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You’re not really a natural talent when it comes to socialising. It’s not that you don’t like to meet new people, you just don't know what to say when put on the spot. You're more of a ‘thinker' so by the time someone asks (at a networking event) “Hey, tell me more about your business” your brain decides to produce about ‘99 answers’ at the same time. Your hands start to get sweaty and your brain… well, your brain basically goes on sleep mode.

There you go looking like the ‘weirdo' who doesn't know what her own business/job is about. I know exactly how you feel. In my case, my brain decides to switch languages. Before you know I start saying something like “Trabajo en the marketing department para vier jaar”. I know! That’s like Spanish, English and Dutch in one sentence. Help!

So why is it important to be a better networker?

Whether you’re growing your business or looking for a new job, networking is still considered to be one the best ways to do so. Luckily, there are different ways of networking. You can network by connecting with people in your inner circle, through social media, LinkedIn or (the nerve-wracking face to face) networking events.

So am I a networking pro? No, no, no! However, I would like to share some of the few things I have learned which have helped me successfully improve my networking skills.

Know who you are

There’s nothing more important than knowing who you are and why you’re doing what you’re doing. Whether you’re selling yourself (at a job interview) or selling your own product/service, if you don’t believe in it, no one will. Start by asking yourself the following questions:

  • What is my identity?

  • What makes me or my product stand out?

  • What problem does my idea solve?

Furthermore, knowing who you are, will give you a sense of confidence which is ‘muy importante’ (very important). Ultimately, you know you are offering something of great value and when you believe in what you do that truly shows forth.

Have a killer ‘elevator’ pitch

Now that you have identified who you are, it’s time to get on with your elevator pitch. This is a short overview of who you are and what you have to offer. Remember, you are trying to convince others why they should work with you or consider you. I know you are ‘awesome’, however, your pitch needs to a bit more specific and memorable.

Don’t be scared to make the first move

This one was a real struggle for me. Making the first move seems so much like a scary thing to do. You know, sending out that email, making the phone call, walking across the room just to introduce yourself. However, what is the worst that can happen? Probably, that you don’t get any reply isn’t it?

I have been sending out some emails a couple of weeks ago and guess what still no reply. And that’s fine. The right opportunities and doors will open at the right time. Same thing goes for when you’re networking for job opportunities. If you were not offered the job, there is probably a better one on its way – However, you will never know if you don’t take the first step.

Be open to building relationships

So, someone you contacted has gotten back to you, however, at the moment there’s no immediate lead. Does this mean this was a lost opportunity? Absolutely not! Don’t get rid of the business card, no don’t delete that email.

Networking is not only about what you can get. It’s a give and take relationship. The best connections and relationships can spring forth by just simply keeping in contact with that person. Besides, who knows later on your contact John, might have a friend, Jolanda, who’s niece, Jennifer is looking to work with someone like you.

Prepare like your life depends on it

As long as ‘the’ Mariah Carey is still having rehearsals and voice training sessions then you, my dear are not exempted from practising and being prepared yourself. I know… a bit off topic, but you get what I mean right?

“Success is where preparation and opportunity meet” – Bobby Unser

Yes, you know who you are and you know what you have to offer. However, in order to avoid unwanted surprises, always make sure you are prepared. Whether it's a networking event, meeting, phone call etc. Bobby Unser said it best when he said "Success is where preparation and opportunity meet"- Don't underestimate the power of preparation.

  

SARAH JOHNSON

Sarah Johnson is a marketing professional and the Founder and Editor of Corporate Career Girl. Her true passion is to empower career girls in the workplace, and help them bridge the gap between university and the corporate environment.

 
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A common misconception about a narcissistic person is that they are individuals who are overconfident and love to do nothing more than stare at themselves in the mirror all day long. Even though, there could be some truth in that, a narcissistic person is much more than that. Psychologists describe individuals with a narcissistic personality order as “individuals who exhibit a lack of ability to empathise with others and an inflated sense of self-importance”. People with a narcissistic personality disorder truly believe that they're superior to others and literally have little to no regard for other people's feelings.

