The Success Diaries: Georgina Burke

Dear Geo,

To the most outgoing, bubbly girl in the world, there are so many things that I want to tell you!

You are at such an awkward stage of your life right now and it doesn’t help that you stand out like a sore thumb. You tower over your friends at school and with your loud laugh and large personality, it’s hard not to notice you. I want you to know that the people who bully you, the people who shove you to the ground and hurt you both physically and emotionally, are not worth your tears. You have a family and people around you who love and support you, so ignore the bullies and stay true to yourself!

No matter what you’re doing or feeling, remember to stay focused, never take shortcuts and always dress for success because you never know who is watching. The way you present yourself is a reflection of you, so stand tall and be confident in your own skin. Be consistent and kind; a simple courtesy can begin a lifelong friendship. Being the best role model for yourself will not only impact you, but everyone around you.

Geo, you have so much to look forward to! There are going to be some bumps in the road, but once you realize all you have to offer to your friends and the world, I promise, you won’t look back.

Take each day as it comes, live in the moment and hold no regrets.



Georgina Burke is an Australian model represented by Jag Models. A former pageant star and equestrian athlete, Georgina was discovered in Australia at age 17, and has since moved to New York. She is the U.S. brand ambassador for Torrid and has been featured in the pages of Vogue Italia. A style-guru, Georgina is passionate about fashion and has spoken out about the need for size diversity in designer clothing. 

Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Big Magic”


Everyone wants to write the next mega- selling Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling or don beautiful heels and perform on stage like Beyoncé but very few know how to make the dream a reality. In Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert provides the tools. She tells her story on the creative process, providing humor and wisdom on what’s essential in order to release the gifts inside you.

The author of best-selling books Eat, Pray, Love; Committed; and Signature of All Things, Gilbert is a widely celebrated author but is no stranger to hardship. Before her success, she was in her early twenties working as a waitress in diners, bartending, serving as a teacher at NYU and traveling, all the while writing—which came with its fair share of rejection letters. Gilbert understands the difficulties in pursuing a creative career, yet she also attests that there is great joy in it. This inspired her to write Big Magic.

In Big Magic, Gilbert breaks the steps to creative living in six chapters: “Courage,” “Enchantment,” “Permission,” “Persistence,” “Trust” and “Divinity.” Through personal anecdotes, wit and advice, Gilbert offers the tools needed to go after your creative passions.

Unlike other works written by Gilbert, in Big Magic, she not only allows the reader into her life, discussing the experiences she faced as an emerging writer but she also provides numerous advice and wisdom for those wanting to pursue their passion. In “Permission,” Gilbert lets the reader understand that waiting to be told when to pursue your ideal job is pointless. She made a commitment to herself at the young age of 16 that writing would be her job and she continues to be relentless in her pursuit.

Gilbert’s book is for all those with the burning sensation to go out and produce something, whether a “struggling writer,” “emerging artist” or an expert in your field, Big Magic provides inspiration to everyone. Inspiration to start and continue to do the work that fuels you.

What Are Some Great Jobs for Your Personality Type?

Is there a way that your personality can determine your dream job for you? The folks at seem to think so. These crafty creatives have brought the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator to life with the below infographic.

And if you’re thinking to yourself “the Myers-Brigss WHAT?” Don’t worry, we’ve got you! The MBTI was created by a mother-daughter team some years ago to make the theory of psychological types understandable and useful in people’s lives, the key word being “useful.” Once you’ve determined your personality type, you can apply that to job industries where those characteristics might be most fitting. So if you’re an admin assistant that secretly yearns to be a nurse, there may be more method to that madness than you think!

Find out what your personality type is here and then see what careers thinks might be best for you:

The Best Jobs for your Personality Type

Being Emotional Intelligent Benefits Your Work

Thanks to Brighton School of Business and Management for these awesome statistics! Find out more about the great work this school is doing at!

Hot Winter Hair Styles for the Cold Months

African Pride, the premium quality, affordably priced hair care line for women of color, served as proud official sponsor of the 2015 Soul Train Awards that aired nationwide on BET Networks’ Centric TV last month.  Viewers were treated to the most on-trend celebrity red carpet hairstyles and fashions exclusively with actress and model Eva Marcille hosting the Soul Train Awards Red Carpet Style Stage.  For our ladies who want to gear up for the holiday season in style, African Pride is pleased to share a variety of tips to achieve your most stylish holiday hair ever!

