The Intellectual Virtues

Constellation of behaviors

Merriam-Webster defines a virtue as having morally good behavior or character, a good and moral quality, or the good result that comes from something.  So what if we applied this kind of standard to the way we think?  David Brooks recently did this in his column and shared a list of intellectual virtues to consider. Which are you practicing and which could you get better at?

1. A love of learning.

2. Courage. (knowing when to be daring and when to be cautious)

3. Firmness. (sticking to your beliefs, but being open to adjusting the strength of your convictions in proportion to the strength of evidence supporting them)

4. Humility.

5. Autonomy.

6. Generosity.

The Defining Decade: How Decision Making in Your 20′s Can Change Your Entire Life

I am a big, big fan of Dr. Meg Jay. Her latest book, The Defining Decade, is the ultimate manual for the twenty-something looking for (well-researched!) advice and insight into some of the bigger decisions we’re faced with as 30 draws closer. As Robert Frost says, “time and tide wait for no man, but time always stands still for a woman of 30″.

I think two of the most important reflections revolve around life passion and relationships. The right partner can catapult you ahead by enhancing your life. The right passion can bring you closer to what you’re ultimately supposed to be doing, even if you haven’t quite figured it out yet. And what trumps everything? Experience. How can we desire what we do not know? And with that, I’ll leave you with a quote form Meg Jay’s book:

“Real confidence comes from mastery experiences, which are actual, lived moments of success, especially when things seem difficult. Whether we are talking about love or work, the confidence that overrides insecurity comes from experience. There is no other way.” (The Defining Decade, page 159)


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The Art of Landing Your Dream Job on LinkedIn

LinkedIn Social Networking for the Job who's who

Staring at your dream job posted online and wondering how you can get your resume into the right hands? Look no more. The six steps every LinkedIn user should follow to navigate their way to success:

1. Create a list of five to ten (no more than ten!) companies you’d like to work for in a certain industry. Can only think of one or two? Check out the companies that your connections with similar interests follow or check out the suggested companies listed next to a company of interest that you’re following on LinkedIn. This should appear on the side of the company’s LinkedIn page. Research these companies, follow the ones of interest, and proceed to step two. Alternative: If you already have a job in mind at a certain company, skip to number 3.

2. Look at the open positions that fit your area of expertise at each company. Also look at the experience of the individuals currently holding this position or similar positions at each company. This will give you insight as to how competitive your resume will match up with their posting and their current standard for hiring in your area of interest.

3. Connect with recruiters and human resource members at each company you would like to apply to. Start by opening up an advanced search, key in the name of the company, and set the tab to “current”. Then key in the words “recruiter” or “human resources” or “hr” into the “Title” section and set the tab to “current”. You may run two or three searches with this combination of both Title and Company filled in, and it will likely pull up two to three contacts that you can connect with as outlined in the rules of step four.

4. Now that you have (let’s just say…) two recruiters you’re eyeing in one company, see if you’re able to connect with them directly. If not (if they’re out of your network), see what groups they follow that might be of interest to you. Being members of the same groups on LinkedIn is an automatic way to connect and a way to get around someone that is out of your network. If they accept mail, you can also send them a three sentence (no more, no less) introduction stating who you are, your experience (make it “sticky”+memorable), the position you’re interested in, and if they would like to see your resume. Before doing this, make sure to closely scope out their LinkedIn page because sometimes their email is tucked in discreetly. An alternative for creative positions would be to see who the creative directors are at the company and include a link to your portfolio in this introductory message or visit their blog/portfolio (as listed in their profile) and send them a message.

5. Follow formalities. Visit the company’s career page and apply for the job.

6. Keep on working. This means do whatever you want to do full-time on your own time NOW whether it be writing (start your own blog if your haven’t already or join an online publication), recruiting (volunteer with a charity that helps veterans or others in need with basic job skills), etc. Keep your skills fresh by volunteering and committing yourself in a reasonable and exciting way to your passion. There is nothing as powerful and rewarding as paying it forward and remembering what you love and do best.

As you begin this process, remember two things: <strong>You’ve got this and it only takes one yes</strong>.

