Category Archives: CAREER

spice up my life?

August 25, 2015

Summer is flying. We are practically at the end of August, meaning summer is over and #backtoschool is in season. This entire time, I am thinking what have I been doing all summer? I don’t know!

When Monday rolls around, you get the repetitive question: how was your weekend? Every weekend is the almost the same response: it was good! Nothing too exciting.

Gosh, can I sound more enthusiastic about life?

As the leaves are slowly changing here – I said “slowly,” I think it is time to focus and fill my life with excitement, again. It is time to break out of my monotonous-ish cycle of work, yoga/gym, girlfriends, and drinking routines.

I started my current position three months ago, and it a strange feeling where now, I finally feel settled into work (and New York). Of course, I am still learning as I go and taking on new responsibilities such as overseeing interns and spearheading the interns orientation with our showroom manager, but… I don’t know why I feel the way I do. I think I mentioned this before, but I also found myself in somewhat a complacent feeling.

This is my biggest problem – fighting for something, once it is achieved, then I am like, “Now what?” You get those thoughts, too right? I wrote about that before – this mental checklist to high anxiety. I am not deliberately planning to be anxious like before because the conditions previously were counterproductive, and I never felt like shit and miserable for months, ever, in my life. But seriously, what now? How do I break out of my … rut? 

c2cbece3db80358c2da541622f046766

You all know I am a big fan of challenges and new adventures, so what did I do? Enroll myself in a business writing course. This is helpful for me because in my current role I am drafting business strategies all the time and an additional skill to beef up my resume. My company was kind enough to expense this cost, which is about a good $500 for a short-term course. This is truly the art of asking. Yay! (Did I tell you I love my job?!).

I forgot what it is like to be in a class setting, so come October this will be interesting. Not to mention, business writing can be such a different format for me to transition into – I am used to writing whatever comes into my head and my formatting is a no-formatting kind of style.

Need to continue to spice up my life and get myself out of this uncreative and routine rut. Any suggestions? I need a new book to read – I have not read in over two weeks… Anything would be appreciated!

Thanks for tuning in for my brief announcement! I was briefly absent – obviously because I am in a rut and producing regular content is challenging, y’all, but trust me, I have been working on stuff. I like to have it perfect before it goes live. Perfectionist issues.

In the meantime, here are some tunes for you on this fine ass Tuesday:

 

– C

my perfect dinner date(s)

August 14, 2015

Imagine you are hosting this lavish dinner party and you can invite whoever you want. I mean, whoever you want. Dead or alive. Who would you invite?

It sounds kind of silly, right? Not really, and actually the whole purpose is, me defying the whole concept that women cannot have women friends, but also these women that I am about to share inspire me in certain ways. Some are in the same industry and some aren’t, but it shows you how you and I, woman-to-woman, can be successful and empower one another. We don’t have to compete.

After deep, serious thought, here are the babes who I would like to RSVP to my dinner:

eva chen in tibi skirt and balenciaga heels

Eva Chen – This first Asian American Editor-in-Chief (formerly at Lucky) at Conde Nast Publications. Started at Lucky as an intern and became one the youngest Editor-in-Chiefs, ever.  Now, she’s spearheading the fashion at Instagram. I admire her ambition and just how she interacts with her audience through social media. Plus, she has an amazing career advice. “It is a lot easier to say ‘no’ and spread negativity than to create [..] and being creative takes positivity and self-assurance. So, believe in yourself!” 

How Michelle Obama & Meryl Streep have raised strong, confident daughters

Meryl Streep – fell in love with her with the obvious Devil Wears Prada, but she’s a classic actress, plus her stance on feminism, duh. Michelle Obama – our freaking hip, ass First Lady. Not only she promotes health and wellness, she has this humorous, and sass to her, but remains classy. Not to mention, how knowledgeable she is and how she is fashionable!

