5 Things You Need To Know Before Doing A Career 180

Most of my earliest childhood memories involve watching TV. As a kid growing up in Brooklyn, I especially loved The Cosby Show. When my mom told me Mrs. Huxtable was a lawyer, I declared, “OK, I’m going to be a lawyer.” And that was how I chose to pursue law. I never really considered that the woman I admired was an actress playing a lawyer.

There were no lawyers in my family, but when it came to carving out my path, my mom had set an example of how to be resourceful and figure things out: She migrated to New York from Puerto Rico and was the first person in our family to go to college, eventually becoming a computer engineer. So, like her, I kept asking questions and working toward my goal.

Once I got to law school, though, I encountered a reality I hadn’t anticipated: I was miserable. Some of my struggle came from not having a great sense of who I was or which tribe I belonged to. I constantly felt like my classmates were making assumptions about me. They’d say things like, “You grew up in the Bronx, right, like J.Lo?”(…uh, no). It didn’t end there. When it came to my peers, I don’t know if it was because I was a young Latina or a woman, but I’d walk into a courtroom full of male attorneys, and they would assume I was the court reporter. There’s nothing wrong with being a court reporter, but I’d have to say, “No, I’m defense counsel for XYZ,” and walk by with attitude (and a winning argument).

I was really unhappy, but I’d been saying I was going to be a lawyer for so long that I thought I’d be disappointing myself and my family if I quit. So I graduated, landed a job at a mid-sized law firm and was the only Latina attorney in the litigation department. It took me about three years of working in a job that wasn’t right for me – along with a lot of introspection and planning – to finally follow my heart and become an actress.

Transitioning to acting professionally has been a game-changer. I feel liberated and empowered to be building a completely new career that isright for me – and to still be able to pay the bills. I value all of my experiences, including being an attorney, for their role in helping shape who I am now. But I also want people to know that it’s truly OK to say, “I’m done with this chapter” and move on. We don’t allow ourselves to do that enough.

If you’re considering a career-180 or wanting to do something different with your life, I’ve been there. I challenge and encourage you to consider these steps that proved very important to me:

1. Find a forum to self-reflect.

Around the same time I started working as an attorney, I created a personal blog to try to make sense of my feelings and to find my calling. In the process, I ended up forming a community with other Latina writers and bloggers, and we decided to start a book club. The first book we read was Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. That was a huge turning point for me. It was the first time I’d heard a woman ask questions like, “Why doesn’t this life resemble me anymore, and why do I feel this duty to continue?” I still had no clue how to stop being an attorney and still be a positive reflection of my culture and my family, but knowing that I wasn’t alone in feeling so much uncertainty helped me find the strength to face it.

2. There’s no “perfect” time to pivot, so make a plan that starts now.

Even after accepting that I didn’t want to practice law anymore, I became a really elegant procrastinator. I’d tell myself, “Well, it’s a bad time to give it up,” or “I just need to do these million things first.” That’s how you end up spreading out into infinity. The good news is that you don’t actually have to suddenly make a huge move. Just get your feet wet! For me, the key to transitioning was making a plan and listing out small steps I needed to take. Think to yourself: ‘What is an actionable step I can take today?’ I made a vision board to keep me motivated and to remind me of my goals. Then I focused on doing my research, reaching out to college classmates who’d studied theater or done some professional acting and asking them for advice.

3. Try juggling the old with the new.

Once I did my research, I began taking acting classes to see if this thing stirring inside of me was legit. I also ended up connecting with the Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors and following the steps they suggested: Getting a headshot, registering with their directory, and going to auditions. Right away, I booked a regional commercial followed by a lead role in a web series. I was happy (and relieved) to discover that I was actually good at what I wanted to do. I was in court when the premiere of my first acting gig came around and had to literally run there to make it, but I made it work.

4. Give yourself permission.

There came a point when I felt spread thin trying to juggle the actor’s life while working as an attorney. I’d used all my personal time for auditions and the roles I booked. One day I was on the verge of a breakdown at the office, unsure of how to keep moving forward. I was so unhappy but I needed a sign — anything that would tell me that it was time. I went outside and started bawling. As I walked down Wall Street, I was praying out loud, asking God if quitting was the right thing to do. Right then, a bird pooped on my shoulder. How’s that for a sign?! I couldn’t help but laugh and think to myself, ‘OK, I got it.’ I wiped my tears, took a deep breath, and gave myself the permission to follow my heart.

