New Professional Goals = New Louis Vuitton PM Agenda. 

The inside of my new planner. In the card pockets I have my Sephora card, my work travel card, and my dad’s old military ID. The gold stars in the clear Filofax pouch are used for days that I work out.

After twelve looooong years of working on my bachelor’s degree, I am finally graduating!  My upcoming commencement has made me think about the next steps I should take in order to lead me to my career goals.  After many months of research I’ve decided on the next steps I need to take.  The first is applying to a Master’s in Public Administration program.  While I am waiting to get accepted and (hopefully) eventually begin a program, I’ve decided to enroll in a post graduate certificate program in Project Management.  My hope is that it will build on my leadership skills, as well as make me a more efficient manager.  Just a heads up, if anyone is interested in a pursuing project management certification, many of the top schools in the country offer distance learning programs!  Some of the ones I’ve been looking into are Rutgers, Duke, and Southern Methodist University.

My 2017 inserts don’t start for a couple of months, so I’m utilizing some of the Kate Spade to-do lists to take notes for the time being.

So three kids, a husband, working ten hour days running an office of 85 people, trying to lose weight, and trying to keep my head above water with household chores.  Why add taking the GRE, applying to grad schools, and taking a  project management course on top of it?  Well, I suppose I just finally found the direction I want to go in life.  One of my downfalls is procrastination, in case you couldn’t tell by the whole ‘twelve years to get a bachelor’s degree’ thing.   If I don’t get the ball rolling now I have a feeling I’ll be 60 by the time I get around to grad school, which conflicts with my plan to be retired and living on a beach by then.

One of the first steps that I need to take in order to give myself a chance at managing all of these new ventures is to up my organization and planning game.  I currently use the day designer to manage my work day, but because it doesn’t travel too well it usually stays on my desk.  I bought one of the smaller planners several months ago, but as a very visual person I really need to have a minimalist planner that helps me focus.  While the planner is adorable, there’s just too much going on.  It’s almost like trying to study in a messy kitchen…just no.  I tried; I can’t do it.  I need neat, clean, and organized in order to be able to focus, and my planners are no exception.

Enter the Louis Vuitton PM agenda.  This thing is TINY, but it’s perfect.  Even though I knew its size when I ordered it, I don’t think I was fully prepared when this teeny little index card sized planner was actually in my hands.  After looking through nearly every pocket planner inserts I finally decided on the Kate Spade inserts.  They have a two-page monthly spread, as well as a week on two pages.  I’ve purchased some additional inserts for finances, fitness, and notes, but the Kate Spade ones seem great so far.  And surprisingly enough, it’s really not strange to write in this tiny little planner.  In fact, I LOVE it!  It’s truly perfect for what I need: a planner that I can carry around to keep me on task with my goals and obligations.

I keep the hotel keycard from my honeymoon in my planner because it motivates me to always try my best for my family. The dividers are pretty yet subtle and elegant.

I have a new Day Designer coming in soon for the new year to help me manage work, but for now I am so glad I bought this little Louis Vuitton gem.  The fact of the matter is that the more I like my agenda, the more apt I am to use it to its full potential.


Lifestyle Fashion Change: Switching My Large Bags for Mini Bags

The early mornings that my career requires has resulted in the development of a very disorganized ‘getting ready’ routine in the morning.  Especially now that I have three children, I usually end up doing my hair and makeup in the car on the way to work.  While I would LOVE to have a beautiful vanity setup at home, I generally have everything I need for the day in my handbag.  In other words, the handbags that I’ve been carrying have been huge.  And once I discovered planning, they just kept getting bigger.

Then a few strange things happened.  First, my children became much less high maintenance (my youngest is 18 months now)  and now I have so much more time in the mornings.  Second, and more significantly, I turned 30.  Skincare has become a priority of mine over the past few years, and the better my skin is, the less time it takes to put my makeup on in the morning.  Another impact of turning 30?  Back pain.  Shockingly enough, carrying large purses does not help out back pain as much as one might think.

So I sold my Tory Burch Robinson bag, my first real handbag love.  I sold my Louis Vuitton Speedy 30, the handbag that I bought to celebrate a hard-earned promotion.  I’ve recently replaced my bags with two mini bags that are surprisingly spacious: the Alexander Wang mini Rockie for those casual days, and the 3.1. Philip Lim mini Pashli when I’d like a little more of a polished look.  My new mini bags required a mini planner, so I’ve switched my little organization scheme up a little bit, and it’s really working for me so far!

Girl in a Man’s World

My profession is one that is dominated by males.  I’ve been the only woman in the vast majority of the offices that I’ve worked in, and as a result, I’m extremely comfortable being the “token female”.  For the past ten years I have strived to perfect the balance between maintaining my femininity and being respected in the workplace, and I’ve gotten pretty good at it.  I may scream when I see a spider, but also laugh when everyone in the office makes fun of me for being ridiculous.  On that same note, I have tough skin and can hold my own.  Am I going to cry when I receive tough feedback from my leaders or coworkers?  Hell no!  You see, I’ve learned that my token female status is not a big deal unless I make it a big deal.  By being realistic about my strengths and weaknesses instead of trying to overcompensate for my shortcomings,  I am respected as a member of the team.  Don’t get me wrong, no one in this world is everyone’s cup of tea.  There are several people I’ve worked with that would have banished me to the admin supply closet if they could have.  I’m ok with that though, because in most cases the feeling was mutual.

My token female comfort zone, which I’ve spent my career perfecting, has been rocked by a recent promotion.  Instead of being a mid-level supervisor and a member of the team, I’m now going to be in charge of my office.  Not only am I going to be a female running an all-male office, but I’m also younger than everyone else.  Tricky much?  I suppose if I took the ‘not my problem’ road it wouldn’t be such a big deal, but I’ve always been one to care far more what my subordinates think than what my leadership thinks.  So for my very first post on my very first blog, I ask this question: If those that you directly supervised were responsible for promoting you, would you be in the position you’re in today?  Where do you draw the line between caring too much what people think?  Join me on my journey as I try to figure out how to be the leader I’ve always wanted to be.