Being a fashionable girl in the 21st century is amazingly fun. But being a fashionable girl with a great career is even better. How do we navigate both worlds? I’ve loved working on this blog as a lifestyle outlet – categorizing fun trends and providing inspiration. I like being open about what I’m working on learning (for example, to cook!) and sharing my thoughts on life with you all, especially as so many of us and our friends walk through various chapters of our lives. The next natural place we haven’t discussed on Polka Dots and Practicality is our workplaces. Whether it’s in fashion or in finance, we all are making a living and have office politics and deadlines to adhere to. How does a modern girl do it all?! I’d like to provide an outlet for us to appreciate this aspect of our lives – a smart girl’s guide, if you will. :)
We’ll get to things like developing your specific skill set, seeking out new opportunities, and navigating challenges, but we should start at the beginning. Today’s introduction is a Desk Survival Guide. It seems trival, but being prepared never hurts. To be your best self, what should you have on hand?
1. Office supplies. Duh. It seems silly, but being outfitted properly is as important at your desk as it is in your accessories. Make sure you have all the necessary supplies to do your job. Go beyond pens and get some highlighters for when you need to review or draw attention to something. Don’t just have a pad of paper, but get a professional portfolio for important meetings and conferences. Grab some post-its in various sizes, so you can adequately note your reports and calendars with reminders. And make sure you have enough paperclips to outfit a small army. Being established in your office as prepared for the little things will make you more likely to be seen as someone who can handle more responsibility. And ultimately, it’s about impressions, right?
2. Pain medication, bandaids, and some snacks. We all get stress headaches or occassional cramps. And new shoes always seem to bother us on the days we have the most blocks to walk. Having all the necesities at your desk means you won’t need to swing by Walgreen’s on your way to a client meeting to buy an over-priced bottle of 24 ibuprofen capsules. Keep a stock of emergen-C in case you feel like you’re fighting something off. Grab some instant oatmeal for mornings when you’re on-the-go, and have granola bars for those long afternoons or late nights. Again, this will help establish you as someone who has the details under control among your coworkers.
3. A reusable water bottle. Staying hydrated throughout the day has been shown to help focus and prevent headaches. Grab a cute refillable water bottle so you can keep the H2O flowing without wasting paper cups and creating more waste. (And if you’re addicted to coffee, like me, get a reusable mug too!)
4. Basic beauty supplies. You never know when you’ll be pulled off the bench to attend a last minute client meeting or fill a seat at a conference, so you should always make sure you look ready to be pulled up to the big leagues. You should stock your desk with one dark shade (your typical red) of nail polish and one sheer shade, in case your mani gets chipped. A clear polish will also prevent runs in pantyhose from continuing if you catch them in time. Some nail polish remover pads are also never a bad idea in case your nails are not salvagable. Depending on how you style your hair, a small bottle of hair spray or dry shampoo may come in handy, and, of course, bobby pins are always necessary. A bottle of lotion and a touch of blush are must-haves as well, and I like to keep a travel size of my fragrance or some perfume samples in my desk in case a last-minute freshening up is needed.
5. A positive attitude. Cliche, right? Only because it’s true. Workplaces are about teams, not one indivdual exceling to the detriment of others. Be approachable. Be helpful. Go above and beyond for a team member. When the team wins, everyone wins. Seek opportunities for growth and to better the company. If you need some reminders to do the above, for example you’re not naturally a team player or a morning person, post some inspirational quotes on your wall or your computer’s desktop. Listen to a playlist that pumps you up if it’s acceptable in your office to have earbuds in. Post some pictures of your friends, family, or adorable puppies you find online on your desk. As long as what you post is office appropriate and helps you have a better attitude, your coworkers will respect you making your space your own. They’ll learn what’s important to you and you’ll be a more effective team member. You spend a lot of your week at the office; you might as well make the space your own.
These are the basics for what a smart girl has in her office drawers. Is there anything you guys always have on hand that I missed? I would love to hear your favorite workplace tips and am looking forward to this new series with you all.
Have a happy workday!