Let us know what looks you’ll be rocking this winter @dressforsuccess!

Dear DFS: How Do I Look for Work During the Holidays?

Dear DFS, 

I was laid off last month and have been tirelessly searching for a new position in my field, but unfortunately, no luck yet. I am starting to get concerned that I will not have a job before the New Year and I know companies aren’t focused on hiring during the holidays. How can I continue to be productive in my job search over the next couple months?  

Thank you for your help, 


Nashville, TN

Dear Alexis,

We wish you much SUCCESS on your job search and know how difficult this transition can be.  It sounds like you have a goal to find a job by December 31st!  You are already motivating yourself to stay focused and move forward!  It’s easy to say you are searching for a new job, but by giving yourself a deadline – it will keep you motivated in trying to find a new career.

Here are just a few tips to stay focused and motivated to move yourself forward:

Make a plan.

Have you researched area companies you are interested in working with?   Are there any job fairs coming up in your area?  Are there any corporations expanding or looking for new employees?  Retailers, restaurants and hotels are currently hiring for temporary holiday employees. It may open a door to something new, keep you busy during this time of year and/or lead you to new connections in your community or industry. Here is a recent article regarding the upcoming 2014 4th Quarter:

Do your research.

Companies may look great on paper or sound great to talk about – but have you actually talked to employees that work there?  Find out what the culture is like within the organization.  Are you focused on staying in Nashville or are you open to moving to a new community in Tennessee or outside of Tennessee?

Sometimes a foot in the door is well… a foot in the door. One of my first jobs out of college was working as a receptionist at a financial institution.  I then found other opportunities available within the company.  By year two, I had moved up to the cashier position: balancing and depositing incoming checks and stock certificates for client accounts. By year three, I had been offered a position as a sales associate: working with the brokers and clients and preparing portfolios for account reviews. Year four, I studied for and passed my Series 7 test and became a registered sales associate. Year five, I moved over to a new company and found a job I absolutely loved and looked forward to everyday. I loved working with the broker and the clients.

I eventually “retired” from the corporate world and became a stay-at-home mom.  While looking for a place to donate my suits, I found Dress for Success and Des Moines was a targeted area to launch an affiliate. Four years later, I am glad I had the opportunity to find a new passion and be surrounded by so many dedicated people in the community.  When one door closes another one is opening.

Stay connected and have your elevator speech ready.

Are you using LinkedIn?  Have you attended any networking groups in your area (Chamber meetings, Business Networking and Referrals, Referral Leaders International groups)?  Have you been invited to any parties, fundraisers or other events?  When you were employed at your last position, did you have contacts with other companies?  Do you have friends or family at companies you are interested in applying for positions?  Do you volunteer with any local organizations?  It looks like a local Dress for Success in Nashville is in the start-up phase.  Feel free to reach out to them to see how you can help get the doors open. It will show your next employer you are helping in your community during this transition period and staying engaged. Or find another organization to help volunteer with. Many organizations love a commitment of just a few hours a week; it will keep you motivated and give you something to look forward to while you are searching for your new job.

Any time you are networking or at an event and people ask what you do, be ready to respond with a 30-second pitch!  Sell yourself!  And be specific!  Connections may open the door for you, but they need to know what you are looking for. They may know of a position opening at their company and/or have some good contacts for you.  Make sure to thank them for taking the time to listen and remind them to keep you posted on any new opportunities (by email is great and keep it brief!).

Social media.

If you are using LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to make connections – remember – your future employer may also use these tools as well.  Do not post things on social media you would not want your future boss to know about you.

Being laid-off from a position is a difficult transition, but stay positive!  This could be just the break you need to find a new passion, to meet new people and to open a new door.

To your SUCCESS,

 Jody White

Executive Director, Founding Partner

Dress for Success Des Moines

How To Power Lunch Like A Boss

Guest post from the the wonderful ladies a Like a Boss Girls!

Success isn’t always about what you know – but it’s often about who you know and what THEY know.

Learning from people who’ve been there and done that is invaluable. They have wisdom, inspiration, useful advice and sometimes even useful-er admonitions.

Asking for an informational interview or for an opportunity to meet doesn’t have to be hard.  There is nothing wrong with contacting someone you’ve never met. However, every business person puts a value on time. Before they commit to a meeting, they want to be certain that time is going to be wasted. If you’re contacting a complete stranger, ask for something that promises to be shorter than lunch. Ask for a phone call or a discreet amount of time (no more than 30 minutes) at a location convenient for them.