There’s no exception, you will find them in families, group of friends and especially in the workplace – worst case scenario, it could be your boss. Have you been experiencing a lot of unexplainable friction with your boss lately? Have you been getting unpleasant vibes? Yep, you might be dealing with a narcissistic boss or manager:

Lack of empathy

You have been overloaded with tasks and to-do’s at work and you can literally feel yourself drowning… You have expressed your concerns to your boss and to your surprise it’s clear that your boss could care less.  One of the signs of a narcissistic manager is their casual disregard to your reasonable feelings and needs… or that of any other employee as matter of fact.

A caring manager would gladly send you home when you show up sick to work. However, on the contrary the narcissistic manager has no problem seeing you work your tales off while you’re ‘sick’ behind your desk – Just get the work done.

Secretly lazy

Narcissistic managers act like they are the saviour of the day, every single day. Truth is, they are incredibly lazy. You will often find a narcissistic manager trying to ‘pick your brain’ (or that of others) because they really don’t feel the need to crack their own brain. Why should they come up with the ideas, when they have you to do that for them. They will often ask it in a form of a favour… the favour on the other hand is never returned – Duh! Which leads to the next point…

The thief of ideas

Once the narcissistic manager has managed to pick your brain or used others to do their thinking… they will take whatever idea you have and RUN with it. And when I say run, I mean SPRINT! When I just started a new job this was one of the red flags I dealt with. I had an idea that I had only shared with this particular manager (let’s call her Jennifer) and once I talked to someone else about it, the person said “Yeah, Jennifer mentioned this to me – Such a great idea of her to come up with this.” However, Jennifer never mentioned that it was my idea. She took the information I gave her and pitched it to others as if it was her own.

It’s a hidden agenda

A sad but shocking truth, the narcissistic manager does not under no circumstances care about #TEAMGOALS. Everything they do or decide is about how it will advance them or make them look.

I used to work under a manager who could ignore me at work for days, but whenever this person needed information for a presentation or meeting they would randomly ask me about my weekend or day… and of course the information they needed for their presentation. In public they pretend to care about the well-being of their team and sometimes might even ‘Thank their team’ for the good work done – The reality, however, is, when the team delivers good work it makes them look good.

Easily takes the credit

This point kind of ties in with the previous two points. As already mentioned, the narcissistic manager cares tremendously about what people think of them and how they look in front of others. So if they need to take the credit for something they DID NOT DO… I repeat they had NADA involvement in this, just because it will make them look good, they will not think twice about doing so.

Besides that, they actually have a hard time praising you for your good work. You will often find them complementing you or commending your work… only when they NEED something from you.

It’s sad but the harsh truth. Dealing with a narcissistic manager can be extremely frustrating and take its toll on your work. However, the sooner you can identify this, the better you will be able to handle these situations – Want to know “How to deal with a narcissistic manager?” – Keep an eye on our blog or subscribe to our newsletter.

What are your experiences with a narcissistic boss or manager? Do share with us in the comment box below!

Sarah Johnson

Sarah Johnson is a marketing professional and the Founder and Editor of Corporate Career Girl. Her true passion is to empower career girls in the workplace, and help them bridge the gap between university and the corporate environment.

 
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Image credit: Esther Santer

Your first day at work will be both exciting but anxious at the same time. You will have got over every hurdle to get to this point; the application, the interview, the second interview, etc and the big day has finally arrived.

It’s also a day that first impressions are made of you from co-workers so appearing professional and confident will prepare you for a long and successful career.

Here is how you can do that:

Show up early

First things first: be on time. This could arguably be the most important thing you can do on this list. The best way to get there on time on day one is to show up early. Being late creates a horrible first impression and appears very unprofessional.

Aim to get there at least 15 minutes early. This way, you’ll be able to understand traffic patterns, so you won’t be late going forward and you’re showing the employer your professionalism from day one. You should also stay a bit longer at the end of the day.

Ask questions

The first day is about learning how things operate in the workplace. The only way you can do that is by listing to what is being said to you and asking counter questions.

This shows you're trying to demonstrate your curiosity and desire to learn. Have a list of questions handy for managers you think you might meet. Make sure you also have a contact in HR in case you have very basic inquiries before you start or on your first day. However, don’t go asking questions about everything otherwise you’ll be over doing it.

Take lots of notes

Take notes on all the systems and rules of your new organisation on your first day at work. Attend all orientation sessions and accept any training or professional development courses that you are offered. Study your on-boarding manual, if you’re provided with one.

Nothing will get you up to speed at a new job faster. Your participation shows interest and ambition, and an eagerness to get on board fast.

