Why is Professional Woman’s Magazine a top magazine for professional business women?

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Professional Woman

Given that 2018 has been cited as the “Year of the Woman,” it only makes sense that there be reputable, and relevant publications like “Professional Woman’s Magazine” to connect professional business women all over the nation.

Today, women are more engaged, energized and determined than ever. Issues that were long ignored are finally coming to the surface, and women are beginning to speak up and use their voices and influence to demand real change.

In the workplace, professional business women have made huge strides in the past twenty or thirty years, but statistics show that there is still more to achieve. As one of the nation’s fastest-growing magazines, Professional Woman’s Magazine promotes the advancement of multicultural women in all aspects of business and employment to ensure equal opportunity.

It is important that women feel supported, respected and represented and that is what makes Professional Woman’s Magazine a top magazine for professional business women.

The magazine covers news that ranges from professional concerns to civic affairs, trends, diversity careers and business. Every issue includes articles on education, finance, health, technology, travel, arts, lifestyle and family issues– all topics that impact the professional business woman.

Professional Woman’s Magazine, provides the latest, most important diversity news, covering virtually every industry, business and profession. This includes up-to-date statistics on workforce diversity as well as business-to-business trends. We offer both recruitment and business opportunities, along with accurate, timely conferences and event calendars. And, just as important, we spotlight inspiring role models and noteable mentors.

Looking for tips on how to boost your LinkedIn profile and land your dream job? Or maybe, you are an entrepreneur looking for a guide to start your own business.

Professional Woman’s Magazine gathers these types of informative, helpful  topics in one place.

And yes, Professional Woman’s Magazine does share articles featuring celebrity women, but on closer look you’ll see they’ve found celebrities who uphold the same values as the professional business woman.

We’ve highlighted inspiring celebrity business-minded women like Salma Hayek, Lucy Liu and Ellen Degeneres on our magazine covers and we shared an article about model Karlie Kloss helping girls learn code.

We believe that Professional Woman’s Magazine is a top magazine for women because women have a different perspective in work/life balance, customer service and employee relationships. They usually have a greater focus on community and charity causes and maybe even some contrasting views on entrepreneurship.

Based on their experiences, women entrepreneurs see the world through a different lens and, in turn, do things differently. We’ll be quick to note that we do not mean better, just differently.

This is reflected in the kinds of businesses women start. Whether it’s Priyanka Chopra, star of the ABC series “Quantico” who is standing up for girls as UNICEF’s Global Goodwill Ambassador, Estée Lauder, who turned a passion for skincare and make-up into a beauty empire, or Oprah Winfrey, whose media business continues to help women reach their potential.

As times continue to change there are more and more role models for professional business women to look up to and “Professional Woman’s Magazine” aims to honor these women. There are so many women in the world who can show us how to strategize, how to combine work and family and how to give back.

These are the stories that are going to empower other women to create a legacy of their own and that is what Professional Woman’s Magazine is about.

Professionalism in the Workplace

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Think back to your first job. Was it babysitting your neighbor’s kids? Did you work at the local fast-food restaurant during high school? While you earned money during your stints at those jobs, you likely did not have to interview in formal dress to earn your position.

Now that you are looking for a job you can turn into your career, you’re starting to wonder what’s expected. What is appropriate workplace behavior? What should you do on your first day to make a good impression? What can you do to stand out and rise through the ranks—or at the very least to not attract negative attention?

Everyone has to start somewhere, and it’s natural to be nervous about beginning a serious job. While it’s true the norms and standards for workplaces can vary, some aspects of professionalism are universal. We asked professionals from a variety of industries to share some of their foundational tips for professionalism in any workplace.

8 Tips to Help You Improve Your Professional Manner

Everyone wants to hit the ground running when they start a new job—the following advice will ensure you look and act the part.

1. Dress to impress

While this one may seem obvious, it can be hard knowing what the right dress code is for a new job. Art Gelwicks, executive consultant at The Idea Pump, suggests a good rule of thumb is to dress one “level” better than what’s expected. “Don’t overdress, but remember for the first few months, every impression you make will be a first impression,” Gelwicks says.

And although many companies are beginning to veer away from traditional business attire, it’s always best to ask beforehand to make sure you are up to date on expectations.

Autumn Gray, digital marketing specialist at Goodmanson Construction, recommends asking your hiring manager what the company dress code is before your first day. “You’re already the new kid on the block, so you don’t want to dress above and beyond your coworkers.”

This can be a bit of a fine line to walk. If the dress code is casual, you probably don’t want to come in wearing a suit and tie. However, it’s always better to ask and err on the side of more formal attire your first few days until you get a feel for the office—the worst case is you may get a funny smile or two as your coworkers think back to the outfits they showed up to work in on their first few days.

2. Write things down

Your first day at your new job will likely be a whirl of faces and information. To help you remember information, write things down.

