10 REAL WOMEN DISH THE BEST CAREER ADVICE THEY’VE GOTTEN

I was recently curious about what my friends felt made them awesome at their job. What words of wisdom helped them along their way? So, I went and asked ten real women in my life about some of the best career advice they have received. Not only was in an amazing opportunity to catch up with old friends, but I was surprised at the variety and depth of the advice everyone had to share. So, read on and get wise!
Noel, a Freelance Copywriter, gave practical advice she has heard from successful people: “Having multiple streams of income is a pretty responsible goal to aim for. Reading up a lot on successful individuals, most have several if not dozens of sources of incoming revenue.”
Italia, an Executive Assistant, talked about her time working with those in high positions: “I really took to heart my boss telling me to not wait for people to grant me permission to speak whenever I have something relevant to contribute. He told me to just speak up and be assertive with my ideas and comments. It’s intimidating sitting in meetings with executives that have been in the industry longer than I’ve been alive, but being able to contribute to the discussion makes me look and feel more competent.”
This advice lined up excellently with what my friend Faith, a Wells Engineer, mentioned when she read the book Lean In by Sheryl Sandburg: “The major takeaway I got from that book was to sit at the table. It doesn’t matter if you don’t feel like you are important or just learning – don’t sit down by the edge of the room. You need to sit at the table and participate! It builds confidence and people get to know you. It’s made a really big difference to me.”
Especially with women, many of us receive advice about being assertive in order to move our careers forward. Annie, a Pharmacy Student, said: “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable” – always put yourself in uncomfortable situations that pushes your boundary and challenges your ability.” It’s against human instinct to step out of that zone, but talking scary opportunities can be the best way to grow.
April, a Peace Corps Volunteer, shared a story of great advice she actually received from a professor. She recalled: “One day the professor, while coaching us on essay writing, told us to be proud of our hard-earned knowledge and opinions, to be bold and confident, to use strong phrases like “I think” instead of the more timid “I believe.” She told us, “own your ideas.”” April mentioned that these words remind her to speak up for and be confident in what she believes in.
Kristi, a teacher, said to “do the best you can at the time you are doing it with the info you have”, because when you’re an overachiever and starting a new role, you might have a thousand questions about what to do, and that’s ok. I laughed at the contrast between what my mother Cynthia, a Chief Financial Officer, said: “ Don’t make assumptions.  Get all the facts before making a good decision.” Both pieces of advice highlight being that you should be willing to ask questions, and to not be afraid to request more information.
This lined up with my conversation with Kelsea, a Business Systems Analyst, said her best advice were two different things “First, don’t be afraid to ask ‘why?’ and secondly, to cautious of how much overtime you’re willing to give, make sure to take vacations, and to notice the time you’re using work devices off hours.”
This lined up exactly with what Yesenia, a Certified Public Accountant, brought up in regards to having a work life balance:  “It’s okay to say no… I was once told that work-life balance only exists if you create it. In a world of 70 hour work weeks, any time you get to spend with yourself, your significant other, family, and friends is precious. It is important to know that you can say no without consequences to your career, therefore boundaries are important to establish early on in your career…” Yesenia mentions that you should “give it your all” the hours you are at work, and your managers and peers will respect you for it.
Lauren, a Digital Editor, talked about the importance of having a mentor to have your back. Her mentor helped her feel empowered and believe in herself. “She really helps me work through everything and my thought process. She also is really great at what next steps I need to take. When I was looking for a job she gave me contacts to reach out to and how to market myself and just always thinks I can do anything. I feel super positive after taking to her.” Both formal and informal mentors exist in the workplace, and finding one to help guide you can make a difference in accelerating your career.
All of the advice my friends had received helped me to reflect on my own aspirations. While we may have heard some forms of this advice in one way or another, it’s good to be reminded of what actions we can take to further our careers.
What’s the best advice you’ve gotten in your career?

