Emma stone

Emma Stone Just Got Even More Awesome

Bravo Emma Stone. Bravo. We already liked Emma Stone, but she just went up a little higher in our books. Everyone is buzzing this week about the fact that the actress not only called out her boyfriend and co-star in “The Amazing Spiderman 2″, the usually extremely charming Andrew Garfield, for his rather careless sexist remark.

At a press conference for their new film a child asked Garfield how Spiderman got his costume, the actor explained that the superhero sewed it himself — which, he said, is “kind of a feminine thing to do.” Stone then interrupted him to ask, “It’s feminine how?”

Garfield then went on the defensive, replying, “It’s amazing how you took that as an insult.” Stone quite calmly said, “No, I’m not taking that as an insult, I’m asking how it’s feminine.” Garfield did acknowledge that “we all have feminine in us, young men” and that this is a good thing. Now Garfield had a pretty good response, but we do appreciate that Stone was quick to call him out in a calm and intelligent way. Watch the clip below:

 

The marathon method

The Marathon Method: Asking for More When You’re Not Established (Yet)

It’s been almost a year since I graduated from college. A whole year! The difference between what I thought I would be doing and what I’m actually doing is amazing, and I am now seeing so clearly what I didn’t see when I graduated: Plans are great, but opportunities are better.

I tried my absolute hardest to be employed by graduation. Despite my best efforts, qualifications and introductions, the jobs weren’t coming. I couldn’t figure out what what I was missing and I was going stir crazy. All of the sudden, a close friend told me she was moving to Chicago for medical school—did I want to come along? I took that opportunity and chose the city before the job, but that meant I had to make other decisions, fast. Within my first month, I had an unpaid internship at a PR firm and a retail job to pay the bills. Here were two more opportunities that I took in stride, but I figured they were both temporary spots while I looked for something else. Were these really the kinds of jobs to ask for more?  YES.

While I hoped my traditional idea of “more” would eventually come in the form of a full time job with benefits and a salary, that wasn’t the plan in front of me. What was in front of me was the chance to find more in other ways. As I grew in my retail position, learning how to handle difficult clients, giving style advice and helping the store run, I found my “more”. I was hired during peak season, so I was trained quickly to ensure that I could get on the floor and start making those sales. As a result, I picked up most of my knowledge from real experience.

As I started to get comfortable, I introduced myself to new hires right away, letting them know that I was there for them. When I first started, I really wanted to have someone to talk to that wasn’t my manager, so I tried to be that person for the other newbies. I never meant for it to be anything official, but managers started to take notice. Now we have a shadowing program for new employees, which gives them specific people that they could come to with anything. This makes our team stronger, the store run smoother, and the new employees feel more comfortable asking for clarification. It’s “more” for everyone.

At the PR firm, I was upfront with my supervisor about wanting to contribute as much as I could. She was glad to see my work ethic and gave me a good workload, but there was one particularly slow day, so I took some initiative to get some more work. I asked, “Do you mind if I ask anyone else if they need anything?” I was deliberate in asking permission so my supervisor knew that her work came first, and she gave me the okay. I spent the next half hour walking around the office asking everyone how I could help. Almost immediately, my workload doubled! For the rest of my internship, I always finished my supervisor’s assignments first, but constantly had communication from other team members about ways I could do more.

In both positions, asking for more only made my experiences stronger. I got to expand my skill set at the PR firm, particularly in special events, and my customer service experience has deepened dramatically by working retail. I’ve met new kinds of people that I never would have crossed paths with, and I’ve done new things that have enriched my life. The best part? Both of those jobs were stepping stones to the job I currently possess. I met the CEO at an event the PR firm organized. One email later and I was in contact with the office, finding a time for an informational interview. A few weeks later, I was helping a stylish client put together an outfit for an event she had to attend. She just happened to be in the marketing department at the same company, and became a contact to help me find my current position.