“Always bring a notebook and pen to every meeting with anyone—especially your superiors—no matter how small or quick you think it might be,” says Jennifer Schwarzkopf, founder and creative director of Estelle. “If you don’t take notes, it conveys that you don’t deem the conversation as valuable and are clearly unprepared for the expectations or follow-up.”

Don’t be afraid to ask what your next steps are or what they need from you—having a running list of things to follow up on or do will keep you organized.

3. Watch what you say

There’s nothing wrong with being friends with your coworkers; it can make for a better work environment overall. But always be mindful of what you say during work hours.

Meredith McKamey, owner of The Raw Spa, says the most important part of being professional is knowing when to keep your opinions and thoughts to yourself. That means no complaining about your boss, not gossiping with coworkers at the watercooler, keeping your personal life out of the workplace, and not shouting your political and religious views everywhere.

“It’s easy to choose the right clothes and set an alarm clock. But keeping yourself from saying ‘That’s not fair!’ when your boss gets down on you? That’s going to take some practice,” McKamey says.

4. Proofread your emails

Even if you are writing a casual email to a coworker, it’s important to always double-check your written work. “Writing clear, grammatically correct English and being careful about promptly responding is a rare soft skill that every graduate should learn,” says Gil Gildner, co-founder of Discosloth.

Being professional in your communication is essential. Having an email riddled with typos, slang and emoticons can damage your reputation and discredit you as a professional. Some companies may have more casual communication tools, such as Slack, but it is still important to present yourself as a professional there, as well. Take the time to pause and read over what you’ve written—even the best writers make plenty of errors in their rush to get their thoughts written out.

5. Come up with solutions

It’s only natural that after you settle in to a position, you will encounter different problems. Your first instinct may be to run to your manager and ask, “What do I do?” However, understand that your coworkers and manager are busy. Taking the time to think through problems and come up with solutions will show your critical-thinking skills.

“Offer solutions and not complaints. There’s nothing less professional that being the one that stirs the pot and causes trouble. Be the problem-solver, not the problem maker,” says Gina Folk, of Folk Enterprises.

Even if you’re not sure what the best solution to a problem is, taking the time to compose your thoughts about where you’ve looked for answers and proposing potential options is almost always a better look than immediately asking for help.

6. Be punctual

This may also seem like a given, but be on time for all aspects of the job. Arrive early and stay late if necessary; going that extra mile shows your dedication and gives you the opportunity to meet your coworkers and be involved.

Be on time for meetings, too. “People are busy at work. Showing up late to a meeting expresses disrespect to other’s time and is one of my biggest pet peeves in workplace professionalism,” says Levi Olmstead, Community Manager at G2 Crowd.

7. Be polite

Many of your coworkers at your new job will understand how nerve-wracking beginning a new job can be—they all had a first day, too. However, don’t let your nerves get the best of you and stop you from being friendly and approachable.

“Find a way to remember names and position titles as you go. Shake hands and look people in the eye,” says Lisa Sansom, organizational and leadership development coach at LVS Consulting.

By being polite, receptive, and respectful, you can make a good first impression that will last.

8. Take initiative

The work doesn’t stop once you are hired. Proving yourself worthy of the position from your first day forward can be a way to establish yourself in your company.

Deborah Sweeney, CEO of MyCorporation, suggests coming to meetings prepared. Spend time researching and go to meetings with ideas of your own. In meetings, try to participate, even if it’s to ask questions. Speaking up and showing your interest in the work will help you establish yourself as a hard worker and vital member of the team.

Ask how you can help and find ways to take on additional work when appropriate. But remember to keep it within reason—overloading yourself and failing to meet deadlines doesn’t help or impress anyone.

Author-Anna Heinrich

About Rasmussen College

Rasmussen College is a regionally accredited private college that is dedicated to changing lives and the communities it serves through high-demand and flexible educational programs. Since 1900, the College has been committed to academic innovation and empowering students to pursue a college degree. Rasmussen College offers certificate and diploma programs through associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in seven schools of study including business, health sciences, nursing, technology, design, education and justice studies.

Source: rasmussen.edu/student-life/blogs/college-life/professionalism-in-the-workplace/

Forget Bucket List Vacations, Find Your Bucket List Job: Work and Live in a National Park

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Yellowstone Jobs

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, COXanterra Travel Collection, a global adventure travel company and the largest national park concessioner in the U.S., announced today the job opportunities available in 2019 at Yellowstone National Park.

Available to college students, retirees, or those just looking to explore some of America’s most spectacular landscapes, these coveted jobs can be the experience of a lifetime.

“Working at Yellowstone is a dream come true,” says Marge Mancini, a seasonal employee at Yellowstone National Park. “It is so much more than just a job. I am filled with gratitude every day that I get to work and live in such a beautiful, spiritual place.”

