Being Present, Not Perfect

Imagine: your to-do list is never ending, you’re exhausted, and you swear you haven’t had a human interaction in days. For many of us, we didn’t have to try too hard to imagine because this is an oh-so-familiar feeling. We all work tirelessly to check those boxes, send those emails, and come up with the best business strategy. However, in the process, we forget to take care of ourselves. The irony in this is we do the best work when we are relaxed, rested, and enjoying others. It is so easy to get overwhelmed by work, but here at DFS Creative Concepts we try to keep in mind that we are people first and #Girlbosses second by living by these words of wisdom:


  1. Too Much Yes Leads to No

We all love to be helpful, responsible, and dependable. We all want to be the “go-to-girl” for solving problems, taking on tasks and projects of all kinds. However, after saying yes too many times, you might find yourself in an Alice in Wonderland sized hole of work. Then, when you are working to dig yourself out of your hole, you have to say no to all the fun things in life: dinner with family or friends, coffee breaks with your favorite coworkers, and even maybe the one project you’ve been wanting to be a part of! So yes can be good, but too much yes leads to no. So, say yes to what makes you happy and helps you grow, not to the busy work or the mindless task just to prove you are a responsible person. For us at DFSCC, this means we take on the projects that make us smile, challenge us to think differently, and fall in line with our values as a business.  “Yes” is for what builds you up. “No” is for what drains us.


  1. Rest & Relaxation

Now, you may read this and think, “She’s crazy, that’s what coffee is for!” Make no mistake; I love a mug of coffee just as much as the next girl, but I can’t deny the importance of sleep! While we all know that the recommended eight hours per night is a little unattainable, we can certainly strive for it. None of us wants to be the girl at her desk sipping on her fifth cup of coffee, jittery and unable to keep her eyes open. We want to be the girl who comes into the office looking like she has it all together and is ready to face whatever the day brings. Another important part of learning to be put together instead of caffeine dependent is being able to relax. In a world where we are constantly going, going, going, we forget to slow down to enjoy some peace and quiet. At DFSCC, we are constantly filling each other in on ways to relax: recommending good reads, laughing about a funny movie, or talking about a weekend bike ride. We do love to work hard, but understand how important it is to enjoy our down time. Whatever relaxation looks like for you (reading, exercising, retail therapy), don’t forget to pencil it in!


  1. Look Around, Not at the Screen!

In today’s workplace, we are constantly being bombarded with phone calls and emails that are “urgent.” It is way too easy to get caught up in the technology that shapes the way we communicate professionally. Don’t forget the to interact with people around you. While emails are effective, meetings and quick conversations in person usually are more clarifying and immediate. Don’t shy away from walking over to a coworker’s desk to ask about the social media strategy or even about their weekend. We work hard to cultivate a culture of communication here at DFS Creative Concepts with regular check-ins to update each other where we are on our projects. Communication makes the world go ‘round, but remember that a chat over coffee or lunch beats an email any day.

When life gets going too quickly for you to keep up, remember that in order to be a #GirlBoss, sometimes you have to put the to-do list down and take a breather.

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The Worth of an Associate

Coffee runs, thousands of copies, and busy work. These are only a few words that do NOT describe the life of an associate here at DFS Creative Concepts. I watched a webinar recently by ‘People Matters’ and Oracle entitled “Engaged Leadership Furthers Your Business.” One of the quotes used in the video said “The way you treat your employees is the way they will treat your customers,” by Richard Branson. It got me thinking about how lucky I am to have one of my first professional experiences with DFS Creative Concepts, a place where I walk in every day knowing that my worth is recognized, my skills are utilized, and I am valued.

Honestly, being an associate is like being friends with benefits. Everyone outside of the company sees you as an intern, but inside the exposed brick and pink painted walls, is a marvelous world of work that normal interns can only dream about doing, from day one. All the benefits of being an associate, but the outside still considers you an intern.

I was pleasantly surprised to come to my first week of work at DFSCC and instead of being handed thousands of papers to file or making me memorize everyone’s Starbucks orders, Dorothy asked me what I am good at, what I’m passionate about and most importantly what I want to do. At DFSCC I am treated like I have value and like the work I do matters; and I believe that Richard Branson would smile upon DFSCC when knowing how we operate here. At DFSCC it is a known fact that investing in your business and your brand means investing in and engaging with your people. In turn, your business is more productive, because your company is quite literally an organization that wears its heart on its sleeve. When cogs are turning, and passion is flowing throughout your company, you will inevitably produce good things and give off good vibes.

