Career, Money, Productivity

Stay Ready: A Guide to Professional Readiness

“When you stay ready, you won’t have to get ready”. But how do you get to that point in the first place? I experienced from first-hand pageant experience that it’s much easier when you have all your ducks in a row beforehand. Although this quote, spoken to me so eloquently by my babe, was birthed from a conversation of pageants, I believe it is applicable to professional women all around. Looking to feel and actually be put together despite the circumstances? Dive into my helpful tips.

Physical Wellness Ready

We all know that regular exercise is important but so many people neglect it. My exercise “sweet spot” is least 30 minutes of cardio or strength training 4-5 times per week. Strive for 3 times per week at a minimum. Properly strategize your meals on a weekly (or daily basis), and no, you don’t have to be vegan to be healthy. After visiting a dietician, I learned how to read food labels, determine proper food servings, and how to put together a healthy meal. The main points are simple and reasonable.

  • Protein portions should be no bigger than your fist.
  • Ten servings of carbs per day is the max; including fruit and dairy
  • At least one cup of vegetables per meal

In high demand moments, regular physical fitness will keep you in shape. Surviving conferences, corporate parties, and 5k fundraisers is dependent on stamina built from regular activity. Remember the confidence boost you will have no matter the outfit or time (I’m looking at you swimsuit in January). Stay ready physically, and you’ll never have to worry about looking fit.

Wardrobe Ready

I discover most of my fashion trends in promotional emails from my favorite retailers. Despite my poor attempts to keep up with fashion trends, I can never go wrong with the classics. The concept of a Capsule Closet caught my attention in 2016. Essentially, you combine classic, quality pieces and seasonal trendy ones to build your wardrobe. It’s practical, minimal, stylish, and NOT a headache. I am currently building my capsule wardrobe, one piece at a time. I started with this list.

At any given moment, you could be invited to a black tie event or a ritzy Sunday morning brunch. Do you have the appropriate attire? If you’ve got the capsule wardrobe figured out, you may have a few classic pieces that fit the occasion. Throw on a seasonal scarf, bag, or shoes and you’re set! Stay wardrobe ready, and never feel under (or over) dressed again!

Small Talk Ready

Whether it’s table talk, networking, or truly conversing with friends– you don’t want to sound like an idiot, right? I peruse a few daily/weekly email newsletters that keep me up to date, especially since I avoid cable television. I confidently participate in all types of conversations based on the broad spectrum of topics covered through these outlets. I’m sure you adore a few already, but here’s my list. 

  • The Skimm
  • The Newsette
  • Pure Wow
  • The Muse
  • Flipboard
  • Start Here Podcast
  • Medium
  • Level Up by Forbes
  • Grow by Acorns

Stay Financially Ready

One of my favorite email newsletters referenced above is Level Up by Forbes. Level Up reshaped my savings goals and how it measures up to expectations. This amount can be daunting, but it’s a great starting point. Emergencies happen all the time, and that includes small expenses in between paychecks. Owning a legitimate Emergency Fund will do good for your future self, if you commit to beefing it up. Keep in mind that experts agree that paying off any bad debt (credit cards) before focusing on savings contributions is necessary. Also, consider moving your savings to an online banking institution and make a little more off your dime too. Check this article out, I was mind blown by it!

That’s all I have for now but I’m sure there are some other things you can think of to stay ready in life. Things will not always be perfect and the unpredictability of life will still throw you off. But that doesn’t mean we can’t be prepared. Let me know some of your life hacks to stay ready for anything!

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