#babeswhohustle

“In the future, there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders.” 
― Sheryl Sandberg

Asking For a Friend | Chapter 12

Asking For a Friend | Chapter 12

Advice from Babe to Babe


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Take advantage of proactive cues. For example, I do a lot of writing at work, so I always let people know when I’m going to “get into the zone” and then I throw my headphones on. (Tip: the bigger the headphones, the bigger the hint!) I also make sure to set my status to “Do Not Disturb” on my computer to communicate to my cubicle mate (and others) that I’m getting down to business. Communicating in the up-front that you’re not available allows you to control when you want to be “chatty” and when you want to work.

—MANDY SHOLD, BABE #154

Sometimes you have to be direct and straight—but that doesn't mean rude. The saying, ”It isn't what you say, but how you say it” rings true here. You can say: “I really have to focus and get things finished. I don’t want to be behind.” Or, say it’s hard for you to work and talk at the same time, or, “This sounds really interesting, but can we finish this conversation on break, etc?”

—DOMONIQUE KING JACKSON, BABE #198

Headphones, headphones, headphones and a short, “I’d love to chat later but I need to focus on (x) project, thanks!”

—MARA STROBEL-LANKA, CREATIVE DIRECTOR

You just have to tell you’re cubicle-mate they’re distracting you—politely. Whether it’s gum-chewing, phone-talking, music-playing or incessant chatter, either react when the behavior starts (Hey Sarah—would you mind using your headphones? It’s difficult for me to concentrate with that background noise) or find time to chat with them about behavior at-large (Sarah, I’ve noticed you work best while listening to music. It’s actually really tough for me to concentrate with that background noise, so I’m wondering if you would be willing to use headphones from now on?)

—HEATHER CROTEAU, EDITOR


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Last year I read that Emily Weiss drinks a cup of hot water with lemon every morning, so, naturally, the next day I came home from Costco hauling a bag of lemons. The internet says it gets your digestive system moving, makes your skin glowy and kick-starts your energy for the day—but mostly I find that the ritual of making it is really soothing and the tartness wakes me up. (And if it’s good enough for Our Lady of Millennial Beauty, it’s good enough for me.)

—HEATHER CROTEAU, EDITOR

Nothing gets me energized first thing in the morning like a good workout—but I hate going to the gym. I use apps like Tone It Up to schedule at-home workouts for right when I wake up. The night before, I lay out my clothes and yoga mat, and fill up my water bottle and stick it in the fridge. That way, when I wake up I literally just roll out of bed and into a workout. Here’s a trick: Promise yourself you’ll just do five minutes and then if you want, you can go back to bed. I guarantee you’ll keep going and be amazed at your own strength!

—MANDY SHOLD, BABE #154


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A good HR manager should always give you the benefit of the doubt. If that’s not the case, it can get tricky. If you’re starting to feel compromised, I’d suggest taking the conversation online. Rather than meeting for coffee and putting up with less-than-professional words, express concerns and recap any conversations via email. This will send a subtle hint to HR that you’re here to be professional. Plus, clear requests and recaps via email will save your ass later, in case anything needs to be escalated.

—MANDY SHOLD, BABE #154

Depending on the issue at hand, I recommend handling the situation via your supervisor or the HR manager’s immediate supervisor. Doing so isn’t ideal, but saving your email exchanges, writing down the issues you’re having and taking this information to said individuals in a calm manner should (hopefully) ease the situation and bring some solutions to the table. Also, check your company handbook, it might have a procedure for this type of issue which can help you navigate who to go to next. If all else fails and you don’t find support from your HR, supervisor, etc., I say it’s time for a serious resume revamp and a job hunt. Ultimately, you deserve to be treated with respect, transparency and support — if this isn’t the case, it’s time for a new job where the culture aligns with your values.

—INA MEZINI, INTERN


Until Next Week,

—THE BWH ADVICE GURUS


About:

Asking for a Friend is Babes Who Hustle's weekly advice column that asks and answers the work-related questions on all of our minds. Looking for advice and guidance? Hit us with all of your questions below and stay tuned for next Wednesday's edition!

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