Neels&Company The Elegant Executive Newsletter

The Elegant Executive
Vol. 2, Issue 5                            December 2011

Quick Links

Proper Stationery

When to Say Thanks


New Professional's Guide to Success
Our Gift to You

The New Professional's
Guide to Success 
(MP3 + PDF Files Only)
Yours Free! 

With absolutely no strings attached, we are giving copies of our top selling audio program, The New Professional's Guide to Success, to the first 100 readers who visit our new website and use the coupon code ELEGANT at checkout.

Regularly priced at $79, this 90-minute self-paced professional development tool is designed to take the mystery out of what it means to be a professional, and is perfect for those new to the world of work.

Many organizations have incorporated The New Professional's Guide to Success into their on-boarding and new hire programs, using the available training guide to facilitate a low cost in-house training event.

Please contact us for more information on our train-the-trainer options.

"I had new members of my sales team listen to The New Professional's Guide to Success and saw changes immediately. One big take-away was 'Numero Uno - that's your boss, not you!' Gretchen's content is excellent and her deilvery, a mix of tough love and humor, was just what my Millennials needed."   


* * * * 

Our new e-books,


I Hate to Shop!

But Still Want to Look Great


Are coming soon!


Neels & Company is launching four new e-books for the professional woman who hates to shop but still wants to look great.


Volume 1

Corporate Environment


Volume 2

Corporate Environment Advanced


Volume 3

Business Casual


Volume 4



For more information, please visit our website.


Contact Us

Gretchen Neels
Neels & Company
P. O. Box 33937
Washington, DC 20033
Welcome to The Elegant Executive


The Elegant Executive is a free monthly newsletter offering tips, strategies and advice to enhance the softer side of one's career. We hope you find it useful, and that you'll share it with colleagues wanting to increase business by "looking the part" and connecting with others more successfully.

DressMarketing Yourself in a Down Economy

My biggest hope for 2012 is that the employment picture brightens and those who are unemployed or underemployed are able to identify new opportunities and approach them with renewed confidence and a positive outlook. 


Perhaps you know someone who is planning to use the Christmas break to revamp their resume, boost their LinkedIn profile and add a new interviewing suit to their wardrobe in anticipation of a more robust hiring season. If so, please share with them the following eight dos and don'ts.


Do keep a positive attitude. Enthusiasm during this gloomy time is a must.Think about the word PASS the next time you're introduced to someone: Posture, Attitude, Smile and (hand) Shake. And remember, you only get one chance to make a great first impression.


Do network like crazy. Make the most of every opportunity to meet others and see what you can do for them. What goes around comes around, and if you approach people with a generous spirit and genuine desire to help, it will come back to you.


Do knock on lots of doors. I tell coaching clients that every "no" gets you closer to a "yes." Often a job hunt is a numbers game, so thank people and move on when you hear the word no, because that yes is right around the corner.


Do convey your professionalsim with good follow-up. Follow up positive encounters with handwritten thank-you notes. Email is second best - a written note makes a much stronger impression on people.


Do dress the part. Luck is when preparation meets opportunity, so be prepared for any "chance" meeting by dressing like you planned it all along. This is not the time to put comfort ahead of common sense. By dressing for the job you want, you'll subconciously convince others you're ready, willing and able to rise to its challenges.


Don't expect anyone to do more for your job search than you're willing to do yourself. You alone are responsible for making things happen, so don't simply email your resume to everyone in your contacts database and hope for the best. Ask friends for specific help, perhaps an introduction, a referral or a critique of your resume, but you've got to do the heavy lifting.


Don't appear desperate. People can smell desperation a mile away and it's never attractive. Crank up the enthusiasm, positivity and confidence, and others will see you as an enthusiastic, positive and confident professional - just the sort of person they may be looking for.


Don't miss opportunities. Many people decide too quickly not to pursue things that might get them out of their comfort zone. Keep an open mind and be willing to explore areas you might not have considered previously. Tough times call for new thinking.


Neels & Company MMXI All rights reserved.




Elegant Accessory of the Month

Personalized Stationery

Nothing says "serious professional" quite like personalized stationery when used to follow up with those you meet at social/business events such as receptions, holiday parties, conferences, and networking get-togethers. Talk about a way to leave a lasting and positive impression!


With your full name engraved or printed across the top, the reader will want to know more about you even if the name doesn't ring an immediate bell. My advice is to not have your address printed on the envelope so you can adjust it to the situation (use your home address for social occasions and your business address for work-related events).


For a quick and easy thank-you, I prefer hand-bordered flat cards with lined envelopes by Crane (if you want to go more upscale and super elegant, check out Europe's top stationer, Pineider). Place a date at the top right corner, jot a few lines and sign your name - easy as 1 -2 -3. Folded notes with a name or monogram featured on the front will also do the trick. The point is to use them!


For more in-depth information on engraved vs. printed, paper quality, typeface styles, etc., check out Crane & Co.'s website. You may also enjoy this article from the Atlantic, "The Stationery Self."  


CommunicationElegant Communication Tip of the Month
Wine glass

When to Say Thanks
Thank-you notes are a great way to stay connected to new and past acquaintences. Often, we only send a note of thanks when we're the guest at someone's home or the recipient of a gift, but don't stop there. Below are three more reasons to put pen to paper and send a warm note of gratitude.    
1. Thank someone who taught you a great lesson. This could be a former colleague, boss or relative. Start the note with something like, "After all these years, I often think of you when..."
2. Say thank you for someone's attention. All too often we ask for someone's advice on a particular situation and never close the loop as to its final outcome. Send a note to the business contact who shared his similar experience and advice when you asked for help, and let him know how his time and guidance made a difference. 
3. Show written appreciation for a referral or introduction. When someone connects you to a person in her circle of influence, that says a few things: she respects what you do and who you are, she is trying to help you, and she's putting her own reputation on the line. Acknowledge with thanks the connectors in your life for linking you to potential customers, clients and employers.  

Copyright 2011. All Rights Reserved.