Changes at Work

 

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“Work, work, work, work, work, work, you see me I be work, work, work, work, work, work,” (Rihanna), I mean how could we not start this post with that song? We like to sing it to each other anytime a post about working and careers comes up. You can picture it, can’t you? With our fake British accents of course.

Anyway, making a career change can be one of the most risky and scary transitions and yet the most rewarding. On the one hand, you know what they say, sometimes the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. We believe, however, that just like most things in life there are pros and cons to changing careers, changing companies within your same field, or even the change that occurs when you (hopefully) get promoted. Woo!

We have some experience on these changes that we’ll share below:

From No Rules to Corporate America (Sass): Right after I graduated from college, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do so I got my job back at a bar in Georgetown. This was a legitimately no rules kinda place: I got paid under the table, we drank through our shifts, and often talked back to customers (the customer is always right rule certainly did not apply here). I picked right up from college to a sports bar with no rules to a start-up company where my “bosses” worked out of California and pretty much had no idea what I did all day to finally, the corporate job I held for the last 5 years. In just over a year my work attire went from Daisy Dukes, to leggings and a sweatshirt working from home, to black suits every darn day. I remember the first few weeks of having to be at work in a suit at a desk at 8:30am…it felt like the worst thing in the world. There were plenty of days where I took naps on my lunch break rather than eat. It was bruuuuutal but seeing as I was there for 5 years, I got the hang of it. Adjusting your schedule can be daunting and I’d offer advice on how to do it but I definitely don’t think I did it the most graceful way (LOL) but hey, I was 23 and could handle it.

I also had to change my mindset. In my corporate job the customer was pretty much always right and thankfully I’m a smart cookie and figured that out right quick! I also had to adjust back to answering to someone and learn new processes and systems for doing things. I had to learn the lingo and the hierarchy too. So.much.change but like I said, I figured it out pretty quickly.

From No Rules to Corporate America (Sweetness): For me, Sweetness, I was babysitting and cheered for the Nets right out of college, however I was really excited to join “corporate” America. I thought dressing in work clothes each day would be really fun, even though I absolutely loved my babysitting and cheerleading job, I was ready to be more professional. I worked for Verizon Wireless for a long time in HR and Sales and though I learned a ton from working in a corporate setting, if anyone needs a babysitter – I’ll gladly be yours! The 9-5 is not something that I want to do for the rest of my life and it is often hard to have to be somewhere everyday at a particular time. In my current role, I often get complimented for how professional I am, which I will thank Verizon for, however I’ve come to learn that I want more time for myself and more flexibility, especially when I have kids.

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From Entry Level to Middle Management (Sass): So, I worked for a corporate residential property management company. I started on the ground floor as a leasing agent. Being a leasing agent is mainly about sales but it is also involves hand-holding residents through rent increases and construction, putting out fires when the renovation team accidentally knocks through the wrong wall, handling office politics, and paperwork. Good LAWD, the paperwork! But pretty much if you could handle the politics and the paperwork and had excellent sales numbers, you could get promoted, which I did (quite a few times – oh yaaaass)! Details of the promotion aside, the biggest changes involved now leading a team and answering to the bigger bosses at a different level. Basically as the low man on the totem pole, as long as your sales were stellar people left you alone. As a manager, however, no one leaves you alone. The team below you needs you to inspire and lead them but also sometimes babysit them. And the team above you needs to do all of that for the team below you but also do the projects and tasks that the they don’t want to do or have the time to do. In my case this meant one word…SPREADSHEETS! My company loved spreadsheets. It also meant reporting, lots of reporting and numbers. You get me, right? Specifics aside, it meant double duty aka more responsibility. In some ways it was nice to get away from the battlefield that was the leasing floor and to have an office to get work done in. On the other hand, it really meant that I only talked to clients when they were unhappy, you know, the “I want to talk to a manager” types. There are pros and cons, as there is with anything to getting a promotion but of course the big fat nice pro is that it usually comes with a pay increase!

From Corporate America to Working From Home (Sweetness): There was a period of time where I was strictly working from home right after I moved back from California. It was what I needed at the time since I went through a hard break up and needed to get my life back on track. I enjoyed being able to settle back in, especially on those hard days when I was upset due to my recent break up. As I started getting more settled, I realized that working from home has it benefits, however it also has its downfalls. I wasn’t in a setting where I was talking and interacting with new people, which is what I started to need after some time.

Though I am really good at sticking to a routine, it would often be 2pm and I was still in my PJ’s and haven’t ate anything the whole day. For some reason when I am home, I just do, do , do and forget to eat. Crazy I know, but it was starting to become something that I really needed to change. I made a change and acted like I had to be somewhere at a certain time so I was getting up, working out right away, actually getting dressed, and would eat lunch at a reasonable hour. Having more of a routine helped me be more productive at home, while still being able to enjoy the benefits until I got a new job in an office setting.

From Corporate America to Working From Home (Sass): While I was out on maternity leave an opportunity came up for me to work from home for my parents’ business. When we looked at the cost of childcare, it made sense. Also, I get stressed out about things like who is dropping off and picking up, who is making lunch, she’s sick and I need to take off of work, etc. My company was NOT flexible in any way shape or form so eliminating those stressors made sense for me and the fam bam. Working from home, as Sweetness said, has its pros and cons. My days went from the rules having rules to leggings and Elmo songs. My “office” moves wherever the baby wants or needs to be, most of the time I’m on the floor with my laptop on my lap! It’s chaotic and not always the most productive but it works for us. I definitely miss the office environment from time to time, mostly the handful of people I really love working with but otherwise, this is working out just fine!