Associate with the right people

This can be hard as you will end up meeting a lot of people on your first day but it’s vital you associate yourself with those that will progress your career. Social groups will have already formed, some of which will get on with management better than others. If you have aspirations of climbing the ladder, you need to be part of these groups.

It’s also important to learn the political landscape within the workplace. Power can manifest in so many different ways, it is imperative to understand who actually answers to who.

Spend the first day with your boss

As we just mentioned, you’ll be pulled this way and that on your first day by all sorts of people but at the same time, you must try to be as accessible to your boss as much as possible.

You can easily get caught up with an HR professional, various managers or co-workers or with a special assignment that keeps you from being available to the person who matters most. If you end up spending extended periods away from your manager, be sure to check in every once in a while.

Dress well

You will have got a sense of what is acceptable wear in the workplace when you had the interview. Make sure all your clothes are well pressed. The more effort you put into your appearance on the first day, you will appear far more confident and professional than if you just rolled out of bed.

If you have any doubts as to what to wear, then it’s much better to be overdressed than under dressed. Even if you’re overdressed, the idea is to look understated and professional – you want to be remembered for your work and skills.

Stay away from personal issues

It can be so easy to start browsing social media or deal with other personal business while on the clock. However, on the first day, this should be avoided as much as possible.

Of course, in the case of emergencies, these can’t be helped but if you need to make a personal call for other reasons, step away from your desk. If you need to make a reservation or take care of other business online, do it quickly and discreetly

 

Sophie Garrod

After graduating in journalism and media, Sophie started working as Head of Content for Find Courses. Find Courses helps people find the appropriate course for them; from apprenticeships to finance courses or HR to oil & gas courses.

  
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Like it or not, Christmas is coming. And that means things are about to get expensive. Along with all the gifts you have to buy, there's all the food, drink, and decorations. Christmas can quickly become the most expensive time of the year. There's a reason that the third Monday in January is known as blue Monday you know. Everyone is poor and a little bit porkier than they were a month ago. 

Fear not. This article is full of tips and advice to help you to save money leading up to the Christmas splurge, and spend it wisely so that you get more bang for your buck. And yes, I do know it's a bit early… But I'm a firm believer in being prepared. 

Saving Money for Christmas

Let's start with saving money. You'll find loads of advice and how-to guides on the internet, but there is no quick fix. Saving money is just about spending less than you earn. So, to save more money you can either spend less or earn more. Given that it's October, and you need to save this money for Christmas, let's assume the opportunity to earn more is limited. Note: I didn't say impossible.

Save Money on Food

By creating a weekly meal plan, and sticking to a shopping list, you can dramatically reduce your food bill. Even better if you can do your food shop online, because you'll be less tempted by the pretty packaging and special offers. Stick to low cost products (it's not forever) and easy to prepare meals. This will stop you giving up and ordering a takeaway. 

You should see a reduction of at least £20 a week by sticking to a shopping list; using low cost groceries; shopping online; avoiding snacks; and sticking to a meal plan. That's a £240 saving if you can keep it up until Christmas day.

Save Money on Travel

Everyone knows that travelling is one of the biggest drains on your finances, but is unavoidable most of the time. We all have to commute to and from work, one way or the other. With trains, buses, and petrol prices rising, it is becoming close to impossible to travel on a budget. However, there are steps you can take to reduce your travel expenses.

If you use public transport, book your tickets as far in advance as possible. This can save you a huge amount of money. There are also weekly and monthly ticket options, which can reduce the cost of your daily commute. The final step you can take to reduce this cost is to speak to your employers. Sure, they could say that it's your responsibility to get to and from work. But chances are, they'll try and help you out in some way. It is Christmas after all.

If you drive, why not try and care share with your colleagues? It's the time of year where everyone is trying to save a penny or two, and most of your colleagues will be glad to hear of such an opportunity. You can travel in someone else's car, or give colleagues a lift. Just make sure you are giving/collecting some form of petrol money. Nothing major, just £5 a week or so. No one wants to be short changed at Christmas.

Earn Money Online

Millennials are making hundreds of pounds a month online completing surveys, watching videos, and selling clothes. And it really is as easy as it sounds. If you've got some spare time in the evening, why not use it to earn your Christmas spending money. 

