49 Tips For Working Moms
It's not easy working two full-time jobs. Much less so in an age where long hours have become a status symbol. So in honor of Mother's Day, we reached out to our community to ask women at all stages of motherhood and their careers what they wish they'd known before they started their second full-time job as a mom.
Because at the end of the day, it takes a village... and our village came out strong to share their tips for working moms. 49 amazing women contributed to this piece. (And it's no surprise that the most common piece of advice was to be kind to yourself... so moms, HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY! Enjoy your day - you deserve it).
Here's what they had to say:
"When I became a working mom, I wish I knew that 'work/life balance' was not a real thing! I've learned it's about reaching a balanced spot within each of those areas, which has looked different at different times of life. When things are balanced at work, it makes family life run more smoothly. When the family feels balanced, I can be more invested at work. 'Work' and 'life' do not have to be in competition with each other - they can actually create synergy if you pay attention to the pain points and re-shift your focus and energy along the way." - Sara Klucsarits, Manager, Talent Development at Carvana
"In our constant struggle to balance a career and motherhood, we forget the fact that we cannot 'have it all.' Bridge that guilt gap by prioritizing and being selective, and always remember having a working mama doesn't hurt kids, and research proves it." - Sakshi Verma, Technical Recruiter at Netskope
"Always remember where you are and why. When you are at work - be all in. When you are with your child - be all in. Resist the urge to feel guilty about not being somewhere else and always give yourself grace." - Julia R. Kulikowski, Clinical Data Analyst at Flatiron Health
"I am a new mother in the process of transitioning back to work. Right now, I need to acknowledge that the reality is, it isn't easy. I'm exhausted and overwhelmed, it may feel that way for a while, and that's okay. Right now I feel like I have three jobs: working, being a mom, and producing milk for my baby, and I have no idea how to successfully juggle all three. What keeps me going first and foremost, is being kind to myself. Accepting help from others, stealing naps when I can, and focusing only on the most important priorities - which means letting everything else go for a little while." - Rebecca Clayman, Brand Marketing at Cloudflare
"The #1 piece of advice I wish I'd been given is to be kind to yourself. You can do it all, but not perfectly, and not all the time. Just accept that sometimes your kid is going to come first, and your job is going to have to be okay with that... and don't feel guilty about it!" - Chiara Hughes, Head of Corporate & Technical Recruiting at Carvana
"NEVER feel guilty about unplugging from the office and spending family time... Take 'me time' on a regular basis and don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it." - Nancy A. Shenker, CEO, Innovator & Brand Storyteller at theONswitch
"Be kind to yourself and don't focus on the small stuff. Make time for you, or you'll find it difficult to impossible to take care of everyone counting on you." - Maria Jacobson, Sales Leader at Karat
"Know that you are enough in both spaces – at home and at work. Do not feel guilty about or ignore the need for a third space – of your own making, whatever that may mean to you. Take care of yourself and the rest will follow!" - Erin Becker, Marketing Services Team Lead, Digital Sales at Autodesk
"Take your time to transition back to work – you have just undergone some major shifts emotionally, mentally and physically and if you honor yourself and take things slowly, your boss (employer) will honor you too. Don't rush to pick up exactly where you left off – the only person that expects that of you is you – so be kind and graceful in this transition and soak in the love and light of the new human you brought into this world. I would have loved to have worked fewer hours in the days before birth, up to a year after my daughter was born…Still go into work but leave an hour or two earlier." - Elinor Cohen, Life Coach
"Embrace being a full-time mom! When I first became a working mother, I felt guilty about leaving my children so I could go to work. I also felt guilty about wanting to leave work right on time so I could rush home to my children. I wish back then, I would have known that it is okay not to feel guilty about being a mom and having a full time job. Over the years, I have learned that it is all about having and adapting to a work/life balance and being fully present in both." - Kam Smedley, Renewals Specialist II at PagerDuty
"Don't forget to practice self care. When I became a working mom, I tried to continue giving everything I had to my husband, my baby, my job. Somewhere along the way, I got lost. My identity was tied to motherhood and work and that was it. Take time to go to the gym, eat healthy, spend time with friends... anything to ensure you are taking care of your needs too. If you don't take care of yourself, you can't take care of anyone else." - Karey Hoffman, Senior Director of Sales at Scout RFP
"It's a significant transition that will require you to rewire the way you're used to things. Be patient with yourself along the journey and realize that nobody is expecting you to figure it out right away. I was so hard on myself in the beginning. It wasn't until later that I realized my mindset was sometimes getting in the way of me evolving into my new identity more than the new challenges themselves." - Hamida Khalifa, People Partner at Asana
"I had such a hard time returning to work because I was feeling guilty about leaving my kids. I wish I had known that my babies would be fine in daycare and that they'd develop independence skills that they would not have done otherwise." - Abby Carrales, Security Compliance Specialist, Cloudflare
"Many things will be out of your control when you go back to work. Get mentally prepared for that. Invest whatever it takes to find the right care provider for your little one - someone you can trust 100%! Otherwise, the hours spent at work will be unproductive and you will be constantly on your phone texting your nanny or wondering if your baby is doing alright at daycare." - Boryana Kalinova, Business Operations and Planning Lead at PagerDuty
"Always create your own definition of ambition and success—and realize that up is not the only way forward for women. It's easy to get caught up in the power sisterhood's mantra that it's every woman's responsibility to get to the top of business and government. While certainly more women should be at the top…it's not a path that all women should feel pressured to follow. Today there are so many more opportunities than when I was a young mother to work in lucrative, professional ways that fit and fund life. And these options are often much more practical for women in the everyday sisterhood who are also caring for children and aging parents." - Kathryn Sollmann, Career Coach, Speaker, Author