I was told a few years ago that “being intentional goes a long way,” in the sense of making friends in high school and college. This advice has only proven to become more true and relevant as my life goes on and I grow older and wiser and tackle new experiences. I believe this can apply to everyone in the work place: Because a boss that is intentional about investing in their employees will go a long way when inspiring employees to do their work with passion. Employees who intentionally do their work to the best of their ability and with passion and excitement will take the company further than the boss ever could.

To all the associates reading, look for a boss who invests in you and sees your work, and work hard for them. To all the bosses out there, be intentional in valuing your associates and the work they produce, no matter how small.

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Let’s Get Personal: Branding on Instagram

Instagram. This wonder of an app has totally changed how we share and post photos – more specifically, it’s changed our standards on what is worth a “like” or not. However, an aspect of Instagram that we tend to forget about (just like we forget how we got to scrolling through your friend’s cousin’s girlfriend’s insta feed) is personal branding. Instagram is an app all about personal branding. What you post, the frequency of your posts and youre post’s content all contribute to how your followers and potential clients perceive you and your business.

So, next time you decide to whimsically post that “risqué” photo onto Instagram – think. Is this post contributing to my personal brand in a way that reflects how I want to be perceived?

First, think about your brand’s aesthetic. What comes to mind? Is the photo you want to post going to contribute to that aesthetic or picture in your mind? If you are unsure of your brand’s essence, your followers will be unsure too. Make sure you know #whoyouare before clicking post.

Going off of that hashtag, use them! Hashtags can help your posts reach a whole new demographic of followers if you know how to do it properly. Make sure all your hashtags are #relevant and #concise to your business. And don’t overdo it. Sometimes less is more.

Next, know your voice. When posting for your business, change your personal voice (just a tad!). I’m not saying to lose you completely, but clean yourself up. Make sure your language is professional, appropriate and represents your brand standards. #Imperative

Finally, be active. Post frequently (3-5x per week) to keep your followers engaged and seeing continuous content from your business. Also the more you post, the more you can practice your hashtags and refining your voice. #PracticeMakesPerfect #AmIRight

Being a new social media strategist here at DFSCC, I was excited when Dorothy gave me the task of taking over social media account strategy (though we all present and weigh in, and aren’t on an island). It was on me to present to our team my knowledge of best practices can be put to good use for the benefit of those we serve. However, after lots of industry and company specific research, teamwork, developing the company’s voice, understanding their audience and knowing their personal brand #goals, I have come to truly love putting these puzzle pieces together and seeing the metrics and analytics to prove the success.

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Navigating Leadership

The idea of sharing common space with so many likeminded leaders came to me when I was at my desk staring up at the baby pink wall. As I sat there I realized that this space, in which I have become so comfortable, with was once another associates’ area. Under the guidance of Dorothy, I have seen my leadership skills grow and change as I have gained new skills and redefined those of others. I am constantly pushing myself to see what else I can learn, but I realize that I am lucky to have such strong leaders around me from whom I can learn.

Leaders are individuals who go above and beyond for their causes. They know their strengths, build others up and are constantly seeking improvement. So for this entry I am going to spotlight some of our DFSCC tribe to showcase how they have perpetuated these ideals.

To start us off here today is a fan favorite: Megan.


She has been featured here on the blog many times, but having worked so closely with Dorothy for so long it is only appropriate to hear how her training has helped her break stereotypes as a professional woman. As a leader, Megan is someone that everyone in the office can rely on. She has become our rock, exemplifying traits of presentation, poise and professionalism while always adding flare to her own work. When asked about how DFSCC has helped her navigate not only work, but also her personal life, she responds, “I have learned that happiness is the key to success. We wouldn’t be here if this team/work didn’t make us happy! The thrill of events and the satisfaction of our clients keeps us going. I’ve learned how to make the best of situations and be open to new ideas. Instead of acting on impulse, I try taking that extra second to think about the outcome. It is better to approach things after taking a second look at them. From this, I have learned the importance of communication, collaboration and efficiency with a team. Two is better than one and I love learning from team members and our founder!” Megan we would be lost without you, thank you for keeping us afloat, yet always keeping us in line!

