Megan Alodie

Your Lucky Break (via Little Pink Book/Pink Magazine)

You probably didn’t become a stellar success by wishing on a star or knocking on wood. You did it with dedication, hard work and maybe a little luck.

Who among us couldn’t use a dose of good luck every now and then? When it comes to getting ahead, you’ve got to make your own luck, according to new research.

How can you get lucky more often?

“I believe hard work creates lucky breaks,” author of five New York Times bestsellers Emily Giffin tells PINK. She attributes her own success more to luck as a result of hard work and determination than raw talent.

Experts say having an open mind and being optimistic is key. Take a chance on an employee you have a good feeling about, make a new investment and focus on the 

positive outcome of a project or business deal. Studies show this can-do attitude can also increase customer satisfaction, productivity and reduce stress.

Creating luck is all about taking chances, says Quint Careers. They suggest avoiding assumptions, playing the odds and always taking the initiative. Susan Roane’s book How to Create Your Own Luck recommends straying from the path, making gracious exits and talking to strangers.

Some lucky women say it helps to constantly have a plan, maintain a schedule, avoid procrastinating and finish everything they start, adds Shine.

Bonus PINK Link: Consider yourself unlucky? Here’s how to turn your luck around.

By Megan Hylton

“Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity.” Oprah Winfrey

What’s Your True Value? (via Little Pink Book/Pink Magazine)

Self-worth is often determined by how we feel about who we are and what we’ve accomplished. But if you base too much of your value on appearance or your bank account, you may be selling yourself short, in terms of your true value. So, what’s the real contribution you have to any organization worth?

“Women must make major mental shifts in their belief system to recognize what their true value is,” Amanda Steinberg, founder of DailyWorth.com, tells PINK.”Often, women undervalue what they bring to their jobs.”

“Without having your self-worth backing up your desire for net worth, you’ll have a lot of blockage,” suggests Gabrielle Bernstein, author of Add More~ing To Your Life. She and Steinberg add that it’s self-worth which gives us the confidence to ask for more.

If your self-worth needs a boost, experts suggest organizing your thoughts and not letting emotions get the best of you at work. Bernstein says remember that, even in tough times, companies know they need to hold on to their most valuable people.

Want more?

Since our core emotional need is to be valued, we shouldn’t take criticism or negative feedback as a reflection of our personal value, but rather an area of our performance that can be improved, explains The Harvard Business Review.

Dr. Cheryl Saban’s book, Know Your Worth: A Women’s Guide to Validation, and her blog help women “understand, actualize and vocalize their worth.”

Surrounding yourself with an empowering community can help focus your self-worth against proper metrics, says HerFuture.com. Join women’s groups like Power Posse to connect with other women through social networking and mentorship.

Bonus PINK Link: It’s not always what you know, but who you know. Learn how your network equals your net worth.

By Megan Hylton

“The way you treat yourself sets the standard for others.” Dr. Sonya Friedman

Keeping New Resolutions (via Little Pink Book/Pink Magazine)

You have good intentions as you make those New Year’s resolutions again this year. But, somewhere between work, family and everything in between, your vow to hit the gym more or work less on weekends is bound to get lost in the shuffle once again.

How can busy career women make practical New Year’s resolutionsand stick to them?

“There are a lot of ways we can self-motivate so we don’t go off the path we’re striving for,” says Kip Morrison of top LA-based law firm Kip Morrison and Associates. “I’m big on goals and lists – a couple of times a year I ask myself, where am I going? What do I need to do differently?”

Friends, family or coworkers can be great motivators to keep you on track. Developing a buddy system will allow you and your friends to help each other stay focused.

One resolution that will benefit you and your career? Incorporating more “me” time into your schedule. “As someone who runs her own business, I’ve learned to talk myself out of feeling guilty because, in anything I do with my interests, it’s still promoting my business,” adds Morrison.

Being realistic (in terms of time and your commitment) and flexible, tracking your progress and using reminders will keep you focused on your goal, says Mind Tools.

Bonus PINK Link: Want to make New Year’s resolutions for your business? Check out thesemarketing and profit growth strategies.

By Megan Hylton

“Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.” Oprah Winfrey

9 Perfect Office Gifts (via Little Pink Magazine/Pink Magazine)

The closer the holidays get, the longer that to-do list becomes. Here’s help: whether it’s a white elephant-style gift exchange or Secret Santa, PINK has handpicked nine of our favorite items that are sure to please your boss and coworkers this holiday season.