"We’re pretty good at things now that we’re on year 20 of our friendship" - Amy Poehler

Tina Fey + Amy Poehler – Their friendship teaches us that you can be friends with other women in your industry and be supportive of each other successes. These two (along with Mindy Kaling and Molly Shannon) made it possible for women to break into comedy, in my personal opinion. I feel like there are now more women willing to do groundbreaking bits. Smart and funny never go out of style.

Stopped watching the Office a while ago but still think Mindy Kaling is equal parts funny, smart, and hot.

Mindy Kaling – Minority, woman, “not your average body” and an amazing writer. She’s so confident in what she does, ruthless about it and her realness is so attractive. Side note: she’s releasing her second book in the Fall! Here is a snippet of what she thinks of confidence“Work hard, know your shit, show your shit, and then feel entitled.”

emma watson wonderland shoot5 Emma Watson Enchants for Wonderland Magazine by Christian Oita

Emma Watson – Not only for her amazing Hermoine role and my freaking love for Harry Potter, but the woman she is becoming is amazing. Her strong feminist stance and her role in the United Nations! Ugh, she’s just amazing and is doing great things at such an early age.

  "My clothes are so minimal that what I read and how I smell are important." http://www.thecoveteur.com/lykke-li-style/

Lykke Li – I will need an artist at the dinner party who can cover Drake tracks and hers – plus I’ve never seen her live (yet!). “My clothes are so minimal that what I read and how I smell are important.”

 Angelina Jolie who is fighting for the poor and disadvantaged in the world and holding World Leaders to account for failing to lead as they should.

Angelina Jolie – a humanitarian and understands what is like to be privileged and helps those are unprivileged. She and Brad are one of those good couples who care about their kids and helping the World in ways they can.

I can really make an extensive invitation list for my imaginary dinner, but I will keep it short and exclusive for now. I am certain not everyone feels strongly the same as I do when I say I am for female friendships, but what I learned growing up and reading up on women matters (read: Roxane Gay’s Bad Feminist) is that there is something wrong with YOU if there is a lack of lady relationships.

Let’s backtrack a little in the archives: female friendships do exist, and my thoughts on finding friendships and surrounding myself around great women.

Here are a list of suggested reading + viewing from the women above: Eva Chen at the Webby Session, Tina Fey’s Bossypants, Amy Poehler’s Yes Please, Mindy Kaling’s Why Not MeEmma Watson’s UN Speech, and Angelina Jolie’s medical choice.

See babes, #queenscancoexist – who said it can only be one on top? Why not support and empower one another to all be on top? YES.

Bye! Happy Friday (:

rewind, then fast forward

June 19, 2015

You know what is the best part of growing up? The ability to feel comfortable in your skin and seeing how far you’ve come.

980906_10101847805005783_95215638_o

Two years ago around this time, is when I went public and began sharing my endeavors to the unknown cyber world. Has it really been two years? The whole purpose of creating my blog was to share my thoughts with the world in addition to progress in my writing skills. Ah, post-grad…I remember not knowing how to go about my passions and dreams. Figuring out my strengths and weaknesses. Did I want I want a job where it will provide financial stability or did I want a job that I was looking forward to waking up to? Questions that we all have, constantly.

One of my favorite things about having a creative outlet is getting sweet emails and comments from readers that saying how inspiring my story is. It really gives me the feels, and although, I may or may not know you, somehow through words, we’ve connected. So I thank you for staying with me on my continuous journey and great to know I somehow helped you!

As I rewind to my first year of posts, I feel more confident in my direction in life and in myself, now. I guess you can say I am stubborn about my goals, as we all should be. The nay-sayers can say whatever they want; may be your close friends or family members who may not agree with your decisions entirely. As much as they have that right to their opinions, growing up made me put myself first.

Ask me three years ago upon graduation if I knew I was going to be in New York. I would have said it will be doable, but I would be so fearful and filled with doubt of not establishing myself that I would have not consider it. Fast forward to today, June 19, 2015: I am so proud of my accomplishments and how life turned out. I made it happen, and I believe you can too if you believe in yourself and work hard for it. It only goes up from here.

That’s the ultimate truth.