"Do not compromise on your career growth, and never settle for less than you want to be. Fulfilling your potential will make you a happier person and a better mom." - Limor Bergman Gross, Director of Engineering at DigitalOcean
"Let go of perfection. Give yourself time to acclimate and adjust to being back at work, balancing a career and motherhood is no easy feat. Make a list and prioritize, otherwise you feel like you're always in a state of chaos and one step behind. And always remember to make a little time for yourself!" - Tamara Rodriguez, Customer Success Manager at Checkr
"Everybody has an opinion on what a mother should do, but only a mother knows what works for her family and herself."- Emilie Abblard, Software Development Manager at Autodesk
"There are going to be things that other people think are important that aren't important to you - that doesn't make you wrong. Decide what you value, what you're good at, and what brings you joy - and do those things. Explicitly choose not to do the other things, and don't feel badly about it." - Kate Reading, Engineering Manager at Asana
"Don't be afraid to accept and/or ask for help!' Being a parent is hard and there are unique challenges faced by moms working outside the home. As a first-time mom I held myself to an unrealistic standard, but the reality is that it truly takes a village! So don't be afraid to take your friends, family and neighbors up on their offers to help- this is NOT a sign of weakness. And one day, when you're no longer a sleep-deprived zombie, you can return the favor!" - Nicole Rackiewicz, Attorney at Rosenberg, Klein & Lee
"Having a strong partner at home, but also at work was key for me to succeed as a working mom. My husband is a true partner, he's in it with me all the way, at nights, in the morning, but also during the day if my work prevents me from attending mommy duty. When I went back to work after my first child, I realized I also needed that level of support at the office. There will be days where you will be late to work, where you'll have to rush back home for an emergency or simply need a day to SLEEP. That's when you'll appreciate having a strong team to support you, to elevate you on the good days, but especially on the bad ones." - Alex Schinasi, CoFounder of Ivy
"Relying on your colleagues to help run a project, or relying on your most trusted personal network (your partner, family, or friends), when you need advice or an extra set of hands, is far more rewarding than I expected. Just because you can get everything done doesn't mean it's the best option for your team, for your family, or for you." - Daniella Vallurupalli, Head of Communications at Cloudflare
"It is ok to ask for help – You don't have to have it all figured out. Motherhood has constant learning curves and there are many mothers (and fathers) out there that can provide great insight and advice. Remember, you are not alone! Surround yourself with the right support system and advocates because that will make you feel more confident transitioning back into the working world." - Julia Roquemore, Sr. Manager, Global Talent Acquisition at Cisco Meraki
"Ask for help from your tribe - family, friends, place of worship, neighbors - and ask often. Asking for help doesn't mean you're not a good mom or you can't handle the life of a being a working professional and a parent. Sometimes we just need an extra hand and too often we're afraid to ask - and offer help to fellow parents, working or not, because sometimes the ones who need the most help are the least likely to ask." - Amy O'Hara, Associate Director of Corporate Communications at Carvana
"Ask for help! Being a new mom can be hard physically, emotionally and mentally. Don't be afraid to reach out to family, friends, and your employer." - Robbie Fang, Director - User Operations at Checkr
"Motherhood has the power to transform you in a way that is beneficial to your work. You develop new skills in parenting that will actually help you outperform your former self. You become more bold; you are able to ruthlessly prioritize; and your focus at work hits a new level. These are important skills for anyone, especially leaders. The neuroscience supports this, and the best workplaces acknowledge this and are happy to have parents on their teams." - Janet Van Huysse, Head of People, Cloudflare
"I just came back to work after having my second child. Having spent most of my adult life driving my career (waited till I was 40 to have my first baby), the biggest shock to me is that I am not able to come back and perform work in the same way that I did before I went out. Motherhood transforms you in so many unexpected ways: your values are different, what used to upset you doesn't matter anymore and you suddenly feel passionate about things you never cared about, and I discovered a crazy strong nurturing instinct I frankly never knew I had. All of this impacts how you do your work... and you may even feel like you're failing, but ultimately the changes that impact your work are in fact positive. " - Renee Taormina, People Systems and Operations, Cloudflare
"It's okay to realize that working makes me a better mother and being a mother makes me better at work. I'm constantly reminding myself of this on those days when juggling it all seems too hard and it's so easy to fall into the trap of feeling guilty about not spending enough time with my family or not putting those extra hours in at work. I need to remind myself that my contributions at work and at home are much more impactful because of the soft skills I continue to develop as a working mother." - Gigi Chiu, Solutions Engineer, Cloudflare
"Working moms are given super powers. Before the birth of my first child I couldn't fathom how I would balance a full-time career and motherhood. Yet, it all worked out beautifully and I wish I didn't spend so much timing worrying about the logistics and "what ifs." Somehow working moms are able to do the impossible, and are given strengths that allow them to be some of the most productive, efficient, and skilled multitaskers at home and in the workplace." - Katie Bouwkamp, Senior Manager of Internal Communications and Employer Brand at Smartsheet
"As much as I am attached to my baby, I never imagined how much I'd actually want to go back to work after maternity leave- I wish someone had told me that it would actually be a relief to go back to talking to normal adults again; I wouldn't have been so apprehensive about the transition." - Laurel Kiskanyan, Senior Recruiter at DigitalOcean
"It's ok to enjoy being a working mom! I couldn't afford to be a stay at home mom so I went back to work after my first son was only 6 weeks old, I felt very guilty for many years because it felt selfish. Once I gave myself permission to be a working mom, it was freeing, I was a better employee and a better mom." - Stephanie Mirch, Head of Customer Success at Nanit
