THE VINA GUIDE TO BEING A GOOD BOSS

From an employee’s mouth to God’s ears. What your employees love… and what they loathe. Here are simple rules for #bossbabes vinas in management!

HOW TO BE A BOSS

Do: Motivate your team and incentivize. Remember, it’s not always about the money.  Some of us are in the career we are in because we love it!

Don’t: Try to assert your authority by forcing employees to do menial things that you don’t have the energy for. It comes across as useless and needy and the bottom line is that it’s humiliating. Instead of demanding them to do your dirty work for you, make them understand that they are important to you.

Do: Get to know your people, and be known to them by doing things together. Fun team building experiences are always a great way to get to know people. Nobody is the same.  We may have some traits which remind us of each other but each one of us is unique.

Don’t: Expect your employees to be robots with no personal lives. It is unbecoming of a professional person in management to expect a person to not give heed to feelings brought on by personal issues. We are all human beings here and we all have good days and bad days. Acknowledging that a subordinate has feelings is extremely important for good management skills.

Do: Give your people time off. It’s so important to rest. Yes, the company rests on your shoulders but it does on theirs too. Just because they have lesser responsibilities does not mean they have fewer things to care for. No matter what anybody says, each one who is there is dependent on that job for some reason or another. Just because you don’t know what it is, doesn’t mean it’s not important to them.

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Don’t: Set bad examples. With great power comes great responsibility. Need I say more?

Do: Keep your word. Give the people what you promised.

Don’t: Never ever discuss gossip about your coworkers. If you or any other person feels comfortable enough to tell someone you spoke about them, it IS gossip.

Do: Be a good person. Re-evaluate your decisions afterwards. It’s tough to do in a management position because you can’t let people walk all over you. But you don’t have to be a horrible person to be a good manager.

Don’t: Be a nag. If you’re a good manager, you shouldn’t have to ask twice in the first place. Now if they are the problem, what are you doing to improve their skills?

Do: Research good management skills. There’s plenty of material on the market and it’s easy to fall into old, outdated ways of management. Attend a seminar. Take your team leaders with you. It’s important for your people to know that you, as well as them, are constant students of life.

Lastly, make sure to build your girl gang with other #bossbabes. It really does take a village!

Did you know that there are tons of communities on Hey! VINA like Working Moms, Entrepreneurs, Women Who Code and more? Join a community, swipe and meet new vinas like you.👍

CAREER ADVICE: HOW TO WRITE A COLD EMAIL THAT WILL GET YOU A RESPONSE

When I look back on them, I realize that I’ve gotten some really great opportunities as a result of cold emails I’ve sent. There was a paid writing gig, a string of coffee dates with women whose careers I admired, and the chance to interview Jamie Derringer, founder of the popular blog, Design Milk.

I recently spoke to a few conference organizers who managed to book the founders of Classpass, Poshmark, Grammarly, and Away for their event, and they told me they accomplished it all through cold emails. So you see, in spite of the hangups you may have about reaching out to a perfect stranger, there’s a lot to be gained from it.

The person who really encouraged me to be fearless (but not reckless) about sending out cold emails was Jaime Petkanics of The Prepary. Jaime is a career coach and former recruiter for Tory Burch and J.P. Morgan. She reminded me that the worst thing that can happen is that someone may not respond to my emails. Important people don’t have the time to write the scathing responses you may imagine, so put those fears out of your head now. After all, fear is a manipulative emotion that can trick you into living a boring life.

Jaclyn Johnson is the organizer of Create + Cultivate, a conference for women that has lined up speakers like Jessica Alba, Rachel Zoe and Gloria Steinem. She once said of a cold email to Garace Doré that resulted in a surprising but happy response, “You never know what you’re going to get if you don’t put it out in the universe.”

Here’s how to write a cold email that will get you a response:

USE A HOOK FOR THE SUBJECT LINE

Professional email marketers are constantly testing subject lines, and you could take a note out of their book by putting a little extra thought into yours. It’ll give your email a higher chance of being opened.

KEEP IT SHORT 

This one is pretty clear— despite how much you may want to wax poetic about how you admire someone’s work, if they open your email and see six long paragraphs, their eyes will likely glaze over. Throw in a dash of flattery, but save your story for later down the line. A good rule of thumb is to keep it short enough that someone wouldn’t have to scroll down if they were reading on a smartphone.

Here’s a great quote on this from Aaron Friedman:

“Be direct, quick, and enthusiastic. Nobody wants their time wasted. Everyone wants as much info as possible. Nobody will respond to you if you don’t excite them. If you can keep it under six sentences, that’s good.” 

