As an iconic 21st century entrepreneur/philosopher once said, “It seems like nobody wants to work these days”—wise words that echo through abandoned office halls as people simultaneously leave toxic jobs in excess and pursue new opportunities (or simply give up work altogether).
After the last two years, perhaps it’s time to ditch those yawn-inducing LinkedIn suggestions for standing out during an interview, and really go all-in by asking bold and honest questions that will make the interviewer say, “Oh, wow. Let me get back to you on that.”
If you’re going to “get your fucking ass up and work” and pursue improved working conditions, it’s only fair you know what you’re getting into, right? Ditch the “what’s the last thing your team celebrated” and start asking the hard-hitting questions.
What does a typical day look like?
What do you find most challenging about this position? And existing in a capitalist society in general?
How soon am I likely to cry?
Is the pay commensurate with my experience and the absolute toll and chaos of the last two years?
Are pants required?
If an email tries to find me well and I am not, what kind of health insurance do you offer?
Am I allowed to utilize an out-of-office message any time a major, minor, or personal historical event takes place?
How many people are on the team? How many of those people are one task away from a full-blown breakdown?
How do you feel about a candidate’s social media presence? Which one of my tweets was your favorite? Which one was most concerning?
Did the previous person in the role leave because this job sucks? Or because having a job sucks?
What characteristics do your top-performing employees possess? And what drugs are they on?
Is there room for growth? Can that room be in my own home?
When I physically show up to work, where can I lie down?
What is the perception of new hires who use a vacation day within week one?
Am I expected to turn my camera on in meetings, even if my only anticipated contribution is commenting on a coworker’s dog?
Cathartically screaming every couple of hours—encouraged or frowned upon?
I would never shit-talk the company to other employees, but just in case, how closely does I.T. monitor messages?
Will my successes be rewarded in money or pizza parties?
Due to the pandemic, I need to have a 3 o’clock cocktail. Not a question, more of an FYI.
I thrive in a collaborative environment. Can you share some high-level team gossip from the last quarter?
If I need to give two weeks notice, is day-of fine?
Is there anyone in the department with work crush potential? How else will I be motivated to look and act put-together?
Does the team have happy hours or are they mostly sad?
If my manager doesn’t use an exclamation mark when replying “ok,” am I guaranteed a sick day to process their hatred for me?
Do you expect the responsibilities of this role to change as asteroids barrel closer and closer to earth?
How’s the work-life balance? Will it be easy to balance my work anxieties with my life anxieties?
If my coworker says, “Happy Monday!”, am I allowed to explain why it’s probably not?
If my coworkers aren’t prepared to discuss a TV show I’m obsessed with, can I report them to HR?
Does posting a meme about job frustrations count as “good communication skills”?
What do you hope the person who lands this role doesn’t realize about the company until it’s too late?
Are there other qualified candidates in the running? How many of them also seem driven by the delusion that a new job might solve most of their problems?
Hypothetically, what is the most amount of money you can offer me for doing the least amount of work? Hypothetically!
Will I ever be penalized for leaving early if the vibes are off?
I can’t imagine why, but do you have any reservations about hiring me?
Images: Javier Díez /Stocksy.com
From: [email protected]
To: [email protected]
Subject: URGENT! PLEASE READ – BACK TO OFFICE DETAILS
We know you have eagerly been awaiting news of our return to the office—whether because you’ve been slowly losing your grip on reality and your house plant moonlights as your therapist, or because you’ve been waiting for direction on when to buy your return flight back from Florida. Either way, after months of vague holding patterns, we finally have updates to share (and you’re probably not going to like them)!
Unfortunately for the introverts and those of you who live in outer boroughs because we don’t pay you enough to afford to live in Manhattan, we do in fact need you back in the office as soon as humanly possible—even though we fully recognize that the company has not suffered in any way as a result of everyone working from home for the past year and a half. In fact, business is better than ever! Turns out, without the din of different departments yelling at each other from across the office, the lingering smell of microwaved fish, and the incessant clacking of fingers on keyboards, distractions are down, and concentration and productivity are way up!
Still, we need you back. Mostly because we already paid for a 12-year lease. Those Herman Miller ergonomic chairs aren’t going to pay for themselves! (Except we already paid for them using all the money we saved from the mass layoffs—so, in a sense, they did pay for themselves.)