Next month, it will mark my first year here in Nueva York! I am going to celebrate this anniversary because my life has never been the same since I hopped on that plane with my pillow pet, Heath the Hippo, backpack and two suitcases.

I did not expect for this post to happen, but I just have so much to celebrate: happy second birthday to buttonsandchary.com, almost-one-year in New York, and the fact that it is freaking Friday!

Life is good – s’all good. 

Time to time, I always say this, but I can never say it enough: thank you sticking by my side, reading my journey and discoveries, for your encouragement and support. I truly would not be able to succeed and be where I am without all of you.

Remember how far you’ve come, not just how far you have to go. You are not where you want to be, but neither are you where you used to be. – Rick Warren

Flashback Friday reads for you, if you wanna creep: intro post, happy birthday buttonsandchary.com, and new york.

Love,
Chary S.

finding happiness and other things

June 4, 2015

Your job is like your relationship. You may never notice how poorly you’re treated until you break up and meet someone who treats you better than the last. 

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

I just compared my professional life to my personal life. Yup, I just went there, but this is a general thought that can be applied in any aspect of your life.

After coming back from my trip from CA as mentioned in a post not too long ago, I feel good about life.

Like really, really, good. 

I would say my profound happiness is stemmed from my new workplace. I love what I am doing now – fashion pr, so it is a combination from my fashion background and pr degree, all into one. Working closely with four divisions and reporting to someone who values your work and as an individual really makes a difference. It has nothing to do with being praised, but working directly with someone who respects you as a person, first and foremost, and giving you constructive criticism in a professional manner.

I thought I had it good at my old company, with the flexible schedule, a sick view of Kimye’s SoHo house, and luxurious perks – but taking a step back and being where I am now, there is a definite emotional shift. I am so much happier (and I have so many office perks). Let me upgrade you Beyonce said, and I did.

I was miserable for a few months and it shaped my attitude that began permeating into my personal life. Who wants to be friends with a Debbie Downer? I was Debbie, and I had no friends…

I am career obsessed, or maybe that is all of New Yorkers who are a bunch of workaholics, but if you really think about it – you dedicate 40+ hours a week to these people, the company, and etc., so essentially it does become a part of your life and where you spend your time the most. So, how can you not be? Personally, as much as I want to compartmentalized my life, eventually it all blends like a smoothie. Finding the right company, environment and a successful team factors into my happiness. Happiness is one of my priorities when it comes to self-love and self-care.

Whether it is a ‘day job’ or a role where you are just trying to make rent, be mindful on how it can influence your attitude and shape you. Trust me, I know the struggle between finding financial security and chasing your dreams. I get it – I do. But I also found that with hard work and persistence, finding a role/company that is a combination of both financial security and passion exists.

Who said you can’t have it all, though? I want it all, and then some. Just saying.

Thanks for checking in and for always being supportive with my transitions in life. I greatly appreciate all the support from all ovaaaaah! I am thankful for You, You and you bet, You! Until next time, family and friends.

– C

 

 

a check list to anxiety

April 10, 2015

  1. Save money
  2. Move to New York
  3. Get a job to stay afloat 
  4. Then get a job I actually like and relevant to my career
  5. Get my own apartment
  6. ….

Dot. Dot. Dot.

I know many driven and ambitious people who are constantly thinking what is next and feel anxious all the time. It sounds like anxiety goes hand-in-hand with creating a list to check off, or when you are wanting something to happen.

The short list above was a mental list prior to my move; my own New York “checklist,” if you will. Less than a year here and I have accomplished so much so now, I question myself, “What’s next?” But I later find that this process not very healthy for me because my mind is constantly worried about things I have to do and how I am going to get there. 

Here is a disclaimer: I have always been an anxious person, but I recognize that this is unhealthy for me. But I do want more. I want to succeed. I have a dream, damn it!

Back to the question that provoked this entire post’s theme: so I crossed things off my list, now what? What is next? The underlie meaning of this question is: what is next on my career path?