"I have been a working, single mom for my entire career in tech. My advice to new moms who work outside the home is to work for good people who value you in and outside the office. There will always be times that you feel as though you don't measure up as a mom and as a professional, but most of the time you will feel valued and fulfilled in both settings. If you thrive at work, it will reflect in your parenting. Don't sweat the one time you miss pickup because you're absorbed in your work. Your child will survive, your village will back you up, and you'll only make that mistake once." - Susan Hobbs, Chief of Staff, Cloudflare
"You should feel empowered to prioritize your family and don't make excuses for doing so. I have worked in very male-dominated industries my entire career. Once I became a mother, I recognized that I need to articulate how they could best support me, and they did, but I think many women are afraid to speak up and set boundaries about hours, travel, etc. Once I did, it was respected and honestly, often times championed." - Paige Guzman, VP Marketing at PAX
"If you find yourself in a toxic workplace or abusive boss situation - leave. You might think you're doing the right thing for your children by staying, but you're actually emotionally damaging yourself in the process. Don't be afraid to aim higher." - Brenda Elwood, PLM Program Manager, Hardware Engineering at PAX
"Speak up honestly and frequently about what you need to be successful now. Becoming a mom is hard work and requires a whole new set of priorities, insights, and attempts to balance your life. Your needs will ebb and flow as your child(ren) grow, and a good employer will listen and understand this." Nora Moravec-Gallagher, Customer Success Manager at Karat
"You won't always feel that you are doing well at both and that's ok. Some days are better than others. Find a company that supports parents and allows for flexibility so that you can find a good balance for yourself and your family." - Nicole Stanley Polizzi, Senior Manager, Talent Acquisition at PAX
"Put it on the calendar! Before becoming a parent, I was pretty impromptu with scheduling things. I've now learned to lean into the fact that toddlers thrive on schedules, and just get everything into a preset rhythm - from weekly grocery shopping, to standing date nights and dinners with friends, to a designated day each quarter for catching up on home maintenance or finances. This gets the to-do list out of my head and into an app, so I can stay present in the moment with my family, friends and colleagues." - Urmila Nadkarni, Senior Software Engineer at Convoy
"Being a mother is the most rewarding job you will ever experience but it is also not an easy one. My advice to all first-time moms is to embrace the power of "No." It is going to be hard, but once you learn that skill, you will free up a bunch of time to focus on things you really need to. Don't be hard on yourself and set your own boundaries. You are the best role model your kids can have." - Deepika Khowal, Customer Success Manager (#Mom first) at Autodesk
"Figure out what is the one important thing you want to do each day to feel happy as a mom, and set boundaries around that. It could be dropping your child off to school every morning, or being home in time for dinner. Plan your work day around it. Learn to set boundaries and protect what is important to you as a working mother. But, also learn to accept less than perfection from yourself. Once in a while a work trip will come along and your kids will not see you for a couple days. It is ok - they are watching and learning from you how to balance their lives too." - Sangeeta Chakraborty, Vice president Customer Success at Checkr
"Your kids won't recall if you made the perfect Pinterest-ready treats for the class party, or if the house was sparkling clean every night. They'll remember the fun, silly, sweet moments they spent with you, so make room for and prioritize those times, and try to let the other stuff slide." - Nicole LeClerc, Content Designer at Autodesk
"There is no right or wrong way to balance it all, hone in on finding the groove that best fits your situation and needs. Be fully PRESENT wherever you are - at work or at home. Carve out dedicated time to take care of yourself!"- Shauna Wu, Senior Events Manager at Smartsheet
"Don't look at email or texts while you are spending time with your children off-Hours. Looking back, I wish I had created better boundaries." - Mary Ann Bianco, VP Customer Success
"Multitasking is nearly impossible! Try to focus on the task at hand, if you are with your kids BE present with them, resist the urge to open emails by turning off the notifications after business hours. If you are at work BE present there. Not everyday is a perfect split of responsibilities, but if you give 100% to what is in front of you then you will accomplish a lot." - Rebecca Arsham, Online Program Manager at Autodesk University
"The time away from work you have to spend with your kids is gold! They are also your motivation to challenge yourself and get things done! Kids learn from just seeing what you do and I want to teach my daughter that the world is hers!" - Cynthia Newsome, Deal Development Executive-Sales Operations Services at Autodesk
"Working mothers: you are amazing! What I have learned about being a working mother is that you may not be able to give your kiddo(s) all your time, but when you can, give them all your hugs and smiles. That's what they care about anyway." - Lily Kerrigan, Inside Sales at PAX
"Be present. When you're at work, be efficient and enjoy the time with your colleagues. When at home, put your phone away and fully engage with your kids. Sometimes you can get more done when you try to do less... Make small adjustments as you need them. Leaving 15 minutes earlier, packing bags before bed, trying a new workout. Feeling overwhelmed doesn't mean everything is broken, it just takes a few tries to find what works for you." - Trish Tormey, Product Marketing Manager at Asana
- 20 Lessons for Balancing Family and Career - PowerToFly Blog ›
- 20 Lessons for Balancing Family and Career - PowerToFly Blog ›
According to a recent study, anti-Asian hate crimes have risen 150% since the pandemic started. But these acts of violence are not new — they are part of a much larger history of anti-Asian racism and violence in the U.S.
That makes celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (which was named a month-long celebration in May by Congress in 1992 "to coincide with two important milestones in Asian/Pacific American history: the arrival in the United States of the first Japanese immigrants on May 7, 1843 and contributions of Chinese workers to the building of the transcontinental railroad, completed May 10, 1869") this year all the more important.
As we reflect on recent events and how they fit into a much larger history of discrimination, we're also taking time to celebrate and acknowledge the many achievements of the AAPI community.
