×
Become a PowerToFly VIP
For less than one coffee a week, receive exclusive content, access to live chats with female thought leaders, and more when you sign up to become a VIP!
Work-Life Integration

Bring Your Company's Brand To Life With Events

In-Person Networking is Key - Check Out These Tips

Building your company's in-person network with events is more important than ever before. Not only are you forging personal connections with current and prospective clients, but attendees get to do more than just read your logo or motto—they're given an opportunity to interact with you, and your company's culture firsthand.

We sat down with Tracy Candido, Director of Programs at Lower Manhattan Headquarters (LMHQ) - a community, meeting, and events space in NYC, and asked her questions about hosting events and how to grow brand loyalty while showing the human side of your company.

With 15 years of experience building creative programs and events for brands to tell their story, communicate their values, and open hearts and minds, Tracy understands the true power of a great event! Not just that, but Tracy is also the Founder of Lady Boss, a platform invested in gender equality at work and exploring what a feminist workplace might look like. Knowing all that, we were certain that Tracy would be a wonderful expert for a PowerToFly Lunch & Learn! :)

If you continue to read below, we've provided a short yet informative recap of our chat with Tracy. If you are interested in attending future virtual chats with successful experts like Tracy, click here to become a PowerToFly VIP and join our community of women here to empower one another.

READ MORE Show less
Work-Life Integration

The 13 Tools You Need to Work Healthier—Not Harder—and Get More Done

Partner Content

A version of this article previously appeared on Skillcrush, an online education program for creatives, thinkers, and makers that gives total tech newbies the tools to make major career changes.

Haele Wolfe, Skillcrush

What makes a great designer or developer? Is it the right credentials, education, or tools? Or is it something less tangible, like determination or a great sense of organization? Or maybe it's even simpler than that: Success in any field has a lot more to do with your daily work routine than you might think. And as the workweek shifts from the standard 40 (or 50, or 60) hours to something more closely resembling the natural fluctuations of our individual lives, our concept of how we work needs to shift, too.

Taking care of yourself is critical to a successful career: You can't expect to deliver top-quality work if you're constantly exhausted or sick. In that vein, I put together a list of habits and tools for busy tech pros (or really—any employee) to implement into their daily routines so that they can work not just harder, but healthier. There are cheap buys, splurges, and free hacks, but in any case: It's your health. Treat yourself.

READ MORE Show less
Work-Life Integration

What It’s Like to Work in Tech Without a Tech Background

Partner Content

A version of this article previously appeared on Skillcrush, an online education program for creatives, thinkers, and makers that gives total tech newbies the tools to make major career changes.

Haele Wolfe, Skillcrush

I'm a Junior Editor here at Skillcrush—my job is to work with our editorial team to edit this website you're reading at this very moment. When you picture editing, you probably think about someone staring at long blocks of text on a computer and making cuts or even marking up a manuscript with a big red pen. And you're not wrong—a lot of editing does look like that. It can be super low-tech and there are certainly editing jobs that don't require any tech skills. But those are becoming fewer and farther between, and as someone who doesn't come from a tech background, it was clear that my career wasn't moving in any positive direction taking the analog approach. I just knew I wouldn't be able to keep up with the changing media landscape if I were only to rely on my red pen. I never expected this, but if I wanted to keep editing with any type of job security, I'd need to start applying my tech skills—and up skill—to my career as an editor.

When I started at Skillcrush, I had just the basics of HTML under my belt and a solid background in tech skills like video production and sound editing. There was still a learning curve with the amount of skills I needed to gain to be a digital editor, but luckily, picking up things on the fly is kind of my favorite thing, and learning tech skills isn't exactly a huge time investment.

In addition to more job security, moving from media to tech gives me flexibility I couldn't have imagined—especially in the form of remote work. Since I began this position seven months ago, I've logged in everywhere from Ohio, to Chicago, to Dallas, to Martha's Vineyard! A typical day for me is filled with equal parts chatting with coworkers, organizing marketing strategies, adding to my growing tech skills, and of course, a lot of writing! Here's a breakdown of how I spend my time.

