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    My First Management Role Didn’t Go As Planned—Here’s What I Learned

    How old were you when you managed your first direct report? Was it your high school job at the frozen yogurt shop? Your second or third job out of college? Maybe you haven’t even gotten to that point in your career yet. For me, unofficially at least, I fell into my first management role a few months after college graduation—but my first official opportunity didn’t come around until I was a 26-year-old director in the middle of The Great Resignation prompted by a pandemic.
    Let me back up a bit. After I secured my journalism degree (go Hoosiers), I interned for a smaller company in Chicago. There weren’t too many of us, and I was soon promoted to a full-time, non-intern position. What I didn’t expect was to somehow end up (mostly) in charge of the next intern when I had held that very position just a few months prior. That intern wasn’t my official direct report, but I showed her the ropes and served as her first-round editor and general go-to gal.
    Cut to after a few jobs, and I finally got the chance to fully and officially flex my managerial skills with a direct report—an intern dedicated to my department (AKA my mighty team of one) for three whole months. What was interesting was that just as she was learning the ropes of the intern position, I was also finding my own way. How hands-on did I want to be as a leader? How could I build rapport while still maintaining our boss/report relationship? There were times when I probably should have just picked up the phone instead of DMing on Slack or prepared more details with clearer direction before handing over an assignment. And everything—from the hiring process to remote onboarding to getting things across the finish line—definitely took much longer than I originally expected as we both found our footing in our new roles.
    That internship period has since come and gone, but I find it helpful to reflect back on the highs and lows of being in charge during such a strange time for the professional workforce. Did I expect my first leadership role to entail managing someone halfway across the country? No. Am I late to the management game? I’m not sure. Did I learn a lot? Absolutely. So for all of the other first-time managers out there (and myself), here’s what I’ll try to remember next time:

    Know that hiring takes time
    Finding the right person won’t happen in the blink of an eye. Not only do resume reviews and candidate interviews take time, but so does the proper prep work. In order to ensure equitable hiring practices, my company lists job descriptions in a 30/60/90-day structure that outlines what the candidate will do once hired instead of requiring specific experience. We also prepare a list of questions to serve as a guide through each and every interview—we still have our own unique conversation with each candidate, but this strategy gives us a standard baseline for all candidates. TL;DR: If you’re hiring from outside your organization, it takes more work than you expect.

    Source: Color Joy Stock

    Once you’ve given your direct report a start date, you’re on the clock. Onboarding is usually a key indicator of company culture, so you want to leave a good first impression with a smooth, educational process. Along with HR materials like an employee handbook and a W-9, gather as much relevant information for your direct report ahead of time. Be ready to hand over a packet of introductory information like links to important documents, usernames and passwords, and the original job description. Don’t forget the not-so-obvious things like your work style, schedule, and any other preferences that are important to share up front—and don’t forget to have your direct report share the same.

    Seriously. Explain absolutely everything, and then explain again. This applies to in-person work too, but it’s especially relevant in remote situations where a lot can get lost in translation. Is your direct report comfortable with the technology you’re using? Did they hear you clearly? Maybe they prefer to review things on paper instead of over a screen—are you both on the same (digital) page?
    One of the biggest lessons I learned was that if my direct report didn’t understand something, it wasn’t really on her—it was probably on me. What information had I shared with her? Did I give her enough direction? Did I give her enough feedback? I’m not suggesting micro-management, but in my opinion, it’s better to over-explain than under-explain. Either way, do your best to clearly articulate the task at hand, then make yourself available for questions just in case.

    Source: Social Squares

    If you’re working remotely, it can be easy to Slack someone a to-do list and call it a day. We’ve all had those days when turning our camera on just isn’t going to happen, but try to set aside some regular “face time” to check in with your direct report. And while touching base on specific assignments is great, a recurring 1:1 meeting dedicated to overall progress, career growth, and some casual banter will go a long way in getting to know each other and building rapport.

    Listen to Them
    Just like you probably encourage your direct report to ask questions, make sure to ask them some too. See what they’re interested in and, if possible, take their career goals and growth areas into account when mapping out tasks and assignments. Are they interested in analytics? Have them pull next month’s numbers—better yet, have them present them to you and your boss. Take it even further and see if there’s a hands-on project they can call their own or a department they can shadow for a day or two to get a sense of what the work is actually like.

    Listen to Yourself
    I’m not going to sugarcoat it: Managing someone else in addition to your own responsibilities is a big undertaking. It’s probably going to take more time and energy than you think—your direct report will have off days, you’ll have off days, and deadlines will creep up before you know it. Throughout your role as a manager, have a serious conversation with yourself about your work style, communication preferences, time management skills, etc. You’ll learn things about yourself that you’d never expect, and it’ll make everyone’s experience that much more worthwhile.

