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Career and Interview Tips

How To Network: 4 Ways To Work A Party, Mixer or Professional Event

With over 75 events under his belt, last year alone, it's safe to say that Kevin Winston knows how to throw a party. The founder of Digital LA, the city's largest professional digital networking group, has a knack for connecting people in the tech and entertainment industries. His weekly mixers, panels, newsletter and social channels reach over 60,000 professionals. In his former life he crafted social media campaigns for TV shows and movies, but he still believes in the power of in-person connections. "Real life," Kevin says, "That's where people meet friends, where they get jobs, can find staffing to ramp up. LA is a very collaborative town. When you're working on a project, whether it's a startup, film or an app, you need lots of people to get that together."


The Ivy League alum not only knows how to connect people at events, but also how to network himself. It's a skill that's crucial to his business and one that he perfects, daily. (He admittedly attends three events a night). So what does it take to work a room? Kevin gave PowerToFly these valuable tips:

1. Have an opening line.

When joining professional conversations at an event, it's all about being comfortable talking to people that you don't know. Kevin says that it's best to have an opening line, whether it's complimenting a person on their latest work or discussing the appetizers. "How do you get involved in a conversation so that you're not just sitting there on your phone? How do you position yourself to join a conversation that's happening? Just practicing that and coming up with some opening lines is helpful."

2. Network consistently, during key time slots.

Kevin gets a slew email from people asking him to become more involved in tech events. His advice is to simply go. "That's the best way to do it. A lot of it is just showing up — showing that you're supportive," he says. The key is being smart about the type of events you choose and when you attend. "I actually go to three events a night. I just have that energy." Kevin admits. "There's your 6-8pm time slot, 8-10pm and 10pm-midnight … Fill those time slots with things, whether it's cocktails, a movie screening or panel. You can even incorporate going to the gym, having dinner with friends or going to someone's birthday party as part of those time slots. Those are networking events too."

Digital LA panelists shown with founder, Kevin Winston (far right) COURTESY OF KEVIN WINSTON

3. Think about what you can give, not just what you can get.

It's good to have a purpose when networking, but it's also important to be selfless. Kevin explains, "You might have some advice that you can offer someone else, so that it's not just about you getting something, but also giving something. If you help someone, they might actually help you too. People remember you better if you help them out on something, especially in LA."

4. Change your networking approach when you're job hunting.

When you're looking to make a career move, Kevin suggests not only following the first three tips, but also focusing on the area that you're interested in. "If there's a networking event and someone is speaking from a company that you're interested in working at, go there and ask how they like working there. Maybe set up an informational interview or coffee afterwards."

Want to learn how to step up your professional networking game? Check out our Guide to Networking Success for Women in Tech. 

Join PowerToFly today to become part of our fast-growing network of all-star women in tech. 

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This Transgender CEO and LGBTQ+ Tech Advocate, Uses PowerToFly to Diversify Her Team.

"As A Trans, Non-Binary Person, It Can Be Scary To Enter A Women's Space." -Andrea Breanna.

We chatted with the Founder and CEO of RebelMouse to shine a spotlight on her voice.

She's an advocate for LGBTQ+ rights, and explains why she uses PowerToFly to diversify her team.

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The Best High-Paying Remote Jobs

5 full-time work-from-home roles that pay seriously well

We—we being the internet in general, as well as PowerToFly specifically—often talk about remote work as this glorious thing: you can find professional fulfillment, friendly co-workers, and career growth potential from the comfort of your own home. All while collecting a check!

But where should you look if you want that check to be as big as possible?

Start with this guide to the best high-paying remote jobs. These career choices (and the example companies hiring for them) don't skimp out on paying remote workers well, and you'll still get all the work-from-home flexibility you're looking for. I've linked to specific job posts for each category below, but also look through the 300+ remote jobs on PowerToFly's always-updated remote job board for more.

As you apply and interview, keep these work-from-home interview questions in mind. If you find yourself with a salary offer that's good, but not quite as good as it could be, reference these salary negotiation tips for remote workers to advocate for what you deserve. And when you get the job with a great salary, make sure your home office is set up for success. And then send me a note to tell me how you're doing!

1. Senior Software Engineer

Business woman using laptop

Who It's Good For: Anyone who's a pro in programming languages (Java, Javascript, C++, Python, and SQL, to start, among others) and knows how to drive the development of products. If you like complex engineering challenges, have experience working with different systems and products, and have the discipline to program without a PM physically hovering over you (Slack hovering's allowed, though), this is for you.

