I must admit, growing up, the turtleneck was not one of my favourite items, especially when I had to wear it instead of my white T-shirt when it was too cold in winter, my mother would insist on it and I hated it because it wasn’t the uniform that I was accustomed to. Fast forward more than a decade later, and it’s become an adult staple item of clothing, for any gender. It’s that one item of winter clothing that you can wear multiple items that goes with a suit, a dress or a skirt.
In this blog, I wear this item 3 ways to work, and share with you what the outfit exudes about the kind of modern woman in the workplace that I believe it says about me:
1. Tucked in a Mini Skirt
This is one of my favourite looks that I love to repeat in winter, a turtleneck tucked into a skirt. A black turtleneck paired with black stockings and thigh high boots serve as a great canvas for creativity with the skirt, this is where you can add some colour to an outfit on a gloomy winter day. I decided to pair it with a plaid skirt to add a bit of coloured character.
What does this outfit say about me at work? I’m a young assertive woman whose confident to take on the business of the day! Thigh high boots have a tendency to perk up confidence in more ways than one.
Plaid Skirt: Thrift Store
Thigh High Boots : Zando
2. Layered under a Dress
There’s no item like a dress in a woman’s closet, it can weather any season and can be paired up with any shoe. So, how do we take advantage of it this winter? We layer the black turtleneck under a ringlet strap dress and heighten the look with black pumps fit for a look that can take you from a boardroom presentation to a late night cocktail networking event.
What does this outfit say about me at work? My playfulness is nothing that has to be hidden, I can bring myself to work, and take it from the co-creation workshop to a networking mixer.
Pumps: Nine West
Bracelet: Gift from friend, India
3. Sneakered in a Kimono
This outfit has two elements of my clothing that I love to bring to work, pants and African print clothing. In this last outfit, the poloneck is tucked in beige pants and powered up with an African print kimono that adds some serious and maturity to the look. Adding some more colour to the look was courtesy my Adidas bright pink sneakers and accessorizing with a bracelet that a friend of mine gifted me when she went to India a few months ago.
What does this outfit say about me? This is the kind of outfit I’d wear on a Monday or a Friday, to kickstart the weekday or end it on a high. This is the outfit that a global African millennial would wear hosting a workshop or has a ton of meetings and errands to do. It says “I came to slay” as loudly and confidently as possible.
Pants: Kelso @ Edgars
Kimono: Braamfontein Market
It was after a much needed catch up with my mentor, over some lunch where education was the theme of the few hours we spent building the trust of the relationship and updating each other on what was new and how we could continue building each other and our ecosystems. It was intimidating to sit down with an accomplished, educated and intelligent woman, but I’m glad the tough conversation was had. It was one of the keys that led me to making a decision that was about opening up to being more, experiencing more and living more – getting out of my own way.
I was going to go back to school to obtain my under graduate degree, 6 years post matriculating from high school. Besides the reasons mentioned above, the two other motivations was the value that I know education has the potential to add to my professional and personal life, and this was also a promise that I had made to my father before he passed away.
So why did I wait 6 years to pursue my under graduate qualification? I’ve got very good reasons and excuses which were very good delay tactics, please see below:
· Pending …
- · My application was unsuccessful in two universities through past
- · I was just really lazy and afraid to start all over again
- · I didn’t think I still had it in me, curriculums and times change – insecurity’s timing is perfect. It’s a good thing that it was no measure for faith!
- · I didn’t want to save for the course because I enjoyed being careless with my money, and I didn’t know that my company had a study assistance policy
· You get my drift …
After many dress rehearsals with myself and my mother, close friends, mentors and sponsors, I decided to get over myself and begin the journey, I enrolled.
- 1. Picking the Qualification
After I finally had plucked up the courage to sit on the University of South Africa (UNISA) website, I went through the qualifications that appeared not only intimidating, but relevant for the future of corporate innovation, startups and strategic partnerships through data and modelling in preparing or the current and future economic and industrial revolutions. The data led me to BCOM Business Informatics qualification. The modules looked relevant to the objective of my desire to go back to school. I applied and got accepted. I was extremely nervous and happy at the opportunity to become a better employee and a corporate innovation practitioner.
- 2. Preparing for the Qualification
I was accepted, so what was next?
