How Relativity’s Monika Wąż Conquered Fear to Find Her Dream Career
There's a phrase in her native Polish that Monika Wąż reminds herself of each day: "If you don't learn, you're just going backward."
The Associate Product Manager at legal and compliance technology company Relativity says she would believe in a growth-centered approach to work even if she wasn't in the tech field, but that it's especially important because she is.
"Technology is changing all the time; there are more and more people learning new skills each day, and you need to keep up," she says.
Yes, that can sound overwhelming. But if you're Monika, it also sounds incredibly motivating.
"Continuing to learn at work is important to me because my job is something I really enjoy and I don't feel that my work is just about finishing tasks in a day," she says. "I don't want to spend eight, nine hours a day doing something I don't like and that's never been the case while I've worked at Relativity."
We sat down with Monika to hear more about how she built her confidence, how that confidence helped her find her dream career, and how she's paying it forward now.
Getting comfortable being uncomfortable
Monika's first role at Relativity was in technical support.
She'd come into tech indirectly, having completed a master's in economics and working in a few administrative roles where she interfaced with tech companies when licensing their software. Early in her career, she says she was always the "Go-to IT person who helped with Outlook or Word" and that it was those earlier experiences that showed her she was really interested in how technology worked.
So, after doing some postgrad studies in SQL and database management, she took a job in technical support at Relativity because she thought they had the best product and culture of all the companies that had extended offers to her. "I felt that they really cared, I wasn't just another resume to them," she says. "Even in the interview, they took the time to show me how they worked, and I quickly felt like part of the company."
But even though she was qualified for the role, Monika initially struggled with her confidence.
"When I joined, I had a lot of doubts about myself, my knowledge, if I was the right person," she says. "At first, I wasn't confident taking customer calls. I wanted to provide the best support possible to clients, but I worried that I may not have all the right answers. Thanks to my awesome manager back then, I realized that I had time and space to learn, and that Relativity would support me."
That support included English lessons and trips to Relativity's Chicago headquarters for in-depth training and teambuilding. "At the beginning, it was really hard for me to speak up, especially in bigger meetings when you have a lot of people, mostly who were native English speakers," she says.
That changed as she started taking the language lessons and saw how her coworkers embraced everything she brought to the table. She focused on one thing at a time, and eventually grew comfortable taking phone calls with customers and talking in big meetings.
"At Relativity, I found that if they didn't understand something I said, they always asked and tried to make sure that I felt comfortable, that I know my English is not a problem here, that we are all here to serve our clients and try to do everything to support everyone," says Monika.
"No one is reading your mind"
A couple years into her Relativity career, Monika had a realization.
Her favorite part of her support role was problem-solving. But all of the fixes she was creating for clients were short-term – she wanted to create a lasting impact and solve longer-term problems.
"I started thinking, 'How can we continue to make improvements to make the product the best it can be?'" she says.
Initially, she felt a bit of fear come back when thinking about taking on a new challenge, but Monika squashed it and decided to talk to her manager and to Relativity's product team about roles in product. She also took online courses on product management.
A few months after she'd started talking to the product team—with the approval of her then-manager, who fully supported her transition to a new role—Monika interviewed for a job as an Associate Product Manager, which she got. "They saw potential in me, and they saw that my knowledge from support about the product would be really useful on the product team as well," she says.
Now, Monika speaks with customers regularly, but on more strategic product improvements to make Relativity's offerings more intuitive, more relevant and more helpful to their needs.
"I'm an example of how Relativity gives you space to grow in your career," reflects Monika, who hopes other people will follow suit. "If you're interested in something, just ask! Ask for advice, show you want to move somewhere, because no one is reading your mind, and you won't move forward if you don't try!"
One golden rule for your career
Monika's advice for people considering big career changes is fairly straightforward: don't be afraid to ask, don't be afraid to try, and make sure you listen, not just talk, as you navigate your different options.
All of that boils down to her own golden rule: be the type of coworker that you'd like to have.
Whether that means answering questions from a coworker who's curious about your team, volunteering on a new project to help someone out, or giving advice to new hires, Monika stresses how a good company culture that supports growth and learning requires each individual to make time to help others, even when they don't feel like experts themselves.
And solidifying her own confidence in her work has allowed Monika to reach out to help others, too, whether in support, product, or other parts of the company.
"In general, people want to help," she says. "Sometimes people think they can be mentors to others only when they know everything. But there's always someone with less experience, someone younger, someone newer on the job, and we can teach them how to do their job better or give them advice! Pay forward your knowledge to help others succeed and achieve their career goals."