AT FIRST, MAKE MINIMAL REQUESTS 

Start small. You never know what it can lead to. If you chat with someone on the phone for five minutes and that turns into fifteen, that’s great. If that fifteen turns into a lunch date, even better.

BE STRAIGHTFORWARD 

If you leave your email open-ended and ambiguous, your recipient may not be sure quite what to make of it. If you want then minutes on the phone with them, say so. If you want them to forward your resume to a hiring manager, say so. Be clear about your wishes and the actions you’d like them to take.

FOLLOW UP, BUT WITHOUT BEING ANNOYING 

Repeat after me: there is absolutely no shame in following up. But know how to take a hint if you’re not getting anywhere after one to two attempts. Busy people always have overflowing inboxes. It’s completely plausible that they might see and open your email, make a note to respond, and then forget to. This is how a follow-up can keep you from slipping through the cracks.

Let us know in the comments how your cold email attempts went. And don’t forget to download Hey! VINA to share your advice with friends!

HOW TO HANDLE YOUR FIRST AUTUMN *NOT* GOING BACK TO SCHOOL

If you just graduated from college, congratulations! The feeling of not having to attend class, work on papers, and study for finals is the feeling of freedom. However, it can also be confusing. When we’re settled in the same routines for a long time, it can be difficult to transition to a new one. We have a few ideas to help you create a new routine during your first autumn after college. We do encourage you to experiment and explore. After all, you have one less obligation now!

RELAX AND INDULGE IN SELF-CARE

All of those all-nighters might make you feel like you’ve lost a lifetime of sleep. But because you no longer have papers and tests to worry about, you can sleep in a little more. Aside from getting more shut-eye, this fall is a perfect time to indulge in healthy activities. Think of new exercise routine, getting a massage, or practicing meditation. Take some time to unwind from those years of stress and make it a priority to take care of yourself.

EMBARK ON YOUR JOB HUNT

Now that you have your degree, you can start looking for and actually applying to jobs that have that ol’ “Bachelor’s Degree Required” qualification. Your job search doesn’t even have to be related to your major— you can pretty much apply anywhere that sounds relevant to your skills and interests. As we mentioned before, it’s time to explore. Use your newfound free time to polish up your resume, fill out applications, and go to interviews.

Alternatively, you can go for internships, as most companies (especially larger ones) look for recent college graduates in addition to college students. Another work-related option to consider (even if you’re actively job-hunting) is asking your employer for full-time hours if you are currently working part-time somewhere. After all, extra money is always a good thing!

CATCH UP

Speaking of extra money, you may want to use any new income on paying off student loans, bills, and other obligations in your new adult life. It’s also important to catch up with family and friends you might not have seen in a while. Catch up on passion projects or some house cleaning. Basically, get back in black and de-clutter your life.

TRAVEL

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If you do happen to have some savings, reward yourself for all your hard work at school, and take a trip! Check a dream destination (or maybe two or three) off your bucket list or revisit a city or country you love. Go with your vinas, family, or sweetheart or fly solo! If you’re looking for a travel buddy, download Hey! VINA! If you’re on a bit of a budget, take a day or overnight trip in your city or somewhere close by. You’ll never know what new things you’ll discover!

MOVE

Gulp. This can sound a bit scary, but some folks truly want to start from a clean slate right after graduating college—and that usually means moving somewhere totally new. You can do it too! Maybe you’re a Midwesterner and your dream job is in New York or LA. Maybe you’re just bothered by the cold winters where you are, and you want to live somewhere less cold. Maybe the cost of living somewhere else just works out better for you. If you want to start your post-college life somewhere new, opportunity will follow.

FURTHER YOUR EDUCATION

Wait, what?! All those years of exams, projects, and homework assignments, and you’re willing to take on more? Well, if you want to go for that Master’s and/or Ph.D., there’s nothing stopping you! If you want to continue learning but don’t want to spend another 2 to 4+ years back in school, check out a career school or a community college to master a new subject or skill. Even after we move on from our school days, we should always be learning— sometimes that learning might come from even more formal education!

What were your post-grad plans? Let us know what you learned in the comments!

(Featured image via Pexels)

HOW TO MAKE YOURSELF SOUND AWESOME WITH A 5-MINUTE ELEVATOR PITCH

Consider this your crash course in lady bragging.

You may think that elevator pitches are just for aspiring authors desperate to get their manuscripts to the top of an editor’s pile, but they’re actually useful for just about any career or aspiration out there. Yours included. You absolutely need a short speech about yourself that you could reel off in the elevator at every stage of your career, even if you don’t think you have much to brag about.

Everybody has a backstory. Everybody has an inspiration— perhaps it’s your favorite college professor to the female exec at your company whose career you hope to someday emulate. If you know where you’d like to get, all the better. Work it into your speech!