HOW TO RSVP “NO” TO A FRIEND’S WEDDING

Okay, you’ve received a wedding invitation, and you know that you can’t go. Sometimes we cannot attend a wedding because it would be too expensive, because we can’t get time off work, or any other totally valid reason. And you know what? Sometimes, we just don’t want to go, and that’s okay, too.

But how to RSVP “no” without seeming like a total asshole? It’s normal to feel stressed about hurting the soon-to-be-married couple’s feelings or coming off harsh to them or your mutual friends. What if it’s a family member – will you be ex-communicated for not being able to go?

First, know that saying no to a wedding invitation is totally okay. You shouldn’t feel bad about saying no – people may say no for all sorts of reasons. The engaged couple already understand that not everyone will come. You may even be saving your friend some serious cash by not attending! Start by letting go of your guilt if you need to turn down the invitation.

Then, absolutely send in your RSVP with “no”. As a recently married bride, trust me when I say PLEASE do not wait until the last minute to tell your friend you cannot attend, refuse to send in the RSVP, or RSVP yes only to not show up. That will cause unnecessary stress and possibly increase the cost of the wedding for your friend. And that, fellow vinas, is worse than saying no. If you’re really worried about being a bitch – telling the truth is the only way to avoid that.

Now, sending in your RSVP is pretty much the bare minimum that you should do. While you are not obligated to send your friend a wedding gift, it is courteous to at least send them best wishes, either with a card or even a quick email. If you’d like, you can let your friend know why you aren’t able to make her wedding, but you aren’t required to explain yourself.

Tell her congratulations, that you appreciate the invitation, and that you are so sorry you cannot make it. Then you’re good to go!

Have you had to RSVP no to a friend’s wedding? How’d they take it? Tell us your experience in the comments below!

(Featured image via Indulgy)

10 ITEMS TO ENABLE YOUR MILLENNIAL PINK ADDICTION

Millennial pink is that pretty, pastel, dusty-rose pink that is everywhere nowadays. We see this color in fashion, decor, media. Brands are trying everything to get this pink incorporated into their brand tone and all over their products (Glossier being the leader in establishing this color as their color).

I have to admit, I recently became obsessed with both rose gold and millennial pink. I absolutely LOVE seeing it everywhere. Here are our fave millennial pink products that your should buy, ASAP. This color isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

POLAROID CAMERA

Polaroid pictures give a retro vibe are always fun to have and to hold, and to watch them develop. You can hang them around your room or stuff them in a box, either way they are tangible memories. And you can take cute instagram pic of pics.

 

PINK BLAZER

Perfect for adding color to an otherwise drab office outfit. I wear a pink blazer to work at least once a week. This powder pink blazer from Charlotte Russe blazer is a cute and affordable addition to your wardrobe. It’s an excellent way to look professional, with a fun colorful twist.

 

 

GLASS WATER BOTTLE

Eco-friendly and sustainable, and bkr has been the front runner for cute glass bottles since 2011. They come in 3 sizes, and with a colored silicone sleeve, the best millennial pink color being “tutu.”

 

ESSIE NAIL POLISH

I am always looking for the perfect pink polish. This one is a pale (but still bright) pink that is a little flirty, and totally perfect for summer. Essie always has such cute names for their polishes; I love telling people that I’m wearing “Tying The Knotie.”

 

 

 

SNEAKS

Converse never go out of style when it comes to skaters and middle schoolers, but adding a pair of pink hightop to your fancy ensemble will add a dash of cool that will amp up your cool-girl reputation. An added pro is that you can easily run to your destination in the event that you are late (always).

 

 

 

 

 

LOKAI BRACELET

These bracelets have been trendy in the health and wellness community for a few years now. The limited edition pink lokai bracelets are sold out on the website (très popular) but still available via Amazon. These bracelets are said to help you find/keep balance in your life, and they are only $18!

 

 

 

BEAUTY

You might as well jump on the Glossier bandwagon (if you haven’t already). If the meaning of millennial pink could be attached to a brand, or if a brand’s tone perfectly matched the color’s concept, it is totally Glossier. Start off with their Balm Dotcom. Best used for the lips, this salve is a game changer. Go for the classic because the packaging is the perfect millennial pink; or the rose flavor if you want to turn your lips slightly pinker and totally glossy-er.