Survey sites like swagbucks.com are commonly used, but there are hundreds of platforms like this. Most of them are collecting data for advertising and marketing purposes. They want to find out which packaging/branding/advert you were most drawn to. Although they can be quite tedious sometimes, the money hitting your bank account is not. 

Selling on eBay is as popular as ever. If you've got an overflowing wardrobe, why not get rid of a few items and make a bit of cash for Christmas? It's easier than ever with the app. You can literally just take a picture, upload it, and watch the bids roll in.

Spending Money on Christmas

So you've got the money saved, how should you spend it to get maximum reward? Sure, the temptation to go and buy your super cute niece the latest £200 barbie dream house will be there, but you must resist. Shop smart, and you could be in for your best Christmas yet.

Gift Buying

It's so easy to overspend on Christmas gifts. The shops know how to play on our emotional heartstrings. The music, weather, and smell of the air encourages us to spend. But be very frank with yourself right now. When was the last time you were excited about unwrapping a gift set? You know the ones. It usually has a shower gel, body lotion, and maybe some kind of body spray. Some poor relative of yours has paid twice the market value for that, just because it was advertised as a Christmas gift and put in a nice box.

To really cut back on Christmas gifts, avoid the Christmas section full stop. Write a list of people that you are going to buy lists for, and next to their name write the gift you are going to buy them. This was stop you from ‘panic buying’, and spending more than you intended. 

To really cut back, get your friends and family involved in a secret santa. In doing so, you'll only have to buy one gift, saving you a fortune. But it also means that that gift can be better tailored to it's receiver. More time, effort, and money can go into that one gift, meaning that the recipient is more likely to enjoy it.

Last but not least, move Christmas. Who said you have to celebrate on the 25th anyway? Get your friends and family agree to a new date that you'll exchange gifts. This means you'll be able to hit up the boxing day sales, and get better gifts for a bargain.

Christmas Dinner

Whether it's your turn to cook, or someone else's, there are loads of ways you can save money on Christmas food. Turkey, potatoes, cranberry sauce, and sprouts are just some of the ingredients involved in the traditional Christmas dinner. And that doesn't include all the extra chocolate, cheese, snacks, and nibbles you're expected to provide. With supermarkets already promoting their Christmas deals, you can never be too early off the mark.

First things first, pre-order as early as possible. If you've already got most of the food in your cupboards ready to go, you'll be less likely to do a mad supermarket dash when December arrives. Like I said, some supermarkets are already taking pre-orders. So have a little browse, and see if anything tickles your fancy.

Secondly, pool your shopping. Split the load between all the dinners to reduce your own expense. To simplify the whole process, put someone in charge of meat, someone else in charge of veg, someone else in charge of chocolate, and so on. Just don't forget to include a booze category. That's a very important one.

Finally, stop following tradition! Who said that you have to have smoked salmon and bucks fizz on Christmas morning? Followed by copious amounts of chocolate, a huge roast turkey (with all the trimmings), cheese and biscuits, then a late night supper. If you love curry, have curry. If you love lasagna, have lasagna. Start your own traditions, you'll be shocked at how much fun you can have and how much money you can save.

Saving & Spending at Christmas: Summary

There you have it. You can calm down a bit now. Follow these guidelines, and January won't be so blue for you after all. I'd love to hear how you plan on getting your bank account through the festive season! Drop a comment down below or get in touch with your top tips on saving money. 

If you're keen to learn more about saving, earning, or sensibly spending money then head over to my blog. I must admit, I'm becoming quite the expert in my efforts to buy a house. Be sure to share this post to get all your family and friends involved in the Christmas savings challenge! You won't regret it. 

 

Natalka Antoniuk

Natalka is a part-time Masters student, full time waitress, and has spent the majority of her adult life conquering the big bad world of money and finance in her effort to buy her own house. She is as passionate about writing as she is about budgeting, and now she's sharing her knowledge on the subject.

  
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Have you ever experienced second thoughts after accepting a job offer? It happens or will happen at least once in your career. However, do you know how to face such unavoidable circumstances in your professional life? Let’s find out.

Today's job market is fluid for both ends, candidates and recruiters. Everyone has a lot of options to choose from. The selection process is always in an inverse pyramidal manner. It means employers select candidates first when they see the best fit for all their requirements. Similarly, the second and third options might have potential but do not necessarily tick all their boxes.