Nearing 70, Mancini found that retired life was not for her and so applied last year for an opportunity in Yellowstone. After working in the reservations department all summer – and finding fast friends her age who socialize, explore the park and play cards together – she’s now signed a contract to work in the park this winter, beginning in December.

Mancini isn’t alone in finding that national park jobs cross off many of the items on retirees’ “wish Yellowstone-Jobslist” for the next phase of their lives – adventure, a unique work-life balance, immersing in nature, finding serenity by unplugging from the “real world,” and connecting with others who feel similarly.

In 2018, Yellowstone hired more than 3,000 summer seasonal workers for its in-park operations. The nine lodges, five campgrounds, and associated restaurants, gift shops, and tours require a substantial staff, and there tends to be positions for people of all ages and backgrounds, though there is a certain mind-set that seems common to those who find seasonal park work a good fit.

Once again, in 2019, the company is looking to fill seasonal slots across lodging, food and beverage, reservations, retail, interpretive tour guides, accounting, and maintenance. The company looks for workers who have a commitment to helping others, respect for individuals and an appreciation of the natural environment. Applicants who can work for the majority of the season are given priority.

“Working at Yellowstone has broadened my horizons,” Mancini says. “Every time I go out in the park I learn something new. There’s no place like it in the world. It renews my spirit”

For complete details and to apply, visit YellowstoneJobs.com

5 Tips from a Writing Coach that Fiction Writers and Entrepreneurs Can Use

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Tips for Authors and Entrepreneurs

COLCHESTER, VERMONT–Last year, The New York Times published an article titled “Why Kids Can’t Write.” The article points out that many would-be writers struggle with knowing where to start – and a problem that’s not limited to today’s youth.

There are millions of adults in the workforce who feel inadequate when it comes to sharing their thoughts in writing. Clearly, we are a country of citizens who are desperate for some insight into how we can improve our ability to express our thoughts and tell our stories in writing.

“We all have stories to tell,” explains Annalisa Parent, fiction writing coach, author, and entrepreneur. “The problem is, many would-be authors get stuck on how to tell the story, and tell it well enough so readers will read it and yearn for more. Many people get hung up on school leftovers such as commas and gerunds, and while grammar is important to a quality message, getting your message out should be the writer’s first concern. Many writers put the cart before the horse in this regard, and that’s where hang-ups and writers’ block come from.”

The best way to improve one’s writing skills is to write and to get meaningful feedback. Engaging in a lot of writing will help people hone their skills and become more comfortable sharing their thoughts. Here are five writing tips from Coach Parent that everyone can benefit from:

  1. The first draft doesn’t have to be the last draft. In Parent’s experience, it rarely is. It’s okay to write several drafts to discover your message. In fact, Parent encourages it. To get to that final draft where you message is crystal clear, sometimes it takes asking for meaningful feedback to help a writer through the discovery and thinking phase.
  2. High quality. First drafts can meander, but aim for final drafts that are high quality. High quality writing is clear, concise, and on point, rather than just filling the pages with anything and Annalisa Parenteverything. It’s better to have a little that is high quality than a lot that is just filling space and not saying a lot.
  3. Clarity. Go back and read what you wrote and make sure that your thoughts are clear. If they are not clear to you, then they won’t be to other readers. Aim for clarity so that it makes sense to the reader and they connect with it.
  4. Finding writing flow. Some of the best writing comes when you are in a groove and loving what you are doing. When you lose track of the time and could go on and on, you have found your writing flow. The convergence of neuroscience and creativity have opened the doors into finding creative flow easier and staying there longer.
  5. Get the feedback loop right. Many writers find themselves discouraged from seeking advice from the wrong source. As the saying goes, “free advice is worth what you pay for it,” and free advice from someone who’s not an expert only exacerbates the problem. Parent sees this as a stumbling block for a lot of writers who could otherwise be successful in sharing their message with the world.

“I could add many more strategies to this list in order to help people become better, more efficient writers and storytellers,” adds Parent. “It’s not just kids who need better ability to express themselves today. Many adults are struggling as well. Following these five tips can help people become more confident, comfortable, and their words will flow much easier. The more confident someone becomes with their writing skills, the more they will be able to reach their reader and get across their intended message.”

Parent has coached hundreds of writers and has taught over 100 writing courses around the world. She works with fiction authors, as well as entrepreneurs seeking to write their expert book. Her book Storytelling for Pantsers: How to Write and Revise Your Novel without an Outline won the CIPA EVVY Silver Award in Best Business Books, and earned a merit award in the Humor category. She has been a featured speaker on writing-related topics across the globe, and she has been a guest on a variety of television, radio, and podcast shows, sharing her secrets for how to write, publish, and sell your book.

For more information about Annalisa Parent, her book, and her coaching services, visit her site at: datewiththemuse.com. For more information on how to become a published author, download her free ebook The Six Secrets to go from Struggling writer to Published Author here: datewiththemuse.com/6secrets.