5. Know that you’re never too far down any path to turn in a different direction.

Everyone has an opinion, but at the end of the day there is no single set of rules for how to get what you want. There were a lot of well-meaning people who tried to discourage me from leaving a “stable” career. But I also had a lot of support from the people closest to me. While I could listen to other people’s advice, I ultimately had to decide what worked best for me. Listening to my instincts is the smartest thing I’ve done. Don’t ever let someone else’s opinions stop you from doing what you want to do. When you can feel that certainty of purpose in your core, that’s when you know you’re on the right path.

The most challenging part of all this has been overcoming my own fear and taking the leap. It took me a while to figure out how I could leave life as a litigator and still be a positive reflection of my culture and my family. The truth is that I’m an even better representation of my family now that I’m pursuing something that reflects the person I am, not someone I used to be. And I’m so very happy!

I often think back to one law school classmate of mine: He was a 70-year-old man who had retired from his medical practice to become a lawyer. I remember staring at him in awe thinking, ‘Wow, he’s so brave.’ He’s a great reminder that, at any point in your life, you can step back and say, “Maybe this path was right for the person I was when I started down it, but now I’ve become someone else – and I need to do what’s right for me now.”

Photo: Getty Images

Dress for Air Conditioning

How To Dress Professionally For Your Freezing Cold Air Conditioned Office

Summer is the best, isn’t it? The weather, the beach, the popsicles, the fun summer dresses, wearing your boots in your office because it is so cold you can’t move. Wait, what?

Overly air conditioned offices are one of those conundrums many people have to face on a daily basis. It is sweltering outside. Like so hot that the shower you took a half hour ago was pointless and you are contemplating just pouring a bucket of water on yourself before you go to your desk. But then you get inside and it feels great! However, after a little while you realize you have goose bumps all over your arms–and need a sweater. Actually, more like a jacket. And a pair of gloves wouldn’t hurt.

Of course, sitting there in your summer dress with a wool hat, a puffy coat and Ugg slippers will keep you warm, but it doesn’t make for the most professional looking of outfits. But you really do need to stay warm. Research has found that when an office’s temperature was raised to 77 degrees from 68, typing errors fell by 44% and output increased by roughly 150%. So for your job’s sake, here are a few tips for looking professional in your overly air-conditioned office in the summer.

1. Layer it up

It’s all about the layers. Wear the breathable dress or the pencil skirt and the light blouse, but bring a cardigan (every woman needs an office cardigan). And then maybe bring a blazer to go over that if it is really cold. Or if you can wear a chambray shirt in the office (they always keep me rather warm), wear that over a tank top, and then take it off when you leave the office. A chambray shirt looks great with a pencil skirt (like here on fashion blogger Ashley Nii of Impossibly Imperfect) or pair of skinny pants.

2. Wrap it

Whoever invented summer scarves is almost as brilliant as the person who invented iced coffee. Summer scarves can add instant color and fun to a rather bland outfit and you can channel your inner French woman and experiment with all kinds of ways to tie them. If it’s really cold, use it as a shawl instead of a cardigan, or wear it around your neck with a cardigan. Gap has some great light scarves right now and the price is right.

3. Embrace the dark side

Summer is really exciting because we can wear all those fun bright colors like pink and white, but we wear those because they deflect the sun instead of absorb it. So if you work in an igloo, embrace the darker side for the day. Wear black tops, sweaters and pants. If you leave work when it is still sunny out bring a top to change into so you can bask in the warmth.

4. Be a little rad

If you are sitting at your desk for a while and not getting up too much then consider a pair of leg warmers. Yes, they are a little silly, but if no one is looking, who cares? Plus, you are totally ready for a Flashdance break whenever! But if you have a meeting with your boss, or really anybody, take them off.

5. Cover the toes

If you are anything like me, it’s your feet that often get cold first. Yes, sandals are all the rage outside, but keep those footsies warm in the office. Why not pair a cute pair of booties (with socks!) to go with your skirt or capri pants? Leave them next to your work cardigan when you leave for the day.

Photo: Thinkstock 


The Brief: Brexit and Blake Lively Battles a Great White Shark

Hi all! This is going to be a brief Brief because The Brief has to catch a plane!