Next is our feisty and fun Gigi.


Fun Fact: Gigi and I actually shared that baby pink wall that I talked about earlier. A self proclaimed Type-A personality, she is our go-to for a witty social media caption and our resident thesaurus. Seriously, she loves words and grammar. Speaking from experience, a Type-A leader values attention to detail, making sure that nothing is overlooked, and always delivers work on time. Yet, as we have all experienced, sometimes everything works out and other times nothing goes according to the original plan. Gigi remarks that expecting perfection is something that we should strive for, but not expect. We have to be adaptable in any situation. And to any aspiring associate or DFSCC team member, she leaves you with this advice: “Bring your laptop to work everyday. That’s major. Also challenge yourself, because you can do more than you believe yourself capable of. I have always been artistic but have been challenged by Dorothy to create graphics. Knowing that I can create aesthetic images on the computer vs by hand has been super rewarding.”

Our next Leader is pretty special. Aneesh Borah is the first (of many) DFSCC male members.


He has learned to navigate the waters with all of our #GirlBosses, seamlessly becoming an essential part of our team. During his time here at DFSCC, Aneesh jumped in fearlessly on a multitude of projects helping and teaching us all something new during the process. While reflecting on his time so far, I asked him something new he learned. His answer? Setting priorities. Let me elaborate more. He states, “As an artist, it is easy to get excited, distracted and overcommit yourself to a particular project. But Dorothy showed and taught me how to prioritize my projects and tasks at hand in a way that creates a connection not only on a professional level but also on a personal one. This has helped me meet deadlines more efficiently. As a graphic designer, this is the only way that I can really produce the best quality for the client.” Perfectly stated!

To end my post today we have the founder of our blog, Miss Caroline Tucker.


No doubt you can spot her wearing a killer outfit, for as she says, “You must take your appearance as serious as your abilities.” If you have a problem, she is your girl. She is a strong believer that if you are going to pose a problem, you better make sure you also pose a solution. When asked about her initial impressions of DFSCC and her role within the company, this is what she had to say: “I thought I would be the classic intern picking up coffee, taking out the trash, and making copies. But I was so wrong. On my first day, I was thrown into projects I could have only dreamed of. Dorothy has helped me recognize and own my talents and has given me opportunities to display them. I have learned that execution is the key to seeing something come to fruition. For example, I am now published in a lifestyle magazine with over 80,000 readers and saw the #GirlBossBlog come to life. The confidence Dorothy instills in me follows me everywhere I go, from new work environments to new cities. Not only does Dorothy refuse to call me an intern (instead, “Associate”), she does not treat me like one either. I feel valued and useful.” Spoken like a true #girlboss.

So to when it comes to being a fearless leader, and how to navigate being your own #girlboss:

• Keep it positive, yet keep it efficient
• Strive for adaptability not perfection
• Prioritize
• Execution = Reality
• Bonus – my personal favorite – reflect always: before, during, and even after tasks

We here at DFSCC are successful because we are constantly challenged and pushed not only by our mentor, but by some of the greatest leaders. Each other.

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Be a Leader. Be Yourself.

A woman can always tell the difference between a knock-off Coach purse and an authentic one.  Whether it’s the slight sheen of the faux-leather, the minor enlargement of the checkered-pattern, or the one-shade-off color brown of the bag, a girl always knows.  Similarly, an employer can always tell when their boss is putting on a show or being inauthentic.  

In today’s workplace, being a good leader means being genuine, dependable, and engaging.  It means being authentic.  What does that mean, exactly?  To put it simply, a leader should be someone whose actions align with the values they promote.  For instance, if you tell your friends that wearing deodorant is highly overrated, then you shouldn’t wear deodorant — okay, bad example.  Please wear deodorant, it’s a total necessity and not at all overrated.

Anyways, as a boss, following your own belief-system leads to a better staff retention, improved employee performance, and more united team.