As my professional life has evolved, I have continued my ask for more marathon. In each of my jobs and side projects, I look for small ways to maximize my development, improve my skills and connect with people. Asking for more has been crucial to my working journey. It didn’t seem like it at the time, but with almost a year of experience to look back on, the places where I asked for more stand out like gold stars. Whatever it is you’re looking for, even as you’re just starting out, all you can do is ask. Everything we want is not always right for us at the time, but if we never ask, we’ll never know!

To learn more about Equal Pay Day and Levo’s #Ask4More campaign, click here.

Feuds with CoWorkers

Coworker Envy? Here’s Why That Jealousy Is Holding You Back

‘Fess up. Are you that employee who gets envious of a peer’s success? That coworker, who was hired about a week before you, seems to have something delightful to say to everyone—even the boss. She turns heads when she walks through the door. In meetings, people listen to her. And is it your imagination, or is she getting better assignments than you?

Our relationship to power and success can often color both our self-image and how we view others. Someone who’s experiencing self-doubt and questioning her own success does the obvious thing: She compares herself to others who seem more at ease, more knowledgeable and more dominant and confident.

To be successful in your career, it’s essential to let go of comparing yourself to others. Without comparisons, jealousy and envy can’t exist. Not only are behaviors associated with jealousy and envy unattractive, but these behaviors will also prevent you from achieving success. That’s because success depends on high self-esteem.

Sounds right—but how do you let go of jealousy and envy to build up your self-esteem? Here’s how:

Turn your attitude around

Pay attention to every time you find yourself obsessing about a coworker who seems to attract more attention and opportunities than you do. When you catch yourself comparing yourself to her, stop and shift your mindset. Focus on what you do have and what you’re grateful for in life, not what you’re lacking. (Click here to tweet this thought.)

For example, you were hired on the basis of your academic record, intelligence, problem-solving abilities and experience. Take a mental inventory of your pluses, and think about how lucky you are to have a good job and career prospects.

Give others what you most desire

Get More From Your Job | Levo | Career Advice

Enlist this secret to success: If you want to be appreciated, appreciate others. If you want your work to be valued, value others’ work. If you want attention, pay attention to others. If you want a successful career, help another’s career to flourish. What goes around comes around when you surrender comparisons.

Learn from a rival’s positive points

Here’s an easy way to quickly transform those negative feelings of jealousy into a more productive frame of mind. Get your mind off what you think you lack. Ask yourself what you can learn from someone who has the success you desire. As Yoko Ono has said, “Transform jealousy to admiration, and what you admire will become part of your life.”

Wish a rival well

This may be hard or even feel impossible, but try to imagine yourself seeing the world through that other person’s eyes. When you can do this, it enables you to feel compassion and empathy.

Think to yourself, “I hope she succeeds and gets everything she needs and wants out of this job.”As soon as you do this, you can easily let go of jealousy and attract more success.

Surrendering comparisons lets you put your eyes back on your own self and your own success—where they belong—instead of wasting energy obsessing on others people’s good fortune or beating yourself up.

Even if you don’t completely mean what you say during this exercise, fake it until you make it. Often, having the right intention and choosing the higher ground (even if you’re not totally there yet) precedes an attitude change.

When your heart is in the right place, you’ll become what you want to be. Praise yourself for all the baby steps you make in the direction of self-compassion and gratitude for your life.

Computer Emailing

In Defense of the ‘Coffice’

When I worked in an office full of people, it was easy to get distracted by chatting co-workers, frequent meetings and the latest workplace drama. Sometimes, finding time to actually get my work done was a challenge. Then, when I started working from a home office in 2001—first as a remote staff writer and editor, and later when I started my freelance writing business—I had the opposite problem: There was plenty of quiet time to get work done and lots of flexibility, but nobody to chat with at the water cooler when I needed a break. So, I searched for something in the middle. Fortunately, it didn’t take long to find it—a corner coffee shop or deli with free Wi-Fi faded the blues of working alone, but didn’t require an ongoing commitment.

When I was new at working from home, Lenny’s at 74th Street and Columbus in Manhattan was my favorite spot to be part of the bustle, blend in with other workers, eat some (really delicious) food and still get some work done. These days, back in my hometown of Florence, Ala., I’ve kept up my routine: I frequent places like Rivertown Coffee Company, a corner coffee shop with good music, caffeine and a tasty menu, along with the promise of a little conversation with familiar faces I might see while I’m there.

