Advice, Career Conversations

Courtney’s Career Conversations – Meet Cara

https://www.thecourtneycollection.ca/career-conversations-cara/Meet Cara

This woman is something else. Beautiful on the inside and out.  She is someone I love to talk to as she just lights up the conversation with her positive attitude and the fact that she will cheer you on to your goals and encourage you without a second thought. I first met Cara through my best friend when he was attending the same University that she was attending. He ending up moving in with her and on my first visit to see him in Portland I was sleeping on her couch! The first time I met her in person I was welcomed right into her tribe. A tribe that includes millions of pictures as this girl is the selfie queen. However, this girl is so much more. She has worked extremely hard and overcome some very trying times to get to where she is today. I am so excited to get to share her story with you. So here she is, in her own words. I hope you enjoy!

And don’t forget to follow her:

https://www.thecourtneycollection.ca/career-conversations-cara/

Education

  • University of Western States– Portland, Oregon
    • Doctor of Chiropractic, September 2013
    • Summa cum laude
  • University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta
    • Bachelor of Science, June 2010
    • Specialization in Cell Biology

https://www.thecourtneycollection.ca/career-conversations-cara/

What is the secret to success?

What is the secret to success? If it was as easy as just one secret then wouldn’t everyone be successful? Success to me is waking up every day wanting to be better and to do better than yesterday. It is making goals and then reaching them. It is not letting obstacles get in your way. It is about mindset, passion, purpose, and growth.

I grew up in a small town in rural Northern Alberta. My parents separated when I was three years old and my brother and I split our time between their two houses. My parents were not very traditional in the sense that we did not grow up with many rules. My mom worked out of town often and so we were on our own from a young age. My mom worked so hard usually having 2-3 jobs at a time to make sure my brother and I always had everything we wanted and needed. I even figure skated growing up, one of the most expensive sports. However, money was always a struggle and even as a child I knew the pressure my parents were constantly under. My dad would always say, “I would give you everything if I could honey”. I think my childhood experience is one of the major driving forces for my success today. My parents worked hard but they did not have the skill set or the education for a lucrative career.

https://www.thecourtneycollection.ca/career-conversations-cara/

Sometimes You Just Know

This experience led me to want more, to want a better life for myself and my future children. I wanted a career I could be proud of, one that gave me independence and allowed me financial freedom. I remember my first trip to the Chiropractic office like it was yesterday. It was year 2000 and I was 12 years old. The waiting room had toys and books littered about, a large plant in front of a bay window shedding light on the front desk lady with a big smile. It was warm, inviting, and relaxing. Once in the treatment room I couldn’t help but stare at the posters on the wall, huge anatomical pictures of the various body systems. I told my mom I wanted to know all the parts of the human body. There was a computer in the corner and a giant blue bouncy ball.  After a short wait, Dr. Gingerich entered. He had red hair and a deep voice. He sat in front of the computer on the big blue ball and asked me a few questions while typing away. The reason I was there was because I had fallen hard on my tail bone during skating practice. After he finished his history and exam he had me lay on the table. Then with a little twist and a quick push my back popped and immediate relief washed over me. In five minutes he had me feeling 100%. I walked out of there thinking to myself, “wow what an amazing job he has”.

Of course, I was young and there was no way I could already know what I wanted to be when I grew up right? Well…wrong because I did know, and I wanted to be a Doctor of Chiropractic. What an amazing ability to be able to decrease pain, heal the body, and improve someone’s life without the use of drugs or surgery. I was sold. Academic work always came easy to me, so I knew nothing was out of reach. I was lucky though, I really enjoyed my schoolwork and had a passion for learning. At age 12 I was in 8th grade, I had skipped grade 6 after a series of aptitude tests deemed me eligible. I started working at age 14 as soon as I was legal, I knew going to post-secondary school was not going to be cheap and although my parents would support me if they could I knew they did not have the resources.

