In Bloom: A Reflection on a Season of Growth

Hello my precious little corner of the intranet, I’ve missed you so much! I’ve returned from [yet another] much needed hiatus. No matter how much content I have planned or ideas I put to paper, every year I find that I need a bit of a break from the world of blogging and social media.

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Blogging has always been a creative outlet for me and a huge passion, but in the last few months, I lost the drive and passion I had for it. It honestly started to feel like a second job, and that was NEVER my intention. I found myself questioning my writing, and consistently worrying about what my people thought and if I was being judged (ridiculous I know). More often than not, we as humans have a tendency to allow fear to control us. It’s so easy to fall into the comparison game with other bloggers, especially since we only use social media as a highlight reel, as opposed to us showing what’s really going on in our lives. Truth be told, everyone has highs and lows, and sometimes the lows outweigh the highs. As Epictetus reminds us, it’s all in the way that we handle what life throws at us that makes all the difference.

“It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters”

– Epictetus

This year has been a whirlwind of activity so far with an abundance of change that has affected me exponentially. It’s only proper that I take advantage of the season and use the metaphor of spring to reflect on these last few months. You see, I used to loathe change; the very thought of it would make my stomach turn and my anxiety skyrocket. However, in the last few years, I’ve learned to embrace it: without change, we would never learn and grow into the people we are meant to be.

A quick recap on the last couple months

It’s been a minute since I’ve had a chance to sit down and really hash out what has been going on. Life has been moving so quickly lately that I feel as though I really haven’t had a second to catch my breath. There are a number of things that have taken place this year that are not so great, but I’m not going to focus on that right now. I have two HUGE changes in my life that I could not be more elated about that I’m so excited to share with you guys:

I got a promotion! Nearly three years into my first post-grad job, I got my first promotion to Brand & Events Coordinator. This came a couple weeks before our biggest show of the year, which was a bit daunting, but long story short, we rocked it and I’m incredibly proud of myself! I’ve been working a lot more lately because of the promotion, but I feel as though it’s instilled a new sense of confidence in me professionally. I have so many ideas and tactics that I can’t wait to share in the work place!

I’m no longer in a long distance relationship! My boyfriend is officially home for good after four long years and my heart is so full. It’s a bit of an adjustment (in the best way) figuring out how to actually date again, but in the last month, I’d say that we’ve adjusted quite nicely. We’ve both grown so much these last four years both as individuals and in our relationship so I’m excited to see where this next chapter of our relationship takes us.

Lessons Learned

The biggest takeaway from this is to give myself a break every now and then // On my recent work trip to Chicago for our biggest trade show of the year, my sinuses got the best of me and I was SO SICK come day two of the show. Five days later, I was getting ready to hop on a plane to come back home and it was not letting up whatsoever, and it didn’t help that I dove right back into work a brief 24 hours after touching down. My body was in desperate need of some R&R. That long weekend, I allowed myself to have a couple lazy days to sleep and recuperate. Let me tell you, that was the BEST decision I had made in a long time. The following Tuesday, I was feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and so much better!

Prioritize your time // With my new promotion, I’ve taken on many new responsibilities, and I noticed pretty early on that if I don’t prioritize my time wisely, NOTHING goes as planned and you’ll be asking for extensions on your deadlines. This also goes for life outside of work; I was making time for friends, family, Ryan, working out and staying on top of the few tv shows I have in my rotation, but I was going without making time for my blog and other projects that fuel my fire.

Unplug // There’s a reason why every single mental health article tells you to unplug every now and then, it WORKS! I have a difficult time turning my brain off in order to sleep — especially with so much going on lately. I’ve discovered that unplugging for at least an hour before bed helps me sleep soundly.

What and whom to give my energy to // This has been a long time coming. I’ve found that I get so wrapped up in certain aspects in life that don’t matter and aren’t worth my time nor energy. I recently read the book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson and — let me tell you — this book has totally changed my perspective on so many facets of life. One of my biggest takeaways from the book was choosing my battles and stripping away all of the bs to live my best, most unapologetic life. Manson presents a hilariously vulgar tough love approach to creating self-awareness and learning about what matters most in life. This book has been sitting on my “to-read” shelf for years, and now I wish I would have had the opportunity to read it at a younger age. I highly recommend this book to everyone! 

-K.

3 Steps to Switch Up Your Winter Wardrobe

It’s that time of the year where I begin to grow tired of the same winter clothing day in and day out. As much as I love my sweaters and booties, I’ve reached the point where I feel like I have NOTHING to wear! We’ve all been there right? Closet stock full of winter essentials, you scour Pinterest and Instagram for ideas of how to change up your look, but somehow what you currently own will never look like that Parisian model’s street style look. SAME. That’s why today I’m bringing you my top three tips for upgrading your winter look with items you already have in your wardrobe.

One // Add Pops of Color

While monotone neutrals are very much in, jazz up your outfits with a pop of color or print. My personal favorites in this new year include red, blush pink or leopard print statement items. In fact, we’re seeing these colors everywhere as of late as the statement colors of choice among those at New York Fashion Week happening right now. Seen in the form of accessories, sweaters and jackets, use these pops to brighten up your gray winter days!