And you thought you had problems. There is some crazy stuff happening in England and it has nothing to do with Kate Middleton’s new hairstyle. Basically the people of Britain voted for a British exit, or Brexit, from the EU in a historic referendum on Thursday June 23. As a result the pound is literally worthless and Prime Minister David Cameron has resigned. It is quite complex and so I am going to leave it to the brilliant John Oliver to explain. 

The 32 Blues

Though 30 gets all the attention for being a game-changing age you need to watch out for 32. Workforce analytics firm Visier looked at the salaries of 165,000 employees at 31 American companies, and found that, on average, women make about 90 percent of what their male colleagues earn—until they hit 32 years old. Then they earn an average of 82 percent of what their male colleagues make. Man, and you thought turning 30 was scary. The reason is that this is the age when many women leave the workforce to take time off to start and raise families leaving men to take on more managerial roles and get paid more.

Woman Vs. Shark

This weekend The Shallows hits the box office. It’s a classic tale of man versus beast with the beast being a Great White and the man being a really hot bikini-clad Blake Lively. But don’t just write this off as another horror flick as this is a film about self discovery…in a bikini. “The shark is just a metaphor for what you’re afraid of,” director Jaume Collet-Serra said in an interview. “The movie is about a character and is a survival-type movie. It’s isolation. It’s somebody who’s facing her fears, who’s learning to be strong and feeling out where to get that strength from. I think that’s very relevant. To me, that was the important thing to communicate to young people, who are at a time in their life that maybe at a crossroads trying to figure out who they are.” Wow, maybe we should all taking a surfing trip (minus the Great White.) But this film also has  a little bit of a Castaway element as Lively’s character becomes good friends with a Seagull as we all would if we thought we were going to die in a rock while being stalked by a shark. And if you don’t feel like going out this weekend but still want your fill of sharks, Shark Week kicks off The Discovery Channel on Sunday!

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7 Really Icky Work Situations and How To Deal With Them

As the great Pat Benatar once said, love is a battlefield but honestly she could have been talking about work. Sometimes it seems like you are giving nothing but challenges and impossible situations. Work becomes a daily foot in mouth scenario. However, even when it seems like you are given the ickiest of situations, there are ways to fix them. Here are a few very tough work situations and how to navigate your way out of them.

1. Your Boss Takes Credit For Your Work

Oh this is a rough one. But there are ways to try to work through it without having a Wicked Witch-type meltdown in front of your boss and coworkers. If your boss says “I did this project” try to keep saying “we” to gently set the tone. This may help him or her get the message.

2. Your boss is Devil Wears Prada’ing You

OK so maybe she isn’t throwing her coat at you but she is asking you to pick up her dry cleaning and make reservations for her even though you are not her assistant. Try having a calm talk with your boss in which you express your desire to become more involved with important, work-related projects. Also remind your boss that you were not hired to be responsible for organizing their personal life.

3. You have a very entitled coworker (or even worse, an intern)

You know the kind. They just think they are above the job and therefore don’t need to do certain parts of it or put in any kind of effort. Now though just yelling at them and telling them to get with the program sounds appealing there are other tactics to take. Try playing the good cop which means you gotta play nice. Tell them with compassion that you were once in the same position and that you recognize their talent but they need to learn the duties and requirements of this role in order to be able to move forward. If you just yell at them they will become defensive and the situation will get even worse. Tell them they have to focus on this role now so they can be ready for the next one.

4. Your coworker and friend/assistant/intern dresses inappropriately

Yup. You are either in charge of or associated with the woman wearing the crop top on Casual Friday. First you can try writing a general email about professional office attire. If that doesn’t make a dent, then try having a face to face with them stressing that their attire may make people take them less seriously or underestimate them.

5. Your boss or manager wants to be your Facebook friend

Of course, some industries require you to be friends with people in your companies, but for others it is very inappropriate. Try ignoring the request until they bring it up then say casually you only let family and very close friends view your profile.

6. A coworker or manager makes a pass at you

Another icky one. First, tell them calmly and privately that you aren’t interested and that this behavior makes you feel very uncomfortable and needs to stop immediately. You need to say you will file a complaint with HR if it continues. If the person is your manager, go directly to HR.

7. Your coworker shares way too much personal information

TMI alert! We all know them. Heck sometimes we can be them. You do become close with certain coworkers but inevitably other people are always around and don’t want to hear about your breakup or gluten free diet.A good rule to follow is if you wouldn’t want your boss to hear or read it, save it for after hours. Try to think about why you go to the office. What is the purpose? It it to be social or to do a job?

