Know and Share Your Value

November 29, 2016


You’re doing well at your company when a new position opens that’s perfect for you, but you’re not even considered for it. Why?

As a workplace communication coach, I often find many of my clients take for granted the qualities that make us special and make us good at what we do. It’s understandable since these qualities are usually the ones that come easy to us. They are such a part of who we are, we forget to highlight, share and use them to create and promote our value or personal brand at work.

Also at work here are two common beliefs:

• “They’ve been working with me all these years. They should know what I’m good at.” 

• “Talking about my value feels like bragging. I don’t feel comfortable with that.”

In the spirit of MSNBC anchor and author Mika Brzezinski’s campaign to encourage women to know and grow their value — meet her at New York Women in Communications’ upcoming Cocktails and Conversation event, to be held at 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 7, 2016, at Bloomberg, 120 Park Avenue — I offer up my own tips for making sure your value is recognized—and shared.

Here are some ways to help you recognize your value and begin creating your personal brand story:

First, recognize your own value by asking yourself:

  • What did you want to be when you were 8 years old? It often impacts who you are today.
  • What adjectives do your friends or colleagues use to describe you?
  • What are some of your successes and accomplishments? What do they have in common?
  • What is your why? Why do you do what you do?
  • How are your clients/workplace better because of you?

Then, consider these simple ways to share that value:

  • Share thought-out opinions during meetings
  • Offer to give presentations and sit on panels
  • Mentor a new hire
  • Volunteer for assignments that match your value
  • Contribute to social media, blogs and whitepapers
  • Insert your own value proposition in casual exchanges with your company’s c-suite and during quarterly reviews with boss.

And, of course, don’t forget to:

• Let people know you are interested in the position. No one can read your mind.

My last tip is to remember that there is a big difference between sharing and bragging. Bragging is focused on you and makes you important, while Sharing is focused on others and makes their needs important.

People need you to share your value. By sharing yours, you help leaders make a more informed decision, so that when a new position opens, people know exactly who you are and the value you will add to that position and everything else.


Posted by: 
Robyn Hatcher

Navigate Sticky Work Situations

November 28, 2016

YoPro​Mastering 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. 


Posted by: 
Cori Rosen

NYWICI Must Reads November 18, 2016

November 17, 2016

Tweet your links to us, using #NYWICIMustReads to be featured in next Friday's Must Reads

Gwen Ifille

Photo: Gwenn Ifill in 2011, winning a Matrix Award
(© Maryanne Russell)

Gwen Ifill, Host Of 'Washington Week' And 'PBS Newshour,' Dies (NPR)

Gwen Ifill, Political Reporter and Co-Anchor Of ‘PBS Newshour,’ Dies At 61 (The New York Times)

Gwen Ifill Dead At Age 61 (Politico)

Gwen Ifill: Quotes By A Pioneering Journalist (Women’s Media Center)

I Was Unsure About Journalism. Then, Gwen Ifill Told Me ‘You Better Go For It’ (Poynter)

Why Gwen Ifill’s Death Is So Tragic (Vanity Fair)

Gwen Ifill Profile and Interview (NYWICI Matrix Awards Journal, 2011)

Gwen Ifill, Who Overcame Barriers As A Black Female Journalist, Dies At 61 (The Washington Post)


For Women at Every Career Stage

What Eleanor Roosevelt Can Teach Us About Hillary Clinton’s Defeat (Pacific Standard)

Bill O'Reilly Suggests Megyn Kelly Is Making Fox News Look Bad (CNN Money)


The Changing Landscape of Communications

Did The Media Win The Election? (Politico)

Meet The Professor Calling Out The Fake News Sites Clogging Your Facebook Feed (Pacific Standard)

Bursting The Facebook Bubble: We Asked Voters On The Left And Right To Swap Feeds (The Guardian)

Mark Zuckerberg Is In Denial (The New York Times)

Google And Facebook Take Aim At Fake News Sites (The New York Times)


Technology News

What Are Snapchat Spectacles, And Do I Have To Be A Teen To Wear Them? (The Verge)

Virtual Reality Is the New Tech Frontier, But It’s Still A Boys’ Club (Recode)



Posted by: 
Tekla Szymanski

Social Media Tips & Tricks: Professional Meets Personal

November 21, 2016

AloudYoProThere is no doubting the power of social media, which allow us to connect with people across the world at the touch of a button. No longer are first impressions made with a handshake but with a profile glimpse. In this digital age, it is important to embrace this tool for what it is and to use it to its full capacity. Finding the balance between being yourself and being professional can be hard, but here are a few tips to help you on your way.

Put your best foot forward with your profile picture

In college, my sorority’s rule of thumb for profile pictures was would you feel comfortable showing this picture to your grandmother? The same should go for social media profiles. You should have a tasteful photo, preferably with you smiling, that shows off your personality.

Write a strong bio

Your bio is your digital handshake. Sometimes you have as few as 140 characters to let everyone know who you are and what you represent. Make this space count. Outline what makes you, you! This is a great place to not only mention your industry but your hobbies as well. Are you a runner? A dog owner? What is your alma mater? These facts open you up to finding common ground with your connections and can be great conversation starters.

Keep your info updated

Always ensure the most relevant and timely information is reflected on your profiles. Typically, social media are the first place people go to fact check or learn more information. Anytime you change titles, companies or locations, you should be updating your profile.

Avoid risky topics when possible

When possible, it is best to avoid posting about political and religious views or monetary and personal issues. If you feel strongly about these topics, use your judgement. You never know what may offend your online community or can be seen as an overshare. You should also be prepared for comments on counter opinions expressed to your post.

Accept the facts

As you continue in your career and social media continue to grow, the lines between work and personal life become blurred. How public you want to be with your life is your decision, but it is much easier when you accept that coworkers, bosses or clients are going to want to connect with you online.

Sometimes, having a public profile, especially in the communications industry, can be the easiest and most fruitful route. Why not use this space as another way to showcase your skills and savvy? Besides, even though you may think something you said online is private, understand that it never really is. Screenshots can be taken, posts can be shared and digital footprints last forever.

Keep your digital game strong, put your best foot forward and rule the social space. And most importantly: enjoy tweeting, snapping, posting and connecting! It’s an amazing world we live in, and we are lucky to be able to connect so seamlessly.

Posted by: 
Alyssa Barnett

How to Navigate Sticky Situations

November 14, 2016

Vanessa ClarkWe’ve all been there before — the “negotiating a raise” panic attack, the co-worker who has a penchant for all-things offensive, the manager who just isn’t recognizing your work ethic. It’s why the Young Professionals Committee partnered with Lord & Taylor for the Sticky Situations Happy Hour on Nov. 15, 2016, at Lord & Taylor, with industry-leading career and financial experts to help navigate these difficult — and all too common — career and work issues.

The moderator of the event, Director of Human Resources at Lord & Taylor Vanessa Clark, is sharing insights into how to handle challenging situations with confidence, while taking your career to the next level.

HR is seen as somewhat of a “listening ear” for employees. What is the most common sticky situation you deal with and what advice would you have in navigating this?

In order to grow, we all need feedback. One of the toughest parts of transitioning from the university world to the business world is being able to take feedback on a daily basis. If feedback is given poorly, it can feel like criticism regardless of whether it’s valid or invalid. Employees often come to HR for advice on how to react. I always advise to:

  • Let the conversation digest overnight. Reacting right away will cause someone to react in emotion often and not logic.
  • Actively listen. A lot of times when we feel like we should be on the defense, we think of what we should be saying next. We don’t actually hear what is being said.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for clarity. It’s okay to ask questions if you’re unsure what is being said.
  • Be appreciative! If someone is taking the time to give you feedback, it means they believe in you and your growth.

What is the greatest (career) advice you’ve ever received?
Take big risks early in your career. You may succeed and you may fail. Either way, you will learn a lot; this knowledge will accelerate your career.

What is the greatest challenge you face in your role?
We have three vastly different generations in the workplace right now. Each generation has unique cultural preferences, values and communication styles when it comes to working. It takes lot of creativity and outside the box thinking to ensure all three feel fulfilled, as all three are valued.

What are three things you’d hope that YoPros take away from this event?
1.) Don’t be afraid to start from the bottom. Everyone has to start somewhere. The bottom is a great place to learn.
2.) If you are not passionate about an opportunity — don’t settle. You want a career not a job.
3.) Be kind to every person you meet. You never know who will lead you where on your journey.

What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I grew up on a farm and had pet llamas!


Photo: Jan Goldstoff

Posted by: 
Brittany Barnes

NYWICI Must Reads November 11, 2016

November 11, 2016

Women Legacy

Tweet your links to us, using #NYWICIMustReads to be featured in next Friday's Must Reads.

Image at right: Makers

For Women at Every Career Stage

Gloria Steinem Post-Election on Women’s Choices, the Media and the Way Forward (WNYC Podcast)

Post-Election Recap: Let's Get to Work, and Here's How (Makers)


The Changing Landscape of Communications

Newspapers Big and Small Are Facing an Existential Crisis (The Guardian)

There Are at Least Eight Promising Business Models for Email Newsletters (Nieman Lab)


Technology News

Kill Wireframes. Fuel Creativity (RealtimeBoard)

This Start-up Registered a Mind-Blowing 95,000 Women to Vote (The Cut)



Posted by: 
Tekla Szymanski

2016 Student Communications Career Conference

November 7, 2016

On Nov. 5, 2016, I attended New York Women in Communications’ 2016 Student Communications Career Conference as Vice President of Ithaca College Women in Communications (WIC) with the fabulous, motivated and accomplished e-board and general body members of WIC.

What made this year so special for me was that it was my last time attending a NYWICI conference as a student at Ithaca College, since I’m a senior. In honor of that, I wore the dress that I wore when I won a NYWICI scholarship as a senior in high school.

Since it’s my last year, I’ve been thinking about the conference and its implications with a new perspective. I was 17 when I first attended. I knew what I wanted to do with my career at the time (it’s always been children’s book editing, for those who don’t know) but was too young to understand how I was going to get there. Going to the conference when I was 17 helped me focus my goals, without having to put them into action just yet.

As a senior in college and someone currently applying to graduate school, all of the amazing women panelists and speakers that I’ve encountered and listened to, all of the career and life advice that I’ve received, all of the eager and motivated college students I’ve met at the past five conferences, came into play. I’m about to enter the real world. It’s time to take everything I’ve learned and apply it. Thanks to NYWICI, thanks to WIC, I couldn’t be more prepared (still scared, but significantly more prepared) and excited about my future as a young professional woman.

Below, I have summarized each panel I attended/speaker I listened to, as well as wrote down the big picture/specific lessons and advice that I learned. I also italicized the lessons that especially hit home for me. Read tweets from the conference here.

Liz Perle – Digital Strategy & Consulting, Teen Trends & Tech 

What it’s all about: Liz Perle was our first keynote speaker. She used to work at Instagram and HuffPost Teen — her whole deal is figuring out what teens like and pinpoint teen trends in social media, technology and culture. She is extremely connected within NYWICI and seemed like a down-to-earth, passionate person who really knew what she was talking about.

Personal and professional advice/information: 

  • Don’t go after an important sounding job. Go after an important job.
  • Remember that there’s no difference between online life and offline life.
  • Be honest in your work and be humane.
  • Being transparent about the work you do/where you are will make a difference in how credible you are as a worker/person.
  • Always look at what younger people are doing.
  • Young people understand authenticity better than anyone else.
  • Communications jobs might someday exist in spaces that aren’t communication spaces right now.
  • Be obsessive about things.
  • Understanding computers/how to sort through data is an extremely useful skill in today’s day and age.
  • Figure out how to back up what you’re saying with facts/data.
  • The best way to succeed in a job is to be bold in what you’re doing.
  • Frame your elevator pitches with a problem. Identify the problem you’re solving and the space you’re filling and they will see why you are necessary and important.
  • Social media is not a distraction. It’s a tool.
  • Ruthlessly prioritize what you’re working on.
  • To focus better and be less distracted, do fewer things.