Our first day back will be the Friday before Labor Day! We, of course, want to be reasonable with our expectations, which is why you will only be expected to be present 4.5 days per week from here on out.
We know this is a big adjustment, but don’t worry, to ease you into the transition, we will be providing lunch for your first day! We will be ordering salads from We Only Do Salads, Nothing Else*. Please inform Community Manager Nicole, on copy, of your order by no later than tomorrow, 12pm ET.
*$10 maximum value. 2 toppings** allowed—including protein.
**dressing counts as a topping.
In more exciting news, we are thrilled to announce that, thanks to the additional funds freed up in the budget, we are proud to offer snacks! FREE plain Lay’s potato chips*** will be available Monday-Friday****
***the unruffled kind.
****while supplies last.
We know you’re probably wondering if masks are required, and to be completely candid: we’re still wondering that, too. We will be closely monitoring the mayor’s office, the department of health, the CDC, and Dr. Fauci’s facial expressions in press conferences for more information. But plan on wearing a mask indoors at all times, even at your desk. Safety first!
As a reminder, our office dress code is professional-business-chic. Bottoms are required. Our official company policy is to not have an official company policy on whether or not bras are required, but if you have to ask, they’re probably required for you.
We can’t wait to see everyone back in the office!
Person You Will Not See Step Foot Into A Physical Office Until 2022
Image: Ani Dimi / Stocksy.com
Today: a Creative/Influencer and Hostess who makes $70,000 per year and spends some of it this week on Gucci platform sandals.
Age: 25 (acting age range: 16-30)
Location: The City of Angels
Salary: $70,000 ($25,000 from restaurant + $20,000 side gigs of babysitting and social media sponsorship + $25,000 financial support from parents)
Net Worth: Not exactly sure but I did buy some MicroVision stock the other day, and it’s gone up because it’s green now and not red. My friend says it’s a sure thing. I’m getting into stocks now. It’s just smart for the future.
Debt: $0 (v blessed)
Paycheck Amount (weekly): $480
Rent: $1,200 (I rent a room in a small 3 bedroom/2 bath house in Santa Monica. It’s my friend’s parents’ house, so I get a really good deal and don’t even have to pay for utilities or anything. I just have to make sure to get along with my friend which is hard because she stinks up the kitchen cooking, and I think I can’t take it anymore, but then I’m like don’t move out because you won’t have this backyard which is the perfect setting for my paid-sponsorship-IG videos.)
Corepower Yoga: $139 (I no longer go to Equinox because my ex is an instructor there, but I can’t get out of my contract with them. But I must work out for my spiritual and physical health, so I started going to Corepower.)
Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, Amazon Prime: N/A (I use my dad’s—shhhh my stepmom thinks it’s our little secret.)
Mint: $16.99 (I had to download this to even figure out how much I was spending to do this article.)
Followers Tracker Pro: $2.99
More Followers Pro: $5.99
Apple Music: $9.99
Spotify: $9.99 (I know I should pick either Apple Music or Spotify but I can’t decide—I keep going back and forth.)
WiFi: $60 (I do pay for this because my roommate buys all of the toilet paper and paper towels, so I think that’s probably fair.)
Charity: I think charity is so important, and once I’m more successful I will donate to places like Planned Parenthood and Catholic Charities.
A Day In The Life
9:00am: Alarm goes off for me to make the 9:45 yoga class.
9:09am: Alarm goes off again.
9:18am: Alarm goes off again, so I turn it off completely. I can go to yoga later today.
10:55am: Wake up naturally and drink the room temp bottle of Pedialyte next to me. I was out late last night because today is my day off. Had to make up for not being able to go to bars for over a year!
11:30am: Drive to Alfred Coffee and get a large iced vanilla latte with hemp milk and a yogurt parfait because I’m starving. $15 (It would’ve been only $11 but I accidentally tipped $4 because my finger slipped on the iPad, and then I couldn’t go back to change it because the barista seemed sad.)
12:00pm: Get a text from my friend Sean asking where I am. I forgot we had lunch plans, so I lie about coming all the way from the east side, stopping for gas, and blah blah blah. I’ll make it up to him. Even though Sean is annoying as hell, I can’t cancel because he’s going to set me up with his commercial agent. I have to run home to put on makeup and change, but then I meet him on Montana Avenue only 25 minutes late. I’m a pro. I pay for lunch because I have to make it seem like I really feel bad for being late. Don’t judge me for ordering drinks at lunch. $85
2:30pm: Go back home for a power nap.
4:00pm: The smell of my roommate cooking cauliflower in our kitchen wakes me up. I’m so grossed out that I leave the house. Just get it in smoothies like I do. You don’t need to cook that sh*t. I get in my car and this little (!) comes on, which after Googling, I figure out means that one of the tires is low. Sh*t.
4:10pm: I pull into a gas station by the air and water pump. I’ve never actually done this myself, but I’m a strong, independent woman, dammit—I can do this! Once I bend down to examine the first tire, a gas station worker comes over and says he would do it for me if I have any cash. He is legit because his shirt has his name in cursive on that cute patch. I look in my wallet but only have a $20 bill. He says that will be fine because I’m so pretty and nice. Cash doesn’t really count anyway. I don’t even know how I have it. He checks all of my tires for me. I think he says the back left one was a little low. $20
4:30pm: Run into Erewhon to get a Green Goddess Superfood Smoothie. Since I had suuuuch a big lunch I’m not hungry, but I have to eat something before my acting class. God, why is everything in this city so expensive? I’m just trying to survive! $16.50
4:40pm: I realize I’m out of gas. I really should’ve gotten some while I was at the gas station earlier, but I didn’t even notice. Gas has gone up a lot in price. It’s probably because of all of the Teslas. $62.88
5:00-8:00pm: I attend my intensive method acting class. This is the first day, so I have to pay upfront with a check. It’s a really big deal because this acting teacher taught Philip Seymour Hoffman (RIP). It will look so great on my resume. $700
8:15-10:15pm: I get drinks with my class at a bar down the street. Stefanie says she’s going to Venmo charge me but who knows when. $TBD
11:00pm: I’m finally in bed after a long and hard day—so much for a day off. Dammit, I forgot to go to yoga. I decide to watch Almost Famous because I lied to my classmates tonight and said it’s one of my favorites. I can’t find it on any streaming platform, so I have to rent it. $3.99
1:00am: I stumble downstairs to eat some of my roommate’s cauliflower in the fridge. I’m starving, okay.
4:33am: I wake up to go pee. I remember that I’m out of my daily moisturizer with SPF, so I order some on Amazon. I also add these metal straws that I’ve had in my Save For Later for months now. $38.99
Daily total: $~942.36
Clearly, it’s almost impossible to survive in LA. I don’t know how I do it. It feels like even going out to breathe costs $100. I’m very fortunate to have my parents helping me out. My parents are divorced and haven’t spoken to each other in years, so they actually have no idea that they’re both contributing. They each get to think they’re the hero which is really gracious of me. I also believe things are really about to take off in my career, and when that happens, I’ll no longer need support from them and can quit my hostessing job. For now, my hostessing job is great, and I actually make more money doing that per hour then I probably would doing something with my Communications degree. It is hard, but it’s so fulfilling and worth it to go for your dreams. Chris Brown once said, “Follow your dreams. Just make sure to have fun too.” That’s what I try to live by.
Images: Corey Saldana /Unsplash
Acts of kindness in this world come too few and far between, which is why I was pleasantly taken aback by your immense generosity this afternoon. As our Zoom meeting came to a close, with the agenda points covered and attendees not knowing what else to do but fill the remaining time with side tangents, you ended the meeting two minutes early, announcing you were giving us all our time back.
First, let me just say how much I value those extra two minutes. There’s so much I could do with this newfound time, I’m almost overwhelmed at the options. It’s like I have a new lease on life! I could listen to about half a song. I could go pee—I probably need to go pee, my bladder has felt like it’s been pressing into my abdomen for the last hour of this meeting. I could briefly disappear into the abyss of my own thoughts. I could watch exactly two full-length TikToks. In fact, I may spend so much time trying to decide what to do with these newly discovered minutes that I end up getting nothing accomplished at all! Ah, the freedom of it.
