What to Wear: Work From Home Fashion, Made Easy

What to Wear: Work From Home Fashion, Made Easy

You might be physically “Out of the Office,” but a lot of us are still in front of our teams, leading Zoom meetings and digital chats. Knowing what to wear with work from home fashion can be a breeze when we have just the right pieces in our style arsenal.

Life looks pretty different these days and on-camera job interviews have also become the new norm (whoda thunkit?) With some simple styles, you can still look professional, without having to sacrifice comfort (think stretchy leggings and luxury-to-lounge skinny jeans.)

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Looking and feeling your best is certain to boost your mood and enhance your ability to create, produce and lead with boldness and confidence.
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Even if you will not necessarily be seen on screen or visible to anyone else, it still helps to be comfortable and ready for the day. You do not have to sacrifice what brings you CONFIDENCE and MOTIVATION. Feeling your best can help you achieve just that.

Oh, but what to wear?

Stacia Staska, Brand Ambassador and Store Leader of Maurices in Rosedale, MN shows us how we can still be classy fashionistas while being cozy and comfortable at home.

Stacia pairs Maurices 24/7 V-Neck Tank with a White Denim Jacket and Everflex Highrise Dark Wash Skinny Jeans
Affiliate Disclaimer

Stacia has a “passion for fashion” and loves to create feel-good looks for real-life. She specializes in pulling together interesting and flattering pieces that are versatile, affordable, and all-together adorable.

Chosen as a “Brand Ambassador” for Maurices in 2020, Stacia runs a prototype store in Rosedale, Minnesota (the first in it’s area!) where she gets to test new concepts and products. Her store features a family table and community chalkboard, where she can bring groups of women together over fashion and style.

“Maurices is completely customer serviced based and we believe in feel-good fashion for real-life. Not only do I get to look cute at work everyday, but I get to help our customers find versatile pieces that take them from day to night, and work to play.”

Stacia Staska

Right now as business leaders, managers and entrepreneurs, we are finding ourselves behind a screen or isolated in our home offices, but this does not change Stacia’s passion for showing up for her customer. Maurice’s is still servicing online orders and you can order stunning pieces to be delivered right to your door.

1. Work From Home (Like a Girl Boss) Loungewear

We love these looks because they are ultra comfy, but still feminine and flattering. Go from morning meeting to afternoon yoga sesh in the Lightweight Striped Pullover Hoodie and Midrise Legging.

“Helping women find the most flattering fits for their body type, re-doing her wardrobe after losing weight, or re-vamping her work wear after returning to work for the first time since having children…it’s all truly the best part of my job.”

Stacia Staska, Brand Ambassador – Maurices

Stacia chose an Adventure Graphic Tee to cozy under a Short Sleeve Utility Shirt. Wear the utility shirt opened and unbuttoned for a breezy look. You can also try tying a little knot in each corner to give it a finished edge and change the look.

One major plus is with this look is that the leggings mix and match with either top collection. Another versatile look with the Midrise Leggings is that they can be dressed down with a casual tenny, or paired with a ballerina flat. Either way, you’re ready for activities and adventure.

Wanna wear Stacia’s style? Click below for featured pieces:

Don’t forget just how fun, flattering and cozy a simple, spring dress can be! We love the Floral Strappy Black Dress because you can easily dress it up or down. Stacia wears it with the Acid Washed Denim Jacket, which is chic and adorable.

This look is a personal favorite, because I love mixing my dresses with denim!

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The perfect denim jacket is such a go-to staple for casual, comfortable, confident fashion.
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I wear this look to work, to church, out to dinner, or to a movie with friends. You’ll find me in my denim jacket and a floral dress for picnics, walks across the bridge downtown and Sunday brunch.

If you want to dress up the look for an interview or professional meeting, then pair it with a simple blazer or sweater.

Work from home fashion has never been easier. Stacia has more of those ideas and looks below…

2. Behind the Screen with Fun and Flair

Nothing is more exciting that the idea of a new client meeting or connection. With work from home fashion, it is easy to make a great impression (even over the internet) by pairing together the right pieces.

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Comfortable and casual does not mean sacrificing style!
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Stacia creates some great examples of layering. She loves simple shirts, blouses and jackets that can be paired with leggings or jeans.

I also love a comfy jacket that can be paired over a blouse or decorative tank. Maurices Floral Keyhole Blouse is ultra-feminine, with soft cap sleeves.

Next, Stacia chose a sweet and chic White Crocheted Lace Tank under a delightfully pink Asymmetrical Open-Front Blazer.

For more layering, try a pattered jacket over a solid shirt, like the Menswear Plaid Open Front Blazer and 24/7 White V-Neck Tank. Or reverse the look with a printed shirt, like the Menswear Stripe Tank Stacia chose, with a bold Deep Rouge Solid Open Front Blazer.