At age 17 I graduated high school with Honours and about half a dozen scholarships ranging from $500-$2000. I moved out and started my Bachelor’s degree that fall. Throughout my undergrad years I worked 2-3 part time jobs to afford tuition, books and living expenses. I continued to apply for scholarships I was eligible for, as every little bit helped. Although I flew through secondary school with ease, I am not going to lie, the first couple years of my degree were tough. I was 17 living on my own and there were a lot of distractions and temptations. For the first time in my life I let my grades slip. I failed an English paper, the first “F” I had ever seen. I then received “D’s” in one Biology class and one Chemistry class. The reason I am not afraid to admit my faults is that its not the fault that matters but how you grow from it. Being a very self-motivated and disciplined person, I was disappointed in my performance and knew I could do better. I re-wrote the paper, and re-took both those classes receiving an “A+” for all three. I never received a letter grade below a B for the rest of my post-secondary education (8 years and 3 degrees in total).

https://www.thecourtneycollection.ca/career-conversations-cara/

It Takes Hard Work

In 2010 I graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Science with Specialization in Cell Biology.  I was 22 at the time and I was working part time in a Neuroscience lab performing spinal cord injury research. My work from the time I spent in the lab was published in three different scientific journals and I was invited to present my research at an international conference in Vienna, Austria. I would have never even had this opportunity had it not been for a dear friend and mentor, Miss Erin Brennan. During my 3rd year of University as I was contemplating my future she encouraged me to do the research project even though it would mean additional hours and a huge challenge. I listened to her and from her advice that day you would be hard-pressed to find me backing down from anything. Instead I rose to the challenge and it paid off immensely.

When I was researching which lab I wanted to work in, I discovered Dr. Vivian Mushahwar, a renowned Neuroscientist. Her research lab was the only one at that was part of the Cell Biology & Neuroscience departments. I knew I wanted to work in her lab and no other. I emailed her and did not get a response. Instead of getting discouraged I thought to myself she must be an incredibly busy lady and my email might have been missed. I emailed her again until I finally received a response. She agreed to meet with me and I was given the position. I spent two years working in her lab, the first as a student intern and the second year on a full salary. Had I not re-sent the email the outcome may have been completely different. The lesson I learned here was to persevere until given a definitive answer.

https://www.thecourtneycollection.ca/career-conversations-cara/

The Next Move

I started chiropractic school in the fall of 2010 at the University of Western States in Portland, OR. I absolutely loved the program from day one and immersed myself fully in the training. I decided to fast-track the program by completing a summer term each year to finish my Doctorate in 3 years instead of 4. School was challenging but stimulating. I was soaking up the information like a sponge and practicing my skills daily. I knew right away that I had chosen the right career and couldn’t wait to be fully certified. I graduated in September 2013 at the top of my class and started working right away. I had just completed my final internship at a clinic in Lake Oswego, OR and was hired on as an Associate Doctor. I worked there under the mentorship of Dr. Jason Bussanich, DC for three years. Dr. Jason taught me so much in addition to what we learned in school and really helped shape the Doctor I am today.

https://www.thecourtneycollection.ca/career-conversations-cara/

New Beginnings

In 2016 I decided to leave the practice in Lake Oswego and move back to Canada. I had reconnected with the love of my life and wanted to be closer to him and my family. I moved to Calgary, AB in the spring and have been loving life here ever since. I joined a busy practice in the NW Hamptons community and just started at a second clinic location downtown. I will split my time between the two practices to touch the lives of as many people as possible. A lot of people are often concerned when I tell them how busy I am, but this is what I live for. It has taken me just shy of 30 years to get where I am today but I can confidently say I am exactly where I am supposed to be, doing exactly what I am supposed to do. If it wasn’t clear throughout my story I want to emphasize the importance of having mentors in your life. I have often had to overcome challenges solo and at the end of the day you really can only depend on you, but look to those who have been there before you, learn from their mistakes and grow from it. I pride myself today on being a mentor, friend, and role model to many people which is why I wanted to share my story. I hope you can take something from it to ensure your own success!

Check out Tracy’s Career Conversation here. Check out my last post here.
Advice

How To Be A Friend, Even When You’re Busy

https://wp.me/p9aznB-8m https://wp.me/p9aznB-8m https://wp.me/p9aznB-8m https://wp.me/p9aznB-8m https://wp.me/p9aznB-8m

Sweater (softest ever) here | Jeans here |  Bag here | Booties (old) – similar here

During busy times, finding time for your key relationships can be hard.

Lately, I have had some friends going through some very hard times both professionally and personally. I really like to think that I am the person that my friends can rely on and reach out to no matter the time of day or how far away we are from each other. This is not always easy, and sometimes I really feel like I am failing at my relationships. I have had to cancel coffee and lunch dates repeatedly lately, after I had already rebooked them twice! This got me thinking about how no matter how busy I may be, what are some things that I can do to make sure my friends really know that I will be there for them.

