How to Use Online Networking Now for Future Success
Smiling Indian girl wearing headphones using laptop, networking online

By Alexis Reale

It’s been said that looking for a job is a full-time job in itself. You need to make finding a job the focus of your daily routine, and follow a detailed job search plan to ensure that your time is being used wisely.

While applying for jobs is a large part of your job search, networking remains one of the top ways job seekers find positions, so it pays to build a variety of solid connections. During the pandemic, in-person networking is out of the question, so you need to change your networking tactics to focus on online networking. However, even during “normal” times, creating a strong online network can benefit your job search and career.

How Online Networking Helps Your Job Search

With online networking, you have a wider reach than you would at an in-person event. People from all over the world can meet up in a professional, like-minded group, giving you the opportunity to meet and network with people in your field that you might never meet otherwise.

Creating a Successful Online Networking Strategy

Start with LinkedIn. LinkedIn has become the go-to site for career-related networking. Beyond creating an optimized LinkedIn profile, be sure you’re taking full advantage of all it has to offer. Let LinkedIn automatically make the “easy” connections by sending invites to everyone in your address book. Then, take heed of its periodic suggestions of other members you might know based on your information or background.

Move Beyond LinkedIn

While LinkedIn is the place for all things career-related, don’t limit yourself to one social network. If your work involves a visual component, create a professional Pinterest or Instagram account to highlight that part of your work. You can also use Facebook and Twitter to engage with thought leaders and other professionals in your field. To take your personal branding to the next level, consider building your own website. It’s a great place to collect testimonials about your work, and create an online portfolio of your accomplishments. This should serve as a one-stop shop for people to connect with you and to learn about your background.

Consider Your Existing Network

Before you reach out to possible new networking connections, reach out to your existing connections first. This is a great way to start building your online network.

Starting with current contacts can offer a greater sense of support and connection simply because of the existing relationship. It can also allow you to catch up with former colleagues and peers, and potentially schedule informational interviews. LinkedIn also has a feature that allows your existing connections to introduce you to their connections. This helps you build your network when one of your current connections is connected to someone you want to meet. You can then ask that existing connection to introduce you.

Try Chats and Groups

Eventually, though, you’ll want to expand your network from existing contacts to new contacts. While that can be intimidating, online networking makes it easier and less stressful for people to connect with new networking contacts.

Join social media groups and chats dedicated to your area of interest. Groups can be found on LinkedIn, and chats exist on Twitter. If you’re savvy with social media, you can also find discussions with like-minded individuals through Reddit. You’ll want to find the sub-Reddit that pertains to your profession.

Choose the Right Connections

Before you reach out to any professional, consider if you’re reaching out to the appropriate person. There is often a pecking order of who talks to whom. If you are a mid-level professional trying to reach out to CEO and executive-level professionals exclusively, you may be hurting your chances of forming any valuable connection.

Connect with professionals on a similar career level to you, or who work on a team where they could be your manager (i.e., a senior tax accountant reaching out to a senior tax manager). This way, you will foster relationships with the people that truly matter—the ones who can influence hiring decisions and likely relate most effectively to your experience. In addition to online networking, joining a professional association in your area is a great way to network in your industry.

Slow Down

“Hi, this is Bob, and I would like a job,” is not the best way to introduce yourself to someone. Networking takes time and requires a relationship to develop. As you continue to build your relationship, you can dive into more details about your professional relationship and potential jobs, but jumping in with both feet and asking outright for a job will only hurt your chances of success.

Keep your “cold call” introductions quick, simple, and professional. Don’t ask too many questions and don’t expound on your great accomplishments in this first message. This first message is just an introduction, a hook to get their attention. Once you have their attention and their response is positive, you can take the next step and delve into more detailed networking questions.

Taking these small steps displays your interest in the company, but it also shows your respect for the person you are contacting.

Online Networking Now for Success Later

Networking is one of the most complex aspects of being involved in the professional world. There are endless methods, tools, and platforms associated with networking, and it can be difficult to decide where and how to start.

One constant about networking, however, is that it is about the practice of building relationships over time. Don’t wait until you are out of work to start networking. It’s something you should develop throughout your career. Take the time to successfully network online using the tips above, and the results will be worth the wait.


New Colorado Law Helps Women Know if They’re Paid Fairly at Work
graphic three women and a man with salary comparison

A new law that took effect this year tries to ensure “equal pay for equal work” by allowing for more transparency around salaries.