Unfortunately, to be a good leader, you can’t just “be yourself.”  It requires a little more effort than that (sigh, why can’t life be simple?). But here are the steps to take to become a stand-up leader.

1. Communicate.  Some days, you might have to send an email to your staff at 1am even though you told them to grab a cocktail when 5 o’ clock hits cause they’re off the clock.  Point being, why are you sending a mass email when you told your employees they were off for the night?  Why is your behavior conflicting with your spoken message?  Communicate — EXPLAIN —  to your employees that the reason for your behavior is circumstantial and outside of your control.
2. Don’t be a saint (and by that I mean this: try not to be ‘holier than thou.’)  Show your flaws, make mistakes, be human.  Set a good example, but don’t make your employees feel like you are made of marble.  You weren’t crafted by Michaelangelo himself, so don’t act like it!
3.  Understand your audience.  Pretend you are Jimmy Fallon on the Late Night talkshow — what kind of joke would you tell?  Probably not the same joke that you’d tell to your 80 year old Southern Baptist grandma (or at least, I hope not…). Anyways, what do your employees value?  How do they think?  And how can you convince them that your actions truly do match your words?

Remember that authenticity achieves positive results.

And it might be worth it to buy the real Coach purse — it’s better quality.

Becoming a Better Boss: How to Communicate

I had this boss once who never quite understood how to articulate his thoughts properly. It wasn’t his fault, necessarily, he just wasn’t taught how to communicate.  Let’s just say, it made working for him a challenge. I became stagnant in my job, started to care less and less about the work I was doing, and eventually I quit.

Turns out communication skills are a necessity when you’re a boss. Otherwise, your employees are left in the dark without a match, a flashlight, or a pair of night-vision goggles…And that can cause problems. That can cause people to bump into walls or stumble and fall.  

So, how can you improve your communication skills as a boss? Take it from someone who works for a (Girl)boss. I’ve got a few tips for you based on my new experiences.

1. Be straightforward — let your employees know if they’re doing a good job.  And if they’re not, well, let them know that, too!  How else will they be able to make improvements?  Employees should know where they stand — be as transparent as you can.  Like a glass door, a floor-to-ceiling window, a clear umbrella, a — okay, you get the point.  Be open and honest.

2.  Indeed, you should give your employees feedback. But you should also allow them to provide you with feedback. Good communication is a two-way street. Everyone deserves a voice, yes? Yes!  And take your people’s input into account — don’t just blow off their suggestions or concerns like you would an old friend from high-school. (At DFSCC we all communicate and value each other’s thoughts no matter if it’s about weather, advertising campaigns, marketing collateral, or shoes.)

3.  Don’t be like a distant boyfriend or spouse who constantly travels overseas for work.  As the leader of your tribe, you should physically be present at the office.  Be available to your employees. Side note: We actually love our time together. That’s what building a great team is all about. You WANT to be together.

4.  Show some recognition for your employees every once in a while.  Let them know they’re valuable — it will give them warm-fuzzies inside. Praise keeps your team motivated to keep up their good work. Everyone deserves a pat on the back for a job-well-done. #WordsOfAffirmation

Now. . . Go forth and communicate (effectively)!

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What I Learned My First Week as an Intern

We have all been the new girl (or guy) at work before. You’re a little afraid and excited, and at the same time you stayed up a little too long the night before as you let your nerves get the best of you… sound familiar? There is an eagerness to learn and be helpful, but you also are stuck trying to navigate those workroom norms while somewhere in the back of you’re head thinking — what have I gotten myself into? Well, that was me about a week ago as I entered DFSCC’s doors.

If you have ever walked into DFSCC, then you know it’s fashion forward and has an aesthetic that radiates good vibes and class. I mean, what is not to love about that zebra rug? But those “good vibes” are not just seen in the multitude of colors, it is an attitude that has been adopted by all who work here. I recently read an article which spoke in detail about ‘the leader’s dilemma’ in which employers struggle to balance the amount of stress they place on their employees with the high results they expect out of their employees’ work. I found this article interesting as I am often left speechless in trying to describe to family and friends my super positive experience of working at DFSCC as an intern, but I think I have a better grip on it now. From observations and conversations I’ve had at work, I have compiled a list of thoughts and actions seen daily at the DFSCC office which combat the leadership dilemma and aid in building a fulfilling work experience.

