The Brief: Your Wednesday Boredom Buster

The Brief: Who’s Making a News Channel Just for the Ladies?

Bias Issues

There’s research showing that it’s harder to be a female entrepreneur than a male one. This is just great. Sociologist Sarah Thébaud found that people favor male-led businesses over those run by women. “I looked at two different types of businesses, one in what I’d call a gender-balanced retail industry and the other in a high-tech industry,” Thébaud said. She asked participants in the study to look at business plans for the companies and decide if they were investment-worthy. The plans she gave them were identical, but she manipulated the first names of the entrepreneurs. The participants systematically rated women-led businesses to be less investment-worthy and less likely to be successful. They also rated women to be less skilled and less competent as entrepreneurs than their male counterparts, regardless of the industry of their start-up. According to Thébaud, that was the reason they didn’t want to invest in the women’s businesses. Here’s what Tory Burch has to say about being an entrepreneur.

Vice Ladies

Vice is going to be all about the ladies this spring. The news media conglomerate known for its rather male-heavy reporting has decided to launch a channel aimed exclusively at women called Broadly (clever, right?). It will cover politics, culture, lifestyle, sex, and fashion. According to The Hollywood Reporter, it has three series in the works already: A Day in the Life, which will follow women in various careers, Style and Error, which will focus on translating fashion from the runway to the street, and How (Blank) Found Feminism, which will show how famous people came to call themselves feminists. ”If you look at the current landscape of women’s media, it’s purely reactionary,” publisher Shanon Kelley said of the launch. “Blogs are either reacting to the news, gossiping about celebrities, or discussing the latest beauty and fashion trends. No one is telling original stories that women specifically relate to.” So clearly this will be very different from Oxygen and Lifetime, which is great and all, but can someone please start playing reruns of Felicity again? She went on such an important emotional journey!

The Treadmill of Death

Next time you’re on a treadmill, you’re going to want to pay attention. A recent study published in this month’s Mayo Clinic Proceedings found that your treadmill performance could predict your risk of death. We’re pretty sure that’s the plot of an upcoming horror movie, but this study is actually for reals. Long story short, people with better treadmill scores (based on the standard treadmill stress test) are less likely to die sooner, which means fitness level is the greatest indicator of death risk even more than family health history or diabetes. Bustle reported on the study and also cited a bunch of other weird studies that will supposedly fend off death (walking faster, eating fruit, surrounding yourself with friends who are crazier than you), so don’t go too crazy the next time you go to the gym.

Preppy Haven

Good news people who adore polka dots: Kate Spade is now adding furniture to the mix! And it’s going to be as pink as you would expect. Now you’ll be able to sit in a chair that matches your purse as soon as this May. The retailer is also expanding its partnership with another manufacturer to offer kitchen goods under the label “All In Good Taste,” which will debut in August. So basically when you aren’t sitting in your chair with a pillow on it that says “Champagne and Cupcakes Always!” you can be mixing those cupcakes in a Kate Spade bowl in your kitchen. It’s a Kate Spade world, we just live in it. Here are four lessons we can learn from the Kate Spade brand.

Austin Festival Giveaway!

Levo, Refinery29, Poncho, and Flavorwire want you to win a trip to the coolest festival of the year. Yep, it’s that one in Austin, featuring music, tech, and more. Get all the details here!

Levo Loves

The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt! The new Netflix series starring Ellie Kemper and written by Miss Tina Fey premieres this Friday! Read TIME’s great review here and watch the trailer here.

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The Millennials Guide to Doing Your Taxes

The Millennials Guide to Doing Your Taxes

Tax season is at last upon us. (My fellow Millennials, how is it already here? I know February is a short month and I’ve kept warm with lots of mulled wine, but still…) Before you call your trusty mom and dad crying about what to do with that R2D2/W-2 Form, or whatever, here is your touch-point guide to getting things done right–whether you’re working full time, freelancing or hustling as a small business owner/entrepreneur.

