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You asked and now I am delivering!  Last week on Instagram, I announced how I started a new job (exciting right!?) Additionally, I asked if any of you would like me to post advice on how to stand out on your next interview. The response was incredible! I am by no means an expert. Nonetheless, there are several take aways that I have from the dozens of interviews I have been on:

Do your research. This starts by doing some homework on the company you are going to be interviewing for. Check out reviews from Glassdoor to read what people have said about the business. All of these reviews have to be taken with a grain of salt but looking at Glassdoor reviews allow you to get a sense of how a business operates. Make sure you get to your interview at least 15-20 minutes early so you can fill out any necessary paperwork. This also gives your some extra time to observe the waiting room. See what literature is available. I like to do this because it gives me an idea of what the company values.

Be engaged. In addition to learning about the business you are interviewing for, you need to show your potential employer that you are engaged and eager about the position you are applying for. That being said, do not leave an interview without asking any questions. This will show the person you are interviewing for that you are engaged and listening to the needs of the business. Additionally, you are interviewing the business too. Ask questions so YOU can confirm that you are a fit to work there. It’s ok to say no to a business that you do not feel you will excel in. I like to write down a list of 3-5 questions on a notebook the night before an interview so that I can have them prepared. This prevents from scrabbling your thoughts during an interview. Bring that notebook with you and a pen. As the interview progresses, write down questions or thoughts that come to mind during the interview. You can reference them later when you are deciding on how you feel about the business. Some questions you might want to ask during your first interview can include:

  • How is the turnover rate here?
  • What has keep you at _________ for _____ years?
  • What are some things that _________ does to boost morale?
  • Can you describe what daily tasks are to be completed for this role?
  • I read a review on Glassdoor that was on the negative side. Can you comment on it?
  • Does this job require travel?
  • What percent of my day would be spent at the office/on the phone/with clients?

* Questions regarding salary, benefits, etc are to be discussed during your SECOND interview. Refrain from asking questions in this capacity as it gives off the impression that your only concern is money and not to fulfill the needs of the position available.

Smile! This seems like a silly piece of advice but it is important to address. You want this job you are interviewing for right? If so, smile! Be friendly and approachable. It’s ok if you are nervous (we all go through it) but do not let your nervousness leave the wrong impression. Smile and take a deep breath. Several deep breaths if needed. I promise you, the person interviewing you is not going to bite your head off (lol).

Dress well. A little cliché but here me out. In order to be taken seriously, you need to dress correctly to demand the right attention. Ladies, I recommend a blazer and work pants. If you choose to wear a dress, make sure that it is no more than 3 inches above your knee. There are people who will hire a woman for all the wrong reasons. Make sure that you are hired for the right ones by dressing professionally. Above else, wear comfortable shoes! You may have a chance to have a tour of the business. Your feet will thank me! Men, wear a blazer if you have one. If not, a button up shirt will suffice with dress pants and a belt. Do not forget to tuck in your shirt. Avoid the following during an interview:

  • Sleeveless tops
  • Tank tops
  • Sheer tops
  • Denim
  • Sneakers
  • Facial piercings – if you have them, take them off before an interview.
  • Tattoos – it is ok if you have them but make sure they are covered.
  • Open toes shoes/sandals/flip flops

Relax. Be good to yourself the night before an interview. Have your outfit picked out and ready to go for the next day. Be sure to get plenty of rest by going to be bed early. Above all, relax. Put on a face mask or take a warm shower before you go to bed. Preparing yourself the night before will help to alleviate some stress.

So when do you know if you should take the job? Trust you gut. If for any reason, something does not feel right, it probably isn’t. Do not ignore your intuition. Talk over the interview with a loved one and look over your notes. If it seems right, accept the job. Otherwise, it is ok to say no. When you accept a job, you should feel like it is one that will allow you to advance in your career as well as make your feel valued. Now take these tips and go show the world how amazing you are. You got this loves!

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Cardigan: Loft // Sleeveless shirt: Banana Republic // Pants: OLD – similar by ASOS // Clutch:  Anthropologie // Shoes: TOMS

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Hi loves! This week has been a whirlwind in my personal life. But I do have something exciting to share. This news is exciting and bittersweet all at the same time. Nonetheless, I am elated to share with you the latest chapter in my life.

