work

“I Started to Avoid Him Then I Realized That Wasn’t Going to Work”

“I Started to Avoid Him Then I Realized That Wasn’t Going to Work”

Ever found yourself working alongside a former flame or friend? Have you ever left a job because of a horrible boss or co-worker just to have him/her reappear at your new job? “Case of the Ex” is a series of personal accounts detailing how people handled those types of situations.

Video or Read: 2 mins

Play Video

Case One

Relationship: Boyfriend

Duration: 3 Months

I was the new girl. I didn’t think I’d ever make friends. One day this guy started talking to me. He was nice and cute.

I asked around about him and was immediately told he was in a relationship. I later found out that wasn’t true. Time passed and I was starting to adjust to my new atmosphere.

Then one day something happened. We were chosen to work together on an assignment. While working together, I started to get to know him, started having fun with him. I started to like him.

It wasn’t long before we were dating.

Things started off easy. The assignment was coming along great. We were working well together and learning from each other. However, since we were constantly seeing one another—we never had time for ourselves. Eventually, our professional relationship blurred into our personal one. It was too much.

We broke up. 

This began my case of the ex.

How did the break up affect your working relationship?

Initially, after the breakup, it was difficult to go to work.

I was trying to trying to heal and just seeing him was difficult. It wasn’t easy. But on the other hand, I had to work! I didn’t have the luxury to call in sick. So, I started avoiding him. Then I realized that wasn’t going to work.

How can someone work well with an ex? What have you learned?

It’s hard and you have to be strong, but you can amicably work with an ex. Here is how: focus on the work.

1) Set up boundaries and limitations so you can create the space you need without being unprofessional. 

2) You have to be able to communicate the difficulties you are experiencing with that person, so you aren’t in a contentious environment.

3) Find a way to work through the hard parts and have patience.

All Eyes on Ghana’s Neo-Africa Brand for Power Dressing

All Eyes on Ghana’s Neo-Africa Brand for Power Dressing

If you like off the beaten path fashion brands or discovering new labels, then this is for you. Get to know companies from around the world.

All images from Christie Brown website
Quick Read

Who says your professional image can only embody one aesthetic? For those that like to challenge what professional dressing—or dress to impress—means, I give you Christie Brown. A brand for you to tell your own story.

Why It Made Our List

For over a decade, we have been mesmerized by Christie Brown. Their interpretation of bringing African culture alive in contemporary designs is what puts this label on our radar. Every collection features simple, yet striking wearable pieces and standout accessories, which can be paired with slacks or dresses for a professionally creative ensemble.

About the Brand

Launched in 2008 by Ghanaian designer Aisha Obuobi as an extension of her lifelong passion for fashion, the brand has been a heavy player in Africa’s world of luxury. Growing up, Aisha was inspired by her seamstress grandmother’s creations and as a result named her business after her. Christie Brown is an apparel and accessories retailer and manufacturer, creating women’s bespoke and ready-to-wear statement pieces.

Where to Buy

Based in Accra, Ghana, the Christie Brown collection can be purchased at its flagship store or online. To see their past and current collection, hop on over to their website. Keeping a playful and mature women’s silhouette in mind, Christie Brown works towards bring meaning to neo-African culture.

You Can Professionally Survive in the New World–Here’s How

You Can Professionally Survive in the New World–Here’s How

Photo by h heyerlein/Unsplash
Quick Read

How will you leverage your appeal as a professional in the future? Is this something you even think about? It should be. The world is changing and widely being shaped by global phenomena. You can see this in everyday things. From the impact of Bangladesh’s microfinancing system pioneered in the 1970s to help poor communities to the current rise of K-pop spreading across the world—which in turn is rapidly proliferating Korean language and culture. Every industry is becoming diversified. Therefore, it is no longer practical to have a myopic point of view. The world is progressing and you should be too, here’s why.

Working Towards Interconnectivity

Now more than ever it is easier to connect anywhere in the world within seconds. With a plethora of internet applications, we are doing just that. Our workplace is evolving to include more international transactions. Having worldly experiences—working, traveling, or living abroad—or being able to relate to people from other backgrounds will be a professional asset. As the world is shifting towards becoming one interconnected body and less of disjointed parts, adapting quickly to a new environment is essential. So, embark on adventures outside of your comfort zone.

Multilingual is on the Rise

Being bilingual is no longer a novelty. More and more people are learning other languages besides their native tongue. And as the world continues to progress, there will be a rise, and need, in polyglots. Being multilingual is a skill highly motivated professionals will be able to leverage. Just think about it. Language is how we communicate. If you are able to speak multiple languages, proficiently to fluently, you are able to connect with more people and attract more professional opportunities. So, learn a new language or two.

Know About What is Happening in the World

Not only does data and trends inform our future but also, we mirror what other countries do well and adapt them into our society.  Because of this, our scope is shifting more towards international. That is why it is increasingly detrimental to keep a finger on the pulse and be knowledgeable on a range of world topics.  Make sure the news you consume or the insight you gather has some sort of global perspective. This will be key to staying desirable as a professional as the world continues to change. So, try to consume news that is outside of your home country every day. (recommendations)

Start thinking about the professional you want to be and do things to cultivate that image. If we can integrate new technologies, flavors, or products into the consumer world to enhance visual and edible experiences, why can’t we leverage languages, business practices, and insights from other countries to make us better, well-rounded individuals? The world is changing.  Get ahead of the curve.

Reflections on How My Life Changed After Working In South Africa

Reflections on How My Life Changed After Working In South Africa

By Crystal Joy

Crystal Joy

5  min read

We are back with actress Crystal Joy talking about her recent 3 month journey to Johannesburg, South Africa. Read her open letter to her past self about the lessons she learned while working in South Africa as another beautiful piece from our work abroad collection. 

