Category: how to

How To Fight Fair With Anyone

Want to fight fair? With anyone - co-worker, roommate, romantic partner? Click through for 11 tips! //

Whether you’re living with friends, strangers or your (usually) sweet and good-tempered lover, disagreements are part of life. Most of us hate confrontation, but it’s pretty unavoidable – much like taxes, reality tv, and your cousin’s boring wedding.

Here are 11 tips that will help you fight fair


How To Beat Self-Employment Burnout

Are you suffering from self-employment burnout? If you have to ask, you probably are. Click through for burnout beating tips from a seasoned entrepreneur >>
Self-employment is no joke and burnout is incredibly common. My friend Laura knows a thing or two about self-employment burnout; after starting her own accessories label in 2004, Laura saw her pieces featured in  InStyle Weddings, Brides, Redbook, “O” The Oprah Magazine, and Martha Stewart Weddings. Amazing, right?!But it came at a price. Today, Laura shares four ways to avoids self-employment burnout.

Networking For Introverts: A Primer

Networking for introverts - is it even possible? Of course! Click through for networking tips + career advice that will help you, introverted OR extroverted!
Is networking for introverts even, like, POSSIBLE? I mean, does anyone actually like networking – introverted or otherwise? For a long time, the thought of networking made me roll my eyes so hard I’d incite migraines.  In fact, a friend jokes that my business card should actually read “Don’t talk to me.”

But!  Then I realized that:
a) networking is really just talking to people and making new friends, two skills at which I excel.
b) knowing lots of people = exponentially more business and career opportunities.

So, I decided to suck it up. Here are all my best introverted networking tips!

8 ways to network if you’re an introvert


5 Steps To Up Your Personal Dignity Quotient

How does one, like, develop dignity? We have dignity when we stop clamoring for credit when we do good things + respond to a-holes with grace. Click through for more ideas for navigating the world with grace, charm, and dignity.

This guest post comes to us via my girl Kelly Williams Brown. Kelly is a columnist, blogger, and the author of “Adulting: How to Become A Grown-Up in 387 Easy(ish) Steps.” She thinks she’s probably a 5.2 on a dignity scale of 1 to 10.  

Dignity, like obscenity or a unitard, is hard to define but you know it when you see it. Click To Tweet Or, more often, when you don’t see it, since we don’t live in the most dignified of times.I am not, by nature, a dignified person. For example, I’m not saying I have eaten chips and salsa while taking a bubble bath, but I’m not saying I haven’t, either.

But even though it’s not something I’m naturally good at, I’ve found some principles that at least allow me to present a semi-dignified exterior to the world. Yes, this façade may only be a few millimeters thick, but the first step to actually being dignified is acting dignified.

5 steps to up your Personal Dignity Quotient (PDQ)

1. Don’t clamor for credit when you do good things

Yes, it’s a self-aggrandizing world we live in, but really the reason you should be doing good is that it’s the right thing to do, not to get recognized for it. Dignity is an internal thing, so the more you can develop, within yourself, all the satisfaction you require, the better.

In college, I dated a guy who just did wonderful things for humanity. He would get up at 6 a.m., every weekday, to go do adult literacy tutoring in the projects. He also worked a lot with the homeless, and something important he told me was that you shouldn’t be looking for positive feedback from the people you were helping, because you are there for them, not the other way around.

The more time you spend looking over your shoulder to make sure everyone sees you being good, the less time you actually have to be good.

2. Play the “wouldn’t you be sorry?” game with yourself

I think lots of people know, naturally, that eating yellow curry in a white sundress is a bad idea. But it took me years of natural consequences to realize this important truth. And the only way I avoid such things now is that I’ve trained myself to think of these potentially undignified consequences. Here’s the sort of dialogue that runs through my brain several times a day:

“Kelly Brown, wouldn’t you be sorry if you got in the car wearing a skimpy skirt and a stained tanktop and then you got a flat tire and had to walk along the interstate in this ensemble?”

“Kelly Brown, wouldn’t you be sorry if this hilarious sexual anecdote that you are about to write an email about was forwarded around?”

“Kelly Brown, wouldn’t you be sorry if you had a bunch of cocktails at this work function and then let that attractive co-worker know how compelling you find him?”

3. Watch ya mouth

There is a Tupac song with one of his characteristically frank hooks: “Motherf*cker, watch ya mouth.” This is advice that lots and lots of us can take to heart.

Do I need to say this? Can I pause a beat to decide if this joke may offend someone? Does this cruel remark I’m about to make need to exist in the world? Who will benefit from my sharing all these colorful details of recent medical troubles?

4. Act like you’ve been there before

This advice came from my family friend Bonnie. If you’re in a situation where you are either excited or uncomfortable, the best thing to do is to act as though you’ve been there before.

No, you’re not nervous, you’re not flustered, you’re even not dazzled by that celebrity because whatever is happening is par for the course in your extremely awesome life. You’ve been there before … or at least, you’re pretending you have.

I find that if I am working to project calm steadiness outward, usually my brain feels calm and steady as well.

5. Respond gracefully to a-holes

This world of ours is chock full of magic, wonder, kittens and assholes. Unfortunately, I seem to encounter assholes a lot more frequently than the first three.