Deep reds create such vivacious energy! Curious about color personality? Check out Dressing for Confidence: How to Use Color to Inspire Your Style.

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Clean lines and breathable fabrics make your every-day appearance a piece of cake.
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“There is never a boring day and I couldn’t even begin to describe to you how much joy my job brings me!”

– Stacia

3. Getting Ready for What’s Next

As we look forward to when we can be back in the office, it is a great idea to get our style ready for being back in action.

Make a grand entrance with the Dusty Rose Long Trench Coat and Floral White Sleveless Shift Dress. The perfect spring ensemble for seamless work-from-home-fashion to office-running-fashionista!

Stacia pairs Maurices Dusty Rose Long Trench Coat with Everflex Dark Wash High Rise Skinny Jeans

It’s time we take our every day girl-boss work-from-home attitude and make sure it includes fabulous fashion. Spunky, creative pieces are what we need to boost our mood and lift our spirit.

How will you let style and design influence your motivation and mindset? Will you be vintage glam, chica confident, or boho modern? Will it be leopard print on Tuesdays and vivacious red on Fridays?

Let your bold, inner girl-boss shine through!

Want even more styles and suggestions? Come follow Stacia on Insta @thestaciastaska

Remember, even though physical stores are still closed, Maurices is happily serving customers through online ordering at Maurices.com.

Fabulous Ideas to Decorate Your Home Office

Fabulous Ideas to Decorate Your Home Office

Staying at home doesn’t mean you can’t stay fresh!

Being at home has become the new norm for most of us.

Working from home has definitely brought it’s challenges, such as how to manage a schedule, tend to competing priorities, show up as your fabulous self for Zoom meetings and having the appropriate space to do it all.

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Having a designated home office space makes all the difference in productivity and success.
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On top of everything else, you are not expected to all of a sudden become a professional home designer. Let me help make the set-up easier for you by highlighting some great pieces you can purchase TODAY!

THANK YOU for helping to keep this site going by shopping with our preferred providers!

Let’s face it, your husband DOES have the time to help you put together a few fundamental pieces, like a new desk or bookcase.

Not to say you require a man, partner or assistance to create this great look. It’s simple, easy and available to order today.

Let’s get decorating!

Many professionals working from home are now sharing their “office” space, so having a little spot all to your own is ever-so-important to owning your day.

You can find some fabulous looks below, with all product available through Amazon, so you can order from home and get it delivered right to your door.

You might not be able to get out to shop, but Amazon can still get your favorite goodies to you. (For some great style ideas on what to wear while working from home, click here.)

1. Shared Space

This space designed by the author, using LivingSpaces free 3-D Room Designer Tool online

If you are setting up your work space that doubles as a living space, rest assured you are not alone. Many of us are converting shared spaces to make room to work and study.

There are challenges with traffic flow, balance and having enough space to work in when a space doubles for more than one purpose.

Try creating an office area on one side of the room with a desk, accent table and comfy chair. You will more than likely be here for several hours during the day, so adding a lumbar pillow for comfort in your chair might be the perfect trick to a cozy sitting space.

Seating for this living space balances on the opposite wall, still inviting you to lounge or get cozy when the work day is done.

A simple accent table provides a great place for your book, glass or your phone to rest while you kick back. Using a round one in this space helps soften the edges of the fireplace, corners and ledges.

Adding greenery indoors makes us feel connected to nature. It adds an element of relaxation, peace and tranquility. A fiddle fig, ficus or olive tree can compliment most spaces. If your decor leans towards an ocean feel, try a palm or a fruit tree. Faux trees ensure a fresh pop of color all year long.

Adding metal accents in the form of wall decor, across a mantel or as an accent table helps balance the use of materials in this space. Linen seating, metal accents and wood furniture all come together harmoniously as a smooth mix of finishes and designs.

If your weather permits, then light that fire, pour a glass of your favorite vino and simply relax after a long day of working at home.

Click on any of the elements below to order today!

Moroccan Tribal Rug
Well Woven Kessa Blue Moroccan Tribal Geometric Stripes Area Rug adds the perfect shade of blue to any space. With “Classic Blue” being Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2020, you will be right on trend.


Vintage Desk
What we love about this Signature Design by Ashley Tyler Creek Desk is the stunning two-tone and vintage feel. Plenty of storage and 60″ wide. This desk would set the tone for any home office space.


Parsons Chair
This F&F Furniture Group’s Beige Parsons Chair is simple, but stunning. The brass nailhead trim and rolled back add just a touch of class. Legs are finished in Walnut.