    5 In-Demand Skills to Grow Your Career This Year—From the Experts More

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    Our Editor’s Best-Kept Secret for Staying Ahead in the Workplace

    One thing about me? I’m a Type-B person disguised as a Type-A person. I’m that girl who sends post-nap “still in bed” selfies as my friends send their final looks to our group chat, I forget my boxed-up leftovers at the restaurant nine times out of 10, and the only thing that I’m truly competitive about is the number of pizza rolls I can chow down in one sitting. So why does the rest of the world think that I juggle three jobs with a meticulous attention to detail, organization, and time management? Enter my best-kept secret: Evernote.
    I heard about Evernote a few years ago in college, but I never hopped on the train until recently, mostly because I didn’t know all of the capabilities it offered beyond note-taking. Once I realized that a planner and Google Calendar were simply not enough for me to juggle my personal affairs, my career as a branded content editor, my schedule as a pediatric emergency nurse, and my content timelines as a TikTok creator, I was willing to try just about any system to combat my tendencies of being forgetful and a little bit of a procrastinator. 
    When I signed up for Evernote, I remember thinking to myself, Where the hell has this system been my entire life? It’s become my one-stop-shop organization and productivity system and has allowed me to refine my Type-B-posing-as-Type-A ruse. Here’s why I love it and how I use it:

    1. To manage multiple types of to-do lists
    If you took one glance at my desk, you’ll find that I’m a list person. I make to-do lists, grocery lists, and to-read lists, and then, beyond those lists, I have sublists to make items on said to-do lists a reality. And while I’ve been a pen-to-paper gal for a lot of my life, I knew it wasn’t a foolproof system: It was hard for me to visualize multiple different lists at once, I couldn’t access them when I was on the go, and I couldn’t rearrange them by priority unless I started the list over.
    Evernote is a list-maker’s daydream. I’ve created separate lists for my work at The Everygirl, my work at the hospital, my work as a content creator, and my personal action items that I want to tackle. I schedule them out by adding dates and times when things should be completed, which helps me take a closer look at what I have to do and what needs to be completed first. I can set reminders for those tasks that are super time sensitive to help keep me on track and I can have my lists with me on my desktop and my phone, which makes Evernote super easy to integrate into my workday and when I’m out and about. 

    2. To get a better feel for my schedule
    Evernote has the capability to link with Google Calendar, which has been an absolute life saver for both my professional and personal life. And in a world where both my brain and my desktop have 14 tabs open at once, not having to cross-reference Google Calendar in a different tab has helped streamline my processes so much. I can set reminders for whatever amount of time I’d like before meetings, which is super necessary for me, especially when I get in a flow state, lose track of time, and find myself scrambling a minute before my meeting. I can also link certain Evernote notes to certain meetings, which makes preparing seamless and intuitive.

    3. To filter through the noise and see my day at a glance
    No matter how prepared I think I am for tomorrow, it never fails that I’ll fall into a restful slumber and wake in the morning to a wave of panic, anticipating the trials and tribulations that come with each day. But I must say: I think I’ve found a cure in a warm cup of coffee and a glance at my Evernote homepage.
    Evernote’s day-at-a-glance homepage helps me get a bird’s-eye view of my entire day: higher-priority tasks, meetings (linked over from my Google Calendar), the notes that I was last working on, and the notes that I’ve found important enough to pin to the homepage. Before, I’d let my anxiety take over and I’d tunnel myself into one task, not realizing that I was ignoring other priority assignments, which is my idea of anxiety fuel. I love being able to see the big picture instead of being distracted by tasks and messages, and for that alone, Evernote has my heart.

    4. To take notes during meetings
    It’s no surprise to anyone when I say that Evernote’s note-taking technology is superior to any other I’ve used in the past. And while it wasn’t necessarily the reason I wanted to try this organizational system, I’ve found it to be such a great tool with my current workflow and one that I truly don’t know how I lived without. 
    Within each note, you can add tasks, calendar events, tables, attachments, photos, sketches, and more. They have plenty of notes templates to choose from. From project trackers to travel calendars and beyond, I love having the option to group notes under certain notebooks so I can separate my work and personal notes to keep everything super organized. I mostly use the notes features to take notes during meetings, but I’ve recently started dabbling in more personal notes like chore charts, grocery lists, and a list that will secure me a Best-Maid-Of-Honor-Ever title for my best friend’s wedding next May.
    Whether you’re looking to clean up your work life, interested in tracking multiple schedules, or wanting to plan a bigger project like a trip overseas, a wedding, or your next big idea, there’s a way that Evernote will make it easier. Click here to download Evernote and try it for yourself today!

    7 Things Every Successful Woman Has on Her Desk

    This post is sponsored by Evernote but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board. More

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    How Successful Women Tackle The Dreaded Mid-Week Slump

    Ah, Wednesday—the middle child of the week. While the first half of the week can seem so new and full of promise and the latter half builds up toward the weekend (yay!), Wednesday can feel like a lull. Regardless of how much you love your job, it’s common for even the best of us to hit a mid-week slump. Luckily, there are a few tricks that successful women use to help pull themselves out of a funk and get back on track.