If you do have some connection, be sure that you point this out in the first sentence of your email or phone call. Even better, include it in the first five words: “Dear Ms. Benson, Theresa Scanlon suggested I reach out to you…”

After you establish your association, get to the point and don’t be wishy-washy about it. “I’d love to bounce some ideas off you” is meaningless. If you want to find out more about someone’s pioneering marketing techniques, say it straight out.

For their convenience you can always ask to meet at the person’s office. But if you really want this to be the start of something big, try inviting this new would-be mentor to lunch. (Avoid the whole fighting-over-the-check situation by casually noting that this is your treat. “If you have time this week, I’d love to take you to a quick lunch.”)

While your first business lunch can be nerve-wracking, it gets easier each time. Just keep it simple and take it bite by bite:


This is not the time to get all hoity-toity. Not only will suggesting a five-star restaurant with a seven-course meal come across as pretentious, it requires a greater time commitment than most can accommodate. Remember, a tightly-scheduled CEO won’t want to spend three hours at lunch no matter how charming you are.

Choose an eatery that doesn’t clash with your brand. If you’re launching a new yoga apparel line, suggesting that you grab a bite at the Heart Attack Grill will raise eyebrows. You want to demonstrate that your organization’s values are consistent with your own.

Since you’re the primary beneficiary of this lunch, you’re the one who travels. If possible, suggest a restaurant within ten minutes of your guest’s workplace.


What to eat? Don’t over-think it. There are however, some items to steer clear of: food that’s likely to wind up decorating your shirt (pastas with sauce, chips and salsa, chili) and meals that take a long time to prepare (like risotto), for example.

Keep the special food requests to a minimum. Even if you’re a lo-carb lactose-intolerant pescatarian with a peanut allergy and have to ask for changes. While one or two substitutions are fine, asking the chef to completely remake a dish to suit your needs sends the message that you are high maintenance and difficult to work with. If you’re afraid you won’t be able to find something you can eat, go online, check out the restaurant’s menu and choose something ahead of time.

If there’s absolutely nothing you can ingest without sending written instructions to the kitchen, do everyone a favor and simply go out for coffee instead.


Unless the conversation is flowing like the Niagara, look to wrap things up around the 45-minute mark. This may mean forgoing dessert and coffee. Take a cue from your “date”; ask if they have time for coffee/dessert.  If she/he is in a rush, have your credit card ready as the check is delivered and hand it over after taking a quick glance at the bill.

Just as important as the actual lunch is the day after the meeting. Be sure to follow-up with a thank you email, letting your dining companion know you appreciate their time. These meetings can and should be mutually beneficial. Offer up something to show your appreciation, even if it’s just mentioning some of the things you learned and how you’re going to follow-up.

Always remember: The real power in power lunching lies in the magical alchemy of connection!

For more tips on how to live, work, and rock like a boss,

check out Likea!

Fall Beauty Tips: Dry Skin is Never In!


There are a lot of beauty benefits to fall: avoiding the sweat that clogs our pores during the warmer months, a significant decrease in humidity, which leaves our hair gorgeous and flowing. However, as the weather cools down, women face seasonal beauty troubles that interrupt our daily routines. This month at Dress for Success, we are here to help you combat one of the most devious fall beauty culprits: dry skin.

This impending cold weather woe can easily become more irritating than trick-or-treaters who keep knocking long after you’ve turned your lights off. Cooler temperatures mean less moisture in the air. And as the temperature drops, so does the humidity that helps maintain our dewy summer complexion. While cooler air may be great for your blow out, it unfortunately drains the moisture from your skin, leaving it noticeably parched. Even normal habits we develop in the winter and fall, like drinking more coffee to combat the fatigue we feel from earlier sunsets, contribute to developing dry skin. In fact, too much caffeine is one of the greatest causes of dry skin. And those hotter showers you take to warm up from the morning frost? Hot water actually strips our skin of necessary oils to keep us hydrated.

Think you are about to spend the entire winter irritable and scratching away? The good news is that there are many ways we can keep our skin nourished during the colder months of the year.

  • The first step is to moisturize. Investing in a bottle of thick lotion moisturizer is the easiest way to ensure that you won’t be feeling itchy all day from flaky skin. Most retailers carry generic brands that cost only a few dollars and are large enough to last you until the spring. It’s easy to incorporate lathering up into your daily routine, start just by using your lotion right after your shower.