Although, if I may just offer a bit of constructive criticism—a little role reversal, if you will. Where was this energy when setting up a touch-base for a touch-base? One for which I received no less than six different invites within a 10-minute span, the timing of the meeting shifting in 5-minute increments before I could begrudgingly hit “yes”? I probably spent a good one out of my two now-refunded minutes wrapping my head around, wait, what is the purpose of this meeting? and then digging through my inbox to locate the most up-to-date calendar invitation.
I won’t bother stating the obvious that this touch-base could have been an email chain, but will point out some areas in which I would have really enjoyed my time back more: the 10 minutes in the beginning of the meeting that was dedicated to small-talk (yes, I hope everyone’s doing well, I would love to hear about the trash can your dog got into some other time, preferably with alcohol involved); the 5 minutes Jennifer spent derailing the meeting to discuss her own work stress (please see a therapist); the 7.3 minutes after we all thought the meeting had successfully wrapped up, which Jennifer then spent throwing out her own ideas for the very iniatives we had just finalized (Jennifer, were you even listening?? We are past that!).
I’d be remiss to not consider the fact that your remark was simply a joke. If that’s the case, let me just say that it was the absolute funniest thing I’ve ever heard in my life, and your sense of humor is unparalleled. Have you ever thought of trying out for SNL? Yes, I seriously mean that! On a totally unrelated note, I’d like to chat about a raise…
But in all seriousness, two minutes are two minutes, and time is the one resource (aside from oil, natural gas, and nuclear energy) that we cannot get back once it’s been spent. So I simply have no choice but to say, from the bottom of my heart and my to-do list: thank you.
Now, I’m off to my next meeting. Crap, I really should have peed.
Forever Grateful Employee.
Just because we’re in the middle of a pandemic doesn’t mean your hustle should be put on hold. For ambitious young professionals, the challenging times have served as motivation to come up with new, more innovative ways to stand out (virtually) to hiring managers. One of these more “direct” ways to make your job interest known is simple: send the company or business leader a direct message. Shoot your shot, girl.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still apply for the position online, but afterward, why not send the company’s Instagram account a message introducing yourself? Let them know why hiring you is the best choice. Then, if you happen to do a little extended research on the company’s hiring manager, department manager or CEO/president, send them a message too. While this method may seem a little forward, it has proved successful.
Jessica May, a journalist in her 20s, is proof that a single DM can make all the difference in landing the job. In her final semester at the University of North Florida, May knew she wanted to pursue a career in journalism. She also knew that getting a foot in the door in such a competitive industry is often the hardest part. Thinking of alternative avenues into a role within the news business, May remembered that the digital content manager at a local station had spoken during one of her college classes. After multiple unanswered corporate online applications, she wondered if maybe he could help her get a job there.
“I reached out to him about the job I wanted with the idea being that even if he didn’t answer, at least I could say I tried. I used LinkedIn so he’d know I was keen on social media,” May explains. “Two weeks later he messaged me back asking when would be a good time to come in for an interview. Honestly, I didn’t really expect him to answer me, let alone offer me an interview.”
After a few years at that station, May was ready for a new career adventure, and maybe a somewhat normal work schedule. Yet right around the same time as she began exploring other opportunities, COVID-19 hit. Between hiring freezes and layoffs, career prospects weren’t exactly blooming last spring. Instead of losing hope, this time around May started sending DMs to companies she wanted to work for, regardless of whether or not they had posted openings—because, why not?
“I was talking with a friend about how cool it would be to run social media for a large company, and I said, ‘Let me just DM a company and see if they answer,’” May recalls, “The company I messaged replied asking for my resume, and a month later I began working for them. I needed to use my creativity to get noticed, and would never have guessed that could be done as easily as sliding into a company’s DMs. As it turns out, social media accounts can serve as resumes too.”
Social media expert Matt Navarra says he loves these sorts of social media hustle moves. He says his former employer, The Next Web, always encouraged this creative approach from candidates seeking roles with the company. The Next Web felt these messages demonstrated that the candidate has confidence, salesmanship skills, and creative thinking.
Geekout on Discord – Geeks Wanted
I’m finalising the setup of Geekout on Discord and need help.
I’m looking for people who:
1) Love Geekout / Social Media
2) Have lots of exp with Discord servers
3) Have exp of creating / using bots on Discord
Is that you? DM me.
— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) January 13, 2021
However, Navarra stresses that for those looking to try this method, they should do some research first. He believes that this sort of approach may only work for certain types or roles and in certain industries. For instance, less social media-savvy brands may not appreciate this approach.