Ink+Ivy Stockholm Color Block Throw
The price and design are both right for this faux cashmere throw from Ink+Ivy. Soft and luxurious, with playful fringes on the edge.


Perfect Pillow Nunu Geo – Ink Blue
Truly the perfect design, the geometric pattern waves and flows effortlessly from top to bottom. A substantial 25″ in size, this is the perfect number to cozy up with.


Creative Co-Op Chenille Lumbar Pillow
Creamy and sweet, this cotton and chenille pillow ads a touch of flair with fringes and texture. It sweetly invites a sense of contentment and serenity.


Modern Decorative 12 in. Rotating Hourglass
Eye-catching with brass tones and fun to watch. Rotate again and again to watch the sand smoothly sift through the glass. Soothing and interesting to the senses.


Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree
Nearly Natural’s Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree comes in a variety of sizes, from 48″-84″. They are an excellent way to bring in a pop of color and nature.


Kole Bronze Sunburst Mirror
14″ is a great size for a small mirror, which means you can purchase several and make a set together. Great movement, lines and finish. This sunburst design will highlight any wall space.


Dancing Lady Orchid
Originally found growing on tree branches in the rain forest, the Dancing Lady Orchid brings in a rich pop of color to your new home office space. With a height of 19″ it is sure to make a statement. The 4″ base fits nicely on a desk or side table.


Whole House Worlds Moroccan Temple Lanterns
These gorgeous beauties come in a set of two and are finished with a fabulous patina. Add an LED candle for the perfect ambiance.

2. Modern and Bold

This space designed by the author, using LivingSpaces free 3-D Room Designer Tool online

We love this space for its chic, bright and bold use of lines.

Gold accents and modern shelving, paired with a delicate wallpaper as a backdrop makes it feel way more than just a simple office space.

Placing footstools in front of the desk invites a cozy chat or two, without overwhelming the surrounding decor.

The mirrored cabinet adds a whimsical storage area. This is the perfect look for a smaller space or a spare room.

You could even accomplish this look in a nook or loft.

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Adding Classic Blue as an accent color with a chair, vase or decorative accent also brings in Pantone’s 2020 Color of the Year. Blue balances quite beautifully against the brightness of the gold.
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Consider rose gold or brass if you want to tone down the boldness of the metal accents.

Underneath it all is a cozy, sheepskin rug. A perfectly comfortable spot for you to kick off your shoes and get down to business.

Linon Desk, White
This campaign-style desk is adorable and cozy. The perfect size to nest in a smaller space at 44″ wide. Rose-gold accents accompany the flawless white finish.


Meridian Navy and Gold Accent Chair
Plush velvet navy upholstery sits on top of a gleaming, metallic gold frame. The perfect blend of contemporary and mid-century modern comes together in this spectacular barrel design.


Super Soft Faux Sheepskin Silky Shag Rug
It doesn’t get much more luxurious than this. Hypoallergenic, no-shed and stain resistant, this rug is super soft, plush and smooth to the touch. Give your feet the pampering they deserve with opulent look and feel.


Tribesigns Modern Gold Bookcase
Drop level shelving gives a fun, yet functional attitude to storage and design. Faux marble shelves add a touch of class, with plenty of room to decorate and display.


Skynature European Clock
This gorgeous piece is sure to make a statement. Clock is hollow to allow the fabulous background of your wall to show through. Minimalistic in design, it is also non-ticking so it won’t drive you crazy while you work. The gold hands are the perfect accent for your new space. Available in multiple sizes.


Spoonflower Peel and Stick Wallpaper
Self-adhesive wallpaper that can be easily removed. Gorgeous vintage swallow pattern available in multiple sizes and lengths.


Lika Industrial Pendant Lights
Industrial, yet modern. We love the warm ambiance these lights provide. Height is adjustable, comes in set of three for perfect balance.


Rivet Modern Hexagon Floating Shelves
Comes as a single unit, so hanging is easy. We love the glass shelves and the gold, iron frame. Super cute way to introduce some modern lines and accent your home office wall space.


Basik Nature Faux Tulip Arragement
Classic and chic, this arrives fully arranged and ready to go. Simply open, fluff the leaves and set in place. Loving the white for purity and tranquility.


Mirrored White Buffet Console
This console is versatile, adorable and a great price. The design is simple, clean and versatile. The mirrored front lends a pure and elegant finish.


3. Fully-Purposed Space

This space designed by the author, using LivingSpaces free 3-D Room Designer Tool online

If you’ve got the space, then go for it, girl! We love this fully-purposed layout as you work from home because of the versatility between comfort and style.

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Deep, dark wooden tones are balanced by the bright, natural golden tones of the chairs to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
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Overhead pendant lighting and a classic wall-clock bring it all together.

