Beat the workplace bullies.

Bullying is just as common in the workplace as the play ground. But adults should be able to deal with cowardly little bullies who stalk the most vulnerable members of staff, as easily as swatting a pesky little fly. Adults are grown ups, sensible, fully aware of their rights. Just a click away from help and expert advice. So why would anybody subject themselves to daily mental torture, when help is so readily available?

There’s no simple answer why any intelligent individual would be unable to take action against their oppressor. I know this because, after I experienced bullying in the workplace first hand, for months, I still can’t understand why I didn’t act sooner.

Previous and subsequent employers confirm that I am not ‘the colleague from hell’. My previous assistant manager is now one of my best friends. I can’t claim to have been a model employee; which I may add, became increasingly difficult as my confidence diminished to zero. But my ability to do the job was never in question, it was personal.

Had I of listened to the managers warning during the interview that ‘it might take me a while to fit in’, I wouldn’t have found myself in that situation. I should have run for the hills but at that point I had no concept of what was to come. I assumed if I was warm and charming I would win favour. Even after the iconic Erin Brockovich ‘guess I’m not the right kind’ of girl scene played out in real life, leaving me to explain why I wasn’t at lunch with the girls to a confused male colleague, I still thought I could win them round. I suspect I stubbornly believed I would be failing if I just left. Why I thought this when the pack mentality was clearly in play remains a mystery.

In a recent conversation via Twitter (the inspiration behind this post), I was surprised to hear some of the reasons that people stayed in jobs they obviously hated. Discounting common reasons like not being able to pay the rent or a crippling lack of confidence, the most intriguing reason I found was a lack of direction and not wanting to have a CV full of random jobs because it would look bad to future employers.

I can’t help but look back and think about the over whelming sense of responsibility I felt to stay in a job I hated, which now seems ludicrous. At the time, the reasons I stayed seemed valid but later proved to be utterly irrelevant. I ended up quitting months later anyway, with no job to go to. By the time I cleared my desk I had already scored a new job, which I loved. I would urge anyone unhappy in their job to be brave and make the move as soon as possible- life’s so short.

Mani Monday: Cinderella Red

Jessica Nails

The fact I can line my collection of Jessica Nail polish up like dominos, indicates that I should probably stop buying new pots and use up at least some of the varnish I already own. But how boring would that be?!

manicure monday A pot of new nail varnish is practically a god-given right in my house. Every time I have a manicure, I buy the colour. Partly because I can retouch my nails to extend the life of my manicure but mainly because each colour has a memory attached to the day in question. This time I went for a rusty-red called Cinderella Red from the new collection.

Fashion in 5 with Alex Hill from White Stuff

White Stuff

1. I chose a career in PR/Marketing because….

I wanted to work in a creative industry. I gained a lot of experience in both these areas during my previous internship but I always wanted to work with people, so that helped me decide that PR was the route I ultimately wanted to go down.

2. What I love most about my job is…..

That I work in a fast paced industry; I am always busy. My job is extremely varied but it gives me the opportunity to work with people on a daily basis, which I love.

3. If I could start my career again I would….

I don’t think I would change anything, I’ve learnt a lot during my internships and I think it’s beginning to pay off now… however, having said that, I would like to be in this position maybe a year or so younger. So, if I could start my career again, I would’ve started sooner.

4. Above all else I value….

Respect and hard work; I’m a firm believer in working your way to the top.

5. This year is all about….

Being positive, I’m about to start my new job with White Stuff and I’m really excited about it. It’s brilliant to be able to join a company that really values people, communities and actively supports a variety of charities.

Thanks Alex.x

ASOS AW14 Press Day

Part of being inducted into the top-secret Access All ASOS crew means I get to take a first look at what’s coming up next season ahead of time. It would be a crime for me not to pass this knowledge on so you can start making your very own ASOS winter wish-list. Watch out for the most beautiful azure blue, print dress that I’m coverting. Also take note of the opulent colours fit for a queen and the two-piece trend that will be prominent for A/W14.

 

Fashion in 5 with Hannah Spicer from Monica Vinader

Monica Vinader

1. I chose a career in Marketing because….

I love mixing my creative and commercial sides. I was lucky enough to be involved with the very first ecommerce site build at Harvey Nichols, and since then have loved working in the digital world because it’s constantly changing. Last year I got to launch our cutting edge ring stacker tool online, which I’m really proud of. (which happens to be one of my fave online gadgets to play with!!)

2. What I love most about my job is…..

making customers happy. It’s great to work at a brand that values this above anything else, and every single person at Monica Vinader is measured on their customer service. When I read our customer reviews online, it makes me smile and I enjoy sharing them with my colleagues. I also love wearing the gorgeous jewellery!

3. If I could start my career again I would….

not change it. I really love the variety I have in my role, and have felt challenged throughout my career. The only thing I would change is to be more active. I sometimes feel like I am sitting staring at a screen all day long and I really enjoy exercise, so I have to make sure I find the balance by hitting the gym most evenings.

4. Above all else I value….

my family and friends.

5. This year is all about….

personalisation. I love being able to engrave jewellery with initials and dates that mean something to me, and it makes a great gift too.