Digital & Social Media Platforms Panel 

What it’s all about: The first panel I attended explored how online platforms can help expand your audience, repertoire and experience through the point of views of Liz Gumbinner, who is publisher and editor-in-chief of Cool Mom Picks, Roxanne Emadi, who is an editor and curator at Buzzfeed News, Kari Hodes, who is the head of Audience Development and Analytics at Time Inc., and Lauren Rabaino, who is the director of Storytelling and Brand Development at Vox. The panel was moderated by Melissa Finney, who is in advertising partnerships at Flipboard, Inc.

Personal and professional advice/information: 

  • Everyone you meet is going to come back in your life in ways you never expected, so be nice and know that everyone is a potential ally/a potential mentor/a potential contact.
  • Be okay with being highly qualified.
  • You don’t get a seat at the table — you earn one. Keep kicking ass at what you’re doing, and you’ll be at that table.
  • If you work really hard you won’t just get there — you’ll be there.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask people for things, whether that’s a job, a raise or a collaboration.
  • You don’t have to have it all figured out from your first job.
  • A job is a job is a job.
  • Take computer classes/data analysis classes. Knowing/understanding data is the new literacy.
  • Ask about salary. You will find yourself working at a substandard salary for years if you don’t ask to get the money you deserve.
  • Negotiate the base of your salary first.
  • Believe in yourself and ask for a raise.
  • Don’t ever take a job just for the money.
  • The worst thing that can happen is that someone will say no. But you should always ask.
  • People will not share information with you if you don’t share information with them.
  • Have a personality online. Follow people, respond to them, show them you care about the industry.
  • Always be involved in your field. Any opportunity doing anything remotely related to what you want to do is always worth it.
  • Don’t be so precious with your work. Put your work out there even if it’s not perfect. That’s how you learn from your mistakes and scale quickly.
  • Give yourself as many opportunities as you can.
  • When you’re using social media to network, learn about how the person/organization you’re trying to network with uses social media and determine whether or not that’s the best way to connect with them.
  • The average amount of times for you to reach out to someone if they don’t respond is seven.

Digital Creators Panel

What it’s all about: The second panel I attended was primarily about creating online content and how to be a successful online content creator/professional through the experiences of Beca Alexander, who is the president of Socialyte Collective, Drea Bernardi, the creative executive of the AOL/HuffPost Partner Studio, Alyssa Bossio, who is a social media influencer at Fitlyss, and Jessica Franklin, who founded heygorjess.com. The panel was moderated by Amy Emmerich, who is the chief content officer at Refinery29.

Personal and professional advice/information: 

  • Networking is so important! Get out of your comfort zone and talk to people. It really makes a difference.
  • Getting a job is a mix of who you know and what you know.
  • Fashion is a great way to start a conversation with someone. Always use a fashion item to start a conversation. (Example: I like your necklace, where did you get it?)
  • It’s what you know that gets you to the who you know.
  • Everyone reads their direct messages no matter how large their following is on Twitter. It never hurts to reach out that way because it shows that you’re engaged in what a brand/a person is doing.
  • Social media are an easy way to network. It’s so easy to connect over common interests on social media.
  • The more persistent you are with contacting someone the more likely you are to get a message back.
  • It’s never too late to change what you’re doing/what your career path is. You could wake up tomorrow and be interested in something else and that’s totally okay.
  • In order to stand out, you have to have an understanding of what everyone else is doing too.
  • You have to maintain authenticity when creating content for any social media platform and be mindful of the different audiences that will consume your content on various social media platforms.
  • Observe different trends that occur on various social media platforms to keep up with the times.
  • If you want to remain authentic, you always have the option to say no. And if you can’t say no, negotiate.