This question has been tossed around in the past couple of weeks during my conversations with friends – thing is… as much as I know what I want to do in five years, I cannot plan for what is the next thing to check off “my list” as of yet. Frankly, I am flirting with different ideas and potential roles, and life is a truly a series of trial-and-errors.

Before I can move on from any role, I believe that I need to master what I am doing now. And right now, I am not mastering anything. I am not killing it. (Okay I am lying, some days I am, but most days, I am drowning and crying for help). I want to explore and acquire new skills that will strengthen me as a candidate for future employers, but as a person, too.

This subject rather frustrates me because while I am “making plans” and trying to think of things to conquer, anxiety is controlling my life and emotions. This goes back to the figuring it out bullshit sorta. In the words of a great friend, B, she said, “I call that future tripping.” Sounds hysterical, but truthfully right. I need to stop future tripping.

Although I believe making plans and setting goals are crucial in life, my point is: it must not become an obsession. It exudes my entire mind completely, and this is not good-healthy.

While we all have things we want to check off our life list, we cannot get overly worked up on something that may or may not happen. I believe the only way we can feel or take any action is to plan as much as you can, and be prepared for any unfortunate circumstances (if any). Why stress and get anxious about things that we cannot control? My second step is learning how to manage stress and anxiety; when I figure that out successfully, I will let you know. 

While I can sit here, be anxious about the mysterious and unknown No. 6 on the list, I really need to bring myself to the present and focus. Focus on what I am going to do today to bring me where I want to be tomorrow.

Don’t you agree?

– C

PS: It’s Friday, and if you’re reading this: thank you. Because who reads on Fridays, right? Ha. But wanted to share that I wrote more than half this post sitting at a bar. Was unhappy with the product then went back to edit it countless times – two days of editing. Although here is the final product up – I do not know if I convey the message thoroughly to you all, but I had to get it off my chest because there are so many things happening internally! In short, though, what I am trying to say is: life check lists are good, but they can be bad too. Stop projecting fear, and anxiety about our future and enjoy now. Like right now. I am going to enjoy my serious Grey’s binge on Netflix. K, bye!

just keep swimming

February 9, 2015

I would be lying to you if I said work has not beaten me up.

Although I find the work I am doing more substantial and rewarding than any other role I’ve taken, a part of me feels so insecure. I get nervous that it hinders my performance on a regular basis. Also, I am doing this thing where I am trying not to complain about work and working hard.

Instead, I am going to talk about how much I am learning about myself and as a young professional. Now, that I am swimming in the ocean with the big sharks, I feel like this guppy who is always scattered brain and can never communicate precisely.

The funny thing, I always thought I was a particular and precise being. I know what I like and how I like it. But now, working with such a perfectionist as my Director, it is getting to me. Makes me question everything about myself and my competency…

Sounds familiar, right? You’ve read it in a tremendously vulnerable, yet open insecure post here

Instead of beating myself up, I acknowledge my weaknesses and try to improve. Personally, I am one to live by affirmations and mantras to remind myself to continue to move forward. For anyone who is transitioning into the new role yourself, or have been battling emotions with work, maybe this will help you as much it will help me:

  1. Learn to unplug yourself. You know the “Do Not Disturb” setting on your iPhone? Utilize it to it’s potential. From 11P to 7A, no work emails shall be answered.
  2. Never take it personal.
  3. Take it all with a grain of salt – and learn to let shit go, seriously. (similar to No. 3)
  4. Learn to find balance between clients.
  5. You want it badly? Prove it.

Alright. Signing off!

– C

showcase your work

January 16, 2015

Are we still in the phase where we reflect on 2014? It’s still early enough to see what an amazingly successful year it was, right? Overall, 2014, I kicked major ass. 

You know what the scary thing is? When all the things you’ve imagined is coming to real life. Never have I thought I would be published, and having a digital and hardcopy portfolio to prove it.

In the course of six months, I published 13 pieces. Never would I have thought it will ever happen. Although I acknowledge that some of my pieces are not that great, and many can agree that I could have written stronger pieces, just having my name out there on the cyber world is good for now. I know I have to continue to practice my craft.