Photo: Getty Images




9 Common Job Application Mistakes

Get Noticed

In today’s competitive job market, landing a plum new gig seems harder than ever. And no matter how qualified you are, your cover letter-and-resume combo has to really shine if you’re going to land an interview.

To make sure you get noticed for the right reasons, be aware of these common job application mistakes — and never make them again.

Did You Follow Instructions?

Sure, it can feel like jumping through hoops when you apply for a job: Write this cover letter detailing such-and-such, use this subject line, put all material in the body of an email — except for this one thing you need to send as an attachment, and so on. But following such mandates is an employer’s first line of defense against people he or she won’t hire.

“Earlier this year when we were looking to hire a new blogger, we asked candidates to include their resume in the body of the email only and not to attach it,” says Ian Aronovich, president and co-founder of “By employing this tactic we were able to weed out nearly 85 percent of applicants because they weren’t able to follow simple directions.”

Don’t Apply for Just Any Position

There may be a company you’d kill to work for in any capacity, but you don’t want to convey that outright in your application. For one, it looks unprofessional. Pat Kelley, author of Hiring Right: A Business Blueprint for Lower Turnover and Higher Profits, says that leaving the box for “position applied for” blank, or answering “any,” is a huge no-no. “I’m looking for someone who has specific goals and specific skills,” she explains.

Also, by saying you’ll take any job, you can come off as desperate. “On an application or a resume, don’t say something like, ‘I’m a hard worker and I really need a job,'” Kelley says. “I’m not running a social services agency; I’m looking for people who can make a contribution to my company. Working hard is nice, but it’s not enough.”

Watch That Sloppy Grammar

We all know that typos ensure your resume and cover letter will find their way to the trash, but it’s not just about running spell check. For example, headhunter Rikka Brandon says her number-one pet peeve is seeing “manager” spelled as “manger.” (And please don’t ever confuse “your” and “you’re” if you know what’s good for you.)

Another error that Word won’t catch is a tense change. “Don’t put a few bullets in past tense and others in present for the same job title,” says Tracy Vistine, lead recruiter with Messina Group, a national staffing firm. Have a trusted friend (or, hey, your mom) read over your CV to make sure you catch every last mistake.

Don’t Include Archaic Elements

Putting an objective at the top of your resume is a thing of the past, says Rasheen Carbin, co-founder of two recruiting and staffing startups. “This is an outdated practice and does nothing to illustrate your skills or experience,” he says.

Another element that makes him cringe: “Saying that you’ll ‘provide references upon request.’ Again, this is outdated. Plus, I assume that you would provide references for anybody who’s trying to hire you.”

Of course, resume standards might vary by industry — and by company — so do some research before you submit.

Highlight Accomplishments, Not Responsibilities

Under each position, you’re supposed to discuss your duties, right? Sort of.

Headhunter Jim Giammatteo, author of No Mistakes Resumes, says one common mistake puts more resumes in the trash than all others: focusing on responsibilities instead of accomplishments. “Anyone can be responsible for anything. It doesn’t mean he or she was good at it,” he explains. “Show the person reviewing your resume what you did.”

Also, skip fluffy terms and overblown clichés like “innovator,” “team player,” and “detail oriented.”

“Being detail oriented is usually a great attribute, but a big problem occurs when you use this buzzword on your resume — it gives me an automatic signal to start scouring your application for errors,” says Shayleen Stuto, talent coordinator at Nashville-based TechnologyAdvice.

Career consultant and former HR manager Henry Dotson adds that empty statements like, “I’ll be a great addition to your company,” are also resume red flags. “It comes off amateurish,” he says. “It’s assumed that you will be a great addition to the company — if you weren’t, why are you applying?”

Is Your Resume Overdone?

“Really long resumes that capture too much work history or display sporadic employment will hurt an applicant’s chances,” says Certified Professional Resume Writer George Bernocco. He suggests keeping your resume to two pages max. If you’re not sure what to cut, start with any experience that’s not relevant to the job at hand. Then cut down your direct experience to 10 to 15 years tops.

And don’t forget: First impressions stick. We all remember Elle Woods’s Legally Blonde CV — soft pink paper and a subtle scent, natch. But following suit in the real world can be a major faux pas, says Vistine, who warns against using a “signature” color for headings and contact information.