We asked several of our partner companies what they're doing to honor AAPI Heritage Month at work, and we were inspired by the range of responses, covering everything from campaigns to #StopAsianHate to educational events on AAPI history.
Here's what they're doing, in their own words:
Empowering authenticity - LogMeIn
"Our theme this year is AIM to Be Real. We are embracing our new company values and celebrating those who bring their authentic selves to work, who help create space to celebrate diversity of thought, and who give back to the API community. Our Asian ERG, Asians in Motion (AIM), is hosting several events: a discussion about bringing your authentic self to work with Jerry Won (Dear Asian Americans podcast); a refugee-led virtual cooking class; ERG Movie Club discussions featuring Bollywood films, and a virtual volunteer event where we will offer career development mentoring for young women across Asia."
Learn more about LogMeIn here.
Educating on current events — Raytheon Technologies
"Raytheon Technologies is honoring Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with an enterprise-wide global town hall event – Real Talk: Building CommUNITY Together. Organized by the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) employee resource groups across the company, employees will share their personal experiences and discuss ways to support Asian American Pacific Islander communities. The event will also feature prominent leading advocates from renowned civil rights organizations to provide insight into the national context surrounding recent events. We will also feature AAPI employees internally and on our social media channels."
Learn more about Raytheon Technologies here.
Encouraging awareness, growth, and learning — Moody's
"Moody's is encouraging awareness, growth, and learning during Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with the following activities, led by our Multicultural Business Resource Group and DE&I team:
- Weekly newsletters featuring AAPI employee profiles and cultural resources
- Video screening and small-group discussions supporting #StopAsianHate
- Cultural panel discussion featuring employee stories
- Professional development activities
- External speakers speaking about Asian leadership"
Supporting professional development — Freddie Mac
"Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month at Freddie Mac – Together, We Are Stronger
Freddie Mac supports the professional development of Asian and Pacific Islander employees while promoting an increased awareness of the value they bring to the organization and our local communities. Our InspirASIAN Business Resource Group is hosting various activities throughout the month such as:
- Personal development session on empowerment led by a coach from our Employee Assistance Program.
- "Stop Asian Hate" lunch and learn geared toward discussing the hurdles facing the AAPI community.
- Fireside chat about racial injustice with leaders from our InspirASIAN and ARISE (employees of the African diaspora) BRGs."
Fostering inclusion, learning, and belonging – Nestlé USA
"At Nestlé USA, the Pan Asian Network (PAN), one of our many employee resource groups that support our Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion initiatives, will host a variety of events to honor and acknowledge Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. These activities will foster greater inclusion, enhanced learning, and belonging for the AAPI community. PAN will highlight women's development in Asian cultures, Asian leadership and what their culture means to them, culinary innovation of Asian cuisine, intersectionality of LGBTQ+ and Pan Asian community, as well as an enhanced learning watch party of the PBS movie 'Asian American.'"
Learn more about Nestlé USA here.
Promoting cultural literacy – Relativity
The Community Resource Group at Relativity
"For Relativity, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is an opportune time to not only celebrate the rich AAPI cultures represented within our company, but to also foster awareness and allyship amidst the current rise of AAPI hate. RelAsians, our internal community resource group, has organized a few activities for May: a book club focused on AAPI heritage—because we feel it's never too early to gain cultural literacy, a weekly spotlight on AAPI Relativians, and a virtual event that takes attendees on a tour through an Asian grocery store, introducing native vegetables and staple ingredients for traditional home-cooked Asian recipes."
- Contribution from Neha Pant, Sr. Performance Engineer & Angie Ocasek, Sr. Specialist, Partner Enablement – Co-Chairs of the RelAsians Community Resource Group at Relativity
Learn more about Relativity here.
Creating transformative experiences – Facebook
"At Facebook, our APIs employee resource group's mission is to create transformative experiences for all APIs at Facebook, Inc through key cultural awareness and engagement highlighting the API community. To kick off APIHM, we will host a series of events and conversations for the community and its allies designed to support the API community around the theme, The SUM of Us, including:
- Letting Others In: a mindful discussion series that privileges intersectional voices, storytelling, feedback, and vulnerability as tools for building empathy and inclusion amongst organizations.
- Racial Healing Learning Session: specific to the API Experience focused on naming of experiences and emotional responses, understanding the body's responses to racial trauma, what the audience can do in the moment for self-care, and long-term strategies to overcome the effect of the traumatic experience.
- Bystander Training/self Defense Workshop"
Learn more about Facebook here.
Extensive and exciting programming — 2U
"At 2U, Inc. we'll be honoring Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with extensive and exciting programming coordinated by our employee-led Asian Pacific Islander Network (APIN). In a year marred by exceptional challenges APIN has centered activities around the ameliorating themes of joy, culture and wellness. Be it delighting in a ukulele mini concert, reading an interview highlighting an API coworker, winding down after too much screen time with a somatic healing session or engaging in a panel discussion with API tattoo artists, we have a packed month ahead with opportunities to support oneself and the API culture! Follow along @Lifeat2U on Instagram for more!"
Learn more about 2U here.
Amplifying voices and educating others – Smartsheet
"During APAHM, the API at Smartsheet community will be hosting several events and activities to educate others, amplify AAPI voices, and celebrate the AAPI community! We plan to kick off the month with a documentary viewing and discussion to learn about AAPI history, and hope to share personal stories from our AAPI employees throughout the month. We'll end with an opportunity for the community to celebrate itself by gathering together for fun and games, while eating food from local Asian-owned restaurants."
Learn more about Smartsheet here.
