12 Habits of a Successful BOSS.

21 July 2017

Girlboss, Nasty Gal, habits of a girlboss, fashion blogger, anika may, successful girlboss, dream job, fashion stylist, blogger flatlay, pinterest photo, fashion stock photo, lifestyle post, yorkshire blogger
I'm all about being your own boss, or bad-ass, or killer-queen. Anything the means taking control of your life and letting the world know who's in charge makes me happy. Plus, anything that encourages self-love and positivity also makes me very happy. There are some people out there who may think: "She's not a BOSS." But funny thing, I don't care. Because I know I'm a boss, the only approval I need is my own. So here are some of the top tips I live by, as my own bad-ass BOSSSSS.

A true boss will never think inside the box, or dream small. It's simply having that all-or-nothing mindset that fuels fiery determination. Ambition is everything when it comes to dominating life. From romance to your career, it's always best to aim high if you want those awesome results. 

As my own boss, I literally never spend money. Unless it's treat yo self day and I'm splurging in the latest season's sale at Trinity Leeds. It's a very hard habit to get into, but saving is so key in every aspect of life. Watch that bank account grow!

Stressing out is not cool. We all do it, I do it 99.99% of the time, but it's not a good habit to have. When the pressure gets too much, it's important to remember that a boss will keep her cool, remember that she's a BOSS and continue to be a BOSS! 

Rules are totally meant to be broken. Why else would they be there? The glass ceiling, or that invisible barrier that's holding you back demands to be broken. A boss would never allow a silly set of rules to stop her from achieving her goal, unless they're for safety of course. 

I definitely struggle to become independent from time to time, but as the successful boss I strive to be, I know that working life out on my own is a big part of growing up. Leaning on people for support is natural and always helpful, but if a boss wants to do something on her own, she'll do it on her own!

The ideas never stop coming. A dry spell happens every so often, but it's never the end of the world. The bright ideas notepad is never too far away and full of creative concepts, whether they will be the winner or not. Drafts are the stepping stones to success. 

A solid routine is the way forward. It's how the day gets started and how it ends. Plus it keeps the day going and everything in order - just the way a boss likes it. There's something about knowing what's coming that brings peace to the mind. 

Pretty much needed at any given time, but especially for a boss. To create a successful routine, you have to be organised in the first place. Developing this skill takes time and training but it's always worth it.

As much fun as success may be, having fun is way better. There's something about hard work that makes the pay-off ten thousand times better. The greatest part? Loving what you do and doing what you love. As the weekend rolls around, have fun!

Bad-ass bosses are smart. They're smart in whatever field they want to feel smart in. It could be any topic or activity under the sun, but education is incredibly important. Not only is it an enormous luxury to be able to learn, but also beneficial for future boss adventures. 

It's all fun and games until something goes wrong and you lose the will to continue. That's a big no-no for a boss. Nothing throws them off, no one puts them off. If a boss wants to achieve she WILL achieve. Say this out-loud every so often, and keep your eyes on the prize. 

A boss certainly isn't bothered about the opinions of others. Success looks different to everybody. You don't necessarily need to compete with or copy people to do well. Just be confident in you. Love yourself. And you'll become the next big BOSS!
A couple of my BOSS must-haves:

5 Ways to Unwind After Work

18 December 2016

Work life is a hectic life. You enter the building stressed and often leave stressed, which makes it a lot more difficult to relax in the evening, and get other tasks done. For me, it’s really important to unwind after work, as shake off that office feeling before the night sets in. So, here are five ways to unwind after a long day!

Write down your worries, and ignore them until tomorrow
I wouldn’t live without my journal. I write down a lot of things in there, from blog post ideas to goals for the New Year, but one thing I do to unwind is note down every worry or stress from the day, to be forgotten about until tomorrow. It’s one of those “cross-the-bridge-when-we-get-to-it” things, but never procrastination. I hate coming home, and still thinking about stuff to do for work, so if I note them down, I feel less guilty about unwinding at home.

Grab a colouring book
I was actually very critical of adult colour books when they first became a huge trend. It’s just, how can colouring possibly calm someone down? Well, they do. They really do. I bought a super simple one from Waterstones (out of fear that the complex ones would stress me out more), and also downloaded the Recolor app for when I’m on the go. Colouring books are so much more relaxing than I ever expected, and I look forward to getting home and just chilling with my pencils!

Lay down somewhere comfy and cosy
I’m an incredibly lazy person, there’s no doubt about it. So any chance I get to lay down, is one I’ll take. Usually my sofa is the go-to, but I’ve started heading straight to my bed and just getting cosy for a few minutes while I chill, rather than the living room. The reason behind this, is because I try to avoid screens for the first hour or so when I get home, just to really unwind. There’s no television in my room, so I’m not tempted to lay down, watch TV and stay there for the rest of the night.

