Lisa McCarthy on Managing Your Inner Critic

June 26, 2017

Lisa McCarthyYou’ve just left a meeting and the voice in your head immediately begins railing at you about all the things that you did wrong, forgot to say, or shouldn’t have said. Has this ever happened to you? Some people call it their “Evil Twin.” Some call it their “Inner Saboteur.” Lisa McCarthy, Founder and CEO of FastForward Group, calls it our "Inner Critic", and she is on a mission to help women tame theirs.

NYWICI was excited to host Lisa at the Cocktails & Conversations event "Learning How to Manage Your Inner Critic" on June 27, 2017.

We asked Lisa a few questions about her insights about that nagging inner voice.

When did you realize that it was important for women to change the story they tell themselves? 
In middle school! This is the age we begin to make up disempowering stories that limit our view of what is possible and impact our confidence.   

What is a common criticism that you've seen women tell themselves?
It’s hard to thrive at work and home. I am not “X” enough …smart, creative, innovative, assertive enough.

What criticism did you have to overcome to found The Fast Forward Group?
It was not a criticism. Several people advised me to take on another large media role before I became an entrepreneur. I decided to take the leap and trust my gut that we had something unique to provide for business teams that would make meaningful impact on their people’s performance and fulfillment.   

What is one simple exercise women can do to calm their inner critic?
Observe it and recognize that it can be harsh and irrational. Share it with someone you trust. Look for things you are proud of/did well and are grateful for.  

What advice would you give female executives about navigating the workplace?
Fast forward a year out and be thoughtful about your vision and what you want to accomplish. Consider stakeholders, internal and external, who are critical to making your vision become a reality.  

Do we always need to quieten our inner critic or can we learn from it?
There is an inner voice that is our intuition and can be constructive as we discern ways to improve. I see this as distinct from our inner critic, which can be harsh and irrational.   

Have you found evidence that women struggle more than men? If so, why do you think that is?
Yes. Women tend to have more on their plate, managing work and being primary caregiver to kids and parents. We set a high bar for ourselves, can overthink and care too much. We need to relax and focus on strengths and contribution!  


Posted by: 
Robyn Hatcher

NYWICI Must Reads June 23, 2017

June 23, 2017

Aloud Must ReadsTweet your recommended links throughout the week and use #NYWICImustreads to be included in next Friday's Must Reads.


The Universal Phenomenon of Men Interrupting Women (The New York Times)



The Washington Post Announces The Lily (The Washington Post)

Do We Need Women’s News? (New Republic)

Media Companies Are Getting Sick of Facebook (Bloomberg Businessweek)

Media Startups Try A Lower-Cost Model: Unpaid Student Writers (Outten & Golden)

Using Social Media Appears To Diversify Your News Diet, Not Narrow It (NiemanLab) 



The IPhone Is 10 Years Old. Here’s The Story of Its Birth. (The New York Times)



Posted by: 
Tekla Szymanski

What To Do When Getting Laid Off

June 7, 2017

Aloud Blog YoProIn the fall of 2016, there were talks that my position might be eliminated due to potential downsizing in the company. As a small to medium sized family business, it wasn’t anything that I didn’t expect. But it wasn’t until the day after Christmas that the owner announced that the downsizing would take place after the New Year. Worried about my future, I was more angry than upset — how could this happen right after the holidays? Why me?

After clearing my desk of personal belongings, I said goodbye to my colleagues and went on my way. In a way I felt relief, but I was also hurt and confused. Rather than retreating into myself, I immediately began interviewing with temp agencies and PR firms. This was the worst thing I could have done, not because I set unrealistic expectations, but because I did not take the time to clear my mind and breathe.

Coping with layoffs is different for everyone, but there are some things that I did to bounce back — and some steps that I wish I could go back and do.


Let your mind go and let it unwind. Clear your head and start fresh.

Rework Your Budget

Take a look at your bank account and next paycheck (include ½ of your severance, if any). Be sure to pay your rent and major bills as soon as possible, so that you can focus your energy on your job search (and maybe a part-time job).

Meet with Career Counselors

Take a look at your resume and adjust it to the present. And as a NYWICI member, you are eligible for a free career consultation with our coaches.

Make a List of Potential Job Roles

You want your next move to be a good one, so don’t jump into anything too soon. What did you like/not like about your previous job? How has your industry changed? This is important when applying for a new job.


While some might be able to find a new job in no time, others need more time. And after numerous rejections (a lot of companies said I was overqualified), I began working retail to generate income and took the time to focus on what I wanted in my next role.

I learned that finding work is time-consuming and can be a bumpy-road. It’s been three months since I was laid off, and I’ve found myself working part-time jobs, one in Visual Merchandising and another as a temporary Social Media Coordinator. Sometimes we have to make sacrifices and start all over, but in the end it’ll be worth it. And if you decide to take on a few freelance gigs, remember that these are definite resume enhancements — experience is always key!

Posted by: 
Tamara Bonet

What We Learned from Megan Hess

June 5, 2017

Podcast Megan HessWith the first season of the New York Women in Communications podcast Coffee Break w/NYWICI in the books, we’re taking a look back at some of our favorite episodes to revisit the wise words and compelling conversations we’ve had with some of the brightest women in media and communications.

To kick off this series, let’s look back at Episode 4 (Episode 4 on iTunes | Episode 4 on Soundcloud). Our guest was Megan Hess, Mobile and Emerging Platforms Editor at Bloomberg LP and Chair of the NYWICI Young Professionals Committee. Megan had so many interesting insights to share and her advice was thoughtful and actionable.