About Annalisa Parent

Having taught over 100 writing courses, Annalisa Parent has reached countless writers around the world. She offers coaching writing services that have been instrumental in helping writers to go from idea to publishable piece and have the confidence to take their work to the market. She is also the chief executive officer of Laurel Elite Books. For more information on her services, visit her site at: datewiththemuse.com.

Here’s How This Latina Navigated Her Transition From Finance To Tech

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Marlene Arroyo may have started her career in finance, but it was the human aspect of any job that always drew her in. From Dell to her current role as Vice President of People Operations at Liftoff Mobile Inc., a high growth tech company in Silicon Valley, she has made it her career mission to champion employees and embrace how their humanity impacts their jobs.It was knowing what her career mission was at its core that made it possible for her to transition from one career path to the next.

“Philosophically, it became apparent to me that human resources was my calling when, as a finance professional, I’d enjoy spending most of my time dissecting costs associated to SG&A, training, hiring and coaching,” shares Arroyo. “Mechanically, the way I was able to make this transition was by having informational meetings with HR executives, taking evening courses, asking for help and being open about my aspirations to my sponsors. While the art of Human Resources came naturally to me, to differentiate myself, I needed to supercharge the impact I delivered by drawing from my finance experience and ensuring that my strategic recommendation were backed by data.”

Now, she uses her skill-set to help others achieve the kind of growth that she’s constantly challenged herself to work towards.

“My biggest motivation [through this journey] has been my family,” says Arroyo. “I feel incredibly blessed to be the daughter of immigrant parents who instilled in me work ethic and resilience. While my parents still do not completely understand what I do, they know I work hard and they are my biggest fans. Each education milestone and career progression has been theirs as well. Their American Dream lives in me and owning that, keeps me motivated .”

Growing up in the Latinx culture and within her own family unit can explain in part why Arroyo has felt the desire to pay it forward to other generations by way of her career.

Below she shares advice for Latinxs who are searching for advice on how to land their dream job, how to self-care if you’re in the position of constantly pouring into others, and how to make sure you’re learning the most from your current job.

Vivian Nunez: How has your Latinidad influenced your career?

Marlene Arroyo: Passion, humility, honor, perseverance – are all a part of my core values that I hold because of my Latinidad. Knowing that there is a lot more work to be done to help young Latinas see that they, too, can achieve their goals, keeps me in the arena.

Continue onto Forbes to read the complete article.

This is what it’s like to be one of the few Hispanic women leading a company in 2018

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Latinx leaders are still relatively scarce, but those we spoke to are blazing a trail for others to follow.

As we round out National Hispanic Heritage Month (which runs from September 15 to October 15), celebrating the histories, cultures, and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America, Fast Company spoke to Latinx leaders to acknowledge their contributions and recognize their opportunities and challenges.

The challenges are not insignificant with under-representation across the board. Although the Latinx workforce is one of the fastest growing–increasing from 10.7 million in 1990 to 26.8 million in 2016 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 11 CEOs lead companies in the Fortune 500 and only 3.5% of Fortune 500 board seats were held by Latinx executives in 2016. The Alliance for Board Diversity says that represents just a .5% increase between 2010 and 2016. Hispanics have the highest rate of new entrepreneurs, but at 12% they have the lowest rate of business loans from financial institutions among all other firms. Hispanic women-owned businesses represent nearly half of all Hispanic firms. However, access to capital, a major facilitator of business growth, isn’t available to them as readily, according to a report from Stanford. And Hispanic women’s equal pay day–the additional number of days in the year they have to work to equal a white man’s pay–isn’t until November 2.

Despite these significant challenges, Latinx leaders continue to blaze a trail for others to follow. Here’s what they told us about the opportunities they’re leveraging to make a difference.

“MY CULTURE RELEASED ME FROM THE FALSE PRESUMPTION THAT THERE WAS ONE RIGHT PATH.”

The biggest challenge is the invisibility of our community in all of the narratives of leadership. We are rarely present. The Latinx folks who have traveled the path are so few, far, in between, and hidden. You rarely get the benefit of learning from the pathbreakers.

For chunks of my upbringing, I resented having one foot in the world of my cultural heritage and one foot in the American experiment but my career helped me deeply appreciate it. Straddling both worlds gave me such a unique lens on what it means to carry different perspectives as a result of different life experiences. It helped me see and grow people for what they could be instead of molding them into a bootleg version of myself. My culture released me from the false presumption that there was one right path.

–Karla Monterroso, CEO, Code2040

“I HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO INFLUENCE A NATIONAL CONVERSATION.”

As a Latina business executive at a high-growth tech company with a strong consumer brand, I have the opportunity to influence a national conversation. Our country is grappling with so many issues that affect the Latino community: immigration reform, refugee rights, political representation, and voting engagement, and the reality is that those making, executing, and influencing policy are likely to listen to strong members of the business community. Every time I have an opportunity to speak or write something that will be publicly shared, I ensure I am speaking to these issues in some capacity.