Getting Started

Before you file your return, you’ll need to gather the following personal information, as Chris Piedmont of DriveTime reminds us in the same way he preps his clients: Social Security Number, 2013 tax return, personal identification number (if you wish to use it instead of last year’s AGI to verify your identity), W-2 and 1099 statements, income and expense receipts, and benefit statements such as unemployment.

If you have your own business, you’ll want to include your EIN number, the date in which your organization was established, and review your Profit and Loss statement to determine your business’ tax obligation.

To identify the latter, you would have had to keep your income and expense reports in pristine order. If this isn’t the case, don’t panic. You can hire a bookkeeper to quickly meet this year’s tax deadline, but going forward, get yourself some easy-to-use accounting software like Kashoo, a cloud-based program with corresponding apps for iPhone, iPad Android that will help you manage invoices, expenses, payments, and everything else you need to dominate tax time.

Pick the Process

Now, decide if you’ll file your taxes yourself or if you’ll hire someone to do it.

Vicki Zhou, cofounder of WiseBanyan, which boasts the first free, fully automated online financial advisor, sees the pros and cons of going the DIY route and consulting a professional.

“I love the concept and execution of services such as TurboTax. Software like this has the added benefit of being cost-effective and timesaving. With that said, if you’re self-employed, working with a traditional accountant often has the benefit of maximizing the year’s tax return (or minimizing your tax bill).

Accountants usually have the drive to prove their value by pushing and prodding clients to find additional ways to maximize deductions, which doesn’t happen with tax software. I generally recommend finding the right local accountant over working with a chain firm, because they usually have more experience and provide a trusted resource to make tax season easier every year.”

Account for Student Loans

According to Andrew Josuweit, CEO of Student Loan Hero, Millennials with student loans are at risk of leaving money on the table or missing out on ways to make their payments more manageable during tax season. Here are three things Josuweit says every college grad should know when filing his or her taxes.

First, by declaring student loan interest paid in 2014, you can receive an up to $2,500 deduction. If you have an income-based repayment plan or public service loan forgiveness, you need to reapply based on your 2014 income. Lastly, parents who have a dependent in school, or who recently graduated, should write off education expenses.

Don’t Forget the Affordable Care Act

This is the first time taxpayers must report their healthcare status on their tax returns. By law, all Americans must be insured, and there will be a section to confirm that you have health insurance. Those who are uninsured will be penalized monetarily, unless an exemption is granted.

If you purchased health insurance through Obamacare’s health insurance exchange online, you will have additional steps to follow, including attaching form 1095-A (which will be sent to you by mail directly from the exchange) to your tax return and completing form 8962 if you or a member of your household received premium tax credits in the form of subsidized premiums, as explained in more detail by Tara Siegel Bernard in her piece “How Affordable Care Act Rules Affect Your Taxes.”

Additional questions and answers on the subject to better understand how you should properly report your status are also included in the article.

In the end, make a plan. “When that check arrives, you’ll want to have an idea of what you will do with it,” Piedmont recommends.

“Whether you’re planning to pay off a credit card, deposit your government refund in your savings account or invest in a vehicle or housing upgrade, you’ll at least lower your chances of spending the money impulsively.”

Photo: elenaleonova / Getty Images

Types of People in the Office and How to Deal

Types of People in the Office and How to Deal

We interact with the people in our offices on a daily basis. Do we like them all? No. Do we have to tolerate them? Yes. Here are five personalities in the workplace we run into and how to deal with them.

1. The Over-Sharer

Office conversation is generally polite. To the question “How was your weekend?” people normally responded with an, “Oh it was great—I went to the farmer’s market!” or even, “Got drinks with friends; such a fun night!” Those responses leave a lot of room for interpretation. But the over-sharer? She launches into a way-too-detailed story about her 36-hour bender with the hot firefighter she brought home, how she lost and found her left shoe, how she almost punched a girl who cut her in line at the club, and that she may still be drunk.

Response: Nod politely a few times. If you’re already working on things it’s okay to not make eye contact, especially if you want her to keep it to herself. Statements like “oh my!” or “wow that sounds eventful” show that you’ve acknowledged the story, but you don’t any more info. Try not to ask too many questions because this will just trap you for the rest of the day. To fend off the insanity, just politely say, “I have a lot to do today. Better get to it!”