Remember when water coolers were something you could talk around with your coworkers?

One topic that was taboo: salaries.

That’s not the case anymore with a new Colorado law that took effect this year to tries to bring “equal pay for equal work.”

“I was probably being paid anywhere from $50,000-$80,000 less than my colleagues,” said Wendy Rockwell, who fought for equal pay at her company. “It was five years where I felt that something was off. And in the company, we were not allowed to speak with our colleagues about their income and about their merit increases.”

Rockwell kept a detailed spreadsheet of her pay and accomplishments at work, and realized she wasn’t getting paid for work equal to her male coworkers.

She told some trusted coworkers her salary and got surprised reactions.

“My colleagues, they were horrified because they were like, ‘no, I’m not being paid that at all,'” said Rockwell. “A new colleague shared with me they were $30,000 more.”

Colorado’s “Equal Pay for Equal Work Act” was signed in 2019 but didn’t take effect until Jan. 1.

One of the provisions prevents an employer from retaliating against an employee for discussing salaries with coworkers. That wasn’t the case when Rockwell was trying to investigate her pay disparity.

“No, because then I would have violated the company policy of not discussing,” said Rockwell.

While she was fighting for equal pay, without much success, her company was bought, and the new owners made good.

“When I went to the new company, they put in an emergency rectification of $30,000. Within six months, they’d increased it by $50,000 for me doing the same job,” said Rockwell. “For five years that I was pursuing this and not getting anywhere, it was a loss of about $250,000.”

“Based on today’s wage gap, white women would lose approximately $400,000 over the course of a 40-year career. And for Latinas, the career losses are over $1.1 million, and then for black women, a little over $900,000,” said Lauren Y. Casteel, president and CEO of The Women’s Foundation of Colorado.

Her group helped lobby for an equal pay law for years.

“Equal pay for equal work, it’s not that complicated,” said Casteel. “One of the things that this legislation requires is transparency. And it’s one of the things that makes people anxious, is the transparency about pay, but the value of that is accountability.”

Besides allowing workers to discuss salaries without retribution, the law requires job postings in Colorado to have a salary range posted.

“For instance, if you see your job being posted and you’re not in that salary range, that’s a pretty big key that you’re not being paid fairly,” said Rachel Ellis, managing partner at Livelihood Law, an employment law firm.

Ellis was on the committee that helped write the new equal pay law.

It lists reasons why it would be within the law for a man and a woman to be paid differently.

It would be OK for the wage difference to be based on all of the following:

  • Seniority system
  • Merit system
  • Earnings by quantity or quality of production
  • Geographic location where the work is performed
  • Education, training or experience to the extent that they are reasonably related to the work in question
  • Travel, if the travel is a regular and necessary condition of the work performed

Read the full article at 9News.

How High-End Restaurants Have Failed Black Female Chefs
Black woman Chef in the restaurant kitchen making a cake

By The New York Times

Training and advancement as a chef can be hard to find in American fine-dining restaurants, according to Black women who have tried.

Eight years ago, Auzerais Bellamy landed what she thought was a big break: a stint as a stagiaire, or apprentice, at the French Laundry, Thomas Keller’s world-renowned restaurant in the Napa Valley. She wasn’t paid for her two days trailing the pastry team, but she saw it as an ideal training ground where, if asked to stay, she could learn from some of the best cooks in the business, sharpening her skills.

(Image Credit – Stephanie Mei-Ling for The New York Times)

“If you want to be a great player you have to be coached well, and I felt like I could be coached well there,” she recalled.

Ms. Bellamy, who grew up in a restaurant family in the Bay Area, had graduated from the Johnson & Wales College of Culinary Arts, and was working as chef de partie at Mr. Keller’s more casual Bouchon Bakery in Yountville, Calif. But when her apprenticeship ended, she wasn’t asked to stay on at the French Laundry. “They said I lacked the technical skill to work there.”

She stayed with Bouchon Bakery, and even moved to New York City to work as a demi-sous-chef at its branch in Rockefeller Center. And when a job as pastry sous-chef opened up at Per Se, Mr. Keller’s East Coast fine-dining flagship, she applied — only to be told again that she needed more experience in the company.

The job was filled by a young Asian woman from outside the restaurant group, said Ms. Bellamy, 30. “They even had her come to our property to trail me to see how things were done companywide.”

Ms. Bellamy eventually left the restaurant business altogether, at one point cleaning apartments. In 2016, after an employer raved about a blondie she’d made, she started a Brooklyn bakery, Blondery. Looking back, she says she isn’t sure her experience could have been different.