Rising together in sports and culture – NBA
"For Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, APEX is proud to present a multitude of celebratory activities, headlined by an NBA Family Virtual Town Hall and, with the NFL and MLB, an Asians in Sports & Culture Symposium themed "Together We Rise" featuring prominent Asian personalities from the sports world. We are also launching a PSA with an NBA star, honoring Eid-al-Fitr at the end of Ramadan, offering a bystander intervention training led by AAJC, and – because the celebration wouldn't be complete without food – hosting a sushi making class for our members."
Learn more about the NBA here.
Creating courageous conversations – Commvault
"This May, we are celebrating all our Asian/Pacific Islander employees, not just Asian Americans. We will spend the month learning about and celebrating the diverse cultures of Asia through weekly events and activities led by our Multi-Culture ERG. Vaulters and external guests will teach us the history of practices such as yoga, origami, and Asian cuisines. We will also discuss topics like the rise of hate crimes against Asian people and the recent spike in COVID-19 in India. These activities and courageous conversations will engage our workforce and create support for our Asian and Pacific Islander communities around the world."
Learn more about Commvault here.
Honoring history through virtual events – Collins Aerospace
"Collins Aerospace supports our AAPI colleagues not only in May, but all year. Our parent company Raytheon Technologies hosted a virtual Town Hall last month to provide a safe space for open dialogue about recent events targeting Asian Americans in the U.S. In addition to this entity-wide event, our Asia Pacific ERG at Collins is hosting events that educate and honor the importance of Asian Pacific American history such as virtual Lunch & Tours spotlighting South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, and India; and Thoughts & Support sessions. Site-specific events include virtual cooking class, and viewing PBS docuseries Asian Americans."
Learn more about Collins Aerospace here.
Highlighting new perspectives – MongoDB
"MongoDB will share daily historical facts, highlights of Asian American pioneers, and perspectives from our AAPI employees in a dedicated Slack channel. We will also be providing access to an Asian Pacific American Heritage Month webinar, organizing a trivia night, and holding Processing Together sessions for our internal AAPI community due to recent hate crimes happening across the globe. These sessions are a safe space for employees to share their stories and sentiments of what it is like as an Asian American in America today. (Read MongoDB employee Monica Lu's story about being an Asian American woman in tech here.)"
Learn more about MongoDB here.
Spotlighting diverse communities – Bumble
"At Bumble, moments like heritage month celebrations are often our anchor to ensure we are spotlighting diverse communities. In alignment with AAPI Heritage Month in May, Bumble is rolling out a series of thoughtful programming to encourage internal education and around how to support the Stop Asian Hate movement and better serve the Asian community globally. The lineup of initiatives include:
- BuzzWord DEI Discussion Series with featured guest speakers: This conversation will focus on the Asian community within the context of larger cultural issues such as dating app experiences, fetishization, masculinity, and representation.
- Bumble will be inviting employees to join a virtual Vietnamese coffee-making class. Created in partnership with Phin Bar, an urban brew-bar that offers Vietnamese-style steeped coffee combined with house-made ingredients, Bumble hopes to facilitate a deeper cultural learning and community bonding experience for the team.
- Bumble will also be activating channels across social media and our product to educate our community about bystander intervention and raise awareness around the importance of supporting the Stop Asian Hate movement."
Engaging in daring conversations – Procore
"In celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month in May, Procore recently organized an internal event to recognize and support the AAPI community. The event was hosted as part of our ongoing internal speaker series, 'Daring Conversations & Allyship,' to create space for an open dialogue around diversity, inclusion, and belonging. All employees were invited to tune in as employees from our AAPI communities shared their unique experiences, addressed anti-Asian hate, and discussed actionable ways to support our AAPI community."
Learn more about Procore here.
Taking action to foster change – SeatGeek
"This month the POC ERG will be meeting and hosting different activities to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. This includes creating a safe space to discuss current events, and what actions our communities can take to foster change, sending out a newsletter which will highlight the Asian community in every aspect, and lastly, we will be hosting a guest speaker.
We hope with these planned activities and meetings, we can highlight, and uplift the Asian/Pacific American community, as well as bring awareness to the horrible ongoing attacks they are facing."
Learn more about SeatGeek here.
Uplifting and inspiring the community – Okta
"Okta's People of Color (POC@Okta) ERG is planning to commemorate AAPI Month with a series of fireside chats and iconographical facts posted internally in the #poc and #all diversity Slack channels! These chats will feature Dion Lim of ABC7 News and Comedian/Actor, Ronny Chieng. We will conclude the series with a partnership with Pride@Okta featuring supermodel, TED speaker, and transgender advocate Geena Rocero. The goal of this series is to educate, uplift, support, and inspire! The Okta leadership supports its AAPI employees, customers, and community."
Learn more about Okta here.
Empowering cultural diversity and leadership – Quip
"Salesforce will be celebrating through multiple virtual events, such as a leadership panel on the power of cultural diversity, a tea tasting, a tai chi class, a haka workshop, and more! Members of the Quip team have also compiled an extensive list of resources to support AAPI communities, including ways to donate, take action, and learn more."
Learn more about Quip here.
Focusing on lived experiences – Mindbody
"The Mindbody United ERG focuses on a different heritage or history each month, with May devoted to Asian & Pacific Islander Heritage Month. This ERG seeks to provide a platform to both celebrate and learn together. This will manifest in two ways: As a newsletter and a Zoom meeting. The newsletter will feature contributions directly from team members, while the meeting will feature Assembly member Evan Low as our speaker. It is our goal to focus on the lived experiences of the AAPI community, address discrimination, and how to chase after the part of the world we can make better."
Learn more about Mindbody here.