I’m not alone in seeking my own little “office” away from the office; and according to Urban Dictionary, there’s even a word for it: coffice — “a coffee shop one makes into an office where non-coffee-shop work is performed.” In fact, the website and soon-to-be mobile app, Coffices Near Me, helps people find the best coffices near them, and traveling freelance writer Elisabeth Daniels recently launched Coffice Girl, a Facebook page that chronicles her visits to great coffices across the country.

Coffee Shop Offices | Levo | WorkspaceNow, I know there’s a Starbucks on every corner in most cities, and many people have hit their saturation point with coffee shops. And with so many independent, home-based workers, there are lots of trendy co-working spaces now available—but they require long-term commitments, and for me, flexibility is the most valuable perk of my job as a freelance writer. In my case, a simple coffee shop, bookstore or deli still meets my needs.

Of course, there are drawbacks to the coffice, too. There are groups of really loud talkers who take the noise level to an uncomfortable place. There are people who conduct job interviews or other HR-type confrontations at the next table, and you’re privvy to private conversations you really didn’t want to hear. But the best coffices offer just what an independent worker needs when traveling, or on those days when the home office just isn’t working. Here’s what I love about a great coffice:

Socialization. Even though I’m usually hiding behind my computer while I’m working at a coffee shop or bookstore, some days it’s nice to escape the solitude of my home office and just be part of the crowd. And when a good friend or acquaintance happens to come in, of course I’ll take a break to chat.

Sustenance. Sometimes I simply need a little good food or drink to get my creative juices flowing. Of course, I can (and do) cook at home, but going out to lunch with co-workers was a staple in my previous (office) life, so enjoying good food that I didn’t prepare myself, and getting work done at the same time, just makes for a happier day.

Surroundings. Working from a home office has become common, and is even a goal for lots of people. And while I love the freedom of working from home, the truth is that some days, cabin fever sets in. On those days, I still need Wi-Fi to stay in front of my deadlines, but just need new surroundings. That’s when a cozy little coffee shop or bookstore or deli can be just what I’m looking for.

[Photo: Lingered Upon]

sorority

How Being a Sorority Big Sister Taught Me to Be a Mentor

From the outside looking in, a sorority big sister and little sister relationship can seem cheesy, but being a big sister taught me to be a mentor in my professional life.

The value of near peer advice

As a student at Babson College, I was in the Women’s Leadership Program and our Director, Susan Duffy, always spoke about the idea of “near peer” advice and mentorship. Duffy used this term to describe the theory that you can learn just as much from someone who’s just a few years older than you as you can from someone who is 15 or 20 years older.

Many people overlook the advice of those who are close in age because they assume younger mentors do not have enough experience to give good advice. However, I learned right away that the off the record advice I was giving my little was being taken seriously and it was impacting her in a good way.

Even as a young twenty-something, I had good advice to give and had influence over others. You are an expert in whatever it is that you do, no matter your age. That’s hugely empowering as the youngest employee at my current company in major ways. My little still attributes the spike in her GPA to my advice on best study practices. Four years later it was incredible watching her graduate Magna Cum Laude.

You get out what you put in

As an only child, I took my role as a big very seriously. I invested a lot of time and energy into my littler, her little, and the new freshmen that were added to our “family” when I was a senior. Some people may think it’s silly to spend so much time with younger girls, but I have a solid group of incredibly talented young ladies who are my number one fans, cheerleaders and supporters simply because I was that person for them.

Take the time to learn about someone and help them meet their goals; you’ll quickly see that person keep your best interests at heart too. It’s not always easy to find a group of other women who support you, but you get out what you put in, and when you put in good, you get good out.

Mentoring feels great

From Sorority Big Sister to Mentor | Levo | Mentorship

Mentoring in and of itself is truly rewarding, even if you don’t get anything in return. As a big, I’ve seen my little sisters land their dream internships, take a risk moving to a new city, gain leadership positions in the organizations they’re passionate about, break out of bad relationships, fall into great relationships, overcome fears and insecurities, and graduate with flying colors.