Your friends will think you’re a five star designer. Your Zoom contacts will think you’ve never even left your beautiful office.

Don’t forget to add art behind the desk if you have the wall space. It will allow for a perfect backdrop for all those digital conferences you are likely to be on now.

Get the look below:

Liberty Industries Arlington House Writing Desk
This desk is bold and industrial…and we are absolutely in love with it! Cobblestone Brown finish sits on top of a magnificently designed base. A perfect statement piece for your new office space.


Martin Furniture Hartford Double Pedestal Desk
This is an excellent option if you desire a desk with the additional storage. Locking file drawers securely accommodate up to legal size folders. Two-tone colors and bold trim add to the richness of this piece. Comes fully assembled, so you can get down to business immediately.


La-Z-Boy Emerson Executive Office Chair
With comfort and style, this chair is a double win. Ergonomic, with a high-back and lumbar support. Also includes recline and tilt features.


DHP Ivana Accent Chair
What’s not to love about this beauty? Suave and debonair, with smooth velvet texture and rich color. It is the perfect accent to compliment the opulent wood tones of your space.


Walker Edison Metal Framed Console Table
This table has all the industrial charm your new space will need. Curved lines flow from side to side and front to back. Glass shelf on the top lightens up the look for a perfect balance.


Glitzhome Oversized Rustic Wall Clock
Quiet and non-ticking, this decorative iron-clad clock is the perfect accessory for a rustic space. Available in multiple sizes.


Nearly Natural Blue Hydrangea Centerpiece
Perfectly created centerpiece adds drama and whimsy. Blue hydrangea surrounded by natural greenery. Includes white ceramic bowl.


Nearly Natural Silk Olive Tree
Olive trees are natural, simple and aesthetically appealing. This silk version is all of the above. Greenery relaxes the senses, inviting a natural connection to nature. You can welcome that feeling by tucking this little guy into an available corner.


Pillow Perfect Lumbar Throw Pillow
Ultramarine geometric print added to the Ivana Accent Chairs will liven up your new space. Get one for each chair for balance and rhythm.


Industrial Pendant Light
The magnificent patina on this pendant light will be sure to light up your office space with marvelous splendor. Add them in odd numbers to light up your world. A set of three feels pretty perfect.


Monarch Coat Rack
A coat rack adds a handy element to an available corner. It can also be artistic and allude to movement and energy.


Geometric Rustic Floating Shelves
Comes in a set of 2 and adds an element of design. Lines and angles tell the eyes where to travel when entering a room. These are sure to get more than just a passing glance. Pair with a funky vase for a fun vibe. We also love the mix of materials, combining both iron and wood for a rustic appeal.


Opps Mini Artificial Plants
Pop one of these on your floating shelves for just the right amount of charm. Perfect motivational messages for your home office, such as “Find Yourself and Be That.” Comes in a set of 3, so you can share the love in other rooms, as well.

Remember, the best part about your space is getting to make it your own.

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No matter your style, having the right spot enhances your energy and vibe.
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That kind of intensity and spirit flows right over into your work, further fueling the powerhouse that you are.

This is your space, girl.

Whether you need to pop in a few new elements, or give it a complete overhaul, just remember it is going to be fabulous when you are finished.

Go ahead, get ordering.

You make the room and let Amazon do the rest. New product, right to your door. Your perfect work from home office is coming together and it feels so good!

Please note: Selections are based on availability.

Managing Change: Position Yourself Positive

Managing Change: Position Yourself Positive

Could anyone have truly predicted all the changes we have seen in our world as of late?  The entire planet has been thrust into a mode of survival in a matter of weeks.  Most individuals are now behind closed doors, riding out the storm in quarantine and isolation, businesses on lock-down, the economy reluctantly grinding to a halt.

Many questions have arisen…what of the future? 

What will our businesses look like once we can resume?  Many employees have been furloughed and even more laid-off or downsized. 

Among a valid wave of fear and uncertainty, one question looms like a shadow in the night…what does tomorrow look like?  For some of us, once thriving careers are now scattered around us, like ashes at our feet.

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How we arise from this comes from our ability to be able to pivot in the moment
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One thing is certain, change is inevitable, at this point.  Understanding that change and managing it appropriately will be the difference in how you emerge once the dust settles and tomorrow dawns anew.

Although the circumstance may be out of your control, managing the change is not.  You can certainly still position yourself positive among critical uncertainty.

First, you must be in agreement with yourself that today is not wasted. 

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Today must include a move forward in your passions and pursuits. 
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You must think beyond the now and create a new vision for your future.

One of the biggest challenges to allowing a new vision to emerge is that we are constantly fraught with the goals of prior commitments and ideas. 

