Posts in INSPIRATION
[MONDAYS ARE FINE] OCTOBER 31 2016

TEN LINKS FOR A STRONG WORKING WEEK

1. Tomorrow marks my one year anniversary of living in New York. Here are some things I've learnt about work (and life) over the past twelve months.

2. On Wednesday, I'll be live streaming my first online mentor session - aka Group Hang - with Vice Media's Executive Creative Director, Amel Monsur. Amel will be answering questions sent in by our members as well as taking any others that come in during the stream. Swing by our Facebook page to tune in (and please feel free to 'Like' us while you're there :)

3. Happy Halloween! While we're facing the scary shit in life face on, here's how to reframe your fear of failure. 

4. Dressing up as Donald Trump or the ZIKA virus is one thing; feeling like a fake in your own skin is quite another. Some helpful tips on overcoming the dreaded Imposter Syndrome.

5. Some of you may know that I'm the New York columnist for the British bimonthly publication Courier, which tells 'stories of modern business'. Read my past three columns here. (Well, if you can't plug your work in your own newsletter, where can you...)

6. If you're the kind of person who's already doing, or even thinking about, your Christmas shopping a) kudos to you and b) Nonstop Metropolis: A New York City Atlas seems like it would make a lovely gift. Twenty six maps of the city, including one of its notable women!

7. I've long been a believer in seeking mentorship among your peers - that's pretty much what The WW Club is all about -  and Ann Friedman clearly is, too. Read her eloquent case in The Cut. P.S. Fun fact: Ann is one of the women featured in the Insights section of The Handbook and also spoke at The WW Club: Making It Work L.A last summer.

8.  It's never too late to be what you might have been. Hanna Rosin writes on starting out in a new field in your 40s.

9. Or, you know, you could just aim to retire at 40. Bloomberg Businessweek has some examples of people who've done just that.  Even more mindboggling: Here's a couple who pulled it off at 31 (and want to teach you how to do the same).

10.  S.A.D. already kicking in? Get some wanderlust inspiration via The New York Times' list of 20 Places to Travel in your 20s.

 

BACK TO SCHOOL PART FOUR: THE DELIGHTS OF WORK

In a recent edition of her excellent newsletter, London-based journalist Dolly Alderton shared a lovely piece on the things that delight her, inspired by a book on the same theme. It was literally delightful to read - partly because Dolly is an excellent writer, and partly because thinking about the things in life that evoke joy is perhaps the fastest way to feel immediately joyful. It's why regularly practicing gratitude is the most effective way to feel happier in your daily life, and it's the foundation of positive thinking. When you reroute your thoughts towards the good, you automatically reduce the impact of the bad.

But while it's fairly easy (and immensely enjoyable - give it a try) to list all the things in life that we love to do, eat, read, listen to, and see, it can be harder to conjure up a similar sense of joyfulness when we think about our work. No matter how much you ~live your passion~ and ~follow your dreams~, work is still work for a reason. There are lots of boring bits, lots of disappointing bits, and lots of bits that leave you so stressed that you feel your chest is going to explode (just me?!)

Totokaelo-Offices-Seattle-Michael-Muller-Remodelista-014.jpg

 

All the more reason to spend some time contemplating the delights of your work, whatever it may be. Here are some of mine.

  •  Those rare, Unicorn moments when I find a state of 'flow' - a total absorption in whatever I'm doing, that no iPhone notification or hunger pang can disrupt. Most commonly, I experience this while I'm interviewing someone, but sometimes writing does it, too,
  • The first thirty or so minutes of the day, when my brain is still in a meditative, semi-conscious mode that allows me to do my best thinking. Lying in bed when I'm in this mindstate, thinking all the good thoughts.
  • The hour that comes after that, when it still seems entirely feasible that I'm going to have the productive, inspiring, exciting working day of my dreams.
  • Very occasionally: actually having the productive, inspiring, exciting working day of my dreams.
  • A really good meeting, when I leave with the sense that genuine progress has and will be made.
  • Checking my bank balance after three job payments have cleared at once.
  • Transferring some cash - no matter how small the amount - into my savings account.
  • Remembering that, even though the financial instability of being a freelancer and independent businessowner can (and does) cause me a lot of stress, I'm paying my rent and my bills every month, putting clothes on my own back, and generally just making it work. And I have done for my entire adult life, without the help of a wealthy boyfriend or rich parents to lean on.
  • The feeling of full-body effervescence that comes from a really good idea.
  • Immediately taking action on said idea.
  • Bringing an idea to full fruition. 
  • Looking at ideas I had six months ago and being really glad I didn't take action on them, after all.
  • The buzz in the room after one of our events.
  • Learning new skills, by creating a platform that enables me to explore all my interests at once. I definitely never anticipated how much pleasure I'd find in becoming the rookie designer of all The WW Club flyers and graphics.
  • Fucking up, and then recovering from my fuck ups. Realising that you really do learn from your mistakes.
  • Checking my inbox to find an email from a woman somewhere in the world, saying that The WW Club has helped, inspired, or galvanised her in some way. I live for this.
  • Anytime someone I love tells me that I've made them proud.
  • Being at the point in my career where I know that I'm pretty good at certain things, and I'm getting better at others. Not feeling like I have to issue a disclaimer on that statement, because I've worked really hard to get here.
  • Thinking about all the stuff I've still yet to learn, and how much progress I can still make with writing, speaking, moderating, creative direction, and all the other stuff I've made my job.
  • Talking about work with people (especially women) whose philosophy and output inspires me. 
  • Collaborating with people who are really good at what they do.
  • Contemplating the idea that, in five, or ten, or twenty years' time, I might be doing a completely different type of work in a totally different part of the world. Feeling really grateful that I'm privileged enough to have these kinds of possibilities open to me.
  • Meeting working women in different cities and countries, and learning from the different ways that they get shit done. 
  • Reviewing my annual goals halfway through the year, and realising I've already ticked off most of the list.
  • Slowly learning that I can't do everything at once. Finding peace with that. Cutting stuff from my to-do list entirely.
  • A clean desk. A tidy laptop desktop. A fresh Muji notebook. Black Paper Mate Flair Felt Tip pens in M.
  • Powerdressing for important work days and big meetings. Heading out feeling like I've totally nailed the look.
  • Listing big career and life dreams while I'm lying on a beach.
  • Writing on a plane. 
  • Crossing the Manhattan bridge en route to my office every morning and saying "What's up?" to New York. (Usually in my head. Sometimes out loud).
  • The energy of NYC in the morning, when the whole town is on its way to work.
  • Going home to London and feeling inspired by all the incredible creative work that is being made there.
  • Going to bed at night, totally exhausted from the day's work (in a good way).
  • Getting up for work after a really good night's sleep.
  • Watching my friends thrive in their careers. Seeing them come into their professional power, find creative fulfillment, and make bank along the way.
  • A well-earned holiday.
  • Coming back from a well-earned holiday, raring to get back to work.
  • Knowing, despite much career-related fear and self-doubt, that I'm essentially on the right path and doing the work I'm supposed to do.
  • Never dreading Mondays. 
LISTEN TO THE WW CLUB PODCAST WITH THE CO-FOUNDERS OF LOLA