10 Full-Time Roles You Can Do Remotely! [Updated Sept 2021]
[This article was updated September 20, 2021]
Work-from-home jobs sometimes get a bad reputation: low pay, repetitive work, micromanagement... the list goes on. But if one good thing has come out of 2020, it's that it's redefined working from home. Remote work has come a long way, and the opportunities to work from home in 2021 are more promising than ever before.
If you're like me, and freelance, task-oriented remote jobs like article writing, data entry, transcription, or professional survey taking (yep, that exists), aren't your thing - don't worry. There are more full-time remote opportunities than ever before that offer you the freedom to manage your own time, the security of consistent monthly income, the support of a team, and the promise of growth. In fact, we've got close to 5,000 on PowerToFly.
So, if you're looking for a remote opportunity in 2021 that will push you to develop professionally, look no further than our list of the 10 best work-from-home jobs. And by best, we mean fun, challenging roles that will help you grow, while making a respectable income.
All the jobs listed have average salaries between 45 and 119k, and have average or higher-than-average growth potential (based off of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' predictions for growth from 2018 to 2028 and/or LinkedIn's 2020 Emerging Jobs Report).
10 Best Work-From-Home (Remote) Jobs for 2021
Jobs sorted from highest to lowest average salary. (Salary data taken from ZipRecruiter, Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and/or the U.S. BLS depending on availability and specificity to remote roles.)
Who It's Good For: Detail-oriented stats masters skilled at identifying and understanding trends.
Why You Can Do It Remotely: With more data than ever before at our fingertips, companies know the value of hiring folks who know "big data" as more than just a buzzword. True stats buffs are hard to come by, so expertise often outweighs location.
Growth 2018-2028: 30.7%
Average Annual Salary: $119,000
Who It's Good For: Self-directed (and disciplined) coding enthusiasts who love problem solving and having the freedom to work whenever they feel most focused.
Sound Like You? Check Out: 4,000+ Software Developer/Engineer jobs on PowerToFly and be sure to check out this Q&A with software engineer, Kasey Champion to learn about her experience working at a fully remote company and get her tips for acing technical interviews!)
Why It Can Be Done Remotely: Arguably, not only can programming be done remotely - it should be! Why? Writing code requires undisturbed blocks of time rarely found in traditional workplaces.
As computer scientist and entrepreneur Paul Graham observed in his essay on makers' vs. managers' schedules:
" Most powerful people are on the manager's schedule...But there's another way of using time that's common among people who make things, like programmers and writers. They generally prefer to use time in units of half a day at least. You can't write or program well in units of an hour. That's barely enough time to get started."
Office culture was designed with managers' schedules in mind, and thus makes adhering to a maker's schedule extremely difficult. Remote work, alternatively, is much more conducive to this. After all, it's a lot easier to snooze your Slack notifications than it is to ignore your boss literally hovering over your shoulder.
Growth for 2018-2028: 21%
Average Annual Salary: $111,781
3.Designer (Web, Graphic, Product, or UI/UX)
Who It's Good For: Designers who do their best work independently or from the comfort of their own home.
Sound Like You? Check Out: Remote Design Roles
Why You Can Do It Remotely: No doubt there's value in brainstorming with your team, but once you know the needs of a project, most design work can be done independently and then shared. With tools like Zoom, Jira, and Slack, it's easier than ever before to share your work, get feedback, and hit deadlines. (And, like programmers/developers, designers are also more likely to benefit from a maker's schedule!)
Average Annual Salary (for UX Design): $98,816 according to data from ZipRecruiters
Average Median Salary (for Graphic Design): $50,370 in 2018, according to the U.S. BLS (not specific to remote roles)
Who It's Good For: Anyone who loves big-picture strategy and building products that users will love.
(If you enjoy more nitty-gritty task oversight, consider project management instead — both roles can be done remotely! You can learn more about the differences between the two PM roles here.)
Why You Can Do It Remotely: As more and more software engineers and other tech professionals work remotely, it only makes sense that the PMs coordinating with them work remotely. If you're a virtual communication wiz comfortable communicating online and using tools like Zoom, GitHub, Jyra, Slack, and Asana (the list goes on...), then you're all set!
Annual Growth: 24%*
*Based on expected growth for Product Owner from LinkedIn's emerging jobs report. The BLS doesn't currently track growth specifically for Product Manager positions.
Average Annual Salary: $81,149
5.P.A., Nurse, or Nurse Practitioner
Who It's Good For: An experienced medical practitioner ready to swap 12 hour shifts for a more flexible schedule.
Why You Can Do It Remotely: New technology is changing the way healthcare is delivered. You can provide wellness and medical education, patient-centered care, and treatment virtually, all while collaborating with a multi-disciplinary team of engineers, physicians, and medical assistants.
