fired or furloughed

Furloughed or fired – Now What?

Being fired or furloughed can suck! I know this from firsthand experience and from the five years I spent in HR. To help ease the transition for any of you who are going through the same thing I’ve put together a few things I wish I had known going into my time as a furloughed (and eventually let go) employee.

Prior to being laid off I had never been fired. I had one contract end as a temp but other than that being furloughed and eventually let go during COVID was a brand new never felt before feeling for me.

My Experience

I’m grateful because I saw this coming, I knew this had nothing to do with my performance and I was already planning on leaving the industry I was in (but my timeline got rushed by all of this). I was furloughed for months before I was eventually let go so I saw my unemployment status coming. I also have the luxury of knowing how a lot of the state offices work when it comes to unemployment, Covered California’s health insurance options & having a significant other with a stable income who loves me, supports me and pays half the rent. We do not have human children (Herman is significantly less expensive) and I am a fairly healthy individual so all in all I was in a good spot. 

But even with all these little nuggets of gratitude it was still a weird scenario where I struggled to find accurate information on what to do next or how to make the best decisions for the position I was in. So now that I’ve gone through it, started this business and began helping people with their careers I want to share some of the nuggets of wisdom I learned through this process. 

**A note: This was MY experience and these are opinions. Please do not use this blog to replace legal or medical advice. 

DO NOT SPEND ALL DAY LOOKING FOR A NEW JOB 

Create a schedule for yourself, play with what works and make sure you include time to take care of yourself. Being unemployed is emotional and difficult. Be sure to schedule time to take care of yourself, be present with your family and job search. 

It’s also totally ok to need to take a little time to mourn the loss of your old job before jumping into action (if you have the financial privilege to do so). Unfortunately, our quality of life is often tied to what we do for a living and how much money we make. When we experience a major change like the loss of a job it is NORMAL and valid to feel a full range of emotions such as fear or anger. Remember to be gentle with yourself. You are human. 

With the extra time in your day I highly recommend doing some inner work. You can spend some time determining if you really want to do what you’ve been doing in your career. Use this time as an opportunity to switch gears (or start a business).

You can learn about your learning style, practice a language you’ve always wanted to learn, or binge watch that TV show everyone talks about but you always feel left out because you never watched it. I spent a lot of my time working on new content for my business and attending training sessions that were applicable. Let go of society’s expectations for you and take care of yourself in any way you can. 

Covered California Agents are SO HELPFUL 

Once my furlough period ended I lost my health insurance through my employer. So I applied for health insurance through the California marketplace. I did this on my own because it seemed straightforward and easy. 

With the recent changes in my income some of the details on my account needed to change and to help me with this I went through a Covered California Health Insurance Agent. This man was a lifesaver. The agents spend ALL day in the marketplace finding deals and additional programs for people. By the time I was done with my call with the agent I was paying significantly less for more coverage. 

I’m not sure how this works in other states but I 10/10 recommend using an agent if you are shopping for a plan. It is FREE, you can find them through the portal on Covered California and you can google them to find reviews. A word of advice: always make sure the agent you are working with has a license number. If they do not, run the other way and find a different one! 

Conclusion 

TLDR: Whether you are fired or furloughed take time for yourself, set yourself a schedule for applying to jobs, tap into any free resources to help you make the best decisions and of course, if you have the funds, I highly recommend hiring a career coach to help you with your search. As a coach I help clients create resumes that are customized to the roles they are applying for and scream “hire me”, we chat through salary negotiations, we work on determining their ideal salary range and we maintain their authenticity throughout the process. I’m good at what I do because I’ve been there, I’ve felt the scary feelings around hard workplace conversations and I’m here to support my clients through the process.

Reach out if you’re ready for a FREE consultation to see if coaching is a good fit for you! butreallythocoaching@gmail.com

I’m giving up Fast Fashion

We are literally killing our planet and I’ve come to the realization that my fast fashion purchases are a part of the problem.

Sure, I reduce, reuse and recycle and I avoid red meat but I still participate in one of the biggest contributors to climate change; fast fashion.

Fast fashion is easily accessible but (outside of the horrors of child labor/abusive labor that can happen during the garments creation) the garment by design is created to fall apart requiring the consumer to purchase more clothing. 