Two // Mix & Match

Take some of your favorite pieces from other seasons to pair them with your weather appropriate items et voila! A winter weather ready match made in heaven. Have you been dying to wear that midi skirt you couldn’t resist, but cooler temps won’t allow it? Layer it with your favorite chunky knit sweater and boots. What about a cute lace cami you can’t wait to wear? Pair it with a wool blazer and dress it up for work with trousers, or down for girls’ night out with your favorite pair of jeans. Get creative with it!

Three // Layers, Layers, and More Layers

Not only is layering on-trend, but more layers will keep you warm during chilly days. I’m notorious for layering oxfords and flannels with a chunky knit sweater or cardigan, but I’ve been looking for different ways to switch up my style with this look. Throwing on an over-sized blazer over this look or adding a statement coat is one way to rock the layered look! Try doing this with your accessories, as well; layered necklaces and scarves are a great way to heighten any look!

What are some ways you like to change up your winter wardrobe?

-K.

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Surviving My First Post-Grad Job: A Year in Reflection

“There is no substitute for hard work” – Thomas Edison

I’ve been at my first post-grad job for about a year and a half now, and thus far it has been a whirlwind of learning experiences. If you’ve stuck with me this long, you’ll know that I did a brief reflection after my first week on the job. Needless to say, after only a week on the job, I had no idea what lay ahead for me in my position.

A Brief HistoryInitially, I was hired on to take over our Social Media Strategist’s position while she was on maternity leave. She’d been at the company for about five years at the time, and is  beyond fantastic at her job. Daunting was an understatement. As turbulent as it seemed at the time, I found that I really enjoyed the position, namely because I was gaining more global experience than I ever thought I would. Upon her return in January, I was handed over some of the same responsibilities I was doing in her position, such as branding/merchandising, writing press releases, and managing local trade shows and conferences. These items, as well as a few others, are what I’m currently responsible for in my position.

Here are a few lessons I’ve taken away from my first year in corporate America:

  • You will make mistakes. Accept them. Learn from them. Early on, I was terrified of making any mistakes, but it turned out that I was preventing myself from learning. After a series of events and some self reflection, I finally acknowledged that it is all part of being human, and the learning process.
  • Be hungry to learn. Take on every learning opportunity you are given even if it scares you; something truly great could come out of the experience. If an opportunity is not directly presented to you, it does not hurt to ask! In fact, it will make you an exemplary employee.
  • Ask questions unapologetically. I’m not going to lie, it took me a while to figure out that my co-workers are not going to get mad at me or annoyed with me if I have a question. It’s always better to ask a question, rather than assuming and doing something wrong. You are not expected to know everything when you first start out. Be sure not to ask the SAME question over and over again – this is where you’ll piss people off.
  • Find yourself a mentor. Being one of the youngest people in the company is a challenge in itself. Luckily, I’ve been blessed with an awesome team that genuinely wants me to succeed.
  • Don’t take things too personally. This is something that I’m still struggling with, and – quite frankly – I think it takes a while to learn.
  • Leave work at work. I CANNOT emphasize this enough! You will have a much healthier work-life balance if you leave anxieties and stress pertaining to work at the door on your way out. You work to live, you don’t live to work.
  • Take care of yourself outside of work. If you’re not at your best outside of work, there’s absolutely no way you can bring your best foot forward at work. Take at least an hour out of your day to relax and “treat yo’self”.

Not too shabby for YEAR 1! It was no easy feat, yet I’ve learned a lot about myself and grown immensely throughout the process. Obviously there is still much more to learn throughout my career, and I’m beyond excited to see what the future holds!

-K.

Surviving My First Post-Grad Job: Week 1

Surviving My First Post-Grad Job: Week 1

Hi everyone!

Last week was my first full week at my first post-grad job. It was exciting, it was overwhelming, it was fun, and it was work. I got lucky because I’m working in a brand new marketing position at the company my dad has been working at for the past 20+ years. While I have the opportunity to help mold the position, it’s still intimidating being my first job and having a lot of expectations to live up to (i.e. daddio).

Sneakpeek of my desk

Before I started, I found myself reading articles with titles along the lines of “How to succeed at your first post-grad job” and “10 things to know before starting a job.” They all had fairly the same lessons in all of them: dress appropriately, be prepared, get enough sleep, be organized, etc.Most of them seem like common sense, but you don’t realize just how much the smallest details help in the corporate world.

Here are a few tips that really helped me get through my first week on the job:

  • Prioritize your work.
  • Get to know your colleagues even if they aren’t in your department.
  • Take notes.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
  • Plan your outfit and pack your lunch the night before so you aren’t scrambling in the morning.
  • If you’re having computer problems, it really helps to have a friend in IT.
  • Also, get those computer problems taken care of ASAP or you’ll fall behind in your work and piss off your boss.
  • Know how to clock in and out properly so you don’t have a minor heart attack when all of your hours aren’t on your time card. Not that I know from experience or anything…
  • To-do lists are your best friend.

What are some tips that helped or are helping you through your first job? Feel free to share your tips with me; I’m always looking for advice!

-K

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