than men at work is both “no” and “yes.”
A Difference In How ‘Meanness’ Is Expressed
Both men and women are very capable of unkind behavior. Men can be nasty to each other — and women, but their meanness is usually expressed overtly. A male colleague might lash out verbally, or even physically. While this conduct is hardly acceptable, it is easy to identify and can be addressed directly.
Women, on the other hand, are more likely than men to compete (and fight) in more covert, subtle and indirect ways. According to research, women are conditioned to “tend and befriend,” while personal ambition stirs them to compete for recognition. So a female colleague may be nice to a coworker but then cut her out of a project or roll her eyes when the person speaks. And in surveys, women say that women are meaner to and more competitive with other women at work.
But it’s all done somewhat covertly and indirectly. Because that aggression — or meanness — is harder to identify, we decided to convert the findings from our research and interviews into six categories of possible mean behavior that one woman might experience from another woman at work.
Women Who Feel Threatened By Other Women
These three types of women put others down so as to protect and reinforce their sense of power.
“Meanest of the mean:” You’ve heard of the ‘Ice Princess’? This woman is hostile toward most women because she views them as adversaries. She is unable to feel compassion and incapable of trust.
“Very Mean:” This is the more “classic” mean girl – tough on the outside, insecure on the inside. She can be a vicious gossip or condescending.
“Passively Mean:” She is nice on the outside but competitive on the inside. She will be most indirect in her aggression, leaving you out of emails, not giving you crucial information, or cutting you out of projects.
Women Who Are Unintentionally Mean
The second category of women don’t intend to hurt others — but they do. They fall into three categories:
“Doesn’t Mean To Hurt Others:” She can be chronically late or use health problems for attention and sympathy; what the behavior has in common is it wreaks havoc on coworkers’ lives.
“Doesn’t Know She Is Mean:” This woman intends to help, but her feedback is harsh and abrasive. She also can offer unsolicited advice, critiquing your appearance or just bossing you around.
“Brings Out Your Mean:” This woman is emotionally needy. She is an incessant talker, or just asks way too many questions. Her demand for attention and support triggers your mean behavior.
So How Should You Respond?
Despite the different forms of meanness, there are some strategies that can help:
Never counterattack. No matter what the other woman does or says, don’t roll your eyes at her, or badmouth her. Counter-attacking exacerbates the situation and locks you in a power struggle.
Let the anger go. Whether you need to release your negative feelings through exercise, or talk about the mean girl to a trusted friend or advisor outside of work, find a way to neutralize your experience and let go of the toxins.
Don’t make it personal; keep it professional. Respond in a way that addresses the work issue. If a female co-worker cuts you out of an important meeting, for instance, instead of yelling at her for excluding you, or shutting her out, approach her and say “it may not have been your intention to leave me out of this meeting but in the future please remember to include me.”
The goal in handling any “mean” situation is to address the situation, but keeps you out of a power struggle. When in doubt, take the high road.
Have you encountered mean girls in your office? How did you handle the situation?
Written by Katherine Crowley, a Harvard-trained psychotherapist, is co-author of Mean Girls at Work – How to Stay Professional When Things Get Personal. Article originally posted on AOL.com. Image via.
A couple weeks ago, A wrote about some of the stereotypes of a PR girl. It got me thinking about all the different personalities you can find in the PR industry. While everyone is different and unique, there are certain “personalities” that follow each sector of public relations. Below I’ve outlined some of what we’ve seen, but please feel free to edit and share your own thoughts on some of our infamous qualities as PR girls:
*DISCLAIMER* nyc PR girls are well aware that the below are amusing stereotypes of the “PR Girl” and would like to celebrate them rather than shame them. PR girls and boys get down and dirty, work their butts off, and deserve all the praise they receive in the industry. But each of us, no matter our concentration, is a little glamorous too.
