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Women at Work

She Waited 6 Months To Work For BuzzFeed And It’s The Best Job She’s Had In 11 Years

Liz Grillo, a Mobile Quality Assurance Engineer, just celebrated her first year at BuzzFeed. She may have waited 6 months for the position to open to apply, but says it’s the best job that she’s had in 11 years. The PowerToFly talent spoke with us about her experience working remotely from her home in Buenos Aires, Argentina.


How would you describe a typical work day?

I do my job at home, where I feel comfortable and calm. Some people prefer to go to bars with Wi-Fi or co-working places, but I prefer to be in a quiet place. I wake up and jump on Slack, the chat service that we use. At the same time, I check Jira, our issue tracking tool, to see if there’s something to start working on. Our sprints last two weeks. We have a week to check cards and fix bugs and a week to do the regression. I generally know what to expect throughout the day.

What advice would you give other women interested in working remotely?

If you really want the job, be patient. I had to wait 6 months until a QA position was available to apply, but this is the best job I’ve had in 11 years. It was worth the wait! When you have the job, the company needs to feel like you’re there, even though you’re not physically in the same place. Good communication matters. Be clear and also report what you’re doing, even when your manager doesn’t ask. Sometimes leaders are so busy that they don’t have the time to check in, but they will eventually find a moment to read your message and know what you’ve been working on.

Do you have any strategies for staying efficient outside of an office? What tools do you use?

Communication is really important to me. I try to be as proactive as I can. I communicate all the time with my manager. I try to keep him posted on everything. If I have a problem, I say it. I have no shame. If everything is OK, I say that too. Having communication with the rest of the team really helps to keep the concept of “team work” alive.

What are the biggest challenges about working remotely? How have you overcome them?

Sometimes (but not often) I miss having people around. But honestly, when I do the math, I realize that I love working quietly at home. When I feel that way, I try to go out and hang out with friends after my workday is complete.

Even though I know how to speak English, when I initially had to communicate with people in a language that is not my native one, I had to improve my writing skills. I had to become clearer and more concise. This was a positive thing for me. I like English, so it wasn’t a problem for me try to get better at it.

Courtesy of Liz Grillo

How do you spend your time outside of work?

I’m passionate about traveling, writing and drawing. I also enjoy being outside with nature and playing sports — especially swimming, running, walking and trekking. I love meeting new people and talking with everyone!

What’s one detail that most people don’t know about you?

Even though I work in tech, I studied anthropology and almost have a degree in the field. I have two final tests and I’m done! Anthropology actually helped me in tech, especially when it comes to relationships, communications skills and working in quality assurance (QA). It helps me walk in the user’s shoes. I’ve been studying tech on my own for 11 years. As the industry evolves, I continue to learn.

What do you like best about working with PowerToFly?

Many things! Working remotely allows me to avoid public transportation. This was big plus for me! Public transportation usually stresses me out, especially at rush hour. I’m able to sleep better and for longer, so during the day I’m less tired and more productive. In other jobs that I had before, I could work from home one day per week, but working remotely every day is another thing. This is fun! It’s really improved my people skills, and I’ve acquired more knowledge in the mobile field, which I can add to my resume.

My job also requires me to speak and write in English. You really learn a language when you use it, so this is an excellent opportunity to do that. I’m able to speak with talented people (who are mostly women) from many other countries, which is a dream for an ‘almost’ anthropologist! We all share what we know to help each other. My team is amazing!

I also have more time for me. Because I’m not traveling to an office every day and am sleeping well, I have more time to study and to do other things that I couldn’t do when working in an office.

popular

How These Companies Are Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

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.

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Pluralsight

The Secrets to Balancing Work and Family Life

3 Pieces of Advice from Working Moms at Pluralsight

Being fully committed to work and family is a challenge that many working parents have to take on. It can be exhausting and thankless pursuing a fulfilling full-time career, while taking an active role as a parent. Achieving a healthy balance can help keep you motivated and productive at work, while allowing you to be fully present when you're home.

We recently chatted with working moms at technology skills platform, Pluralsight, about their best advice for striking that elusive work-life balance. Here were their key points:

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Plex

How to Make the Most of Being on a Growing Team: 3 Tips from Plex’s Adriana Bosinceanu

When the startup Adriana Bosinceanu was working for got acquired, things changed fast.

She went from being one of eight engineers on a small team building a streaming service to joining a company that was five times larger and had a much bigger scope.

That company was Plex, where Adriana has been working remotely as a software engineer for the last four and a half years.

As her team grew from two people to ten, Adriana decided to lean into the opportunity to grow; along the way, she found herself deepening her technical skills, her self-confidence, and her relationships. We sat down with Adriana to learn exactly how she did that, and to hear the tips she has for other engineers experiencing growth opportunities on their team.

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Career and Interview Tips

10 Tips to Stand Out at a Virtual Job Fair

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."

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Webinars

Pride At Work: Learn more about Our Partners, Sponsors & Speakers

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.

We want to extend a HUGE thanks to our amazing sponsors American Express, NGA, Smartsheet, S&P Global, Raytheon Technologies, PwC and Esri plus our media partner MMCA.

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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