Girl, that was yesterday.  Today is a new day. 

Today is a different set of circumstances, requiring a different set of objectives. 

Success comes from being able to objectively evaluate the current situation against former goals.  Are you still on track to graduate this semester?  Will you have to seek for a new position or new company?  Are you prepared for a directional move? 

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When you can bring the smaller pieces into focus with the big picture and constantly align your actions to this new initiative, then you are creating a masterpiece and not just a snapshot.
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Managing change and positioning yourself positive requires three main components: Acceptance, Approach and Activation.

1. Acceptance

One major challenge to managing change is that we are not always convinced that a change can be a benefit.  This is especially true when we have not invited this change, or are even prepared to accept it.  Where is the evidence this new course will be positive in any regard?  

Despite not having all the answers or information, we can still lead ourselves through this period of uncertainty by coming to terms with the fact that our narrative may have changed.  In order to achieve our desired future (career/position/business), we have to establish a new vision.

You can do this by practicing a few exercises. 

First, get out a notepad and write the three most important goals or outcomes you wish to achieve in the immediate future.  That means within the next 3-6 months, if not sooner. 

(For a great 7-day exercise on establishing clarity and purpose, CLICK HERE.  You’ll receive my free guide on 7 Days to Clarity where you can go through a step-by-step practice on exercises like this and more.)

Once you have clearly defined for yourself what you want or need to achieve, then you can create your strategy for achieving it.

This method works for creating definite and specific goals, no matter what the objective is.

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To position yourself positive is to re-adjust your course to the path that propels you forward like a catapult in the relentless pursuit of your goals.
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2. Approach

What does it look like to start a job search in the middle of a global pandemic?  How can you stand out in your field or career? What actions will take you another step closer to your most important goal?  If you are finding yourself at the edge of a new job query, then step one is ensuring your resume is ready to go to work for you.  (For great tips on creating a professional resume summary, CLICK HERE.)

Review your list of goals you just created and circle ONE of them.  The one that is the most important or will bring you the biggest return for your time and effort.  Then get busy drafting a plan to get yourself there.

If a job search dominates your list, you may want to beef up your certifications and knowledge base before you begin applying.  Skill building is always a worthwhile practice and it may help you stand out as a valuable asset to a new employer.

There are many low-cost and easy options to take online classes right from home.  Check out some great options here:

Udemy – Udemy offers some incredible courses on personal development and business management.  They also have a 30-day, risk-free trial, so you can’t go wrong when signing up!  Courses are extremely affordable and taught by business professionals.  Learning courses, brain training, focus mastery…all are courses available right now on Udemy.  CLICK HERE TO GET SIGNED UP: UDEMY

New Skills Academy – Check out their section on Professional Development.  Courses are quick and easy to maneuver.  New Skills Academy covers classes from public speaking to managing and improving the customer service process to marketing.  Whether you are a business major, general manager, restaurant owner or a salon manager, you will find a course to suit your professional goals. CLICK HERE AND GET REGISTERED: NEW SKILLS ACADEMY

LinkedIn Learning – LinkedIn Learning gives you an inside track to professional and personal development.  Learn strategies on coaching, planning and analysis.  CLICK HERE: LINKEDIN LEARNING

WhizLabs – As a student of WhizLabs myself, I find their platform incredibly easy to navigate.  Courses are delivered digitally and no downloads are required.  WhizLabs is easy, functionable and super affordable (Hello, classes for $9.95.  That’s amazing!)  Take advantage of my affiliate link to get signed-up today. CLICK HERE TO ACCESS WHIZLABS

AWS Certifications

Audio Books – Get 50% off your first digital audio book with this affiliate link.  Listen to a great assortment of motivational and inspirational books by popular authors.  Get started today with some amazing reads.  CLICK HERE: AUDIOBOOKS

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Audible – You can also find some great reads on Audible.  Listen while you work or workout.  You receive credits each month, which you can apply to titles of your choice.  Get started with Audible today! Click below to get started with Audible:

Amazon – Amazon has a huge collection of books available to sharpen your leadership skills.  Try one of the recommendations below:

3. Activation

Now that you have aligned yourself with change, outlined your most immediate goal and created a path forward, it’s time to put that plan into action.

Words are only words until we take that first step in the direction of our dreams.  We must become activators, keepers of commitments to ourselves. 

Say it out loud. 

Say out loud what your dream or goal is. “I am in pursuit of my dream job as a ______.  I am strong, motivated, dedicated, committed, and completely sold-out to success.  I will be confident and relentless in the pursuit of this dream.  I will begin (training/learning/networking) TODAY.  I will (enroll/sign-up/join) the program or course that will propel me into my future destiny.  I am a dynamic leader of myself and I will push past fear, doubt and unbelief.  I am strong and I am FIERCE.”