I always used the poor college student trope as an excuse for participating in fast fashion but now that I am a somewhat fully functional adult my weak excuse is no longer valid. As my birthday resolution I am going to stop buying fast fashion and only purchase clothing from companies that are sustainably sourcing or secondhand high quality clothing.

My other concern was that shopping sustainable was going to result in 26 year old me rocking a Frankie aesthetic (unrelated but if you do not watch Grace & Frankie please start now). Obviously, that is not the case and to prove it I have compiled a list of my favorite, trendy, ways to shop sustainably.

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Frankie rocking her signature look. 

Everlane has my tried and true favorite affordable denim (but definitely size down). They also carry amazing basics and cozy wools. 10/10 recommend as a sustainable starter brand.

Amour Vert is my ideal high end brand. They have amazing quality, are a favorite for staple event outfits and tops. If you live in the SF area and have the budget to binge shop their 10 items for $300 deal at their sample sale is key. If not, I highly recommend picking up a floral wrap dress or LBD for your next sophisticated event.

Girlfriend Collective is my newest workout brand of choice. I am a #gymsharkaddict but since I am becoming a sustainable shopper I am so excited to give GF Collective a try.  My friends rave about their black leggings but I have my eye on a jewel tone set.

Reformation I have yet to try anything from Ref because I have no idea how to size myself there. BUT I am going to make a effort to give their clothing a try when I go on my next shopping binge. I think this is another brand that is a little out of an everyday price range but has great investment pieces.

Asos Eco Edit gets an honorable mention as well. Although the brands they include is this category  aren’t always the most eco-friendly it’s excited to see this concept get normalized.

For jackets and shoes that I cannot live without but don’t have an sustainable favorite for I have been turning to Poshmark. I have been using Poshmark off and on for years and buying second hand clothes is the most sustainable option there is. I recently purchased pink Steve Madden ankle boots for $30 that I cannot wait to wear! 

Have any sustainable fashion hacks? Please send them my way!!

My Favorite Things from July to Beat Summertime Sadness

Summer, as a concept, is weird when you no longer get to spend it sitting at home marathoning ANTM between hanging out with friends and working a minimum wage job. I may never get over the shock that corporations don’t take summer breaks but these are things that helped me make it through July.

TV:

British Bake-Off (Great British Baking Competition)

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THIS IS THE MOST WHOLESOME THING ON TV. I’ve always heard that the show was addicting, but I did not know that is was so NICE. I know it’s a competition but I don’t think the contestants care. After watching the three seasons available on Netflix my faith in humanity has been restored.

GLOW

I love Alison Brie. GLOW puts her over the top acting chops to the test and she delivers. She humanized the “other woman” while still remaining true to her characters narcissistic tendencies. She’s developed a character that I can’t quite hate, almost like a Marnie (from GIRLS) lite.

Books:

American Gods

Hands down, this is the best book I’ve read in a long time. While the extended version rivals Anna Karenina in length it is well worth the extra pages. The highlight of this novel is the character development of the gods. Each deity represents a small portion of the religion or belief they stem from. Beautiful novel with a spellbinding story.

Skincare:

Simple face wipes

Tried and true best friend for the summer sweaty face. I keep these in my purse to cool my face off after the gym. I also use them to take my makeup off at night when I’m too lazy to wash my face and I use them in the morning to wipe off my night cream. I know, the beauty gurus say face wipes are the anti-christ but my skin has never looked better.

Lush Dark Angels

On the days when I actually bother to take off my makeup I use Lush’s Dark Angels to clean out my ginormous pores. A little goes a long way with this and nine times out of ten I leave my sink looking dirtier than when I started but it’s magic for your face. I’ve used this product off and on for the last 6 months or so and every time I consistently use it my face improves exponentially.

Clothing:

Topshop Jamie Jeans

I am a self-proclaimed pants hater. My resentment specifically manifests on denim. Jeans are tight, uncomfortable and usually boring. To keep up with the current fashion trend of normcore, boring, plain clothing I decided I needed to buy some jeans so I went full basic and bought the ones that youtubers won’t shut up about. Topshops jeans are ridiculously comfy. They’re stretchy, they’re flattering and they come in a variety of colors and styles. I love the Jamie jeans and now wear them religiously. On a cool day the comfort level can almost pass for leggings which is a win in my book.

