When the Christmas bells and mistletoe start to come out, we know that’s our queue to break out the holiday fashion looks! With the year wrapping up, it’s essential to finish 2017 strong, starting with a wardrobe that’ll be turning heads this holiday season. Whether a holiday office party, family dinner, date night, or if you’re ringing in the New Year with your bae, we’ve scoured the best holiday fashion looks pulled from right off the runway, and re-created to make them budget-friendly, so you’ll be looking Instagram photo ready no matter the occasion.
Holiday Office Party
Holiday work parties tend to be a bit more conservative. A long, slick black dress paired with a faux crop sweater makes the perfect combo. Opting for a slit dress shows just enough skin to say you can still be sexy while not baring it all. Let’s not forget the details! This pink velvet crossbody bag with beading adds a pop of color to this classic look, along with some stack-able gold rings to complete the outfit.
Whether for a night out on the town or a date night, this formal skater dress has ‘glam’ written all over it. With a printed dress, it’s better to choose simplistic when it comes to accessories. These diamond studded earrings serves as a statement piece on its own. Boost your look with some shimmer with this versatile glitter envelope crossbody clutch that you can choose to wear with or without chain. Complete the look with some nude heels for an elongated look to make you appear taller.
Red is the statement color of the holiday season. This long-sleeved jumpsuit makes a perfect — and safe — choice for a family holiday party. Without showing too much skin, you can still be chic and on-trend by pairing the ensemble with a silver body chain. With a more simplistic outfit, it’s all about balancing everything out with the accessories and the shoes! These metallic strap heels are the equalizer that makes the outfit both simple and glam. Add in a black faux fur clutch for some texture as a final touch!
Tip 4 will absolutely change your performance goals discussion this year!
It’s that time of year again at my company. I work for a consulting firm and it is that time of year where we are reviewing mid-year progress against performance goals we set earlier this year. During this time of year, we review what has been achieved thus far in the performance year, likelihood of hitting the goals set for the full year and make adjustments when needed. For example, if you set a goal of $3million in sales and we are at the midyear point and you’ve already hit 75% of that goal, you would probably revise that goal up. And vice versa. It’s a big deal in terms of end of year compensation and ratings. So as you can imagine, it creates lots of anxiety.
To help me with setting my performance goals, I use some tips that I learned from one of my mentors years ago. My mentor showed me that there is great value in talking with your network before finalizing goals for the year. And here’s why:
It validates your targets and helps you to understand if you are aiming too low or too high with your goals. It can be an early look at what your peers are working on as well. If you set a goal of $2 million in sales and all of your peers are tracking to $4 million it would be good to know that before you set your sights on that $2 million
It allows you to get insight on what leadership expects from employees at your level and often the next level (especially helpful if you are looking to be promoted).
So again this year, I made the rounds with several people in my professional network and got some good input on how to make my performance goals more meaningful and impactful. I decided to share a few of the insights that I learned this year.
Understand the baseline. The culture within my organization is one where everyone is competitive. Imagine type A, driven, and persistent. Yeah, that’s us. Consulting skills and continuous improvement are table stakes, you won’t be around long if you are not excelling in client service delivery and constantly adding to your toolset and getting certifications or building skills in the latest industry trends. That’s the baseline and that will get you an average performance rating and a below average pay raise. via GIPHY
Ever heard of inflation? Yeah, that will eat an average pay raise right on up. So you have to work hard to differentiate yourself to stand out from your peers.
Stretch Yourself. And for the reasons stated in tip #1, you need to set a couple of stretch goals. When talking about my goals with one of my go-to women leaders’ she recommended that I set stretch goals in areas where I was already executing. For example, one of the work products that I created is already being used in another client space. Expand on that use and present the product to the other project teams and that will help me meet my goals in the area of thought leadership.
Be selective about how your spend your “free time”. You have to focus any extra time you have in your role on the activities and company initiatives where you can make an impact. It is much better to serve in a leadership role on one committee, than to spread your time across multiple committees and have minimal impact. What does that mean? Last year I decided to pull back on my support of multiple committees and instead served on one committee and led the planning and execution of several Business Women round table discussions. I was able to make a greater impact on the one committee that I was working with because I was selective about how I was spending my free time, rather than spread myself thin across multiple committees. Look at where you’re spending your “free time” and make sure you’re focused on the areas where you can have greatest impact.
If you want the promotion, ask for it. It is not enough to do a good job and hope that it is noticed. WOMEN, please hear me here – if you want to be promoted you have to speak up. Be intentional and have a conversation with your senior leaders to make sure they know where you stand and ask them what you need to do to be promotion ready. This HBR article highlights the difference in outcomes between someone who was hopeful about getting the promotion and someone that directly asked for the promotion. The article makes it clear, those that ask for the promotion are often more favorably thought of by leadership when deciding on promotions. While this article is about two men, women need to hear this even more because we are less likely to speak up in the work place. The evidence is in, closed mouths don’t get fed.
