Category Archives: working girl under thirty

The Millennials’ Guide to Keeping Up with Goals

We’re just past the mid-year mark – and how are you doing on your annual goals?  It’s a challenge that everyone faces after the excitement of setting New Years’ Resolutions starts to fade…but there is no better time than today to check in on your goals to make sure you are on track.

Here are five tips to keeping up with goals throughout the year, not just the first week in January!

  1. Create habits. It’s almost impossible to achieve significant goals without making a permanent change in your lifestyle, whether it’s to work more hours at the office or to spend more time in the gym.  It’s important to develop habits that will ultimately become a regular activity for you.  For example, one of my goals is to eat healthier snacks while at the office.  If I don’t make a habit out of it, I’ll end up at the office munching on chocolate and Smartie’s every day.  Instead, every Sunday, my husband and I spend the time to go to the grocery store, pick out healthy snacks for the week, and wash, package, and prepare the snacks to make it as easy as possible to execute.  It’s become a habit that we grocery shop and prep our snacks every Sunday afternoon – and now it’s like clockwork!
  2. Utilize Outlook. I love to use Microsoft Outlook to track my work-related goals.  For example, if one of your goals is to better manage your emails, set a recurring task to go through your inbox every Friday afternoon.  I use Outlook to take my goals a step further, beyond professional goals.  I’d like to improve my health and ideally exercise 2 to 3 days per week.  To help make this a priority, I added two exercise classes per week to my Outlook calendar, and even scheduled hikes on the weekend with my husband.  If it’s on my calendar, I’m a lot more likely to do it.
  3. Use a Three-Pronged Approach. Instead of setting five large goals for the entire year, I prefer to break down my list into quarterly, monthly and weekly goals that are more manageable.  If I have a large annual goal that is important to me, I’ll break it up into four chunks so that I’m not overwhelmed by the prospect of a huge goal, and instead inspired to achieve it in four smaller parts.
  4. Review Goals Weekly. I set an Outlook reminder every weekend to review my quarterly goals list, check in with myself on monthly goals, and set goals for the upcoming week. It’s easy to set goals and forget about them – but if you are continually keeping them top of mind, you will naturally make more of an effort to achieve them.
  5. Take Action. A great way to motivate yourself – or in some cases, force yourself – to achieve your goals is to take immediate, and even impulsive, action.  If your goal is to run a half marathon, then start by signing up for the half marathon ahead of even training for it!  If you have an end date in mind, and you are committed to it both financially and mentally, you are that much more likely to achieve your goal when the time comes.  Similarly, if your goal is to save $10,000 in a given year, auto-deduct $833 per month from your paycheck and see your savings start to grow.

Disappearing Desks…And Deleted Emails?

Good for Work-Life Balance – or Detrimental to Business?

Over the past year or so, I’ve read several articles about companies that mechanize their employees’ desks to lift out of reach when the clock strikes 6 o’clock in the evening, that auto-delete employees’ emails when they are on vacation, or that hold emails in a mail store after hours every day.  These are not mom and pop shops either – they are large, established companies with thousands of employees.  So the question is…are they on to something?  Or are they doing their employees (and their business) a disservice?

The Amsterdam design studio, Heldergroen, installed steel cables to lift their employees’ desks off of the floor at the end of the day. Their theory?  “A desk is just a part of life. Not the other way around. Don’t forget to play. To go outside. To breathe. And wonder.”


One benefit of this approach is that Heldergroen can use their space for other activities – such as yoga, dinner parties, and events.  But on the other hand, it can severely disrupt an employee’s productivity, increase their stress levels, and reduce the quality of their deliverables and output by putting them under unnecessary time constraints.

Other companies – and even countries – have tried to regulate work-life balance via email controls.  France’s government recently introduced rules for receiving emails outside of work hours – and has signed a deal with unions that allow union workers to turn off work phones outside of work hours, insisting that they cannot be pressured to check emails.

Volkswagen implemented a rule that their servers would stop releasing emails to its employees a half hour before the end of their work day, and would only send them a half hour before the start of the next day’s work.

Daimler launched a new initiative, “Mail on Holiday,” that takes it a step further by auto-deleting all new emails received while on vacation.  Fortunately, it is an optional initiative!