Read the full article at The New York Times.

Women Have Lost 700,000 More Jobs Than Men Since the Pandemic Started
woman working from home with child and dog nearby

The coronavirus pandemic has turned the U.S. economy and workforce upside down. Once again, gender inequality in the labor force rears its ugly head.

Over the past nine months, millions of Americans have lost their jobs or seen their income drop substantially. But according to a CNN report based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, women have taken a harder hit than men.

As of November 2020, women held 5.3 million fewer jobs than they did when the pandemic started in February. Men, by contrast, only had a 4.6 million job shortfall. All told, women are down a good 700,000 positions compared to men. And that’s a hit they might struggle to recover from.

Why women have lost more work than men have

Certain industries took a particularly strong beating in the pandemic — notably, restaurants, hotels, and retailers. Women tend to make up the majority of employees in these industries. By virtue of that alone, it’s easy to see why women have lost more jobs than men have.

But let’s not forget that childcare — or a glaring lack thereof — has been a nightmare. And that has also disproportionately affected women. Historically, women have been more likely to give up their jobs to address childcare needs. Women are also known to earn less money than men thanks to the ever-present gender pay gap. As such, it stands to reason that women would be more likely to give up a job in the absence of childcare.

How women can recover

If you’ve lost your job in the course of the pandemic or had to leave the workforce temporarily to care for a child, do your best to maintain your job skills and knowledge base. That means keeping up with industry updates and staying in touch with former colleagues and contacts.

It’s also a good idea to secure some type of part-time work to avoid a dreaded resume gap. If you’re a marketing professional, for example, reach out to local businesses to see if you can do some consulting work. And if you can’t do that work on a paid basis, volunteer — it’ll still be something you can put on your resume.

Financially speaking, you may have a hard time getting by. If you have an emergency fund, now’s the time to tap that savings account — it’s better than racking up debt. If you have equity in your home, you can also look into borrowing against it to generate extra cash. And of course, you shouldn’t hesitate to ask for relief if your income is down. You might be able to lower your monthly credit card payments or get more time to cover your utilities.

Hopefully, the current economic crisis will start to resolve as coronavirus vaccines are rolled out to the general public. Restrictions will ease, schools will reopen, and businesses will begin to rehire workers. Until then, it’s imperative that women do whatever they can to make themselves viable job candidates and avoid getting buried in debt. Men are also struggling during the pandemic, but women seem to be bearing the brunt of it. There is finally a light at the end of the tunnel. However, female members of the labor force will have to work extra hard to emerge unscathed.

Continue to the full article at The Ascent.

Do Professional Women Over 50 Have An Expiration Date? How Gendered Ageism Sabotages Women’s Careers
three business people in office, sitting on desk in conversation, informal business.

“Men age on TV with a sense of gravitas, and we as women have an expiration date,” Roma Torre, 61, stated after her departure as anchor on NY1.

Torre, along with four of her female colleagues, recently settled an age and gender discrimination law suit against the New York cable network, Charter Communications. In the suit, Torre and her co-plaintiffs, Amanda Farinacci, Vivian Lee, Jeanine Ramirez and Kristen Shaughnessy, claimed that their anchor airtime had been reduced and they were excluded from promotional campaigns due to their gender and age.

(Image Credit – Forbes)

Why is this not surprising? History has repeatedly demonstrated that women, especially those in the public eye, face the consequences of aging. As a result, actors like Jane Fonda, Dolly Parton, Cher, and scores of others, have felt compelled to alter or enhance their appearance. You may dismiss this as vanity, but that dismissal negates a much more important point. They need to look young and pretty to compete and stay marketable. Their career success and financial security depends on their appearance.

The impact of gendered ageism is not limited to celebrities. In our youth-tilted culture, professional women over 50 face gendered ageism every day. According to a 2018 AARP report, 64 percent of women say they’ve been the target of or witnessed age discrimination. It’s important to note that’s just a tip of the iceberg. It’s estimated that only 3 percent of older workers have ever made an official complaint. Many professional women are afraid to complain about ageist behavior for fear they’ll lose their jobs. And then what? It’s almost impossible to get rehired as a woman over 50.

Read the full article at Forbes.

Red Sox hiring Bianca Smith as first Black female pro baseball coach
Bianca Smith smiles wearing a baseball jersey

Bianca Smith is making baseball history.