The point of my entry is: for anyone who is in the creative-artist field, whether you’re a photographer, or a writer like myself, it is immensely imperative that you have some sort of portfolio to display your work. If you don’t have a hardcopy, I suggest bringing a Netbook or iPad to show your digital portfolio when you’re going into interviews.

What I learned when going into an interview is always best to be overly prepared than not. Even if the role you are applying for doesn’t require to have that specific skill, it does not hurt to display your creative talents and skills. Even when roles I know did not require any writing/copying, I brought my portfolio anyway just in case to display my skills. It is kind of like hey, by the way, I am a published writer and I know different formats than crafting professional emails.

Who knows, what at the end of the interview they have another role that is fitting for you than the original role you applied for? You will be surprised. Never hurts to try.

DSC02376

DSC02378DSC02377

By the way, don’t you love the cover’s illustration? My Sister did such a great job, it is actually an old illustration, but out of the bunch, that was my ultimate favorite as of date.

There are many great, free platforms that offers different layouts for you to showcase your work. I am currently using Contently to display all my recent digital published work. If you’re into building a fashion portfolio, Tumblr or Wix are great free sources, too.

Even if you run your own website, or anything on the Cyber World, some companies may be impressed what you contribute and your creative pursuits. You may never know! For anyone who is a struggling artist, keep going, keep refining your work. I truly do believe that persistence leads to success and that as artists we need to practice resilience.

I haven’t written anything career-related in awhile, as far as sharing tips or insights. But if you go over to my career section, you can view all the archives. But if you don’t see anything in there within you’re seeking, and you want me whip up something, shoot me an love note! I would love to hear from you! (:

– C

making moves in 2015

December 21, 2014

DSC02253

A reminder was given to me by my dearest girlfriend, D:

 You didn’t move to New York to be comfortable, Chary.

December 31st will be my last day working at Lucky Brand. It has nothing to do with my insecurities or the pay, but simply poor management, miscommunication and being not challenging enough. 

The past few weeks have been mentally exhausting and stressful, to say the least. I have been contemplating many decisions for the New Year and thoroughly investigating an offer that was extended.

Do I stay with Lucky because the pay is great, and I have a consistent 9 to 5 schedule, where I do not have work to take home and use my free time to pursue my creative field? Or, do I sign up for a role that consumes every atom of my being, potential high stress levels, and have me running around the City like a mad woman?

What sounds more worthwhile? I agree, running around Manhattan sounds more fun and lively. In November, I was extended an offer, and have been holding off to commit to the role out of fear. I was afraid to make a bold move that is clearly beneficial for my career. But why? I know what the role entails, somewhat, and the unconventional work hours. I do want something challenging, but do I want it super challenging where it questions my performance level? 

I hate to sound like an insecure coward, but I can’t help to think such questions and thoughts! She even said so herself, “There is a learning curve,”  but she said she will pay for any educational needs! She is investing in me. She said she believes in me and sees great potential… After meeting with her last Wednesday, I couldn’t resist the offer.

I accepted her offer, which translates to sleepless nights, high flow of phone calls/emails, and non-stop hard work. But I know this will be worth it. Again, with discomfort, there will be growth. Need a reminder? Click here. So I am ready for it!

Starting 2015, I will be working in luxury lifestyle PR. Truly a stepping stone to my career. And this also means, New York Fashion Week, we meet again.

a master of none

December 3, 2014

eggspot_nyc

Prior to landing in my current role, I was constantly being questioned where is my direction. What is my objective. What is my objective? You know those repeated interview questions.

Secretly, I know what it is: editorial. But on paper, literally, I may be deemed as a confused young professional because I have dipped my feet into public relations, marketing, styling and even administration. So it makes professionals question my motives and my future plans. I don’t blame them.

I hate being classified into one thing, especially in the professional realm – I know it’s easy for society to identify us if we had labels slapped onto us, but what if I can do this-and-that well? Can’t I pick what labels to be used to identify me?