The same story goes for you as a candidate when you get invited for more than one job interview or when you receive multiple job offers. This might cause you to want to decline a job offer that you’ve already accepted for a better or more preferred job role.

Some of the consequences/things you need to consider when declining the job offer:

1.       You have already signed an employment contract or legal documents

2.       The employer does not understand or agree with your decision

3.       The employer does not or can not provide a better job offer

4.       The recruiter is making the process extremely difficult

What you need to consider:

  • Legal consequences when you have already signed the employment contract

  • You have not signed the legal contract yet, but your reputation in the job market and network of employers/recruiters can be on the line.

  • You may lose a big or valuable company/employer forever by declining a job offer after you have accepted it. This could shut the door of an opportunity to work in that company in the future.

What triggered you to change your mind?

You accepted the job offer without looking into enough details

You were feeling a bit pressured, so you accepted the job offer during the interview round before receiving the necessary details like salary, hourly rate, perks, cuts, and so on.

You have better options now

You went through several interview processes with multiple companies, but you only received a job offer from one, so you accepted it. With the lapse of time, one or two more companies that you interviewed with have finished their processes and found you the best fit - And… they have amazing company perks too!

How to Decline a Job Offer After You Have Accepted

Act swiftly:

Once you realise, the accepted job is not the right fit for you, take a firm decision to decline the offer. Don’t waste much time when it comes to contacting the company or organisation. Act swiftly and inform the concerned authority as soon as possible.

Show honesty, but tactfully:

Politely inform your recruiters on why you changed your mind so that there will be no misunderstanding. You can also use soft tactics such as... you would not fit into company culture or nonalignment of skill sets. Refrain from mentioning anything regarding the company itself or the recruitment process.

Go briefly/concisely:

Try to withhold yourself from giving a long explanation, either verbally or in writing. Only communicate significant points and most importantly be clear. 

Display gratitude:

Always show gratitude for having been given the opportunity to know the company or the recruitment team. Also, try to show that changing your mind and making this new decision after the offer was a tough thing for you to do.

Check your bottom line while renegotiating:

When you declare your changed decision, the chances are high that the company may try to renegotiate with you on some negotiable points like benefits, perks, etc. In such conditions, you have to either clarify that you are in no mood to renegotiate at all or say ‘yes’ to renegotiation.

Select the right way/channel to communicate:

In most of the cases, you can or should communicate this to the employer directly otherwise, the HR or recruitment team is okay too. A face-to-face meeting is better, but a phone call is okay in some cases. 

Learn valuable lessons:

Some companies find peace with you making your decision while some can be challenging to deal with and may choose to take legal actions. Whatever sweet or bitter experiences, make sure that you always learn a lesson from it.

Always take the time to carefully think before finalising your decision to accept a job offer. Take enough time to say ‘Yes’ to a company and request as much information as possible from the recruitment or HR team and if possible from current employees as well.

Manya Ray

She is Marketing & PR Executive for Just Norfolk Jobs and has been since October 2017. Manya has a vast amount of HR & Recruitment experience coupled with her local knowledge of the Norfolk & Norwich area.

 
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Image credit: Esther Santer

Nope, not all of us love Mondays. The struggle is real when it comes to switching your mind from weekend routine to work routine. From sleeping in during the weekend to the early Monday morning. If extra coffee doesn’t seem to help you get through the Mondays, here are a few inspirational quotes that will make you love Mondays just a little bit more.

 

1) “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” – Napoleon Hill

2) “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” – Jack Canfield

3) “If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat! Just get on.” – Sheryl Sandberg

4) “There is a winner in you. You were created to be successful, to accomplish your goals, to leave your mark on this generation. You have greatness in you. The key is to get it out.” – Joel Osteen

5) “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humour, and some style” – Maya Angelou

6) “If you don’t like being a doormat then get off the floor.”– Al Anon

7) “I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish that He didn’t trust me so much.”– Mother Teresa

8) “A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform.”– Diane Mariechild

9) “Because I am a woman, I must make unusual efforts to succeed. If I fail, no one will say, “She doesn’t have what it takes.” They will say, “Women don’t have what it takes.”– Clare Boothe Luce

10) “You have a calling which exists only for you and which you can fulfil.” Dr. Naomi Stephan

 

Sarah Johnson

Sarah Johnson is a marketing professional and the Founder and Editor of Corporate Career Girl. Her true passion is to empower career girls in the workplace, and help them bridge the gap between university and the corporate environment.

