The 5 Golden Rules of Summertime Wear

Summer months bring out the best in us. It seems as though the constant sunshine renders an extra boost of confidence that makes us want to show and tell all. While there is nothing wrong with wearing light and carefree attire when hanging out with family members and friends, coming to the office in full-fledged summer wear may get you in trouble. Here, then, are five rules for etiquette when modifying your look to fit the warm months at work.

1.     Choose your wardrobe meticulously.

There is nothing worse than attire that screams, “I just woke up and threw this together.” You should be careful to portray the type of image that gets you taken seriously in the workplace. Spaghetti straps with shorts may not be the best attire for a stock brokerage firm, just in case you were wondering.

2.     Consider the environment in which you work.

While spaghetti straps may not be appropriate for a stock brokerage firm, they fit right into the atmosphere of a company that places the arts at its helm. Be mindful, then, of the type of environment that you work in and dress accordingly.

3.     Put more effort into your attire.

You are not dressing for a day at the beach with friends. Your attire should be well conceptualized and detail oriented.

4.     Do not show too much skin.

Remember that your outfit should not be a distraction but rather add to your professional appeal.

5.     There is a difference between outerwear and innerwear.

Your summer wardrobe for work should reflect that of innerwear and not look like clothes that you would wear to the park.


Cell Phone Use: The Ultimate Turn-off

You are getting ready to close the deal with a high profile client when your phone vibrates. You have been expecting an email from another client all day, and this may be the golden message that you have been anticipating. Should you take two seconds away from your in-person meeting to check your email? No, you should not.


Face-to-face overrides online

There is never a time where the person sending you an email is more important than the individual who takes time out of their busy schedule to converse with you in person. Responding, or even reading, your email while in a meeting with someone else – especially a VIP - is the equivalent of sporadically starting a conversation with a random bystander without concluding the discussion at hand. How rude is that?


Staying connected is imperative

You cannot properly interact with the person in front of you while responding to an email or text message. Giving full attention to the associate standing before you is essential to good business and success. Of course, emergencies are exceptions to the rule, and if you MUST take another call, be open and clear and let your present party know at the start that you MAY have to accept a quick call so there are no surprises; and, that all parties are in agreement beforehand. Otherwise, let the call wait.


Don’t You Dare Look Down! Smartwatch Etiquette for the Unknowing

Apple watches are steadily becoming the trend in the workplace. More professionals are investing in the gadget that lets you check time, emails, and make calls from your phone. So few of these new users, however, understand proper etiquette when using smartwatches. Here are three rules that you should abide by when using Apple watches in a business setting


Rule #1: Person-to-person conversation overrules email chats

Would you begin responding to a message sent by way of email in the middle of a conversation if you were reading the correspondence on a standard computer? Why, then, would you feel the need to respond just because notification of new mail appears on your smartwatch? Give the person in front of you undivided attention and ignore the email that will be waiting for you when the conversation has concluded.


Rule #2: Don’t use your watch to end a discussion

Respectfully express your sentiments if a conversation gets awkward. Do not use your watch as a cop out. Your body language will always give you away anyway, so it’s just best to be honest.


Rule #3: Give the gift of silence

Hearing a smartwatch ring during a critical time at work is just as annoying as a cell phone piercing the silence of hard work. Make sure that your device is either silenced or set to vibrate.  

Rules of Valet Parking

Valet parking is a luxury that many people take for granted. While it seems that everyone wants excellent service, few are willing to give extra dollars for superb labor. Here, then, are five rules for valet parking.


1. Remove all distractions.

Turn off the navigation, put your cell phone in your pocket or purse, and focus on the attendant. Removing all distractions will ensure that directions are followed and the process goes smoothly.


2. Look the attendant in the eye.

He is not just someone who fetches your vehicle. He is a person who deserves your undivided attention and respect. Make eye contact with the attendant and address him by name when feasible.


3. Present a clean car.

Your truck or car may be like your second home, but the valet shouldn’t know that. Put everything in the back/trunk and present the attendant with a clean car so that he doesn’t have to worry about damaging your valuables.


4. Tip according to the level of service.

It is generally a good idea to give the attendant a tip just for parking your car. After all, they are making your life easier by taking care of your vehicle. An attendant who goes above the call of duty by going back to your car to retrieve something that you left should get more in the way of tipping. In fact, anything beyond parking your car deserves more money.


5. Learn the ways of gratuity.

Some restaurants and hotels allow for credit card tipping while others only let their valet attendants receive gratuity in cash. It is essential that you call in advance to ensure that you are well-prepared to tip your server.