Hope you find these tips helpful in setting your performance goals in the workplace. And remember to read our post on vision boards to make sure you keep your professional goals aligned with all other aspects of your life.
Over the past couple of weeks, we have been revisiting some of my favorite “days” from the BossChix Network 31 Day Challenge. Since Thanksgiving is next week, I thought we could revisit our challenge focused on gratitude. Any time is a good time to show your appreciation, but make a special effort today!
Practice gratitude. Take a moment to say Thank you.
Vision Boards: November 2017. It’s that time of year again, when we start thinking about what we’ve accomplished in the current year and what we want to achieve in the coming year. Our post on vision boards is a great reminder to focus on your goals and start planning for 2018!
December. This is the time of year where we reflect on the year that is quickly ending, the goals we have achieved, and become hopeful about the year ahead of us. In many ways 2016 is a year that many of us be may be glad to see come to an end. With the political circus that was the 2016 Election, I know that I’m happy to turn the page and lay out my strategy for personal and professional success in 2017.
In 2016 I set some ambitious goals and I accomplished some of them (hint: you’re reading one) and some are on the table again for 2017 with some modifications. But one thing that really helped me in goal setting was finding a way to capture and articulate my goals in a way that keeps me inspired and mindful for the entire year.
Several years ago I decided to take a different approach in the New Year and create a vision board. Vision boards are a visualization tool that allow you to represent what you want to achieve through pictures, items, and the feelings that they bring. It is visual goal setting that helps you to focus your intentions in a meaningful way.
Vision boards get a lot of hype, and rightfully so. Oprah is a big believer in the power of vision boards and even talked about them in her Life Class with Steve Harvey. Check the link when you get a chance, it’s well worth the time. Celebrity attention aside, I have had better success with goals using the vision board method than just writing goals down, and I’m not the only one. Several friends have confirmed that by creating a visual reminder of their goals they have traveled to bucket-list destinations, accomplished fitness goals, and achieved professional success—including being featured on a television program to promote their business— all things that were included on their vision board.
Here are some tips for creating your vision board and moving into 2017 with intention:
Prioritize. Your vision board should be focused on your highest priorities. You cannot include every thought that passes through your mind, as tempting as the idea may be, it would distract from your more important goals in the long run. Ideally your vision board should be centered on just 1-2 goals in the most important areas of your life.
Include a picture of yourself. The whole purpose of a vision board is you. By including a picture of yourself on the board you are centering the board around your life, your goals, and the growth of, well, you! Even without a picture, yes, the board would still be centered on you, but it’s easier to envision your life the way you’d like it to look if you include yourself on your board to remind you of what could be in real-life if you put your nose down and do some work.
Dream Big. Your vision board doesn’t have to, and shouldn’t be, entirely about short-term goals. Find some large and/or long-term goals to tackle that seem hard to achieve. Even if they seem far-fetched, if they’re important to you they should be on the board! You never know what you’re capable of doing until you feel like you have to do it- even if it seems impossibly hard when you think of doing it (ever seen the TV show Naked and Afraid? It’s something like that.) The sense of accomplishment you feel from completing your goals will make you forget the fear that initially seemed to paralyze you.
Put Your Vision Board Somewhere Visible. There is no point in creating something visual and putting it in a place that you’ll never see it. Put it in a prominent place in your home where it’ll be seen and inspire you the most. If your goals are about self-improvement and one goal is to “cook healthier food” and another is “watch less TV” it’d be best used in the main living space of the house. On a similar note, if your goals are more career-oriented your office or workspace would be a better place to put your vision board.
Share it. Once you create your vision board share it with those who will help keep your motivation up. This ensures that you’re not only visualizing your goals- but you’re putting them out into the world for other people to hold you to and support you with. This increases the likelihood of your follow-through.
Leave room for change. Revisit your vision board throughout the year. You may find that some of your goals may need a second look or revising. There’s nothing wrong with updating your goals to reflect the reality of your year or any hang-ups or changes you may need to make. You may also find that after accomplishing some of your goals earlier in the year, you have more ambitious goals that you would like to add to the board. The point here, is that your vision board is a reflection of you. You are growing and changing and so should your vision board.
Your vision board is not a magical wishing board or a genie in a bottle, it will not work simply because you created it. You must still do the work necessary to make things happen. It is intended to help you focus and recall all of the reasons that you set your mind towards a particular goal to begin with. Do the work and the results will come.
Here are a couple places you can look for tickets to vision board parties to help you start your 2017 vision board! Maybe I’ll see you there
Be real and share your story. I can’t emphasize enough how much I believe in women supporting women. Sharing your story will help someone else see the possibilities. Mentor someone else by sharing your story and serving as a sounding board for another woman climbing the corporate ladder.