Money in the Thank

In the world of business, thank you cards are like a “nice to see you” hug on steroids. We don’t know about you, but at Urban Professor there’s nothing quite like a “nice to see you” hug. Much like a great hug, thank you cards are warmer, more sincere, and standout from the pack of others compared to sending an e-mail, phone call, text, or nothing at all.

In a day and age of increased technology, business execs have an even heightened appreciation for the effort and time one takes to buy a card, fill it out with thoughts customized for them, lick the nasty tasting envelope seal (amazing that it’s 2010 and we haven’t invented an envelope seal that taste like Kool-Aid, “Red” flavor), pay a small, but, still additional postage fee, and then locate the nearest postal shipper to send it their way. I mean c’mon, that has to beat an IM, e-mail, e-card, phone call, or tweet on any day. You’ll also quickly find out that thank you cards won’t get stuck in the voicemail call back list, e-mail spam, or HR forget me piles. Surprising as it may be, the simple gesture of sending a thank you card usually triggers the recipient to reach out to you to say Thank You for the card if nothing more.

A good thank you card should usually be blank or contain minimal pre-written manufactured text besides “Thank You”; all other text should be from you. The card should be on nice, yet simple design card stock, and you can buy them by the pack or singles (and no the singles are not called “Loosies”). A pack can range from $1.99 to upwards of $9.99 and they can be purchased anywhere from drugstores with greeting card inventory to stationery stores like Hallmark or Papyrus.

Your message in the cards should be heartfelt, purposeful, and speak to subject matter in which both you and the recipient are familiar. As far as sending them, they can be sent whenever, there’s rarely a time when someone isn’t due for a good thanking. However, thank you cards hold an even heightened appreciation when received promptly after an occasion or meeting such as an interview, internship completion, school acceptance, or referral letter to name a few. You can even send them upon the not so good news, such as not receiving the job offer. Hell, you’ll be surprised at the opportunities this act can open up, it’s truly the politest way to say “screw you, your loss”.

All this thanking and stuff has us feeling so warm, we would like to thank all of our readers and may you soon discover that thank you cards may be the best use of $10 or less that exist.

Kick Socks

First, it was “Coogi down to the socks,” then, it was “the ascot to match the socks,” and more recently it’s “Polo down to the socks,” if you ask Mr. Santana and C-Breezy. So, it goes without saying that your swag isn’t complete unless you’re staying fresh; even with your socks. Now, before you ask why should it matter if they can’t be seen, let us remind you that, even if it’s very subtle, trust, they’re seen.

Kick Socks

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Maybe Biggie, Andre 3000, and Juelz were on to something after all. Fashion doesn’t pause between the pants and shoes. It’s as valid today as it was close to 20 years ago, and truth be told, it was a rule of thumb for some time before then.

Those with the most distinguished of tastes seem to take pleasure in styling where many cease to go, ala Fonzworth Bentley. It’s like having a hot music single that only you’ve heard; then you let those around you hear a snippet, and they’re thirsty for more. Did I just hear what I thought I heard?

In the case of socks its, “Did I just see what I thought I saw?” Contrary to popular belief, the appeal of fashion has always been in the details, and the small things like accessories (see Watchin’ Out), particularly socks, are the gate keepers to this elite club.

Designer socks/fashion socks beg for a double take and get a noticeable nod of fashion respect from onlookers, when done correctly. You could only compare it to the reaction of wearing new Air Jordan’s before they came out in stores. We’re not talking retro’s as much as the originals. Today, those things would snap necks like Miley Cyrus twirking (is it good, is it bad, hard to decide, easy to watch).

There are many ways you can express your new-found respect for styling the old “dogs.” Brands such as Paul Smith, Ralph Lauren, Duchamp, and Ted Baker have carved out names for themselves in the world of fashion socks. So definitely look to a few brands like those when you want to “him ‘em with the flex.”

Now, with every step in the right direction (no pun intended), there are always some certified faux-pas or “keeping it real gone wrong moments.” Exhibit A, yes we all love Michael Jackson, but, let’s be clear, Michael is the only guy that could make white socks with dress shoes cool, clearly a right reserved for those that can light up the sidewalk or lean in gravity defying stances. Exhibit B, your socks shouldn’t have any holes, momma couldn’t be more correct about this one, few things will make a cool person look questionable faster than a hole in one’s socks. Last, but certainly not least, athletic socks should be for athletic shoes only, unless you’re over 50 and you’ve joined the socks with “mandals” club (see link), because nothing says I’m a dad and I don’t care how I look faster than that club. Dress socks are made to look thinner and may often have different fabric compositions that are made for wearing with dress shoes

Paul Smith is widely known for his use of bold colors and lateral lines. Ralph Lauren is known for his affinity toward argyles. Duchamp and the England companies create appeal with color patterns. While Ted Baker has a variety of styles. Fashion socks and their variety of styles are both fun and stylish. When assembling an outfit it’s good to have your dress socks compliment a color that may be in your pocket square and/or tie, just as your shoes should compliment your belt.

You can even go for the luxurious feel of cashmere if you really want to get “bossy.” Yes, designer socks totally challenge our familiarity with sock pricing; however, unless, you’re kicking rocks like Fred Flintstone, they are certainly durable and a worthwhile investment.