Of course, this is not all because of me, but I know I played a major role in helping them make the decisions that led them to their accomplishments. Seeing them succeed is more rewarding than I could’ve ever imagined. If you’re ever feeling down and out, help someone out in an area where you have great knowledge. Even do it for free. You’ll end the conversation feeling amazing.

Mentoring teaches you how to be a mentee

Last but not least, being a mentor to my littles taught me how to be a mentee. Every time one of my little sisters sent me an email or a text thanking me for my help, my day was made. I also loved when my littles celebrated my accomplishments with me. Whenever something exciting was happening in my life, I felt extremely supported and loved by their handmade cards, Facebook status shout out’s and Saturday night cheers over boxed wine.

As a mentee, I always make sure to share the big and small victories with my mentor. It doesn’t require much time or money to make someone feel celebrated. Although I may not be able to send over a bottle of Veuve Cliquot to congratulate my sophisticated and accomplished mentors, I can still let them know I’m thinking of them by sending a handwritten thank you note. It goes a long way.

At the end of the day, being a big sister taught me to be a mentor in more ways than one. I learned that my advice and insight was valuable, investing in relationships with people pays off, helping other’s genuinely feels amazing, and celebrating others accomplishments in small ways goes a long way. Not only am I grateful for the special relationships I made as a big sister, but also for all of the lessons I’ve learned about mentorship along the way.

What did you learn about mentorship from your sorority or student organization?

Ask Caroline Ghosn, Levo founder and mentor, about what being a part of Greek life taught her about leadership!

To learn more about Equal Pay Day and Levo’s #Ask4More campaign, click here.

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[Photo: Etsy]

Morning-Routines

The Best Morning Routine for a Millennial Woman

People who read morning productivity articles tend to be motivated. Wanting to develop better habits and get more done in a day is healthy, and aren’t we all looking to be a little healthier? Admittedly, developing good habits is easier said than done. Maybe you’ve read dozens of articles on the merits of eating chia seeds and exercising in the morning, but it just hasn’t stuck. Try as we might, the secret code to a better morning just hasn’t been cracked.

I don’t profess to have a secret code, but I believe your perfect morning will be one that works best for you. Maybe you just don’t like chia seeds and prefer to exercise at night–that’s fine! Reflect, practice and schedule your way to better mornings by understanding what you want, figuring out what sticks, and get ready to be on your way to more satisfyingly productive mornings.

Reflect

What does your perfect morning look like? Maybe you’re always armed with a homemade organic green smoothie and hit the gym before work. Maybe you sleeps eight hours a night and walk into the office with freshly blown-out hair. Or maybe you have the time to make a big breakfast and write op-ed pieces before catching the 8am train. Figure out what you want to accomplish during your mornings, and then work backwards.

Practice

So you’ve figured out what you want–congratulations! Now is the time to figure out what routine will allow you to maximize productivity. Start by experimenting until you understand the kinds of activities that increase, rather than decrease, your energy. If you want to make smoothies every day, then you need to buy groceries. But will it bet better for your budget to just buy the smoothies instead? You have to figure out what better suits your lifestyle.

How to Start Off Your Day | Levo | Morning RoutineIf you want to get 8 hours of sleep, naturally you need to get to bed earlier–and figure out what helps you sleep soundly. Try using a Fitbit to see your sleep patterns and what tricks help you sleep better. For example, does the air conditioner help you with those Z’s, or is it better to keep the window open?

Are you a Marissa Meyer-type that can churn our quality copy on four to six hours of sleep? Perhaps your sweet spot turns out to be writing at night, so then you can sleep in a bit more to get all the hours you need. Determining your non-negotiables is a great second step in the journey towards better mornings.

Schedule

Let’s face it. As modern women, we still want to strive for our version of having it all–whatever it may be. As millennial women, we are probably still experimenting and learning what our version entails. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to work out and drink green smoothies, sleep eight hours and blow-dry your hair, and write in the morning. Just know that perhaps it can’t all be done in a single morning.