7:30 a.m.
On a good day, I like to get up, start the coffee, and prioritize my to-do list before jumping on the computer. I'm currently based in Brooklyn and live with roommates—three human, one feline—who all work outside the home (except aforementioned feline, who is my daily co-worker). Mornings can be quite busy at our place, with people vying for bathroom and kitchen space. I like to avoid the cluster and sip my coffee while plotting out the day or catching up on reading for one of my book clubs. (Right now, I'm very behind in three of the book clubs, but doing okay in one. Making a mental note to carve out some extra reading time this week.) Taking time to assess what I need and want to get done for the day has been critical while adjusting to my position with Skillcrush. I also have a background in the arts, and enjoy having several side projects going in addition to my day job, so its vital that I create at least two—usually three—daily to-do lists to address the separate needs of each facet of my life.

9:00 a.m.
Time to log on! Depending on the day of the week and what projects I'm helping facilitate, I may get on a little earlier to make sure things are running smoothly. Skillcrush was my introduction to many tech tools, but the one that has most dramatically reshaped my thinking is SCRUM.

My day runs on the principles of SCRUM—a project management strategy that began in the software industry and is now widely used to track projects and help keep team members connected. We use a program called JIRA to track our SCRUM progress, which allows us to break projects down into smaller tasks and move them from To Do, to In Progress, to Done. I love this system because—as I mentioned above—I love checklists! SCRUM also bakes in time to check in daily, to have hard and fast deadlines, and to spend time looking back over the last working period (these are called sprints) to see what went well and what needs to change. In fact, I've just finished implementing SCRUM to every facet of my personal, creative, and professional lives and use free online tools to manage my own projects. (Airtable and Trello, I love you.) I've been SCRUM-ing my life for about a month now, and I'm already seeing improved results. So first thing in the morning, I'm likely looking at our JIRA dashboard to see what tasks I need to do today, see if there's anything I need to run by my co-workers, and make a plan for what I hope to move to the Done column by the end of the day.

Oftentimes, the first thing on my agenda is to build posts in our content management system, WordPress. Sometimes I think of WordPress as the coworker with whom I spend the most time. WordPress is a staple for any editor—tech or otherwise—since so many sites run on the platform. Every story that appears on our site has to be formatted and scheduled through WordPress, which requires some HTML know-how. One of my big goals right now is to dive deeper into HTML and to finish learning PHP, the coding language associated with WordPress.

In the last minutes before I start our big meeting bloc, I spend a few minutes every morning checking in on our social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. This ends up being one the most fulfilling aspects of my day, since the Skillcrush community is so active, funny, and supportive. Getting to celebrate goals with students, check out the work they're posting, and laugh at the latest corgi gif being passed around is a pretty perfect way to start the day.

11:00 a.m.—1:00 p.m.
The Marketing Team works across several time zones, and 11 a.m. is our sweet spot for daily check-ins, planning, weekly reviews, and the hottest gossip about everything from goat yoga to paragliding. We use Google Hangouts to connect with each other, as well as the chat program HipChat to talk throughout the day. Though it was weird only connecting on video at first, I now absolutely love the balance between facetime and digital chatting. Having focused meeting time makes it easier to concentrate on hitting goals, and makes my workday way more efficient—and we use this time for my favorite thing: SCRUM! Every day we have a 15 minute daily check in where we provide updates, resolve blockers, or ask for support, and then we either have a planning session for our next sprint, a presentation of the sprint that's just ended, or a review of how we think the sprint went. There's also one-on-one meetings with my boss or worksessions with other coworkers where we collaborate on projects.

1:00 p.m.—2:00 p.m.
Lunchtime! Stepping away from the computer for a bit helps me to refocus after a block of meetings, so I try to force myself to take this break. It can be tempting to just keep going, but I need the down time so that I can shift into writing or editing—which for me requires more uninterrupted concentration.

Since I have chronic back pain and often have trouble sitting for long periods, I also use my lunch break to do yoga or go to a class at a local studio around the corner from my apartment. I feel super strongly about how the flexibility of remote work helps me to accommodate my physical needs—which change day to day—and have often been difficult to work around at other jobs. Although this daily exercise may seem insignificant, it has radically improved my physical and mental well-being.