Typical retail prices can range from $9 to $35 per pair for dress socks, and upwards of $50 for cashmere. However, you can find them at discount retailers like TJ Maxx or Century 21, in addition to fine department stores like Nordstrom’s or Saks Fifth Avenue.

Try the designer/fashion socks experience for yourself and you will notice the difference from your classic black, navy, or brown toe stuffers. Fashionably yours, step your game up literally, and kick socks. U DEFINE SUCCESS

Kick Socks

Maybe Biggie, Andre 3000, and Juelz were on to something after all. Fashion doesn’t pause between the pants and shoes. It’s as valid today as it was close to 20 years ago, and truth be told, it was a rule of thumb for some time before then.

Money in the Thank

In the world of business, thank you cards are like a “nice to see you” hug on steroids. We don’t know about you, but at Urban Professor there’s nothing quite like a “nice to see you” hug. Much like a great hug, thank you cards are warmer, more sincere, and standout from the pack of others compared to sending an e-mail, phone call, text, or nothing at all.

Shoe Dat?

Some argue that the soul of a person is a hard thing to get to, and we won’t even pretend to know how to get there, but, the sole of a person is what we do know. After much sole searching we’ve definitely discovered that most folks are straight heartless when it comes to matters of the sole.

Shoe Dat?

Always have your shoes shined when making a business appearance. Though the little sneaker store shoe shine cases are effective, they’re mild in comparison to an old-fashioned shoe shine (you might recognize these as the elevated chair w/a gentleman or lady manning them).

Kick Socks

Maybe Biggie, Andre 3000, and Juelz were on to something after all. Fashion doesn’t pause between the pants and shoes. It’s as valid today as it was close to 20 years ago, and truth be told, it was a rule of thumb for some time before then.

Who’s the Master? – 4 Things to Consider Before Pursuing an Advanced Degree

Much like the 80’s classic film, The Last Dragon, in which Bruce Lee Roy doubted his mastery of his craft without first finding the “master”, many students today seek an advanced degree as the unquestionable ticket to corporate or career success. Continued below...

Who’s the Master? – 4 Things to Consider Before Pursuing an Advanced Degree

The aforementioned logic is about as true as thinking you need lyrical talent to succeed in Hip-Hop today, sorry Trinidad James fans.  Making the decision to go back to school can be expensive, timely, exhausting, disappointing for your expectations (unless of course you wanted that waiter position) and oh yeah, EXPENSIVE.  Before jumping into the application process check out our tips for seeing if a Master’s degree is right for you.

  • Find your motivation. If it’s as simple as more money, then taking the time to calculate if a master’s degree will really help you get mo’ money without mo’ problems (like piles of loan debt and an unfulfilling or nonexistent job after graduation) is a crucial first step.  Your motivation for getting another degree will also help you determine if you’ll be in it for the long haul or not quite when things get tough.  If you’re just not ready to join the “real world”, earning a master’s degree can buy you some time, but make sure that it is beneficial for your future, and not for the sake of filling that awkward silence when friends or family ask “What are you up to these days?”  We at Urban Professor can think of far less expensive ways to escape the “real   world” until you’re ready, some being volunteering, traveling, reading, or even joining a reality show (you can’t get more unrealistic than reality TV).  Some degrees, like an MBA, strongly recommend that you have work   experience before you earn another degree.  In fact, working for 2–3 years if not more before pursuing an MBA will likely earn you more “paper” than the reverse.
  • Make your degree work for you. If career advancement is what you desire, make sure that a master’s degree is in fact valued in the profession you want to work in.  Some careers value experience over education, so take the time to figure out where you want to be in the next 5 – 10 years and if a master’s will make you more marketable.  Otherwise, you could find yourself with two advanced degrees working for someone with a bachelor’s degree and 10 years of experience.  Ask around, it’s more common than you know.  Unsure if a master’s is necessary for your dream job?  Set up a few informational interviews with people who have your dream job and find out how they got to where they are now and if a master’s helped them get there or would have helped in today’s environment.
  • Develop your passion. If you’re not sure the exact career you want or simply just want to learn more about your passion, a master’s degree can provide you with a deeper understanding of the field you’re interested in.  If you’re not sure where to begin, check out Forbes’ list of Best Master’s Degrees for Jobs to get an idea of which degree will help you further develop your passion.
  • Grind 101. Having a Master’s degree will not take the place of hard work.  Similar to video game cheat codes, a master’s degree may help you skip some levels, and equip you with better strategy to advance, but, ultimately you have to do your due diligence and work hard.

If you do decide that getting the advanced degree is right for you, make sure you do your homework.  Choosing when to go back to school and what school you should attend is just as important as the degree itself.  A master’s degree from “Intheboonies” University may not get you much further than a corner office at “Thatwasawasteoftime” Incorporated.  Bear in mind that some schools not as prestigious in name a la Harvard, Yale, or Wharton may be elite in some of their programs offered (i.e. Georgia Tech ranked #4 in the U.S. for engineering), this should be taken into account when deciding which to attend.

Be the master of your own fate and choices, including the one you make on a master’s degree.  U DEFINE SUCCESS




#UnapologeticallyDriven