After working four years as a receptionist, I am now going to be working at a staffing agency! Yep, this girl has a new job in a completely new industry. One thing you should know about me is that I love a challenge. So I am beyond excited to be a part of a completely new industry and being able to help others while I do it. The friends that I have made in the past four years have taught me a lot about myself as a professional. I am going to miss them dearly and appreciate all their kind words and support. xoxo

Here is what I have learned:

Never burn bridges. This is something I have always been against since I first started my professional career but it is important to note. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard people tell me that they cursed out their former manager and made a dramatic scene before they left their jobs. Listen, I get it. Some managers should not be leaders. Nonetheless, the only thing that is guaranteed in life is the fact that it is unpredictable . You may find yourself needing a job in the near future. As such, if you leave under good circumstances, an old employer may be able to help you in your time of need. Don’t think this can’t happen to you, because it can!

Don’t engage in gossip. Fake people talk about other people being fake. Real people worry about their business and no one else’s. You are at your job to be a professional and do your job well. Engaging in gossip at work will not allow you to progress in your career. Rather, it will hinder you from building lasting relationships. Too often, women are nasty to one another. Some even go out of their way to create rumors that are completely inaccurate (this happens far too often and it needs to stop). If you engage in gossip, you might be missing out on a friendship. Don’t gossip. It simply is not beneficial to you in any way, shape or form.

Be the best you can be. Going above and beyond at work is important. Forget the company, it is important for YOU! You need to feel fulfilled when you are at work. Take the time to break down barriers and make yourself proud. Sometimes being the best you can be means taking time off when needed. Make sure you take advantage of your vacation time. Use it to unplug and truly relax. Sometimes being the best you can be also means seeking help when you need it. Do not be embarrassed if you need to seek professional help. If you suffer from depression or anxiety, please please seek help. You cannot afford to be prideful with it comes to your mental health. Take it from me. Be good to yourself and your body.

Stay true to yourself. Last but certainly not least. Alway, always, alway stay true to yourself. Yes, we need to make money to live. But our jobs are not worth compromising who we are as individuals. If you are a positive person like me, do not let anyone dim your light. Stay positive. Stay weird. Laugh often. Each of us offer something unique to the table, regardless of what industry. Stand out for all the best reasons. I promise you, people will notice it and cherish it.

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Dress: Calvin Klein // Coat: Anne Klein // Shoes: Charles by Charles David

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2018 has certainly been a year to expect the unexpected. With the weather being so unpredictable as it has been, it has been a bit difficult to dress for the season. With Paris Fashion Week coming up this month, I decided to share a simple Parisian styled look that you can wear as we transition from winter to spring.

If you are following me on Instagram, you will notice that I cannot get enough of my red beret lately. It has truly been a life saver when I am having a bad hair day and it pairs so well with pretty much anything. This trendy hat is so much fun to style with trench coats and dresses alike. Maybe if I keep wearing berets, I will somehow end up in Paris this year. One can dream! 😉

Now let’s talk trench coats. If you do not have one, I have listed several reasons why you should have one as a part of your wardrobe here. I love this navy blue one that I got from Banana Republic. I am wearing this coat in a size 2 regular. If you are petite, I would size up as this trench seems to run true to size.

To finish this look, add some red lipstick for an extra pop of color and a patterned scarf. This leopard print scarf is from J.Crew. Is anyone heading to Paris Fashion Week? If not, have you had a chance to travel to Paris? I would love to hear all about your experiences. Please leave me a comment and I hope you all have a fabulous day!

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Trench coat: Banana Republic // Beret: Free People; also available here // Scarf: J.Crew // Boots: Marc Fisher

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This is year has been off to a strange start! One day it has been warm then the next morning to wake up to four inches of snow. That being said, it is certainly not a good idea to put away winter jackets and sweaters just yet. I love this striped boatneck sweater I got from Loft because it’s warm and a great transitional piece from winter to spring.

I am wearing it in XS petite because this sweater does run a bit large. I recommend sizing down. This sweater is so perfect to wear casually with some comfortable jeans and knee high suede boots. My knee high boots are old but I found a similar pair at Nordstrom by Marc Fisher that are the same height and are so comfortable!