The Little Things

While Facebook can’t replace that real human contact, when I am busy and I find a minute and send my friends a message, or hell even a good GIF. Especially when I know one of my friends is having a bad day or going through a hard time in their life, I like to make sure I they know I am thinking of them, supporting them even if from a distance, and if I can I will sure as hell try to make them laugh.

Be Proactive

Everyone is busy. The busier I get, the more I forget things. Then I have these split second thoughts about someone and how I miss them. This is the moment to take advantage of, and send your friend a quick “Hi there, hope things are going well!” It is 5 seconds of your day, just send the text. It is better than going months without talking to those wonderful humans.

Use Technology

Another thing I make sure to do is contact my friends who are on my IM system through work. I ensure I keep these nice and professional as it is my work computer, but I make sure to reach out to my friends on a regular basis. I have been my friends supporter, cheerleader, and sometimes hard to take advice giver over IM. Feedback I have received from this is that sometimes this can make such a difference in your friends life.

Pause for 30 Minutes

I will make every effort I can to meet my friends who work near me for coffee. Even though it may be a short period of time during the busy day, it is two birds with one stone. I get a break and I get to meet up with my friends and catch up with what is going on in their lives. I know that if I can make their day just a little bit brighter, those 30 minutes were probably the best spent of my day.

Book It… and Make It Happen

This was one area I used to be so much better at, and this is the part that has been getting to me lately. The key here is to get your friends in your calendar, and make the commitment to get there, be present, and enjoy the time. Getting this habit and getting these dates on your calendar on a regular basis will help. Prioritizing these relationships is key to maintaining them.

Do you have any other methods you use for keeping your friendships alive? Please share in the comments below!

Advice, Career Conversations

Courtney’s Career Conversations – Meet Tracy

Courtney & Tracy

Meet Tracy

I had to think pretty long and hard about how I would introduce Tracy to everyone on the blog. I first met her in 2010 working in my first internal audit position. Since then I have more stories and advice she has shared with me then I could ever type into probably 1000 blog posts. Our conversations range from fangirling over Game of Thrones, to talking about her dress obsession (34 at one point), and to her helping me choose between jobs.

This special lady, or as I call her, my work Mom, has always been open and honest (and sometimes brutally straight-forward) when I go to her for career advice. But really, that’s what we all need sometimes right?! So without further ado, here is Tracy in her own words to share her career path (so far) with you.

 

Courtney & Tracy

Education

  • University of Western Ontario (Western University), 1988
    • Bachelor of Arts, Administrative & Commercial Studies, Finance and Economics Specialization
  • Certified Management Accountant, 1992
  • Certified Internal Auditor, 2001

Courtney & Tracy

Background

I recently had a blip in my career path that caused me to question some of my choices, however briefly, because I have not always followed a traditional path of vertical movement up the organization.

Born in 1967, I am at the front end of Generation X.  That means more to some people than others, but for me one of the biggest impacts on my career was arriving at the tail end of the baby boom.  Literally since I started working in 1988 I have heard of the impending mass retirement of the boomers and the subsequent availability of countless advancement opportunities.  29 years later I am still waiting for this to come to pass.

I was a bit of a keener where education was concerned.  I decided on business/accounting in high school and chose my university accordingly.  I went to the University of Western Ontario (Western University) and was the only person from my small town Manitoba high school to go there.  I realized when I was older that this was a pretty big and brave move.  I got my CMA designation a few years after graduating University.  The date on my designation is actually 1 day before my 25th birthday (yes, I am proud of that).  Eleven years later I earned by Certified Internal Auditor designation as well.

Courtney & Tracy

My Story

I progressed through jobs rapidly early in my career, always leaving because I had outgrown the position not due to performance or personnel issues.  I also made sure to always leave the role in a better state than I found it.

At 24 years old I was in the 5th and final level of the CMA program but I only had 3 years of work experience.  The positions that matched my experience were hesitant to hire me because I was unlikely to stay long given my progress towards my designation.  The positions that suited my education level wanted much more than 3 years of work experience.

