It never ceases to amaze me. As a child, a Lego airport set gave me a glimpse of flight and travel. I was already eighteen by the time I got on a plane for the first time. I’ve flown a fair amount since, but when an aircraft this big pulls up in full view, I am still in awe.:)
It’s been almost seven years since I did a career reboot of sorts—packing my bags for a piece of the little big island that is New York. It’s been quite an adventure, a roller coaster ride. These days, it feels like I’m finally cruising along, although I’m not immune to not-so-great days at work. As I’ve re-tooled and rebooted NY Minute Now, I wanted to share snippets that I’ve learned, career-wise. I’ve listed five for now, although I have a feeling I’ll be adding to this list at some point. These aren’t hard-and-fast rules, but for sure, they’ve helped me survive, understand, and overcome challenging situations in the workplace.
1.) Speak your mind…but watch your mouth.
If there’s one tip you take away from here, it’s this one. This is still work-in-progress for me. I am constantly watching myself and the things I say. Since I’ve gotten in trouble in the past for times when I should have kept mum, it’s a constant struggle to find the balance between being vocal and filtering thoughts as they manifest in words.
But, there’s hope. The key is to be mindful of time, space, and opportunity. While this can be difficult—especially if you work in an industry where you’re required/expected to present your work and be able to explain your thought process verbally—it can be done.
TIME – Can it wait? Do you have to say it right this second? Is it better expressed via email, after you’d given it some thought?
SPACE – What is the environment? Who is present? Will what you’re about to say positively or negatively affect the air in the room?
OPPORTUNITY – What do you hope to gain from expressing this particular thing? Can it be finessed further in tone and approach? Is it respectful? And are you sure it’s necessary?
2.) Your boss is always right.
It’s the old cliché, but hear me out. It was only in recent years that I’ve had a better understanding of how this works. Your boss is always right because most of the time, your boss has the big picture/full scoop and this information is not necessarily trickled down the food chain for various reasons. The most obvious: Your boss just doesn’t have the time to walk you through the backstory of this one thing you need to do ASAP, because there are tons of other things that need to be done. Now, if you do find yourself in a situation that your boss is 100% wrong, refer to #1. Be respectful. And by all means, DO NOT do this in front of their boss…unless you’re performing surgery then you better TALK. NOW.
In my experience, I’d say 9 out of 10 managers want direct reports to be happy. Surely, some bosses can be very difficult to work with, some, you may wonder how they even got to their position. But, bottom line? They hired you, you’re getting paid to do the job, and you are free to leave (okay, that may not always be the case, but you get the drift).
I guess people like selfies. This comes as a surprise to me—I find it fascinating that the photo above got way more likes than my Insta-Ragu. One of the memorable comments on Facebook is from my beauty mentor (also now a yoga teacher), Marie, who complimented the “beautiful,” “bare-faced” quality of the snapshot. It got me thinking about writing a skincare post. You see, in a past life as a beauty editor, I got to road-test TONS of products. I treaded lightly on cosmetic treatments, but products? I was down for anything…well, let’s say I did stay away from certain cringe-worthy products.
These days, my skincare routine is stripped down to the bare essentials. I have it down to a T. It’s a parallel of my east-meets-west yoga/medicinal/life philosophy: I cleanse, exfoliate and treat with chemicals—AHA and salicylic-based products from my dermatologist, Dr. Anthony Rossi (of Juva Skin & Laser Center in New York); plus the prescription retinoid gel, Differin (actually produced by Galderma, makers of Cetaphil). Then, I moisturize with pure jojoba and argan oils. That’s it!
I also have my trusty Lancôme Bi-Facil Eye Makeup Remover—it’s the best!—and a recently purchased pack of Ole Henriksen Truth To Go Vitamin C Wipes, for nights when I can’t be bothered to get up from bed to go wash my face in the bathroom.
CLEANSE & TREAT
According to Dr. Rossi, no matter how fabulous and fantastic your other skincare products are, they won’t work unless your skin is cleansed and exfoliated thoroughly. Proper cleansing preps your skin for maximum absorption of the nutrients found in your favorite products.
I wanted to include photos of the following, however, dermatological products aren’t necessarily known for pretty packaging—Differin does come in a nice sleek tube with happy pops of blue and green—so I’ll simply list them. Trust me—they’re amazing:
Here’s a melt-in-your-mouth ragu that is a hybrid/modification of two recipes: Alton Brown’s Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese and Jamie Oliver’s Jools’ Pasta (I was actually watching the latter on YouTube one evening, hence the insta-inspiration).
Traditionally, ragu takes a while to simmer and perfect. It’s in the category of long and slow. Jamie Oliver, however, packs in flavor in as little time possible with the help of premium pork sausages. My recipe employs the same technique, but with chicken sausages, and pairs it with heaps of cheese. Really, you can’t go wrong with sharp cheddar cheese!
For the mac ‘n cheese:
5 ounces (about one heaping mug) fusilli, elbow macaroni, penne, or short/curly pasta of choice
1 tbsp butter
3 ounces milk
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco/hot sauce, more if desired
1/2 to 1 teaspoon kosher salt (depending on saltiness of sausages)
Fresh black pepper
1 tsp teaspoon dry mustard
3 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
For the ragu ‘base’
2 large chicken sausages
dash of salt, pepper, and sugar
splash of Tabasco/hot sauce
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
bunch of chopped parsley (or Italian seasoning or dried/fresh herb of choice)
Optional: mirepoix—carrots, celery, spring onion—minced
Full recipe after the jump. Read More
I first learned about Jacques Torres when he teamed up with Origins back in 2002 to create a decadent, chocolate-infused line of skincare/body care products. As a beauty assistant for Seventeen Magazine at the time, I was delighted to have sampled such an ingenious pairing of two things I adored.
Fast forward to 2014, one afternoon, a friend and coworker casually mentioned that “a chocolate place had opened down the street and did [I] know about it?” If you work in an office, you’d know that three to four p.m. is when the treats need to happen, to tide you over and give you an instant boost for the rest of the day.
As it turns out, a new Jacques Torres store had just opened a few weeks before AND it was literally right down the street: I cross the street from our building, walk two stores down, and voila—chocolate bliss.