Promoting harmony and unity – T. Rowe Price
"T. Rowe Price is aware and appalled at the recent spike in hate crimes against the Asian community. In response, the firm will center Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month efforts around harmony and unity, in alignment with the Hawaiian value, Lōkahi – Forward as One. To share best practices, successes and areas of opportunities, T. Rowe Price will co-host a Leadership Panel on Asian Leadership Challenges with Baltimore Asian Connect, a consortium of Asian business resource group leaders at local corporations. The firm will also host a book club and restorative listening circles for Asian American associates and their allies."
Learn more about T. Rowe Price here.
Celebrating Asians globally
"May is Asian Pacific American (APA) Heritage Month. Although traditionally a US celebration, at Autodesk we are celebrating Asians globally. The Autodesk Asian Network is hosting Innovative Leaders, including Lori Mukoyama and Jonathan Zee. Lori Mukoyama is redefining experience-driven design globally at Gensler. Jonathan Zee has an extensive portfolio of buildings that are helping to shape cities around the world at Goettsch Partners. Lori and her husband Jonathan combine design, architecture and engineering in their work while simultaneously manage a family together during this pandemic. This event is hosted by AAN, as part of a monthlong series of APA Heritage Month events."
Learn more about AutoDesk here.
Your guide to preparing for virtual career fairs and making a great impression with recruiters
According to a LinkedIn survey, up to 85% of jobs are filled via networking. For job seekers, virtual job fairs make networking with recruiters more convenient. You can interact with potential employers from all over the world, ask them questions, and apply for jobs. Every event is different, but they most often include video conferencing features, chat rooms, and Q&A sessions.
Dilyara Timerbulatova, Virtual Job Fair Coordinator at PowerToFly explains that, "virtual job fairs have many benefits, namely connecting top talent and recruiters that would otherwise never cross paths. These events are a tool to help companies build well-rounded, diverse teams that align with the company culture and business vision."
10 steps to standing out at a job fair.
Virtual job fairs are different from the in-person experience that we're used to, so it's important to adapt and prepare for this new setting. Here are some key ways to put your best foot forward and make a lasting impression with a recruiter.
- Update your LinkedIn profile and resume. Start by making sure that your work history is up to date. Make sure to include any experience relevant to jobs you are applying for.
- Do your homework. Find out which companies will be attending the fair and learn more about what the company does, their mission and values, company culture, and skills they're looking for. At this stage, you can begin preparing questions for the recruiter(s).
- Practice your pitch. During the virtual job fair, you may have to introduce yourself to recruiters. Prepare a short pitch talking about who you are, your skills, and relevant experience. (Not every virtual job fair will provide an opportunity for this, but better safe than sorry. If you do get a bit of time to introduce yourself, you want to make it count.)
- Look the part. YES, you still have to dress professionally, even though this is all happening online. Plus, studies show that dressing up can increase confidence, which might be the boost that you need to score the job.
- Prepare your space. Find a quiet area with a strong wi-fi connection and do your best to make sure your background is clean and distraction-free. We recommend sitting against a neutral wall, preferably near a power outlet, just in case your computer battery runs low. Don't forget to turn your phone and computer on 'do-not-disturb' mode.
- Be on time. As they say, five minutes early is on time, and on time is late. Showing up early demonstrates that you are dependable and consistent. Remember to leave some extra time for potential technical difficulties or connection issues, and log into the fair a few minutes early. Who knows, you might get the chance to snag a few extra minutes with recruiters while you wait for the rest of the fairgoers to arrive.
- Use strong body language. Since the interactions between recruiters and talent are virtual, the ability to read a person's body language is limited. Introduce yourself with a smile, maintain focused eye contact, and nod your head in agreement (even when your microphone is muted). Using strong body language will help you demonstrate interest and confidence.
- Communicate professionally. One of the best ways for a candidate to stand out is through good communication and grammar skills. During a virtual job fair, a lot of communication will be done through written interactions, whether in the chat function or follow-up messages/emails. To make a great first impression, you'll want to demonstrate strong written communication and avoid using slang or excessive abbreviations.
- Ask the right questions. Come up with questions that can't be found on the company website. Think of questions that would allow you to get deeper knowledge about the organization's culture, learn about ways to move up in that organization, or discover what you might be able to contribute to the company.
- Follow up. Once the fair is over, connect with recruiters on LinkedIn and include a personalized message thanking them for their time and further expressing your interest in working at their company. Keep in mind that recruiters come in contact with many candidates, so you can use this opportunity to refresh their memory and remind them about why you're a promising candidate, or to properly introduce yourself if you didn't get a chance to do so at the fair. Try and offer a specific example of information they shared that you found valuable to jog their memory and make your thank you feel extra sincere! Don't forget #8 on this list! Always proofread your message before you hit send.
Ready to give it a go? Sign up for PowerToFly's upcoming Virtual Career Fair here.
Learn more about our amazing speakers and sponsors at our June 2021 virtual summit Diversity Reboot: Pride At Work, three days of conversations and panels plus an interactive virtual career fair.
Our Pride At Work summit certainly made us proud! PowerToFly was thrilled to present talks by members of the LGBTQIA+ community alongside some amazing allies. Our conversations ranged from leaders at the highest levels of government positions to visionaries in the worlds of business & tech to artists from the music and entertainment industry. If you tuned in, and celebrated our speakers, thank you! And if you missed the summit or would like to re-watch any of the talks, those conversations will all be available to watch for free on PowerToFly.
If you can, please consider donating to some of the amazing organizations we highlighted at the summit including GLITS, fighting for the health and rights of transgender sex workers; Garden State Equality, the largest LGBTQIA+ advocacy organization in New Jersey, with over 150,000 members; National Black Justice Coalition, a civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people, including people living with HIV/AIDS; and NYC Anti-Violence Project, empowering lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and HIV-affected communities and allies to end all forms of violence through organizing and education, and supports survivors through counseling and advocacy.
