Honest(ly) Advice with Katie is Gotham Magazine’s new limited-time advice series with Katie Sands, founder of @honestlykate and On-Air Style Host.
Frequently sought after for her expert tips, including outfit inspiration while on a budget, must-have product recommendations, daily routines for overall well-being, and advice for personal success, Katie will be answering your burning questions here weekly, throughout the month of January.
With work getting back into the swing of things, today’s column is centered around career advice for the aspiring entrepreneur.
Always remember, Rome wasn’t built overnight!
I’ve always been told you’re supposed to stay at a job for at least a year before making a change, but I’m unhappy with where I am after only six months. How do I decide if I should stick it out, or if I’m the exception to the “rule?”
If you’re not happy at your job, don’t stay there. I find so many people start to accept workplace misery as normalcy, and we shouldn’t be living that way. You only have one life, it’s important to be happy! But before making any sudden moves, I recommend writing down why you don’t like your job, what your strengths are, and start looking at other job opportunities to identify if there’s another role or career that would be more in line with your values and strengths. Again, this is your life, you shouldn’t be living in misery based on some arbitrary work “rules”.
I started a new job remotely, and I’m finding it difficult to connect with my coworkers. What advice do you have for fostering those relationships while not in person?
I believe this has been the hardest thing for everyone from senior to entry-level positions. It’s hard to create a sense of camaraderie. My advice would be to ask your co-worker to meet you for coffee or a walk, and friend them on Instagram to get a better sense of who they are as a person, and what they like to do. I have been meeting my team for walks and coffee a few times a month to connect since we don’t go into an office anymore.
I value work, as well as my personal life. How do I find the appropriate balance between the two?
First of all, I don’t recommend voicing this in a job interview, and here’s why. Show that you are a hustler always, but find a job that you are passionate about and whose core principles and values are in-line with your own. I created my job from my passions and what I value most. My career really began by thinking about how I could monetize what I love to do without resentment towards my hobbies.
I’ve been at my job for a year, and have a performance review coming up. How do I respectfully advocate for a promotion?
Come ready with a list of projects and concrete examples of what you worked on that were successful and exceeded your department or role standards. Show the receipts. Show the results. Understand your company’s goals and speak towards how you helped your company reach those goals, specifically. It is hard to say no with those kinds of examples and hard evidence.
I don’t feel like I’m being challenged at work. How do I go about asking for more responsibility?
Share with your boss that you feel you have a lot more to offer the company than just XYZ, and show them that you can handle more without a raise at first. I think it’s also important for you to identify your strengths and how you’ve used them to complete your core duties, and that you’re ready to work on other skill sets to grow as an employee, and to further help the company.
I’m looking to make a complete career pivot and don’t know where to begin. How do I position myself as a desirable candidate without any experience in the field?
Remember to take the knowledge from your old job and showcase it in a way that says “I might have been in fashion but from that company, I learned how to manage XYZ in the tech field. I realized that this was more my calling as it really interested me. I may not be the best in the room at first, but I will be the one determined to learn the most and succeed with passion.”
I actually started my career in theater production and ended up in the fashion and beauty digital space. When I thought about it a few years later I realized I essentially created my own production company with my lifestyle brand. The two worlds were much more aligned than I had originally thought, and I could have never gotten to where I am now without that past experience.
I’m graduating from college in the Spring and have no idea what I want to do. What steps can I take to help myself figure out what I’m passionate about?
First, write down the things that bring you meaning and purpose, and then write down your skillset. Look through Linkedin and see what jobs are available that combine the two together. Ask people you know in the workforce if you could pick their brain and chat about what they do to see if it’s something that would interest you. If you are really unsure where to start I recommended reading the books “I just graduated now what”, or even speak to a career coach or therapist about it!
I’m having a difference of opinion with a coworker and don’t know the right way to handle it. How do you recommend approaching the situation while staying professional?
I would just call them up and confront the situation head-on. Addressing the problem and having an honest feedback session is only going to help you move past the situation and learn from it. Let them know why you have a difference of opinion on the topics, but that you also really value their work ethic and would love to get through this as a team. I always find as long as you are professional, direct, and willing to give and receive feedback, anything can be accomplished.
Photography by: Margaret Sullivan