NYWICI Aloud Blog: Navigate Sticky Work Situations

astering the ins and outs of thriving and surviving in the workplace can be challenging. That's why the Young Professionals Committee teamed up with Lord & Taylor for its Sticky Situations Happy Hour on Nov. 15, 2016, with a panel of experts, who discussed sticky situations ranging from negotiating salaries to treading the line between colleagues and friends.

Moderator Vanessa Clark, director of Human Resources at Lord & Taylor led a lively discussion with panelists Laura Burkart, director of People & Culture at Superfly; Claire Wasserman, founder of Ladies Get Paid; and Meryl Weinsaft Cooper, founder/principle of The COOPERation.

The panel kicked off its discussion with the question why women shouldn't sweep accomplishments under the rug for fear of coming off as overconfident. Meryl, the author of “Be Your Own Best Publicist: How To Use PR Techniques To Get Noticed, Get Hired & Get Rewarded At Work”, stressed how women should strive to be their own best publicists. Claire echoed that notion, explaining that when self-promotion comes from passion and a deep belief in your work, others will recognize it and root for you to succeed. Laura brought the HR perspective into the mix, illustrating the importance of quantifying accomplishments to show exactly how you kicked ass.

Here are a few other key takeaways: 

Laura Burkart

  • Use the STAR technique (Situation, Task, Action, Result) in interviews. The context of your story is what makes it powerful. Start with the situation, explain the task at hand, the specific action you took and end with the result.
  • When it comes to salary, have a range in mind and have flexibility. Don’t be afraid to have a dialogue about money — it’s like hiding symptoms from a doctor.
  • Your friends at work should be people you aspire to be, and always be those with solutions, not problems. Keep venting out of the office and try to keep it positive.

Claire Wasserman

  •  Create an environment where you feel safe to talk about money. Also, seek out resources such as GlassDoor, Fairy God Boss and LinkedIn.
  • To help balance workload and manage expectations, use Trello or priority systems to check-in and show what projects you’re working on. It doesn’t hurt to put in a 14 hour work day every now and then —and make sure they notice.

Meryl Weinsaft Cooper

  • When negotiating your salary, do your research, identify your value proposition and be flexible. Think beyond just the salary — benefits, travel, vacation and flexibility are ways to solve the puzzle.
  • When dealing with difficult people in the workplace, start with praise, state the problem and end with praise. For example: "I value your contributions, so I would like you to stay more focused in meetings, because I want to hear from you."

And, as Claire joked in the panel, all of this advice is transferrable to dating. 


NYWICI Aloud Blog: Find the Meaning in Your Career

Raise your hand if you work in publishing, writing or public relations. Do you care about your work-life balance now and will you care about your work-life balance in five years? These were just a few of the self-evaluating questions raised by Ann Shoket, the former editor-in-chief of Seventeen magazine and author of the upcoming The Big Life (plus the Badass Babes newsletter) at “New Year, New You: A Chat with Ann Shoket” on Jan. 2, 2017, at The Gander. The event was hosted by NYWICI's Young Professionals Committee.

Ann shared her outlook on finding one’s passions, achieving a stellar work-life balance, the intricacies of the dating game and becoming the badass babes that we really are. Throughout the conversation, Ann touched on everything from her years of experience in the magazine industry to finding a partner whose eyes will light up when you talk about the things that matter most to you.

Here are a few highlights from the discussion:

Make what you do, feel like actual living

  • The best bosses want you to have a life. In fact, you’re a better employee when you have a life outside of the office, so carve out time to do things that matter to you.
  • Your career shouldn’t feel like something entirely separate from your life.

Finding your passion shouldn’t be your goal — but rather finding things that give you meaning

  • Passion is a lot about trial and error. Start out by finding the things that are meaningful to you. Ann discovered her affinity for writing for a young female audience after she wrote an article about a woman who escaped from a cult.
  • You need to have a side hustle at every stage in your career, where you don't get to call the shots.
  • Even with all the time demands on you, you still you need to make time for things that matter to you.
  • What did you imagine your life would be like when you were 16? There's often power in that answer, so hold onto that when starting your career.

Continuously mold and rebrand yourself — just like Ann did by transitioning from being a magazine editor to becoming an author  

  • When you move forward in your career, it’s not about reinventing or pivoting; we’re all getting a broader perspective on what our career trajectory should be.
  • Your portfolio career is what counts. It’s not just your current job that matters, but everything you bring into the fold, including your side-hustle.