You work in Marketing? Cool. Oh, you’re a fashion editor? Wonderful, too! Oh, you read, write, edit, and do so much more? So, what is exactly is your passion then?

I am passionate about life. Whatever life encompasses: art. food, travel, fashion, fitness and health, and new experiences. I find myself to be an adventurous soul. Also, I find it hard for me to cling onto one thing when I like a lot of things…

What I keep learning about finding myself in my potential career is constantly being pushed to find where I “belong” and specialize in one damn thing. Why?! Still figuring out my strengths and how I can apply that to my future roles, or how the hell am I going to land a role in the editorial field.

You know what they say: A Jack of all Trades, but a Master of None. This is precisely who I am because I acquire all these skills over the last couple of years, but I am in this awkward state where I really don’t know what I specialize in. As oppose to companies appreciating my versatile skills set, it can hurt me instead as a candidate. Again, what can I contribute?

You see the issue here, right? I have been told to find my niche, whatever I am “special” in and keep applying myself. I have yet discovered my special skill. What the hell is my special skill? Guess I will have to figure it out with my current and future experiences. Must I really specialize in something?

I haven’t found a solution, and if you do, please share a penny for my thoughts. Or two, whatever. It is the season of giving after all, hehe.

Hope you all have a Happy Hump Day! Quickly, just wanted to share something with you all!

After failing sharing photos with you all through my 30-Day Wardrobe Challenge, I did succeed in maximizing my wardrobe and not shopping. YAY! I cleaned out a few items and put them on my store. You will see a link on my home page labeled SHOP, where you can see what items I have available. Or, if you’re lazy, click here.

Secondly, viewing the home page, you will see a new category added: beauty. You know what that means? Yes, product reviews and sharing my personal favorite beauty brands. More to this section coming soon!

One last thing, if you are interested in seeing published pieces written about my dating affairs in New York to every day struggles of a twenty-somethings, you will find a link to my portfolio. It’s written a tad differently, but still me, I promise.

I am still working on my craft! I still get self-conscious of my work, but if you have any thoughts, please send them my way in  the comment section or send me a love note.

Okay, I’m done. Bye foreals now (:

insecurr

November 19, 2014

I know I haven’t spoke much about work. I have no complaints and I enjoy what I am doing, in short, but I do have some thoughts to share with you all.

I mentioned how this was not an entry-level role, which is nice for a change. I am finally moving up in the industry, in some sort of way. I am finally a point of contact (for clients and team members) and feel important. Not some assistant who is clueless.

However, I am insecure because of all of those things. Yes, I do have prior showroom experience. Yes, I have worked with buyers before. No, I have no idea what you’re talking about. What are SMU’s?

Before, I was an intern, this time I am the Representative. I am held accountable, not that I have an issue with it. It is knowing that my ass is on the line. At times, when I ask so many question or ask for assignments to be repeated, I feel as if they are wondering if they made a mistake to hire me onto their team. You know how they say: no question is stupid. I find that some are, frankly. Not that mine are stupid, but I get so worked up on how stupid I sound sometimes. And I make mistakes often, after all we are only human, but I feel that after a month in, I shouldn’t be this forgetful or making minor errors.

Am I being too hard on myself? I promise that I am learning about my daily duties and the role itself, but still a challenge for me to soak up every style, collection and ah!

Every company has a different set of structures, rules and lingo – and diving into a whole new company can be overwhelming. My biggest worry is: my teammates questioning my competency level for my role.

You woo the company with your resume and your experiences, but once you dive into the role as a new-hire, you feel lost and don’t even know where to begin. That is me.

I hate that I am so insecure about my work lately. Surprisingly, this time is not about my writing. I need to clean up my act and be present when I am at work. I noticed that I have a bad habit of being easily distracted and take a longer time span doing a minuscule task. It is only because I am a perfectionist… 

Do not know if putting my feelings out there will make me feel better, but let’s see how things will flow for the rest of the year.

Have a goodnight, family & friends!  Thanksgiving is exactly a week away. Wow, the year is practically over.