As vibrant and motivated leaders, we know that we are typically on the forefront of new innovations and change.  We encourage, coach, mentor and lead others around us through uncharted territory on a regular basis.  It’s what makes our hearts beat and our energy surge. 

It is time we offer this encouragement to ourselves. 

It can be a job search, a new fitness routine, a healthy eating program, a refresh in our environment inviting organization and purpose, or a creative outlet to de-stress.  Whatever it is that we need to align ourselves to in order to find new success is the commitment that we make to ourselves TODAY. 

We will position ourselves positive for a new tomorrow. 

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We are wholly committed that today is a gift and each moment we have is an opportunity to shine. 
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You owe this to your future self.  Six months, a year, 5 years, 10 years from now you will look back knowing that no matter what THIS MOMENT looked like, you rose up to the occasion and you shined like the rock-star that you are. 

Own it, girl.  Your future is waiting.

Writing a Professional Resume Summary

Writing a Professional Resume Summary

Have you ever looked in the mirror and wondered, “Who is this woman?”  What is she really made of? 

I usually consider these deep questions when I’m fixing my hair in the morning.  I like to style it based on my mood and objectives for the day, or match it to my outfit…a tight ponytail with my camouflage flats, bouncy curls and my blue dress with the flowers, or straight and serious with my black blazer. 

Want to design your own resume? Use the link below:

Canva Resume Maker Tool

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This woman that you see reflected back at you is full of personality, charisma, and grace. 
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Her personal fortitude defines who she is.  She is also shaped and learned from her experiences. 

When a recruiter or employer is hiring for a position, they look to fill the role with the candidate that would be the best fit.  (They also aren’t concerned about any of the freckles or creases that you saw in that mirror earlier, so go ahead and let that one go.  You are GORGEOUS and there is only one YOU in this world!  Be confident, girlie!)

This means not only are they considering experience, but they want to assess whether this individual candidate also aligns with the culture of the company?  Would they be a good representative and passionate about the brand?

The recruiter may have dozens, if not hundreds of candidates to consider.  Your first impression is what is demonstrated on the page. 

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Your living legacy of your work shines through keywords, organization, and a little creative expression. 
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This means not statically listing general descriptions, but specifically using quantifiable metrics, accomplishments and showcasing your triumphs and successes.

Resumes are comprised of several parts, including work history, education, volunteer experience, skills, credentials, certifications and also a summary. 

Some resume writers talk about an “objective summary.”  An objective is used in place of a professional summary when the individual does not have significant work history, or is switching careers.  An objective would help the employer understand what the applicant WANTS to achieve, but not what they have already accomplished.

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A professional resume summary highlights the candidate’s position in their career and lists specific accomplishments.

Think of it as a 3-5 sentence personal profile.  I have been in retail management for over a decade, but simply stating “high-volume retail manager” does little to highlight my actual abilities.  I have been in charge of businesses with up to $10 million dollars in revenue.  I have led team sizes up to 24 individuals directly reporting to me.  I have won awards with multiple companies and been selected for specific company initiative and tasks.  This is the specific kind of information I want to capture a potential employer’s attention with.

My personal resume summary is four sentences long, and reads:

“High-volume ($10m+) retail store manager with 12+ years experience in operations, inventory control, visual merchandising, sales, customer-service, loyalty acquisition, talent development and driving profitability. Have ability to acquire, develop and manage high-performing teams, with management of 24 direct reports. Received Store Manager of the Year recognition for Pier 1 Imports, 2019; Talent Award Recipient for Pier 1 Imports, 2016; $100k Club recognition, Bath & Body Works, 2014.  Tapped as top-talent for special projects, Caribou Coffee, 2013 and Toys R’ Us, 2011; B.A. Psychology, 2019.”

That is not the extent of my career journey, but it showcases information that is important to the professional accomplishments I have made as a leader and retail store manager.  It states right away the responsibilities I have been tasked to manage, team sizes who have reported to me and the specific technical skills that are involved in my role. 

A recruiter may have the time to read over my entire resume, experience and skills.  However, if they are skimming through, I have a much better chance of standing out because I have neatly packaged up my skills and history and presented it to them in an organized and creative manner.

If you are ready to practice, then consider these key points:

1. State your professional title first and include the longevity, if it is impactful.  This could be something like, “Certified Logistics Expert with 6 years experience.”  Or, “Professional office manager with 9 years experience.”