Thankfully, each day brings new opportunities to be productive. Why not schedule your day for peak creative performance? Whether you prefer to look at the week ahead on a Sunday night, or the day ahead on any given night, thinking about which goals you want to accomplish will help you actually accomplish them. Heading to bed at 10 pm won’t seem dull if you know you have set-goals ready to be tackled in the morning!

Have you used any of these techniques to make your mornings more productive? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter (@lienje)!

wedding budget

How To Save Money During Wedding Season

When you learn someone close to you is getting married, as a friend, you are happy and excited for them. Two people finding love and agreeing to start their life together is a beautiful thing. But also as a friend, stress and anxiety may set in. Weddings put a lot of pressure on friends to make the day special–along with the engagement party, bridal shower, bachelorette party, etc. And all of things can put a big whole in your budget.

I have six weddings to attend this year. And last year was equally filled with weddings because my own sister (and best friend) got married–and I was her Maid of Honor. I loved every minute of the experience, but it was a lot of work and cost a ton of money. I learned some tricks of the trade along the way, and they’ll help you be a great bridesmaid/wedding guest without breaking the bank!

Set a budget. It is important to think of all the expenses that go along with attending a wedding. I like to set a budget as soon as I receive the save the date, text message, etc. All weddings, depending on how close you are to the couple, may vary. It is important to determine how much to spend on an engagement gift, shower gift, a bachelorette party, and a wedding gift from the beginning. Then you have something to stick to!

How to Afford Wedding Season | Levo | BudgetRent the Runway is my new best friend. Dresses are expensive today and with so many weddings and friends, it can be difficult to reuse an outfit. We spend hundreds on outfits and wear them once or twice never to be seen again. Well, our problems have been solved. Rent the Runway is a website where you can rent designer dresses for as low as $20! It really is amazing. I wore an $800 gown to a black tie wedding and the rental price was $75. Rent the Runway is perfect for the girl with six weddings ahead of her. They have annual memberships to purchase that waive shipping and insurance of every rental dress, plus you get a free birthday rental!

COUPONS, COUPONS, COUPONS. Coupons will be your best friend for bridal shower gifts. Hopefully, bridal registries will be at stores where coupons are welcomed. Places like Macy’s and Bed, Bath, & Beyond always have 20% off coupons that can really help you save money.

Become your own hair stylist. While I have been scheduling my quarterly haircuts around wedding season so I can get an awesome blowout for the day of a wedding, it doesn’t always work in my favor. YouTube hair tutorials are the perfect alternative. There is a world of knowledge out there from talented young woman doing their own hair. My new go-to style is curling my hair with a simple headband, salt water, and hairspray. The curls look amazing and effortless!

Get your make up done for free. A secret I learned for my sorority formal’s in college was to go to the mall, find a kiosk in Bloomingdale’s and get my makeup done. The artists do your make up for free as long as you buy one item from the company. You could get your makeup done professionally and only spend $20 on mascara that you know you’ll use in the future. This is a great deal compared to those fancy makeup salons that will charge you an arm and a leg. 

Invest in accessories. Unlike dresses, accessories can be reused at weddings. That is why it’s important to invest in quality pieces that will last (or at least for 6 weddings)! Accessories spice up any ensemble and can make you stand out, whether it’s your shoes or handbag.

Ditch the date. Not bringing a date to weddings has saved me a lot this season. I am not seriously dating anyone at the moment, so why spend $100 to bring a friend as a date? I have also noticed that when I’m dateless at weddings, I have more fun. Plus, you can flirt with the groom’s friends. Moral of the story, going stag is the best choice.

Even though you’re trying to save money throughout this wedding season, you never want to appear cheap. Six weddings is a lot, but as a friend, each one needs to be treated graciously and generously. Weddings are supposed to be fun, and there are ways to make sure they don’t drown out your bank account.

[Photo: Ruffled Blog]

office accessories

Why Freelancers Need To #Ask4More, Too

Feeling inspired by Equal Pay Day, but self-employed? Don’t worry, this day’s for you, too.
In many ways, freelancing and self-employment can provide better work options for women than traditional office structures. But, there are a couple interesting facts about the finances of freelancing.