2. The Suck-Up

This certain soul is looking for validation at every turn. They are always trying to get on your good side by doing the coffee run, complementing your outfit, asking you where you got it, and so on.

Response: Take a deep breath each time you hear the overabundance of complements and remarks. Try not to roll your eyes when they shower forced praises on your boss; controlling your facial expressions is extremely important in these situations. Just say thanks and offer a kind comment back. They probably only want to be liked, and hey, compliments are nice sometimes.

3. The Optimist

Everything is sunshine, and rainbows, and glitter in this persons’s eyes. They always see the good in things—even if it’s a big stretch. Normally this is a great quality, unless they messed something up that affects you and your job.

Response: Sometimes errors happen, and positivity isn’t always a bad thing. But instead of just sending some glares her way, use her good attitude and make it useful to you. Set up some time for the two of you to brainstorm a solution. Then everyone wins!

4. The Negative Nancy

Everything is terrible. A dark grey cloud of bad energy follows them around, probably followed by a raccoon and the grim reaper. There’s something wrong with every situation and they get stressed out about it. They do lots of audible, heavy sighing.

Response: Bottle up some sunshine and put it on her desk. (Just kidding.) Let them do what they’re going to do, but offer positive words when possible. Maybe they need to be encouraged to feel good about what they’re doing, and remember that a smile can truly brighten anyone’s day.

5. The “Mean Girl”

She’s full of snarky, rude remarks and has a comment about everything. She thinks she’s the coolest person at the office. But Regina definitely needs to cool it, so what can you say?

Response: Kill her with kindness, not confrontation. While there are appropriate ways to engage with coworkers, a good general rule of thumb is to be polite. Just remember that the mean girl in your office probably has nothing against you and acts that way toward everyone. Give her the benefit of the doubt. And if that doesn’t work? Just picture her getting hit by a bus…

Photo: Zero Creatives / Getty Images

Tinder Was Originally Called What?! 10 Tech Companies and Their Name Origins

Tinder Was Originally Called What?! 10 Tech Companies and Their Name Origins

Tech companies have the coolest offices in the world, and we’d kill for an interview with any one of them. But sometimes when we’re using their products, we can’t help but wonder how these major companies got their unusual names. Inspired by Supercompressor’s research into tech company names, we decided to do our own digging and learned the history behind some of the newer companies that have entered the scene.

1. Apple

It shouldn’t be surprising that the ultra-competitive Steve Jobs picked the name “Apple” because it would rank higher than Atari in the phonebook. Supercompressor also reports that Jobs thought the name sounded “fun, spirited, and not intimidating.”

2. Twitter

It’s kind of shocking that such a perfect name was chosen by luck. CEO Jack Dorsey had the team draw the name from a hat, and the little blue bird was born.

3. Microsoft

Bill Gates didn’t come up with the name “Microsoft.” His partner, Paul Allen, came up with the clever name by combining his fascination with microprocessors with what he believed to be the future of computing, software.

4. Nintendo

Believed to be a transliteration meaning “leave luck to heaven,” Nintendo started out selling Japanese playing cards. It seems founder Fusajiro Yamauchi definitely understood how much luck is involved in starting a new business venture.

5. Airbnb

Founders Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia turned their home into the first Airbnb, offering their three airbeds to anyone who needed it. Dubbing themselves the “Air Bed and Breakfast,” it was eventually shortened, which appears to be a common theme among tech companies.

6. Amazon

Taking a cue from Steve Jobs, one of Jeff Bezos’ reasons for picking the name “Amazon” was because it started with the letter A, and websites back then were often listed alphabetically. Mashable also reports that Bezos liked the idea of size implied by the Amazon River. For a place that has everything, it definitely makes sense.

7. Adobe

Nope, the creative software powerhouse was not named after the red clay housing material found in New Mexico. Adobe was actually named for a river that ran behind one of the founders’ homes in Los Altos, CA.

