Thursday, December 16, 2010

New! The Savvy Source

Whether you're a lawyer or a writer, every gal can benefit from some good, solid career advice. And who better to hear it from, than ladies in similar (or sometimes cuter) shoes? So, today is the launch of a new feature, where rock star women working in the real world, share everything from their favorite afternoon snack to advice that's saved their booties from the wrath of clients, bosses and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.

(Thanks to one of my BFF's, Franny for kindly offering to be my guinea pig.)

Franny, age 30, Account Supervisor at Siren PR

What's the best career advice you've been given?
Always be on your best game when it comes to work and represent yourself in an intelligent, professional and knowledgeable manner. So many times paths will cross in business, and you want those you meet to remember you and your company in the absolute best light. I can’t express how many times being friendly and buttoned up in one meeting or even by way of email has paid off – whether it’s being recognized internally, making my job easier in securing coverage for one of my clients or securing a new business opportunity.

Be passionate and knowledgeable about your field and the world! Read and take the opportunity to absorb information when sitting in on meetings, speaking to others about what they do, etc. It all will help set you apart from others and show you are interested in what you are doing.

 A positive attitude and good work ethic goes a long way. Take pride in your work and go that extra mile. It truly pays off. 

And, be on time. I'm big on that! It’s so easy and shows you take your job seriously, yet not enough people do it! It’s kind of a pet peeve of mine.

How did you learn a lesson the hard way?
If you are not an attorney you shouldn’t be signing lucrative contracts! 

The first year on my job I signed a contract without understanding the terms or running it by my client, or anyone else for that matter. Being that I am an attorney’s daughter and the fact that I’m now engaged to an attorney, I’m not sure where my head was during this incident. Lesson learned: Contracts should be signed by those paying them out – not be a first year PR girl.

Favorite at-work snack:
Pop Chips at around 2pm (Salt and Vinegar or BBQ), a handful of Reese's around 4 (my office has them, it’s very dangerous!) When I’m extra bad or stressed I’ll even mix these with goldfish. Delish.

Morning Coffee Ritual:
I am never without a Starbucks. Usually it’s a Grande Starbucks Coffee. If it’s hot (rare in SF), Venti Iced Coffee, unsweetened. I think it’s a mental thing, but one sip gets me in the right mind set.

How do you deal with difficult co-workers/clients?  
With clients ... listen. Don’t be defensive and don’t “NO” a client. If you don’t see eye to eye, communicate and come back with a different point of view. But saying no without another opinion or thought, isn’t going to get you very far. 

Also, with clients and colleagues too ... if you don’t have an answer when asked a question, don’t make up one or answer with a statement you don’t believe in. It’s okay to say, "Hey, that’s a great question, let me do some research on that and get back to you." Then, do the work. No one expects you to have all the answers on the spot, all the time.

With colleagues, not everyone has the same work style. Be open and have the ability to see the strengths others bring to the table. If everyone worked in the same style, things would get old real fast. I didn’t understand this when I first started, but my two very wise bosses 
reinforced this and I now get it!

If you could do anything other than what you're doing now, what would it be?

I used to say owner of a flower shop, Franny’s Flowers sounds pretty cute, or to host a talk show with my best friend Marni. These days, it’s 100% a rock star oncologist – a genius with compassion, someone to cure my mom of cancer and help all the heroes who are fighting this battle.

Favorite part about your job:
Every day is different. I love that no day is the same in my world! It doesn’t ever get old or repetitive. I work with a mix of big corporate clients and smaller, niche brands. So many great personalities and I learn something from each and everyone one of them. Plus, I get to gab about beauty. My job entails thinking of creative, strategic ways to get media and consumers buzzing about makeup, hair and skincare.

What career questions do you have? I'll have the next brave lady answer them when she shares her work survival skills!

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