Another common issue Bernocco sees is a candidate using multiple font types and sizes. Unless you’re a skilled designer, “consistency makes a resume stand out more than using five fonts.”

Don’t Use Passive Voice or List Too Many Skills

Your resume should command attention succinctly. Rather than using passive voice (“deliverables were hit prior to deadlines”), make your accomplishments active (“I hit my deliverables prior to deadlines”), says former hiring manager Balki Kodarapu. (Usethis handy article to help you verify which voice you’re using.)

Active voice forces you to use the first person, which is great because speaking about yourself in third person is another application don’t, according to Olivia Carr, marketing and administration executive at “Your authenticity becomes lost when you start referring to yourself as ‘the candidate,’” she says. “While you may feel that talking about yourself in the third person gives your CV a more professional tone, writing in the first person gives it a sense of life.”

The “skills” section is another one people tend to overdo, listing every technical proficiency, however limited. Streamline it by eliminating outdated talents. “There’s no better way to say you’re a dinosaur than to list technical skills that went out the window 10-plus years ago,” says Joseph Terach, founder and CEO of Resume Deli.

Terach also warns against stating, say, that you completed an intro course in Excel — this is the equivalent of saying that you don’t know much about it. “It’s better to explain how you use software in your experience section to accomplish specific on-the-job tasks,” he says.

Don’t Include Unsolicited Salary Requirements

Many applications will ask you to outline previous and current salaries, and some will even encourage you to fill in how much you’d like to make in the position you’re seeking. But career coach Lavie Margolin, author of Winning Answers to 500 Interview Questions, warns against including salary requirements on your resume — especially if you weren’t prompted to do so. “This is an easy way to eliminate candidates if they are looking for too much, and it makes people appear too money focused,” he explains.

Is Your Email Too Long?

Sometimes a potential employer doesn’t require a cover letter, only an email-submitted resume. In this case, it can be confusing to know what to write in the email’s body. John Bowers, sales manager for Liquivision Technology, Inc., who’s responsible for the initial stages of the hiring process, explains that you want to channel Goldilocks: Don’t be too short (“Here is my resume”) or too long (multiple paragraphs summarizing your experience).

Just right looks like this: “Hello, my name is John Doe and I would like to thank you for taking my resume. I hope to hear from you soon. Sincerely, John Doe.”

In traditional cover letters, go beyond what the job can do for you. Pamela Hobart, who does first-round screenings for Fueled, a mobile apps agency in Manhattan, warns against egocentricity. “I am so tired of ‘me, me, me’ cover letters that are all about how interested [the applicant] is in apps.”

Bottom line: Your application should focus on what skills and experience you bring to your employer, not the other way around.

Photo: Getty Images


The Brief: These are the Best Summer Jobs For 2016

Summer Sizzle

Even though summer seems like a time to relax more when it comes to work, it can actually be a great time to make a little extra cash either with a side job or if you are a student a part-time or full-time summer job. And luckily Career Cast has the dish on the best summer gigs out there. Certain fields are staples of summer hiring. With so many people traveling more there is a signifcant jump in hospitality jobs, as well as industries tied to travel like food and beverage. Entry-level hotel jobs, like clerks, offer opportunities for part-time summer gigs. Bartending is also an ideal summer job (Median Wage Per Hour: $9.39) for someone seeking extra income, as you can do it easily outside a 9 to 5 schedule. And speaking of 9 to 5, with all those kids out of school for the summer and their parents still at work, childcare is much needed.  Organizations like the Boys and Girls Club, YMCA and local entities such as camps staff up to meet the growing demand at summertime. Check out the other top summer jobs here. (Related: This Woman May Have One of the Coolest Jobs Ever)


Blinded by the Light

Here’s another great reason to start buying actual books again: Instagram may make you go blind. According to a new report in the New England Journal of Medicine two women in the U.K. experienced transient vision problems that happened either at night or right when they woke up. Their doctors figured out it was related to using their phones in the dark. OK, so they specifically didn’t say Instagram but the picture of kittens will be there in the morning people! So why does this happen? When you are lying in bed looking at your phone, you’re really only looking at it with one eye while the other is blocked by the pillow. This then leads to“photopigment bleaching” in the eye that adapts to the bright screen light, while the other eye is busy adapting to the dark of your pillow. It is a recipe for disaster. Now you can just try using both eyes more evenly or you can put your friggin’ phone down! (Related: The New Guard of Social Media)