But the problem with being an jerk in return is that you are thereby increasing the World Asshole Population (1.9 billion, 2012 est.) You can instead be gracious and walk away with the upper hand.

Don’t yell back at them. Don’t swear. Don’t call names. Calmly stand your ground, secure in the knowledge that eventually you will emerge triumphant. Why? Because you are one dignified-ass person, and dignity always wins out in the end.

Do you think of yourself as a dignified person? What does ‘dignity’ look like in your life? 

photos by and Morgan Sessions // cc

How To Get A Decent Job Right Out Of College

Are you trying to get a job after college? Looking for an entry level job with a liberal arts degree? It's possible! Click through for job-hunting tips for recent grads!
When I started college, I chose to be an English major because I liked Anne of Green Gables and  those ‘free writing’ exercises in fourth grade.
That was literally the amount of thought I put into the decision.
And I thought even less about what I’d do with my degree – until my first visit home and the 8 million “So, are you going to be a teacher?” conversations.
So, when I returned to school I did a variety of things  that resulted in me landing a ‘real’ job – like, with benefits and a (fairly) livable wage and business cards!  So I must have done something right. Later, I actually came to hate said job but that’s not what we’re talking about right now.
This is the story of what I did to get a ‘real’ job, straight out of college, with a liberal arts degree.

I graduated with my BA in 2002, when the economy was very, very different.  I know that there are many smart, hard working, qualified people who have done All The Right Things and still can’t find a job.
And that makes me want to weep and stuff my face with cheese.  I don’t want anyone to view this post as an affront to your job hunting efforts, I can only tell you what worked for me.

How To A Decent Job Right Out Of College

Realize that your classes probably aren’t preparing you for the workplace.

Liberal arts programs teach you how to make and support arguments/read and write well/be an informed, well-rounded citizen of the world.  But they don’t necessarily teach you about the software used in your field, how to navigate office politics, how to write grant proposals or any of the super specific skills that you’ll probably need.

Is it heartbreaking that many of us pay $40,000+ for an education that doesn’t help us get a job?  Yes.  Sadly, the only person who's responsible for your employability is you. Click To Tweet

Take classes (or learn skills) that will make you employable and set you apart from other job seekers.

You don’t have to switch your major to Marketing or Accounting, but no one will ever regret taking a class in social media, basic computer programming or bookkeeping.  And these skills will make you approximately a million times more appealing as a job candidate.

Work for an arts non-profit? Help manage their Twitter account.  Using your Women’s Studies degree at a shelter?  Manage their mailing list and newsletter.  History Majoring it up a museum?  Help them balance their monthly budget.

Do internships.  Even if they’re low-paying.  Even if you’re broke.

By the time I graduated, I’d completed four internships and every.single.summer I questioned this decision.  I was earning minimum wage while my friends made real money waitressing and working in factories.  When I graduated, I had a pretty impressive skill set and equally impressive debt.  My friends had less debt but fewer skills.

I got a job almost immediately and was able to start paying down my debt and working my way towards a career.  Suckily, a lot of my friends floundered because they’d never really developed a professional skill set.  The financial sacrifices you’ll make for those internships will pay off later.  Tenfold.

If you want to work in a creative field, start a blog.  Like, today.

If you want a job that involves writing/design/art/decor/music, get thee to WordPress.  Having a blog will help you develop your voice/aesthetic, connect with people in your field and it’ll show potential employers that you’re a reliable initiative-taker.  Assuming you don’t post three times a week for a month and then forget about it.

Make peace with networking.

Puuuuuke. I know.  But ‘networking’ is really just another name for ‘making new friends’ and ‘staying in touch.’  If you’ve done an internship, make sure you stay in touch with the people you met there.  Reach out to alumni who work in your field.  Ask neighbors or your parents’ friends who work in your field if you can buy them dinner and pick their brains.

Related: Networking for introverts: a primer

There’s way, way more to job hunting than and Craigslist.

Here’s how I got my fresh-out-of-school job:  I went to, typed in the word ‘creative’ and cold-called listed and asked if they had an internship program.  You could do the same.

Check out non-profit specific job sites,  Google “museums [city name],” talk to the Careers office at you college.  And under the heading of ‘I know you already know this,’  edit your cover letter and resume to better fit every job you apply to.

Know that you might need two jobs for a while – one that gets your foot in the door and one that pays the bills.

When I was working as an event planner, I got a roommate to help cover all my bills.  When I was teaching ESL, I had two other side gigs to help me stay afloat.  It’s entirely possible that the really awesome job you find coordinating an after school dance program is part-time and low-paying.

And  you’ll have to wait tables/bartend/barista to make ends meet.  And it might be tempting to completely fore go the low-paying, part-time job that’s actually in your field.  Because you could make more money and have more time if you just bartended.

But here’s the thing:  the only thing that full-time waitressing is going to prepare you for is a career as a waitress.  Which is totally okay if that’s what you want!

But if you really want to work in the field you studied, try to view that part time job as your golden ticket and the waitressing job as a necessary evil.  If you’re patient and hard working and take initiative, something good will happen.  Eventually.

Do any of you have job-finding advice?  How many of you are currently looking for work?

P.S. 8 steps to (finally) get serious about your professional life

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash