Latest Articles

Flextime: How to Bend (Not Break!) in Today’s Turbulent Workplace

The digital business consultant Beth Temple will be bringing her newest class, Freelance Success: Independence, Not Insecurity, to the Hired Guns Academy on Wednesday, May 16. This three-hour course is designed to help freelancers at all stages of their career become more successful at what they do best. They’ll learn how to bring in more business, develop a unique selling proposition, and be better at navigating corporate politics and managing their own finances.

It’s been a few months since Fast Company’s much talked- and tweeted-about cover story on Generation Flux. The title’s been bothering me ever since I read it. The magazine had it wrong by a vowel! We don’t need a generation in flux (which sounds negative and unstable), we need one that has flex (which is much more agile and proactive).

Flexibility is going to be the key to the next few decades for every business, big and small. It is also going to be the defining characteristic for those individuals who want to thrive in the next few decades.    Read More →

How Do You Respond to a Job Rejection?

Nobody likes emails that basically say “thanks but no thanks.” But what do you do when you get them? Do you just trash them, or do you write back?

Chances are that whatever you’re doing is a lot better than Ask A Manager’s examples of what NOT to write, such as “You’re making a mistake; I’d be a great candidate.” Or the equally pushy “I’d think I’m at least worth an interview.”    Read More →

Meet the Mentors: Laura Lubman Hamburg, Communications Pro

When both her kids were in their teens, Laura Lubman Hamburg left a major job working in communications at IBM. She’s now the head of her own communications agency, with an eye toward later working full-time in a new career. Here’s a taste of what she’ll have to say about re-entering the workforce and similar hot topics as part of next week’s Hired Guns panel for working mothers .

Do you have any advice for working women who are about to be moms? What should they be doing NOW if they plan on going back to work later?
People will ask if you plan on coming back immediately. Say yes, even if you aren’t sure. You may decide to stay home for a while. You may go back right away. Don’t play your hand. You want to have the option, not them.

Before you take maternity leave, transfer all email contacts to your home computer. Be sure to put them in a “@company.com” format, not in the internal-address format. Bulk up your Linkedin profile with recommendations, if you can do so without being obvious. Follow your industry news, and if you see something, send a few key emails mentioning it.    Read More →

Meet the Mentors: Jacqui Stafford, Fashion and Style Maven

Next up in our series of interviews with the accomplished women who will be sharing their expert advice and ideas in next Tuesday’s mentorship panel for working mothers is Jacqui Stafford. You may recognize Jacqui from one of her many appearances on TV, or have read the style and beauty advice she’s given in the pages of Vogue, Town & Country, Cosmopolitan, and many other magazines. She’s also the mother of a four-year-old adopted daughter.

Do you have any style or fashion advice for working women who are about to be moms?
Look for uncomplicated, fuss-free separates that don’t require much thought in the morning. Go for coordinating colors that make getting dressed really easy. Punch up your “wow!” factor with statement necklaces, scarves, and a great bag rather than over-trendy clothes.    Read More →

Meet the Mentors: Kelly Day, CEO of the Blip Video Network

Next Tuesday, May 8, The Hired Guns will be hosting How Does She Do It? — a panel and discussion that we believe working moms at all stages of their career will find inspiring and fun as well as incredibly useful. We’re interviewing each of the panelists to find out where they’re coming from. Today we chatted a bit with Kelly Day, who has two daughters and whose husband is the primary caregiver. Recently appointed CEO of the web network Blip, Kelly has a career that comes with a hefty amount of travel….

How do you deal with all the business travel you do? How do you make it all work?
I’ve always traveled a lot, so my family is fairly used to it. I work hard to try to condense my trips as much as possible. I (almost) always try to make sure I’m home for the important things — school plays, recitals, etc. And I try to be as engaged with my kids as possible on the weekends, when I am home. I’m also a planner. I make sure that on Sundays everything is ready to go for the week — lunches planned, homework checked, appointments on the calendar, etc., to avoid as much chaos as possible while I’m on the road.    Read More →

It’s the Platform, Stupid: Why Different Devices Need Different Kinds of Content

I was at a product manager’s gathering a while ago, and the topic of video came up. Someone threw out the idea of taking short-form video — say, 90-second clips, the kinds of video you watch on mobile phones and laptops — and having it available on internet TV, which one would navigate using a standard remote control. “There’s nothing wrong with that,” the manager said. Well, yeah, there’s actually a lot wrong with that.    Read More →

Meet the Mentors: Meeta Kapadia, Digital Ops Specialist

The first in our series of mentorship panels will be on Tuesday, May 8. Titled How Does She Do It?, it’s for working moms at all stages of their careers. As the date approaches, we wanted to find out a little more about the many ways in which the panelists approach working outside the home while also being caregivers. Today we spoke with Meeta Kapadia, whose career has taken her from a high-ranking corporate job at a large bank to being the head of digital operations at a startup. During the panel, we suspect she’ll have a lot to say about how different styles of work end up affecting life at home as well as at the office.

Do you have any advice for working women who are about to be moms? What should they be doing NOW if they plan on going back to work later?
Talk to as many women who have done it as possible. This really helped me with figuring out what conversations to have with my manager (and which ones not to have). Get to know your company’s leave policies very well, and talk to someone in HR if you’re unclear on anything. Talk through a plan for reconnecting with your manager prior to coming back so that you know what to expect. Try not to commit to working remotely (i.e. just a conference call here and there, etc.) during your leave before you actually have your baby and know if that’s going to be possible. And it’s important to try to appreciate the time you have with your new baby before you go back to work, whether that’s six weeks or six months. It’ll be over before you know it.    Read More →

Stiffed Freelancers Unspooling the World’s Longest Invoice

An estimated 80% of freelancers have a painful story or two about not getting paid, but it’s rare that they can present a united front about their woes. But that’s changed now, with the debut of the World’s Longest Invoice, a project of the Freelancers Union.

To help draw attention to its efforts to pass the Freelancer Payment Protection Act in New York state, the Union has been asking anyone with unpaid bills to add a line item to its monster theoretical invoice. At the moment, the amount due is north of $3.8 million — and steadily rising. Do you have outstanding invoices of your own? Be sure to get them on there….

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