On My Own

On November 6th at 4:43pm, I wrote the below in anticipation of this week's blog post:

It’s official. Our future is female. I had no doubt in my mind that this day would come in my lifetime. In fact, my best friend and I had dreams of being President and Vice President back in 1st grade. Never once did I think we were being far-fetched. Even in 1989 at the young of six, I knew girls were capable of anything.

This view of the world combined with hard work and dedication, a desire to speak my own mind and make my own way has led me to a very special place in my life.

Today, I’m beyond excited to share with you my new website, JamieSylves.com. I’ve decided to take the biggest risk of all and go out on my own. And I couldn’t have made this happen without the support of my family, especially my mom for reminding me that I’ve always landed on my feet, and my husband who is my greatest champion. It’s because of my incredible network of friends that pick me up when I’m down and the bright, intelligent women who have mentored me throughout my career that I’m as confident than ever before. The encouragement has been overwhelming and I’m forever grateful for your advice along the way.

This new chapter of my life has already been blessed with amazing experiences and the journey has just begun!


We all thought this, right? To say that my confidence has been shaken is an understatement. The uplifting texts and articles like this one from my Mom are helping. I don't know what I'd do without her during this sad time, but we have to move forward and support each other. 

If you have a second, please take a peek at my new site. Pass along if you can. Also take note of the icons - I DREW THEM! Who knew I had this skill? 

"Now I know we have still not shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling, but someday someone will, and hopefully sooner than we might think right now." - HRC

Tips from a Very Experienced Business Traveler

Last week I was put on a plane for my very last business trip as a full-time employee. Yesterday, I started my career as a freelancer. In a couple of weeks, I'll be back in the air on my way to NYC and over time, you learn a thing or two about life in the air when your world involves clients. You learn how to live out of suitcases, make the most of your days and get through security in record time. Lately, I've been packing much lighter and only carrying the essentials. Here's a few tips that are long overdue:

1. Don't forget your earphones! It's always the last thing I think about when packing, which is why I now keep a pair in my suitcase. Eyes closed, a little Carole King and we're smooth sailing off the ground. 

2. Pashminas are your best friend. On my last flight, I spent 53 minutes with water dripping on my head. It was condensation from the cool air. I was not pleased. Luckily, I kept myself warm and dry with my trusty Zara scarf

3. Pouches are a traveler's best friend. Pouches for toiletries. Pouches to keep your receipts organized. Pouches to fake as clutches for a nightcap at the hotel bar. I never go anywhere without my metallic Mae pouch from Annie Bukhman.

4. And speaking of Annie Bukhman, this card holder is ESSENTIAL. Pack your work AMEX, license and a few business cards and you're ready to go. 

5. Despite my chamomile tea and deep breaths, I still get a bit of travel anxiety every now and then. To combat, I rely on essential oils. My 'no worries' roller from Soul Sunday combines bergamot, lemon, clary-sage and melissa leaf to keep me sane.

6. Podcasts are my favorite thing ever about traveling! No seriously, I love a good podcast. My obsession is Invisibila. It's all about the invisible forces that control human behavior - ideas, believes, assumptions and emotions. It's because of this podcast that I learned that I'm pretty sure I have OCD. My favorite episodes include the one about Thoughts, Categories and Entanglement. If you don't know what entanglement is, I highly suggest you google it. 

7. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Drink plenty of water before, during and after a trip to the airport. I also carry a face mist to spray when I land to re-hydrate my skin and give me a little boost. I'm currently testing out one from Grown Alchemist with Hyaluronic acid. It's also packed with botanicals.

8. I'm not much of a reader on the plane. Instead, I log into my gogoair account and organize my inbox. But I do like to bring a book to read before bed. In my old age, there is nothing I love more than a California King, room service and a good book. I picked up The Girls by Emma Cline from a used book store and so far, so good. I'll report back when I finish.

9.  A hair tie! Pull your hair back on the plane, pull you hair back to wash your face at night, pull your hair back so you don't get your hair in the food at a fancy restaurant. A hair tie.

10. Last but not least, POINTS! Become a SPG member, a Delta Skymiles Member, a Southwest something or other (Southwest is weird). If you don't receive a work AMEX, open a credit card like a Marriott Rewards Credit Card and be prompt about those expense reports! If you're gonna get thrown on a plane every other week, you might as well reap the benefits. 

Oh! Make use of wakeup calls too. Two different calls, 15 minutes apart. Nothing is worse than being the last one downstairs.

Ugh - one more thing - Boingo SUCKS! Don't even bother.