Growth for 2018-2028 (Nurse Practitioner): 26%
Average Annual Salary (Remote Nurse): $73,374
Who It's Good For: Top-notch communicators (writers) who can explain complex topics succinctly and clearly. (It's helpful if you have expertise in at least one technical subject.)
Sound Like You? Check Out: Remote Technical Writer Jobs
Why It Can Be Done Remotely: Like programmers, technical writers are makers - they need large, undisturbed blocks of time to create content. Technology and the nature of remote work can help ensure writers are able to communicate efficiently with their teams and organize meetings when they'll be constructive, not distracting.
Growth for 2018-2028: 8%
Average Annual Salary: $68,,454
7.Customer Success Manager
Who It's Good For: Good communicators who love helping others and problem-solving.
Sound Like You? Check Out: Remote Customer Success Roles
Why It Can Be Done Remotely: Most customer service needs can be met over the phone and online. With a computer and good internet connection (and enough patience), you can handle all your customers' needs from wherever you are.
Growth for 2020: 34% annual growth rate (The BLS doesn't share data specific to customer success, but thanks to the growth of SaaS, Customer Success Specialist made LinkedIn's 2020 list of the top 15 emerging jobs)
Average Annual Salary: $67,371
Who It's Good For: Folks who are equal parts creative and analytical.
Sound Like You? Check Out: Remote Marketing Manager Jobs on PowerToFly
Why You Can Do It Remotely: Analyzing industry trends and crafting strategy can be done from anywhere. And with teams becoming more and more spread out, you can coordinate cross-functionally with sales people, engineers, and more using Zoom, Slack, and other online tools.
Growth for 2018-2028: 8%
Average Annual Salary: $62,788 (according to data for remote professionals from ZipRecruiters)
Average Median Salary: $134,290 in 2018, according to the U.S. BLS (not specific to remote roles)
Who It's Good For: A people-person skilled in market research, project/time management, and negotiation.
Sound Like You? Check Out: Remote Recruiting Roles
Why You Can Do It Remotely: As remote work takes off and fully remote teams become more common, it only makes sense that recruiters at these companies would be remote as well. Although recruiting saw a dip at the start of the pandemic, the number of remote recruiting roles is steadily increasing as companies ramp back up their hiring goals—we have hundreds of open remote recruiter roles on PowerToFly!
Growth for 2018-2028: 5%
Average Annual Salary: $59,474
10.Sales Development Representative
Who It's Good For: A self-starter with previous experience or an interest in Sales, or anyone who's just starting out and eager to prove themselves!
Sound Like You? Check Out: Remote SDR Roles
Why You Can Do It Remotely: You don't need to be in a particular location to make sales calls, deliver pitches, send follow-up emails, or manage your sales team. And if you have to fly from an office to meet a client, you can just as easily fly from your hometown.
Growth for 2018-2028: 5%
Median Annual Salary (not specific to remote) for SDRs: $45,937
Interested in one of the roles above? Check out these resources for landing your dream remote job and get ready to reap the full benefits of remote work in 2021 - doing what you like, where you like. Good luck!
[A version of this article was originally published on Dec. 19, 2018]
Inclusive leaders are ones who make their team feel like they belong, like they're valued, and like their whole self is seen and appreciated at work. Being cognizant of different holidays and celebrations can go a long way in doing that.
Perhaps your company chooses to highlight the diversity of your employees by collectively celebrating different festive days. Or maybe you're encouraging employees to use floating paid holidays to mark important days with their families and friends. Either way, a diversity awareness calendar can go a long way in helping you meet your goals. Avoid insensitive missteps by checking against these diversity holidays before scheduling all-hands meetings or company parties.
Start your planning with this diversity and inclusion calendar —and make sure it's truly inclusive by asking your team to add the holidays that are important to them.
You can sync this calendar with your Google Calendar by clicking the link below!
This diversity calendar starts with month-long celebrations in January:
- Poverty in America Awareness Month
- Slavery and Human Trafficking Awareness Month
January 1: New Year's Day, the first day of the year as celebrated by many countries.
January 6: The Feast of the Epiphany, also known as Three Kings Day or Día de los Reyes, a Christian holiday that recognizes the visit of the three wise men to the baby Jesus after his birth.
January 7: Christmas Day, as celebrated by Eastern Orthodox Christians, as they follow the Julian calendar instead of the Gregorian calendar.
January 8: Bodhi Day, the Buddhist holiday that commemorates the day that Siddhartha Gautama experienced enlightenment.
January 14: Orthodox New Year, according to the Julian calendar.
January 17: World Religion Day, a Bahá'í holiday that celebrates the commonality between different religions and encourages interfaith understanding.
January 18: Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a holiday that marks the birthday of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.
January 27-28: Tu B'shevat, or the Jewish New Year for Trees, known as the Jewish Arbor Day, which marks the start of spring in Israel.