It’s no surprise that there is not equal representation of Latinx leaders in the tech industry. This means we are working extra hard to show up everywhere our community needs us. I wear a lot of hats at Lyft–from a VP on the Lyft Business team, to the executive sponsor of our Latinx ERG group, to the company’s representative at events or meetings where the insights from a Latinx executive might be helpful. I also advise a VC fund that is focused on supporting Latinx entrepreneurs–it’s the only VC fund I know of that is focused specifically on this–and while my participation is extremely rewarding, it requires a lot of time and dedication. I feel responsibility for this work, because every voice matters.

–Veronica Juarez, Area VP of Social Enterprise at Lyft

Continue onto Fast Company to read the complete article.

How a Book Can Grow Your Business

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writing coach Annalisa Parent

There are millions of entrepreneurs and small business owners today who would like to take their business to the next level.  A writing coach can help both of these groups achieve their goals.

“The right book–a book that starts a conversation– can do a lot to scale your business,” explains Annalisa Parent, chief executive officer of Laurel Elite Books. “I’ve worked with hundreds of writers, giving them the individualized attention they need in order to achieve more and reach their goals and dreams, and increase sales and client volume. More importantly, they’re getting their message out there, and helping more people.”

Most entrepreneurs, small business owners, and CEOs know that a quality business book can boost their future. They just don’t know how to get it done, especially in the context of their busy lives. Business growth is one of the many benefits that people get when they work with a right writing program, in addition to these 5 things:

  1. How to turn an idea into a publishable piece. Millions of people have a great idea and want to become the authority who wrote the book on it, but they have no idea how to make it happen. Just like a soccer coach helps create better players, so too can a writing coach lead people to becoming more successful authors–or authorities–and reach their ideal audience.
  2. An understanding of the publishing process. The publishing process can be daunting to figure out on your own, but with the right program you’ll have a personalized concierge to walk your way toward success.
  3. How to reach readers and sell your books. Many people finally get their book in their hands, only to find they don’t know how to reach their ideal readers. This often leads to a garage full of books, and a world full of frustration. The right writing program can help you with effective strategies for growing your audience and reaching those people who will want to buy your book and tell their friends about it, too.
  4. Inspiration and confidence. One of the most important things that aspiring authors need is a dose of inspiration and confidence. Becoming a published author is always risky, because people fear rejection after they put themselves out there. The right writing program will help you to overcome that hurdle in effective ways that will make you feel confident and ready to step out as the industry expert you are. .
  5. How to leverage your book as a scaling tool. A client-engaging book not only starts the right conversation, but showcases you as the authority and expert, landing you top spotlight in the media to reach and help even more people.

“Some of the best stories and books have yet to be written, because they are still within the author’s mind. People are looking for, yearning for, the solutions to their problems. When entrepreneurs write the right book, they demonstrate that they are that unique solution,” adds Parent. “I work entrepreneurs to help them go from idea to sold. Entrepreneurs want a better business and a book can help them achieve that.”

Parent also helps entrepreneurs who want to write a book to help grow their business. She explains that entrepreneurs can benefit by working with a writing coach in numerous ways, including:

  • Visibility. A writing coach can help you get the visibility you need in order to advance your career and grow your business.
  • Expertise. A writing coach is an expert at getting books traditionally published and can make it easier for you to understand the process and navigate it.
  • Go-to source. Having a writing coach means you have a go-to source that will be there to answer your individual questions.
  • Featured nationally and internationally. With a writing coach you can expand your reach and tap into larger audiences.
  • Starts a client conversation. A writing coach can help you get the conversations started that will lead to your next book and growing your business.

Parent has coached hundreds of writers and has taught over 100 writing courses around the world. She works with fiction authors, as well as entrepreneurs. Her book “Storytelling for Pantsers: How to Write and Revise Your Novel without an Outline,” won the CIPA EVVY Silver Award in Best Business Books, and earned a merit award in the Humor category. She has been a speaker giving talks on writing-related topics, and she has been a guest on a variety of television, radio, and podcast shoes, sharing her secrets for how to write, publish, and sell your book. A Teacher of the Year nominee for her use of neuroscientific principles, she applies the same principles to her work with writes to help create confidence, writing flow, and success. She writes for many local, national, and international publications, and is a graduate professor of English at Norwich University.

For more information about Annalisa Parent, her book, and her business scaling services, visit her site at: laurelelite.com. While there, you can sign up for a free business scaling conversation to get your future moving now.