Plus, don't forget to visit our Merch Store and grab yourself some PowerToFly apparel. 100% of the proceeds from our sales will be going to TransTech Social, supporting transgender and non-binary people in tech.Finally, registration for our July 12th - 15th virtual summit Diversity Reboot: Tech For Social Impact is now open! Join us to learn about founders from mission-driven organizations and their social impact. Register for free here
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Datadog's Lucy Williams-Jones' Unconventional Path through Enterprise Sales and Why She Wants You to Join Her Team
Like many of us, Lucy Williams-Jones' life has been deeply impacted by COVID-19.
Unlike many of us, that impact took the form of a four-day period of time where Lucy was so sick with COVID that she was sure she'd never recover—and a permanent career change when she somehow did.
Now healthy and resettled into a completely new role, the Regional Sales Director for cloud application monitoring platform Datadog chatted with PowerToFly from her home office in England's Cotswolds—"Where Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet were in The Holiday," offers Lucy, gesturing to the idyllic countryside outside her window—to share more of her story.
The individual contributor comfort zone
When Lucy got started in sales, she was 18 and figured she'd be in the field for the length of her gap year. She then planned to go to university and pursue her goal of becoming a sports therapist for a rugby team.
"Then I found out in that first year that I could make a lot of money!" says Lucy, who ended up staying at that company, Quest, for over a decade.
During that time, Lucy was almost always an individual contributor. She liked the feeling of being in charge of her own destiny, and in pushing herself to consistently beat her goals and keep pushing for more and more success. "I was really happy smashing my number every quarter and enjoying the kind of benefits that come from that from a monetary standpoint," she explains.
Ten years in, she did transition into a leadership role and found some success there—but two things got in her way.
First, her lack of experience. "I didn't have all the tools necessary to equip my team members with," she says. "That's why I did everything rather than teach other people. I'd basically just take on their workload and change everything so that it was fit to go out."
And second, her lack of desire to keep living in Cork, Ireland.
"I wanted to come back to London and the only way to do that and earn a lot of money, which is what drives me, was to go back to an IC role," explains Lucy. She did that, and worked at a few different companies before Datadog reached out and she took an enterprise sales role with them.
"The struggle I've had with other technologies previously is that you can't demonstrate them real-time," says Lucy. "If you have an awesome platform like we have [at Datadog], when you show it to someone, you can see their eyes light up, they can see the value right away."
She was excited by the product, by the market opportunity—"it's a product everyone needs, especially as they migrate from on-prem into the cloud," she says—and by the real-life implications for clients. "When I get an Uber and the app doesn't work, I know that if they've got our software, they're going to figure out exactly where it is and it's going to mend soon, so I'm not going to get my hair wet whilst waiting for a cab—English weather, you know—while I'm waiting for the app to reboot!" she says.
Taking advantage of her second chance
When Lucy got sick with COVID in early 2021, she immediately knew it was serious. Her blood oxygen was down at 82%—the NYC health department suggests immediately going to the hospital for an oxygen level of less than 90%—but she wanted to stick it out at home. "I decided not to go to hospital because I didn't want to not come out," she says.
Lucy says that she was lying in bed, wondering what her legacy would be if she died the next day, when it hit her: she wanted a chance to pass on all she'd learned from her 22 years in enterprise sales to the next generation.
"I've learned a lot of skills that have enabled me to be successful, to have the cash to buy a forever home, go on nice holidays, explore, and travel. And when I was lying there, I realized, 'I really want to transfer these skills to young women in tech, because I think that we're an underrepresented group, and I could actually get those young women living their best lives and earning the cash that they deserve," she says.
So she reached out to her manager and told him she was ready for a leadership position. He'd been asking her to consider taking on a leadership role for a while. It wasn't until she hit her annual number at the end of the first quarter, right after recovering from COVID, and told him she was still serious about leaving behind the responsibilities she knew so well for the more complicated and less immediately gratifying world of management that he knew she was serious.
Now, three months into that transition, Lucy is sure she made the right move. "So many people have been touched by COVID this year in negative ways," she says. "For me, I feel I'm super lucky every morning when I wake up; I've taken a positive from it."
"There's been lots of learnings, but I know this is the right career choice right now. I know Datadog will support me and that I'll earn my stripes as a true enterprise leader," she says. "My focus is on passing the knowledge that I've got to other people."
To do that, Lucy has to first shore up her own knowledge. She spent her first month on the job looking closely at the business and her team and implementing changes to help everything run better, and the second month focused on measuring the impact of those changes. Additionally, she's had to get comfortable giving up control of her own accounts—"my little family," as she calls them—and managing outcomes through others.
To help her on this journey, Lucy is also brushing up on sales leadership techniques with a few favorite books, including:
- MEDDICC: The ultimate guide to staying one step ahead in the complex sale by Andy Whyte
- The Qualified Sales Leader: Proven Lessons from a Five Time CRO by John McMahon
- The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg
- Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well by Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen
3 ways she's building a positive culture
As an enterprise sales leader, Lucy has both the power and the responsibility to create a positive environment for her growing team. To do that, she's focusing on:
- Being thoughtful about why she's engaging. Lucy doesn't respond to emails immediately anymore. Instead, she thoughtfully considers a three-part framework before crafting her response: "I'm analyzing, reviewing, and then offering advice."
- Not saying "I need." Communication from Lucy to her team has absolutely no unnecessary urgency, she says, which is why she expressly doesn't use the word "need." "I try to make it really about, 'This is the reason why I'm asking for it, this is the benefit it's going to bring, let's work together to get something that's going to be amazing,'" she says.
