C-Suite talk with M.M. LAFLEUR’s Sarah LaFleur

Posted by Amanda Augustine

September 12, 2013 @ 12:15 PM

Sarah LaFleur, Founder and CEO of M.M. LAFLEUR, talks to TheLadders about dressing for success and her mission to rid the world of the pantsuit and replace it with beautiful attire for purposeful women.

SarahLaFleur_M.M._LAFLEURSarah, what is M.M. LAFLEUR’s mission? Why did you decide to start your own business?

The mission of our company is simple: to create beautiful clothing for the purposeful woman.

Originally we had said “professional woman” instead of “purposeful woman,” but I quickly realized that the former felt too narrow in scope for the women we are dressing.  Let me explain: growing up I watched my mother, who was a PR executive at a luxury fashion brand, get ready for work every morning.  Her sense of style is and has been the inspiration behind this company.  She always managed to look sexy and professional, stylish and effortless.  She wasn’t just a “professional woman,” she was that and much more: a professional and a mother, a friend and a wife.  You get the idea. 

I think that’s the way most women live these days.  I’m so inspired by our customers, who we call our “Ampersand Women,” because they embrace the “and” lifestyle and lead very fulfilling, even passionate, lives.  Our aim is to create clothes that fit the Ampersand lifestyle.

I think the fashion industry today doesn’t cater to the Ampersand Woman.  Mass-market brands are redundant and uninspiring, and so many luxury brands don’t even pretend to care about or understand this customer.  That’s why I wanted to create a brand that did.

Topics: Professional Development, C-Suite Talk

Working your wardrobe for career success

Posted by Amanda Augustine

September 03, 2013 @ 07:35 AM

Update your professional attire to make the right impression and advance your career.

Skipper_Chalkboard_Purse_ShoppingWith New York’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week only a few days away, it’s a great time to talk about your personal brand and more specifically, how your appearance affects your career.

Experts agree that your appearance plays a role in your professional advancement. Your clothing, grooming, hygiene and hairstyle all affect your personal brand. This becomes even more important when you’re looking for a job or vying for a promotion. Remember, you only get one chance to make a first impression, whether that’s with a potential employer or a prospective client. Invest in a professional wardrobe to update your look and advance your career.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Professional Development, New to the Workforce

Start bragging to advance your career

Posted by Amanda Augustine

August 20, 2013 @ 03:50 PM

Chronicle your professional accomplishments to manage your career.
 
Brag_Sheet_EvernoteWhether you’re updating your resume, preparing for salary negotiations, or are in need of a pick-me-up after a bad day at work, a brag sheet is a useful document to own.
 
In its simplest form, a brag sheet is a place where you record all your professional accomplishments and contributions. Some people store this information in a Word document, while others prefer a mobile format such as Evernote. Whatever format you choose, here are five tips to help you build a powerful brag sheet that can help you advance your career.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Salary & Negotiation, Professional Development, Resume & Cover Letters

10 traits of quality finance job candidates

Posted by TheLadders Contributor

August 15, 2013 @ 02:22 PM

Consider these 10 must-have traits for employment as a finance professional.

Interview_Skippy

Traditional hiring tactics have conditioned job seekers to focus explicitly on their professional experiences, educational background and hard skills during the job-search and hiring process. While it’s unlikely you’ll be hired without the proper skill set, there’s more that goes into a quality finance candidate than just one’s professional makeup.

If you’re struggling to find work as a finance professional in the molasses-like job market, showcasing employer-coveted personality traits of the finance industry might be just what you need to spice up your job search. No company is exactly alike, therefore finding a candidate to meet each firm’s one-of-a-kind company culture is crucial to mutually beneficial employment. So crucial, in fact, major companies like h.h. gregg, Sprint Nextel Corp., and Avis Budget Group are turning to personality tests to better assess the traits of applicants.

Topics: Job Search, Professional Development

6 tips for giving feedback in the workplace

Posted by Amanda Augustine

July 30, 2013 @ 02:52 PM

Apply these best practices to deliver effective feedback that gets results.

Megaphone_SkippyConstructive feedback is one of the greatest gifts managers can provide to employees. When delivered properly, the right feedback can reinforce positive behavior and correct any negative performances.

Many managers are reluctant to provide negative feedback, however. Don't fall into this trap! Use the six tips below to give feedback that will help your employees develop and improve your team's overall performance. 

Topics: Ask Amanda, Professional Development

4 ways to waste your internship

Posted by Amanda Augustine

July 29, 2013 @ 02:45 PM

Avoid these mistakes to make the most of your internship.

Skipper_Chalkboard_Intern

Internships are an essential part of every student’s college career. They can clarify job goals, build resume experience and grow a network of professional contacts – all of which will help you land full-time work after graduation.

However, landing the internship is only half the battle. How you approach the opportunity and perform your tasks will determine your success. Avoid these four mistakes to get the most out of your internship this summer.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Professional Development, New to the Workforce

Personal technology: A lesson in office etiquette

Posted by Amanda Augustine

July 23, 2013 @ 10:53 AM

With new technology comes a new set of workplace etiquette rules. Learn how to maximize your productivity and keep the peace with your office mates.

Angry_Phone

Technology can be a great time-saver or a time-sink, depending on the platforms you’re using and how you use them. Additionally, the use of electronic devices requires its own set of etiquette rules for the workplace. Ignore them, and you’ll end up disrupting meetings and annoying your colleagues. To keep yourself in check, follow these five tips.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Professional Development

10 traits of quality finance candidates

Posted by TheLadders Contributor

July 02, 2013 @ 03:31 PM

Confident_Skippy_FaceRightTraditional hiring tactics have conditioned job seekers to focus explicitly on their professional experiences, educational background, and hard skills during the job search and hiring process. While it’s unlikely you’ll be hired without the proper skill set, there’s more that goes into a quality finance candidate than just one’s professional makeup.

If you’re struggling to find work as a finance professional in the molasses-like job market, showcasing employer-coveted personality traits of the finance industry might be just what you need to spice up your job search. No company is exactly alike, therefore finding a candidate to meet each firm’s one-of-a-kind company culture is crucial to mutually beneficial employment. So crucial, in fact, major companies like HHGregg., Sprint Nextel Corp., and Avis Budget Group are turning to personality tests to better assess the traits of applicants.

Topics: Job Search, Professional Development

Happy Father’s Day! The best advice from my father

Posted by Amanda Augustine

June 13, 2013 @ 07:00 AM

Share what you've learned from your fathers, too!

Parent_ChildWith Father’s Day a few days away, many of us are spending the time trying to round up last-minute gifts that are meaningful and well thought-out for the main men in our lives.  (Although I’ll admit to opting for the tried-and-true golf balls more than once.)

Father’s Day is a difficult holiday to shop for. This is not because power tools and shaving kits are hard to come by, but because many of us have a father or father figure who gave us innumerable gifts, the most significant being the wisdom learned from a lifetime of experiences. 

Topics: Ask Amanda, Professional Development

5 reasons your career has stalled

Posted by Amanda Augustine

May 21, 2013 @ 02:30 PM

Reassess your career path to jumpstart its advancement.

20130522_AskAmanda_-_Career_Stalled_v2A career can be quite a roller coaster ride. At times you’re flying forward with tons of momentum, and then there are periods of time when you seem stuck on a plateau with nowhere to go. If your career path has seen very little movement up the corporate ladder in recent years, it’s time to reassess your situation.

Here are five reasons why your career has hit a stalemate – and what you can do to get things moving in the right direction again.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Professional Development