The Red Sox are hiring Smith as a minor league coach, according to the Boston Globe.

MLB confirmed to the Globe that Smith will be the first black woman ever to coach baseball at the professional level.

Smith, who most recently was an assistant baseball coach and hitting coordinator at Carroll University (Wisc.,) will primarily work with infielders at the Red Sox’s minor league facility in Fort Meyers, Fla.

“She was a great candidate coming in,” Red Sox vice president of player development Ben Crockett told the Globe. “She’s had some really interesting experiences and has been passionate about growing her skill set and development herself.”

Smith has interned in the baseball operations departments of the Texas Rangers and Cincinnati Reds and worked in amateur administration for MLB. She played softball at Dartmouth from 2010-12 before working as director of baseball operations at Case Western Reserve University from 2013-17 and as an assistant coach with University of Dallas in 2018, according to the Globe.

Smith’s hiring is a barrier-breaker.

“It’s a meaningful, meaningful thing for the organization,” Crockett told the Globe.

The San Francisco Giants made Alyssa Nakken baseball’s first full-time female major league coach earlier this year, promoting her to assistant coach. She became the first woman to coach on-field in an MLB game in July, coaching first base during an exhibition game.

Continue on to The New York Post to read the complete article.

Photo Credit: New York Post

Yes, Investors Care About Gender Diversity

Tech companies used to be tight-lipped about the gender breakdowns of their employees. Some even argued that such information was a trade secret.

But in recent years, that trend has reversed. Google, Facebook, Apple, and many other tech firms have released diversity reports, which show that the fraction of women ranges from about one-sixth of workers to nearly half.

These reports got Thomas Lys, a professor emeritus of accounting information and management at Kellogg, and collaborators wondering: Do the investors who read these

(Image credit – Lisa Röper/Kellogg Insight)

reports value gender diversity? “Our focus was: Can you make a business case for diversity?” says Lys. If so, then reports revealing relatively high diversity should boost stock prices more than those revealing low diversity.

That’s exactly the pattern that emerged in a study of technology and finance companies, conducted by Lys and his colleagues. When companies reported a higher percentage of women, investors appeared to reward them with larger increases in stock value.

The magnitude of the effect is “surprisingly large,” Lys says. For example, the researchers estimate that if the share of women at Google had been one percentage point higher when the firm released its diversity report in 2014, the company’s market capitalization would have been about $375 million higher at the end of the day of the announcement.

For Lys, the message is clear. “Investors value gender diversity, that’s for sure,” he says. “They value it very strongly.”

Read the full article at Kellogg Insight.

There Aren’t Enough Women CEOs in the Beauty Industry—These Colleges Are Changing That

For an industry that caters almost exclusively to women, the number of female decision-makers at the C-suite level is alarming. But thanks to recent pushes for equal representation, business schools are hearing the cries and adjusting their courses accordingly.

When it comes to gender equality at the highest level, the beauty industry comes out on top. In a 2016 report by LedBetter, a research group that measures the gender disparity across big-name companies, it found that beauty outranked every other profession in terms of the highest  (Image Credit – Aimee Sy Glamour)                               percentage of women seen on the board and in executive positions (apparel and retail came in second and third).

Unfortunately, that number was 29 percent—29 percent—which paints an incredibly bleak and a very real picture about how far away we are from achieving equal representation at the C-suite. For a business that caters largely to women and that’s built on the dollars women spend, it’s aggravating to see that in 2019 it’s still rare for a woman to reach the upper echelons of a major corporation.

But a handful of schools are determined to change that. New York City’s Fashion Institute of Technology boasts two beauty-centric programs: a bachelor’s in cosmetics and fragrance marketing, which packages the business, science, and marketing aspects of the industry into a two-year curriculum, and a master’s that’s loaded with management courses for future execs. As the longest-running programs of their kind in the country (30 years for the bachelor’s, 20 years for the master’s), both provide their graduates with the tools to succeed in the beauty industry.

“We’ve been around for a long time, so we can see the results and track the students’ success stories,” says Virginia Bonofiglio, associate chairperson of FIT’s cosmetics and fragrance marketing department, naming the president of Nars, one of the founders of Milk, and senior VPs at Estée Lauder, L’Oréal, and Shiseido as alumni of the program. “All of the students who graduate go into the beauty industry, and many of them have been extraordinarily successful in moving up the corporate ladder. The key is finding people who, at a very early stage, know this is what they want to do.”