LAPTOP CASE

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via me

One can never have too many accessories. The perfect millennial pink highlight to your collection is this macbook pro case (if you don’t have a mac, fear not, there are many more to choose from on the wide world of Amazon). Perfect for protection and decoration (with stickers). And in certain lights, can fool others into thinking you have to new pink macbook.

BACKPACK

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via PINK

Whether you’re going on a hike, heading to class, or just packing a bag for a weekend (preferably near a beach), there is always a need for a good backpack. This Victoria’s Secret backpack is called “Perfectly Pink,” and for good reason.

 

 

 

 

ONE MORE BAG

Because a vina can never have too many… This little cutie functions doubly as a cross body purse, and a camera bag! Lightweight and great for traveling, this bag adds a pop of millennial pink to every outfit.

 

 

Let’s just add one (or two) of everything. Put it on my card.

Comment below your favorite millennial pink products. And download the Hey! VINA app to meet other vinas near you!

(Feature image via @creativekipi)

 

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3 THINGS THAT HAPPEN WHEN YOUR BESTIE BECOMES YOUR ROOMIE

In my freshman dorm, I became best friends with a girl down the hall. Sophomore year, we decided to share an apartment with 2 other girls, and then junior year we were out on our own. Being roommates with your best friend always sounds like a perfect idea, but there are a few things to keep in mind if you’re thinking of shacking up!

YOU’LL LEARN NEW THINGS ABOUT HER

You thought you knew everything about your best friend – but you don’t really know EVERYTHING until you live together. You’ll learn about her weird eating habits or about how she blares music while doing work. You’ll learn about how much she loves her family through their weekly Skype calls, and about her dedication to school when you see how hard she’s really working. These things don’t always come up in conversation, but you will pick up by being in the same space as her.

YOU’LL DISAGREE ON THINGS, BUT IT’S OKAY 

You might have disagreements regarding what goes in the dishwasher or when you can leave the windows open. My best friend and I both were born in different countries, and it’s surprising how many stereotypes came to life regarding how we both live day to day. We differed in ways we completed our chores and in the living habits we had. Even though we were best friends, it’s difficult to cope when it’s “your” space too. It’s important to remain flexible, and to know when to let things slide.

YOU’LL STILL NEED TO MAKE TIME FOR EACH OTHER

Just because you’re now living together doesn’t mean that you will spend more time together. While we were in college, my best friend-roommate and I got busier and busier as time went on, and even though we may say hi in the morning, we were spending much less time hanging out. Get out of your apartment together, and still make an effort to go do the fun things you did before you were roommates.

Being roommates with your best friend can either end up being an excellent idea or a disaster. I was fortunate that my best friend-turned-roommate and I stayed friends, even though I decided to move out on my own senior year. Hopefully, it’ll only bring you closer together!

(Feature image via Daily Mail)

OPENING YOURSELF UP TO LEARNING ABOUT A FRIEND’S RELIGION

I’m agnostic, and I love learning about different religions.

I grew up in an atheistic household, but I was encouraged to be open to other religions and to pick one to follow if I’d like. I have vinas of all different types of religions, and this unique perspective has given me the opportunity to be open minded to the practices that they follow. Whether you agree with the practices or not, learning about your friend’s religions can introduce you to a more cultural perspective. If you have the chance to experience a religion different than your own, you should absolutely take it!

Whether you are religious or not, it is a fact that a large number of events in history have been influenced by religion. Religion has the ability to drive people and give them the motivation to make a difference in their lives. Religious groups have numbers of benefits, and it’s really interesting to see the teachings of different communities. These groups aim to bring people together and to better the communities around them. Religion has the power to unite a fire under people with a common mission. You may or may not agree with the messages being sent, but it is still important to try to understand ideas from their perspective. You might find a unique perspective you had not considered before.