 
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  CCG IS AN AMAZON ASSOCIATES PROGRAM PARTICIPANT. THIS POST CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS

Hard work is essential in order to be successful at work. However, the lack of confidence can negatively influence your success. So what does it mean to be confident? To be confident is simply to be assured or convinced about your own abilities or qualities. For example, your own views of your daily performance at work can either lead to a higher or lower self-esteem. The level of confidence you have, therefore really depends on your own mindset.

So if you’re aiming for a promotion, a raise or you simply just want to have a bit more self-esteem – the belief in your own ability to succeed plays a major role.

Balancing Confidence and Performance

According to an interesting study done by Don Moore of Carnegie Mellon University, people tend to be more swayed by confidence than by expertise. This leads to the fact that confidence can sometimes even be more important than your actual performance. However, this is not to say that performance or expertise should be put aside. Instead, the right balance of both can be a powerful combination of gaining more success at work.

Here are three mindsets and practical tips that will help you exhibit more confidence at work:

1. Adopt a Positive Mindset

Probably easier said than done – However, the truth is, whatever you think regarding your work or performance will eventually be the outcome. You might not be able to do all the things that person A or B does at work. However, don’t forget that you can do a lot of great things too. You are a valuable member of the team and your individual contribution is essential to the team’s overall performance.

How to be more positive at work:

  • Substitute negative thoughts for positive thinking

  • Stop saying negative words – Made a mistake? No problem. Let it go!

  • Disengage yourself from negative conversations/discussions

  • Use your lunch break to read a good book/ or to do something productive

2. Adopt a Growth Mindset

Adopting a growth mindset is crucial for learning. Start by identifying your own strengths and weaknesses. To help gain more confidence, it is important to know what you’re actually good at. What do you do at work that no one else can do better than you? Also recognising your weaknesses gives you the opportunity to focus on the things you need to improve on.

Being open to growth doesn’t mean that you will get it right a 100%. It means that you have to get comfortable with trial and error. You’ll sometimes try and fail and that’s absolutely okay – That’s part of the growing process.

How to deal with growth at work:

  • Don’t beat yourself up each time you make a mistake

  • Take small steps to improvement – Don’t try to improve in one day

  • Set yourself some practical goals. For example, by the end of the month, I would like to master/be better at […….]

  • Don’t compare yourself with others

3. Adopt a “We” Instead of “Me” Mindset

Building self-confidence doesn’t mean you have to entirely focus on you. According to ‘The Confidence Code’ a book by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman, in particular, women thrive the most when they focus on “we”. This means that you might need to adopt a mindset that focuses on how your work or success can help or benefit others.

For example, think about the positive impact your confidence and eventually, your success will have in your community, company, team and so on. Katty and Claire argue that even though expertise is important, especially for women, developing confidence is essential if you want to thrive in your career.

How to have a “we” mindset at work:

  • Low confidence results in inaction – Increase your confidence by taking action

  • Determine how you want your success to impact others

  • Develop goals outside of yourself

  • Extend genuine help to team members. However, don't overdo this.

Sarah Johnson

Sarah Johnson is a marketing professional and the Founder and Editor of Corporate Career Girl. Her true passion is to empower career girls in the workplace, and help them bridge the gap between university and the corporate environment.

 
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  CCG is an Amazon Associates Program Participant. This post contains affiliate links

Have you heard the saying “Women who lead are women who read”? No doubt that if you want to make a difference in your career, business or community, reading is one of the best tools for acquiring knowledge and gaining inspiration. We have listed our top five books you can’t afford to miss on your bookshelf – Girl, read them till the pages start to fall out!

1. Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office: Unconscious Mistakes Women Make That Sabotage Their Careers

By Lois P. Frankel

You might not be aware but Girlish behaviours will sabotage your career. If you’re always worried you might be offending somebody in the office, you need to get over it. And this book will help you do that.

2. 7 habits of highly effective people

By Dr. Stephen Covey

If you want to become more effective in your life and career, this book will give you more insight on personal leadership and the habits you need to cultivate the have a successful and fulfilling life.

3. Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead

By Sheryl Sandberg

You have the right to equality at work. This book will teach you how to stand up in the workplace as a female. Don’t be afraid to take a seat at the table…with the men.