Self Care

We often use the phrase “When you dress well you test well” and I find this so applicable here. When you feel your best, you radiate confidence all around you. All of us here at DFSCC have our own unique style that we showcase in different ways. Self Care does not just refer to hygiene and personal presence, but in making sure that our mental health is as strong as our physical health. For some, this may be working out or reading a book to get some peace of mind after a long day of work. But in regards to the work place, having an honest discourse between everyone and transparency regarding all work matters leads to ease and more productivity.

Expanding our Boxes

In life there are some things we are good at and some. . . not so much. In that same regard, there are some things we like to do and some. . . not so much. One of the things we are able to do here at DFSCC is explore both sides of the spectrum. On my first day of work Dorothy told me something that really resonated with me. She noted that we are often placed into boxes depending on age, race, gender, etc. and that because of that the tasks we are ‘good’ at often become the only tasks we are allowed to do. Many times we become trapped in this cycle and may never really experience our full potential. From writing to designing to working on event days, we are able to dip our toes into a little bit of everything here at DFSCC experiencing what we love in a new context, and usually finding something else that we are ‘good’ at.

Feeling the Love

Whether it’s a shout out on our Instagram page or a one-on-one with Dorothy, there is plenty of love and gratitude to go around. I’ll be the first to admit that even though I’d like to think I am Wonder Woman, many days I find myself enlisting the help of my colleagues or Dorothy to complete a task. Though we are a super diverse crew, together we are family. And Dorothy reminds us all of this everyday.

As you can see here, I survived my first week. But, I can easily say that I didn’t just survive. I was able to thrive due to a work environment that allows for independence and creativity cultivated by the OG #GirlBoss Dorothy. So here is a shoutout to our fearless leader you inspire us daily. Thank you for pushing us to exceed expectations in our work, to keep calm in the craziest of of situations and to always add a little flare in everything we do.

Reap All the Rewards: Develop a Mentoring Program

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Sometimes I get lost — even with the help of my iPhone GPS blaring in my ear. Siri shouts “Turn right!” at the exact moment I take a left onto the interstate. And while it’s tough getting lost on the way to work, its worse when you feel aimless and adrift at work.

Luckily, there are mentoring programs to provide direction and support to lost employees. To keep your organization at tip-top shape and to ensure your employees are doing what needs to be done, think about developing a mentoring program. Sound difficult? It can be. But I’ve got some tips for you to make your life a whole lot easier. And I’m putting the tips into a list for you — because, in my opinion, lists make info easier to digest.

So grab a pen and write the list down, why don’t you? Or, better yet, take a screenshot. Oh, technology. How you’ve simplified everyday tasks. Anyway, let’s move on to that list I was talking about, shall we?

How to create a successful mentoring program: Define your objectives.
* Why do you need a mentoring program in the first place? What are your business goals and how can this program help you accomplish them?

Structure your program.
* How do you want this program designed?  Would an online program or an in-person program be more advantageous? Consider the pros and cons of each — make a list! 

Who are your leaders?
*Build leadership roles within the program. Your mentors need to act like leaders — define their role and allow them to lead the initiative.

Promote your program. 
*Outline some rewards or benefits for your employees.  They need some incentive to do this program as well.  And make sure your employees know how to enroll in the program — don’t overcomplicate it!

Oh, and don’t forget to properly train your mentors. If they don’t know what they’re doing, the program might lack success.
*Get some feedback. Allow mentors and mentees to provide comments or critiques.  What better way to make sure your program is reaching its objectives?

Mentoring programs can be beneficial for everyone within your company — both for mentors and mentees.  It’s up to you to figure out how exactly you want to design your program, but by following the list above (and formally structuring your program) will allow you to reap all the rewards within your company. At DFSCC, it’s what we do – and find our mentoring program to help us immensely. Try it out!


Don’t Let Your Personal Brand Consume You

You must read this article I found in the New York Times. After having just finished Joshua Meyrowitz’s book No Sense of Place (nerd alert!), I’ve been really interested in how today’s media market, particularly social media, emotionally and interpersonally affects us.