Sound Like You? Check Out: Sr. Principal Software Engineer at Dell, Senior Front End Software Engineer at Plectica, Senior Software Engineer at CloudBees

Why You Can Do It Remotely: Like most heads-down-and-create work, developing software and programming are best done with minimal distractions. You'll collaborate with your team for check-ins and bug fixes, but you'll be able to focus on your project work from a home office.

Average Annual Salary: $131,875

2. User Experience Researcher Manager

Young adult woman working with laptop at mobile app

Who It's Good For: Proven researchers who know how to understand the behaviors and motivations of customers through feedback and observation, who have experience synthesizing insights into a brand story, and who have managed teams.

Sound Like You? Check Out: Senior Research Operations Program Manager at Zapier.

Why You Can Do It Remotely: As UX researcher Lindsey Redinger explains in her helpful Medium post, remote research allows companies to reach users all over the world, not just within driving distance to their headquarters, and can be cheaper for companies and easier for participants.

Average Annual Salary: $105,810

3. Senior Product Designer

Female graphic designer smiling at desk in office

Who It's Good For: Creatives with technical chops who like the challenges of evolving and improving the production of current products, leading designers, and collaborating with other parts of the business.

Sound Like You? Check Out: Senior Product Designer at SeatGeek.

Why You Can Do It Remotely: While design teams definitely need to share lots of feedback, there's technology out there to make that easy. The Help Scout design team has shared their favorite tools and tricks to collaborate remotely, which includes recording daily videos of new designs to explain features and ideas in a way a photo file just can't express. (They're also hiring! Check out open Help Scout jobs here).

Average Annual Salary: $107,555

4. Senior Security Analyst

Developing Concentrated programmer reading computer codes Development Website design and coding technologies.

Who It's Good For: Thoughtful, vigilant thinkers who enjoy identifying and fixing gaps in a company's security posture, including through ethnical hacking (hacking a company's system before outsiders can, and addressing the weak points found) and incident response (containing the negative effects of a system breach or attack).

Sound Like You? Check Out: Data Protection Security Analyst at Deloitte.

Why You Can Do It Remotely: Not all security analyst positions are remote-friendly; sometimes they require working with very sensitive data that can be compromised if taken off-site or accessed from a VPN. But with the right data processing policies—like using a privacy filter over your laptop, only using secured wifi, and encrypting your data, all suggested by WebARX security's all-remote team—remote work as a security analyst is definitely possible.

Average Annual Salary: $108,463

5. Technical Project Manager

A strong wifi connection makes for a strong relationship

Who It's Good For: Tech-friendly jack-of-all-trades with a sweet spot for spreadsheets and other organization tools.

Sound Like You? Check Out: Technical Project Manager at Avaaz.

Why You Can Do It Remotely: Project management can sometimes be like herding cats, but you don't need to be in the same room as your feline team members in order to direct them around. With collaborative software (and a highly organized home office, like PM pro Patrice Embry recommends), you can PM the most complicated of projects from wherever you're located.

Average Annual Salary: $95,129

Other Industries

Other high-paying remote-friendly jobs include certain roles in healthcare (like nurse practitioners and psychologists, who can check in with patients via video conferencing and phone calls), app developers for both iOS and Android products, actuaries and tax accountants, and data scientists.

And remember that even jobs that don't seem remote-friendly at first, could possibly be done from home or on the road. If you find a well-paying, exciting job that doesn't offer remote work immediately, it might be worth negotiating a more flexible schedule with a 1-2 day work-from-home option. Both you and the company can see what remote work actually looks like in action, and if it goes well, you can make a pitch to transition to remote work full time.

Other resources you may want to check out in your quest for meaningful, well-paid remote work:

6 Programs You Should Download Right Now if You Work Remotely

Productivity Tips for Remote Workers

Home Office Design Tips for Remote Workers

In Person Events

Build Your Network at the Next PowerToFly Event

Today we celebrate our partnership with Braintree! Check out this video to see highlights from our recent networking event.

If you missed the event, fear not! Stay connected by following Braintree on PowerToFly and email us at Hi@PowerToFly.com for future events near you.

5 Reasons Women Should Consider a Career in Construction

One of the biggest challenges in almost all industries today is achieving gender parity. Gender diversity provides huge benefits in the workplace.

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Inspiration

10 Adult Lunchables That Will Spice Up Your Work Lunch

I have a friend whose discerning toddler refuses to eat her preschool lunch unless it's in a bento box. I get it; baby carrots are much more appealing when stacked in their little compartment than not. That made me think: when did adult lunchtime stop being fun? When did a soggy sandwich brought from home or a $12 bowl of greens, scarfed down in 10 minutes while scrolling through emails, come to define midday sustenance? Enter adult lunchables.

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