8. Skype

Business Insider reports that Skype started out at “Sky Peer-to-Peer,” which was then shortened to “Skyper,” before finally landing on its ideal one-syllable name.

9. Uber

The founders of Uber wanted to create an experience that was extraordinary, hence the audacious name. What started as “UberCab” was shortened to the more succinct “Uber.”

10. Tinder

What started out as “Matchbox” eventually became Tinder after the founders consulted a thesaurus. They stuck with the fire theme, liking the idea that their app could create a romantic spark.

What tech company name are you dumbfounded by? Let us know in the comments!

This was originally written by Amanda Digiondomenico for Brit + Co.

Photo: Viktor Hanacek / Picjumbo

Common Mistakes People Make at Their First Job

Common Mistakes People Make at Their First Job

It’s easy to think the hard part is over once you’ve gotten that offer letter. But, there are quite a few ways to face-plant in your first year of employment if you’re not careful. Here are the most popular mistakes I’ve seen, as well as my fellow career expert, Julie Katz of Resume Girl.

1. Being tardy.

Look, we all have those days when the train is delayed or we have to turn the car around to make sure we turned off the curling iron. But, don’t make this a habit. You want to fit in and not stand out. Others will notice and soon it will be a performance problem and an uncomfortable discussion with your manager.

2. Showing up goalless.

If your boss hasn’t set up formalized goals and objectives within the first month on the job, take the initiative to set up a meeting and have a discussion to formally outline performance expectations. This will help avoid potentially uncomfortable discussions later, and you’ll walk away with a document that you can refer to throughout the year to keep you on task with reaching your goals.

3. Hoarding at your workspace.

Keep your desk neat and organized. I know this sounds cliché, but appearance is everything, and even if you’re super busy, it’s important to appear organized and in control at all times. As Katz recounts in her HR career, “One manager made it a point to go into her employee’s office and leave a note saying, ‘Clean this place up, make it look like mine.’” Not all managers will be as nice as this one.

4. Avoiding the administration.

Not making friends with the administrative assistant supporting your group will only hurt you. This is one of the most sacred pieces of advice Katz gives new hires. “Make sure to always thank your assistant, get to know their families, what’s important to them, and how to work best with them,” she said.

5. Over sharing.

Don’t share too much too quickly with too many people at work. Keep it professional. Remember, it takes time to build genuine relationships, so please carefully select who you share non-work, um, stuff with…. Too many times non-work stories have come back to hurt someone’s career. Remember what happened to runner Mary Sue Ellen? Of course you don’t. She left before you were hired faster than you can say her nickname “wet-t-shirt-RUNNER-up.” Still wondering why her TMI caused her early leave?

6. Neglecting niceties.

Being polite and positive brings double the benefits compared to the very little effort it takes to initiate. This means: It’s completely worth working on if being chipper and mindful of formalities doesn’t come naturally to you. Saying good morning, goodnight, and flashing a simple smile regardless if you’re having a bad day is the goal—and is absolutely doable.

7. Waiting on your boss.

Let me clarify. If your boss doesn’t take the time to sit down with you, make it a point to set up an appointment on his/her calendar. Don’t wait, twiddling your thumbs for your boss to meet with you. Learn now how to manage up now to save you the growing pains later.

8. Moving too fast.

Typically, it isn’t appropriate to ask to post for another job or be transferred before your first year anniversary. It’s always best for you to learn the job you’re hired for first, and that usually takes at least one year, especially when it comes to making an impact that’s measurable at work. Katz knows managers who just cringe when employees start jobs and then one month later ask to post for another opportunity. “It makes the manager rethink whether she made the right hiring decision,” Katz explained.

Please, we’re begging you. Don’t be that girl.

For help finding your next job, check out our career services on ProfessionGal to fine-tune your resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profiles…you name it!

This was originally posted on Your Coffee Break.

