When our days are not swamped with back-to-back meetings, creating process flow charts and working on design documents, or working on any miscellaneous tasks we are assigned, and we have a free moment for our minds to wander, we find ourselves sitting at our respective cubicles daydreaming away. The funny thing is, because we have been friends for such a long time, are constantly talking to each other and share similar interests, we often daydream about similar things (traveling, future blog post concepts, the next cool restaurant spot we want to hit up together, etc.). Go figure right?
Lately, with the recent gloomy weather and living life on the daily grind, we definitely feel like we are stuck in a bit rut and our attention spans have hit an all-time-low. It's been a few months short of a full year since our best friend extravaganza in France (read our posts here), and though we have both gone on separate trips since then (South Africa and Austria), we are counting down the days until our next adventure together! Our days are now filled sharing photo inspiration and restaurants menus with each other, and we couldn't be more excited to keep crossing out the weeks on our calendars in anticipation for our upcoming wanderlust trip. Think you can guess where? Leave a comment below! Clue: Neither of us have ever visited this country before.
We can't believe it's been over 6 months since we began working in New York City, so it's time for a check-in on our current thoughts on corporate life.
Jess: The beginning of April officially marks half a year since I began working after graduating college, and let me tell you how incredibly fast it flew by. I'm still currently on my second project, and have been since the end of November. I remember telling myself during Thanksgiving that it was going to be a long and very challenging 5 months. I've grown so much during this time, it's hardly something I can even describe in words. I've spend countless hours on the train to my client site talking to co-workers about everything under the sun, from career wisdom and bar suggestions to promotion tips and dating advice. I've had days where I sat in meeting after meeting and almost lost my mind from mental exhaustion. And I've had moments where I doubted every move I made because of the uncertainty ahead in my career. But I am so grateful for these experiences to show me that I can always get through anything but finding my inner passion and support system. Within the last few months, I moved into the city and began taking on different responsibilities at work. My social and personal life is relatively easy to balance, since I still find ample time to socialize and also work on my personal goals and hobbies. Let me tell you though, it's definitely harder to hit the gym as often as I did before, although I keep myself motivated my rewarding myself with delicious food! The biggest life lesson I have learned in the last 6 months is to work hard, but never forget to take care and spoil yourself a little too. Life will be much more enjoyable when you find yourself content in all aspects of your life, and that is by working on 1 part at a time.
Dress pants have been my #1 staple for business casual attire this past winter, and I don't think I would have survived the harsh weather without great pants and a warm pair of leggings worn underneath. I love these patterned, navy slacks from LOFT, and wear them all them time since they are super comfy and versatile. I paired them with a beautiful, striped top with statement, bell sleeves that I absolutely adore. I've worn this monochromatic outfit to the office a couple of times and always get compliments on this top since it's definitely a head-turner. Wearing statement sleeves to work may not be an option for everyone, depending on the environment you work in, but I found that paired with the right pieces, it can be a very appropriate business casual outfit. I added a crystal necklace from Bauble Bar and some studded, leather pointed-toe flats for added edge.
Mel: I am on a rotational program, where I complete 4 rotations in 1 year, and it is so unbelievable to think that it has already been past the halfway point and that I am a few weeks into my third rotation. My 9 month old career all started halfway around the world where I completed a 3 week training stint in London and made an incredible group of friends (thank god, because I was so scared of eating lunch alone everyday). From there, I have been a part of three teams, working with all sorts of personalities, working styles and learned just about everything under the sun - from how to audit, excel shortcuts, to federal regulations. In January, I spent 5 days with my team in Florida on my first business trip and got some firsthand experience of how to conduct audit walkthroughs and interact with stakeholders.
Honestly, I am so grateful to have worked with such inclusive teams and with colleagues who were genuinely interested in teaching me the ropes of auditing. As it turns out, not all of Wall Street has the cold-hearted reputation that is portrayed in Hollywood. In fact, each one of my managers on all three teams were always appreciative of my work, thanking me every night before I headed out and always greeted me with a smile when I walked in the next morning. Though my time in the corporate world has been pleasant so far, not everything has been sunshine and roses. I have had my struggles with learning new processes, asking the right questions, and dealing with my anxiety when it comes to moving onto a new rotation and working with new people. As someone who always shied away from change, being in a rotational program is not my ideal situation. But looking back, I am so grateful for this program since it has quite literally picked me up and forced me to adjust to new environments - a situation I normally would not put myself in.
Ever since watching Meghan Markle rock her pencil skirts as Rachel Zane on the show Suits, she has seriously been one of my go-to fashion inspirations when it comes to picking outfits for my 9-5. I picked up this double serged wool, camel colored pencil skirt last year from J.Crew, but actually haven't worn it at all since pairing it with black tights just doesn't do it justice. Now that it has finally warmed up a bit, but is still chilly enough to wear wool, I definitely plan on getting a year's worth of wear out of this skirt over the next couple of weeks. For all those petite ladies out there, you probably know the struggles of finding a quality skirt that doesn't leave a gaping hole in the back of your waist when you sit down. I must say that J.Crew has hit the nail on the head with it's No. 2 Pencil Skirt when it comes to fit and quality. I picked up this skirt in a Petite 000, and it falls in all of the right places - snug on the waist and hips, and falls the perfect amount right above my knees. To keep the ensemble crisp, I tucked an off-white chiffon shirt underneath my skirt and covered my open shoulders with a navy blazer.
Jess: Top: Zara (similar, similar), Pants - LOFT (similar, similar, similar), Shoes - Zara (similar), Necklace - Bauble Bar (similar)
Mel: Blazer: Ralph Lauren, Shirt - Halston Heritage (similar), Skirt - JCrew, Shoes - JCrew (similar)