Mother of Dragons

For being so into pop culture I am a rather odd duck in that I have not gotten into the whole Game of Thrones way of life. It looks great and all, it just seems like a huge emotional commitment and I am honestly still getting over the series finale of Lost. As a result of not watching this show though I have definitely missed out on bonding with certain friends and I’m pretty sure been excluded from a few weddings because I can’t give a 10 minute diatribe on Jon Snow. So though I may not watch I am very aware that people take this show extremely seriously and DO NOT WANT TO KNOW SPOILERS. Well they better pray that they haven’t made an enemy of someone as now is there an app for specifically sending GoT fans spoilers so you can ruin their life. The site is called “Spoiled,” and was inspired by a story published in Esquire about an ex-girlfriend who sought vengeance on her boyfriend by sending him GOT spoilers on all different social media platforms on a weekly basis (apparently good old fashioned berating and stalking is so 2015.) The site even lets you set up a service that will spam anyone you know, even if they live in another country. Dragons got nothing on this. (Related: 9 Shows on Netflix That Might Actually Inspire Your Job Search)

Levo Loves…

Starbucks new secret purple drink! It is filled with passion iced tea, soy milk, and vanilla syrup, then topped off with real blueberries and blackberries and all our hopes and dreams. To order the “Purple Drink,” ask your Starbucks barista for a blend of passion iced tea, soy milk, and vanilla syrup, and berries.

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The Dos and Don'ts of Working Out With Coworkers

The Dos and Don’ts of Working Out With Coworkers

A few months back I wrote about new cool ways to hold business meetings and a lot of them had exercise as a component. It seems weird that you would take a client to an excruciatingly hard (and sweaty) SoulCycle class, but it can actually be a great icebreaker and a good chance to show off your creativity.

However, when it comes to working out or dieting with coworkers, different rules apply. You have to see these people everyday. Take a look at the clip below:

In that hilarious episode of The Office from Season 5, the whole Dunder Mifflin company has the branches compete over which group of employees can lose the most weight. Kelly ends up swallowing a tape worm and people get a little hyper-competitive. Now this is television, but with the upswing of offices dieting and exercising together, and the invention of the FitBit, is this really fiction?

Maybe having the support of an office, where we spend so much of our time, isn’t the worst thing in the world. It’s estimated that at any one given time, 40 to 50 percent of American women are trying to lose weight. Diets are tough, so wouldn’t it be nice to have someone going through it with you and encouraging you along the way? Camaraderie is useful and productive as long as it’s motives are pure.

Plus office diets can be quite beneficial to an office environment as well as the individual participating. Kyle Pribilski of Formation said:

“There’s a lot of evidence to suggest that simply rewarding people to lose weight or stop smoking will only last as long as the money does or gift cards do. Then the weight goes back on or the smoking starts again. When you bring the social aspect into the mix, the dynamic changes. People become more engaged, they’re more focused on the result, they’re accountable to a group of people. This type of motivation, the stick rather than the carrot, works best. It can bring a group together, improve the engagement of the employees, and even the overall productivity of a company.”

But there are certain dos and don’ts when it comes to working and dieting with coworkers:

1. Respect boundaries.

If you’re working out with coworkers and are in a locker room, don’t try to talk with them when you’re scantily clad or naked. Nudity makes some people very uncomfortable, especially with people they have to work with everyday. “I once ran into my boss in the showers, totally naked, and he wanted some exercise advice from me,” Kivanc Ozdemir, a hotel executive, told BusinessWeek. He told his manager that he should try more cardio. “Obviously, I saw him differently after that.”

2. Mind your attire.

On the same note of being scantily clad, mind your gym attire. You may have a great stomach, but not everyone wants to see it. Don’t workout in just your sports bra when you’re with colleagues or your boss.

3. Show you’re a team player.

If you’re getting yourself a water or juice, offer one to your coworker. If they’re struggling with their cleanse or diet, offer some support or let them know they’re not alone. This really is an excellent bonding opportunity.

4. Be honest with yourself.

If you know you’re a person that gets hyper-competitive, think about not participating or just being consciously aware of yourself so you don’t get out of control.

