Letter from our Editor-in-Chief, Serena Watson -- April 8, 2015
For all of us Made Women there may come a period of time in your career when you are afflicted with a serious case of the "In Betweens." Causes of this strange condition could entail being stuck at a job you hate, being unemployed and looking fervently for something new, or waiting on a promotion that will elevate your position to where you think you should be.
Symptoms of the "In Betweens" can range from an utter lack of giving a damn about your current unwanted job, fatigue and exhaustion from trying to stand out and win the next job or promotion, or even plain old burn out. You may feel lost, confused or inadequate if the next step isn't crystal clear. I know that this feeling affects many of my friends who are primed and ready for the next phase of their career but are restricted to the status quo for unknown reasons.
The best remedy for this condition? First, realize this period is only temporary. A little delay or detour away from the Great Plan For Your Life is ok. You've made it this far, who knows what you can accomplish when you rebound. Second, carpe the freakin diem -- meaning start today and make a list of ten things you can do to improve your situation, as well as your mood. Don't wait for permission! Make a plan for seizing your dreams right now. Third, don't be so hard on yourself. I promise you, a lot of the people you look up to don't have it all together and experience a little bit of the "In Betweens" in their own lives. Try this out and I'm sure your "In Betweens" will soon be a thing of the past.
Letter from our Editor-in-Chief, Serena Watson -- March 4, 2015
From the time we are little girls, it seems like we are stripped of our power in a million tiny ways. Display your natural born leadership skills on the playground, and you are classified as “bossy.” Try out for a sports team and they tell you you “throw like a girl.” As adults these moments of disempowerment are different, but they still happen. Maybe you try to be straightforward at work and your no nonsense approach earns you the “b!#ch” label.
Day to day, it gets hard to hold on to that feeling of being powerful. The feeling of confidence that urges you to speak up, take no crap and go for your dreams. Fostering this feeling -- through getting a resume building certification, taking on your first employee or even something as simple as updating your power look -- can only take you further. And if we really reflect on and invest in what makes us feel powerful, there would be no stopping us.
As we wait for Spring to come through and heat things up, I’m focusing on living fully in my power each day. I’m spending no time on self defeating thoughts, labels others might apply or negativity of any kind. I’m doing my best to look good, feel good and do good work -- holding nothing back. I invite you to Power Up with me this spring and let the smart, talented and fly person you are shine through -- with no apologizes.
Letter from our Editor-in-Chief, Serena Watson -- February 3, 2015
How many different screens do you look at each day? Let’s count. Your phone screen, your computer screen and your TV screen count for three already, right? Now let's estimate about how much time we spend staring at those screens. It's at least eight hours at work, then another two to three hours of TV at home and countless minutes on our cell phones -- so it's safe to say we're pretty consumed.
Whether we like it or not, staring at these screens gets in the way of what we really want to pay attention to, like the ocean on a sunny day, your friend’s faces over cocktails or maybe a new exhibit at a museum.
I recently got the chance to unplug – to turn off all the noise around me and look at the world without distractions. It was much needed and it felt so good! Turning it all off allowed me to really focus on the world around me. Conversations were better. Rest was better. Even food tasted better. Why? Because I was giving life my all. I wasn't half listening, half resting or half eating while also checking that new text or email.
Just like we throw ourselves into our projects and give 100% to our work, we have to remember to take some time for ourselves to give our all to life and the world around us. Try it. Turn it all off! Everything -- no email, no text and, dare I say it, no Instagram. I know that this isn’t possible all the time, but those times you can make it happen are so worth it. Try it out and let me know how it goes!
Letter from our Editor-in-Chief, Serena Watson -- January 12, 2015
The year is just twelve days old but I already know what’s going to happen to you over the course of the remaining 353 days. Yes, I, Serena Watson, can see into your future: 2015 is all about the ying and yang for you. You will have good days and you will have bad days. That’s it… It’s that simple.
The reality of the situation is that it doesn’t matter what happens to you day to day, during the ups and the downs. What matters is who you become as the pages of the calendar turn each day. Are you a good person, are you making real connections, are you living authentically? Instead of resolutions about working out more or keeping your closet clean, resolve to keep your character on track in 2015. Think about who you can help or ways you can grow on the personal level.
I know we Made Women have so many professional goals and it’s easy to get caught up in the grind and lose track of our personal compass. But here’s another prediction for you: the year is going to be over before you know it. And if you don’t take some time to be better, you’ll end the year older but not a moment the wiser.
Speaking of another year older -- tomorrow is my birthday! I’m so excited to spend another year sharing love and inspiration with the Made Woman community! Let’s give 2015 everything we’ve got!
Letter from our Editor-in-Chief, Serena Watson -- December 31, 2014
The year is almost over! Whew -- 2014 did not play. So much happened in business and culture it was hard to keep up. Between career changes, keeping up with friends and family and trying to get off the couch and into the gym I'm sure I missed something. That's why I love all the recaps that come out at the end of the year and bring it all back. Remember the Ice Bucket Challenges, Donald Sterling... and who can forget the Carter's infamous elevator incident? Yeah, that was 2014.
We have our own recap for Made Woman Mag and we call it our Best Of 2014 issue. As we close out the year, look back at our top content, big moments and favorite interviews, then tell us what you think. Leave us a comment or take our short survey and let us know which articles were your favorite pieces on the site. We're all looking forward to a new year and new fresh slate, but a quick look back at all good stuff that happened is just good clean fun.
As always, we wish you much success and happiness in 2015! Stay focused and stay MADE.
Happy New Year!