Give yourself a mini massage
I’m not the best at massaging others, but I can give myself a mini shoulder rub to chillax after work. Giving yourself a mini massage with two hands or tools is really relieving, mentally and physically. I found this awesome article with some of the best self-massage tools to buy, and they’re so affordable! Making a mini-spa in my own home is one of my favourite ways to wind down as I can’t help but feel more relaxed than usual J

Change the environment or atmosphere
There’s one thing I know for sure, when I leave work, I don’t want to think about work. I love my job, but I don’t want to be in it 24/7. Once autumn hits, it’s no secret that literally everyone becomes obsessed with candles and I’m no different. It’s almost instinctual to grab a lighter and light up everything in sight. Music is also a big yes, because it can change any atmosphere in an instant – oh how I love Spotify. There are thousands of playlists, and the acoustic-based ones have to be my favourite, they set a really nice ambience for a relaxed evening.

How do you like to unwind after a long day at work? Have a great Sunday!

Passion for Plum

17 November 2016

Bingley, UK
I love this colour! Any chance to wear it I'm totally going to take advantage of and today is the day. I don't do a whole lot of workwear posts on Anika May because I no longer work in an office, and I have no desire to return. Yet, the one thing I do miss is the super chic office outfits! It's one of the reasons I was so drawn to Suits, the women always look so stylish!

How to Decide If Your Job Is Wrong for You

25 July 2016

Leeds, UK
There are thousands of people who could tell you the worst thing about their job, however some find at least one aspect they like or one area they thrive in. Sadly, on the other hand, some employees simply can’t stand going to work and daydream about quitting every day. I’ve been there, and it took a lot for me to finally decide to pack in that sense of security and realise I was in the worst job ever.

Detesting your routine
It’s Sunday night, the idea of Monday is nauseating and the whole routine is just a headache waiting to happen. This is something that’s really common, but if the idea of the week ahead is sickening so much it affects quality of life, I would definitely say it’s time to figure out the next step. I used to love Friday nights, but also feel slightly sad because I knew the next week was so close – that was my sign!

Extreme lack of enthusiasm
I have a lack of enthusiasm when it comes to most things… like to think I’m quite similar to April from Parks and Rec, I’m pretty moody and have the bitchiest resting face, but if you give me something I really care about, I will jump up and become full of life. At work, most of my co-workers probably thought I was miserable, and it’s because I was. If there’s not even the faint flavour of zeal at work, maybe it’s not the best place the build a career.

Counting down to the weekend
While working full time, I used to say “every week is just a countdown to the weekend” and that’s really not the mindset to have. It was difficult for me to realise this train of thought isn’t productive at all, as it means I’m just wishing my life away and life is way too short to be doing that. It’s important to value the time we have, and that shouldn’t be spent wallowing around the office.

Little respect for your manager and colleagues
It wasn’t difficult for me to imagine my manager being hit by a bus every so often. I can’t even lie about it, the woman was evil. As time grew on, I lost more and more respect for her and the workers who did nothing all day. At that point I noticed I wasn’t in the right job because I don’t care for the authority or the rules, not the attitude to have.

Dreading team nights outs
Ugh. Nothing was worse. Yates Leeds became known as the local hell for me because it’s where all the team nights out were held. As soon as someone has a birthday, or retires, or moves house, or passes a test… or sneezes. Saying no over and over become very difficult, so team nights out and general co-worker association is a devastating occasion. When that’s the worst thing life could throw out, it’s time to leave.

Waiting until 08:59 to enter the building
This always makes me laugh because I did this every day. The funniest thing is that I would get into Leeds for around 8:30, and take the longest walk to work, before spending a good fifteen minutes in the bathroom playing Kim Kardashian: Hollywood before strutting to my desk to ensure I was never late, but more importantly never early. Even on days where I had to start at 7am, I sat and ate my breakfast before even thinking of logging on. Avoiding work like that showed me it was the wrong job for me.

Have you ever quit a job? How did you know it was the wrong career path for you? 
Disclaimer: I understand many people don’t enjoy their jobs but it’s their only means of survival. I know this from experience and would like to stress this post is just for entertainment. 

12 Ways Full-Time Employment Changed Me

18 July 2016

Harden, UK
For just over a year, I worked a basic 9 to 5 office job for one of the county’s biggest building societies. It was an eye-opening experience for me, not only because I learned to grow up and actually adult at life, but I also found that I had changed quite a lot, and for the better. I’ve always been a reserved person, but working in a large team of people, surrounded by hundreds of others, I have realised growing up isn’t the worst thing in the world.

#1 I developed a thicker skin
Naturally, I’m a very sensitive person, sometimes I don’t take well to criticism and there have been times in my life where I have just cried because things aren’t going my way. Well, that’s exactly what happened at my office job. It was my first real job and I cried almost every day for about three weeks. However, as time passed, I began to notice a change. As much as I hated my job and my manager hated me, I really didn’t care. Insults and digs didn’t bother me anymore and that has stayed with me today.