4. Leave Your Mark: Land Your Dream Job. Kill It in Your Career. Rock Social Media

By Aliza Licht

Get personal and professional guidance on how to successfully start your career. The key to becoming successful is to not just learn your job, learn everyone else’s.

5. The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance — What Women Should Know

By Katty Kay and Claire Shipman

Women thrive the most when they focus on “we”. This book will teach you how to be confident by adopting a mindset that focuses on how your work or success can help and benefit others.

 

Sarah Johnson

Sarah Johnson is a marketing professional and the Founder and Editor of Corporate Career Girl. Her true passion is to empower career girls in the workplace, and help them bridge the gap between university and the corporate environment.

 
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#Aaliyah

A post shared by Aaliyah Haughton (@aaliyahdanahaughton) on Jan 19, 2018 at 12:16pm PST

I mean, who doesn’t know the words to this song? “If at first, you don't succeed, dust yourself up and try again, you can dust it off and try again, try again, try again”. Even if you can’t sing along to save your life, I’m pretty sure your dancing could... 

Even though the song describes a relationship/love type of scenario, there are quite a few life lessons every career girl can learn from it.

1. Don't stop after the first attempt

Life is such that if you fail at doing something, you have to keep trying to reach your desired results. If you throw in the towel at the first try, you’ll never really experience life’s victories. It is often said that experience is the best teacher. You don’t lose by trying you only learn. You can only reach your full potential when you take risks and step out of your comfort zone. So what’s stopping you from starting that new business? Are you ready for a career change? Don’t be afraid to fail, don’t be too hard on yourself, just take the first step.

2. Dust yourself off, change your strategy

“Only a fool keeps doing the same thing, expecting a different result, Albert Einstein” – Sometimes in order to succeed, you might need to change your strategy. Failure is a huge part of life. This doesn’t make your ideas or plans any less great. You might need to change your approach, renew your mind and shift your thinking. Shake the dust off, polish your idea and try again. You only win when you rise after the fall.

3. Good things don’t come easy

Truth be told, anything that’s worth having does not come easy. What we work the hardest for is often what we cherish the most. Flashes of the pain we had to endure, the hard ache we experienced and how we had to persevere while going through the process will always keep us in check. It's human nature. Experience will teach you that you can't afford to throw it all away. The hard work, the moments, the growth, the tears, the laughter, the pain and the joy.

Sometimes the journey is hard, but it's worth it – So if at first you don't succeed, dust yourself off and try again.

*RIP Babygirl*

 
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When I was ten I thought twenty was old. Seriously. I thought that by twenty years of age I'd have my house, and my husband, and my dog. I certainly didn't think I'd still need money lessons. Now I'm 24 and I've only recently had to buy a hoover. Not quite a house and a dog. But I am saving money. Enough to buy a house. So I've learnt my fair share of money lessons.

Your twenties have the potential to be the best years of your life. Whether you're finishing uni and starting a new career, or you've worked your ass to the bone since high school and are now living a student loan debt free life, you should have started to learn something about money. These are the nine money lessons you should learn in your twenties.

1. Make Saving Money Automatic

It's easy to say you will save money. It's even easier if you've made it automatic. This money lesson is usually learned by people trying to reach a savings goal. I have friends who needed £7,000 to go travelling. And I have friends who needed £1,700 to buy a new car. Either way, if you haven't found yourself in that position, you should consider setting up a standing order into your savings account.

They say you should save 10% of what you earn, and some employers will happily do the split for you - paying a percentage of your salary into an alternative account.  This makes it easier because you don't see the money come in and go out. Get yourself a savings account, and set up a standing order so that you can be sure money will keep trickling in.

2. Negotiate. Everything.

We all know someone who tried to leave there insurance/energy/TV/wifi contracts, but were offered a really good price to stay... so why don't we all do it. I'll admit I'm awful at this. I haven't negotiated my car insurance ever, and pay significantly more than my friends. Use price comparison sites to research the best prices, then phone your supplier to tell them that you're leaving because you've received a better quote. Watch them squirm. And then watch them knock hundreds of pounds off your bill.