Photo: Jim Cummins / Getty Images


The Brief: This is the Best City in the World To Be a Female Entrepreneur

City Girl

Looking to start a business and you happen to be a woman? Well you better head to the Big Apple. Dell, in concert with Professor David Ricketts of the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard and the data and analytics company IHS has come up with the best cities in the world for female entrepreneurs based on 71 different indicators. Basically these cities provide the best networking, capital, culture and other resources that help women-run businesses. New York took the top spot followed by San Fran, London, Stockholm and Singapore. The study found that cities in the U.S. have enough of the right resources for women to start businesses, but they aren’t as good at enabling them. New York City beat out San Fran because it has more access to capital through women-to-women funding groups, and access to city policies that provide an equal playing field for women, according to Elizabeth Gore, Dell’s entrepreneur-in-residence. Plus, the fact that New York City awarded more than $1.6 billion in contracts to minority and women-owned business enterprises last fiscal year didn’t hurt.  (Related: These Are the Best Cities For College Grads)

More Money, More Problems (Literally)

Are you holding cash right now? Then you are probably acting selfish. No really. Studies show people who recently handled money, act less charitable and are less likely to help others afterward. Sounds like we get a case of the Scrooge McDucks when we hold money (also never go diving in pool of coins. It’s gross and would hurt a lot.) A new study featured in Scientific American found that children as young as 3 years old become more selfish and less giving after touching money. From the study: Children who played longer with money were more selfish, less helpful, and less generous. They were less helpful in keeping the room tidy and less willing to help ready materials for the next child. They also took more rewards for themselves and were less inclined to give away their toys to other children…” So if you didn’t get your paycheck this week, you are probably being nicer so bright side! (Related: How to Handle Your Finances After a Layoff)

Morning Booster

We all admire Selena Gomez. I mean, how could you not? From her fashion to her social media presence to her songs (of which I cannot name any, but can sing the chorus of) to her friendships ( and we’re just gonna overlook the whole Justin Bieber thing) she is one cool lady. And now it turns out she has a great healthy morning trick. On this week’s Carpool Karaoke with James Corden Gomez revealed that she eats a piece of ginger every morning. They both then took ginger shots and she said, “You’re not going to get sick. It’s killing everything inside—all of the bad things,” she says. And it turns out, she isn’t lying! Ginger is known for its strong medicinal properties, reputedly fending off inflammation and boosting your immunity. Ginger smoothies for everyone! (Related: How I Made My Morning Routine Work For Me)

Levo Loves…

Sallie Krawcheck, CEO and Co-Founder of Ellevest, is talking women, wealth and spotting new business opportunities with General Assembly via interactive Live Stream on June 23! Get all the details here!


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Career Change at 30

Everything You Need to Know About Making a Career Change in Your 30s

The urge to make a career change in your 30s is extremely…normal. In fact, a whopping 73 percent of 30-somethings say they want to change careers (up by 10 percent compared to 2013), according to a 2015 study. What’s holding you back? Forty-three percent of those interested in making a career change cited the lack of financial security as a major barrier, and 36 percent said they worried about a lack in experience or education.

Here’s Levo’s response to that: Being passionate (and happy!) at work is critical, so those barriers shouldn’t stop you—or anyone else—from pursuing a career change at 30. Yes, as a 30-something, leaving an established career behind is an uncomfortable thought, but your dream career is worth a few months or so of unease, i.e. battling “the unknown.” (And think about it this way: You’ll always have that field to fall back on if things don’t work out.) Amanda Augustine, a career advice expert and spokesperson for TopResume, has stellar advice for making a thoughtful career pivot. Read up: 

[Related: Why You Should Levo’s 31 Days of Hustle Challenge]

1. Understand the industry speak. 

When you’re looking to make a pivot, something that will give you an advantage—and boost your confidence—is being able to talk about the industry as though you already work in it.

Look through job ads on career boards specific to your new industry, and study how hiring managers describe those positions. What keywords are you seeing over and over? Take note, and make sure you know what they mean.

Augustine recommends doing some productive social media stalking, too. “You can follow industry leaders and influencers on social media to get a better handle on the industry buzzwords and catch up on the latest news that’s affecting target employers,” she says.

Then, apply those keywords to your resume and professional profiles. “You’d be surprised how many of your skills can be translated into a new industry—you just may need to change the terminology you use to describe them,” Augustine says. So, let’s say you used analyze data in the finance industry—now you’re an expert in using that data to forecast trends in the marketing world. Done and done. 