About Annalisa Parent

Annalisa Parent helps entrepreneurs to finish, publish and sell their expert books. She is the CEO of Laurel Elite Books, a two time teacher of the year nominee, and a recipient of the French congressional Medal of Honor.  Annalisa writes for many local, national, and international publications, has written and produced sketches for a Telly-Award winning television show. She has been featured on Huffington Post Live, CBS, Associated Press and Korean Broadcast Systems, as well as many podcasts and radio programs. Her book “Storytelling for Pantsers: How to Outline and Revise your Novel without an Outline” is a recipient of a 2018 CIPA EVVY Silver award for Best Business Book, a finalist in the humor category.

How One Of Sports Most Powerful Executive’s Is Changing Sports Media And Culture

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When Jaymee Messler was growing up, the first thing she saw when she woke up in the mornings was the perfectly lined up roster of Yankees baseball cards that she taped on her wall at the start of the season. As a young athlete and devoted New York sports fan, she could have never predicted that she would go on to pitch their former captain Derek Jeter to found a media company with her, The Players’ Tribune, that she now leads as President.

Messler has spent the last two decades as one of the most influential executives in sports. As CMO of Excel Sports Management, she was a pioneer helping athletes like Jeter and NBA players Kevin Love and Paul Pierce craft their personal brands and establish a digital presence. Her foresight on the emergence of social media not only helped lay the foundation for a new era of brand partnerships and marketing. More importantly, it enabled athletes to communicate with their fans directly for the first time. Today, she’s amplifying that connection with the thousands of first-person stories athletes author on The Players’ Tribune.

Messler’s success has been predicated by the deep relationships she cultivates with athletes, which always begin by acknowledging and respecting them as people. “Athletes are multidimensional. You are not an athlete and then a person. You are a person who is an athlete,” she says. “The Players’ Tribune exists to showcase athletes’ humanity.”

She sat down with us to share her initial conviction for the business and how empowering athletes to help lead the conversation about important topics like gender equality and mental health is catalyzing change across the sports industry.

Becoming indispensable

Messler started her career in DC as an assistant to the prominent chef Jean-Louis Palladin, where she spent her days doing everything from ordering truffle mushrooms to shaping his brand and PR strategy. Though the experience revealed her passion for helping people craft their brands, she ultimately decided to move to New York City to pursue a career outside of the food industry. Shortly after she met Jeff Schwartz, tennis player Pete Sampras’ then agent, who exposed her to the world of sports management. “Finding out that you could marry the management of people and sports was a dream come true for me,” she shares. “I couldn’t believe this was a job.”

Similar to her athletes’ strict training regiments, Messler worked tirelessly to refine the skills she needed to become an indispensable part of their team. Whereas entertainers generally have large management teams, athletes have a small group of individuals supporting them, making every role an around the clock job. “We wanted to help our athletes be as successful as possible. A big part of that was helping them navigate life off the court,” she reflects. “It was always about figuring out how to be a few steps ahead so I could anticipate what they needed – whether it was negotiating a deal or finding a new school for their kids when they got traded – get it done in the background and then anticipate the next thing.”

Messler quickly became an essential thread in the fabric of her players’ lives, giving her a front row seat to the reality of life as a professional athlete. “People question the most granular details of an athlete’s performance but they have no idea what goes on in their personal lives, whether that’s facing a mental health condition or having an ill family member. They don’t walk on the court and just leave all of that behind,” she shares. “Traditional sports reporting has been about rushing to an athlete after a game and asking: ‘What was going through your head when you missed the game-winning shot?’ It’s an impossible question for them to answer and unfair to ask. We saw a need to give athletes an opportunity to open up about their experiences and the issues they’re facing so people can understand them. When you can grasp what’s happening in a person’s life you start seeing them on a human level.”

Continue onto Forbes to read the complete article.

Job Reference Misconceptions That Can Damage Your Career

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young business woman on phone

While there are many factors for the job seeker to consider in landing that new job, one stands out as particularly critical—and often overlooked. Your employment references will surely be vetted by prospective employers and can ultimately make-or-break the hiring decision.

Unfortunately, job seekers are too often unaware or misinformed of how job reference vetting really works. Here are 6 false perceptions that explain why countless job seekers go for months, or years, without landing that next job:

Myth No. 1:
Companies cannot say anything negative about a former employee.

Reality:

While countless companies have policies dictating that only title, dates of employment, and salary history can be discussed, their employees—particularly at the management level—frequently violate such policies. Former supervisors are particularly notorious in this regard, e.g. the boss with whom you had philosophical differences, was jealous of you, or perhaps even have harassed you.

Myth No. 2
Most corporations direct reference check requests to their Human Resources (HR) departments, and they are trained to ensure that nothing negative will be said about me.

Reality:

Most Human Resources professionals will indeed follow proper protocol. However, be warned that some will not. When asked whether a former employee is eligible for rehire, some will indicate they are not—and may go on to explain why this is the case. Even if they indicate “not eligible” and offer no further explanation, a potential employee is unlikely to take the risk of hiring you without knowing the reason why a past employer has described you as ineligible for rehire.

