Monthly Recap: February

Well hello!

This month I announced that Ms. Career Girl is in the process of getting a makeover and let me tell you, re-branding and organizing 4+ years of content is not a quick or easy task.  In my moments of seemingly endless critiquing of logos, designs, features and the editorial calendar this month (after working all day and feeling like I was making no progress), I started to ask myself what this new magazine-style blog I was dreaming of was really about.  What was my “why”?

I went to my sister Ashley for advice (who also happens to be our newest columnist – woo!) and she listened to me as I rattled off taglines and values.  I said things like “a blog for busy girls” and “for women who want it all.”  Ashley rolled her eyes at me and said that those phrases were totally annoying and pushing perfectionism on people who probably wanted nothing to do what it (you tell me: was she right??).  I realized that that what my “Ms. Career Girl mission” really boiled down to was…

“life hacks beyond the 9 to 5.”

In other words, how can today’s dynamic girl tackle all areas of her life a little better, faster and/or cheaper so she can enjoy those all those OTHER things she ALSO loves.  What we do at work affects us at home.  What we do at home affects us at work.  How we deal with ourselves affects how we deal with others.  It’s all a big circle made up of Work, Home, Self and “Plus Ones,” so that’s what we’ll be talking about here from now on. (Ok I suck at keeping secrets… here’s a preview of our new logo!)

What’s Happening at Ms. Career Girl this March

Starting this month we’ll have regular features, monthly giveaways, more videos and a whole lot to look forward to.  You’ll also be hearing from our two newest columnists: my sister Ashley – a PR pro by day and beauty vlogger by night – who will cover beauty, and my friend Katie – a teacher – who will dominate everything Home & DIY.

This month’s giveaway is…

A $50 gift certificate to Club WHave you heard of this yet??!  It’s a monthly wine club that I’m totally obsessed with.  In addition to a reader giveaway, Club W also gave me a free $50 gift certificate which I (very quickly) redeemed.  Ashley, Katie and me will be sampling in a “Favorite Wines Under $15” video post.  Watch our Facebook page for the chance to win!

A Few March Highlights

  • Book Club: Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office – read along if you’d like, otherwise I’ll provide a summary and some things to consider.
  • Home Improvement: Bathroom Rehab & Low Cost, High Impact Apartment Decorating by Katie
  • Beauty: Instant Uplifters and Dirty Hair Confessions by Ashley
  • The start to our Awesome Women Interiew series
  • Real Networking Email Fails… let’s hope that one of these isn’t yours

Now for the RECAP part of the post…

Here are our favorite posts from February 2013!

Best in Work

Stuck in Your Job: Tips to Improve Your Finances So You Can Move On

Ok who HASN’T, at one point or another, made a decision to stay in a situation due to financial reasons?  If you say no, you’re probably one of the lucky few.  But for the rest of us, Shannon’s post is one to bookmark and study carefully.   If you’re sitting in your cubicle counting the minutes until your escape, read this post again.  If you are dreaming of a new career path, get ready to take some action.  In order to make an escape you have no choice but to get your shit together.  This post may require a follow up.

Best in Home

Getting Ready For The Week: Easy Lunch Prep Ideas

I’m a huge fan of pre-prepping just about anything I can in life, but especially food. I love Katie’s post because it makes cooking easy no matter what diet you’re on, what your budget is or how much time you have.  If you haven’t tried pre-prepping meals yet, you really should do it at least once.  You may end up like me and try to pre-prep your whole life.  If you’re working all week and trying to stay healthy, time efficient and budget-friendly try out a few of her tips.  Katie will have lots more easy cooking and pre-prepared meal tips in the coming months!

Life Hack of the Month

Inbox DETOX: Clean for 2 Months!

This is a great example of a “life hack.” It’s a small adjustment that takes seconds yet adds hours to your life.  The magic word for productivity this year is UNSUBSCRIBE (and perhaps “un-friend” if you’re getting sick of Facebook strangers like me).  Try it out and tweet us if it helped you!

Best in Self

Becoming More Confident and Assertive at Work and School

The other day my co-worker said she felt bad when other people give her “kudos” on our internal message board because she doesn’t want it to take away from others who are working just as hard but not getting recognition.  She works her butt off and deserves every bit of recognition and more.  I hear this kind of stuff almost every day whether it’s from female co-workers or readers who write in.  Ladies: you need to become more confident and assertive at work regardless of how experienced you are (yes this includes you recent grads)!  This situation is exactly why our first official “book club” article in March will be on “Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office.”

Best in +1

Balancing a Career and Family. Wait, what?

23-year-old columnist Megan bravely tackled the subject of what I call “the baby bug.”  It hits many women at some point or another, but it hit (and escaped) Megan earlier than expected.  Can you relate?

A Response to The End of Courtship

Lauren’s posts are the shit, duh, and here’s another post where she calls attention to a sad reality: courtship is dead.  It has been replaced by texts, booty calls and other lame things.  Definitely read this if you’re currently dating.

Calling Your “Boyfriend”

Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt weird about using the word boyfriend. My hand is raised.  Lauren starts a great discussion on how to properly introduce your new beau (a word she doesn’t like) and what other alternative titles can be.  Join the discussion.

Reader Question of the Month

I don’t have cash for the big things – HELP!

We’ve all been there but what if changing this predicament just involves changing the way you organize your money?  In this post I answer reader Anna’s question and caution her to beware of deals, sales and putting all of your money into one checking account.  Check out my recommendation for using THREE checking accounts and a real example of how this could work for you.

Happy March and thanks so much for reading!


Nicole Emerick

Nicole Emerick founded Ms. Career Girl in 2008 to help other ambitious young professional women thrive in a career they love. Ironically, growing MsCareerGirl helped Nicole transition her own career from commercial banker to digital marketer. Today Nicole leads the social media team at a large advertising agency in Chicago. Nicole also served as an adjunct professor at DePaul University where she helped develop the careers of PR, Advertising and Communications students. Tweet with Nicole @_NicoleEmerick.