Photo: alvarez / Getty Images

Career Lessons We Can Take from Fairy Tales

Career Lessons We Can Take from Fairy Tales

Most of us read fairy tales during our childhood. Did you ever notice that fairy tales actually show us ways of being successful in difficult situations? Also, they teach us how we should think and behave in order to survive in any condition. Therefore, we should not underestimate the importance of fairy tales as adults and take lessons out of them. Below you can find some examples for these lessons.

1. Always be cautious.

Let’s look at the Snow White and Red Riding Hood examples. The main lesson in both stories is that we shouldn’t always trust everyone and tell everything! You may have allies in the workplace, but don’t forget that there may also be people who are smiling on your face and talking behind your back. You should always be cautious about what you tell others especially, if you are gossiping about coworkers. Otherwise, one day someone can use these gossips against you.

2. Get out of your comfort zone.

Look at the story of the Little Mermaid. She is not like the other mermaids in the sea. She wants to get out of her comfort zone and try new things. She wants to be a human being, so she does everything she can in order to reach her goal. If you always stay in your comfort zone and don’t push your limits, you can’t improve yourself. If you don’t improve yourself, you can’t move up! You always have to set yourself goals and do your best in order to reach them like the Little Mermaid.

3. Be creative in your solutions.

Another great fairy tale example is Rapunzel. Rapunzel shows us that every problem has a solution even if the problem seems impossible. The things you need to do to solve all of your problems are to figure out what tools are available to you and to think outside the box to be more creative.

4. Have a great team.

Well, the story of Smurfs is not a fairy tale, but still, it’s pretty well-known around the world. If you look at Smurf village, you can see that everybody has different responsibilities according to their skills, and Papa Smurf is their leader. What you can understand from this story is that if you want to be successful and be a great leader, you need to surround yourself with people who have the right skills for the right job. Without the perfect team, you can’t move up the career ladder.

This was originally posted on Personal Branding Blog.

Photo: Eva Carollo Photography / Getty Images

20 Jobs That Are Dominated by Women

20 Jobs That Are Dominated by Women

Nursing—like teaching and waitressing—is among the occupations that economists call “pink-collared jobs,” or professions long dominated by women.

While more and more men are donning the pink-collar and facing the social stigma associated with “women’s work,” numbers tell us that we have a long way to go when it comes to evening out representation in certain fields.

One of these occupations is nursing. Nine out of 10 registered nurses are female.

Other occupations where women are highly concentrated include human resources manager, social worker, and counselor.

Economists warn against such staggering disproportions and believe that more integrated occupations would make the economy more efficient.

Behavioral economist, Teresa Ghilarducci, told The New York Times that artificial barriers, such as the stigma around “women’s work,” make it more difficult for companies to find the best matches when hiring.

IdeasFisherman created the following visual using data from the United States Department of Labor to show the disproportionate representation of women in certain jobs:

  • Registered nurses
  • Elementary and middle school teachers
  • Social workers
  • Meeting and convention planners
  • Medical and health service managers
  • Counselors
  • Tax preparers
  • Social and community service managers
  • Human resources managers
  • Psychologists
  • Tax examiners, collectors, and revenue agents
  • Financial specialists, all other
  • Education administrators
  • Other business operations specialists
  • Advertising and promotions managers
  • Accountants and auditors
  • Public relations managers
  • Insurance underwriters
  • Claims adjusters, appraisers, examiners, and investigators
  • Veterinarians

This was originally posted on Business Insider.

Photo: LWA / Getty Images

7 Questions That Will Knock the Socks off Your Interviewer

7 Questions That Will Knock the Socks Off Your Interviewer

“Do you have any questions for me?” is the inevitable question you’ll hear at the end of any interview. You should always ask the interviewer questions at that point to show that you’re truly interested in the job. Asking the right questions can impress the interviewer—it can make you look thoughtful and enthusiastic. And don’t forget that interviewing is also a two-way street: It’s your chance to find out if the company is the right fit for you.

1. Can you tell me about your experience at the company?

This is a great question, as people love talking about themselves, which will make your hiring manager think more positively of your conversation. In fact, brain scans actually show that talking about yourself activate the parts of the brain related to the pleasure you get from things like food and sex. In short, giving your interviewer a chance to talk about themselves will make them happy. At the same time, her answer will clue you into what it’s like to work at the company and how your career progression may look at the firm. Other variations of this question include, “What do you like most about working here?” or “What has kept you at the company for so long?”