Myth No. 3
Assuming HR has nothing negative to say about me, I should be OK with that company, reference-wise.

Reality:

Prospective employers have figured out that former supervisors are much more likely to offer revealing commentary about a company’s former employees. Your supervisor(s) knew you personally and has formed opinions about you, favorable or otherwise. When asked for their opinion, supervisors frequently forget, or are unaware of, company policies that typically instruct them to refer incoming reference inquiries to HR.

Prospective employers will invariably seek this supervisory input. (How many times have you been asked “May we contact your former supervisor?”) For this reason, it is critical that you are aware not only of how HR will respond to reference inquiries about you but also how your former supervisor(s) will respond.

Myth No. 4
I should have my references listed on my resume and distribute them together.

Reality:

You never want to list your references on your resume or indicate “References Provided Upon Request.” You do not want companies that may have little/no interest in hiring you, bothering your references. What’s more, you may be wrongly assuming that the references you list truly “have your back.” Countless job seekers offer up the names of references that ultimately provide lukewarm or unfavorable commentary about them.

Instead, job seekers should cultivate their management references carefully, treating them with respect and updating them periodically as a courtesy. In addition, the candidate should have a list of their references readily available (in the same format/font as their resume) to be given to prospective employers. When offered at the conclusion of an interview—in a highly professional format—it can create a very proactive (and favorable) ending impression.

You should personally check your key references by utilizing a firm like Allison & Taylor, a third-party reference-checking organization that identifies the commentary that previous employers will offer about you to potential new employers. You will want to ensure that your key references will truly offer supportive commentary about you to your potential new employers. You will also want to identify what your previous supervisors/HR representatives will say about you as they will be regarded by employers as more important than the personal references you list.

Myth No. 5:
I took legal action against my former company, and they are now not allowed to say anything.

Reality:

They may have been instructed not be able to say anything definitive, but do not put it past them to make your life difficult. There have been countless instances where a former boss or an HR staffer has said, “Hold on a minute while I get the legal file to see what I am allowed to say about this former employee.” Most employers are uncomfortable hiring someone who has a legal history, probably dashing your job prospects.

Myth No. 6:
Even if I have a negative reference, there is no way for me to prevent them from continuing it.

Reality:

Your first step is to obtain documentation that a reference(s) is indeed problematic by utilizing a professional reference-checking firm to document both the verbal input and the tone of voice being offered by your reference. Once a problem reference has been confirmed, the reference-checking firm can identify an employment attorney well versed in assessing possible legal options. Foremost among these—particularly when the negative input does not constitute a violation of state or Federal law—is a “Cease & Desist” letter. Such letters are typically sent by attorneys to the CEO or senior management of the firm where the negative reference is employed, identifying the negative reference by name and the fact that the reference has been documented as offering negative input about the job seeker. The letter also suggests that if the reference-giver continues to offer such negative input, legal action would be contemplated against the firm.

Allison & Taylor Inc. estimates that approximately 50 percent of all reference checks they conduct reflect some degree of employer negativity. The best way to combat this type of career sabotage is to have written documentation of its existence.

Source: Allison Taylor

 

Rizos Curls’ Julissa Prado Shares How Her Latino Upbringing Taught Her Essential Entrepreneurial Skills

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With her enviable mane of bouncy, pink-hued curls, Julissa Prado serves as a walking advertisement for the effectiveness of her products.Roughly one year ago, she officially launched Rizos Curls, an all-natural product line for curly-textured hair. In that short span of time, Prado has amassed 52k+ followers on Instagram, received up to a thousand orders per month, and quit her job to pursue her business full time. But though it might look like overnight success from the outside, her growing business is the result of many years of hard work and hard-earned lessons.

As Prado tells it, she couldn’t have reached this point without the help and support of her family and her larger Latino community, who served as the inspiration for her brand. “I always thought when I made Rizos Curls that I’d make something that would work perfectly for textures as diverse as those of my family’s. In the Latino community we have so many kinds of hair textures – wavy, curly ringlets, coily textures. I have tías that fall under all of those categories. I wanted to make something that allowed us to fall in love with our natural hair,” she explains.

For Prado, Rizos Curls has been a family affair – from consulting with her brother on her business plan, to running her fledgling company out of her parents’ and uncle’s houses, to learning key lessons about how to budget & save from watching her own father run his restaurant business.

Below, she explains how her upbringing helped her develop her entrepreneurial spirit and the skills to build a DIY business.

Your company is directly inspired by the Latino community – can you talk about how the idea came about?

I grew up in very predominantly Latino communities and neighborhoods [in Los Angeles]. I have a huge family, and when we were very young we all lived in one apartment building. Almost every unit was a different family member, so that can give you an idea of the culture and the environment that I grew up in. Growing up, I always saw how so much of my community had textured hair – they had wavy, curly, coily hair, a variety of textures. But they went to great lengths to straighten it, and not embrace it. There was a lot of self-hate around their hair. There was always this notion of ‘your hair is not done until it’s not curly.’

I remember the exact moment where I realized “Oh no, I can’t do this my whole life.” I was going to a quinceañera and my older cousins straightened my hair. Back then, in the hood, we didn’t have flat irons yet, so what they did was put my head over an ironing board and use a clothes iron. My hair was burning! I remember being over that ironing board and thinking “We’ve got to do better than this, we’ve got to figure out a way to feel good about our natural hair.”

So that’s where the idea first started. Even at a young age, I was aware that so many of my insecurities were connected to my inability to embrace my natural hair and myself in my natural state. Once I learned to love my hair it allowed me to love myself, and I wanted to create that feeling in my community. Rizos Curls is not just about the products. We’re a trifecta of the Three Cs: curls, community & culture.

What pushed you to make the leap and turn this interest into a career?

I’m very close to my [older] brother, and he’s the one who helps me a lot with Rizos. We’re very opposite. I’ve always led with my heart and emotion, and he’s ruled by logic. So when I decided I really wanted to go forward with this Rizos idea, I went to my brother with my business plan. I was still pretty young, around 15, and I presented the whole plan to him. He did all this market research – which years later, in business school, I learned is very important when you’re starting something new. Understanding your market, understanding the size of the demographic you’re targeting. He did that research on his own and was blown away. He couldn’t believe a product like Rizos Curls didn’t exist already.

Time passed, I went to college and grad school, and everything I learned, all the business acumen I acquired, all reaffirmed that I had to take this leap. Everything pointed me to, “You’re lucky no one’s jumped on this opportunity yet.” But it took me four years to figure out my product formulas, and I beat myself up a lot for taking so long. I was juggling it with getting a masters, working a full-time job, and maybe I just needed to trust the process. There were many times in that four year process of testing formulas that I didn’t get the results I wanted, and felt like giving up.

Continue onto Remezcla to read the complete article.

This black female entrepreneur is rebuilding D.C. with foreign dollars—and a dream

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Angelique Brunner was once the only African American woman in VC from NYC to Atlanta. Now, she runs a $500 million investment firm that is revitalizing D.C.

When Angelique Brunner moved to the nation’s capital two decades ago, she was shocked to find neighborhoods with no stores, no services, and burned-out buildings.

“I started asking around about what is going on here, people told me it was the riots,” she tells Fast Company. “I said, ‘Oh, what riots?’ They said, ‘The Martin Luther King riots.’ I said, ‘The riots were in 1968. So, this is why D.C. doesn’t have grocery stores, and it’s giving away houses for a dollar?’”

The local city government was, in fact, selling off long-abandoned homes for a buck to developers who had the money to rebuild. Some of Washington’s once vibrant black neighborhoods never quite recovered from the unrest in the days following the assassination of the civil rights leader and the subsequent departure of the middle class.

Brunner was stunned and, armed with her degrees in public policy from Brown and Princeton, started learning the ropes in venture capital and then real estate development—determined to make a difference.

And she is making a difference, bringing jobs, homes, and new business to once blighted streets.

As president of EB5 Capital, which she founded a decade ago, Brunner is now one of the driving forces in the revitalization of D.C., leveraging a controversial program that puts rich foreign investors on a path to citizenship in return for their investment dollars.

FOUNDING HER OWN COMPANY

The road to founding her own firm was paved during those first years, initially at a VC firm. “I  was the only African American female from New York to Atlanta that was in venture capital.” She later moved to Fannie Mae (the Federal National Mortgage Association), where she became an expert in community investing.

“Laypeople might assume that urban areas struggle to get development dollars because no one wants to build there. I learned through the late 1990s and early 2000s that there has always been interest, just not the financing needed to actually execute,” she says.

It was during this time that she became familiar with the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program and saw an opportunity to bring development dollars to neighborhoods that others did not want to touch. So with the gap in money needed persisting to complete urban projects, and the scars from the riots still showing, she founded EB5 Capital.

“I felt motivated to address this, which is why my second project ever was a grocery store on 7th Street in Northwest D.C. that also had an affordable senior housing component,” she says.

Since then, Brunner has helped connect foreign investors with several major D.C. gems, including City Market at O Street, bringing new residential and commercial life to a once dilapidated but beloved historic city site. Brunner is also behind D.C.’s Columbia Place development, bringing two new Marriott hotels to the downtown convention center area.

JOB CREATOR

Brunner sees her mission as twofold: Rebuilding the capital’s neighborhoods and bringing new jobs to people who desperately need them. And she is an unabashed fan of the EB-5 program, which is up for renewal—and reform—in U.S. Congress. Job creation is at the core of the program, which was founded in 1990 and is administered by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). It offers foreign investors green cards in return for job-creating investments in domestic development projects.

Continue onto Fast Company to read the complete article.