Letter from our Editor-in-Chief, Serena Watson -- December 1, 2014
I don’t know about you but I’m looking at this upcoming New Year like the light at the end of the tunnel. Talking to other Made Women this year, from all walks of life, proved I’m not alone: This was definitely the year of growing pains. It was like we all looked around and realized we finally had “big girl problems” and things were suddenly all too real. Wedding planning, starting a new business, job hunting, promotions, your best friends having babies, this season of How To Get Away With Murder… it was just all too much.
The ups and downs you and I had during 2014 all have one thing in common; they all will soon be HISTORY! Isn’t it liberating to look at 2015 as a fresh clean slate?
I know we all have holiday parties and vacations on the brain, but take a moment to think about a few things before the New Year arrives:
Have fun wrapping up 2014 and enjoy every bit of 2015. You deserve it!
Letter from our Editor-in-Chief, Serena Watson -- November 3, 2014
It's nearing the end of the year and things seem to be speeding up. Now along with everything else, you have to add the holiday hoopla onto your long list of tasks. It can be overwhelming. And when you're overwhelmed and moving at the speed of Superwoman you are bound to make some mistakes. Just saying.
So what happens when the sh*t goes bad? I'm talking a huge mistake at work or with your business or maybe even in your personal life. How do you handle it? First and foremost, you have to own up to it. Usually covering things up only works for so long. When your boss or coworkers find out, on top of explaining the mistake you'll have to explain why you covered it up or worse, lied about it. So own up, quickly!
Secondly, you should focus on next steps. Beating yourself up about something in the past is wasted energy. Quickly turn your attention to what you can do to clean up the mess rather than wallow in it. Maybe stay late at work or work on the weekends to fix something. Or if it's personal, maybe send a friend a card or flowers to show you still care. People will respect you more if they see that you are going above and beyond to make up for your blunder.
Lastly, it's important to learn from your slip up and move on. Think of these moments as turning points. You've learned something valuable through your error and you know now you won't ever do it again. And if you can shake the sense of failure or embarrassment, remember that your career is going to be long and no one will remember this years later. So treat yourself to a mani/pedi and move on! You are bigger than your mistakes!
Letter from our Editor-in-Chief, Serena Watson -- October 13, 2014
If you call yourself a Made Woman, chances are you're a go-getter. You don’t just work one job, you kill it at two. You don’t just have a social life, you run your city. You aren't just a mother, you're a superhero for your family.
Working double duty is something that we overachievers take in stride. But switching gears between competing priorities is almost like living a double life. You leave work, run to a phone booth (well, maybe your car) to change into your happy hour outfit. It's nothing for your yoga mat to be stowed in your trunk next to your grad school law books.
For me it’s a balance of family and friend time, working on my magazine and grinding at my 9-to-5 at a digital marketing agency. How do I manage it all? Prayer. And coffee. And a lot of to-do lists. I also try to do this:
Double duty is hard but it’s nothing to be afraid of. And if you do start feeling overwhelmed just remember, you have as many hours in the day as Beyonce.
Letter from our Editor-in-Chief, Serena Watson -- September 15, 2014
By now we've all seen the video of the incident between Ray Rice and his (now) wife, Janay Rice, in that elevator in Atlantic City. Watching someone who the world lauds for their physical strength not just hurt someone they claim to love, but stand over her body and drag it across the floor was bone chilling and sickening. The tragic part is that this type of thing happens all the time; but it isn't always talked about. Domestic abuse cases happen every day but remain a secret when the video footage doesn't get leaked or the victim is silenced.
In this case Janay made the decision to stay with her abuser and even married him after the incident. I won't claim to know the details of the Rice's relationship but this scenario sounds all too familiar. Rihanna went back to Chris Brown a few times after their late night fight that left her bruised and battered. Evelyn Lozada, Madonna, Halle Berry and many others had similar experiences. Why you ask? Women who have been victims of abuse took to Twitter this week to share their reasons why they stayed with their abusers using the hashtag #WhyIStayed. Their reasons are scary and heart-wrenching.
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There are many layers to this issue that I can't sum up in one letter but the large majority of women stayed because they just didn't feel strong enough to leave. It just reinforced in me the reasons why uplifting women is so important. Building women up everyday and helping them see the value they hold is imperative. We as a society are responsible for how we treat our women. We have to tell women that they are amazingly unique and infinitely precious so that they can find the strength in themselves to leave a bad situation and reach for something better. No woman should feel so alone or so unloved that they stay in an abusive relationship. And if you are in a situation like this just know your family loves you. Your community loves you. I love you. And we all want you to be stronger, happy and free.
Letter from our Editor-in-Chief, Serena Watson -- September 2, 2014
Summertime can be the most productive time of year for some. With the sun shining and your social life in full swing, summer can fly right by. Before you know it, it’s the holiday season. I know for me summer is a time to see family and friends and spend as much time outdoors as possible.
Before we say goodbye to summer and all its energizing sunlight, maybe we should make the best of the time we have left. Are there some things on your to-do list you didn’t get done? Are there some things on your fun list you still haven’t tried? Here are a few ideas to help squeeze a bit more fun and productivity out of the summer season:
Attend an event: Be it a networking mixer or a party to remember get out there and mingle! Need some ideas? The good folks over at 1st Class Fashion are hosting an event this Thursday! Check it out!
Reach out to a Made Woman you admire: Maybe it’s a potential mentor or maybe it’s a colleague you’ve seen grinding lately. Connect with them. Drop them a note. Thank them for all they do, or just send some encouragement. It’s all about sisterhood!
Find an accountability partner: As the summer sun sets and we move into the cooler fall months and the holidays, it can be easy to lose track of your professional goals. Find an accountability partner who will hold you to the goals you set. Maybe it’s a life coach or just a girlfriend but if you both stick to it, you’ll find yourself getting things done all year long.