Workout:

Public Yoga Classes

I am an avid YWA fangirl. Youtube workouts are my shit and Adriene makes yoga make sense. Recently B and I decided it was time to take our home yogas out to a yoga studio. I found a Groupon for a local studio so naturally we went with the cheapest one. The class we took was a Hatha Flow Level 1 and we loved it. After the practice the yoga instructor complimented our practice and I’ve never seen B happier. I highly recommend supplementing your home practice with the occasional public class.

SPRING Your Closet into Spring: My New Favorite Shopping App

As I mentioned in, Don’t be a hoarder, DONATE, fast fashion is horrendous for people and the planet. Everyone should watch The True Cost for more terrifying but important information about the horrors of the fast fashion industry. The film is eye opening but scarring… it’s the Forks Over Knives of fast fashion.

But sometimes we all need a little retail therapy…

Closeup of woman holding shopping bags with copy space
Closeup of woman holding shopping bags with copy space

For me my consumer guilt is slashed in half  if I get a good deal on a high quality product. My conscience and wallet have decided it is better to spend more on one nice thing – but it is even better to spend very little while still getting a high quality product. That’s where Spring comes in.

Spring is an app I happened upon from a podcast add (Allison Rossen is Your New Bestfriend) and I am OBSESSED with it. Spring allows customers to select their favorite items from a bunch of different companies (including high end brands), buy the items directly through the app AND they pay for shipping!

I repeat, FREE SHIPPING!

Spring also lets its customers favorite items on the app and sends notifications when the prices drop. Spring keeps track of all of the huge sales without forcing me to read every spam email from all of my favorite brands.

Does this sound too good to be true?

Because I agree. I could not believe that an app would do this for me. The cynic in me can’t figure out what’s in it for them? But, I couldn’t pass the deals up…

So I took the risk for you and went on a mini shopping binge. I bought an array of items ranging from moderately fast fashion to high end. To date I have bought items from American Apparel (RIP but your former CEO was an asshole), Urban Outfitters, PacSun (I know it’s for children but they had super cute mom jean shorts), Free People, Sweaty Betty and Coach. I even bought some fun sweatpants for B, because why the hell not!

And, EVERYTHING FUCKING SHOWED UP. Like magic, I tell you. One week after ordering almost all of my beautiful items were in my greedy little clutches. Then, the inevitable of online shopping happened. Those aforementioned mom jean shorts that were cute AF were too big (I know, I know, I’m bragging because I work out- but dear reader remember I started here). I had to cut my losses, try to resell on Poshmark, or return them…so I looked into their return policy and the process was SO EASY. All I had to do was use the prepaid shipping label that came from PacSun with the shorts and bada bing bada boom two weeks later my refund and I went to Taco Bell.

I’m still not sure what’s in it for Spring, but I definitely know this app is for me!

Do you use any apps for online shopping and if so what are they? I never dreamed something this cool could exist.

Don’t be a hoarder, DONATE : A Guide to Spring Cleaning

For the month of March I am turning my anger at our political climate into action. Since this is not enough to completely exhaust the well, I am also directing the rest of my angry energy at cleaning out my closet.

 

Spring is a time for rebirth, and my closet is in dire need of a new life. After watching The True Cost on Netflix I’ve decided to stop investing in fast fashion and start sustainably shopping. Fast fashion is horrible for women, children, the fashion marketplace and mother earth. How we spend our money talks (just look at how consumers coerced the Uber CEO out of a Trump administration position) and conscious consumerism is one of the many ways to protest against this administration. Unfortunately before my closet can be reborn like the phoenix, I must first let it burn.  

 

Instead of throwing all of my “old” clothes away, I decided that the best plan was to take the items from my closet and use them for good. If you, like me, are in need of a closet rebirth check out my ideas below for ways to recycle and places to donate your clothes.