The Celebrity/Event PR Girl
Always the busybody, this PR girl not only knows where all the good parties are, she’s probably hosting them. She is usually attached to her phone more than normal, but is keen on remembering names and making connections. If you have an issue, she knows someone who can be here in five minutes to fix it
PROS: Always meeting new people, experiences dining and nightlife through work, can quickly grow in her field
CONS: Needs to stay on top of celebrity news for her job (aka gossip is her news), late nights, too many events to count
The Finance or Healthcare PR Girl
The most “ER” of the “PR,” Finance and Healthcare PR are for the girls who would like to combine their passion with a company looking to change the world
PROS: A real purpose to the PR, helping people, learning more about the businesses that drive the economy
CONS: Late nights, needy clients, emergencies at the drop of a hat
The Beauty/Fashion PR Girl
The trends of the moment are this PR girl’s day to day. She is the one her friends come to for fashion or beauty advice, and she always has a new product she’s trying out or a bold look she’s testing at a party. All women’s books are her bible, and she makes best friends with anyone she can in the industry
PROS: Always has the latest and greatest, able to share products and tips with family and friends, get’s a sneak peek at how editorial really works
CONS: Addicted to Twitter, always running around for editors or clients, not saving the world
The Sports PR Girl
She may be a girly girl, but the Sports PR Girl knows her way around the field. She is able to rattle off athletic stats and research information on sports teams, sports brands and products like none other. She is potentially the most popular among men of all the PR Girls
PROS: Meeting athletes, learning more about health/fitness/sports, keeping up with exciting games
CONS: Sports media is a crowded space, working with the boys, everyone expects event tickets (ha!)
After finishing a great holiday weekend with the family, it’s often hard to get back into the office and jump into work – especially when the biggest holiday of all is right around the corner. As you get back into the groove, here are some tips and tricks for preparing for the holiday and staying focused before the December break sneaks up on us!
Take commuting time (not work time) to map out your holiday budget and gift ideas.
Figure out the game plan ahead of time for when and where you need to be for the holidays so it’s not on your mind.
Set dates now for what’s on your holiday bucket list such as seeing the Rock Center tree and meeting up with friends.
Prioritize work and tasks that need to get done before the big break.
Delegate work as efficiently as possible for the next couple of weeks.
Add some holiday decorations to your work space. Can’t hurt!
Write reminders down, otherwise they might get lost in the shuffle of your holiday focused mind.
How do you stay focused with the holidays around the corner?
Lately, we’ve been getting a lot of questions about when is the right time to send in resumes for summer internships or after-graduation jobs. With the holiday coming up this week and some much needed down time approaching, this is the perfect time to refocus on career goals:
Dear nyc PR girls,
I am a soon to be graduate in the PR field and I live in the heart of Atlanta! With graduation getting closer, I’m starting to freak out about my plans for the future (naturally!) Do you have any tips or recommendations for a girl down here looking to end up in PR?
Job Hunting in Georgia
First and foremost, do not freakout! If you’re thinking about your job search now, you are well ahead of the game. Here are a couple tasks you can work on in the next couple months to get yourself ready for job application season.
Decide where you want to be – Do you live in suburbia but dying to get to the city? Are you in the south, but want to move up north? Will you be staying home for the summer or living at school for the job? Whether you’re about to graduate and looking to start your career or you’re going after your first summer internship, first decide where you want to be located. Some people choose to move where ever they find a job, but believe me, you will be much happier if you move to a town where you know you’ll be happy
Research your ideal job - Now that you have a location picked out, begin taking notes and researching some of your top companies that you’re interested in. When I was first looking for internships, I used to have a notebook specifically for PR companies that had my ideal position. I would write down contact information, clients, recent projects, and potential internship opportunities. That way, when I began emailing HR representatives or contacts, I could flip through my notebook and reference items about the company that caught my eye
Send out your resume… to your friends – It is still a little too early to send out your resume for summer internships or post-grad jobs, but that just means you have even more time to tweak your resume. Ask friends and family members to take a look over the holidays. A description of an extracurricular that you thought was fine may be confusing to others. You might also be leaving off some information that your friends and family think would be great to show off to potential employers – you never know what an objective opinion can give you
Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday. Maybe because by this time, I haven’t seen my family for a few months. Or I miss my mother and grandmother’s cooking. Or I love getting together with old high school friends and hashing out the past. Last year, I wrote 10 Things a PR Girl Can Expect at Thanksgiving. While I’m so looking forward to next week, we have a few days to go before then… and usually the short weeks are the trickiest.
Here are a few things to expect within a three day week:
Monday will feel like the longest day in history
The office will be oddly quiet, reminding of the Museum of Natural History
You will go between “researching media opportunities on Pinterest” to pitching furiously at the drop of a hat
Someone will ask for a last minute favor at the office
You will change your Wednesday night outfit in your head at least three times
You will be tempted to play Christmas music in the office – don’t do it
There will be some sort of unnecessary client crisis, obviously
While you hope to leave right on time on Wednesday, a long client call will hold you over so you’re literally running for Port Authority
There will be a moment where you almost miss leaving work, only to remind yourself you deserve a vacation like no one else
What are you looking forward to in a three day week?