2. Why is this position available?

Perhaps this position has been newly created or the person who had the job left for another company or another position within the same firm. This will help you figure out your expectations for the job. If the employee who held this position moved onto another position in the same firm, this shows that mobility and growth is possible within the company. If the person left, it could be that the position didn’t offer the growth she was looking for or she got a better offer elsewhere.

If the position has just been created, you may be hitting the ground running once you start. This means you may have less guidance with this role, as it could be a position the company is unfamiliar with.

3. What are some challenges the team is facing, and how do you hope the new hire will help in those obstacles?

This question shows that you’re serious about doing what it takes to succeed if you get hired, and the interviewer’s answer will help you get a better idea of what to expect at this role. This will also help give you a sense of current situation of the team and the company to see if your skills and experience match what they are looking for.

4. Other than learning the ropes, what should be my top focus for the first few months?

With this question, you’re not just asking the interviewer what they’re looking for in a candidate—that’s obvious from the job listing. You’re getting to the specifics and finding out what they’re hoping the new hire will accomplish at the start of the job. This shows your enthusiasm for doing a good job, and the answer will help you figure out if the company is a right fit for you.

If you get an offer and decide to take it, the interviewer’s response will also help you come up with a game plan for the first few months that will impress your new employer.

5. How would you describe the company culture?

This is a good question because it not only shows your interest in fitting in, but you can also figure out if you’ll be happy in the working environment.

6. From what I’ve read, you’re working on a new venture X or putting more focus on Y. [Insert specific question about X or Y.]

This shows that you’re paying attention and are interested in getting started. You’ll also learn more about the company and figure out if the direction that it’s taking is in line with what you’re looking for. And if you can’t find information about the company, you should ask questions about projects it’s working on and goals it hopes to achieve this year.

7. [Insert your own unique question.]

Don’t just repeat the questions you find on this list or others you find online. Come up with your own question based off the answers from your interviewer. This shows that you are paying attention and quick on picking up details—both great traits for an employee. Coming up with questions that are tailored to your conversation with the interviewer requires a lot of active listening, which you should be doing throughout the interview.

And finally, don’t forget to ask your interviewer what the next steps are, or you may be left hanging. Of course, if your interviewer doesn’t give you a clear answer, you may be able to get more details after you send your thank you email.

Need more help on your job search? Find out how to answer these 15 common interview questions.

This was originally posted on POPSUGAR.

Photo: Bounce / Getty Images

The Brief: Tuesday

The Brief: Why Mindy Kaling May Be the Best Boss Ever

Mayer Rules

Yahoo CEO and tech wunderkind Marissa Mayer dishes on being a female CEO in the tech industry in a new post on Medium (Disclaimer: It’s extremely long, but worth a read). Mayer has often been called out for playing the tough card and adopting more male CEO tactics, but she disagrees. “I never play the gender card,” she says. “The moment you play into that, it’s an issue.” She believes that in Silicon Valley the sex of a CEO doesn’t matter.

This shouldn’t be surprising as Mayer often talks about the fact that she is “gender blind.” When she was taking computer science classes in college she didn’t really notice she was the only woman until a college columnist wrote about “the blond woman in all of the upper-level comp classes.” This didn’t dissuade her—and it shouldn’t any woman entering tech.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Conference Room

Do you ever feel like the walk to your company’s conference room seems really, really long? You actually aren’t going crazy. In an effort to make employees healthier, companies are laying out their office spaces so employees have to walk more, whether it be to the conference room or the kitchen. And apparently stairs are the new elevator. Johnathan Sandler, a director of workplace strategy at design and architecture firm Gensler, told The Wall Street Journal that some companies are joining as many as 15 floors with a central staircase. Every magazine on earth has been telling you to take the stairs instead of the elevator—looks like architects are finally listening.