I had been accepted and found out about my company policy, but because of the university administration and a strike that happened, I was late to apply which meant that the money had to come out of my own pocket. Because I had been intentional about going back to school, I had saved up a couple of thousands of rands, and my mother was also a gem and made an investment in my first semester, that helped. The cost of studying is high, if I were to advise someone on going back who has no financial aid, it would be to starting saving yesterday, a little does go a long way.
I also had to be transparent and disclose the decision to my manager, this so that should time come needed for studying and exam time (quite a few UNISA tutorials are on Saturdays), it would be no issue.
- 3. Doing the Course
You’re going to war, so strategize!
· Prepare a Timetable - To be honest, what’s really helped is having this timetable saved as my phone screensaver and putting in alarms on my phones. Be nice to yourself and schedule in a night off during the week.
· A Strong Ecosystem - Get yourself some considerate and supportive friends who will understand when you cannot go out (time and money) because of the current investment you’re making. In the long run, this will also
· Work Smarter – If you get an assignment that aligned to the theme that you’re already doing at work, or as a side hustle, complement the two and kills as many birds as you can with the assignment stone.
· Be Kind to Yourself – By this I not only mean spa days and popping a bottle of champagne when you’ve aced that exam, but eating better and taking that digital detox when necessary because the stress can manifest in pimples and headaches.
It’s been a tough few months, I won’t lie. To be honest, there was a period where I’d given myself one week off studying because I was just lazy to, even with the grace of my alarms attempt at reminding me only to be snoozed until it stopped. The truth is that you know you and your behaviour better than any tips that I could give you, and the reason of you going back to school fulltime or part time should be motivation enough.
Congratulations to us on taking the step to go back to being educated and seeing its value in our lives, and may continue to pursue by preparing and being ready to participate in our destinies.
“The best way to summon your true calling is to put yourself in service to God” – Marianne Willliamson
In my past blogs, I’ve been quite transparent about being a Christian, and how much it impacts the decisions that I make, from my career to the company that I keep and most importantly how I perceive myself and what I radiate to others. This enforced me to be cognisant and intentional about what books I consume, because words create capacity, and I need(ed) thoughts and words whose divinity and powers were beyond my own. And with that intentionality, along came Marianne Williamson’s The Divine Law of Compensation.
The first time I came across this book was through social media via a post by one of my followers whose content and character I admire wholeheartedly, and who at every opportunity she engages, enshrines the alignment between spiritual wellness and living your full potential. “The ego or false-mind is the false belief that we are separate from God.”; it as when I read this book that I knew I had to get the book.
The essence of The Divine Law of Compensation speaks to alignment of the truth of us (what we believe of ourselves) to the power of love (what God believes of us) and the seismic divine shift in thought need to be summoned in order to experience the divine law of compensation. The 16 chaptered book unpacks this Law on Work, Money and Miracles.
In her many short prayers in this book, one prayer is that of surrender and to operate on a plateau that is of the reflection of the Mind of God so as to mission in service to one’s true calling. In the “Calling vs Job” chapter, she goes on to minister about the approach and distinction between the two and approach to which one supports your God-given functionality. One of my favourite passages speaks to the abundance and permanence of God’s compensation of love towards us where Williamson says “Losing a job does not mean losing your calling because you are a personal ambassador of God, you have been given a permanent assignment.”. Once you come into self-actualization and operate on that power and potential, you’ll transcend fear and claim your calling without any limits.
One of the Divine Laws of Compensation is that of Abundance, which is what God wants for us. In the book, Williamson speaks of abundance from not only internal content, but to financial prosperity as well and the relationship that we have with money, one that needs to transition from that of embracing struggle to a firm belief that it’s not to be distrusted.
I’ve always dismissed the notion that money was the root of all evil. Money, and the abundance of it is the root of an abundant heart that is operating in service of purpose, on the fuel gratitude.
There is no reason to distrust money as it is abundance and that is of God, there is also no joy in poverty.
Throughout the entire book, Marianne Williamson fervently expresses her desires for the reader to align themselves with divine thoughts of God’s thoughts and truths about them – as the compensation for such across any vertical of your life is divine. The book also reminds us how important it is to be active in your faith, and to ensure whatever you put in God’s hands, you’ll do your part in aligning work and thoughts though prayer, the medium of miracles.
The Divine Law of Compensation is about operating from miracle minded thinking, a place of abundance and God-truth and summoning all this positivity to support your purpose in world created with you in mind.