Blog Posts by The Daily Muse

  • A Parent's Guide to Surviving the Holidays

    Parent's Guide to the Holidays

    Thanksgiving is just over a week away, and every major American retailer is doing its best to remind you that Christmas is hot on its heels.

    The holidays are usually a combination of leisure and stress for most people-budgeting for gift-giving and wrangling with your boss for time off, followed by lazy afternoons drinking eggnog in your pajamas. But for working parents, the holidays can be a particularly difficult time as we try to do the impossible: alter our routine without causing massive meltdowns.

    RELATED: I Didn't Have Time to Write This But I Did: Why Parents Must Rethink Free Time

    This is my first "real" Christmas as a mom, since last year I was on maternity leave, and my 12-day-old son came along wherever my breasts went without much of a fuss. This year will be quite different: I am working for a busy startup, my husband is with a new company, and my son is on the verge of walking (and, judging by his fearlessness, I think he'll quickly graduate from a walker to a

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  • Sweater Weather: 4 Fun New Ways to Wear Your Go-To Sweaters

    Chilly weather is officially upon us, which means it's time to break out one of my favorite fall staples: the sweater.

    Sweaters are perfect for the fall and winter 9-to-5-they look professional while still feeling incredibly cozy and warm. The only challenge is that they can feel a little limiting. Once you've worn the same knit over and over again, you might feel the itch to add a little more variety to your look.

    You're in luck! This week, I'm going to share four of my favorite ways to layer your go-to sweaters and add a little oomph to your fall and winter wardrobe.

    This article was originally published on The Daily Muse. For more cold weather styling, check out:

    Hailing from the Peach State, Hannah Baker is a recent transplant to NYC via DC and has worked in television and social media. An obsessive pinner,

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  • How to Dress for Success in a Casual Office

    Dress for success casual office

    When you work in an environment that requires you to dress formally or conservatively, the challenge you're faced with every morning is inserting enough personality into your outfit to make you look a little different from everyone else. Looking put-together isn't usually an issue.

    But if you work somewhere that wouldn't care if you wore flip-flops and shorts every day-well, that's a different story. How do you rock an everyday look that's polished, that's client-appropriate, and that shows you mean business-without looking overdone among your hoodie-wearing officemates?

    With these simple styling tricks, it'll be easy to look sophisticated but still relaxed, so you're dressed for success in even the most casual environment.

    This article was originally published on The Daily Muse. For more style advice, check out:

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  • How to Start Doing What You Love—Today

    Do what you love today

    Mondays are a drag for all of us, but if you'd rather be doing something other than your current gig, heading back into work at the beginning of the week can be tortuous. Another long week of data analysis-when you'd love to be designing. Five more days of answering phone calls from angry clients-when you know you'd be great at selling to them. Seriously, how many more Mondays will you have to endure before you can start doing what you love?

    RELATED: 5 Reasons to Consider Changing Careers

    Actually, zero. While career changes do, of course, take time, there are some easy ways you can start doing your dream job today. No matter what you do (and want to do), these activities will allow you to get started doing the tasks you love and making progress toward your career goals right now.

    This might just be the best Monday yet.

    Look for Opportunities at Work

    In most companies, there's more work to be done than there are people to do it. And when you're trying to make a

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  • What to Say Instead of "I Don't Know"

    Say instead of

    Saying "I don't know" when you don't, in fact, know the answer to a question should be laudable. It should tell people you're a straight shooter-not someone who fudges an answer when you're unsure.

    But, let's be honest: In many workplace situations, it just doesn't sound good-and can make you come across as inexperienced, unprofessional, or (especially) unprepared.

    RELATED: 3 Ways to Impress When You're the Youngest One in the Office

    So, what should you do instead? The best course of action is to employ a phrase that avoids misleading the other person, but still makes him or her feel like you answered the question. Read on for three phrases you can use in place of "I don't know" and the best times to use each one.

    When it's Not Your Area of Expertise:

    "I'm Not Sure I'm the Best Person to Answer That"

    Sometimes, you don't know the answer to a question because there's no earthly way you could. Just because you work at a given company doesn't mean you know the ins

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  • The Bad Work Habits You (Seriously) Need to Break Now

    Work habits to break

    Have you ever sat next to a pen-clicker?