    1. Find a Way to Get Out of Your Head
    Getting out of your head can take many forms, but my favorite is going for a walk. It’s such a classic, but it’s a classic for a reason. If you’re finding that your mid-week slump has to do with the hours and hours you’ve spent staring at a screen (your work laptop, your phone, four hours of Netflix each night, etc.), you might need a break from all the screens. I started incorporating a longer walk mid-week after work and found that it really lifted my spirits. I combine my walk with a wellness or career podcast (check out this list for some ideas), and the combo is always a good pick-me-up. Sometimes, listening to some career tips while getting the blood flowing is all you need to feel raring to go the next day.

    2. Have Some Go-To Inspiration
    It’s always good to have something handy in your back pocket to motivate you. At the beginning of this year, I spent a few hours putting together a Pinterest board of all the goals I want to achieve in the next year or two. On days when I feel especially tired or stressed, I’ll take five minutes to scroll through my Pinterest board to remind myself of my goals. This is so much more motivating than scrolling on social media and catching up on what influencers are doing as my “break.” When I’m feeling completely thrown off by another surprise assignment or unplanned meeting, reviewing my inspiration board helps me reset and reframe the day as an opportunity to work toward achieving those goals.

    Source: Pavel Danilyuk | Pexels

    3. Arrange an Activity You Know You Love
    Sometimes, we hit a recurring mid-week slump if we only plan fun things for the weekend. There are five days outside of Saturday and Sunday, and they deserve some love too! If you find that your weekdays are lacking excitement and becoming monotonous, try scheduling something fun for the day you typically hit your slump. Whether it’s a virtual yoga class with your favorite instructor, window shopping with your bestie, or just ordering in a meal you love, try adding in some extra joy outside of the weekend. I recently switched my weekly takeout day from Friday to Wednesday, and at first, it felt almost backwards, but now it’s one of the things I look forward to each week.

    4. Try Structuring Your Week Around When You Work Best
    Shortly after being promoted in my new role, I found that my Wednesdays were slammed with recurring back-to-back meetings. Combined with the fact that too many meetings leave me feeling exhausted and that I only had fun things planned for the weekend, I quickly began to dread my Wednesdays. After a few months of this, I took a step back and realized that I had some power over the situation. I asked some of my direct reports to move our recurring meetings to different days that worked better with my schedule.
    Instead of having one day completely filled with a task you don’t love (or, on the flip side, a day with nothing happening), see if you can adjust your day so it’s more balanced, whether that’s blocking off half a day from meetings or scheduling your focus time to when it works best for you. Whatever it is, look for opportunities to turn the day you dread into less of a headache, and you might find that your mid-week slumps are much less common.

    Source: @alainakaz

    5. Treat Yourself With a Reward
    Ah, my favorite tip on any list! Nothing like a little positive reinforcement. If your weekday slumps come and go depending on your workload (completely relatable) and it’s not a weekly thing, sometimes, the best way to put a little pep back in your step is to treat yo’ self. Whether that’s a Starbucks run for a $7 extra-fancy coffee or picking up dessert for after dinner, you’ve earned it. If food isn’t quite your reward of choice (can’t relate, TBH), figure out what will give you a little boost of happiness and go for it! One of my friends only allows herself to watch reruns of The Office after workdays that are truly exhausting, and she tells me that she’s grown to like the hard days because of her reward at the end. There’s no shame in finding an external reason to bring a bit of joy into your workweek here and there.

    6. Evaluate Why You’re Having a Slump
    On the other hand, if you’ve tried some of the tips above and still feel like you hit a slump most weeks or multiple days per week, it might be time to have a closer look at what’s going on. Maybe you need more boundaries at work, have outgrown your current role, or need to ask for more support from the rest of your team. It’s totally normal to have some weeks that are better than others, but feeling a sense of boredom or dread more often than not during the workweek is a sign that something needs to change. Spend some time thinking about what might be the core of the issue and then set up a meeting with your manager to see what can be done, book a vacation for a much-needed break, or ask yourself if it’s time to move on to a new role. Self-reflection is never easy, but you owe it to yourself to improve your happiness during the week and say goodbye to your perpetual mid-week slump.

    Unmotivated at Work? These Quick Wins Will Help You Feel Accomplished More

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    I Work for Myself—These Are The Productivity Hacks That Actually Help Me Get Work Done

    Picture this: You leave your full-time job to freelance. Now, you can set your own rates and schedule and choose the projects you work on, and it can all be done in your pajamas. Sounds pretty great, right? It is, but as someone who’s been there and done that for quite some time, it’s also a big adjustment to make—especially when it comes to getting paid. 
    I work for myself as a freelance writer and I only get paid for the work I complete. Most of my clients pay me on what is known as a “per project” basis. What that means is that I get a set amount of money for each piece of content I write, no matter how long it takes me to write it. The faster I finish the project, the more I make per hour that I work and the more time I have to take on more work. In other words: Every minute counts. 
    Why am I telling you this? Because the more productive I am, the more money I make (fair enough!). As a result, I have had no choice but to master some pretty effective productivity hacks along the way to career success.  
    Here are the top productivity hacks I use to get more done in a day.