“If you are going to slide into a company’s DMs and sell yourself into a role, I’d advise you to spend a bit of time honing your pitch. It needs to be very concise, original, and grab the intention of the person on the other end of the DM,” Navarra cautions. “And remember, won’t be a recruiter or HR staff. They will be a social media manager or similar, so think about how to appeal to them to spark the response you want and get your foot in the door.”
Although it takes courage to reach out, the “DM application” might be more common than you think, according to Hannah Morgan, founder of Career Sherpa. In her work as a job search and career search specialist, Morgan says she has seen job seekers use DMs and create qualification videos and accomplishment presentations in job application efforts. While these self-marketing materials are risky in the sense that there’s a chance they may never be seen, she says that “you also never know what will happen unless you try.”
Morgan adds that social media platforms are a great public forum to use to catch employers’ attention and get noticed. Job seekers should first understand the needs of the company they are targeting, then create their pitch to highlight how they could help the company succeed and overcome challenges.
“Only about 20% of jobs are filled through online job boards. This means that job seekers should diversify their strategies to include as many as possible,” Morgan, author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success, explains. “If they think about their search as a marketing campaign, they can use social media marketing strategies. Companies are on social media.”
For example, Paul Yacoubian, founder of copy.ai, recently took to Twitter to seek out his company’s first hire. How was he fielding job applications? Through DMs, or what he refers to as his “personal customer relationship management system.”
I am looking for someone to help us build, run and scale growth at https://t.co/3MbLWEzu88.
This will be our first hire.
If you need a job description, this is not for you.
If you are interested, I want you to pitch me in my DMs.
If you know someone, tag them below.
— Paul Yacoubian (@PaulYacoubian) January 15, 2021
“DM‘ing an executive at a company you want to work at and showing them the passion you have for the company’s mission can give you a really high chance of success for getting an interview and landing a job at the company,” Yacoubian says. “You can add value by identifying some high-value project that the company isn’t doing yet, and just do it for them and show them the results too. DMs are the biggest value creation feature of any social network in my opinion, and Twitter’s is the best.”
Based on social media recruiting statistics, Morgan recommends engaging in career outreach on platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok and Snapchat, in addition to Twitter. She noted that smaller companies often have less structure and hiring hurdles, so they may be more responsive to a creative approach. Any hiring manager who respects innovation or out-of-the-box thinking may also be receptive.
“The best time to reach out to a company is before a job is available. Pitch yourself as a solution to the company and show how they need you on their team. Leaders are always on the lookout for their next great hire,” Morgan advises. “Aim high and be a risk-taker.”
Images: 13_Phunkod / Shutterstock.com; mattnavarra, PaulYacoubian / Twitter; Hannah Morgan / LinkedIn
I don’t need to say it, but times are tough. The changes we have experienced are enough to make anyone run for the hills. And maybe that’s actually not such a bad idea right now, TBH. But as much as you may want to abandon your life and go live full-time on a beach somewhere, there is such a thing called reality. I know, buzzkill. Since these you-know-what times aren’t going back to any semblance of normal soon, it’s time to be practical, consider your options, and make things work.
The good news is, there isn’t only one way to get ahead now. Consider these five creative approaches from the utterly practical (Nike’s “just do it”) to the spiritual (calling on your higher powers) to support your future plans. Your best approach to life and work depends on your current circumstances and needs, skill set, and risk tolerance.
1. Embrace Your Skills—Become A Technical Specialist
Which new technologies can you master right now to become the “go-to” expert in a specific area or tool that is in high demand? Are you a digital marketer or data analyst to the stars (using the term “stars” aspirationally here)? This can be your time to shine! Consider all your current skills to see which ones can fill the demands that companies have right now. For instance, helping companies get online successfully as they move their businesses away from brick-and-mortar stores can be a game-changer. Are there other specialized tools or specific software programs used in your current role, business, or industry that may be critical to ongoing business operations? Identify the sweet spot that you can capitalize on, then let people know how you can help them.