    It goes like this: You open up a fresh Word doc, ready to churn out the assignment for your 5 PM deadline, when-click-click-click-click-click. Your cube-mate is deep in thought-too deep to notice that he's incessantly clicking his retractable pen, annoying everyone in earshot.

    But don't just blame your co-workers for their annoying habits. Because the sad truth is, you probably have some yourself. Ranging from the innocently distracting (click-click-click) to the seriously career-risking, check out the following all-too-common work habits-and if you recognize any, vow to kick them ASAP.

    The Distracting

    Idle Cubicle Habits

    When you're deep in thought, you may tune out your wildly jiggling foot, the pen cap that's getting mangled between your teeth, or, yes, the incessant clicking of the pen under your thumb.

    But your co-workers? They notice. And it probably makes it difficult for them to focus on their work. So when you

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  • 9 Questions That'll Help You Find Your Dream Career

    Questions to find your dream career

    You've had another rough day at work.

    And as you're talking about your lackluster job or about feeling lost in your career path, a well-meaning friend or relative responds with, "Well, what do you want to do?"

    Silence. If only it were that easy, right?

    RELATED: How to Start Doing What You Love-Today

    Choosing a new career-whether you want to do a drastic 180 or just make a minor shift-can seem downright impossible. There are so many options. You don't know what you're qualified to do. Frankly, you've been so busy worrying about your current job that you haven't taken half an hour to consider what you'd rather be doing. And when you do start to think about it? Your mind morphs into a cloudy mess of overwhelm.

    Believe me: I've been there, too. And after I did find what I was looking for, I've spent time coaching friends and colleagues who are going through the same thing. While there aren't any shortcuts when it comes to planning a big career change, I've found that

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  • 5 Awesome New Ways to Wear Your White Button-Down

    Wear a white button down

    If someone were to ask me which five pieces of clothing in my closet I would choose to wear for the rest of my life, a white button-down shirt would be at the very top of my list.

    "What?" you might say. "Like the boring old button-down I'm stuck wearing every day with my suit pants?" Yes, exactly. Contrary to popular belief, a white button-down is not a dull inevitability in your wardrobe, but rather a classic that will pull together many outfits and save you time and time again when you have no clue what to wear.

    Not sure how to liven up your button-down? Read on for some fresh ideas for how to keep this staple in your wardrobe rotation without getting bored.

    This article was originally published on The Daily Muse. For more work style advice, check out:

    Hailing from the Peach State, Hannah Baker was formerly a

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  • What You Must Do the Night Before Starting a New Job

    First day of a new job

    Remember the night before the first day of school when you were growing up? You had your outfit all picked out, your backpack packed and put by the door, the locations of your classrooms and names of your teachers meticulously written inside a planner.

    Or was that just me?

    In any case, it doesn't hurt to approach the first day of a new job similarly; with as much preparation the night before as possible. The morning of your new gig is sure to be a stressful one, so help yourself out by doing as much as you can ahead of time. Then, you can wake up rested in the morning and confidently strut out the door on time.

    Read on for the dos and don't of getting ready for day one.

    Do: Pick Out Your Favorite Outfit

    I know many peoples' gut reaction is to go out and get a snazzy new outfit for the first day at work. And while you certainly do want to look sharp when you show up at you new gig, buying a brand new suit or chic pair of pumps is usually the wrong approach.


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  • Taking Notes Isn't "Women's Work:" What to Do when You're the Default Admin

    Taking Notes Isn't Women's Work

    There are a lot of talented administrative assistants out there. I've met many people, both male and female, who have made careers as executive assistants, office managers, or administrative coordinators, cultivating their talents of event planning, project management, and client-concierge into a well-paying career. This type of work is important and keeps businesses running.

    I, though, am not an administrative assistant-nor am I especially talented at these administrative tasks. I'm great with clients, but when it comes to coordinating multiple people's travel and transportation, I am not your girl. I am friendly, but my voice, similar in pitch to that of a 10-year-old, does not lend itself to a professional phone demeanor. I do not naturally know how many pounds of potato salad to order for a 20-person lunch. In fact, I've never planned a large party-my mother planned my entire wedding.

    And yet, it has often been assumed that I would take on administrative duties at

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