January 28: Mahayana New Year, the day that Mahayana Buddhists celebrate the new year.
February is Black History Month, celebrating the history and achievements of Black Americans.
February 1: National Freedom Day, honoring the signing by Abraham Lincoln of a resolution that later became the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that abolished slavery.
February 2: Candlemas, a Christian holy day that commemorates when Jesus was presented to the temple for the first time.
February 11: Asian-American Women's Equal Pay Day, marking the fact that Asian-American women earn 90 cents for every dollar earned by white men.
February 12: Lunar New Year, a week-long festival that begins with the first new moon of the lunar calendar, celebrated in China as well as in Japan, Vietnam, Korea, and Mongolia.
February 14: Valentine's Day, celebrated by western Christians as a saint's day and as a secular holiday highlighting love.
February 15: Nirvana Day, a Buddhist commemoration of Buddha's death.
February 15: Presidents' Day, a U.S. holiday celebrating President George Washington's birthday and all the presidents after him.
February 16: Mardi Gras, also known as Fat Tuesday and the end of the Carnival season, celebrated by Christians as the last day before Lent and often full of feasting and celebration.
February 16: Vasant Panchami, a Hindu festival celebrating spring and Saraswati Devi, the goddess of art and culture.
February 17: Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent in the Christian calendar.
February 25-26: Purim, a Jewish holiday marking when the Jewish community in Persia was saved from genocide, ceelbrated by giving charity and feasting.
February 26: Mukha Bucha Day, also known as Māgha Pūjā, a Buddhist holiday celebrating the Buddhist community spent giving alms, visiting the temple, and meditating.
February 27: Maghi-Purnima, a Hindu festival celebrated on the last day of Magha, a month focused on charity work, when devotees often take holy baths and do charity.
March is National Women's History Month, celebrating the contributions and achievements women have made to American history. It's also:
- Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month
- Greek-American Heritage Month
- Irish-American Heritage Month
March 8: International Women's Day, celebrating women's social, economic, cultural, and political achievements and highlighting women's rights.
March 9: Asian American and Pacific Islander Women's Equal Pay
March 11: Maha Shivarati, a Hindu festival celebrated to honor Lord Shiva and the arrival of spring.
March 11: Lailat al Miraj, a Muslim holiday commemorating Muhammad's journey from Mecca to the Farthest Mosque in Jerusalem and beginning the night before at sundown.
March 17: St. Patrick's Day, a holiday celebrating the patron saint of Ireland.
March 19-20: Naw-Ruz, the Baha'I New Year.
March 20: Ostara, a holiday celebrating the spring equinox observed by Pagans and Wiccans.
March 21-22: Norooz, the Persian New Year.
March 21: International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, declared by the United Nations in 1966 to honor the killing of 69 people at a demonstration against South African apartheid.
March 24: All Women's Equal Pay Day
March 25: International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, declared by the United Nation in 2008 to honor and remember slaves who died.
March 27: Lord's Evening Meal, celebrated by Jehovah's Witnesses in memory the Last Supper celebrated on the first night of Passover in 33 CE.
March 27-April 4: Passover or Pesach, an eight-day Jewish festival celebrating when Israelites were freed from slavery in ancient Egypt.
March 28: Palm Sunday, a Christian holiday marking Jesus's entry into Jerusalem and the start of the Holy Week.
March 28-29: Holi, a Hindu and sikh spring festival celebrating spring and new beginnings with bonfires, bright colors, and feasting.
March 31: International Transgender Day of Visibility
- Arab-American Heritage Month
- Autism Awareness Month
- Earth Month
- Tartan (Scottish-American) Heritage Month
April 1: Holy Thursday, a Christian holiday commemorating the Last Supper between Jesus and the Apostles before his crucifixion.
April 2: Good Friday, a Christian holiday marking Jesus's crucifixion.
April 2: World Autism Awareness Day, meant to raise awareness of the developmental disorder.
April 4: Easter, celebrated by Christians as the day Jesus rose from the dead after dying on the cross.
April 8: Yom Hashoah, or Holocaust Memorial Day, celebrated in Israel and around the world as a day of remembrance for the 6 million Jews that died in the Holocaust.
April 12-May 11: Ramadan, the ninth month of the Muslim year and a holy month celebrating when Mohammad received the irevelations of the Quran, spent fasting, reflecting, and praying.
April 13: Equal Pay Day, at the time of writing; this day marking the pay gap between men and women moves depending on the actual pay gap.
April 14: Vaisakhi, the Sikh New Year and a celebration of the founding of the Sikh community in 1699
April 13-15: Songkran Festival, the Thai New Year, also celebrated as the Buddhist New Year.