    1. I Embrace Time Blocking
    First things first, I plan out my day using the time blocking method. What that means is I sit down and parcel out my workday before it begins. I will look at my schedule for the day and incorporate any to-dos and plan around any meetings or appointments. I like to block my day into four main time blocks: early morning, mid-morning, early afternoon, and late afternoon. 
    Once I know how much time is available in each block, I can allocate tasks from my to-do list. I’m more productive when I can sit down and finish an assignment from start to finish. Even if I can only get one task done in one of my four quadrants, I plan to do so with no interruptions (I’ll share how to avoid interruptions in a minute). 
    By setting aside time where I know I can complete a task, I avoid the disruptive stop-and-go pattern that can make a task take longer than necessary. I also make better use of dead time like small gaps of time in between meetings by scheduling out quicker tasks like responding to emails during that time.

    2. I Plan For Breaks
    When I do my time blocking, I don’t jam-pack my day full of assignments. As tempting as it is to fill all that space with to-dos (remember, I make more money in a day if I get more done), I find that taking a few breaks throughout the day makes it easier to focus on tasks once I start them and to get them done in a timely manner. 
    I no longer feel guilty about breaks and go on a few walks a day and always take a solid lunch break. By planning for a break and knowing it’s coming, the break feels more purposeful and less like wasted time. Taking a real break (not just scrolling through Instagram) helps clear my mind and make it easier to tackle cognitively challenging tasks once I sit down to do them. 

    Source: Color Joy Stocks

    3. I Block Out Social and Email 
    Remember those distractions I mentioned earlier? Here’s how to get rid of them. It’s not a secret that email, social media, texts, and phone calls are major sources of distraction. Because I service many different clients, it’s very hard for me to ignore an email or Slack message once it comes through. I want to provide a good service and to be available when needed. That being said, all those tiny distractions throughout the day make it a lot harder for me to finish a task without interruption. 
    A study from the University of California, Irvine (shoutout to my alma mater) found that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to return to the original task after an interruption.
    While I don’t think it was taking me quite that long to get back on task, I did find that I worked slower after getting back to my task than I did pre-interruption. To help combat distractions, once I start a task, I close my inbox and my Slack app. I also put my phone in another room. Once the task is complete, then I can check all of my alerts and address them at once (shoutout to batch working!).

    4. I Attempt Batch Working
    Speaking of batch working, not jumping between different types of tasks makes it way easier to get them done quickly and without making mistakes. As much as possible, I like to batch together similar tasks. For example, I might research all of the articles I need to write the next day in the same block of time or create all of my invoices for the month at once. Batch working is especially helpful for the smaller tasks that clog up your workflow but need to get done.

    5. I Touch It Once
    I use the “touch it once” method as often as possible. This productivity hack primarily applies to managing your email inbox. Instead of opening an email, skimming it, marking it as unread, and then coming back to it later, I try to just “touch it once.” What this means is that I respond and kick off next steps immediately. 
    Let’s say I receive an email from one of my lovely editors at The Everygirl with an article assignment. Once I read the email, I will add the assignment deadline to my calendar and to my to-do list. If I need to secure an interview for the story, I’ll send out that request right away to get the ball rolling. Then, I respond to the editor and confirm I can take on the story and archive the email. One and done. 
    Touching it once isn’t always possible, but it’s helpful to do it as often as possible to avoid spending more time on emails than necessary.

    Source: Ivan Samkov | Pexels

    6. I Listen to the Right Music
    As much as I love to listen to music while working, it can be hard to write while someone is crooning other words in your ears. When I am struggling to focus, I find that turning on really works. While this lyric-less music is designed to help you focus, you can get a similar effect by listening to mellow classical music. I like to choose either their timed 30- or 60-minute session to see how much I can get done before the music ends. 

    7. I Took Control of My Meetings
    I—like everyone else on the planet—attend way too many meetings each week. In an attempt to be accommodating, I used to provide any times I was technically available to take a call when scheduling a meeting. The result? One to two meetings a day at random times that caused a lot of stop and go, not to mention I found myself having to get camera ready every day, which I can’t bill for and which majorly ate into my productive working hours. 
    In January, I decided to start the new year with a new approach to meetings. I created a Calendly account, which allows me to specify which days of the week and at what times I’m available for a meeting. Not only does sending over a link to my Calendly calendar save a lot of back and forth regarding when to schedule a meeting, but it also helps me block off time to solely work. I am a morning person and it’s much easier for me to write in the morning. If I have a morning full of meetings and then take a lunch break, I find it hard to get back in the swing of things. Now, I block off my mornings for deep work time and do meetings in the afternoon, which requires less focus. Whenever possible, I also try to batch my meetings together and schedule them back to back so I don’t have weird gaps of time in my schedule. 