#2 Businesses aren’t all fair and proper
When I first started working, I was absolutely horrified at the way some people behaved. But I figured they would be punished or disciplined for their actions that were clearly against the rules set out to me on my first day. Well, it was quite the contrary. In fact, the managers were worse than the employees and for a company that deals with the finances and mortgages of other people, it didn’t sit well with me. It’s surprising to see how some of the biggest establishments in the country are not as pristine as they make out.

#3 Not everyone is going to like me
Not that I assume everyone I meet is going to fall in love with me and want to be my best friend, but I figured the human thing to do is be civil with the people you work with. Well, a whole year in employment taught me otherwise. In the office I worked in, if you didn’t like or get alone with someone, you made it clear. My manager wasn’t my biggest fan and this affected my colleagues’ view of me as well. I got to a point where I finally accepted, not everyone is nice, and not everyone will love me.

#4 It's okay to cry if you feel sad
As mentioned, I can be very sensitive so it’s not hard to get me to cry. However, I always felt bad for stressing out about my job and crying at work. Part of me wondered why no one else seemed as awkward as me. Of course, anxiety played an enormous role is my attitude to the job, but I was in a toxic environment for a year – it’s normal to feel down about it. Towards the end of the job, I just learned to get on with it, but this is a lesson it took me a while to get used to. And if I’m sad, yeah I’ll cry!
#5 Stand up for yourself!
Because I’m such a shy person, I just tend to adhere to authority, and as this 9 to 5 was my first job so I didn’t really know any better. My manager wasn’t the nicest person on Earth and often found that she was handing me jobs that were way out of my job description. This happens from time to time, and I’m happy to do it when needed, but cleaning a storage cupboard all day and refusing to give me any work when there is work to be done is a step too far. And so, one day I decided to say something and stand up! This made no difference In her attitude, but I feel much better than before.

#6 There’s always a positive
There have been many times in my life when all seems to be going wrong and there’s no up. However, working in full time employment has helped me to learn that bad days have a positive, even if I can’t see it until a week or a month later. It’s totally normal to feel down, but it’s really important to remember not to stay down. No matter how horrific a working situation got, I always forced myself to remember: “you can only go up from here”. 

#7 I find motivating myself easy
After working somewhere I called “hell” for a year, I have no problem doing many of the jobs I do today. For example, there are days where I really don’t want to blog – I just want to lay in bed at watch Parks & Rec all day while stuffing my face with mini marshmallows. Similarly, I currently work for two amazing charities, Clothing Solutions and Beaneezy (please give the Facebook pages a like if you can!), and sometimes don’t feel up to doing all the reporting and finance stuff, but then I remember: would I rather be here or at my old job? And now I have no problem motivating myself!

#8 It makes a great horror story
Telling people about my experience always leaves them with horrified expressions on their faces. I get the “how on Earth did you stay there for a year?!” question which always makes me laugh. In a way, I guess it’s like a (very weak) survivor story and because of my experience I feel like a much stronger person today. I’m able to face most challenges head on and prepare for the worst, rather than shrivel up in fear every time. 
#9 My skills were refined 
I’m quite the introvert so putting myself out there isn’t the easiest thing in the world. While working at the building society, I learned to improve my conversation and social skills because I spoke to so many different people every day. Working on a computer each day also helped me improve those skills, from touch typing to using keyboard shortcuts. I no longer work in customer services, but working in an investment department and talking to customers frequently gave me the confidence to speak to more people – a valuable skill!

#10 Hello confidence!
Before starting the job in Leeds, I was incredibly shy, awkward and weird around people I don’t know. Nowadays, I’m still the same shy weirdo but I don’t freak out or panic as much in a public situation. If someone talks to me, I don’t say the first thin my brain thinks of, I’m able to respond like a human and that shows an increase in confidence for me. Despite not being at a place where I can rock up to a photoshoot and pose like the next Tyra, I’m a lot more confident taking photos in public and speaking to new people. 

#11 I have a sense of ambition
I never thought of myself as an ambitious person. Honestly, I can be very lazy and occasionally find it difficult to get motivated. While working in the building society office, I learned I didn’t like my job. I just wasn’t enjoying any aspect at all, and didn’t look forward to each day. I know it’s normal for people to hate their jobs, but most the people in the office just stayed because they couldn’t be bothered to job hunt. On the other hand, I was the complete opposite – I hunted for jobs every single day and applied for hundreds, so maybe I do have the potential to strive for more. 

#12 I know how to use public transport/navigate rush hour
This is something I would have never known how to do unless I experienced it. If I went to London, I wouldn’t be as fearful of using a busy underground or bus station because I have experience using Leeds’ transport during the busiest hours of the day. When I first started, I didn’t know up from down; but towards the end, I turned into an employed zombie like many of the other strangers in suits, tutting at those who can’t swipe their travel card properly and hold up the queue. It’s a good understanding to have!

Have you ever worked full-time? Has it changed you?
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