LinkedIn’s list of the ten most in-demand hard skills for 2020 ranges from blockchain to cloud computing to UX design. But if you don’t have these skills now, don’t sweat it. There are a ton of online training courses available, and many are free on YouTube. Additional resources like Coursera, LinkedIn Learning, Skillshare, UDemy, Harvard classes from EdX (what, like it’s hard?) are great online tools with so many classes to offer. And according to Forbes, the soft skills you’ll need to succeed in a post-COVID world might not require classes—adaptability, flexibility, critical thinking, and creativity are all things you can practice on your own. Remember, your goal is to become both valued and immediately applicable to potential customer needs.
Power Tip: Don’t forget to brand and capitalize on your expertise by seeding relevant “key words” about your new focus throughout your LinkedIn profile and social media so the AI searches and algorithms identify you as the best potential fit for those seeking your skill set.
2. Follow The Money
Let’s get real: why not be an opportunist? Dig deeper into where the needs for talent are right now. If you’re flexible enough to go where the opportunities are, you can find project-based work. “Have a valid passport, willing to travel”—I see you, Carmen Sandiego. You get the picture—you could get hired to work on important, time-sensitive initiatives that often pay well. Depending on your personality, you also follow your desire to serve. There is likely to be a huge demand for teachers, healthcare workers, and others who know how to deal with trauma and personal service right now as others are hesitant to return to work.
Look at your flexibility and tolerance for risk. Obviously, moving can create opportunities, but is not without higher risks from changing conditions. If you’re amenable, check out other cities and countries, or switch industries. (Might not be such a bad idea to get an international visa… just saying…)
3. From WTF To WFH: Shift To Remote Work Altogether
It’s no surprise that most work is moving online in some ongoing capacity. You probably already know how to work Zoom, but are you comfortable working virtually? There are even more opportunities beyond the “gig economy” as the need for global services increases if you can be time-zone agnostic. There are also multiple platforms like Fiverr, Upwork, and other on-demand freelance websites that connect customers with service providers. Consider working remotely for a company directly, or maybe it’s time to work for yourself. If you’re creative and don’t mind the hours you work or prefer working from home, remote work lets you work wherever you are, and in some cases, whenever you want. That means never having to change out of your PJs.
Many digital skills transfer seamlessly across industries. More jobs are conducted with tele-support, no longer requiring face time or presence in a physical work space. According to U.S. News, careers in software and web development, IT management, and accounting are especially good choices for those working remotely because they can be done virtually anywhere with computer access. But currently, some of the most popular remote positions are accountant, customer service representative, project manager, nurse, and writer—which means that there’s a pretty wide range of industries well-suited to this kind of work. So if you don’t mind having technology become your life line (as if it’s not already), consider ongoing WFH to give you more flexibility. What a time saver to create more time, reduce your commute and still add value.
4. Become A Minimalist
…and not just because Marie Kondo says it will spark joy. A smaller footprint is not only good for the environment, but it will also minimize the space you need, which can save you money in the long run. How? Less weight and obligations lower your cost base, which translates into needing less income. Smaller spaces equate to lower rent.
Power Tip: What do you value about your lifestyle? Is it time to focus more on “being” than “doing”? Which begs the question, what is the meaning and significance of work in your life? Looking at the type of work you want to be doing in the world will open up a whole new set of possibilities for how you might live.
5. Start Living Within Your Means
No, really. Why not question everything? When you look at what you need to live and survive (financially, spiritually), maybe there are ways you can cut back. When the economy was on an upswing, money was easy and more was more. That was then; this is now. Perhaps it’s time to consider that less is more.
Power Tip: Bring your spending in line with your income. Where can you reduce your outlays to become more thoughtful? Maybe cheap is the new smart. The more you put into your savings and the lower your costs, the easier it will be to weather a storm. With few people having enough savings to last a month, now is an important time to pad (or start) that emergency fund to provide an extra cushion to extend your ability to get through a period of financial hardship that may be longer than expected.
Only you will know what is the best way for you to adapt to change right now. This truly is an opportunity to focus on what makes sense for you. By knowing what you care about and value, you can make choices that position you for the future. Taking steps that are both practical and personal will equip you to become more resilient to face future challenges.
Image: Magnet.me / Unsplash
In plain and simple terms, investing is putting money down now in hopes for more money later. But why do we hear time and time again that it’s so important? Well, whether it be to pay off your student loans, save up for your older, richer self, or even for your girls’ trip to Hawaii, investing is a great way to make your money work so you don’t have to. We know it can be scary, but we are here to break it down for you, so you can be well on your way to becoming wealthy like a finance bro… without the douchey attitude.