The next logical step for me was to go somewhere that wanted my educational qualifications and would accept my limited years of experience.  So, in November 1991, I moved to Arviat, Nunavut (formerly part of the Northwest Territories or NWT) and assumed the role of District Comptroller.  I moved to Yellowknife for a head office position with the same organization about 18 months into my time in the NWT, staying with that organization and in the territory for 4 years total.

My next geographical move was to Edmonton, where I still am today.  I held contract positions for a few years before re-entering the world of permanent employment with the provincial government.  I stayed with the government, though with 4 roles in 3 ministries, for another 8 years.

I left government to return to the not for profit world where I began.  I was 38 and landed the role of CFO at a large faith based social services organization.  It was a perfect fit.  I thought I was finally home, and for a time I was.  I was responsible for Accounting, Payroll and IT when I began.  While I was there, purchasing and administrative support were also added to my responsibilities.  After three years, I sadly tendered my resignation to allow me to spend quality time with my daughter while she was still a child.  It was the right decision but I did come to question it some years later.

I left the NPO in an economic boom time.  I signed up with a placement agency to do some management level temping. My second temping assignment was with an oil and gas company to do some internal audit work. That 3 month contract was extended twice and then I was offered a full time senior auditor position.  I loved my boss and I accepted the job.  I spent 8 years as an employee of that company until I was laid off due to the elimination of the department I was in.

Courtney & Tracy

Courtney: Dress old – similar here and here | Long Blazer here | Boots here | Cocktail Ring old – similar here (less than $20)
I am not linking Tracy’s outfit except for her purse for the best reason. Her and I would prefer that you check out Peace Handicrafts, and consider making a purchase. Peace Handicrafts is a social-support business established in 2002 to provide training and employment opportunities to landmine victims, disabled persons and the deaf in Cambodia.

What now?

I was given a nice parting package, so I was not in immediate financial distress.  That did not lessen the unavoidable aspects of being laid off 28 years into a career.  A career that somewhat significantly defined you as a person, at least in your mind.  I felt I was fine.  I knew that it was not performance based – I was appraised as a high performer my entire time with the company.  But I was at a loss as to where to go, what to do.  And, I soon discovered, my career pathing was not consistent.

Was I a controller?  Not based on the job postings I saw.  My experience was too much.  Was I a CFO?  I was away from it for almost 8 years.  What about internal audit – was I a manager, senior auditor, did I even want to do that?  I got interviews.  I got good feedback.  I got “over-qualified”.  I did not get offers.  For 6 months.  After 4 months I was seriously questioning leaving my CFO role, even though I knew it was right for my personal life and wellbeing.  What had I done?

I decided to quit waiting for a paid position.  I signed up with Accounting for International Development and accepted a two month volunteer assignment with and NGO in Cambodia.  I thought, if nobody will pay me to do what I do then I will do it for free!  Actually, since I paid my way, I paid them to work for them.  It was well worth it.  Even before I left things started to shift.

Three days before I was flying out to Cambodia I received a phone call to set up an interview for the next week.  This was the perfect position based on my background.  A director role in a faith based, government funded organization with responsibility for accounting operations, financial reporting, compliance and even a charitable foundation.  It was like I had pathed my career specifically for it.

Then I got the offer.  And now I am in the job.  It is early on but I believe this is the place I am meant to be.  I turned 50 this year, have 29 years invested in my career and it seems to be working out.

Why did I feel the need to write this?  Because, despite conventional wisdom up until my generation, I followed my gut for 29 years.  I moved jobs when I felt it was time, no matter how short my tenure.  I moved laterally, several times.  I changed focus from financial reporting to internal audit and back more than once.  I attained a C-suite job at an organization with more than 1000 employees and then I left it!

The millennials coming up behind me are better at not following conventional paths and I applaud that.  I also want my example out there to show that job-hopping the right way, following your gut and doing what you need to for you, is okay.  You can still get where you want to be.

Check out my last work wear post here.
Advice, Career Conversations

New Series… Courtney’s Career Conversations

Fluted sleeve topFluted sleeve top Fluted sleeve top Fluted sleeve top Fluted sleeve top Fluted sleeve top Fluted sleeve top Fluted sleeve top

Top here – similar here and here | Pants old – similar here
Shoes old – almost identical here (under $50) | Earrings not online – similar here and here (under $35)

Courtney’s Career Conversations!