    I’ve Worked for Myself for 4 Years—These Are the Tools That Keep Me Productive More

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    7 Things Every Successful Woman Has on Her Desk

    The desk essentials a woman keeps on hand during her workday are truly a window into her soul. If you take a peek at the mess that is my desk, you might find a rotation of three different lip balms because chapped lips are the bane of my existence, four Pilot G2 10 pens because I absolutely refuse to write with anything else, and one mini diffuser because I’m vain and want to look glowy AF during my Zoom meetings.
    While we all have our own desk quirks, there are some tried-and-true desk essentials that successful women swear by—and we’re not gatekeeping. We polled our team and the results are in—here are 7 items every successful woman has on her desk:

    1. CBD to boost mood and focus
    If there’s one common denominator that adorns the desk of our entire team, it’s some form of CBD from Equilibria Women. Using CBD regularly can help you achieve a more balanced endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for regulating a number of bodily systems and functions, such as memory, mood, immune response, temperature regulation, and more. Finding a CBD routine that works for you can help improve stress, mood, and energy levels, lead to more restful sleep, and relieve soreness or discomfort. TL;DR: It’ll be sure to solve at least one of your workday woes.
    Equilibria has a ton of different products that fit perfectly on our desks and serve as a helpful hand in times of stress and overflowing email inboxes. Looking to reset, soothe, and relax? Reach for one of the CBD rollers of the Dynamic Roller Duo. Sore neck from hunching over your laptop all day? Say hello to your new bestie, the Equilibria Relief Balm. Looking to feel more focused and less stressed as work projects pile up? Their fast-acting Daily Drops have your back. If there’s one unsung hero of our workday, CBD is 100% it. Use code THEEVERYGIRL for 20% off of your first order at Equilibria!

    CBD Roller Duo
    This roller duo relieves pressure points, regulates mood, and eases topical discomfort. Whether you’re looking to find energy or calm, these rollers are perfect for overcoming that mid-afternoon slump.
    Use code THEEVERYGIRL for 20% off your first order at Equilibria!

    Daily Drops
    If you’re looking for fast-acting relief in times of stress, look no further than these CBD oil drops that are as convenient as they are effective. Pro tip: Add them in your coffee to channel a little extra zen and focus on even the busiest day.
    Use code THEEVERYGIRL for 20% off your first order at Equilibria!

    Relief Balm
    Aches and pains, be gone! This Relief Balm is an editor and fan-favorite for good reason. Whether you have muscle soreness from your last pilates workout, are feeling the woes of hunching over a computer all day, or are feeling a migraine come on, this balm is perfect for as-needed pain relief.
    Use code THEEVERYGIRL for 20% off your first order at Equilibria!

    2. A notebook for keeping track of thoughts and jotting down your next big idea
    Having a go-to notebook on hand is a must for the dreamers and doers alike. Whether you are a list person (guilty as charged), like to do brain dumps to calm a hectic mind, find yourself needing to jot down your next big idea, or need to take notes during back-to-back meetings, having a notebook is the solution for getting thoughts and ideas out of your mind and into the physical world.

    3. An “emotional support” water bottle to stay hydrated
    If there’s one thing on our desk that’s as comforting as it is functional, it’s our go-to emotional support water bottle. Scientifically speaking, drinking water is 10 times more fun when it’s housed in a cute bottle—bonus points if it has a straw and keeps your water cool all day.

    Travel Tumbler
    There’s a reason our editors can’t stop talking about this Stanley tumbler. This thing is oversized yet still fits in a cup holder, keeps drinks ice cold for hours on end, and comes in colors that make our junior graphic designer swoon.

    FreeSip Insulated Water Bottle
    I hold this Owala water bottle in the highest regard for many reasons but my favorites being that 1) it has a handle which makes on-the-go hydration a breeze and 2) it has an unexposed straw on the inside that makes sipping both satisfying AND sanitary.

    Source: Social Squares

    4. Blue light-blocking glasses to reduce eye strain and end-of-day headaches
    If you work in front of a computer for multiple hours a day, you already know the struggle. From our take-a-break TikTok scrolls to taking a peek at the morning news to hopping into eight hours of work in front of a laptop and beyond, our eyes are exposed to a ton of blue light and, after a while, it can take a toll on our eye health. Wearing blue light-blocking glasses can help promote better sleep, decrease eye strain, and reduce headache occurrence, which makes this accessory an absolute necessity for the working woman.

    5. A daily meditation or affirmation book to set the tone of the day
    There’s no worse way to start your day than waking up at 8:29 a.m., making a beeline for your computer for your 8:30 a.m. sign-on, and being bombarded by 1,543 unread Slack messages consisting of follow-up questions, new projects, and STAT tasks that send you into a tizzy. A lot of our team members swear by starting their day off on the right foot by getting up just a few minutes earlier to engage in a morning meditation or mantra. Having some sort of tool with prompts on hand is the perfect way to set the tone of your day and is one of our favorite things to keep easily accessible during our busiest days.

    Ryan Holiday
    The Daily Stoic
    If you’re looking for a low-hassle way to get into adding intention to your morning, this book (and its 366 meditations) will help you to streamline finding your center.

    Intelligent Change
    Mindful Affirmations Cards
    These mindful affirmation cards serve as a weekly dose of self-love, self-care, and mindfulness. Put a new card on display each week and watch the magic happen.