 

The first idea is to donate to women’s shelters! While online shopping, aka speaking with my money, on one of my favorite feminist website Female Collective, I came across their Uplift the Girls campaign. Uplift the Girls was created to spread awareness and request donations for undergarments for homeless women. Unfortunately, most of us do not think to donate our gently used bras leaving homeless women without the proper undergarments. Female Collective started this campaign in December and have continued it after its success this winter. Personally, I am guilty of bra hoarding and I have a collection of bras that have almost never been worn. Female Collective has an address on their website that you can mail bras to where they will donate to shelters in LA. 

 

Another option is to donate to the women’s shelters near you. I am guilty of creating a giant donate pile and then ignoring it for months until I finally take it to a donation dumpster in a CVS parking lot. The items I am removing from my beloved wardrobe this time will be going to a local women’s shelter.

 

Now Em, you may say, if fast fashion is evil, shouldn’t you reuse or recycle the items you no longer need? Why don’t you try to resell some of your clothing to make a profit?  In reality, there are probably too many stains on things or missing buttons to resell but if you are a goddess at laundry and your items are still in mint condition I recommend selling them on Depop, Poshmark or Mercari. This helps reduce the creation of throw away clothes, helps people with less money get the latest fashions and if you want to go above and beyond you can donate the money you earn to your favorite charity, or use some of it to buy more clothes (I won’t judge you).

 

My final closet cleaning tip is to turn the shirts you love and can’t give away into a quilt. Blankets are my favorite things in the world and a blanket made out of soft tshirts is heavenly to snuggle with. When I graduated high school and left my first job (a job I worked at for all four years of high school) my best friend made me a quilt out of all of my old shirts. Six years later, I still use that blanket on a weekly basis. I love it and it takes up way less space in my closet than my shirts did.

 

I am very excited for the rebirth of my closet. This purge is a necessary part of the rebirth of my closet and it feels good to do good for the planet and other women while doing so.
Let me know what some of your favorite charities to donate are and what you do with the casualties from your closet clear outs!

Shop ’til You Drop Without Breaking the Bank

Hi, my name is Emily and I am a shopping addict.


I tried to go on a shopping break from Christmas to mid February, but like all good resolutions I have already given up.

 

There is nothing, except food, that I love more than coming home to boxes of items I ordered. Online shopping is like Christmas, except that I’m guaranteed to like the gift because I chose it…the downside is I paid for it.

 

As a millennial with a shopping addiction and with a hefty student loan balance, I have learned to be frugal. Thanks to the internet I can fuel my addiction without going (completely) broke. Below are a few of the websites I use to not break the bank.

 

  1. Camel Camel Camel –  Like all good Americans I buy almost everything I need on Amazon. And why would I not? They literally have EVERYTHING. They have toilet paper, they have books, they have clothes, they sell these Dr Martens that I can’t stop wearing, they even sell these adorable af running shoes. Although Amazon is convenient they don’t always have the cheapest prices. That’s where Camel Camel Camel comes into play. This website allows you to type in the item you want, how much you want to spend on it or how much you want the price to drop. Then it emails you when the items price changes. It literally does ALL of the work for you. I set this for all of my favorite items, like everything on this list. 
  2. Ebates – This is my lifesaver. I love shopping on Steve Madden‘s website (new boots to blog about on the way), ASOS,  H&M and of course, my boo Amazon. With Ebates I get money back for shopping online. All you have to do is create an account, type in the name of the store you want to shop at in the search bar and click through the website to open your shopping trip. Once you’re on the website and shopping you are good to go to check out normally. Within 24 hours Ebates sends an email telling you how much money you got back by clicking through their website. They mail you a check quarterly and boom money in the bank.
  3. Rewards Programs – I am a proud card carrying member of CVS, Rite Aid, World Market,a local bagel shop and the Public Library. While the last one only saves me money in books on loan the other four help my wallet tremendously. If a store offers a free rewards program, DO IT. I was so lazy about this for so long because I’m an IDIOT but not anymore sister. There is nothing more satisfying than paying for my deodorant or post run gatorade with my CVS points. It is definitely worth the spam emails from their marketing campaigns.

Those are my top three discount/money saving sites and programs. I know, I know, I should just stop…but I can’t. Shopping brings me joy.
Let me know how you, my other shopping addicted friends, feed your addiction without going broke af.