It’s a great thought to make sure employees’ are enjoying their lives and avoiding burnout – but it’s not all that practical in today’s technology-focused world.  As younger generations are being raised connected to their smartphones, tablets, and laptops, work-life integration, rather than work-life balance, is inevitable.  And as the younger generations embrace work-life integration, they have also found ways of obtaining balance, oddly enough, while staying more on top of work than ever before.  Whether it’s a workout at lunch, or leaving the office early to attend a child’s sporting event, today’s employees value flexibility during the day MORE than work-life balance in the traditional sense.


Real Talk San Diego with Jack Rowell and Stephen Moye

RealTalk San Diego

Real Talk San Diego 2

I had a great time on Real Talk San Diego, ESPN 1700AM, last week!  Thank you, Jack and Stephen, for having me.  The link to segment is below.  Enjoy – and remember to tune into ESPN 1700 for great stories and interesting topics, with the best hosts on radio!

Spaces We Love: Lumosity’s San Francisco Headquarters

One of my favorite parts about working in real estate is seeing what makes certain companies tick – and what differentiates the others. In the world of tech, even the “typical” creative office space with open ceilings and polished concrete floors can differ wildly from one powerhouse company to the next. Take Lumosity, for instance.

On the surface, Lumosity’s space appears to embody the new normal for a high-end tech company looking to attract great talent and retain the best of the best employees. But there’s something even more unique about Lumosity’s space, and you’ll never guess what it is!

Read more at!

Spaces We Love: Facebook’s New City…I Mean Office


Facebook revolutionized the way people communicate, and now they’re revolutionizing the way that growth-oriented companies go about their office space too.

This office is no small brick-and-mortar, $50/square foot tenant improvement project though. It’s part city, part museum, and part tech hub. Designed by Frank Gehry, it’s one of the coolest offices ever built.

Facebook’s sprawling new space might not be feasible to recreate for most office tenants, but there are key elements you can borrow to make even your everyday, high-rise, “building standard” build-out very special.

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Good Companies-vs-Great Companies: A Millennial Perspective


Photo from DesignBoom

In today’s world of employee retention and recruitment, it takes more than decent benefits and a 401K matching plan to attract top Millennial talent.  One look at the offices and the amenities companies such as Google or Facebook are offering their young team members is all you’ll need to see that the best and brightest of the Millennial generation are looking for more than a job.  They’re looking for a lifestyle.  But the most ambitious Millennials entering the workforce are looking for even more.  They’re looking to be a part of something truly excellent.

Innovation has reigned supreme for the duration of Millennials’ lives.  We have grown up heralding ingenuity, entrepreneurialism and creativity.  It’s what we want for ourselves.  We want to be the next Zuckerberg, Mayer, or Blakely.  We see these young leaders not only in positions of power, but as leaders of excellence, and we want the same.

Millennials are looking to be a part of something bigger than ourselves by joining a company that we feel proud to be a part of.  We want to be associated with companies which embody innovation, creativity, and excellence in all regards.  We want to work for great companies, not just good companies.

Excellence Defined

Excellence in the workplace is more than just an ideology or a set of principles.  It’s a set of beliefs and ways of thinking which start with ideas, and are then executed by virtue of discipline.  So what does it look like in the workplace?

It looks like companies like Apple.  Even the employees at Apple’s retail stores are empowered to listen for and resolve expressed and unexpressed needs.  Apple wants to provide uncompromised customer service, so it seeks out those associates who show not only the aptitude, but the drive to anticipate the customer’s needs, and fulfill them before the customer becomes disenchanted.  In fact, Steve Jobs once said “Get closer than ever to your customers.  So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize themselves.”

Other CEOs who have spoken out about the need for excellence in business mimic similar sentiments.  Sam Walton is credited with having said, “The goal as a company is to have customer service that is not just the best, but legendary.” In a similar vein, Debbi Fields, Founder of Mrs. Fields cookies has stated that “Good enough never is.  Set your standards so high that even the flaws are considered excellent.”

Excellence in Action

Great companies deliver excellence in everything they do, and those are the companies that attract the best of the best of the Millennial generation.  We want to work for businesses who have outstanding reputations, because that reputation is indicative that excellence begins within the four walls of the company.  We want to work with companies who are making a difference in the world and in their communities.  We want to work for companies that are spearheading great change in their industry.  Because that’s what we want for ourselves.