Women’s Wear to Work: J.Crew meets LL Bean

J.Crew Minnie Pants

Boat Tote Collage

j.crew layered necklaces

Welcome back friends and thank you again for visiting! Today’s post features two of my favorite brands, J.Crew and LL Bean.  When this photo was taken I was carrying my boat tote, so I figured it would make a nice addition to the shoot.  I can’t tell you how much I fit in there (a weekend’s worth).  LL Bean even has one with a zip top now, which is much more city friendly.  Come to think of it, I suppose I’m rolling the dice toting this around the NYC subway…

Now, onto the feature!  The pants are J.Crew minnies.  I have these in black too.  They’re durable, low cut, and go with anything.  Again, they never wrinkle and look great for night and day.  Although I didn’t wear one today, I usually pair a belt with it and I’m a sucker for Anthropolgie’s belts lately.  The heels are the leather court shoe in nude from Zara and the button down is the Liberty Shirt from J.Crew.  I’m always taken by the bold colors the Liberty Shirt comes in, and by taken, I do mean both my wallet and my heart.  Everytime I think a pattern is too wild, it ends up being so ornate with solid color bottom or coupled with a blazer.  The layered necklaces are also J.Crew.  For work, I’ve found that layering pearls with a flat metallic piece underneath makes a statement without looking like Cleopatra.  Although tempting, best to keep your alter ego at home, or better yet, pack her in your boat tote for later.



Little Miss Know It All: Fashion and Tech News

Erin Fetherson

The best in this weeks fashion news from yours truly.

Revealed: The Gwyneth Paltrow and Stella McCartney Collaboration

Tuned: Gisele Bundchen Singing in the New H&M Campaign

Tethered: PayPal Refreshes Movil App to Woo Shoppers and Fight Off Rivals (that’s for you, Square…)

Debuted: Rebecca Minkoff to Debut Runway Looks on Snapchat

Designed: The Dick Tracy Watch is Real, and You’re Going to Want One

Women’s Wear to Work: Featuring ASOS

ASOS Wrap Dress

ASOS Wrap Dress

asos wrap dress women's wear to work blog


Welcome back friends! It’s Wear to Work Wednesday.  Today’s feature is a wrap dress from ASOS that arrived at my door step last night.  I love coming home to packages. I was on an everything floral, ornate, and geisha (re: feminine, ancient, and dark with sprouts of pale pinks and purples) spree when I ordered it.  Also in my delivery were a few kimono cardigans, which I’ll share later.  I love how lightweight this dress is.  I’ve been out and about the city all day long and it hasn’t wrinkled a bit.  In fact, I’m wearing it as I type to you.  The night is young!  The black beads I paired with it are a single necklace from H&M.  I may layer on a few more black strands before heading out again…

Dream is forbidden, nostalgia is forbidden, to be too sweet is not good. Everything we used to feel historically, now you can’t enjoy. The clothes are the expression of this impossible dream.” Miuccia Prada


Erika's Bookshelf

The Trauma of Everyday Life
The Hero Within: Six Archetypes We Live By
The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success: A Practical Guide to the Fulfillment of Your Dreams
The Book of Secrets: Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life
Crazy Sexy Diet: Eat Your Veggies, Ignite Your Spark, and Live Like You Mean It!
Ask and It Is Given: Learning to Manifest Your Desires
The Language of Letting Go: Hazelden Meditation Series
The Language of Letting Go Cards: A 50-Card Deck
Wishes Fulfilled: Mastering the Art of Manifesting
Love Is a Choice: The Definitive Book on Letting Go of Unhealthy Relationships
The Spiritual Rules of Engagement: How Kabbalah Can Help Your Soul Mate Find You
The Self Illusion: How the Social Brain Creates Identity
Journey to Ixtlan
Shakti Woman: Feeling Our Fire, Healing Our World
What Remains: A Memoir of Fate, Friendship, and Love
The Year of Magical Thinking
Blue Nights
Awaken the Spirit Within: 10 Steps to Ignite Your Life and Fulfill Your Divine Purpose
The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter--And How to Make the Most of Them Now
Trust Your Vibes: Secret Tools for Six-Sensory Living

Erika's favorite books »