April 20-May 1: Rivdan, a Baha'i festival celebrating when Baha'u'llah resided in paradise and proclaimed his mission as God's messenger.
April 21: Ram Navami, a Hindu holiday celebrating the birthday of Lord Rama, the seventh avatar of Vishu.
April 22: Earth Day, promoting sustainability and environmental protection.
April 23: National Day of Silence, a protest against bullying and harassment of LGBTQIA+ individuals by students who take a vow of silence.
April 24: Armenian Martyrs' Day, honoring the 1.5 million Armenians killed by genocide in Turkey.
April 25: Mahavir Jayanti, an important holiday celebrated by Jains commemorating the birth of Lord Mahavira.
May has several month-long celebrations, including:
- Mental Health Month
- Haitian Heritage Month
- Indian Heritage Month
- Jewish-American Heritage Month
- National Asian American and South Pacific Islander Heritage Month
- Older Americans Month
- South Asian American Heritage Month
May 1: Beltane, a Celtic festival celebrating the beginning of summer, also known as May Day.
May 2: Pascha, Orthodox Easter.
May 5: Cinco de Mayo, a Mexican holiday commemorating Mexico's 1862 victory over France in the Battle of Puebla, celebrated in the Mexican state of Puebla and by Mexican-Americans.
May 5: Mother's Equal Pay Day
May 9: Mother's Day.
May 9: Laylat al-Qadr, the holiest night of the year for Muslims, celebrated on the 27th day of Ramadan and commemorating the night that the Quran was revealed to Mohammad.
May 12-13: Eid al-Fitr, the celebration of the end of Ramadan and the beginning of the Islamic month of Shawwal.
May 13: The Feast of the Ascension, a Christian holiday celebrating Jesus's ascension into heaven.
May 16-18: Shavuot, a Jewish holiday that commemorates the spring harvest and the giving of the Torah.
May 17: International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.
May 21: World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, a day set by the United Nations to celebrate harmony.
May 22-23: Declaration of the Bab, a Baha'i holiday.
May 23: Pentecost, a Christian holiday commemorating when the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles.
May 25: Africa Day, commemorating the foundation of the Organization of African Unity in 1963.
May 26: Vesak Day or Visakha Puja, a Buddhist festival marking Gautama Buddha's birth, enlightenment, and death.
May 27-28: Ascension of Baha'u'llah, a Baha'i holy day.
May 30: All Saints' Day, an Orthodox celebration of all known and unknown Christian saints.
May 31: Memorial Day, a U.S. holiday honoring military veterans who died in war.
In June, several month-long holidays are celebrated, including LGBTQIA+ Pride Month, along with:
- AIDS Awareness Month
- Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness Month
- National Caribbean American Heritage Month
June 12: Loving Day, celebrating the anniversary of the 1967 Supreme Court decision Loving v. Virginia that made interracial marriage legal.
June 12: Anne Frank Day, celebrating the birthday of the young Jewish hero.
June 13: Race Unity Day, a Baha'i holiday founded in 1957.
June 15: Native American Citizenship Day, which commemorates when the U.S. Congress passed legislation recognizing the citizenship of Native Americans in 1924.
June 19: Juneteenth, a holiday that originally commemorated when the abolition of slavery was announced in Texas in 1865 and is now a broader celebration of Black freedom and achievement.
June 20: Father's Day.
June 20: World Refugee Day, marked by the UN to encourage public awareness and refugee support.
June 21: Litha, the summer solstice celebrated by Pagans.
June 26: Anniversary of the legalization of same-sex marriage in the U.S., which happened via the Supreme Court case Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015.
The month of July is French-American Heritage Month.
July 4: Independence Day
July 4: Republic Day, also known as Filipino-American Friendship Day, marking the Philippines' independence from the United States.
July 9: Martyrdom of the Bab, a Baha'i holiday observing the anniversary of the death of the Bab, the prophet of the Baha'i faith.
July 14: Bastille Day, also known as French National Day, celebrating the storming of the Bastille in 1789, a turning point in the French Revolution.
July 18: International Nelson Mandela Day, marked on Mendela's birthday to honor his legacy.
July 18: Tisha B'Av, a Jewish date of observance mourning the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem.
July 19-20: Eid al-Adha, a Muslim holiday commemorating the prophet Ibrahim's readiness to sacrifice his son, Ismail.
July 24: Pioneer Day, a Mormon holiday recognizing the arrival of Brigham Young and the first group of Morman pioneers in the Valley of the Great Salt Lake.
July 24: Dharma Day, also known as Asalha Puja, a Buddhist holiday commemorating the Buddha's first discourse after his spiritual awakening.
July 26: ADA Day, celebrating when the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law in 1990.