Dear Crystal,

Remember when your short film became an official selection at an international film festival in South Africa? You were so excited! You quit your job and bought a one-way ticket to Johannesburg. As an actress and screenwriter, you realize how the spaces you dwell in play a part in your creativity. Not finding the opportunity or inspiration you craved in the States, you placed your eggs in several baskets and sought out work overseas, even though you had no connections. You were motivated because the unknown has never scared you. Now that your stay has ended, there are a few lessons I want to highlight for you.

Lesson 1: Business

Relax, that is what you’ll need when it comes to handling business in South Africa.The chill South African vibe in which they handle life bleeds into professional spaces, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. There isn’t always a sense of urgency to get things done when compared to business in the U.S. The several years you lived in New York and Chicago have led way to your quick-paced mentality. So, at first, you’ll get frustrated and impatient. You will ask yourself, “how do things get accomplished with this type of pacing?”

Soon, you’ll realize that in a ‘timely manner’ simply has a different definition. It doesn’t mean things won’t get done; it just gets done on a different time table. And you will adapt to this.

Lesson 2: Communication

Besides your film being screened at the Africa Rising International Film Festival, you’re also there to teach a writing class. Go in with an open mind to a creative way of business communication—download WhatsApp. Communication in the U.S. is typically conducted through email and over the phone. In Joburg (Johannesburg), it’s mainly handled through WhatsApp. Be ready to administer business text messages. It might be different than what you’re used to, but you’ll grow to like it.

Also, be sure to re-read my previous point because responses can be rather slow. The standard response time in the States is 24-48 hours, however, in Joburg, it is typically 3 to 4 days. Due to this, you will learn to be flexible when setting timelines or deadlines.

Lesson 3: Industry Culture

Throughout your time there, you’ll frequent a lot of events, visit a TV set, and partake in filming a short project. Despite women being present at a lot of the events, you’ll notice it is still an all-boys club. You will hear from an all-female crew about their experiences being on set: their opinions aren’t taken seriously, their decisions are constantly doubted, and things are mansplained. You will realize how the struggle of professional equality between men and women isn’t an issue that exclusively exists in the States. Although, the #MeToo movement has made a major impact in the U.S. filmmaking industry, especially with women being behind the camera, you will notice that Johannesburg is starting to have those conversations and gradually making those changes.

Reflection

By the time your 3 months is over, you will have cracked the entire top half of your phone on a safari, managed through power outages, and the class you’ve prepared to teach will be canceled the day of. On the flip side, you will have explored the country, met new people, and shared your work. You will learn that circumstances will happen that are completely out of your control, but you must take the good with the bad. That is life.

Above all, what’s most fulfilling is the inspiration you’ll receive from South Africa. The blend of people, fashion, food, music, history, and scenery will leave you motivated and extremely enthused. Being able to merge your love for traveling and passion with finding refreshing stories will inspire you to return. But that letter is currently being written.

Want to know more about Crystal Joy? Read her interview here.

Bored or Have Extra Time? What You Should Be Reading But Probably Aren’t

Bored or Have Extra Time? What You Should Be Reading But Probably Aren’t

Image from Gen T website

3  min read

Have you ever heard the saying, “Knowledge is Power?” Of course, you have. With all the influences from other parts of the world impacting our modern society, we as professional women must continue to feed our minds powerful information, if we want to always have a seat at the table. So, edify yourself—because the world is changing and you don’t want to be left behind. Be knowledgeable and stay curious. The following are excellent reading recommendations with an international scope.

1) BBC

The go-to for almost anything happening in the world today. Not only do they report things first—way before many US outlets—they cover everything, from travel to world affairs. Additionally, BBC offers fun series like The Boss for business enthusiasts. So, if you aren’t getting BBC news sent to your inbox daily, then you aren’t getting the full story.

Specialty: Obviously, Everything (full stop).

https://www.bbc.com

2) Gen T

This is the coolest, hippest site featuring emerging leaders in Asia. Honestly, what other platform for young leaders has this much swag? Along with copious interviews and profiles, they also house some pretty neat “think” articles and host events. Also known as Generation T Asia, it is a sub-brand of the popular site Tatler Asia.

Specialty: Connecting ideas and leadership in Asia

https://generationt.asia/

3) Al Jazeera

Al Jazeera has so much to offer in terms of the way they deliver information to the world. A major news outlet for most of the world, including the Middle East and Africa. Al Jazeera is also a dynamic platform for you to dig deep into documentaries. From Fork the System (a food docu series) to Start Here (a hot topics docu series), there’s plenty to indulge in.

Specialty: Amazing documentaries that will have you hooked and knowledgeable in no time.

https://www.aljazeera.com/

4) Flyer Talk

Billed as the world’s most popular frequent flyer community, it’s perfect for those of you who travel a lot for business or pleasure. With articles on travel—hence the name—and an active community, Flyer Talk provides insight to your traveling questions, needs, and more. Current topics affecting the travel world, you will find them here.

Specialty: A destination for travelers wanting to know what’s going on in the air and on the ground.

https://www.flyertalk.com/

5) Globo

A leading newspaper in Brazil, Globo is ranked among the top websites in the world. It offers a mix of news, sports, trending stories, and a bit of Brazilian pop culture. It kind of has that telenovela feel and we like it! Most importantly, this website provides a good resource for current events in Brazil. Be sure to hit translate unless you know Portuguese.

Specialty: Trending news in Brazil, telenovela style.

https://www.globo.com/