This can work in shops as well. You'll have seen the price comparison promise in some supermarkets. But often, if you tell a shop that you've found the product cheaper elsewhere then they will try and match the price (or at least throw in some freebies). This is particularly common in electrical shops, but I've heard stories from all over. Be brave and negotiate a better price. Your thirty year old self will thank you.

3. Saving Vs. Investing

So saving automatically was the first money lesson, but there has to come a point where you realise you're savings are doing nothing sat in a savings account. Learn to invest. There are several ways you can invest risk free. You're bank will offer ISA's and Bonds that will grow your money pot over the years that you leave it in there. The banks basically take your money and invest in themselves, eventually giving you back your full sum plus a percentage of the interest they have earnt. Obviously, if you're brave enough to dabble in stocks and shares yourself then do it. That's how people get rich overnight. Having a substantial amount of money in a savings account is a lazy way to lose money.

4. Credit Scores, and How to Improve Them

Get a credit card. If you're mentally stable enough. You need a good credit score to do basically anything now. And owning, using, and paying off a credit card is the quickest way to improve your credit score. This money lesson is a given.

We're bombarded with adverts on the TV, and it's something we've heard our parents talk about all our lives. Unfortunately, your twenties is the time to tackle this. Before it's too late.

5. Rule of Three

You didn't think you'd get through these money lessons without me telling you to spend less did you? If you can't afford to buy something three times, then you probably shouldn't buy it. Your twenties are the time to learn to budget. Gone are the days that you spend the last £40 you have to your name on a new mascara and a meal out. It's time to adult. And it's time to learn to budget. Some people use the thirty day rule. Basically, if you want something try waiting thirty days until you go back and buy it. Chances are you'll have forgotten. But I prefer the rule of three, it's much easier to work out on the spot.

6. Safety Net

Saving money isn't just so that you can buy a more expensive car, travel the world, or buy a house. You need to make sure you have a safety net, because (as your twenties will teach you) you have to expect the unexpected. This should be the equivalent to three months salary. That gives you three months to get your life back on track if you get let go from work. Or three months to pull your socks up and decide to quit your job and start your own business. Having a safety net is the most valuable money lesson you can learn in your twenties. You'll sleep better knowing that you've got that option.

7. It's Easy to Increase your Income

Don’t be afraid to ask for a pay rise. The worst thing that can happen is your boss says no. And if she/he says no? Go and find a new job that will reward you for your hard work with a higher salary. There are other ways to improve your income though. Side hustles can earn you up to £1,000 a month if you put the hours in. But then you are spending your evenings completing online surveys, which isn't ideal in your twenties. If you want to be financially independent, it starts with that talk you have with your boss. How much do you think you're worth? More than you earn, I know that.

Related Article:

8. Memories Vs. Material Goods

When you blow out thirty candles on a birthday cake, do you want to see a pile of money, pile of stuff, or a pile of photos and memories? I know what I would prefer. Learn to spend your money wisely, and you'll unlock the secret to buying happiness. You can save money by cutting out the useless material goods you were addicted to in your teens. And you can choose to spend that money on making memories, or save that money for your future. Money lessons don't work for everyone. Saving is important but I would encourage you to use your twenties to make memories, on a budget, of course.

9. Quality Vs. Quantity

Finally, throw away that £5 saucepan you bought for your uni house that has black paint chipping off in your dinner. It's time to spend a bit of money, in the right places. The quality Vs. quantity argument dates back to my gran's age. For some reason, as reckless teenagers, we just want to buy as much cheap stuff as possible. Look at how successful Primark is in the UK. Your twenties are the time to kick this habit. You only need one coat, if it's a good coat. Same goes for most things. Spend a bit of money to avoid spending a lot of money on a ton of rubbish. Kitchenware, clothing, electronics, and car care are the places you need to start.

Summary: Nine Money Lessons to Learn in your Twenties

Knowing how to earn, save, and manage your money is key to living a financially independent and secure life. The real money lesson is learning how to enjoy your money, whilst still keeping that safety net there for emergencies. Go an buy that latte. I won't judge. Just make sure you can afford three of them. If you're keen to learn more about money, saving, and buying a house, then head over to my blog (link in bio).

 

Natalka Antoniuk

Natalka is a part-time Masters student, full time waitress, and has spent the majority of her adult life conquering the big bad world of money and finance in her effort to buy her own house. She is as passionate about writing as she is about budgeting, and now she's sharing her knowledge on the subject.

  
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