It seems counterproductive for a blog post from a marketing/public relations firm to be preaching about the potentially damaging effects of social media and the wrong kind of personal branding. But, I feel that it is also our duty at DFSCC to educate and guide our clients (and our readers) towards healthy relationships with social media. Knowledge is power, and if we can be upfront about the no-so-pretty aspects of personal branding, the more time we have to rule the world. Can I get an “amen”?!

Anyway, after several recent conversations with peers about this topic, I have learned a lot about how social media can easily dictate how we view ourselves and our relationships. And, consequently, I’ve had a lot of time to think about how we can prevent putting too much stock in that little number next to that little heart under that little picture on that little app.


The Social Media Monster

Again, I’m not here to undermine the awesome and powerful ramifications the world has experienced since the emergence of social media. Social media has brought us awareness, inspired innovation, facilitated tough conversations, and connected friends, old and new. Social media is not inherently bad. It is a really, really great thing. But only if we treat it for what it essentially is: an accessory for who we are, not entirely who we are.

My first encounter with the sad realities of social media was in the middle of nowhere in western Pennsylvania. I was a camp counselor to 10 precious young girls who were sitting on their bunks as we talked about self worth one July night. I did not expect the before-bed conversation to last longer than twenty minutes, so I opened with “Alright, where do y’all think you put your self worth?” Without hesitation, one of my campers piped up and said, “My social media presence.” Immediately, the nine other eleven-year-olds nodded in agreement.

My heart broke for them.

These girls, much like Clara in the NYT article, put their contentment and satisfaction with who they are at the mercy of their followers, 75% of whom they probably don’t even personally know. If a photo does not get enough likes in 15 minutes, they delete it out of embarrassment. If they want to post a selfie because they know it will get a lot of attention, they slap on an irrelevant quote from an author they’ve never heard of but found on Google to give it some justification. And they post photos of their lattes because it gives that urban, cool girl vibe, even though they truly don’t like coffee.

In particular, Instagram has become a vehicle in which we can display our pseudo-selves. We so carefully can edit and tweak a photo-and-caption-combo to give an impression of who we are. And, all too often, we are not entirely truthful out of fear of appearing worn down, disappointed, and honestly human.


The New News Feed


Since middle school, I have followed tons of bloggers. (Talk about perfect social media presence…) They have made careers out of using social media to brand themselves, and I admire them for that.

One of my favorite “media trends” that rippled through bloggers a few years ago was “The Story Behind The ‘Gram” (or something like that). Basically, the bloggers re-posted an Instagram and told the “true” story of what was going on in their lives when the photo was taken. I was in shock at some of the things I read. Jobs were lost, family members were ill, and hearts were broken while so-and-so was posing pretty in a gingham dress on a cute bike in a tropical place. These posts reminded me of the inescapable humanness we all possess, and I think this should be celebrated.

Our obsession with likes and follows and mentions has revealed a deeper issue our society is facing: we long for affirmation. But we are finding it the wrong places. Social media is so fleeting. Before you know it, the accounts on apps we’ve slaved over will fall to the next big thing. It’s the natural life cycle of today’s media.

So, I propose that we keep using social media. Use the heck out of it. Brand yourself as best you can and work hard on your websites/photos/profiles. BUT, do it for you. Let it wholeheartedly reflect you. You don’t have to outline every shortcoming or dilemma in your posts, but do not ever let your social media “success” define how you feel about yourself, or, in reference to Clara’s NYT story, define your relationships.

You, my #GirlBosses, are worth so much more than your likes. You are so full of power and ambition that cannot possibly be contained by an Instagram account. So, go ahead and post away knowing your followers are not the boss of you. YOU are the boss of you. You, after all, are a #GirlBoss.


#GirlBosses Break Rules (In a Good Way)

I recently read one of those so-good-you-rip-it-out-and-fold-it-in-your-agenda-for-later articles in InStyle’s March 2017 issue (also, one of my favorite #GirlBosses, Amy Schumer, is on the cover so I was immediately sold). Titled “Dress to Unimpress,” the article by Lena Dunham (another great #GirlBoss) eloquently satirizes fashion’s golden “rules” and gives her top five tips for breaking them. Regardless of your stance on age-old fashion restrictions, it’s worth a read for a good laugh.