2. Highlight 3-4 accomplishments that you really want to stand out to your employer.  Let’s add to our office manager’s professional summary: “Professional office manager with 9 years experience. Certified in Microsoft Word, 72 WPM.  Flexible in fast-paced environment, managed 3 direct reports and optimized office supply spending to save $2,500 per annum.”

3. Be sure to include specific and quantifiable data. Our office manager (we will call her Bianca) can type 72 words per minute (which is pretty high and alludes to a strong ability for productivity.)  She is certified in the software that helps her perform her job efficiently.  Bianca has also worked in an office that requires agility and flexibility, since it is fast paced.  She had 3 individuals that reported directly to her (highlights her leadership experience.)  Bianca also was passionate about her role and due to her organization and skilled management, she saved the company money out of its budget for supplies.  Bianca seems like a strong candidate for an office environment and a recruiter may entertain her for additional leadership roles and responsibilities.

4. Use specific keywords that relate to your career field. Applicant tracking systems are digital filters that are comprised of automated processes that screen for potential applicants.  These systems rely heavily on keywords to locate potential candidates.  You will want to use keywords that you would find in a potential job description and include those in your summary and in your resume. 

It is a great move to place a few specific keywords in your summary that are directly relative to the job for which you are applying.  You can also utilize other keywords when describing role or company specific bullet points in the experience portion of your resume. 

You can try Indeed or Monster as reference sites for job descriptions to help you out with locating viable and specific keywords. 

Can you locate the keywords out of my professional summary?  They are directly related to the skills required in my role, “retail store manager, operations, inventory control, visual merchandising, sales, customer-service, loyalty acquisition, and talent development.” 

These keywords are specific and intentional.  They are included because they are important and describe precise proficiencies an employer would be searching for in my career field.  They are likely to be located by a digital applicant tracking system, as well.

You do not have to be a wizard to write your summary.  For some helpful tools and tricks, try out these guides:

Guess what?  You can also hire this task out the professionals!  If your summary seems complicated, you have multiple points you want to highlight or it just does not seem to read how you want it to, then go ahead and hire it out. 

There are lots of wonderful professionals who can help you get the beautiful and professional resume that you desire and deserve.  Girl, you have worked so hard to get to this point in your career.  Don’t let your resume get shuffled through.  You were made to shine and STAND OUT!

Check out some great professionals who are ready to provide assistance.  One easy way to do this is to go on LinkedIn and type in “Resume Writing” in Services.  You can narrow down by location to find a local individual or company who can provide this service for you. 

If you prefer an online service, try TopResume.com.  They have a reasonable service starting at $149.  For a female-led business, check out WriteStepResumes.com.  Write Step works on a sliding scale based on career experience.  Pricing packages are easily available to browse on their site.  For a free resume check-up, try TheResumeClinic.com.  The Resume Clinic also offers LinkedIn Profile Development and Resume & Cover Letter Tune-Up.

I can’t wait to see how far and how fast you fly through your next job search!  Your dream job may be actively looking for their next candidate RIGHT NOW and there is no reason you shouldn’t be at the front of the line.  Good luck!  Best wishes and happy career searching!

What I Learned Through Coaching Others

What I Learned Through Coaching Others

3 Simple Steps to Intentional Coaching for Success

Providing coaching and feedback has been a part of my job as a retail manager for the past decade or more.  While it might seem intimidating to receive feedback, it is also equally as challenging to learn how to give it.

I’ve had associates who have shown appreciation, those who have had a litany of excuses and some who thrive off the communication.  How do you learn how to balance when and where to provide feedback?  There are a few simple ways to set yourself and your teams up for success.

1. Identify if the need is coaching for success or coaching for performance

Coaching for success works well when you provide feedback in the moment.  This means recognizing a team member, associate or subordinate manager for positive behaviors as a positive re-inforcer immediately following the behavior.

If the coaching is performance related, where the individual is under-performing, I have found it works well to bring them in as a partner on the conversation.  This includes asking questions and having the associate help provide the answers, rather than approaching the conversation from the standpoint of criticism. 

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Ask them what is working well for them and in what areas could they use more practice. 
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Collaborate with your team and gain their buy-in on performance goals

If they cannot identify any areas for themselves, then it is my job as a leader to help them understand and define this for them.

In this style of coaching, I work with the associate to help them define areas of opportunity and then offer coaching to develop their skills.  I also take this moment to set expectations.  We practice role-playing and I work with them to build their confidence. 

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It helps to also offer positive feedback where you can to help bolster their self-esteem and motivation.
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In an instance where an associate is blatantly ignoring process or procedure, then I find it helps to pull them aside and ask discovery questions to get to the root of the issue.  If they are not dedicated or committed to their role, experience has taught me it’s usually related to underlying issues.  Sometimes they have brought stress from home or a relationship or an outside source. 