Continue to GLAMOUR to read the full article.

Rashida Jones named next president of MSNBC

Jones, who will take over at MSNBC on Feb. 1, is a senior vice president at NBC News and MSNBC, where she leads breaking news and major events coverage.

She also oversees MSNBC’s daytime and weekend programming. She will become the most prominent Black woman in the cable-news industry. “Rashida knows and understands MSNBC, in part because it’s where she started when she first joined NBCU seven years ago,” Conde wrote in an email to NBC News employees. “She knows that it is the people who work here that make it great, and she understands its culture. She also appreciates the impact and potential of the brand.”

(Photo credit: Virginia Sherwood / NBC)

Conde noted that in the past year, Jones has helped guide MSNBC’s coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic, the unrest and social justice protests that broke out over the treatment of Black Americans, and the 2020 election. She also helped with two influential series at the network, “Justice for All” and “Climate in Crisis.”

Jones was part of the team that helped NBC News White House correspondent Kristen Welker prepare for her role as moderator in the final presidential debate of 2020. Griffin started with NBC News 35 years ago as a producer on the “TODAY” show. “At MSNBC, Phil has built something remarkable,” Conde wrote. “He leaves the network in the best shape it has ever been.” NBCUniversal, the parent company of NBC News, owns MSNBC.

The announcement follows a wave of other changes within NBCUniversal. In May, Conde took over as chairman of NBCUniversal News Group, which includes NBC News, MSNBC, and CNBC, as part of a restructuring that occurred after Andrew Lack announced that he would be stepping down as president of NBC News Group. In January, Jeff Shell took over as CEO of NBCUniversal.

Read the full article at NBC NEWS.

10 Incredible Nonprofits and the Women Behind Them
woman working with children working in one her nonprofits nonprofit

Given this avowed power female leaders have, it may be timely to celebrate some of the women making an impact in the nonprofit sector.

Today, female leaders today are perceived to be more effective at taking initiative, demonstrating integrity and honesty, and working for results than their male counterparts, according to a survey from leadership consultancy Zenger Folkman.

Certainly, issues like the lack of access to education and healthcare have existed for decades, even centuries, but

(Image credit: Amanda Truxillo, Nate Johnson and Martiza Chateau)

progress is possible through new ideas and the willingness to implement them. Those ideas and their implementation are coming from the women behind the organizations listed below.

These leaders are taking risks and innovating; they’re game-changers within their respective causes. And their entrepreneurial spirit is pushing them to not just ideate, but take action — as well as tackle historic problems using new solutions. Under their leadership, these organizations are inciting significant changes, like creating the world’s largest sports movement for people with intellectual disabilities and bringing surgical care to thousands of people in underserved communities.

Read about 10 Incredible Nonprofits at the Entrepreneur.

These Are The Most At-Risk Jobs Post-Pandemic
group of professionals in a silhouette background walking

While many jobs were put on hold during the pandemic, there are a few that may not come back—ever.

Glassdoor’s Workplace Trends 2021 report finds that job postings for discretionary health services—or those that are elective and can be postponed during a pandemic—are down dramatically. The most at-risk job is that of audiologist, for which job listings on Glassdoor declined 70% during the pandemic.

Angela Shoup, president of the American Academy of Audiology, says she’s heard reports of audiologists being placed on long furloughs, as well as some who’ve closed their private practices and retired early this year. Many recent graduates looking for jobs in audiology have been told that larger practices are not hiring, she says.

Job postings for opticians and physical therapists saw a similar fate, down 61% and 40%, respectively. There’s also been a shortage of administrative and lower-skilled office roles. Jobs for event coordinators are down 69%, making it the second most at-risk job post-pandemic. Similarly, openings for executive assistants are down 55%, human resources generalists are down 37% and receptionists are down 35%, as most offices have been closed.

Unsurprisingly, positions for personal services workers have also plummeted. Beauty consultants took the hardest hit, with jobs down 53%. Jobs for valets were down 51%.

“[These are jobs] where Covid-19 is in the driver’s seat,” says Andrew Chamberlain, Glassdoor’s chief economist. “People are not going to return to their nail salons or get discretionary LASIK eye surgeries or go to in-person events until the virus is under control.”

Discretionary healthcare, event and personal-service jobs won’t disappear altogether after the pandemic, but they will certainly be slow to come back, he says. However, he thinks it’s possible some jobs may be lost forever.

Continue on to Forbes to read the complete article.

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