    6. A desk lipgloss or lipstick to swipe on before meetings
    If there’s one thing our beauty editor swears by, it’s keeping a desk lipgloss or lipstick on hand to throw on before Zoom meetings. A red lip or a glossy finish is the perfect way to elevate your look and leave you glowing, even if you’re wearing pajama bottoms and haven’t washed your hair in a few days (been there, done that). It’s the perfect low-maintenance confidence boost, and it’s going to be your new go-to desk essential.

    Source: ColorJoy Stock
    7. Something that reminds you of your “why”
    Every successful woman lacks motivation and inspiration every now and then, and if there’s one tried-and-true way to rediscover your passion when you’re in a slump, it’s remembering why you started in the first place. As cheesy as it sounds, having some sort of physical symbol of why you started and why you do what you do can help you take that step back to gain some perspective. Whether it’s being reminded by a post card, a photograph of someone who inspires you, or the first dollar you ever made, having some sort of cue can serve as a light on even the most hectic of days.

    How To Manifest Career Success This Year

    This post contains a sponsored inclusion of Equilibria but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board. More

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    5 In-Demand Skills to Grow Your Career This Year—From the Experts

    You’ve heard this familiar career advice: Network your butt off and volunteer for new projects. As helpful as both actions can be, whether you’re looking for a new job or to level up at your current company, identifying and developing in-demand career skills can be the extra push you need to get there.
    Since we shared in-demand skills in 2020, the workforce has changed, and with it, we’re seeing new skill trends valued by employers—and we’re glad about it. Even better: The job market is red hot. So based on labor trend reports and an expert interview with Mikal C. Harden, talent acquisition executive and cofounder of Juno Search Partners in Philadelphia, we’ve found the top skills to consider as you develop your career this year.

    Digital Fluency
    In a recent pulse survey conducted by HFS, companies identified the need to improve digital fluency as the #1 change required. It’s also increasingly becoming a measure of performance. This includes everything from understanding how to use Microsoft Office Suite to advanced artificial intelligence. So what should you do? Show off. Find out the technology skills required to level up, like how to create an enhanced meeting experience in your next team meeting. If your company uses Microsoft Teams, learn how breakout rooms function or about different presentation sharing options. If you’re job searching, try to find out what technology the position works with and begin to learn how to effectively use it.

    Data Analytics
    You’ve seen this one before, but we’re breaking it down for any type of career goal—so no business intelligence or data analyst title required. Data literacy has become the current language of business, but only 21% of employees are confident in their data skills. Another quick stat: In the last year, Udemy has seen consumption of courses related to data visualization software increase significantly. Here’s your chance to get ahead of the curve.
    Think of it as an opportunity to tell a story. “Data drives growth, and there’s no shortage of it in today’s digital world, so understanding the best data to analyze based on your role and breaking it down into an easily digestible story is an extremely valuable skill,” Harden said. Where in your role can you measure your work? What’s your data story? Consider these questions for your role specifically. When you’re ready, here are our top three free tools to get started:

    Datawrapper: Known to be useful for journalists and communications professionals to bring campaigns to life, the site hosts their blog titled CHARTABLE, where they regularly write about the best practices in data visualization.
    Canva Graph Maker: This versatile tool lets you create beautiful data visualizations instantly and hassle-free. Unlike other online graph makers, Canva isn’t complicated or time consuming. There’s no learning curve—you’ll get a beautiful graph or diagram in minutes, turning raw data into something that’s both visual and easy to understand.
    RAWGraphs: RAWGraphs is more advanced, but it’s a free site for your data needs. It works with tabular data (spreadsheets and comma-separated values) as well as with copied-and-pasted texts from other applications (e.g. Microsoft Excel) to break down data into more digestible graphs.

    Source: George Milton | Pexels

    UX Design
    Do you go back to a website just for its awesome look and feel? You can thank the company’s UX design team. UX focuses on customer interaction with products to ensure apps, websites, etc. are designed for the best user experience. This includes accessibility as well. It’s worth noting that web accessibility saw the biggest surge in consumption over the last four years.
    User experience designers are in demand, but if you’re not interested in being a designer, don’t worry. UX is versatile and the skills required are highly transferable. For example, for any writers out there, UX requires copywriting. Other soft skills include communication and empathy. Think about all of the departments that could use an effective and empathetic communicator! If you are interested in becoming a designer, skills get more technical, including information architecture, wireframing, and prototyping. Career Foundry offers a course on UX Design.

    Problem Solving
    Problem solving is both a leadership skill and a required part of effective communication. Needless to say, this skill is simply timeless. Plus, problem solving in a virtual work environment where communication and collaboration can feel fragmented has become essential. It’s easy to feel frustrated with clients or internal teams. It’s easy to complain when things aren’t getting done. But being a problem solver shows your leadership capability. “Not only is it vital to have a solid decision-making process for solving complex business problems, but it’s also a great skill for making important life decisions—for example, making a career switch or moving to a new city,” Harden said. And her pro tip: Break the situation down. Here’s an example:

    Define the situation: Differentiate fact from opinion and assess the situation in your own words. Feel free to write it down to get your thoughts together.
    Generate solutions: This is a great opportunity to use a flowchart to tell yourself, “If this happens … this will be the result.” Take your time on this step and really think about what would serve you, your team, and the company involved. Also consider who you need to talk to to gain buy-in for your idea and minimize resistance to change.
    Consider alternatives: Even if you are the final decision maker (YGG), this is the step to ask for feedback. Depending on the situation, can you talk to your manager about your solution? How about a colleague? Receiving feedback can help you decide what to do next. It’s always helpful to prepare a “backup plan.” Skilled problem solvers use a series of considerations when selecting the best alternative.
    Implement: We know, this step probably requires approval from “higher-ups,” so we’ll need patience. Once you are able to implement, celebrate your accomplishments and don’t forget to ask for feedback along the way.