Well THIS is Awkward! How To Turn A “Weird” Conversation Around

It’s the moment that makes you squirm. You’re in mid-conversation with a co-worker, friend, or business associate when the camaraderie becomes debatable. Somewhere between the laughs, they said something that you really don’t agree with. It may have changed “business” to “personal”, or maybe somewhat offensive. Now the air has left the room and tensions are getting high. So how do you change the subject?

1. Turn awkwardness into something interesting.

They may have asked a silly or inappropriate question and now there is a bit of bitterness in the atmosphere. Turn “lemons into lemonade” by quickly posing another inquiry to another subject.

2. Focus on them.

Or, instead of coming out of left field with a brand new question, base your inquisitiveness off their life. Let them talk about their accomplishments and listen for cues where you can jump in and change the subject.

3. Take advantage of vacations and hobbies.

Their trip to Spain is prime opportunity for you to turn the conversation into something more pleasurable. Ask them to give details about the sights so that they are less inclined to reference an awkward subject.

Administrative Professionals' Day: In Honor Of The Unsung Heroes

Long nights in the office and pounding the pavement to make sure that your travel itinerary is in order should not go in vain. Administrative Professionals’ Day is April 26 and meant to honor those who put in the extra time and effort to ensure that daily business operations go as planned. Here are a few ways to find gifts that show support staff how much you appreciate them. 


Find Something They Would Enjoy

Make sure the gift is not too personal in nature. You want to avoid gifts such as body lotions and perfumes and stick with gifts that are less personal, such as books and planners.


Be Modest Regarding Pricing

A good starting point is $20. This amount tends to be the average price for gifts when you’re doing a gift exchange during the holiday season.


Buy Based On Effort

The more the person makes your life easier, the more you can give them. If, however, you have an office of multiple administrative assistants, then make sure it’s equal across the board.

Remember that the purpose of Administrative Professionals’ Day is to show support staff that you appreciate them. So whether you give them a day off, or a trinket of some sort, be sincere and make sure you show them gratitude; even if such regard is something as simple as a card. 

Families Traveling During Summer Break

Summer is just around the corner and traveling with the family is almost imminent. Here are a few quick tips that will help you move through airport lines quickly during your next big vacation with the kids.


1.     Prepare in advance.

Study your itinerary so that you will know exactly what to expect. Your itinerary will tell you if there is a layover and how long your flight will be. Whether the airline is serving a full meal, or just snacks, will also be included in the agenda. Thoroughly going through the itinerary will allow you to anticipate the needs of the family and plan accordingly.  Also, give yourself an additional thirty to forty minutes on top of the suggested arrival time when traveling with small children.


2.     Develop a game plan.

Take a good look at what you are taking through security, and develop a plan for moving through the lines more efficiently. Make sure that you, as the parent, can get out of your shoes and jacket easily in addition to being prepared to take items out of the bags, if necessary. It is a good idea to give yourself and the family a practice run so that you can lessen the frustration involved with going through security lines.


3.     Plan activities for the entire trip.

The is especially true with small children. Also, plan for delays as well as accidents that may occupy large amounts of time. Having a backup plan is key.


4.     Vary activities.

Electronic devices are great, but my advice for parents is to have a variety of activities that include both online and offline interaction. Instead of watching a movie or playing a game on the tablet the entire time, have some arts and crafts books that is not too intrusive to other passengers but engaging for your kids.


5.     Pay attention to fellow passengers.

Even though we know in our home that our young ones tend to rule the world, we have to make sure that we’re paying attention to people around us when out. Look for those nonverbal cues to determine whether or not your child is disturbing other people. Sometimes people are afraid to say anything aloud, but they really are quite perturbed. It is, therefore, important to look for those nonverbal cues. If someone keeps turning around in their seat, then that lets you know that perhaps you should take your child in another area in the airport.


6.     Take advantage of free time.

Any opportunity that you have to let your kids stretch out should be taken. It is best to come up with routines at home that will keep them active while waiting at the airport.


7.     Make preparation a family affair.

Give each child their own carryon bag and let them pack it. Letting the kids pack their own bags will allow you to be a little more hands-free. You can simply tell them to look in their bag and get their snack versus having to reach in the bag and get it yourself. They will know where to look since they packed the items in the bag themselves.


8.     Pack all vitals in your carryon.

This includes medicine, diapers and other items that may need to be used while en route to your destination. Also, ensure that additional outfits are packed so that you and your child will have something to wear in the event that luggages are lost or delayed.