Nerdy confession: I love to read Career Contessa. It makes me feel like a girl boss. In fact, when I was in the seventh grade, I dreamed of being a high-powered lady lawyer who’d have a closet full of pastel colored suits and heels that clacked when I walked through the courthouse. Legally Blonde only exacerbated this dream, of course.

The boardroom dream is becoming a more common goal for women everywhere, and making an elevator pitch is an absolute must-do!

Remember, there will always be multiple people who qualify for a particular job, but no one could do a job the way you could— and this is what your elevator pitch can let people know.

TELL YOUR STORY

Let people know where you’ve been and what you’ve done, but make it an enjoyable narrative. You know that cringeworthy feeling you used to get at parties when some random guy awkwardly asked you what your major was because he couldn’t think of any other way to make conversation with you? Don’t let your elevator pitch start off with that inauthentic feeling. Include the basics, but elaborate in an interesting way. For example, if you’re looking for a job in finance, include the fact that you love reading finance books and started your own lemonade stand business in the third grade. These kinds of relevant details make you endearing and show off your personality.

KEEP IT CONCISE

Once you write the first draft of your elevator pitch, cut it in half— that’s a good rule of thumb for how long it should be. Unless you’re literally as charismatic as JFK, it’ll be hard to keep a stranger’s attention for much more than a few minutes.

SHARE THE HIGHLIGHTS

There’s no need to recap the day-to-day at your last job. Focus instead on what you accomplished there— maybe you made a particular process faster and simpler or you spearheaded a project on your own. People want to help and hire achievers, not just doers. Positioning yourself in this light will set you up for even more success.

PRACTICE

Even though your elevator pitch is a pre-written speech, it shouldn’t sound that way. Once you know your speech like the back of your hand, you can start to customize it for each situation at hand.

LET PEOPLE KNOW WHAT YOU WANT

You’ll most likely be using your elevator pitch for different purposes. Once you’re done giving insight about you, consider how this person you’re presenting to can help you, and guide the conversation in that direction. If you’re speaking to someone who works for a company you like but in an entirely different department, ask them if they know anyone in the department you’d like to work for. If this person knows someone you admire, ask for an introduction so you can get in touch to request an informational interview. If the person themselves is hiring for a role, get their contact information so that you are in the position to take the initiative and reach out to them.

Need more inspiration? Here are 41 elevator pitches to get you started.

Let us know some of your favorite elevator pitch strategies! Make sure to download Hey! VINA to meet other career-powered ladies!

(Featured image via Quiet Revolution)

HOW TO BECOME A PROFESH SOCIALIZER

 

In today’s world, “the job hunt” is an all too familiar phrase that may or may not feel like a punch in the gut.  Never ending job applications, résumés, phone/skype interviews, dressing up and hiking over to an IRL interview, just to be turned down. The list goes on and on, and it is all exhausting.  How do we set ourselves apart from the masses of applicants who probably have just as much experience and talent?

GET INSPIRATION

Talk. Talk. Talk. Talk to friends, family, even your dentist. Ask them questions about their career, and how they got their first jobs. Aquire information and inspiration from people who have been successful in this department. Take the opportunity to expose yourself to as many different people, from as many different backgrounds as you can.  Get ideas, get inspired, and learn from their successes and also from their failures.

USE YOUR CONNECTIONS

When I say socialize, I mean socialize. Be the star of the cocktail party, connect with old friends, make new friends, meet the friends of your friends.  Nowadays, just sending in a résumé usually isn’t enough; who you know is almost as important as what you know. Make those connections when you talk to people and take advantage of them, because, for the most part, people want to help!

SURROUND YOURSELF WITH GOOD INFLUENCES

Sometimes a little motivation can change everything. Your own personal success comes 50% from within, and 50% from the people you interact with.  Surround yourself with strong, independent vinas who will motivate you, inspire you to reach further than you normally would, and set equally higher expectations for what you get in return. If your vinas are supportive of what you do, they will expect nothing less than excellence from you, and always try to help guide you in the right direction.

BE CONFIDENT, NOT COCKY

Always be sure of yourself and your talents. The interviewer can smell your fear and/or sense your confidence from a mile away. When in close proximity, the best way to convince them that you are the best candidate, is to make yourself truly believe it first. Now this tactic does not guarantee success, but it shouldn’t hurt either. As long as you remain humble throughout the process and remember to ask questions, and don’t pretend to be an absolute expert in any subject. Just be confident.

The bottom line: the job hunt doesn’t always have to consist of endless applications and google searches.  Sometimes, socializing can be just as productive, and generate something even more beneficial in the long run.

Download the Hey! VINA app if you want to meet other boss vinas in your area. 