Hi Everyone! I am so excited to announce my very first series on the blog. Once a month I will be sharing with you some fabulous women that I have gotten to know either personally or through my career. They will each be sharing about themselves, their unique career paths and their growth within their chosen fields.

Why this topic?

I remember when I was about to start my final year of high school. Everyone starts asking you what do you want to do with your life, and well… I had no idea. I started University with plans to become a History professor (history is my side passion). However, I then got my first job in the corporate world after my first year of college working in the accounting field. From there, within one month I had changed from Arts to Commerce. At the time, I was not even aware of business or accounting as a career. My second job in the corporate world is what led me to find my passion for Internal Audit, which is once again a field I never knew existed until I was in it. So now, here I am working in a field I truly love.

My goal with this series is to provide you with information about the numerous different ways that people find their careers. To share with you the stories of different women who have each over come their own challenges. Finally, it is to inspire those of you who may be a little lost on your path.

Stay tuned, the first Career Conversation’s post will be next week!

Check out how I style one top for work and play. Check out my last work wear post here.
Advice, Beauty

How I Do My Makeup For Work

Makeup For Work Makeup For WorkMakeup For Work Makeup For Work

I am just going to put this out there right at the beginning of this post. I love makeup and I do like to put a decent amount of it on my face every day. It is something I really enjoy doing in the morning! This look may not be for everyone but I thought I would share what I like to do on most days for my makeup for work. I have mastered doing my makeup at a certain speed so this whole look takes me about 10 minutes!

Typical Rules for Office Makeup

First I thought I’d start with discussing those typical what you should and shouldn’t do for workplace makeup. These are things I have read on the internet and heard being discussed around the office.

1. Not too-much eye makeup.

I have read everything from stick to matte and subtle greys and browns, avoid anything like black, blue or too glittery. Go light on the mascara and no black eyeliners (stick to plum or soft brown liners).

2. Not too-much blush, bronzer, highlighter or contour.

Another stick to just a touch of color, nothing to shimmery. Don’t even bother contouring it will always look like too much. Bronzer should be applied with a gentle hand so it once again is not too much.

3. Pink lips, little gloss.

Avoid too much gloss; go for a long lasting neutral pink or peach lipstick. The lips shouldn’t be too distracting.

4. Manicured nails.

Keep your nails short, clean and neutral-colored, so once again stick to light pinks and neutrals.

Sooooo all of this sounds like not a lot of fun to me. I will say the rules really do depend on your work environment, and this style of makeup may be the required for some workplaces. I have a little freedom in my office, so I do feel comfortable to push those typical boundaries a smidge.

My Makeup For Work

Eyes

I do tend to stick to that tried and true brown eyeshadows you see in these photos. But honestly, I love a good shimmer or even *shocked gasp* and little glitter. For my everyday makeup, I like to wear a darker brown through my crease with a medium brown over the rest of my eyelid, both shimmery. I then line my upper lash line with a black liquid eyeliner (I keep it quite thin).  Then I like to focus on my lashes. First I curl my lashes, apply a lash primer, and finally at least two coats of mascara. Generally, one coat is a lengthening mascara while the other coat will be a thickening mascara.

Some twists I do on this makeup include a glittery eye. Yep you heard me! I use this product right in the corner through about half way on my eyelid, with a medium brown eyeshadow in my crease and for the rest of my eye. With this look, I find the key blending the glitter and the other eye shadow. I also wouldn’t wear eyeliner with this eye look to reduce the intensity. Funny enough, my boss has actually complimented me on this eye look. She liked it because it was not to in your face but still fun for the office. Just make sure if you ever try this to keep the rest of your face calm, aka a light blush and no colour on your lips.

Face

Well, anyone whose seen my photos or me in my daily life knows, I looooove me some cheek colour. It is my “look” and what I am known for. However, I do make sure for work that I stick to non-shimmery cheeks as I tend to wear a shimmery eye. I apply blush to the apples of my check and then blend upwards along my cheek bones.

I also contour every day, but I am also kind of lazy about it so I only do a cheek contour, and I make sure, which you should be doing all the time anyways that it is blended well. During the summer, I add a light touch of bronzer to those areas where the sun would hit my face. However, I live in Canada, bronzer in the winter with my pasty skin at times looks way out of place. I then do a light dusting of powder over my face to help keep everything I have applied in place and for those shiny spots. Finally, I do like a nice subtle highlighter. I personally don’t like to over highlight for work or for play, rather to just use it to enhance the dewy look my skin. I apply my highlighter just above where I have put my blush along my cheek bone and blend it in.