Inspired by Dunham’s good-natured humor, I thought I would take a stab at my top five workplace “rules” I think are worth breaking (if you can). I’m not nearly as funny as Dunham, so keep your expectations low.


  1. Don’t bank on your degree.


It’s super awesome that you graduated summa cumma kappa alpha magna laude from your liberal arts college no one has heard of. It really is. But, if you can’t problem solve on the fly, take direction quickly, or be nice, no one will care. Even worse, if you keep reminding people of your summa cumma kappa alpha magna laude degree, you likely will not get invited to the office holiday cocktail party.

Good grades don’t make friends for you, and they don’t get you promoted, either. They might get you a good job, but they don’t mean you will do a good job. Keep working hard and tell yourself you did not peak in college. Your mountain-top moment is yet to come!



  1. Do wear clothes that make you happy.


This is the 21st century, people. Times are not that tough. You can now buy office-appropriate clothes that reflect your fun personality. No, you do not need to look like you are a member of the CIA. No, you are not required to look like Anne Hathaway in the beginning of The Devil Wears Prada and give off the scruffy, I-haven’t-slept-or-bathed-in-three-days-because-I’m-so-committed-to-my-job look. No one is asking you to do that. Unless you are a Deal or No Deal case girl, you can freely choose your own work uniform. Wear clothes that reflect who you are. Work feels way more fun that way. (And if you are Dorothy Self, you will wear camo skinny pants with cheetah stilettos. And she gets stuff done in that outfit. Case. In. Point.)



  1. Do ask a lot of questions.


I completely understand the desire to appear like a know-it-all on your first day. I also understand the fear that accompanies approaching your boss because you truly do not know how to complete your task. It’s the worst. But, even more awful is Googling how to do something and proudly showing your boss your work, only for them to go, “Oh, nope. That is not what I meant.”

Asking for help/clarification requires vulnerability and humility. But it is so worth the five seconds of awkward. Ask away. I promise your boss would much rather you do it right than try to prove yourself and do it wrong.



  1. Do build up your coworkers.


If you haven’t caught on to the words of affirmation theme on the #GirlBossBlog, you must be new. Dorothy and I thrive on words of affirmation (in a major way, we’re kindred spirits). And something I have picked up from Dorothy is her tendency to text me after a day in the office to follow up on a conversation we had or a difficult situation navigated together. Knowing that she thought of me while driving home, making dinner, or catching up on emails means the world. Wash, rinse, repeat on that one. Great buildings were never built from materials working against each other – but rather with each other. And the people building had to work together, too.

Don’t fall into the trap of gossip or petty talk. It gets nothing done. You can read more about how much I appreciate encouraging work environments here, here, and here. Oh, and here.


  1. Do become friends with your boss.


In my previous jobs, there was a major “us vs. them” mentality when it came to boss/employee relationships. I think that’s how we are conditioned to approach work since childhood, thanks to the ever-present “us vs. them” attitude toward our teachers. The boss is the bad guy and the employees bond over how much they can’t stand the dull meetings, invalidation, egos and lousy memos. (Think about those side interviews in “The Office.” They are so funny because they are so accurate.)

Dorothy once told me to pick the boss, not the job (her first boss was Melissa Cabocel of the Consumer Bankers Association, and I am headed up there to meet her soon – can.not.wait to meet the very first link in the chain of DFSquad #GirlBosses). This idea might sound counterintuitive – being friends with your boss – but after building my friendship with Dorothy over the past nine (I mean really!) months, I realize how right she is (what else is new). The right boss, if you let them, will inspire, encourage, and push you to be better. They will find your strengths and magnify them. They will want to teach you. They will want to be your friend, and friends build up friends. They will care, and they will see the strengths that God has given you, and they will honor that. And I can say that I’m 100% sure she appreciates me every day! That’s a freeing feeling, and empowering too. No filing of emails for me – she believes in me full stop. She trusts me with her friendship and her business she started from the ground up. That’s no small responsibility, but that’s what friends do. So forage that good relationship with your boss. You might just learn from them, and benefit along the way.

So, if you get in trouble for committing a classic workplace faux pas, you can blame me. But, in my experience, some rules are worth breaking to enhance the work experience. And if you really want to go wild, wear white heels before Easter. *gasp*