(Feature image via @freepeople)

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MAKING THE TRANSITION FROM FREELANCE TO FULL TIME

If you’ve been freelancing for a while, but now miss the collaborative and social environment at an office, making a steady salary, and having more standard working hours – this is the guide for you. I’ve compiled a list of tips to help you make your way back to a full time gig.

CHOOSE A ROLE THAT INSPIRES YOU

Don’t just settle for the first opportunity that comes your way, pick something that’s going to motivate, challenge and help you make moves in your career.

WHY DO YOU WANT THIS JOB?

Hiring managers and recruiters may ask why you want to a make a move to full-time work, be ready to give them reasons why! Present your reasons thoughtfully in the cover letter while applying for a full time role.

GAPS IN YOUR RESUME

If you’ve gaps sporadically spread across your resume, make sure to add a positive spin to these brief periods of time-off  especially for legitimate reasons which include taking a career break to study, committing to charity and volunteer work or recovering from an illness among others.

SELL YOURSELF

Most freelancers are adept at quite a few experience based skills: gaining new perspective through a variety of projects, working solo as well as collaborating with teams, working with with small and big companies/corporations. The tip is to sell your experiences to the recruiter, with these skills and experiences in addition to your technical skilled background you may have an advantage  over someone who hasn’t been freelancing!

PORTFOLIO IS KEY

As previously mentioned, you’re likely to have an added advantage solely based on the different projects that you’ve worked on. Setting yourself apart from other candidates and key, this is your one opportunity to convince an employer to give you a chance. So prepare an online/print portfolio (if suitable) and make sure to include the link to your resume and cover letter. Using GitHub or Behance or Squarespace depending on the industry you work in, make sure that your portfolio includes a variety of work from a range of clients – ideally including ones similar to the company you’re applying for.

Share with us your career shift from freelance to full-time story in the comments. Or, check out our guide to becoming a freelancer here!

(Feature Image: Pixabay)

HOW TO NOT BURN BRIDGES WHEN LEAVING YOUR JOB

Maybe you landed a gig at your dream company, or maybe you’re starting your own. Maybe you’re looking for a change in location, culture, profession, all of the above, and/or more. Maybe you’re going back to school or taking a long break to travel. Maybe it’s just not working out.

Whatever your reason is for voluntarily leaving a job, you’ll want to make sure you exit with grace and gratitude. Your work history will follow you wherever you go, and you don’t want to have to explain why you don’t have any references from one job. Moreover, if it’s possible you’ll return to a job, you don’t want to hurt your chances for a rehire because you didn’t stay in touch or you rubbed your superiors the wrong way. So, how do you not burn bridges when leaving or preparing to leave a job? Here are the three Golden Rules:

TRY TO GIVE YOUR EMPLOYER AT LEAST TWO WEEKS NOTICE.

Sometimes a start date at a new job is non-negotiable, but if you are able to, try to coordinate a date that allows your current employer plenty of time to transition. Two weeks is standard for most jobs, though a one week notice is doable at others. If you’re at a small company or the only person performing specific duties, it is definitely wise to abide by the two-week rule. In any case, telling an employer you’re leaving today or tomorrow could hurt your boss, your team, and yourself. Plan as far ahead as you can if you need to leave a job, and everyone will benefit in the long run.

STAY CONNECTED.

Make sure to stay in touch with your manager and any other colleagues with whom you worked closely. If you can, try to gather personal email addresses and phone numbers in addition to work information. Then, actually take the time to send them a message. Lauren Berger a.k.a. the Intern Queen recommends keeping in touch with your professional contacts at least three times a year. Chances are you’ll need to contact these people for references or introductions to people in their networks. If something is to go amiss in your new role or venture, you might even want to connect about rejoining the company. However, Lauren says it’s important to get into the habit of reaching out just to say hello. Why? You want people to remember who you are and to cultivate strong relationships in your professional network. So give it a try!

DON’T TALK SMACK ON SOCIAL MEDIA.

Whether your boss was way too much like Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada or you were getting paid in pennies, it’s understandable that you’d want to vent about your previous or soon-to-be previous job. However, airing out that dirty laundry digitally is not the way to go. Even if you aren’t connect with coworkers on social media or you’re only sharing a status with certain groups or lists, anything can be screenshotted or cached nowadays. Not to mention, privacy settings can be flawed. The last thing you want is for your boss or coworker to find out that you’ll be leaving your job by way of Facebook post or Tweet and possibly, that they’re the reason why. Talk about awkward! If you truly need to tell someone about how badly you want out of your job or just can’t wait to share the good news of your next professional move, do it offline and in private to a trusted friend, family member, or partner.

Got any tips on keeping in touch with old employers? Let us know in the comments!

(Featured image via annawithlove.com)