Millennials pine for opportunities to push forward, without fear that we’ll be admonished to give up and maintain the status quo.  We want to be a part of making our team’s customer service, products, and deliverables better than ever.  We want to be on the frontlines of innovation, because we grew up on it, and we believe in it wholeheartedly.

Great companies raise the bar and set new standards in their industries, while good companies are content to percolate along, never taking risks.  Great companies encourage out-of-the-box thinking, and want to hear new ideas, even from their youngest team members.  Great companies want their employees to analyze the way we work and look for systems and processes that can be improved upon.  They value our input.

Perhaps Millennials do want a lot.  There’s clearly no shortage of critics who say we want too much.  But from where I’m standing, what we want is only going to challenge businesses to put forth their best efforts in delivering excellence in all they do.  And maybe that’s not such a bad thing.

The New Rise of Downtown


The twenty-first century has experienced a marked shift in the way that companies do business – and the lengths at which strong companies will go to attract top tier talent. With the rise of tech giants such as Facebook, Google, and Apple, who have built incredible, Disneyland-esque campuses to delight and inspire their teams, there has been a global shift in attitudes toward office space and the impact it has on a company’s culture.

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Calling All Landlords: What Tenants Really Want In Their Office Space


I love office space. I love how a space can be transformed from a cold shell to a company’s hub and place to innovate. A key part of my role as a commercial real estate broker who exclusively represents tenants and buyers – the true consumers of office space – is touring our clients through different office spaces and helping them determine which has the most potential to be their firm’s new home should they move. Spending time with our clients as they evaluate the pros and cons of various alternatives has given me insight into what makes tenants fall in love with a particular space, but also what makes them rule others out. Below are ten simple and effective ways landlords can make their office spaces as attractive – and leasable – as possible.

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Spaces We Love: Beats Electronics’ Hip Culver City Headquarters


There are some offices that epitomize a company’s look, feel and brand to a tee – and Beats by Dre’s new space is no exception! Their 105,000 square foot Culver City headquarters is unlike anything I’ve seen before – and the best way to describe it is exactly how I would describe their product and brand. It’s just cool.

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Barrier Busters: Dispelling Myths About Millennial Women

Women Working

Photo from Huffington Post

Last week I came across an article on that I completely connected with. Written by Forbes Contributor Peggy Drexler, the piece Young Women Are Busy Knocking Down Barriers In Business grabbed me from the get-go. As a proud millennial woman, I’m always curious to read what others are saying about my generation’s impact on the workplace…and Peggy nailed it.

Millennials have been painted as all different “types” of employees, some of which are favorable and some… not so much. This article confirmed what I have long believed: People may say a lot of things about the youngest generation in the workplace, but they can’t call us pessimistic.

Millennial women are not miserable in their jobs or cynical about the future. In fact, millennials have the most positive outlook for women in the workplace of every generation. 65% of women polled by an Accenture study in 2012 felt equal to men on the job. 66% see visible female role models in their companies. Only 33% feel stagnant in their careers. We’re happy. We feel challenged. And we like it.

While glass ceilings certainly still exist today, that glass appears to be just a little bit thinner, and I believe it’s because millennial women place incredible value on having a rewarding and successful career. Proof can be seen in the fact that, in a 2012 Pew Research Center study, for the first time, more women than men placed great value on a high paying career. More than 2/3 of young working women rate a successful career as “high on their list of life priorities.” This is in contrast to less than 60% of men who deem a high paying career as a high priority.

I haven’t conducted a survey to find out why the women of my generation are more positive and more optimistic about our futures, but I’m willing to bet that it has a lot to do with the fact that we see progress in motion. 44% of us want to start our own businesses. We want to be in positions of leadership. We also want families. And with continued societal advancement, the idea of having it all is becoming a more and more realistic future for us.  We’re navigating our own destiny to obtain it. We see women including Marissa Mayer and Sara Blakely doing it, and we know that we can do it too.

So what will the future of the workplace in which women are happier and more confident look like?

My hunch is that, as more and more millennials move into positions of leadership in the workplace, we’re going to see even more positive changes. With far more millennial women in positions of leadership, I hope to see the workplace as a whole become much more flexible, and friendlier, when it comes to accommodating career-driven women who also happen to embrace motherhood.

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