[Related: Everything You Need to Know About Making a Career Change in Your 20s]

2. Make your connections count.

Just because you don’t know a ton of people in this new field doesn’t mean you can’t leverage the strong network you’ve already spent years building. It’s all about tapping those second- and third-degree connections. 

If you’re hesitant to make an ask, consider how you can help the other person first. “As with any networking relationship, the goal should be to provide value before you start asking for favors,” says Augustine. “If you’re considering a change and want to leverage a contact’s expertise or resources, begin by reestablishing the relationship. Never call someone out-of-the-blue and start asking for help. Look for opportunities to pay it forward—this can be as simple as offering to make an introduction to someone else in your network or sharing a resource you found.”

Consider this approach: make a list of the people you want to reach out to, with a second column about how you provide something valuable to each person simultaneously.

[Related: The Ultimate Networking Advice: Thinking Short-Term and Long-Term]

3. Decide what compromises you’re willing to make.

In Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford commencement address, he said, “I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter into one of the most creative periods of my life.”

Steve Jobs is always good for an inspirational quote, but it’s OK if you’re apprehensive about being a beginner again. Especially if it means looking for positions that have less seniority than the one you currently have, taking a pay cut, or taking a community college class in a room full of 18-year-olds. Acknowledge how you feel, but remind yourself that you’ve had the courage to course correct (as those 18-year-olds will do one day, too) and follow the path toward your dream job. “Remember that sometimes it’s necessary to make a lateral move, or even a step down, in order to move up on the right path,” says Augustine. “Accept this fact, and you’re already in better shape.”

In terms of cold, hard numbers, “Re-evaluate your finances and identify areas where you can cut back your expenses to make the transition less jarring,” says Augustine. This might also mean thinking ahead of time about your negotiation needs once an offer is on the table. Say you have to take a small pay cut; you could ask to work from home one day a week to reduce commuting costs. 

“It won’t always be easy, but keep your eye on the prize,” says Augustine. “If you’re passionate about this new direction, all this hard work will be worth it.” 

Photo: Westend61 / Getty Images

4 Women Who Found Success Later in Life

4 Women Who Found Success Later in Life

Looking around, it’s easy to think it’s necessary to have your career figured out right now. Lists like the 30 Under 30 and tales of successful, young entrepreneurs (I’m looking at you, Man Repeller) can leave us with the overwhelming feeling that there’s a ticking clock when it comes to our success.

But not everyone’s career starts out early, or easy, and that’s perfectly okay. Here are four women who show us that sometimes success just gets better with age.

1. J. K. Rowling

It’s hard not to be enchanted by Rowling’s Cinderella story. Especially the part where instead of prince charming saving her, it was a widely acclaimed book series that she penned all by herself. In her late twenties, Rowling was a single mother, living on welfare and writing in her spare time. It wasn’t until she was 30, and had a few rejection letters under her belt, that the first Harry Potter book was released and Rowling’s rise to the literary top began. Oh, and did we mention that it’s her 49th birthday today?

2. Julia Child

It might be hard to believe, but internationally-known chef and author Julia Child wasn’t even interested in cooking until her 30s. After growing up in California, she went to school with dreams of being a writer and then later moved to Paris, where she enrolled in culinary school at the age of 36. It wasn’t until her early 50s that she published her revolutionary cookbook and starred in her own cooking show, The French Chef. She then went on to receive France’s highest honor, the Legion d’Honneur, as well as (what I would call) Hollywood’s highest honor when Meryl Streep portrayed her in Julie and Julia in 2009.

3. Kathryn Bigelow

Long before Kathryn Bigelow became the first women to win the Academy Award for directing, she was living in a bank vault in New York City and studying to be a painter. Bigelow didn’t venture into filmmaking until her 30s, when she made her first feature The Loveless, and didn’t win her Oscar until her late 50s. She was later named one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People at 58, proving that with years of hard work comes unmatched success.

4. Diana Nyad

If there’s anyone who encompasses the phrase “never give up”, it’s Diana Nyad. An accomplished swimmer, Nyad became the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without a protective cage, all at age 64. Her fifth attempt at the 100-mile swim took almost 53 hours, but Nyad made it through, arriving safely on the shores of Florida and instantly becoming the ultimate #GirlBoss.

For even more inspiration, check out what these six successful women were doing in their 20s.

Photos: JK Rowling / Facebook; Thinkstock; Diana Nyad / Facebook; Julia Child / Facebook