- Mentoring ICs. When a SDR in Datadog's Dublin office reached out to Lucy for career advice, Lucy jumped on the chance to help her. "She's at that roundabout of, 'Do I want to go into leadership? Do I want to be an enterprise seller?' Coaching her to be the best she can be has been really, really lovely...she's successful now, but she could be exceptional."
The 3 things she's hiring for
Lucy is doubling her team size and is looking for the next generation of sales leaders to bring onboard. If that sounds like you, make sure you've got these three traits she's looking for:
- Coachability. "That's the number-one trait I look for in someone," explains Lucy. "It's the ability to take on advice and feedback and adapt. It's not saying that my way is always the right way, but it's making sure that you understand that there are different approaches. [One] of the toughest but most important parts of life is receiving feedback."
- High EQ. Lucy is looking for people who are self-aware. "You need to understand how people are perceiving you, to understand what kinds of playbooks work for you."
- Affinity for pipeline generation. "You've got to do cold outreach to new logos, but you've also got to do it in a creative manner. I've seen people doing videos and stuff, which I think is really cool; you've got to stick with the cadence and actually do it. If you don't like PG, enterprise sales at Datadog may not be the job for you," says Lucy.
Lucy has a simple motto that she has internalized throughout her career thanks to her first MD, Simon Perce: "Leave no stone unturned."
If you'd like to give 100% in pursuit of your goals alongside Lucy, check out Datadog's open roles! "I would love to build a team of strong, capable, amazing, female enterprise sales execs," says Lucy.
HR pro Rockie Lehman has two hot takes on resumes: bullet points are a must, and one-page resumes aren't.
"I'm not a big fan of squeezing everything into one page," says the Talent Manager at aerospace giant Collins Aerospace. "Don't shortcut. List all of your relevant work experience. Most applicant tracking systems nowadays automatically reformat your resume, so you can't really tell that it's two pages."
And the bullets are easy: they're a quick way for Rockie to evaluate if candidates are qualified for the job.
We sat down with Rockie to hear more tips from her 20-year career in recruiting and human resources, especially around one key principle that has greatly enriched her own career: learning to grow beyond your comfort zone.
Finding her fit
Rockie originally thought she'd be an accountant. "But after a year of nothing but numbers and statistics, it was horrible," she says, laughing. "I went to my advisor and started discussing options where I could actually talk to people and my advisor suggested management and human resources. I loved it, and I've been in that field ever since."
She first joined what is now Collins Aerospace in 2000, when it was Rockwell Collins. After 9/11, the aviation industry slowed down, and Rockie was concerned about its volatility, but she stuck it out and ended up working at various regional sites for the next 19 years.
Being embedded in different offices meant that while Rockie was focused on recruiting, she got to really expand her knowledge as a full-service HR business partner. From serving as an advisor on succession plans to working towards building a more diverse and inclusive workplace, she's taken on a wide range of projects.
Now, Rockie's main focus is on technical recruiting for the company's avionics division, bringing in new talent to join the 15,000 engineers across Collins' 300 sites. "Engineers drive our company," she says. "They're the bread and butter of our company."
Why growth matters
Candidates, whether at Collins Aerospace or other companies, have a fine line to walk, says Rockie. Hiring managers are looking for people who are excited to come in and do the job they're hired for—but also for someone who wants to grow with the organization, in whatever way is best for them.
"Leadership is an important part of our succession plan," she says. "In order to progress within our organization, you need to display leadership, in people or projects. We need people to do a job, but we need to develop people who have aspirations to grow into leadership roles."
At Collins, high-potential early-career leaders are tapped for the EnTeR program, a two-year rotational program that gets them exposure to different parts of the business.
But no matter where you're working, Rockie suggests being purposeful about how you pursue that growth and how you develop your own sense of leadership.
"In order to progress in an organization, you have to stand out. You are the only one in charge of your career. No one's going to direct that for you," she says.
Her favorite tips to do that include:
- Network outside of your immediate group. "If you're a software engineer, you might want to mentor or network with someone in systems engineering for opportunities that could lead you into a project engineering position, a technical project management position, or even management of people," she says.
- Practice executive presence. You'll look more ready for extra responsibilities if you're thoughtful about how you show up in the world, says Rockie, who suggests remembering to talk clearly and concisely, to ask questions, and to look people in the eye (or in the camera, on Zoom!).
- Join relevant professional organizations. Rockie recruits from groups like the Society of Women Engineers and the National Society of Black Engineers, and has seen how the conferences, trainings, and events that those groups put on keep people connected and top of mind for future job opportunities.
- Talk to higher ups. "They're just like you and me," she says. "They're probably more happy than your current leader to talk to you about their career, their successes, their failures. They're happy to mentor talent within the organization."
- Don't be afraid of failure. Rockie's a believer in "failing forward," a piece of advice she got from one of her own higher ups that's stuck with her. If you try something and it doesn't work, you can go back to your regular responsibilities more prepared for the next challenge.
- Know when to say no. Not all growth opportunities are created equal, says Rockie, and some projects just won't be right for you. For example, she was asked to do an extra three-month assignment and was excited to do it, but a family emergency happened at the beginning of the assignment. Rockie chose to keep the assignment, but with hindsight wishes she'd escalated out of it instead. "I really suffered from tremendous burnout and exhaustion," she says. "The biggest thing is to be mindful of how much you're willing to do, and the time that will need to be invested in the opportunity you're pursuing." If you find yourself in a similar position, try saying, "I'm not able to take this on right now, but would it be okay to revisit this in six months?"
Ultimately, Rockie has taken her own advice, explaining, "I started with Collins as a technical recruiter because of my passion for talent acquisition, but I also seek out opportunities and assignments that broaden my overall HR experience. So if and when the time comes for me to explore other options, I have the skills and knowledge in my tool belt for that next opportunity."