3:00 p.m.—5:00 p.m.
The second half of my day is reserved for writing and editing, since it's usually not as meeting-filled as the morning. I start by checking in with the Editorial team about what stories we're working on, what stage my teammates are in, and what we need to plan for in the coming weeks. Then it's knocking out edits, fact checking, telling our writers what changes I need from their articles, marking the stories as done and ready to be built in WordPress the following morning. I also write a fair amount of articles for the site, so that means researching, interviewing experts, and then—of course—the actual writing. My favorite editorial task is interviewing Skillcrushers—both current students and alumni—for articles we run about learning to code, remote life, or their winding career paths. I've picked up so many new tips and tricks just from having to do research for this position, everything from how to timebox my day like a pro, to the smartest ways to gain clients as a freelancer.

6:00 p.m.—10:00 p.m.
After work I like to cook dinner, look at my personal and creative to-do lists, and start knocking some things out before I have to hit the hay. In a perfect world I get to roll into bed around ten, read for a bit, and the turn out the lights. But living in Brooklyn, there always seem to be events, creative meet-ups, dinners, or other fun things to attend, that often keep me out later—what a great problem to have! Depending on what kinds of artistic projects I'm working on that are most pressing, I'll look for events that sound like they'll help me network or will add to my skill set. Often, I'm working on deadline and am stuck drawing or editing right up till bedtime, but the satisfaction of finishing something I love is totally worth the late nights. And, having a packed schedule forces me to be more conscious of my time and more organized at the beginning of every day. So whether I'm logging in from my house or the highway, I know what I need to do and how long it should take me. In another seven months, I'll be moving onto new coding languages, video calling in from even crazier places, and still touting the magic of SCRUM—watch out.

Work-Life Integration

Wrap Your Head Around Financial Wellness

Q&A With Money Coach, Ashley Gerstley

Let's be honest here, no one likes to talk about money, and I'm sure I'm not the only person who jokes about the glaring number on my bank statement. Starting today, it's time to tackle our finances head on and start holding ourselves accountable for our future financial wellness. After sitting down with Ashley Gerstley, Money Coach, Founder of the Fiscal Femme, and creator of the 30-Day Money Cleanse, I learned that in order to achieve true financial wellness, finances need to be celebrated - even if that means small victories. How do we achieve those small victories, you ask? Read on to learn Ashley's tips for getting out of debt, and how you too, can hold yourself accountable for your financial wellness!

Want to watch the entire chat? Become a PowerToFly VIP and you'll receive exclusive access to live conversations with women like Ashley, as well as the recordings!

READ MORE Show less
Work-Life Integration

What You Really Need to Know About Remote Work

Partner Content

A version of this article previously appeared on Skillcrush, an online education program for creatives, thinkers, and makers that gives total tech newbies the tools to make major career changes.

Cameron Chapman, Skillcrush

With over 40 percent of employees in the U.S. now working remotely according to a Gallup report, the idea of working from home (or a coworking space or favorite coffee shop) feels more tangible than ever. This report shows a definite trend: Remote work is the way of the future, and more and more employees are on the lookout for jobs that give them the option to work off-site full time.

But dreaming of a remote job—with its flexibility and the ability to work in pajamas—and actually being successful in one aren't the same thing. There's a learning curve that goes along with ditching your commute and your boss's watchful eye over your shoulder.

I talked to remote employees to find out what they've found to be the most useful skills, tips, and hacks in their remote jobs. Here's what you really need to know to work remotely, so you can succeed and love your new work life.

Your routines and boundaries are critical.

When you commute to an office every day, you tend to fall into a routine pretty easily: Get up, get dressed, eat breakfast, drink coffee, go to work, etc. But when you work from home, it's tempting to grab your laptop from your bedside table—and not bother to get up until your growling stomach starts to get distracting.

Rachel Sullivan, director of marketing for Metis Communications (and currently on a year-long adventure with Remote Year), says that following a morning routine is vital to her success. "Showering, getting dressed, and walking outside—even if just around the block—makes such a difference in your day and mental state. It's always tempting to roll out of bed and sit with your laptop on your couch, but taking the time to jumpstart your day can help you perk up and get in the zone."