  • But remember what we told you about hot showers? Save some money on your heating utilities and stop taking them! Stick to warm showers and baths, which won’t remove the oils that keep your skin hydrated.


  • Also, you have probably learned from a young age that milk does the body good. In fact, the natural fats and lactic acid in milk can soften and exfoliate the dead skin cells which are making you itch. But don’t waste your money on expensive “milk-infused” spa products; one of our favorite tricks is to just add two cups of milk to a warm bath. This simple step hydrates your skin and gives you a relaxing spa experience right in your own home. Add a little music and what better way to relax and rejuvenate after a hard day’s work?


  • But, the ultimate secret to keep you itch free all winter? Drink more water. Water hydrates the body inside and out. Eight glasses of water a day will not only best prepare you to combat dry skin, but with those sips you are guaranteed to be keeping your body healthy and hydrated throughout all the cold months ahead.

How Networking Works

Guest Post by Reesa Staten of Robert Half

“When one tugs at a single thing in nature,

he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

Recently, I accepted an invitation to attend an industry conference in Chicago. I rarely go to these events because my job in California takes so much of my time. But I was curious to meet the people at this particular meeting because they hold roles similar to my own. It was a chance to compare notes on our jobs and make new connections.

Networking doesn’t come second nature to me. But connections do. Career experts will often tell you to “keep moving” when you are at a networking event or reception: make small talk, share a few things about yourself, exchange cards and go on to the next person. That never works for me. I like to connect with the people I meet by finding common ground, sharing a personal story, looking for ways I can use my experience to help the other person, or vice versa. I may spend the majority of my networking time speaking to just a handful of people.

This approach doesn’t work for everyone. It might not even work for the majority. But it feels right to me. And that is exactly the point. You need to find the networking style that best fits your personality. I like to get to know people, and I’m not thinking about how they can benefit me professionally — not immediately that is. Later when I reflect on our conversations, those opportunities to ask for advice or assistance invariably surface. I’m convinced this wouldn’t happen if I hadn’t taken the time to make a genuine connection. When I do, the door is wide open.

When you network, meeting new people is part of the process, but don’t forget your own self-interests. If you are in the job market, make sure you let people know. If you’re currently employed but exploring new job opportunities, let them know that, too.

A recent OfficeTeam survey of senior managers found that not asking others for help is the top networking mistake people make. Failing to keep in touch with contacts and not thanking the people who help you were also common pitfalls.

If you’re not yet confident networking, here are few tips to increase your comfort level:

1. Leave no stone unturned. Don’t rely solely on formal networking events or social media to broaden your list of contacts. Everywhere you go, you have an opportunity to make new connections that could lead you to your next big thing. Look at even chance encounters as opportunities for networking.

2. Nurture your network. Keep connections alive by checking in with your contacts periodically. Networking should be a process, not a one-time event. If you see something in the news you know would be interesting to people you know, share it with them. If you learn of a job that seems right for someone, pass that information along, too.

3. Don’t procrastinate. You should follow up with people within a week of meeting them and ideally sooner. That way, your conversation is still top of mind. If someone contacts you, respond quickly to show your interest in keeping in touch.

4. Be courteous. Don’t make networking all about you by constantly pushing your agenda. Not everyone you meet is in a position to help you, nor will they always have time to stop everything and hear you out. Treat new connections like you would any new friendship by being friendly, diplomatic and open. You’ll be rewarded with a more loyal network.

5. Perfect your grip. Networking may not come naturally to you. If you’re afraid or embarrassed to meet new people in a business setting, have more career-related conversations with people you already know. It will give you practice describing what you are looking for and what you can do. The more you have these conversations, the more confident you will be when you meet someone who could more directly influence your job prospects.

When we are very young, making new friends comes easily. But as we grow older, insecurities emerge that chip away at our confidence. Just remember that other people have the same insecurities — and the same desire to make connections — that you do. Take your cue from your 5-year-old self, and don’t be afraid to start a new conversation. If you’re positive and genuine, the people you meet will be happy not only to make a connection with you but also to invite you into their network. That’s how networking works!

Reesa Staten is senior vice president of Corporate Communications and director of workplace research for Robert Half, the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm. Staten has been writing job search advice for more than 15 years and oversees Robert Half’s extensive workplace research program. Write to her at