July 30: International Day of Friendship, a day designated by the UN to promote relationships and friendship across cultures.
August 9: International Day of the World's Indigenous People, celebrating the rich heritage of indigenous cultures and recognizing the challenges they face.
August 3: Black Women's Equal Pay Day
August 9: Al-Hijra, the first day of the month of Muharram, which marks the beginning of the Islamic year.
August 18: Ashura, a day of fasting observed by Muslims to mark Moses' exodus from Egypt.
August 19: World Humanitarian Day, marked by the UN to commemorate humanitarian workers killed or injured through their work.
August 22: Raksha Bandhan, also known as Rakhi, an Indian festival celebrating the relationship between brothers and sisters.
August 26: Women's Equality Day, which celebrates the passing of the 19th Amendment that granted women the right to vote.
August 29: Krishna Janmashtami, also known as Jayanti, a Hindu holiday celebrating Krishna's birthday.
September 15th to October 15th is Hispanic Heritage Month, celebrating the histories, cultures, and contributions of the U.S. Latinx and Hispanic communities. It begins on September 15th because that day is the independence day of several Latin American countries, including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, and Nicaragua.
September 6: Labor Day, celebrating workers and the labor union movement.
September 6-8: Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year and the beginning of a ten-day period of spiritual renewal.
September 8: Native American Women's Equal Pay Day
September 10: Ganesh Chaturthi, a Hindu holiday celebrating the birthday of Ganesha.
September 15-16: Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement that ends the ten days of penance that began with Rosh Hashanah.
September 16: Mexican Independence Day
September 20-27: Sukkot, a Jewish weeklong commemoration of the 40-year wanderings of the Israelites.
September 21: International Day of Peace, a day of nonviolence started by the United Nations.
September 23: Bi Visibility Day, marking the bi+ community.
September 26: European Day of Languages, created by the Council of Europe and organized by the CoE and the European Union, which commemorates the rich linguistic and cultural diversity of Europe.
September 27-28: Shemini Atzeret, a Jewish holiday known as the Eighth Day of Assembly and marked by joy and prayers.
September 28-29: Simchat Torah, a Jewish holiday that celebrates the Torah and marks a new cycle of reading it.
October is a packed month for cultural and communal celebrations, including:
- Breast Cancer Awareness Month
- Domestic Violence Awareness Month
- Disability Employment Awareness Month
- Down Syndrome Awareness Month
- Filipino-American Heritage Month
- German-American Heritage Month
- Italian-American Heritage Month
- LGBTQIA+ History Month
- National Work and Family Month
- Polish-American Heritage Month
- Family History Month
October 2: International Day of Nonviolence, marked on Mahatma Gandhi's birthday to work towards a culture of peace, tolerance, and understanding.
October 6-14: Navratri, a nine-day festival celebrating good triumphing over evil and ends in Dussehra on the 15th.
October 10: World Mental Health Day
October 11: National Coming Out Day, which is celebrated on the anniversary of a 500,000-person march on Washington for gay and lesbian equality.
October 11: Indigenous Peoples' Day, celebrating and honoring Native American history and culture, previously celebrated as Columbus Day and changed by many states and cities to decenter genocide.
October 15: White Cane Safety Day, a day for awareness of the blind community.
October 18-19: Eid Milad ul-Nabi, a Muslim holiday marking the birthday of the prophet Mohammed, celebrated by by Sunni Muslims on the 18th and Shi'a Muslims on the 23rd.
October 20: Sikh Holy Day, celebrating the birth of Guru Granth.
October 21: Latina's Equal Pay Day
October 22: International Stuttering Awareness Day, which works to raise public awareness of stuttering.
October 31: Halloween
October 31-November 2: Día de los Muertos, the Mexican celebration marking the Day of the Dead and celebrating those who have passed.
- National Native American, American Indian, and Alaskan Native Heritage Month
- Movember, meant to increase awareness of men's health issues, such as prostate cancer
November 1: All Saints' Day, a western Christian holiday commemorating known and unknown Christian saints.
November 2: All Souls' Day, a Christian holiday to commemorate the dead (marked as Día de los Muertos in Mexico).
November 4: Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights.
November 6: Birth of the Bab, a Baha'i holiday marking the birth of the faith's prophet-herald.
November 7: Birth of Baha'u'llah, a Baha'i observance of another prophet-herald.
November 11: Veterans Day, honoring military veterans.
November 19: Guru Nanek Dev Ji's birthday, an important Sikh holiday celebrating the founder of Sikhism.
November 20: Transgender Day of Remembrance, memorializing those killed due to anti-transgender prejudice.
November 24-25: Day of the Covenant, a Baha'i holiday celebrating the appointment of Abdúl-Baha as the faith's successor.
