Who Should Pay for Lunch?

We’ve all had that awkward moment at the end of an otherwise great networking lunch when the check arrives. Who pays? You might be the person who always asks that the check be split. Or maybe you’re the person who assumes the other person is paying so, when the check arrives you sit there while the other person reaches for her wallet. But in certain scenarios, you should pay.

If you invited her to lunch, you should pay. Especially if you invited her to lunch asking for her assistance or advice. Whether it be career advice or otherwise, if you gained something valuable from the lunch conversation, you should pay. I don’t care if you just had water and she had a margarita, you should pay. If you can’t afford to pay for lunch then don’t ask her to go: suggest meeting for coffee instead.

Now, there are some instances when your mentor or the person you invited insists on paying. In that case, politely offer to pay again and if she still insists then thank her for lunch and tell her the next lunch is on you. Be sure to follow up with an email or text thanking her for lunch and make a mental note to schedule lunch in the future.

Knowing when you should pay for lunch will ensure that you aren’t straining relationships with friends and mentors because you didn’t know that you should have paid.

The One Thing You Should Do At Every Networking Event

If you have ever attended a networking event, then it’s likely that you’ve seen a woman standing by herself or attempting to awkwardly navigate her way into another group’s conversation. Maybe she is an introvert, maybe she is new to her profession and nervous to be in a room full of accomplished people, or maybe she doesn’t know how to network. Whatever the reason, if you see her, go up to her and introduce yourself. And, if you’ve found your networking circle, invite her over and introduce her to the people in the group.

As women, we owe it to each other to make one another feel included. Even if all you do is talk about where the tray of crab cakes went, at least you took a step to make another woman feel slightly less awkward. So, if you see her and she looks lonely, go say hi: it won’t kill you and it will make both of you stronger.

How Productive People Keep Themselves From Getting Overwhelmed At Work

Do you arrive at work Monday morning and immediately feel anxious? Do you feel like no matter how many hours you work you are still behind because you are always bouncing from one project to the next? Well, if so, you aren’t alone. It’s extremely difficult to juggle multiple tasks; so, here are a few tips that productive people use to help better manage their day:

  1. Set specific times each day to check email. For the longest time, I was guilty of having my email inbox open on the right side of my computer screen all day. As soon as I received an email, I would stop working on whatever I was working on to read and respond to the email. While this made me very responsive, it also made it impossible to finish a task because I was constantly interrupted. I started setting times to check my inbox. I started with every hour because I was worried about missing something important. But I soon realized that I can check my email every two to three hours. If something is truly an emergency, the person will call.
  2. Make a to-do list and stick to it. Make a to-do list that prioritizes tasks. Focus on fully completing each task before moving to the next one.
  3. Tell people when you’re too busy to chat. If you’re in the middle of an assignment and a coworker comes by to tell you about her date last night, it’s ok to tell her that you’re on a deadline but as soon as you’re done you will come by to hear all about it. Don’t be afraid to fiercely protect your time.
  4. Put your phone away. Sometimes, we get flustered because in the midst of completing a task, we are also answering text messages, looking at social media, and reading the latest news on the government shut down. But, when you are trying to complete an assignment,  these distractions just add to the already-present anxiety. So put your phone in a desk drawer or rest it face down on your desk so that your attention is not disrupted with every notification. Get in the habit of  looking at your phone during designated breaks.

How to Instantly Look More Put Together

On any given day, most of us are running to multiple meetings and appointments. So, you need a work bag large enough to hold everything for the day. If you don’t have a professional bag that holds everything, you end up carrying multiple bags which can make you look sloppy. You may have on a Boss suit and killer pumps but, if you are lugging around a purse, a backpack, a computer bag, your lunch kit, and a grocery bag full of who knows what, you look disheveled and unorganized. Minimize the amount of things you’re carrying and you will immediately look more put together. Find a work bag that holds everything so that you only have one bag. And, stop carrying around things you don’t need.

These work bags are my favorite:

  1. Tory Burch
  2. Madewell
  3. Banana Republic
  4. Target
  5. Gucci

 

The BCC Line: When To Use It, When To Avoid It.

We all have that one petty coworker who swears by the BCC line because it helps her spread office gossip. Maybe that person is you. Either way, most people who regularly use the BCC line have ill intentions. But, the BCC line can, and should, be used to be productive, not devious.

Here’s when you should use the BCC line:

When you want to include people on a thread who may not want their email addresses disclosed. Maybe you’re emailing a large group of people about a work event or you’re emailing your entire client list about a new product. So, to protect everyone’s privacy, you should put their email addresses in the BCC line. This way, no email addresses are visible and you avoid having to send a bunch of separate emails.

Here’s when you should not use the BCC line:

If you’re using the BCC line to disclose something you shouldn’t or spread drama then you’re entering dangerous territory. The contents of the BCC line can be easily uncovered if the right tech savvy person cares to look. So, don’t embarrass yourself or lose your job because you felt petty one afternoon and recklessly used the BCC line. Also, remember that the recipient of your email may not realize she is in the BCC line and might hit “reply all.” Don’t risk it.