Thanks Hannah.x

When brands rebrand…

H&MH&M announced the new Conscious and Conscious Exclusive Collection will launch on April 10th. The ethos behind the ethical collection is sourcing/using sustainable materials.

No one in their right mind can honestly be comfortable with the concept of ‘fast fashion’ and throw away products, with the vast amount of negative information about mass producing excrushingly low cost products and the impact this type of practice has on our our environment. The far to frequent media coverage of women and children fighting their way out of collapsed factories making cut priced good has only compounded the general concesous that ‘someone, somewhere will be paying for your cheap purchase’.

H&M

I won’t go on about a subject that has been well documented else where but I will point out that a higher RRP doesn’t always equate to ethically sourced, sustainable products.

What I really want to talk about is brands that re-brand and why it isn’t always a good idea. As consumers/customers become familar with a brand they come to expect a certain level of continuity. Repositioning a brand is a risky business, you risk alienating your current customer base who no longer resemble your new target customer. H&M have, in my eyes alway been a fun, trend-led brand, stocking quirky pieces, perfect for testing out fresh looks without worrying about getting it wrong.

Mulberry Alexa

Look at the current fortunes of Mulberry, a brand I adore and much admire for their use of quality materials and heritage techniques. A brand that has shifted from producing beautiful, reasonably priced handbags (around £500-800) to selling items retailing at well over £1000′s. The famous Alexa satchel now commands £1100 plus. As a result, over the last couple of years profits have dropped significantly, despite the brand soaring in popularity. Both creative director Emma Hill and CEO Bruno Guillon have left the brand. It’s a huge shame and reminds me of the old saying ‘if it ‘aint broke, don’t fix it’. We only have to look at the fortune of M&S over the last 20 years to see the effect ignoring your customers can have on your business.

Which leads me to question why a successful business would be intent on change when history has taught us that change isn’t ‘always for the best’.

April Wish List

April wish-list

Dannijo necklace, The Outnet, £297.49. Nail Varnish, Butter London, £12. Printed Kaftan, Zara, £35.99. Clutch bag, J.Crew, £150. Riko Heels, Sophie Webster, £595. Ipad sleeve, Liberty London, £95.

Turns out you can have too much of a good thing. If another email promoting this season’s must-have pastel trend pops into my inbox I think I’m going to scream! Two months of sugary sweet pastels is quite enough, if you haven’t bought a pink pastel coat yet, just except the moment is over and start looking ahead to summer. This April my wish-list is full of vibrant shades and fierce fashion…. enjoy!

5 Things for a wonderful weekend

5 Things for a wonderful weekend

1. Mix yourself a raspberry rascal and head outside, soak up the first rays of Spring in the crisp April air.

2. Sandal season is right around the corner, give your tootsies a much-needed pedicure.

3. Spring clean your wardrobe, a nasty job but the smug satisfaction of a neat, de-cluttered wardrobe is reward itself. Bag up your unwanted clothes and send off to charity, then cash in your good karma points and indulge in some retail therapy.

Lulu Frost Earrings

(Lulu Frost Earrings Exclusive to Net-A-Porter).

4. It may have escaped your attention but here in the UK this Sunday is Mother’s Day. If your mum deserves a treat (like mine) and you’re stuck on what to buy, I can guarantee a Lulu Frost necklace or pair of earrings would be much appreciated.

5. April means open season for stately homes up and down the country. Fancy a snoop round Sandringham, the Queens country pad? Check out the National Trust website for country houses open in your area.

Have a wonderful weekend. x

March by Numbers

Congham Hall

I’m not really a numbers gal, I don’t count calories or know the exact price of every item in my shopping basket. Some people are obsessed with facts and figures; sensible when applied to financial matters but far to easy to get caught up with calculations and miss the point. For March I’m breaking down the numbers and laying out the facts and figures, so here goes….

- 2 spa visits (one to Congham Hall at the start of the month and a speedy manicure at Thoresby Hall World Spa).

- 129 new followers on Twitter, I won’t mention the unfollows.

- 4 trusty notebooks on the go, you can never have enough notebooks- check out Liberty’s  stationery section.

Zara

- 1 new pair of Zara sandals in the hope of some much-needed Spring sunshine.

- 3 new pairs of jeans- thank you GAP for reintroducing denim into my life.

- 1 new job started, check out my first article for Scarlett London.

Spa Ritual Nail Polish

- 3 Nail polish shades I fell in love with from Spa Rituals- Bismuth, Emerald City and It’s Raining Men.

How did your March stack up?

Beauty Trend: Cuticle Tattoos

Cara Delevingne

I place the blame solely on Cara Delevingne for this beauty trend. The lion tattoo inked on Cara’s index finger opened the flood gates for something other than jewellery to adorn fashionable fingers. I like the idea of a bold display of art in such a prominent position but I’m not sure I could commit to a permanent piece of work that’s constantly on display for the rest of my life.

Rad NailsCuticle tattoos are a great decorative alternative without the permanent consequences. I first spotted nail tattoos at Ciaté but decided on Your Point from RAD Nails (partly because Ciaté had sold out of little bow tatts’ at ASOS and I couldn’t get my hands on them anywhere else for love nor money). I’ve upped the style stakes with a coat of No7 Vivid Violet polish on my nails with a glitter top coat from Ciaté on my ring finger and index nail tip.