We back!

The WW Club Podcast returns with an interview with Jordana Kier and Alexandra Friedman - the cofounders of feminine care company, LOLA. If you're not familiar with the brand, you probably should be: LOLA offers 100% natural tampons with no synthetics or rayon which are totally biodegradable and can be delivered to your door on a subscription basis. Plus, they come in a super-chic box! 

Sounds a good idea, right? Seems like we're not the only ones who think so; Jordana and Alexandra recently raised $3M in a seed funding round (following an initial funding of $1.2M from investors including Karlie Kloss). Awed by their trajectory and intrigued by their inspiring mission, I asked Jordana and Alexandra to sit down with me to talk tampons, friendship dates, and the secrets behind their success so far.

Happy listening!

P.S. Want to try LOLA? The team has very kindly offered a 50% discount to The WW Club listeners making one-box first-orders. Just use the promo code MAKEITWORK at the checkout. (Expires May 31st).

LISTEN TO THE WW CLUB AT 45 GRAND - ENDURANCE

Last week's session of The WW Club at 45 Grand featured a particularly incredible panel of speakers - RxArt founder Diane Brown, Refinery 29 co-founder Piera Gelardi, OpenSponsorship founder Ishveen Anand, and graphic designer and illustrator, Lotta Nieminen. (See the photos here.) The theme was endurance, which meant the conversation was focused on thinking and working towards the long-term. 

Press play to hear us discuss...

- How Ishveen built up her base skills at the very start of her career (and why you should, too).

- How Piera believes in following her intuition above all else.

- How Diane's career as a curator and gallerist helped to crystallise her vision for RxArt.

- The method Piera uses for breaking down her 'big picture' dreams for Refinery 29 on a week by week basis.

- Why Lotta subscribes to the 'one week plan' than the 'ten year plan'.

- Why all our panelists believe in staying connected to the present as you look towards the future – and celebrating your wins along the way.

LISTEN TO 'THE WW CLUB AT 45 GRAND: ENERGY' CONVERSATION

For the second session of The WW Club at 45 Grand, I spoke with Annie Kreighbaum (Glossier), Jen Brill, Erica Blumenthal and Nikki Huganir (Yes Way Rose) and WNBA player Jewell Loyd about all things ENERGY related.

Hit play to hear us discuss...

- How Jewell Loyd stays energised beyond the court.

- How Erica and Nikki of Yes Way Rose used the power of social media to turn a love of wine into a business.

- Self-care, NY-style

- How all the panelists stay inspired in their daily lives.

- Why Jen Brill recommends maintaining a little mystery, both on and offline.

- Annie's eyebrows.

Hope you enjoy!

LISTEN TO 'THE WW CLUB AT 45 GRAND: FOCUS' CONVERSATION

As part of last Tuesday's event at Nike Women's 45 Grand, I hosted a conversation with Claudia Wu and Kerry Diamond of Cherry Bombe magazine, and Krissy Jones of Sky Ting Yoga.

 

The theme of the evening was focus, so we covered topics like:

- What 'focus' means to each of the panelists

- Finding 'flow' in your life and work

- Streamlining your career path (and why you don't necessarily need to do so)

- Setting your daily priorities

- Why living in NYC is good for focusing you - and fast!

- Learning how to put down your iPhone

- Why goals are less important than having a big picture vision...

...and much more!

HOW DO YOU MAKE IT WORK?

The WW Club wants to hear from you! 

If you want the chance to share your work tips, inspiration sources, life hacks (and portfolio link!) with other members of The WW Club, simply fill out the Q&A below and email your answers - along with a hi-res headshot - to makingitwork@thewwclub.com. 

HOW I MAKE IT WORK: A Q&A FOR THE WORKING WOMEN’S CLUB

Name

Location

Occupation

What’s the best thing about your job?

And the worst?

What is your proudest professional accomplishment?

What do you wish you’d know about your career or industry when you were first starting out?

What does your daily uniform consist of?

The indispensable tool of your trade (equipment/book/software/person)

What’s your go-to source of inspiration?

Who’s your professional hero (and why)?

What is the most important thing you’ve learnt about money and finance?

How do you stay organised? Any tips or tricks or ‘hacks’ to share?

How do you wind down?

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

What’s your definition of success?

Link us up (Your IG/Twitter/URL)