November 25: Thanksgiving, commemorating the Pilgrims' harvest feast, and sometimes marked as a day of mourning to recognize the decimation of the Native Americans by the colonists.
November 26: Native American Heritage Day, observed on the day after Thanksgiving to honor Native American culture and history.
November 27: Ascension of Abdu'l-Baha, a Baha'i holiday.
November 28 - December 6: Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights that celebrates the victory of the Maccabees over King Antiochus.
December is Universal Human Rights Month.
December 1: World AIDS Day, encouraging activism and education on HIV and AIDS.
December 3: International Day for People with Disabilities, planned to raise awareness of the issues people with disabilities face.
December 6: St. Nicholas' Day, the saint's day for the inspiration for modern-day Santa Claus celebrated in western Christian countries.
December 10: International Human Rights Day, started by the UN in 1948 upon the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
December 16-24: Las Posadas, a religious festival celebrated in Mexico and other parts of Latin America that commemorates the journey Mary and Joseph made to Bethlehem before Jesus's birth.
December 21: Yule Winter Solstice, a pagan celebration of the first day of winter.
December 24: Christmas Eve, celebrating Mary and Joseph's arrival in Bethlehem for Jesus's birth.
December 25: Christmas, a western Christian holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus.
December 26: Kwanzaa, a seven-day celebration of African-American culture and life originally founded in 1966.
December 31: New Year's Eve, the last day of the year in the Gregorian calendar and celebrated as the passing of one year and the beginning of another.
💎 Looking to apply for a position with Expedia Group? Here are some great tips to prepare for your interview!
📼 Watch this video for valuable insight from Audrey McGee, Talent Advisor at Expedia Group. These tips will help you get ready for your interview with the company, whether on-site or virtual!
📼 There are three main skills Expedia Group recruiters look for in candidates during their interview: #1: Communication skills. As Audrey shares, this is a skill that goes a long way and cuts across all industries, from HR to technology and even finance. Whether you're interviewing for an entry-level or executive-level role, you must have effective communication skills. #2: Problem-solving skills. The ability to articulate a problem or a challenge and the steps that you took to overcome those challenges will impress your interviewer. #3: Teamwork. Expedia Group has a diverse team across various geographies, time zones, and cultures, so they look for candidates who excel at collaboration!
📼 Probably, for the time being, Expedia Group will interview you over Zoom, so here are some great tips to keep in mind: Establish good eye contact with your interviewer. It indicates that you're engaged and interested, and it also exudes confidence. Make sure that your environment has good lighting, is free of distractions, and that noise is kept to a minimum. And last, but not least: Take a deep breath, relax, smile, and be yourself!
Get That Job at Expedia Group! Last Tip Before Your Interview
Be sure to send a follow-up note after your interview. While thank-you notes used to be very common, the trend has died down. So showing your appreciation will help you stand out! Plus, according to Audrey, this will also reiterate your interest in the role. Good luck!
Get to know Audrey
She's building a world-class team of technology professionals as a Recruiter for Expedia Group.
She spends her days finding, recruiting, and hiring the best talent who can help realize that mission. Audrey takes pride in providing the best recruiting experience possible for candidates and hiring managers. You can connect with her on LinkedIn!
More About Expedia Group
They are travelers and technologists. They work across time zones, hemispheres, cultures and languages. They're used to breaking things down and building them back up again, until they're even better. They know travel can be hard, but they also know that it's worth it, every time. And because they believe travel is a force for good, they take their roles seriously. They're here to build great products, and facilitate connections between travelers and their partners that truly bring good into the world. You'll discover a world of passionate people, all guided by an inclusive purpose: to strengthen connections, broaden horizons, and bridge divides.
Victoria Vitale has always had a passion for computers, but that passion isn't what drove her to become a software developer.
It was practicality.
"I needed a job that could pay rent!" explains Victoria with a wry smile. A friend suggested she apply for a data analyst role, telling her that she could learn any necessary skills on the job. A few months into the role, Victoria realized that friend was right—and that she wanted to grow her skillset even more and become a developer.
We sat down with Victoria to hear more about how she consciously built the career that she wanted—including her current role as an engineering manager at remote design tool company MURAL, and what advice she has for other people looking to do the same.
Putting Her Hand Up
Victoria, who hails from and lives in Buenos Aires, got her first engineering job because she spoke English. She learned everything else she needed, from how to structure databases to use SQL, once she got there. When she was working her second database job, she realized she could apply the same technique in the software space.
She just had to ask for the opportunity to do so.
"I was very curious about how things worked, so I started collaborating with the [software development] team whenever I could," says Victoria. She offered to QA for them—and then had to teach herself basic programming in a week's time when they took her up on it.
