PR Girl PRowess: When Someone Doesn’t Like You…

When you first start your career, you’re extremely focused on getting people to like you. You pick your outfits to be agreeable, you watch your speech, you over analyze emails… all to be sure you are not offending anyone and (hopefully) making friends.

It may happen a few weeks in, a few months, or a few years, but some time in your career you will come across someone who just doesn’t like you. You’ll get snubbed for lunch invites. They will be condescending in front of your colleagues. You may even be the brunt of a few jokes. You wonder what you did wrong, you try to make it better, but for whatever the reason, you cannot change the first impression you made on this person (and apparently, it was a bad one).

First thing – don’t take it personally and don’t freak out. This happens to everyone at some point in their working life. There are definitely a few proactive and positive steps you can take to be sure this situation doesn’t come to a conflict. The last thing you want is someone’s wrongful impression hurting your work or your concentration. Or for this to turn into an episode of The Real Housewives.

A few tips…

Always be polite - Playground rules apply here. Just because someone has chosen to show their (wrongful) feelings, does not mean you stoop to that level. Always show graciousness and poise. Don’t even share with your closest office buddy any negative feelings. If there is any bad blood, it isn’t coming from you. It makes the other person’s opinions  seem silly.

Warn your boss - Have an offhand and offline conversation with your boss BEFORE any real issues arise. This can be very casual, something as simple as “I was working with Angela on this project and she expressed a few feelings – I’m not sure she likes me very much.” If your boss asks you to elaborate, you can. This will keep you out of the fray if things take a dramatic turn. *Note, this is not an excuse to talk to your boss about every small conflict in the office, just those you worry about tension rising over.

Help with the workload – Continuously offer to help with your grumpy colleague’s work, and do the best job for her that you can. Just short of sucking up, this shows your colleague your worth to  the company and the good work you can do! If you make her life easier, there really is little smack talk she can hand out.

How have you handled wrongful impressions in the workplace?

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How to Make Monday Mornings Better

It’s no secret that everyone hates Monday mornings. Who can blame us? There’s nothing worse than the sound of an alarm on a Monday morning after a peaceful, stress-free weekend. Here are a few ways to make Monday mornings a little better.

How to Make Monday Mornings Better

 

  • Don’t screw yourself for Monday on Friday. Meaning don’t leave yourself a million things to do on Monday morning because you get lazy on Friday afternoon. A bad habit in procrastination.
  • Use the weekend effectively. I’m an advocate for laying low and relaxing on the weekends, but even when doing so, I make sure I complete at least SOMETHING – cleaning the house, getting my nails done, grocery shopping. The basics, but it will make you feel more accomplished and pleased on Monday morning.
  • Try not to lose sleep. It’s inevitable that we’ll stay awake later on the weekends, but try not to go overboard. Get rid of the weekends where you fall asleep at 4am and wake up at 8am. That lack of sleep gives Monday mornings its bad reputation.
  • Look at your schedule for the week on Sunday. To ensure you’re not surprised on Monday morning when you realize you have three in-person client meetings this week.
  • Don’t schedule meetings for Monday mornings. Keep your Monday mornings free. Otherwise you’ll feel behind at the start of the week. Not a good feeling.
  • Try and wake up earlier. Even five minutes can make a difference. Beat the rush into the office and get a head start on the week.
  • Dress your best. Wear your favorite outfit and primp your hair. Start the week off on a high note feeling good.
  • Read on your commute. Catch up on emails or pick up the paper. Use this time to get up to speed.
  • Treat yourself. Indulge in your favorite breakfast, coffee or dare I say it, a sweet treat to get your week going.
  • Stay positive. Look forward to something during the week. Catching up with colleagues, old friends, family, whomever. Plan some personal after-work activities that will make the week go faster.

How do you make Monday mornings better?

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De-stress and Detox Before the Weekend

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Especially during the months of January, February and March, it can feel like you’re working for the weekend. When you get there, unfortunately the time seems to slip away before you even had a chance to relax. This is all a part of taking some time and making sure you’re leaving work at work.

Here are a few tips:

Leave the office on Friday when your work is DONE - You may be tempted to get out of there ASAP, but if you leave any loose ends, you’ll only end up checking your phone all weekend long. Be sure to make a detailed to-do list and only leave when you feel good about the work you’ve done, even if it means staying a little later

Immediately do something that clears your head – As soon as I get out of the office on Fridays, I like to go for a run or exercise. Yes, this means I usually have to skip wine at the office happy hour, but I know this is how I can get home Friday night and feel like my weekend has started. Whether it’s a yoga class, catching up on your TiVo or calling your mom, do something that MAKES you wind down

Make some plans - This is kind of a no-brainer, but I usually feel like I’ve gotten the most out of my weekend when I’ve completed some planned activities, whether it’s catching up with a friend over brunch or getting my grocery shopping done

Eat right twice, indulge once - Over the weekend we naturally want to let loose, but it’s best to do it smartly. I like to keep care of myself mot the weekend with one big indulgence. It can be a night out dancing with the girls or a lavish dinner with the boy, but I’m happiest when I don’t push too hard. That way I’m not wasting Sunday on my bed nursing a nasty headache and drinking gatorade

How do you detox for the weekend?

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From the Inbox: Do I Chase My Dream Job?

Hi PR Girls!

First let me say how much I love your blog and all the career tips you give to aspiring PR girls like myself.

I am a graduating senior this year, and from my dedicated job search I was offered a paid summer internship at a well-known PR company. As a backup, I had already planned on returning to my previous fashion PR internship which I worked this past fall. I really want to land a full time position at this company, which is the reason I was willing to return as an intern. However, a full time position is not a guarantee at all. It is at a well-known fashion PR agency, and many interns haven’t succeeded in moving up.

This is a dilemma for me because the new internship is not only paid, but it’s in a field not related to fashion. Since fashion PR is the industry I want to get into, I’m not sure if I should take a risk and return to my previous internship as an unpaid intern and hope a position opens up, or take the paid summer internship (which has a better chance of turning into a full time position), but it’s not in an industry I’m interested in at all.

Would it be a smart move to start my career at a company that would help me develop my skills as a PR professional? Or do I hustle and work for free and try to land a full time position at my dream company?

Thanks for all your help!
-Dreaming PR Girl

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This reminds me of a dilemma I had when I graduated. Do I follow my “dream” PR field – entertainment – or take a position that’s paid in a different field. I ended up taking the paid internship because I was living in NYC and needed some sort of income. The good news – I ended up getting hired and stayed at the firm for over three years. I developed many skills, learned so much about what I was/wasn’t interested in and ended up realizing my niche wasn’t entertainment PR.

If you’re dead set on fashion PR and can afford to live without an income, take the fashion PR internship. Communicate frequently with your managers and let them know that you would ultimately like to be hired. Don’t avoid the topic. Be straightforward and ask what the chances are. Otherwise, you’ll end up wasting your time. Ask how you can become more engrained in the team and request to join client calls and meetings. You’d be surprised how receptive your colleagues will be.

The good news is that you’re just starting out and have a long ways to go. If you don’t get your dream job right now – that’s perfectly fine. Get experience elsewhere under your belt and reapply for positions at that company throughout the course of your career. You’ll ultimately end up doing exactly what you want if you work at it.

Best of luck,
Xo A

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