$10 and under: A mini zen garden will help relax the gift-getter’s mind and reduce stress. This moldable gear gripper will keep your coworkers phone, pens, business cards and sticky notes all in one place. Another option: a customized photo mousepad with a funny picture from last year’s office party.

$10 to $25: This productivity-boosting gadget, a coffee mug warmer, will keep that good cup of joe from turning into ‘gross.’ For the one in the office calling the shots, the Wheel of Choicespaperweight lets her spin to decide whether to “reorganize” or “pass the buck.” Plus, this sleek WiFi hotspot finder is perfect for those on-the-go.

25$ to $50: Personalized golf balls from Golfsmith show you put thought into your gift. Thisholiday tea gift basket may help that coffee addict in your office break the cycle. Or, these sleek bookends will keep your recipient’s space tidy while adding a dose of “female power.”

Bonus PINK Link: Here’s how to host the perfect holiday work party.

By Aleta Watson and Megan Hylton

“Each day comes bearing its own gifts.  Untie the ribbons.” Ruth Ann Schabacker

Where are the Women in Tech? (via Little Pink Book/Pink Magazine)

Thanks to online branding, viral marketing and social media, the technology field is booming. Unfortunately, few women launch tech start-ups or join tech companies.

The reasons vary from not enough mentors to gender roles imposed at a young age. Women held only 10 percent of corporate officer positions at Fortune 500 technology companies last year, and the number of women pursuing technology degrees has been declining since the ’80s. Men hold 73 percent of all science and engineering jobs.

“One of the main causes of this decline is that we don’t talk enough about how rewarding it is to study and work in [technology],” Jeanne Rosario, VP and General Manager of Engineering of GE Aviation, tells PINK. “We need programs that promote science and engineering as an exciting and dynamic area of study. If we arm the next generation with that knowledge, I think you’ll see a spike in women choosing to enter and remain in technology-focused careers.”

Few women with tech degrees stick with it, due to factors like outsourcing, inhospitable work environments and lack of female mentors or role models. The good news? Organizations likeWomen in Technology and NCWIT jumpstart careers by providing resources, alliances and outreach programs.

Some of today’s biggest technology companies were actually co-founded by women, like Flickr, Blogger and Mozilla. Researchers say joining networking groups, speaking out against unconscious bias and maintaining staff diversity will help women grow in the tech field.

Bonus PINK Link: Why stay on top of constantly evolving technology? It can benefit your business.

By Megan Hylton

“Never trust anything that can think for itself if you can’t see where it keeps its brain.” J.K. Rowling

After Hour Emailing (via Little Pink Book/Pink Magazine

E-mail is the backbone of most companies – it’s how we interact with clients, communicate and stay on top of the industry. But that 5A.M. or weekend e-mail likely does more harm than good.

“Other than life or death situations and critical business scenarios, such as negotiating a critical contract or an urgent employee situation, e-mails should not be sent after work hours,” says Karen Benjack, President of GH Consulting Group. She adds that constantly being copied on e-mails unnecessarily can also lead to stress.

According to a recent survey, 62 percent of workers check e-mail on weekends, and 50 percent check it on vacation. Benjack suggests creating an auto-response saying you’re out of the office and to call if it’s urgent to help eliminate the urge to constantly check in.

Ignoring after-hours e-mail also helps in maintaining the Life/Work balance. “I have a philosophy that, Friday night at 7 o’clock, I shut down until 7 o’clock Sunday night,” says Pam Blalock, Distribution VP of Individual Business at MetLife. “I shut down one side of my life and make sure I focus on the other side.”

If you do need to glance at your e-mail, Priority Inbox from Google automatically sorts your messages for importance based on which ones you read and reply to the most. Benjack’s no-nonsense e-mail method simply states, “information needed and action required.”

Bonus PINK Link: Are you addicted to your Smartphone? Check out the 10 BlackBerry Commandments.

PINK Profile: Check out how Blalock, PINK’s Top Woman of the Week, maintains Life/Work balance, pushes beyond her comfort zone and measures success in our exclusive profile.

By Megan Hylton

“There is more to life than increasing its speed.” Mohandas K. Gandhi