General Strategies For Investing
Early bird gets the worm: Time in the market always beats “timing” the market. Thanks to the power of compounding, small contributions in the present will reap higher returns than larger contributions later. So start today!
Make a clear plan: Think about your budget. Are you setting aside a part of your monthly savings to invest? Take baby steps even with a small amount of money. For instance, instead of going on an impulsive online shopping spree (been there, done that), set that money aside and invest that bonus. Some apps even allow you to invest using pocket change—who wants coins jangling around in your wallet anyway?
Assess your level of risk: Depending on whether you are 18 or 60, you are going to have vastly different approaches. If your golden days are near, you are better off placing your capital in safer investments, like bonds. If you still have 50 years until retirement, gear your investments toward riskier, but high-yielding investments, like stocks. Allocate your investments according to how much risk you can tolerate.
Different Investment Vehicles
Brokerage Accounts: To buy and sell your investments, you’re going to need a broker. Luckily, opening an online brokerage account is super simple and only takes a few minutes (quicker than your skin care routine, we promise). TD Ameritrade and E*TRADE are great places to begin since they’re user-friendly with a huge wealth of resources.
Mutual Funds: Mutual funds are professionally managed investments that pool money from different investors—almost like a potluck of the finance world where you just show up with whatever the host tells you to bring. They are often one of the best investments you can make, given their low cost and risk. This is because mutual funds spread themselves across a collection of different investments, allowing you to capture the returns of different markets through just one single purchase. As such, these are great for those who want to leave the decisions up to professionals and not go through the work of buying individual stocks and bonds.
Traditional IRA: An Individual Retirement Account (IRA), as the name suggests, is an account for you to save any and all retirement money. These are open to anyone with an income (internships and part-time jobs included). You don’t have to pay tax today on the money you put into this account, which means your money can grow tax-deferred until you start taking it out—aka extra $$ for those golden years. Not to mention that many employers offer to match your IRA contributions, which means even. more. free. money. Why would you not sign up for this?!
Now that we’ve gone over the most common types of investments, let’s hone in on the big money-maker: stocks.
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They say “work hard, play hard,” but here at #HerCapital, we say “invest more, work less” 💪🏽 The topic of finances can seem scary and daunting at times, but we’re here to break it down to make personal finance easy for you 💸 To start today on a light note, here are our favorite throwback lyrics that help explain various investment vehicles! Even if you don’t want to be a billionaire like Bruno Mars, you’ve got a friend in bonds, us, Woody, and Buzz Lightyear 😏👩🏽🤝👩🏻
Like pieces of a pie, buying a “share” in a company entitles you to partial ownership of the company. If the company’s value increases, your investment increases too. Bigger pie, bigger slice! Stocks are awesome investments because amongst the most common securities, they reap the highest returns over the long run. Here are some tips to help you get started.
Consider how active you want to be. Some of us check Instagram every week, some of us check every hour (what else can you do during quarantine?). Similarly, ask yourself how active you want to be with your investments. If you see yourself being an active investor, that means dedicating a bit of energy each week into researching new investments and individually curating your own portfolio. If you see yourself being more passive, go with a robo-advisor, an automated investment management service that can customize a portfolio according to your goals. Betterment is one robo-advisor you can look into.
Choosing a company. When you invest in a company, it is because you believe in their long-term growth. If you are just starting, go with the companies whose products you love, rather than the “hottest” stock at the moment. A great stock comes hand-in-hand with a strong company—think management, strategy, and financials. What is their revenue like? Are they on top of industry trends? What experience does their C-Suite have? Have they been in headlines lately for product launches? There’s quite a bit of research that can go into this, and websites like Seeking Alpha are great places to get your feet wet. But when it comes down to it, just ask yourself—would you be proud to own this company?
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Investing is like applying to colleges. You do not just apply to one, even if you are sure about getting in. You hedge your bets and wait for the results. Be sure to diversify and invest in different industries.
That’s all for today—thanks for reading, folks. If you have more questions or want to learn more (why would you not?!), the team at HerCapital would love to help! Comment below, check out our website here and follow us on instagram for more tools and resources @her.capital!