Lips

Just from checking out these photos I think you can tell I broke the rule above! If I am wearing a pretty simple eye and cheek I tend to ignore this rule. I wear whatever lip colour I am feeling that day. It is one of those fun elements I can bring into my work look without it being too out there. I think this is more acceptable now with the makeup culture these days. Lips are a big thing (think Kylie Lip Kit). However, even I will never venture into those black, dark purple or even blue lips I have seen floating around.  One way I like to incorporate a brighter lip is I wear a lip that matches the clothes I am wearing (see here). My boss has even complimented my ability to match my bright lips to my tops!

Nails

Okay I definitely half break this rule. I have fake nails (acrylic with a gel overlay), and I sure as heck don’t know anything that would make me give them up. Without them, I bite my nails when I am stressed, completely destroying my natural nails. I do tend to keep them pretty short (as my nail lady tells me, my nails are boring compared to a lot of peoples) BUT I tend to have some bright colours put on them (but very little decoration/nail art, if any).

I read somewhere something along the lines of “why would you want to be known as the girl with bright nails”. Personally, I have never had this be a problem, but I will say that my jobs so far are not those very strict black, blue or grey suit environments. Besides, what’s wrong with having a great conversation starter attached to your hands? So far, for me, that’s what my nails have actually been!

As you can see, I do tend to break some of the makeup for work rules that are floating around. The key is only having one area of your makeup break those rules discussed above. No glittery eyes and bright lips at the same time! Also, as I said, I do not work in the typical business formal setting. As long as I look professional for the day, I have never had a problem. Most importantly, you have to wear what is comfortable for you. I love makeup and it gives me confidence, but I know a ton of women who feel their best wearing no makeup at all!

Products I Used

Face Makeup #1

Face PrimerFoundation | Powder (not pictured)

Contour | Bronzer | Blush |Highlighter

Darker Brown Shadow (in Smog)| Medium Brown Shadow (in My Teddy Bear)

EyelinerMascara PrimerLengthening MascaraThickening Mascara

Setting Spray | Lipstick | Eyebrows

Advice, Personal

Making the Right Decision

Decisions, decisions, decisions. Change can be so hard, but sometimes it truly is for the best. Late last year I found myself in a place I never thought I would be. I was faced with some life changing decisions regarding my career, health and happiness.

Making DecisionsMaking Life Decisions

The not so good times…

The organization I had been working with full time for a couple of years full time (where I had also worked for years part-time while I went to Uni) was again doing mass layoffs. I made it through the first 2 rounds of layoffs. I was obviously relieved to still have a job but survivors guilt is a real. In October, the 3rd round hit. In the end, my team was now less than half the size it had originally been. With that I watched people I had known, some for many years have to leave. It was at that time the survivor’s guilt hit an all-time high. People with children and families to support were now without jobs and income. So there I was, expected to do my job, as if nothing had happened.

Anyone who has been through layoffs like these knows that organizations may cut your team but the expectation is to keep producing the same quantity and quality of work. This led me to feel like I had to work extremely long hours to complete everything by the deadlines. Let’s just say, without going into too much detail (maybe I will post about it later), I went into stress overdrive. I became extremely forgetful, I couldn’t sleep and I ended up having anxiety attacks. I did end up taking some time off to recuperate and figure out coping mechanisms, but this was the final straw for me.

Making Life Decisions Making Life Decisions

Doing what I had to do…

I had been looking at changing jobs for over a year at this point. I really wanted to continue to advance my career and was looking for a job one step above my current role. Nothing I applied for led to an interview, except for one instance, and right after that interview I knew it was not the place for me. Jumping to a place I was unsure about from a place that was stressful, but I knew so well, is a very nerve wracking concept. However, once I returned to work again, being in that high stress environment, I made the ultimate decision to get out. I began apply for jobs in earnest, using my connections and the help of recruiters.

Making Life Decisions Making Life Decisions

Top here (on sale!) | Pants (sold out) – similar here and here (both on sale)| Purse – similar here | Wedges (old) – similar here and here

Finally, some good news!

