With a buzz in the air and a fizz in our drinks, close to 100 women gathered at Lord & Taylor on 5th Avenue on Jan. 13, 2016, for NYWICI’s sold out event “New Year, New You: Have Your Best Year at Work Ever!”
The panel was stacked with five thought provoking speakers: Karyn Benvenuto, vice president & general manager, Lord & Taylor; Lea Goldman, executive editor, Marie Claire magazine; Emma Gray, executive women’s editor, The Huffington Post; Elle Kaplan, CEO and founder of LexION Capital; and Lindsay Moroney, chief of staff at The Muse.
Between live-tweeting #NYWICIYOPRO and furiously writing down notes so that I could have my best year at work ever, I jotted down five key takeaways:
While it’s nice to surround yourself with the people you like and follow people on social media who have the same interests as you, it’s important to break out of your comfort zone and introduce yourself to a diverse spectrum of people and information. Being mindful of what you’re taking in can really broaden your perspective and help you engage in interesting conversations and situations that you wouldn’t have normally taken part in.
- Put In Your “Sweat Equity”
It’s not as gross as it sounds and it’s totally true: If you want to reap the benefits, you need to put in the work. If you’re looking to take on more responsibility in your position or #askformore, you need to “nail the small stuff” before your boss might even remember your name. Once you do that, tell her about it and show how a new change can make her life easier. Remember: You don’t get what you don’t ask for.
This also works when you need to say ‘no’ — which we all need to do more of. Never say no to a challenge, but also know when you need to say no. The best way to say no but not lose points is if you accrue good will by excellent performance.
- You Need to "Grustle" = Grind + Hustle
Managing time effectively is something we all struggle with every day, be it with a current job, a side hustle or with keeping up your contacts. We all say we “don’t have enough time,” but the real key is, if it’s important to you, make the time for it. Are you more passionate about your side hustle? Then turn that passion into a paycheck and take risks! Don’t wait for permission to do something you’re passionate about. It could pay off.
We all agreed: budgets are boring, but unfortunately needed for most people. While we briefly discussed how putting money into your 401k and skipping the proverbial latte are musts, the real tidbit that caught my ear was the thought of “going on a cash diet.” This means taking out a certain amount of cash every week, and once that cash is done, so is your spending for the week.
- Dress to Blend and Read the Room
While this might seem like a no brainer, in most cases, it’s really not. Example: When going on a job interview, take into account the culture of that company to prepare your outfit. You shouldn’t dress as if you’re going out on a Saturday night, but you should feel good in what you wear as it represents who you are. While many times it is good to stand out and make a statement, other times it’s good to “dress to blend,” so people are noticing you and not your appearance. One amazing quote I heard was, “Don’t bring the coffee pastries in a room full of men — you’re done. But bring them to a room full of women…” You get the idea.
It’s vital for women to connect and support each other, and this event was a great kick off to the New Year — with empowered women empowering women.
— Christine Murray; photo: Jan Goldstoff