According to a 2012 report put out by the International Freelancer’s Academy, women outnumbered and actually out-earned men in the $20 to $59 per hour wage bracket. In the $60 to $100 an hour wage bracket, men and women were equally represented. But above that, there was a sharp decline of women compared to men.

This shows that the number of male and female freelancers wasn’t very different, but women simply weren’t charging higher fees for their work–like their male counterparts were.

Freelancers Need Equal Pay | Levo | Ask4MoreThis is troubling, but sadly not surprising. There have been a number of studies in recent years that show women tend to undervalue their work and skills compared to their male colleagues. I’ve occasionally been guilty of this myself, both in an office setting and as a self-employed worker!

This attitude of undervaluing yourself is damaging in a traditional workspace, but I believe it’s even more dangerous in a freelance career. If you aren’t valuing your own work, it’s difficult to expect your clients to as well. Luckily, one of the best aspects of a freelance career is the ability to make bold changes.

So, fellow freelancers, take a moment to look at your business and yourself. Look at your portfolio to see how you’ve grown and developed new, valuable skills. Consider any additional training or coursework that you’ve done that has made your work stronger and more effective. Talk to other freelancers to get an idea of what people charge for similar work. Take a look at your books and ask yourself honestly if you feel like the work you’re doing is reflected in what you make.

The numbers don’t lie; people pay good money for good work. If you’re providing that good work, you deserve to ask for the money its worth!

networking

Real Stories: “I Asked For What I Wanted in My Career and Got It…Twice”

It’s scary to put yourself out there and ask for what you want. There are two pivotal times in my career that I asked for what I wanted and got them. Good thing I did because they both completely changed the direction of my career and life.

The first time I asked for a promotion.

I had been working so hard over the last year covering for people who had quit, and at one time, was doing the job of three people. I was clearly up for a promotion…or at least I thought I was.

I was shocked to find out that my manager wasn’t in agreement with me when I told him I deserved a promotion. I realized that he wasn’t watching what I was doing everyday and hadn’t seen all the awesome stuff I had accomplished.

So, I decided to prove him wrong.  During that assessment cycle, I spent hours completing my self-assessment form and highlighting all of the work I had done over the last year. I asked all my coworkers to provide feedback as well. I went back to my boss and told him exactly why I deserved to be promoted. My boss told me that he had no other choice but to give me that promotion because of how much information he received to prove my point.

Get What You Want Out of Your Career | Levo | Career AdviceIt was then that I realized you have to be in charge of your own success because no one is going to do it for you. You have to show everyone how awesome you are and the amazing things you have been doing. I often see professional women at my company who are scared to brag about themselves and tell their managers what their accomplishing. You have to get used to that confidence and start believing it for yourself first. Then others will see it too.

The second time I asked my boss to go part-time.

My husband and I had recently paid off a lot of debt and I was struggling personally after my second miscarriage. These two events caused me to question everything about my life and future career path. I realized that without debt controlling my life, I could now make career decisions that truly made me happy. I wanted to explore entrepreneurial work assignments and give myself an opportunity to open up my creative side and apply myself in other places. I wanted to devote more time to write my blog, ClassyCareerGirl.com, write a book, and speak to professional women around the country, but I knew I couldn’t do it all while working full-time. So I presented a proposal to my boss where I could go part-time and it would actually be beneficial for the team. And she said yes.

But then I had to present it to my client, which was a little tougher. I was very nervous and worried, but I knew I had nothing to lose.  Again, I prepared for the meeting and explained all the potential benefits–and she said yes as well!

I realized through both of these situations that you have to ask for what you want. You might be surprised at what you get and how your life and career can change drastically…for the better.

To learn more about Equal Pay Day and Levo’s #Ask4More campaign, click here.