"That's when I knew I wanted to focus on that," says Victoria, who adds that she absorbed all the knowledge she could from that team before eventually switching into a developer role.
She faced a little imposter syndrome about the fact that she hadn't studied programming formally (though she was doing a second degree in multimedia design and web development). "There were a lot of pieces I had to put together as I went," says Victoria. "But I stayed very curious and motivated, and I trusted my team to help me."
Scaling with MURAL
Victoria was getting coffee with a friend who just happened to work at MURAL when she met some of his coworkers. "I saw the people and how happy they were, how they looked working together, how motivated they were, and I was hooked," she says. There wasn't an opening at the time, but she deployed her characteristic patience and applied as soon as there was one.
The job she ended up getting at MURAL was as an individual contributor—a step down from what she'd been doing at her previous company, where she was a lead software developer. Victoria didn't think twice about taking it. "It was an opportunity to work on a project where, even as an IC, I would have a lot of [opportunities to give] feedback on what was happening. At the time, there were 30 of us across just two teams, and I had a chance to build the product from scratch," she says. As excited as she was to develop hands-on product knowledge, she also knew that one day she'd like to return to a leadership role: "It was always in my mind that I wanted to come back to [management.]"
While she soaked up all of the product knowledge she could, MURAL grew. First it tripled, hitting nearly 100 employees. Victoria's mentor gave her a stretch project, and when she crushed it, he asked her to be a team lead of the newly-formed enterprise pillar.
"It was a mixture of me being passionate and curious, and him teaching me, seeing that potential, and wanting to help me grow," she reflects. "That's definitely key. Even if you're super motivated and enthusiastic about growing, if someone doesn't give you the space to do it, it's very hard."
Then MURAL hit another milestone that freed up a lot of space: it grew to 700 employees. Leadership realized that the team lead role needed to be split into technical leadership and people management responsibilities, and Victoria's manager asked her which role she was more interested in. As the only woman tech lead in a group of 11, she decided to stay on the technical side to deepen her skills there.
But a few months later, when she realized that the team really needed help scaling its strategy and hiring to keep up with growth, she decided to pursue the engineering management path.
"It wasn't a hard conversation," says Victoria. "My manager said, 'Hey, you're doing this already—why don't you step up to it [in a new role]?'"
Victoria says she had lots of company support as she grew into a bigger management role. MURAL provided resources for hiring and focused on creating a truly global and remote culture where everyone could thrive.
"My growth at MURAL has been very organic. At the time I joined, I knew that one day I wanted to have another leadership role, but I couldn't know yet if MURAL would be the place for me to do it… As it turned out, as the company grew, so did I," says Victoria.
3 Tips for Engineers Wanting to Grow Their Careers
Victoria's combination of open-mindedness and determination has led her through an impressive career in engineering. Now that part of her role requires her to manage the career paths of others, she hopes she can pay that forward, starting with her advice for developers:
- Be curious! "Keep your eyes open and don't put yourself in a box," she says. "Get to know the product, the people. Doing that not only enriches you and makes you a better professional, it also empowers you."
- Be humble. When coaching her team, Victoria is careful to tell them what they're doing well along with what they need to work on. "Know your strengths, but also know what you still have to learn and what areas you can grow in. That leaves you open to learning from others," she says.
- Always teach others. Management might not be for everyone, says Victoria. She'll sometimes tell people that she thinks they'll be great tech leads and hear that they are uninterested in management. She doesn't force them, because that makes everyone involved miserable, she explains—instead, Victoria encourages them to share what they know with others, even if in a more informal mentorship or training capacity versus a full-out management role. "Pay back as much as you get from your surroundings and the people you work with," she says.
Speakers will include Simone Biles, Brené Brown, Glenn Close and Laverne Cox
PowerToFly is proud to join the Pennsylvania Conference for Women as a community sponsor and is happy to share a registration discount code with the PowerToFly community.
The Pennsylvania Conference for Women is a non-profit, non-partisan, one-day professional and personal development event for women that features more than 100 renowned speakers sharing inspirational stories and leading seminars on the issues that matter most to women, including health, personal finance, executive leadership, small business and entrepreneurship, work/life balance, branding and social media marketing, and more.
This year's conference will be virtual and will be hosted on November 10th, 2021.
REGISTER FOR THE CONFERENCE HERE. PowerToFly community members can receive a $25 registration discount with code 2021PASO.
Speakers will include:
- Brené Brown, researcher and storyteller
- Glenn Close, award-winning actress, mental health advocate, and co-founder, Bring Change to Mind
- Laverne Cox, award-winning actress, producer and equal rights advocate
- Simone Biles, most decorated gymnast of all time
- Susan Cain, author, Quiet
- Dolly Chugh, author, The Person You Mean to Be
- And many more