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For one of my associates recently, coaching was centered around a negative attitude that was manifesting itself by her barking orders at everyone.  I could see other associates weren’t responding well to her approach.  I took the time to pull her aside.  “You seem kind of stressed today, is there anything I can help with?”  Through taking the time to connect with her and genuinely care about her as a person, I uncovered she had a financial burden that was weighing on her and it was a major distraction. 

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Learning of this information, I have the option to help bring awareness to how this attitude was becoming noticeable.
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I opted to change her tasks for the day, coach her to a more positive presentation and encourage her to remain resilient.  I find this all-around approach works well because you are speaking to the wholeness of the individual…helping to mend the wounds of negativity, helping to bolster pride in their work and in themselves and reaching out in understanding at other burdens they are struggling to bear.

For more information on coaching, check out this handy guide on coaching with the GROW model:

2. Be consistent

Consistency is the key for any great mentor/mentee relationship.  Top performing associates usually see success because they regularly execute their tasks to the best of their ability on a consistent basis.  They are the associates who never let a customer pass them by without a hello or an offer to assist.  They regularly compliment the customer’s purchase, make great recommendations and demonstrate product knowledge. 

Coaching is meant to inspire achievement, articulate goals, empower boldness, create confidence, bolster awareness, and facilitate growth.  It is a partnership with your associate to demonstrate an investment in their future and the future of your business, together. 

StrongHerPurpose

It is key for a leader to demonstrate the same passion and dedication.  Otherwise, how could an individual trust a coaching message coming from someone whose leadership is inconsistent, at best? 

For my team, we use a tracking method for certain performance indicators that we are looking to achieve.  We keep this in place daily and celebrate each win.  Each associate gets a chance to contribute.

Review goals frequently and be consistent

Providing positive reinforcement through recognition has bolstered success for my team in these key metrics.  Having solidified expectations in place also helps each individual have a measurable aspiration.

You might also want to consider consistency across your management team.  If I put a message into place, I expect my assistant managers and leaders to also have the same conversations with the team. 

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This means I need to examine my communication methods, establish a clear vision, assess for understanding, model the behavior and gather feedback. 
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If I stay consistent with my message to my leadership team, it is more likely they will stay consistent with the messages they deliver to others.  In this way we find the whole team functions towards a singular outcome, because the message and instructions are consistent.

This takes time to build with your management team and it does not always run perfectly.  Take time to intentionally observe the messages your leaders are bringing to the team and look for ways to reinforce the vision.  Is the message clear?  Is it too simple?  Too complicated?  Does it clearly define the purpose or end goals?

Don’t assume the message is consistent simply because you asked for or expected it to be so.  Invest time and energy into your leaders and help them refine their own communication styles.  You will serve yourself, them and the entire team in the process.

3. Coaching shouldn’t be a surprise

Taking the time to establish relationships with your team will enable you to deliver a clearer message when the time comes.  You will know how this individual operates, what is important to them, how they best receive information and even gauge their response.

I find that making genuine connections with my team as we go about our day fosters trust and creates opportunities for connection.  This connection leads to more open communication.  My goal is to make my team feel comfortable and powerful enough to pose questions, be curious, identify struggles, ask for help, and even compliment each other. 

By creating a culture of value for each individual, they know I am open to feedback, no matter the subject or situation.  As a leader, I value this association because it provides me the information I need to be able to support them correctly and lead them to success.  I need to know what is working, what is not working, what they are excited about and what parts of their day they find more challenging.

From this information, I can create compelling and valuable coaching messages for the whole team, no matter their tenure, position or ability.  This enables our group to function as a productive unit, whole, committed and with a singular destination for our journey.

Check out some additional coaching methods here on COACHING TOP PERFORMERS:

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Remember that coaching is a service
to this individual, not a demand. 
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Coaching is meant to inspire achievement, articulate goals, empower boldness, create confidence, bolster awareness, and facilitate growth. It is a partnership with your associate to demonstrate an investment in their future and the future of your business, together.

Well respected leaders are on the front-lines for their teams, gathering in and processing new information.  These leaders communicate to their teams in ways that are productive, interesting and cohesive.  Leaders who are engaged with their teams foster creativity and inspire productivity.  For a team to be high-performing, they have to have a leader with the same commitments. 

I am always extremely excited for the strides my team is making.  I have learned and benefited from each individual along the way.  Every single team member has an important place among the squad and I am privileged to be able to serve them, in return.

Some additional recommended reading:

Disclaimer:

All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only.  Any views or opinions represented in this blog are personal and belong solely to the blog owner and do not represent those of people, institutions or organizations that the owner may or may not be associated with in professional or personal capacity, unless explicitly stated.  For more details, click here.