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[Photo: Wendy's Lookbook]

 

Sorority Recruitment Taught Me About Interviewing

What Sorority Recruitment Taught Me About Interviewing

Sorority recruitment wasn’t something I’d always considered. However, once I decided to do it, I wanted it badly. I rushed my sophomore year, which meant that I already knew which house I wanted to join. Knowing this made the process more stressful. While I enjoyed meeting girls at the other houses, I only wanted to be the sister of one house. At the end of each rush day, I went home hoping it would turn out how I wanted. Luckily for me, it did! I spent the next three years forging friendships and making memories that I am thankful for to this day.

Beyond the fun experiences that I enjoyed during my time as an Alpha Delta Pi, being in a sorority prepared me for life after college. Those three years taught me professionalism, teamwork, and how to leave a good impression. And, unbeknownst to me, these lessons all started during sorority recruitment.

Be (the best version of) yourself

interview-lessons-sorority-recruitment

There’s an image of the “typical sorority girl.” While I’ll admit some women fall into that stereotype, there are also women who don’t. These are the women that I call my dear friends, my sisters, and it isn’t by accident that I ended up in a house with some of them. The most important lesson I learned through sorority recruitment that has carried over to the professional world is to be yourself—and be the best version you can be!

There’s no one outfit, size, or personality type that sororities, or companies, you want to be a part of are looking for. They want to meet individuals that surprise them, that can contribute to their organization, and that leave them with a good impression. You don’t need to wear designer clothes to do that, but you do need to wear clothes that fit your body type well. You don’t need to tell the exact right story, but you do need to pick anecdotes that accentuate your good qualities and don’t point out that time you forgot a work assignment or lost your credit card because you had one too many cocktails. Play up your good qualities, wear flattering outfits that fit your personal style, and don’t fall into the trap that there is only one way to be. Make sure you are being the best version of you, but still be you! Your house, and your future job, want to see who that is.

Dig deep

You have to know what you’re going into and be prepared for any situation or topic that could come up. For sorority recruitment, that means meeting girls in classes before rush week if possible, checking out the sorority’s website, and figuring out any causes the house supports. For an interview, the method is the same: look up any alumni or personal contacts you may have at the company, scour their website for salient details about the job description, research the company in recent news, and find out the company’s mission statement.

Knowing these details will help you be more engaged in the conversations you have, and demonstrate that you respect the time and energy of the interviewer. Lets be honest, sorority recruitment is like having back to back interviews—but with better lemonade and a prettier dress! You still need to mentally-prepare answers to any potential questions they might ask you, and doing research ahead of time is the easiest way to prepare.

Show, don’t tell

Sororities and employers are both looking for the same thing—an individual who can contribute to and become part of the whole organization while also possessing qualities of her own that set her apart from the crowd. Whether you’re speaking with sisters during rush week or sitting in an office in a suit, you need to be able to give answers that demonstrate clearly how you can do these things.

This isn’t about listing skills you have or accomplishments, this means thinking of examples and experiences that show what you can bring to the table. If a sister asks what you like to do and you want to show that you’re social, don’t just say you like to go to the movies. Tell her about the great Oscar party you throw every year at your house, complete with themed snacks and paper ballots (Remember, be yourself! Tell this story only if it’s true!) If you want to demonstrate to a job interviewer that you are detail oriented, tell her how you organize and manage your family reunion every year, coordinating 25 extended family members travel schedules. Bring in real life details to demonstrate these qualities in action.

Have fun with it

Finally, you need to find a way to enjoy the process. Real happiness exudes a kind of confidence you can’t fake, and the best thing to be during sorority recruitment or a job interview is confident. Savor the color-coordinated snacks you’re given during a rush party, or appreciate the beautiful scenery on the drive to your interview. Compliment your interviewer on her necklace, or make a joke about a class you have in common with one of the sisters. Don’t forget to let go of the nerves, the intimidation, and the pressure. Just have fun with it. Enjoying yourself lets your true personality shine through, and whomever you’re speaking to will love you for it.

Be your best self, research the organization, use clear examples to show your good qualities, and remember to enjoy some of it. You’ll do great, whether it’s a rush party or a call-back interview.

What was your sorority recruitment experience like? What lessons did you learn from it?

Ask Levo co-founder Caroline Ghosn about the lessons she learned from her sorority!

Photo Courtesy of Classy in Connecticut