HerCapital’s mission is to empower women to invest in their future. Through virtual events and an online knowledge base, we hope to help women with money management all while building a community of strong women who lift each other up. Click here to check out our website and follow us on our instagram @her.capital!
Images: Austin Distel on Unsplash; her.capital / Instagram (2)
When it comes to workplace sexual harassment, no one should seek to be a harasshole. But there is something harassholes often do that betches should make a practice—that is, documenting all workplace sexual harassment and how your employer handles it.
Harassholes keep score on who gets passes for inappropriate behavior because the information may give them leverage when an employer tries to hold them accountable for sexual harassment while allowing other harassholes to run amuck.
Case in point: the audacious lawsuit hockey analyst Jeremy Roenick filed in New York on Friday against his former employer, NBC.
Here’s the gist: Way back in December 2019, before COVID terrorized us all, Roenick went on a “cheeky” Barstool Sports podcast as a guest. While on the podcast, the 50-year-old offered off-color commentary on his NBC co-host’s “ass and boobs” before explaining how he led strangers to believe he was having a threesome with his wife and co-host. Real professional, right?
After suspending Roenick for a few months, NBC fired him in February 2020. Now the hockey star is suing the network, claiming NBC discriminated against him as a heterosexual man.
According to Roenick, NBC didn’t punish a gay figure-skating analyst who made sexualized—albeit scripted—comments about his co-host while the two were acting together in a parody promotional video. Roenick says, when he brought the matter to an NBC exec, he was told that the analyst “is gay and can say whatever.”
Yes, there’s a lot to unpack there, but don’t get distracted. Roenick’s basically saying NBC should have given him a pass on his filthy remarks about his co-host because the network gave another man a pass.
When you’re done rolling your eyes at Roenick’s audacity, let’s discuss the ever-so important takeaway from his case: when it comes to workplace sexual harassment, betches need to document, document, document.
Documenting sexual harassment you and your colleagues experience, and your employer’s response to the harassment, is among the most effective ways you can maintain the upper hand should things go south and you need to fight your employer for failing to enforce the rules.
Let me explain.
Employers say they’re anti-discrimination, claiming they consistently enforce the rules by punishing harassholes, their popularity or your unpopularity notwithstanding. In reality, employers also give passes to people they like, creating a host of problems for everyone. The unfairness of it all gives rise to discrimination lawsuits—that is, if there’s documentation showing the employer is not enforcing its rules.
By “documentation” I mean “What is written down, printed, recorded, photocopied, saved? What do you have to support your account about your experiences?”
Sure, you may remember details well and never lose your car keys. But when it comes to workplace sexual harassment, it’s still best to have documentation because memories fade and documents are harder to manipulate. Also, while your word may be good enough for your mom, the patriarchy makes a woman’s word a hard sell more than half the time.
That’s why you document your version of the events with notes about encounters, dated-diary entries about conversations, text message chains and photos saved to the clou,; PDF copies of emails, papers, and websites, and so on. You hold onto anything that provides enough detail to refresh your recollection of the events should things go off the rails down the line and you need to back up your word should it be put to the test.
Harassholes and shady employers unapologetically lie and suddenly lose documents. You must be prepared.
…much like Roenick, whose ten-year tenure at NBC is over, to his complete and utter surprise. That’s right—the former hockey gawd never saw it coming, as he insists his firing is one of the “biggest raw deals of all time.” (Who knew you could lose your job for gratuitously sexualizing your co-worker’s anatomy on a popular podcast and bragging about misleading others into thinking you’re intimately throupled with her and your spouse?)
Despite the supposed blindsiding, Roenick had the wherewithal to document how his employer treated him and others who acted up, giving him fodder for a lawsuit that may or may not end with Roenick taking home a settlement check.
You, too, should be boldly protecting your professional interests should your employer act up or let harassholes run amok, as documentation can make or break your future.
Adrienne Lawrence is an on-air legal analyst and the author of Staying in the Game: The Playbook for Beating Workplace Sexual Harassment (TarcherPerigee, 2020). Lawrence has contributed her insight on workplace sexual harassment for outlets such as the Harvard Business Review and NPR. Follow her on Twitter @AdrienneLaw and IG @AdrienneLawrence.
Images: Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images