How to tactfully move on from your current role

Ready to pursue other job opportunities? Megan suggested taking a “gratitude approach” when speaking with your current boss. “Focus on thanking them for how much you’ve grown there and how much you’ve learned, but say that it’s time for you to take an opportunity elsewhere so you can pursue a certain skill set,” she said. Megan brought up the importance of never burning bridges and keeping the conversation positive. If you have more critical feedback about your job or overall experience at a company, an exit interview with the HR department is a more appropriate (and confidential) place to share your thoughts.

How to prepare for a negotiation

When the time comes to negotiate, Megan advised starting early. A few months before you plan to ask for the raise, have a conversation with your boss to start laying the groundwork. Megan suggested asking, “What do I need to be doing to get me to the next step?” to not only provide a framework for you to work toward a promotion, but also to clue your boss into the fact that you’re thinking about moving up in your role.

Megan shared how she maintains a running list of the projects she’s worked on. When it’s time to negotiate, she references that list of work and contributions to build an effective case for a raise. The list can also serve as tangible evidence that you listened to your boss’s feedback about what needs to be done to move up, and you’ve effectively filled in those gaps through your work.

How to think a few steps ahead

Many of the jobs we have now, particularly in media and communications, didn’t exist just a few years ago. How do you prepare for what new roles might be available in the next few years? For Megan, honing in on her interests and her sense of where the industry was going was a crucial part of priming herself for her current job working on Bloomberg’s mobile app. “I took steps to make myself viable for the sorts of positions that are going to be opening up.” Recognizing the skill set that would be most valuable for the roles she wanted, Megan took an important first step by enrolling in a coding class (supported by the NYWICI Member Empowerment Grant). The skills from that class set her apart and primed her to take on a role as Mobile and Emerging Platforms Editor at Bloomberg LP.

How (and when) to set boundaries

Setting boundaries at work is a complicated process that involves an ongoing dialogue with your boss. Saying “yes” to opportunities, especially early in your career, is key for establishing a reputation as a team player and dependable employee. However, if your workload is overwhelming or you feel that it makes sense to decline certain opportunities or tasks, Megan offered tips for tactfully saying ‘no’. “The secret is not actually saying no. You can put the ball back in your boss’s court,” she said. She emphasized the importance of the phrase “Can you help me prioritize?” as a way to convey a willingness to get the job done efficiently.

How to cope with failure

Megan noted that for women in particular, it can be a challenge to separate personal and professional failures. “It’s really important for success to emotionally separate the two,” she said, adding that becoming comfortable with failure is challenging but essential. “The more you fail, the more you become familiar with the idea of failure and the less scary and career-ending it feels.”


Thanks to Megan Hess for being part of the podcast! To listen to the complete first season of Coffee Break w/ NYWICI, visit nywici.org/podcast.



Posted by: 
Chelsea Orcutt

What’s it Like Being an Online Charity Auction Lot?

June 5, 2017

What’s it Like Being an Online Charity Auction Lot? Past Matrix Winner Esther Dyson, Enthusiastic Third-Time Charitybuzz Volunteer, Shares Highlights of Her Experience

By lunching with generous online bidders, Dyson and the bidders support the NYWICI student scholarship fund—all of us are winners

If you Google first name “Esther” and hesitate before typing her last name, Dyson is among the first few that pop up. She’s chairman of EDventure Holdings, a one-person band that invests in and nurtures start-ups, currently focused on health and human capital and aerospace. Fascinated by new business models, technologies and markets, she also wrote Release 2.0: A Design for Living in the Digital Age, [Broadway Books], and is a trained backup cosmonaut and a 1999 New York Women in Communications Matrix Award winner.

In addition, for the last three years, she has enthusiastically volunteered to support the organization’s student scholarship fundraising efforts by agreeing to donate her time and share her experience at lunch with a winning bidder for our online Charitybuzz auction. Finding the time is a daunting exercise but doesn’t stop her. Dyson see-saws from coast to coast, often several times in a week, to meet her commitments in California and NYC.

Her first two Charitybuzz-found luncheon companions were film and TV producer Loretha Jones, based in LA, and investment executive Eric Becker in Chicago. They met in NYC. She hasn’t yet met the third as her lot closed only recently.

We asked Dyson if, under the circumstances, conversation with these strangers came easily. “Yes. They selected me; we share similar interests. I am not someone of interest to the average person, but we had plenty to talk about.” In fact, she has become friends with Loretha Jones, and stays in touch with Eric Becker.

Like Dyson, neither Jones nor Becker are average people. Jones, formerly president of original programming at BET Networks, was exec VP of MTV Films/Paramount Pictures. Becker is founder of Caretta Partners, a family investment firm. He was formerly a partner and co-founder of Sterling Partners.

"My daughter, who passed away from leukemia at 21, was passionate about service to others, so I applaud the New York Women in Communications scholarship fundraisers for their work, and Esther for serving others by donating her time to raise much needed funds for the program," said Becker. "I was so excited to have an opportunity to support a wonderful organization doing important work AND to have a fun, spirited, engaging lunch with the legendary Esther, ( who showed up despite an injury while traveling)...and leaving lunch having made a new friend....phenomenal."

It came as a happy surprise to Dyson that, while she gave of her time to help a good cause, she got something in return. Meeting these individuals was not only an enriching experience; it widened her circle as well.

NOTE: If you have an idea for a great lot, or want to share your experience with us, please contact Emily Brochstein: EBrochstein@kellencompany.com