This time I was lucky. I ended up receiving two job offers in the same day. Both were a promotion, which I knew I had earned, but there were significant differences in both the compensation and the industries. One organization was going to have a much less steep learning curve, good compensation but an business I had heard had had its own trials similar to where I was leaving over the last couple of years. On the other hand, the other organization offered me what I hoped was a safe environment after what I had gone through, but with smaller compensation and a huge learning curve.

So how do I make decisions? Annoyingly to most people around me, I talk about it repeatedly, for hours on end, to everyone I can find.  I ask for advice and input from anyone and everyone. I know for some people this would not help them, but I look for that devil’s advocate to show me the other side and perspective of my options. In the end, I do always come to a decision (and there will always be moments of reflection where perhaps the decision was not the best). However, I have ended up in a job where I now feel calm, supported and welcome.

Anyone else made some big changes recently for your career? How did you make the decision? Leave me a note in the comments.

Advice, Fashion

The Power of Habit

 

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

Top here | Skirt (old) – similar here and here | Wedge Shoes (old) – similar here | Watch here | Earrings here and here | Purse here

One of my favourite things to do on my commute for work has been to read a book and listen to music to pass the time. This started in University when I realized I could use this time to do all my textbook readings. In these last couple of years, on my way to and from work, reading some self-improvement and business minded books has helped me fill this time. Nowadays, I have become addicted to podcasts as I drive to work, but I will leave that for another post. Today I wanted to share with you one of most recent reads that I really enjoyed…

We all have habits that we both rely on and get stuck on every day. One habit I have is that when I get to work every day is to check my calendar and prepare my priority list for the day which helps with my productivity for the day. On the other hand, a bad one is my addiction to Starbucks coffee every morning (ahem… yes I know basic), which is expensive and not always the most healthy. Some habits are great and some are a part of being human and the difficulty we as humans have with handling change. Right now I am in the process of trying to break my Starbucks habit and maybe some other bad habits I have picked up over the course of my career.

In The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, the author uses numerous individual and business examples to show how you can achieve success by focusing on those daily patterns and habits that make up our lives. The first step in this is to understand how to change your bad habits and form good ones in their place. The author then goes through a simple, yet for me, life changing process for how you can change your habits and replace them with better ones.

While I am still working on changing that expensive and not always healthy Starbucks habit, this book has shown me that you can follow a method to change your habits. Once I have kicked this one habit, I hope to move on and apply this process to other habits in the future. You know… maybe like a regular workout routine…

Are there any books that have inspired you lately? Let me know in the comments, I would love to find some new reading material!

Advice, Life, Personal

A Quick Introduction

Happy Friday everyone! It is hard to believe that I am finally doing this, and working towards a goal I have thought about for so long. I couldn’t think of a better way to start this blog off than by getting a little personal right off the bat with a quick introduction. You can also check out my “About” page here.

Name: Courtney

Age: 27 (almost 28)

Height: Almost 5’7”

Status: Newlywed, married April 22, 2017

Education

I have a Bachelors of Commerce in Management from MacEwan University. I am a Certified Internal Auditor and also Certified in Risk Management Assurance. Almost finished my Chartered Professional Accountant designation. (I know sounds like a lot, but I really love school!)

Job

Internal Auditor (please don’t let that scare you off)

Purpose

I have always had a passion for mentorship and helping others navigate their careers. In University, I participated in clubs and sought opportunities to help my fellow students navigate their education and learn about the career opportunities open to them.

I entered the corporate world as a very young woman at 18. My first job was at an organization that has over 10,000 employees. I have since moved on to work at both smaller and larger organizations. During my career, I have had some amazing mentors who not only taught me how to excel at my job, but encouraged me in every way possible. I have since looked to mentor, build and grow relationships with my co-workers and peers to help us all on the path to success.

I have  always found (encouraged by my fashionable mom) that the way I dressed helped me with confidence in the corporate world. This was especially true when I was significantly younger and inexperienced than people I was working with, which continues to this day.

It is my goal that this blog will not only provide you with great outfits to wear to the office and on your weekends off. Hopefully it will also help young women, like myself, navigate the corporate world with confidence.

Please let me know if there are any topics you’d like for me to write about in the comments. Thanks for reading!

Blazer (old)  – similar here (on sale!) | Dress (old) – similar here | Wedge Sandals (old) – similar here (also on sale!) | Watch here and alternate here