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We’ve gone through our share of changes and we’re sure when we rewrite this post years from now there will be more changes! Changing jobs, careers, titles, or working environments can be stressful but at the end of the day we try to find the positives! And as always, we want to know: what was the biggest move you’ve made in your work? Did you change careers? Did you get a big promo recently? Tell us everything!

Xo Sass and Sweetness

Work Friends: Did We Just Become Best Friends?!

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How could we forget about work friends?! They are the ones that get you through the 9-5, the ones that you can roll your eyes at when your boss pisses you off, and the only ones that truly understand how freakin’ annoying Sue is over in Accounting (sorry Sue). We believe that work friends come in all different varieties and no matter how you look at it, they are definitely needed!

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Creating A Bond

Work is a huge part of our lives and whether you love or hate what you do, if you’re human, you have moments when you just have to vent about a client, a project, or co-worker (cough Sue cough). In our experience, there is nothing quite like the bond of people at work that have a shared negative experience, a shared pet peeve, or a common enemy. This may not be our proudest or most positive revelation but it’s certainly an honest one. You might at first tip toe around each other, sending out feelers for how that person feels and as soon as the discovery is made that you’re on the same page….LOOK OUT! The floodgates are open! Any opportunity you have to commiserate over the issue, the project, or mostly like the person, you take it and while it kinda feels bad, doesn’t it also feel really good?! This person becomes irreplaceable because unlike venting to your sigo or friend, you don’t have to explain the who, what, and where’s of the story before getting to the annoying part:

You: So, we have this deadline every Monday for these reports that are tedious but not that hard…
Your Sigo/Friend: What are the reports about?
You: [Explaining this couldn’t be more irrelevant to the story but ok…] Well, they are a collection of our numbers from last week and a projection of our numbers for the coming week and…
Your Sigo/Friend: Oh nice and who do you send them to?
You: [Mentally eye-rolling] PEOPLE! What’s important is that so-and-so and I came in super early to complete them, we did them perfectly and then Sue from accounting looked at them, who according to her job title should be much better at these reports than we are, changed a bunch of stuff and then had us send them in with wrong info. Then the higher-ups responded back with a nasty email about why they were wrong and Sue let us take the fall.”
Your Sigo/Friend: Why should Sue be better at the reports than you are?
You: [Takes bottle of wine to the face] THAT IS SO NOT THE POINT!

Meanwhile with your work bestie, literally all you have to do is look at each other and he or she knows all of that and more about the situation, how it makes you feel, and why. This is a person that you simply can’t live without…..and definitely a person you need to drink with, do yoga with, and basically do anything to relieve yourselves of this stress!

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All of that rant being said, creating a bond doesn’t always have to be a bond against the worst boss ever, against Sue, or against the 40 deadlines you have, it can also be formed out of respect. Respect at work is major because you want to know that the people around you are working as hard as you are, right? Have you ever worked on a team that either in your mind, or said out loud, was the DREAM TEAM? We have! The dream team is a well-oiled machine, no drama, get sh!t done, and gets it done early kinda team. Each person has his or her strengths that compliments the strengths of the other members. This is the crew that you want to go to happy hour with, the crew you want at your wedding, the crew that makes working with anyone else ever again seem totally stupid.

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When the Bond Goes Too Far?

The bonds we create at work can be tricky when the “work husband” jokes feel like there’s some truth to them. At work there is a bit more freedom in making flirty remarks or conversation because there’s less pressure and there’s a guarantee that you are seeing this person pretty much every day. While on paper, and according to HR, that would deter people from pursuing romantic gestures, it creates an environment where the pressure is removed. There is no pressure to come up with the most witty pick up line. There’s no pressure to ask for someone’s number and there isn’t an assumption that sex is on the table simply because you enjoy each other’s company the way there might be when you meet someone on a Saturday night at a bar. Removing this pressure allows coworkers to get to know each other at a more realistic pace and on a day-in and day-out basis, which is why so many couples meet at work.

Then again, we’ve been faced with situations where you might mistake a romantic situation for simply a friendship. Since you are at work, you are primarily just being yourself. So your “work husband” is getting to know you in so many different ways, not just how he would on a date. They see the good side, the pissed off side, and the “I’m f*ing exhausted” side on a pretty regular basis. With that level of comfort and no pressure, you may let your guard down so much so that the friendship gets mistaken as something more than that. You are essentially bi-passing all of the small talk and silly get to know you questions and cutting right to the chase of knowing this person inside and out, “Hmm… we get along really well, this person knows a lot about me… so what does that mean?” This is the tricky part because it might cross lines that it shouldn’t, or even worse one person might start to catch feelings that the other person isn’t feeling. However you want to keep the same friendship and bond going. So just because you are close, it doesn’t mean that you have to date, it’s okay to just have a really great friendship!

So whatever your work friends are to you, we hope that you either have someone to roll your eyes with about Sue in Accounting, have someone to grab drinks with after work, or hey maybe you met your sigo….or someone who thought they should be your sigo but turned out it really wasn’t meant to be and you’re still the best of friends!