The Emerald Girl

casual. classic. curious.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

When You Realize You Need to Negotiate

OK, I'm feeling very frustrated.

Recently I got a promotion. I did not even try to negotiate the raise. I just took what they gave me and went along. What they gave me is fine. I guess. Maybe it's not fine. More is not just fine. I should not just be OK with more because it's more. I've been reading a lot here and here about negotiating. Women are notorious for not getting paid more because they don't ask. There is no one to blame but myself. Am I expecting my boss to come along side me and fight for me to be a fighter? To explain to me that I need to just be confident and assertive. That is certainly not going to happen. Though I often romanticize about a confident, professional, successful woman seeing me and all of my glorious potential and telling me they want to take me under their wing and show me the ropes. Why do I have that silly idea in my head? That is never going to happen. If I want something, anything I have to get it for myself.

Here's the bottom line: if you accept what your employer offers you, then you are accepting less than what they can pay you and less that what you are worth. Bottom line. Truth.

I'm frustrated that once again I was too afraid to speak up. I feel like I was taken advantage of but really, I just let them offer me that low ball rate and let them make me believe I was less than what I am. I'm the employee of the quarter. I'm not just some person with no value.

I seriously need to work on my confidence. Anyone out there got any tips???

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Would Your Rather: Fame or Fortune

Last night I was getting caught up on the Real Housewives of Orange County. There was a clip of the Miss Santa Monica Beauty Pageant where the contestant was asked if she had to choose between fame and fortune what would it be. Her answer was fortune and then she quoted Harry Potter, saying 'fame is a fickle friend'.

Initially, I thought fame, for sure, 100%. Reason being that fame gives you the power to influence others. I feel passionate about certain things in life. Some of these things, such as Real Food among other things, don't have enough role models or influencers to get the word out. It would be great to be a beautiful, respected individual standing up for things that go against the grain. Also, I figure with fame I would have a following and there is always money to be made off of a great following. I know, I know that sounds weird to say but look at Jessica Alba and The Honest Company. Wouldn't that be amazing to see a passion project that does good for people come to life? Yes. Yes, it would.

In essence of actually making a decision and sticking with it. There it is. We won't get into how much fun it would be to have fortune. ;)

What would you pick? Fame or Fortune?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

A Letter to Recent Grads

Dear Graduates (specifically business school grads),

I am writing this letter because I too was once a business school graduate with grand ideas about what I wanted for my career. I felt the rush and the anxiety of finding a new job in the wide, wide world. There were tears. Many tears. And then there was so much joy when I landed that first "dream" job.

My biggest priority in my initial post-grad job hunt was location (downtown). Secondly, I wanted to be involved in "big, exciting business". Real vague, whatever that meant. I did not want to work in insurance but that is apparently a thriving industry in my city. After awhile of searching job boards, I thought I needed a different approach. I thought about walking around downtown with a big sandwich board that read something like, 'recent grad, hire me, please'. Eventually, I turned to Google maps. Genius idea. Not all businesses post their open positions elsewhere so I needed to actually find the companies and search their websites for jobs. This method worked much better. I was also able to see exactly where the company was located and what they did. I literally just started applying at every single job that I thought I was even remotely qualified for. My mom likes to call it the "shot-gun effect". A few days after applying I would usually try to call and talk to the HR department. Let me say that getting ahold of an actual HR person is a lot harder than it sounds.

Interviewing was usually a piece of cake. After all, I had some experience from working an administrative job in college. It was after the interview stage that I started to lose my mind. I wanted a job so bad, I could taste it. It was all consuming. I would replay the entire interview in my head over and over and over again thinking there was no way that I wouldn't get that job. I answered all the questions perfectly. Ugh, that game, what a joke. But after awhile, I stopped putting all my eggs into baskets. It became less stressful.

Finally, a couple of months after graduation I did land a job. An insurance brokerage in a perfect downtown location. I still remember my first week there. Walking the halls in my J. Crew suits. I had arrived in grownupville. Whatever that is. Now I know. I wish I would have known then but that is irrelevant as long as I know now. (Hint: there is no such thing as a grown-up. People just remain who they are or who they want to be and just look older). Anyway, it was really great. The brokerage was a big enough company that I could learn and grow and have promotion possibilities. That is another important thing. You don't want to outgrow your company or else you'll be looking for a new job all the time and never really growing too much.

This story is so much longer. I left the company for a few years only to realize that although I didn't like the boring name of 'insurance', the work was satisfying and the office was fun. So, I returned four years later (currently here now). Luckily, we all wear jeans now, no suits required. And I'm happy where I am now. Though I have much bigger dreams of entrepreneurship. I continue to learn and push myself outside of my work week. I hold onto the future goals and know that right now is just an ends to a mean and I'm lucky that it's enjoyable.

To conclude this letter, I would like to say that you should push yourself as hard as you can to not just do what you think you are supposed to do. You can if you want and that is all you want and it will work and be fine, I'm sure. But you went to college. You are obviously smart, so taste what you want to and then remember to keep reading. Keep learning. Keep looking for the things that light your fire.

And now, in regular Jen style I have completely sidetracked the whole point of this post. It's probably because I don't believe in playing that game anymore because, for me, it just doesn't fulfill my lifelong dream and priorities. But, I did still go through those motions, and had a positive experience from it and know that anyone who works hard, is nice and puts effort into can achieve their dreams.

Oh dear.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A Dream Life

Yesterday, I was watching my weekly Tuesday episode of MarieTV. Marie asked us all to write our life dreams into the comments section. I did. And I wanted to share it here too so I had a copy for myself.

"I can picture it now. The perfect white house with perfect black shutters, maybe a crisp red door. The backyard isn’t huge but has space to grow food and flowers; there’s even a chicken coop. My three boys (only one exists now :) )  running around laughing while my husband and I sit in the perfect white Adirondack chairs sipping whatever it is we sip in the sun. The perfect ending to a great day. A day that began with a nourishing breakfast, some homeschool type education, then lunch. The next four hours I work my dream job. I don’t know if I would work out of a home office or have a space in one of those shared work space offices. I share my dreams and I help other people to realize theirs. A job full of inspiration and encouragement. Though, now I’m pretty much clueless as to what exactly that would be. After we spend our time outside, we finish the day with a nourishing dinner of real foods. Then we thank God for a wonderful day and go to sleep excited for what the next day holds."

(Source: Unfortunately, this house is all over Pinterest but I have yet to actually find an original source or even one with a link to the page from a blog that came from).

This I know to be true. I will forever be working on my heart, practicing gratitude and being happy right where I am because I am exactly where I'm supposed to be for right now. Maybe one day I will have that dream or maybe one day what I have will be my dream.