    Source: Christina Morillo | Pexels

    Active Listening
    Active listening is another timeless skill, but it’s being seen as increasingly more important. It’s the act of keeping engaged while talking with someone so you truly absorb what they have to say. More recently, studies find active listening is a driver for an inclusive work environment and a requirement for success. “Active listening supports employees in letting them bring their own brand of thought to the table,” Harden said. Practice before your next team meeting or, better yet, company event. Here’s how to start:

    Maintain eye contact
    Don’t multitask on your phone
    No interrupting
    Consider your non-verbal cues like posture and facial expressions—show interest
    Restate and clarify the speaker’s points

    How To Manifest Career Success This Year More

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    I’ve Worked for Myself for 4 Years—These Are the Tools That Keep Me Productive

    I dipped my toes into working for myself seven years ago when I started freelancing in college, but I didn’t take the leap into full-time self-employment until the spring of 2018. Fast forward to 2022, and I now service upwards of 35 clients a year as a freelance writer and content consultant. To stay on top of everything, I rely on a very key set of productivity tools to get the job done.
    I’m going to walk you through the apps, tech, and wellness tools I use daily (or nearly daily) to run my own business!


    iMac 24”
    Let’s start with the most expensive tool that completely transformed how I work and was so worth the investment. As a freelance writer, I used to be a fan of the “I can work from anywhere with my laptop” narrative. That was true pre-pandemic, but nowadays, I only work from home. Laptops are so convenient that I never dreamed of getting a desktop computer until I went into the Mac store looking for a new laptop and left with an iMac 24.” Having a larger screen, being required to actually sit at my desk, and not straining my neck by looking down at my laptop has been a work and wellness game changer. My productivity increased, my workdays are shorter, and my focus is stronger now that I have a large desktop computer instead of a small laptop.

    Surface Headphones
    Another pricey but so-worth-it tech tool I use on a daily basis is the Microsoft Surface Headphones. My husband and I both work from home in a one-bedroom apartment, so being able to block each other out while on calls is so important—especially since I can’t drag my desktop into the bedroom when he’s on a call. These headphones really excel in the noise-cancelation department, and when combined with focus music (more on that in a hot minute), you can really get in the zone.

    As much as I love having a desktop computer, the idea of adding a second monitor to my desk is unbearable (again, one-bedroom apartment where our office is also our living room). When I need a second screen, I prop up my iPad on a stand. I also use my iPad to download books I need to read for work and to store files that are easier to maneuver on an iPad than a computer. I spend a lot of time zooming in on tiny photos of clothing so I can catch important details to write about for my fashion brand clients.



    I recently shared my love for Todoist and other apps I use frequently. This to-do list app is an integral part of how I keep all of the many assignments I have for different clients organized. I love that the app syncs on my desktop, laptop, iPad, and iPhone (overkill, I know) so I can access my to-do list on whatever device I’m working on. This app allows you to create different “projects” and you can organize tasks under each project and assign deadlines and reminders.

    Toggl Track

    A not-so-fun part of working for yourself is trying to figure out how to price projects and how to bill for them. Using Toggl Track serves two purposes for me: If I’m working on a project where I need to bill by the hour, I can use this time-tracking tool as a timesheet of sorts to track exactly how much time I spent on a project so I can invoice accordingly. If I’m working on a project with a set rate, I can track how long I spent on it to make sure I proposed a proper price for the project and can adjust pricing as needed for future projects.

    I can’t write while listening to music with lyrics or even too exciting of a classical score. When I need help focusing or drowning out background noise, comes to the rescue. This app provides “focus music” that really does make it easier to focus. You can pick timed sessions, so I like to set it for 30 or 60 minutes and see how much work I can get done during that time.

    Genius Scan

    Because you will encounter the occasional old schooler who wants you to sign an actual piece of paper, use Genius Scan to take the place of a bulky scanner. All you do is take a photograph of your signed document and Genius Scan transforms it to look like you actually scanned a piece of paper. They’ll never be the wiser.


    An Organized Life
    2022 Daily Planner
    I’m a writer, so it can’t come as a surprise that I have an affinity for good old-fashioned pen and paper! A small, but very impactful, change I made to my routine in 2022 is journaling each morning and night in my An Organised Life Daily Planner (which is more like a journal). Each morning, I set intentions for the day, and I find that writing them down really helps me commit to them. At the end of the workday, I reflect on what I learned or what bothered me and how I can move forward the next day. Since starting this routine, I find it easier to stay focused throughout the day and to let things go at night.