Barb Breeser, digital marketing strategist at Purplegator, agrees: "Even though I may not be in our main office every day, it's important for me to act as though I'm in an office, so I dress professionally every day, and I am at my desk working by 7:30 each morning."

Your routine might not mean getting dressed up—if an anti-routine routine works best for you, embrace it. Jeanne Veillette Bowerman, Editor of ScriptMag.com, says "I love that I can literally roll out of bed and work all day in my pajamas. You'd be surprised the amount of time it saves every day to not shower and put makeup on."

Setting up routines—however you define them—are key to establishing boundaries between your work and personal life. A critical component should be shutting down for the day—whether it's closing the door on your dedicated workspace or, if you're like me and without a separate office, turning off your computer and stepping away from your desk at a set time each day.

You'll need to become a time management pro.

Time management has always been a struggle for me—I'm a born procrastinator. But when I started working remotely, I had to put a stop to that. I had no boss checking in throughout the day to see how I was progressing on things, and sometimes deadlines for big projects were weeks or even months in the future. Virtually every remote worker I talked to for this article mentioned some form of time management as a vital skill for being successful when you're not in the office every day (or ever).

Jyssica Schwartz, director of sales for online publisher Authors Unite, struggled in the beginning, too. "I would work on whatever popped up and kept shifting focus." To solve the problem, Schwartz started to block off time in her calendar for specific tasks and focused on only one thing at a time. It worked. "I was able to get more done and be much more productive!"

Whether blocking out time on your calendar or using something like the Pomodoro method, the Action Method, bullet journaling, or productivity apps, find a system that works for you to manage your to-do list.

You'll also need a system for prioritizing your work. Marija Kovacevic, the PR & media director at Nomad Capitalist, picked up a great technique from her CEO and mentor Andrew Henderson: creating a weekly or monthly "waterfall" where you create a prioritized list of the tasks you need to do, from most important to least important—and then sticking to it. "Often small tasks that are not so relevant or time pressing (example: immediate response to emails) can distract you and you lose your focus from the most important thing and project you should be concentrating on," she says.

Communication skills are totally different when you're remote.

The communication skills you picked up in a regular 9-to-5 might not cut it in the remote world. Katy Tripses, Head of Growth at StudySoup says that she'd considered herself "to be a person with pretty developed communication skills" when she was working in an office setting. But, she learned that "communication in a digital setting is a completely different skillset." Many remote teams communicate asynchronously through chat programs, email, and comments in project management systems—there's no popping by someone's desk to chat, running into someone in the kitchen, or even throwing someone an encouraging look.

Without these in person interactions, Tripses says that "goals, instructions, and deadlines absolutely have to be communicated very clearly and very concisely. The consequences of not doing so are very apparent and immediate."

Providing regular updates to your team is also vital. Jacque Shaffer, the Senior Customer Success Manager at WebLink, says "having daily standup meetings and quick check-ins throughout the day and using an instant messaging program ensures that everyone has what they need to keep things moving effectively."

Get ready to love adaptability.

Remote jobs give you flexibility—but they can require it, too. Laura Spawn, the CEO and Co-Founder of Virtual Vocations, Inc., says that between "learning to work with new remote team members, hiring new geographically dispersed staff, adapting to new software and technologies, or balancing changes in our personal lives with respect to established professional commitments, adaptability is as essential to a remote worker as a computer."

Are you looking for a job you can do while traveling? Kovacevic travels full time, and she's found that it sometimes means unexpected situations and blockers arise: "Time zone differences, deadlines, language barriers, unstable internet connection, delayed flights, and other on-the-road situations can sometimes seem overwhelming." But Kovacevic takes it as an opportunity "to prove to [her]self that she can rise to the challenge and get stuff done at the end of the day."

Not sure you're naturally adaptable? Your personality plays a big part, but so does planning ahead—and you can make up for a lack of natural flexibility with a solid game plan. For one thing, always assume you might need extra time to find good WiFi, make sure you have contingency plans in case things go wrong (delayed flights, slow internet at your Airbnb, etc.), and otherwise keeping Murphy's Law in mind on a day-to-day basis can make your on-the-go remote work a lot smoother.

GET EMAIL UPDATES FROM POWERTOFLY
COMPANIES THAT CARE
FOLLOW POWERTOFLY