A Little Sparkle

Jenna Lyons, Creative Director of J.Crew and the woman who made us all believe we could wear a long feather skirt with glasses, gave some of her best career advice to The Cut this week. She said the best way to get ahead is finding a job you love because you will naturally work harder and be less obsessed with just climbing the ladder. Lyons said, ”Do something that you love and commit to yourself to do that, because then you’ll be happy, and you’ll work hard, and you’ll get noticed for that. If you’re trying to get somewhere because it’s important to you to get somewhere, those are often the people I don’t promote. I’m going to promote the person who instead of going home says, ‘Can I do anything else?’, is so obsessed with what they’re doing, surprises me, and helps other people.”

She also talked about how professional women’s attire is analyzed more than it ever was before. “Just how women look is so connected to their performance, which I think is completely unfair,” she said. But on the plus side she said that sequins are the new black, which is good because if you are anything like us you tend to dress like Wednesday Addams in the winter. Might be nice to add some sparkle.

Now That’s a Wrap

Mindy Kaling gave her staff over at The Mindy Project one of the most enviable goody bags at the wrap party ever—McDonald’s Shamrock Shakes (which you can get during the month of March for St. Patrick’s Day) and Happy Meals. Who needs escargot when you’ve got an artificially flavored milkshake from Mickey Dee’s?! Best. Boss. Ever.

Interesting Stuff in a Sentence (or Two)

Check out Jessica Alba’s first column for SELF Mag. ( What working parents really want. (Fast Company) The Orange is the New Black Season 3 premiere date has been announced. We won’t even care that it will be warm out by then because we’ll definitely be watching. (Cosmopolitan)

Levo Loves…

Emma Watson’s latest HeForShe move to get people to share their personal stories about gender equality on Facebook on Sunday, March 8, in honor of International Women’s Day. Get the details here.

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Are You on the Fast Track to Burnout?

Are You on the Fast Track to Burnout?

Do you feel that sometimes juggling work and life is a never-ending treadmill? From interviewing numerous high achievers, I’ve identified three common barriers that give rise to stress: deep-seated guilt, inability to say “no,” and lack of self-established clarity. By taking back control while having a forgiving attitude, you can stay energized and focused year round! Here are some tips to help you do just that.

1. Release the guilt.

Ever feel guilty because you’re not working in the evenings? Or that you don’t deserve a break until you’ve proved yourself to others? Letting go of emotional burdens enables you to be more present with your life and mentally engaged with all that you do. You gain mind space to explore, learn, and discover things you enjoy or connect with people who matter. If you’re guilty of being guilty, monitor how often you indulge in this emotion and observe what you’re telling yourself you “should” be doing. Notice with whose standard are you measuring yourself? Turn that guilt around by accepting that you’ve done your best up to the present and dedicate yourself to a standard that you can enjoy honoring.

2. It’s OK to say no!

Do you believe that choosing to not go the extra mile in everything you do will make you look bad? You can set boundaries and doing so actually earns you more respect. It’s fine to say “I’d be happy to work with you on this project, but I’m at capacity right now. I’m on staff for three other projects, so I can’t realistically meet your deadline. However, I can take a look at this for you sometime next week.” People generally understand your situation when you communicate your workload, provide a rationale and propose a solution. Being selective in what you take on makes it possible for you say yes to things that you actually want to do.

3. Avoid morning mayhem

Ever notice that when you start the day in chaos, the rest of the day feels off? Commit to starting your day with clarity and purpose. If you’re in a job where unpredictability rules, positive morning practices are a simple way to re-incorporate predictability in your life. Express thanks for the clean water when you step into the shower. Take three slow breaths before you rise from the bed. Or take a brief walking meditation around the neighborhood before heading to work. You can take the practice with you wherever you go to center yourself again when the day gets hectic. Taking time for yourself before the day gets started will help you make decisions with clarity and get more done in less time.

By cultivating attitudes and practices that release self-induced pressure, you can have the work-life balance that you want. Even the smallest decisions can transform the way you work and live. Take a deep breath and start right now.

This article was originally published on Huffington Post.

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