    Harney & Sons
    Citron Green Tea
    Don’t tell the other writers or I might get kicked out of the club, but I don’t drink coffee. I, however, love tea. This love for tea is one of the reasons I didn’t enjoy working in an office. For some reason, office tea always tastes horrible. Since I started working for myself, I splurge on Harney & Sons Tea and it has ruined all grocery store tea for me. It’s the best way to start my day and makes me feel majorly grateful that instead of commuting in the dark every morning to go sit in a cold office, I now get to stay warm and cozy at home and enjoy my tea each morning. I splurge as a reminder of how far I’ve come and to stay motivated to keep building my business.

    Native Atlas
    Movement Oil
    I always keep a Native Atlas Movement Oil roller on my desk for moments when I need to reset and regroup. The combination of mentha, holy basil, and lavender is super relaxing and I love to apply it to my pulse points in the afternoon when I need a little boost.

    The Good Patch
    Awake Patch with B12
    Speaking of pick-me-ups, when it’s too late in the day to make yet another cup of tea, I turn to the Good Patch Plant Based Awake Patch with B12 for a boost that won’t leave me tossing and turning at bedtime. The effects usually wear off about half an hour after removing the patch, so it’s the perfect way to perk up for that last chunk of the workday. More

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    How To Manifest Career Success This Year

    Spring is such an invigorating season: The sun is shining, the days are longer, and it’s not as tempting to hide under the duvet to binge the latest Netflix hit—which is why spring is the perfect time to revisit your career goals and actually make them happen.
    If you’re diligently doing the work during your 9-5, then you may feel like there is nothing else you can do to push your career forward. While putting in the work on a day-to-day basis is super important, it’s also easy to fall into a work rut where you just get the bare minimum done and don’t focus on checking your next goal off your list.
    Manifesting your career success will help keep your career goals top of mind and will make it easier to both consciously and subconsciously work toward those goals. Let’s look at how you can manifest career success this year. That way, by the time the clock strikes midnight on Dec. 31, you will have something exciting to toast to.

    Create a vision board
    Let’s start with the really fun part. Creating a vision board allows you to spend some concentrated time thinking about what you want. If you don’t know what you want out of your career this year, the practice of giving yourself space to find what images and words you’re attracted to can help bring new goals into focus.
    We’re all so busy these days and it’s hard to carve out time to properly think about what we want and how we can achieve it. Spending a few relaxed hours (don’t rush here) on discovery and manifestation can be both inspiring and a very practical step to take toward identifying and reaching your goals, not to mention you’ll be able to circle back to your vision board when you need to be reminded of what you’re working toward.
    If you can, keep your vision board in your workspace so you can see it throughout the workday. If you work in a public office and want to keep your vision board private, consider making your vision board in a journal or in your planner so you can discreetly reference it during the workday.

    Make manifestation a daily practice
    Manifestation only works if you regularly embrace it. Make manifestation a part of your daily practice in whatever way suits you best. You can write down your goals in your diary on a daily basis and track your progress, you can repeat manifestation phrases in front of the mirror each day, or you can make it a point to reflect on your vision board before you start your workday. Whatever manifestation path you choose, make sure you incorporate it into your daily routine. Doing so will help keep your goals front and center, and it will be easier to identify ways you can make career progress every single day. Here are a few other ideas for how you can kickstart a daily manifestation practice!

    Embrace public accountability
    Tweet about it, start a blog, or make your intentions super clear on LinkedIn. There’s something to be said about manifesting publicly. When you put your goals out there in the world, your accountability to yourself increases greatly. If you want to keep your goals more private (which may be necessary if you want to find a new job or switch industries), you can always make it a point to share your goals with a friend, family member, or romantic partner. Repeating your goals, talking about them, and setting expectations for yourself can help you meet them.

    Add manifestation into your meditation routine
    Take a break from time to time and incorporate manifestation into your meditation routine. Visualization meditation is a type of meditation practice that involves concentrating on imagery during a meditation session in order to cultivate mindfulness. Many people struggle with meditation because they feel an immense pressure to clear their mind, which is really hard for most of us to do. Visualization can be an easier technique to master, as you can choose to focus your mind on visual representations of your goals. For some, that may be picturing an MBA graduation ceremony, for others, it could be a corner office, and for you, it could be finally convincing your boss to let you work remotely.

    Find your tribe of goal getters
    There’s something to be said about spending time with others who share your goals. When you’re trying to reach key career goals, try to spend some extra time with friends, family, or colleagues who are also working toward career goals and who want to talk about the progress you’re making. For example, if your goal is to turn your side hustle into your full-time hustle, try to connect with other like-minded entrepreneurs. Not only will you be able to learn and grow together, but being able to talk about your career aspirations with someone who both supports your journey and understands it can also be immensely helpful.
    Manifestation doesn’t have to happen quietly and privately, so don’t be afraid to tell people exactly what you want for your career this year.

    The Everygirl’s Guide to Manifestation and Achieving Your Best Life More