Plus, attending religious events with friends is the best way to learn more. You should never do anything you are uncomfortable with, but attending an event with a friend may help you become more familiar with the customs, so you can follow along more easily. Many religions may have particular rules of how a tradition is run, and it helps to have a friend so you don’t make a faux paux.

There is a lot of stereotyping around what different religions believe, and the best way to break down those misunderstandings is to talk to your vinas of a different religion. Be open to a discussion regarding what they believe in; don’t make any assumptions regarding what they practice. Going with them to their religious institution or celebrating an event with them may teach you something new about your friend, and bring you closer together.

Even as an agnostic individual, I still consider religion to be extremely sacred. There’s something so moving about its ability to drive passion into people, and to teach you values about life.

Whether you agree with certain practices or not, it is important to treat all religions with respect. Let people practice what they want, and even if you disagree with them you should listen to what they have to say.

History shows religion is incredibly powerful and can influence the way people behave. Learning more about a friend’s religion can help build your empathy and ability to put yourself in their shoes. Whether you are religious or not, it’s necessary to recognize how important religion can be to others, and along the way, experiencing religions different to your own can bring you even closer to those around you.

Have you tried learning about a friend’s religious beliefs? Share your experiences down below!

HOW TO DEAL WHEN WORK IS A BOY’S CLUB

As a woman with a technical degree, I am very often the only woman on a project. Most of the time I am not treated any differently, but it’s still important to recognize that there are differences between working with men and women. Keep a these in mind to be confident from the moment you enter the room.

DAY ONE

It starts with a firm hand shake and confidence. I make it a personal goal to exceed expectations. If you have a softer voice, make an effort to speak louder to ensure that your voice is heard. Make a lot of eye contact, and listen to your peers. Be confident in your ideas, and don’t let others talk over you.giphy (1).gif

GET TO KNOW THEM

As with any workplace, the time spent at your job will likely be more enjoyable if you can turn your coworkers into friends. You may already feel like the black sheep as the only woman, but don’t let that stop you from chatting with them. If your coworkers often talk about a specific topic, like sports or cars, start paying attention and chiming in. Ask questions, show you’re interested. Get lunch with them when you can. Share your interests with them as well – you might be surprised about how much they know about your favorite topics.

EMAILS

Try to keep your emails as short as possible. If a sentence or detail isn’t 100% necessary, then delete it. I have noticed that my male managers are more direct and tend to leave out background information, while my female managers will give more details before addressing take-aways. Avoid being the one who “talks too much” in emails, and try to get to your point as quickly as you can. My fiancé has a habit of only responding to the last question I ask him if I send him a series of texts, so I always make sure that all of my questions are clearly laid out at the end of my messages.

BE ASSERTIVE

“Mansplaining” is a term used for when men feel the need to talk over and explain something to women in a condescending way. Don’t let them talk down to you. Speak up, and share what you know. Provide your opinions, and don’t let them interrupt you. This may be difficult if you are shy, but you cannot let your good ideas go unheard. Bring up your thoughts once they finish, and repeat your ideas if necessary.giphy (2).gif

BE YOU

I work in a technology field primarily with men. I have read articles about the benefits of blending in – wearing pants more of the time, or learning about their interests. However, I think it’s important to be yourself. I wear skirts and heels to work, because that’s what I prefer. I talk about my new work totes and wedding planning all the time, and nobody seems to mind. If you’re a girly girl, stay one. If you’re a tomboy, that’s fine too.

It’s important to show confidence, because unfortunately at times women are still not taken seriously. However, there are many benefits to being the only woman – because you’re unique, they are more likely to remember your name. Use the fact that you stand out to your advantage, and your work will pay off. Show off your skills and be yourself!

 

Ever dealt with being the only woman in the office? Tell us about it in the comments! And try swiping to meet a new vina, so you can vent all about your mansplaining manager!

HOW TO PREP FOR A FRIEND MOVING AWAY

About a year and a half ago, my fiancé and I packed up a moving van and relocated a thousand miles across the country – away from our families and friends. We were leaving some of the best friends in the world behind, and it was really tough moving to a city where we would know no one.
However, moving away from a friend does not have to mean the end of your friendship! It’s easier than ever to stay in touch. For some friends, it might even feel like you never left. Know that long distance friendships are definitely possible, and a friend moving away doesn’t have to be as miserable as it sounds.