Brittany Masalosalo — Special Assistant to Vice President Joe Biden in the National Security Affairs Office at the White House

What it’s all about: Brittany Masalosalo was our lunch keynote speaker. She was a sergeant in the Iraq War, is trusted with big government secrets, and is also a single mom. She’s survived so much adversity and was an incredibly inspirational speaker.

Personal and professional advice/information: 

  • Mind your example. Remember that someone is always watching what you do.
  • You are an ambassador for your values.
  • Trust your relationships.
  • No one can attribute their successes to just themselves. If you want to change the world you need help doing it.
  • The relationships you develop over the course of your professional career are owed to your successes.
  • Manage your time through balance.
  • Set personal deadlines that establish habits.
  • Managing time is about figuring out your priorities and making yourself a priority sometimes.
  • Know how to work hard. Nothing will sharpen you for the rigors of a difficult world than facing your challenges.
  • Invest your energy into things you care about.
  • If you can learn how to stomach a failure as well as learn from it, you will fail well.
  • Don’t do anything if it’s not in line with who you are.
  • Have knowledge of the political world no matter what line of work you’re in.

College 101 Panel

What it’s all about: I attended this panel because one of my best friends who I actually met when I won a NYWICI scholarship in 2013, Vivian Nunez, founder of Too Damn Young, writer and content creator and all around awesome person, was speaking on it! This panel was for high school students looking for advice about college and their futures. Other amazing ladies on this panel include: Naomi Ducat, an intern for the U.S. Department of Defense, Nicole Howe, an academic advisor for the New York University School of Professional Studies and Alanna McCatty, a Creative Service Intern at the MedShadow Foundation. The panel was moderated by my NYWICI scholarship mother hen, Taylor Trudon, who is the Youth Special Projects Editor at MTV.

Personal and professional advice/information: 

  • Your major doesn’t necessarily impact what field you go into, but taking away certain skills from your field of study is important.
  • You have to be smart and intentional when crafting your own story.
  • Writing skills are essential everywhere. Learn how to write.
  • Planning out your schedule is pivotal.
  • When you’re passionate about something, you’ll make the time for it.
  • Sit down and have coffee with as many people as you can. Learn about people and how they got to where they are and take what you can and apply it to yourself.
  • Maintain connections with people you intern with.
  • If you apply for an internship at your dream company and you don’t get it, don’t give up. Keep applying.
  • Don’t set one future job as your goal. Be open-minded.
  • People remember people. They don’t remember resumes.
  • Speak with intent and own your quirks.
  • Mentors don’t have to just offer you career advice — they can also offer you emotional support!

NYWICI Leaders Panel

What it’s all about: The last panel, moderated by Saundra Thomas, vice president of Community Affairs at WABC, presented career and life advice from current and past presidents of NYWICI. Panelists included Liz Kaplow, founder and CEO of Kaplow Communications, Kim Kelleher, chief revenue officer & publisher at WIRED Media, Jacki Kelley, COO at Bloomberg Media and Nancy Weber, chief marketing officer at Meredith Corporation.

Personal and professional advice/information: 

  • Do something you’re really passionate about so it doesn’t feel like work.
  • Make sure your career ladder is up against the right wall.
  • When you graduate, think about internships you’ve had that you liked and check back in with those companies.
  • Know why you’re using each social media platform you use.
  • When applying for jobs/internships, consider the people who you might work for at the companies you’re applying to, because that’s who you’re going to learn from.
  • When you go to a job interview, ask the question: “Can you give me an example of someone that’s worked for you and how you’ve advocated for their growth?” And if you like their answer, that company is for you.
  • LinkedIn is helpful, but it’s not real networking. All the major decisions about your career will be made in a room you’re not in.


Slideshow images by Maryanne Russell. All rights reserved.


Posted by: 
Amanda Livingston