A longtime ago, I was a hot mess. My daily commute was the hot mess express – and not a first class ticket, but economy beside the guy who smells. When I entered the working world, I just could not get it together. I mean, I did everything I was supposed to do. I went to college. I interned. I volunteered. I half-ass participated in extracurricular activities. When I graduated, I set off to land my first “big girl” job. The glamorous position with a fancy firm, high-profile clients, and chic office supplies. How hard could it be? I couldn’t wait to strut into my new place of employment with Louboutin’s and Starbucks in hand. “Janet, hold my calls.”
Yeah, about that. My first full time job was at a personal injury law firm. An ambulance chaser with commercials and billboards (e.g. “call the H-U-R-T Line…right now“). I was the assistant to the attorney’s assistant and spent my days calling to ask for copies of medical records. I loved to scan these records for juicy details I could share with my friends over margaritas (um, HIPPA). But I totally sucked at being an employee. I sucked at customer service, and phone etiquette, and follow up, and being on time for work. I took two hour lunches, lied on my timecards, and once took a pregnancy test in the bathroom. Had I landed that glamorous job I aspired for after graduation, I would have been fired in about two hours. But they wouldn’t have hired me anyway because my interview skills sucked too. And because I submitted a pink and green resume, I never got a call back. It looked like Lilly Pulitzer threw up on letterhead. I was a hot mess.
I eventually resigned (aka called in sick and then quit via email with a four day’s notice) the law firm. It’s a miracle they didn’t fire me first. I was such a psycho at the time, they probably feared I’d sue, and it wasn’t worth their risk. During my exit interview, the office manager made the comment that she always saw me as someone who works at the mall. Looking back, she was probably entirely correct in making that (bitchy) statement. My skirts were too tight, my heels were too high, and my ultimate goal in life was to just find a husband. Even worse, I was entitled. “I have a Bachelor’s degree. I interned in Washington, D.C., okay? How am I not already a manager after six months onboard?” Flips hair. This was my attitude.
That office manager sucked, and I could out-perform her denim skirts and panty hose (worn together) on my worst day now. But her words really affected me. “Retail” was not how I wanted to be perceived. I knew I was made for something more than cashier at Rue 21, and I wanted a successful career that would bring fulfillment, accomplishment, and a comma in my paycheck. The irony is that I now work for a company whose clients are solely retail brands. Maybe this glorified secretary set my destiny into motion, but I’m positive she was totally jealous of me. Haters gonna hate, and it can be the ultimate motivation. I made the decision then and there to get my shit together (after a sob fest of Burger King and Tylenol P.M. I’m telling y’all…hot mess).
20 milligrams of Adderall, Jen Sincero, and Ivanka Trump inspired me to start this blog. I want to share with every self-proclaimed hot mess the advice that has helped me overcome my hot mess-ness. This same professional development fluff definitely exists elsewhere online, and at B&N, but my perspective is fresh and real. If you want to be respected, valued, promoted, and most importantly, paid in your job, stick around. This blog will offer no-nonsense content that can help you reach your fullest #girlboss potential and teach you how to not be a hot mess…at work.