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Sweater: Loft // Jeans: Articles of Society // Boots: OLD: similar by Marc Fisher // Bracelet: Fitbit Charge 2

 

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Hi loves! As my career progresses as a blogger and influencer, there is a question that receive on a daily basis: how do you do it? Many may not know this but I am also a full-time receptionist that spend 8-11 hours at her job throughout the week. On top of sleeping, exercising and eating, I am also in front of my laptop blogging about topics that make my heart soar. So today, I want to share with you all a little behind the scenes of Timeless Optimist and how I run my blog as a side hustle. I am hoping that these tips will help you start a blog if you have been wanting to do so too! So what does it meant to be a full-time blogger and full time employee?

It means being one hell of a planner. Yep. Planning is everything when it comes to running a blog – especially if you are doing everything on your own. I do not have anyone running my social media platforms like Instagram or Facebook. That mean I have to take time throughout the day engaging with my followers, tracking analytics and creating posts on a weekly basis. If you are looking to better streamline your blog content strategy here are some of the tools I use on a day-to-day basis:

  • Planoloy: This is the app that I use to help schedule my posts on Instagram (you can also use Planoly from your desktop too). I love it because it also serves as a mood board to ensure all of your photos match your aesthetic for your feed. Plus, you can schedule your Instagram posts in advance from Planoloy so that you do not have to be glued to your phone. Additionally, you can view stats as to which of your posts received the post engagement to help you plan out your content. I have a paid subscription with Planoloy which I pay $9 a month for.
  • ColorStory: Being on the go means you need to be able to edit photos from your phone. To me, ColorStory is the most user-friendly photo editing app. Editing photos are super simple on ColorStory and it now has a grid feature similar to Planoloy. As you edit your photos, you can also get a preview of how they are going to look on your feed.
  • Hootsuite: If I need to plan any posts on Twitter, I do it on Hootsuite. It provides a planner similar to Facebook, where you can schedule a post on any specific time and day after you link your Twitter account. I am using the free version FYI.
  • PeopleMap: This is a tool that takes a little bit of getting used to but it is so useful! I just started using it this year and it has been super helpful. It allows you to engage with your followers and track your engagement. PeopleMap has been a fantastic resource to provide brands and PR analytics (the perfect tool for crafting a perfect pitch).

It means being a multi-tasker. When you are a blogger, you are wearing several different hats. You are a writer, a stylist, a coordinator, project manager, PR agent, photographer and social media strategist. In summary: blogging is a lot of work. That is why it is CRUCIAL that you blog about topics that you love. To me, blogging is a creative outlet that needs to be enjoyable. The fact that I love the topic that I write about allow me to authentically and enthusiastically create content for you all to enjoy.

It means you are creative. Becoming a blogger has also helped me to become a amateur photographer. While I work with professional photographers from time to time (shout out to Belkin Images and Kate Vee Photography) I take most of my images with a shutter remote and my own DSL camera. I learned how to this to fellow petite fashion blogger Kileen from CutenLitte. I learned how to edit my photos from her here. My go-to present for lightroom can be purchased here. Since I work full time, I had to great creative as to how I was going to get my content. It takes practice but once you get the hand of things, it’s second nature!

It means you are a networker. I knew that blogging was a chance to have a creative outlet and maybe possibly as a monetized side hustle. What I did not plan on was connection and building relationships with other like-minded women like myself. I had had the pleasure to connect with some amazing bloggers who have also become close friends to me. I feel like my bachelors in business is finally getting put to good use. Blogging gives everyone an opportunity to meet with a plethora of professionals from various industries. Through social channels like Style Collective, I have had the chance to connect with local bloggers as well as bloggers all across the US.

It means you like to stay educated. You don’t have to be a student to be a blogger. But you are someone who loves to learn. Especially when it comes to topics you cannot get enough of. As a blogger, I always looking to understand more about social media, web design and inspiration for future posts. Podcasts like The Becoming Fearless Podcast and The Influencer Podcast have continued to keep me inspired as a writer as well as an influencer. Whether it is through podcasts, online articles or word of mouth, being an full time blogger means you love to dive into topics that help you grow as a professional.

If you find yourself agree with my points here, take a leap of faith! Start planning out your dream blog and make it is reality. Blogging, as I have pointed out, it not easy. I will tell you this – it does not feel like work when you are writing about topics you love. As long as you do that, you will always stay motivated and authentically engagement in your blog content.

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Skirt: OLD ; similar black/white floral pattern here // Earrings: Baublebar

Top: OLD; similar here // Beret: Free People // Boots: H&M  // Purse: Zara

 

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