GET HER A MEMORABLE GIFT

If your vina is moving away, consider getting her a picture frame with a photo of the two of you. This will help decorate her new home and remind her of the awesome vinas that she’ll always have. Even if you are the one moving, consider giving a few of your vinas a similar memento to remember the good times you had. You could even have a going away party with all of your friends as one last hurrah, plus you’ll all remember it forever.

MAKE PLANS TO SEE EACH OTHER

If one of you is moving just a few hours away, consider making plans every other month to see each other. If you’re moving across the country, make plans to visit within the year. Having long distance friends is the perfect opportunity to meet up for a vacation! Meet each other halfway in a new city, and you will have fun both catching up and exploring. Before the big move, set a time frame for your next trip to see each other. Instead of being sad that your friend is gone, you will have a future date to be excited about.

KEEP IN TOUCH

With social media, it’s so easy to stay connected. Try to connect with your vina once a week or once a month to see what she’s been up to. Schedule weekly FaceTime dates or send daily Snapchats. Even consider being pen pals and communicating via handwritten letters.  It’s always exciting to get something other than bills in the mail, and it’s a great way to stay in touch.
If you’re not great at keeping in touch but don’t want to lose your friend, set up reminders on your phone to reach out and say hi. Your friend will appreciate the familiar face (or voice or text). Keep as many of the same habits as you can with your vina – it will make the transition less scary.
Big friendship moves are always sad, but just because you’re moving away from a friend, doesn’t mean you will lose them. Hang out with your vina as much as possible before she goes, and just remember that it won’t be the last time you see her.
How have you and your vina coped with distance? Let us know in the comments!
 

 (Featured image via  Herschel Supply Co.)

CALLING ALL TRANSFER STUDENTS! HOW TO MAKE FRIENDS AT A NEW UNIVERSITY

College can be brutal, but a solid group of friends will get you through anything. Whether you’re new to the university or you’re just looking for new friends in general, there are countless ways to make new friends on campus!

SIT NEXT TO THE GIRL WHO’S SITTING ALONE

You are not going to be the only one looking for friends on the first day. When you first walk into the classroom, take a few seconds to look around and find someone who is sitting by themselves. This is a great opportunity because she is probably looking for a new friend too. Introduce yourself – maybe ask her what she’s studying, how long she has been at this university, and if she has heard any hints about the class! Since people tend to sit in the same spot everyday, you now have a person to talk to every week.

SHOW UP TO THE (UNIVERSITY) CLUBS

Student organizations are always looking for new members, and the start of a new semester is the perfect time to show up. You can join an academic club related to your major, or even a sorority or something related to a hobby. Become a regular, and you will slowly get to know people who have the same interests as you. Taking on a leadership role also gives you more time with your peers, which will lead to new friendships.
vinapicstudorg

FORM A STUDY GROUP

Even if you find a class pretty easy, take it upon yourself to share that knowledge with your classmates. You can either ask random people in class, or send out a class-wide message on an eLearning system to find anyone that might want to meet up weekly to study. Hanging out in a study group with your classmates is a sure-fire way to get to know new people.
vinapicstudy

NEVER LEAVE CAMPUS

Naturally, you’ll probably want to go back to your apartment or home right after class. But, try to force yourself to stay on campus. You might even consider coming a little early to study or sticking around between classes. The more time that you spend on campus, the more likely you are to run into familiar faces, and the more likely you are to form lasting friendships.

USE YOUR HEY! VINA APP

You’d be surprised to learn how many people on your campus are using hey! VINA – and you know these girls are looking for friends, so why not give it a try? Since your schedules are likely to overlap on campus, you can meet up with a new vina in between classes for coffee or lunch!
How do you meet friends when you’re new on campus? Let us know in the comments!

