How The Classy Career Girl Blog Started [CCG Podcast #3]

Listen to the Podcast

Show Topics:

  • Starting a blog
  • Decorating your office
  • Using social media for professional success
  • How to address cover letters

How Did The Classy Career Girl Blog Started & Starting a Blog Podcast Transcript

Hey, this is Anna Runyan from classycareergirl.com and welcome to podcast #3. I would love to hear what you are thinking of the podcast so feel free to tell me what you like and what you do don’t like, any suggestions or your questions. Just leave me a comment on the blog or send me an email.
Today I wanted to go over a little about why and how the Classy Career Girl Blog started, because this week I celebrated my two year anniversary as a blogger, which is really exciting! I wrote a post about it and it got a lot of great responses so I wanted to also talk about it on the podcast so you know where I am coming from. We will also cover information about starting a blog, how to address a cover letter, and I will also be playing an interview with a successful business women.

When did you start the Classy Career Girl blog?

The Classy Career Girl blog started blog in March 2010 when I was in my second year of business school.  I had absolutely no time to be blogging since I was juggling my job and business school but for some reason over Spring break (when I had no classes or homework) I thought it would be a good idea.

How did you come up with the name?

I am an introvert and it is often hard for me sometimes to let the true me come out.  So I knew that I wanted to be anonymous and I needed a name to go by.  I wanted it to be about career advice so I listed all of the topics that I wanted to write about and all of the possible names.  I always brainstorm with my husband overthings like this because he is always good at jingles and putting words together:)  I think he thought I was crazy for starting a blog since I had no free time. But, like the great husband that he is, he encouraged me to do it because he knew it was something that I really wanted to do.  I am not sure which one of us said the name Classy Career Girl first.  All I know is, one of us said it and it stuck.  I never ever looked back because it perfectly described me and the advice I wanted to give.  I looked up the definition of class: elegance, style, high standards of personal behavior, skill and grace.  Name: check!  Now what to blog about…..

Why did you start your blog?

To be honest, I never ever would have thought of myself as a blogger. In high school I HATED writing and reading. It was the worst. My strengths were in math and I don’t even remember reading a good book in high school. It is terrible to say it but I think I may have gotten away with a lot of Cliff notes (sorry mom).
In college, my roommate would laugh at how many times I would write something and then hit the delete key over and over. I hated to write and if my English teachers knew I was a blogger, they would probably laugh.
Fortunately, after college my friend convinced me to join a book club and I realized that I loved to read and went on a reading frenzy.  In business school, I had a marketing class where we had to write 2-3 page papers every week. The first couple of weeks I just stared at the screen and it took me HOURS to do one paper!  I soon realized that I didn’t have time to waste so I decided to just write whatever I thought and see how fast I could get the stupid papers done. The more I wrote, the easier it became and at the end of that marketing class, we had a project where we had to complete a marketing project on selling children’s clothing. My job on my team was to analyze what blogs we could market and advertise with.  My friends sent me some blog recommendations and I started to become obsessed with reading A Cup of Jo, Oh Happy Day and Black Eiffel.
The best part of this is that it was for a school project so I could read blogs all I wanted to! 🙂 I started thinking that if they can write these blogs, then I can write a blog. I knew I had a creative side somewhere inside but I never knew how much of a creative side I really did have.

How did you start your blog?

I started with Blogger. Simple design because I knew nothing about widgets.  It was so easy and so addicting. After 6 months, I won a blog design from the fabulous Angie at Strosgirl’s Designs.  It was perfect and my site finally got the look that I wanted it to. After a year and a half, I decided to transfer from Blogger to WordPress only because I knew I wanted to grow my blog and there were things in Blogger that I couldn’t control.  For instance, I didn’t own my blog, Blogger did. I now am self-hosted on WordPress.org and I highly recommend it.
I will be answering your questions later on in the podcast but first we are going to listen to my interview with Ashley Ranger. Ashley gives us a lot of great tips on social media and networking and I really enjoyed my conversation with her, so let’s listen and learn!

Using Social Media For Professional Success

Watch the video and get the transcript of my interview with Ashley Ranger here.

I hope you enjoyed the interview with Ashley.  The parts I loved best were when she said she was nervous to network, because I never would have though that in my interview with her! She also had some great advice about just taking the first step and going and then the second time you will be less nervous.  And I love how she said to look at everyone at an equal level even the executive at your company and don’t be intimidated because I totally feel the same way.

Office Decoration Ideas

Now let’s answer your questions!

Hey Classy Career Girl,

I’ve recently started a position at a law firm with mostly all women, and I am at a loss of how to decorate my office. Luckily, I’ve already been provided with a desk, an office chair and two extra client chairs. However, even my boss commented on my lack of color – and the diplomas on the wall look quite lonely. Any advice for cute accessories that can spice up my office while keeping it classy and not cutesy?


I definitely know how you feel I have a pretty boring gray cubicle myself at work. Definitely bring in some photos first of all to make it more homey and personal. A nice calendar with pretty photos and scenery is also great to have.
I love colored photos that bring color to the dreary office. You could always bring in a plant that is easy to take care of. Previously when I had a larger office, I had a bookcase with my favorite business books and people always came by to borrow them and return them.
So that is a great idea if you have the room. If you have any medals or awards like for a sporting event, that is a great conversation starter, too. Or letters you have received from co-workers that you want to share in your space. There is nothing wrong with some color in your mouse pad or pencil holder or filing cabinets.
Since you have a lot of room on your walls, you could bring in some nice framed photos.  Just make sure it is appropriate photos for the office not for your house at home.  I know my husband took into work some paintings of sailboats that we had in our house because we didn’t want them anymore.  They work perfectly in his office, though. One thing I would make sure you don’t do though is put too much effort into decorating unless your job is an interior designer.  You don’t want people to think you are spending work time just decorating your office and you want to be known as the person who does great work and not for the girl with the best decorated office.
Also, I know for me, we always are moving around offices and I spent so much time decorating and organizing my office last year around this time only to have to move offices over the Summer. So you don’t want to appear like you are settling in, either, because you never know where you might be or what other job you might get in the future. You might have the corner office next year so don’t get comfortable. I will also link in the show notes on the blog about my office organization project last year and it shows photos of when I organized my office.
I wish I could say it is still as nice and neat and clean as it was then but I think it is definitely time for another round of Spring cleaning. The book that I highly recommend if you want to do some Spring Cleaning is Unclutter Your Life in One Week by Erin Doland.
Other Classy Career Girl posts to reference:

Addressing Cover Letters

I am applying for a job that does not reference who the position reports to or give any indication of the interviewer. I have searched all over their website for a staff directory and checked linkedin to try to figure out who the correct person to address the cover letter to would be. The best I can figure out the closest person in a leadership role to the position I am applying for is the VP. Is it better to address the cover letter to someone (even if it turns out that I am wrong as to who the position reports to) or to leave it as Dear Sir or Madam?

Because anyone in the company could potential receiving you email and looking at it, I would not recommend addressing the cover letter to a specific person.  Instead, if it was me I would address it as “To whom it may concern,”  For me, Dear Sir or Madam is very formal and unless the position you are applying to is very formal, I would keep it more casual like to whom it may concern. Another popular way you could address it is to say, Dear Hiring Manager.
Thanks so much for listening today and learning about how the Classy Career Girl blog started.. And I look forward to celebrating a two year anniversary of this podcast someday as well! That will be fun and I don’t want to even think about how many podcasts that is if I continue to do this weekly so I am just going to take it one day at a time. 🙂

Hi, I'm Anna!

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