Work It Girl: 10 Tips for Public Speaking

Welcome to "Work It Girl" - a new series all about career advice for the 9 to 5 girl boss. First up is public speaking. Ugh. It's kind of the worst, right? But any successful gal needs to learn how to find the confidence, command a room and get it done! Here are my top ten tips to make an impression in the board room without losing your cool:

  1. Notes! I swear by them and even go the distance to jot down an actual script. Bullet points never do me any good and instead, I write down complete thoughts for each slide. I do this the night before a presentation to keep everything fresh in my mind.
  2. Sit if you want to sit. Don't ever feel the pressure to stand just because your coworkers want to hop out of their seats. Do what feels comfortable for you. 
  3. Make it personal. I always try to insert a little anecdote about why or how the subject has meaning for me. It helps give the audience a glimpse of your personality, but remember to keep it brief.
  4. Throw in some fun facts. I love a good soundbite and always try to pull in a cool stat or little tidbit about the topic. It's helpful to stay informed about your industry, so you can have these fun facts at the ready.
  5. The rule of three. My old boss and mentor taught me this and she was totally right. Breaking down your thought into three succinct phrases is this magical way of ensuring that the audience will absorb and remember what you said.
  6. Practice, practice, practice. I use my time in the shower to memorize my script and practice out loud.
  7. Hydrate! Keep a glass of water at your side at all times. With nerves comes dry mouth and nothing is worse than this feeling. Pause and sip on the regular to keep you on point.
  8. Avoid water-repellent fabrics like rayon, silk and polyester. Stress sweat is not cute, so plan your outfit accordingly.
  9. Smile! It's contagious.
  10. Last but not least, take notes while others are speaking. I always try to refer to previous comments to make a stronger connection. It shows you're listening and everyone wants to know they're being heard.

Now go and rule the world. 

xo, Jamie

Top 10 Things I Learned After 10 Years in NYC

It's taken me a long time to write this post, but I'm finally ready to share. Last weekend, my husband and I moved to my hometown of Pittsburgh and if you follow my blog, you know it's been on mind. I think it was around this post when I really got the itch to come back. I miss Brooklyn terribly and I'm a little teary-eyed just writing this post, but being so close to my family crushes any inkling of second thoughts. 

I've already unpacked 40 boxes and I'm four days in to a new job. I've visited Target five out of my seven days so far and I even snuck in a quick bite at Arby's! Today, I'm finally getting my bearings and ready to start a routine - join a gym, start cooking again and focus on my work. 

I spent ten incredible, life-changing years in NYC; made lifelong friends, became an independent woman, kicked ass in my career and met the love of my life...who knew a one-way Amtrak ticket would turn out to be the best decision of my life. To celebrate the end of one-hell-of-a-decade, I thought I would impart a few words of wisdom for the next eager PR girl determined to start a life in the city that never sleeps:

1. Research the hottest restaurant and get a side job as a hostess. Why? COMIDA also known as Family Meal. Not only do you get a sick paycheck to afford those late-night taxis, but you eat for free. I probably wouldn't be where I am today without my Nobu days. The perks of a NYC hostess make life a whole lot easier - trust me. 

2. Learn your North, South, East and West. Ladies - it's NOT THAT HARD. This simple knowledge will save your iPhone battery life for days. 

3. Hiring a man with a van is sometimes the best option to get you from Point A to Point B. You're going to move every year - it's a fact - and counting on your friends for help is questionable. Thanks to Craigslist, you can hire movers on the cheap and tip them with the toaster or lamp you no longer want after everything is said and done. 

4. Work your ass off - it pays. Show up to work on time, listen when people talk, take notes, find your voice and speak up. 

5. Never leave your apartment without an umbrella. There's nothing more painful than paying $20 for a shitty umbrella on the side of the street. If I could go back in time and listen to this advice, I'd be rich! 

6. Make friends with security guards. This tip relates to number one since your new BFF as a hostess will always be the man to your right guarding your every move. Without the Vinnie's and Tony's of the world, I would have never had the chance to score VIP Letterman access for mom or enjoy home-cooked meals at some of Brooklyn's best block parties. 

7. Avoid empty subway cars - it's never a good sign. 

8. At some point, you will forget how to go about everyday life on your own. You will pay someone to do your laundry, clean your apartment, cook your meals when you didn't have a chance to pay someone to deliver groceries and and even cut your nails. Resist this urge for as long as you can! I can tell you now that the transition to life without these conveniences is rough!

9. Thread, don't wax. My brows have been burned by the city, so take note. 

10. Keep your head up and stay positive. Depression will happen - most likely on the first of the month - but when you're hating life, just look up at the skyscrapers and know that you've already made it. I call this the Mary Tyler Moore move. It takes guts to take on NYC and nothing comes easy, but the person you become and the people you meet will forever shape your future and your future will, no doubt, be bright. 

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