APROACHING A DISTANT VINA WITH A PROFESSIONAL REQUEST

As we grow in our careers, we may find it helpful to rekindle a distant connection. You may find yourself in a position where it would be helpful to approach a vina you haven’t talked to for a while for a professional request. Just because you haven’t chatted in a bit doesn’t mean you should shy away! Here are a few steps to take when reaching out with a request:

1. REMIND YOUR VINA HOW THEY KNOW YOU

Casually drop the hint of how you know her, just incase it has been so long and she really doesn’t remember where she knows you from. This is especially important when you have been networking and may have only met a few times. You can try something along the lines of “It’s been so long since chemistry class!” if you met at school, or “I haven’t talked to Michelle in a while, have you?” if you met through a mutual friend.

 2. ASK YOUR VINA HOW SHE’S DOING

You don’t want to seem too needy or make someone feel like you’re using them. Express a little bit of interest in her life, and ask how she is doing. If you are personal friends with this vina, maybe comment on something you saw on social media recently. Maybe your vina just got back from an interesting trip, or recently adopted a pet. Express a little bit of interest into what she has going on; don’t immediately ask your request before giving her a second to breathe.

3. CUT TO THE CHASE

On the other hand, while you do want to express interest, you don’t want to waste your vina’s time. If you wait between too much small talk to ask your request, your vina might start to feel used, and she may think that you weren’t genuinely interested in talking to her again. Open up with asking how they have been, but then get right to what you’re looking for.

 4. CONSIDER WHAT YOU CAN OFFER IN RETURN

Depending on the request, think about a worthy exchange for your request. It could be new business for her company, but it could also be a cup of coffee to thank her for her time. For example, if you are asking your vina to speak at an event, a lunch date would be an appropriate “thank you”. Don’t just ask for a favor and disappear!

If you are writing a message rather than calling your vina up, all four steps could be an entire LinkedIn message, or email. As an example:

“Hi Michelle! It’s been a while since business finance, how are you? I saw that you and the guy finally got engaged – congratulations!

I actually had a quick question about the design firm where you work. You guys do small business websites, right? I was wondering if I could get a quote for my company – we are looking for someone to redesign our site!”

Remember- your request can be benificial to the person you’re asking, so don’t feel bad for reaching out even if you haven’t talked for a while. The absolute worst that can happen is that she says no, in which case you’re right back where you started.

Have you ever reached out to a distant vina? Let us know what worked for you in the comments!

(Feature image via ShopStyle)

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR FRIEND ASKS YOU FOR A JOB

We all have friends who we absolutely love death for who they are – but we recognize they’re a little flaky or unreliable. You might find yourself in an awkward moment when a vina like this asks you for a job, but you know that she may not be the right fit for your company. In this type of situation, what do you do?

Yes, you love her anyway, but you have to consider how referring her to your job will reflect on you professionally. If you make a bad referral, then your future recruits would not carry as much weight. And, other vinas who may be a better fit at your company will not get the opportunity. In this situation, you need to have a conversation with your vina.

You will want to be completely honest with her: that you don’t think the job is a good fit. Consider how her personality or work ethic would fit into your company’s culture, and evaluate if she would even enjoy working there. Instead of saying that you are not interested in offering her a job, explain to your vina why her unique personality and personal work style may not mesh well at your company.

For example, if your company expects its employees to be punctual and your vina has a habit of running late, let her know that she would become frustrated with strict coworkers. If your company is conservative and professional, while your vina is more of a free-spirit, explain to her that the job she wouldn’t like the office culture.

Most importantly, don’t just put your vina down and turn her away if she is actively looking for a new job. We’ve all been there, and job-hunting SUCKS! She probably feels weird enough about needing to ask for a favor, so there’s no point in making her feel worse if she’s not a good fit. Look into your network, and see if you have any other connections who might have a better fit for her. Perhaps you have a friend at a company that is more relaxed or flexible. Find a way to connect your vina with someone who can help her, and she will probably be happier as a result!

Have you ever had navigate this sticky situation? Let us know in the comments!

(Feature image via @pendasarr)