Episode 003 - Serious Business Woman
This episode, we’re sharing our personal history and experience in the corporate world, what made us want to make a change, and what valuable lessons we learned and apply it to our own businesses.
What we learned from working in the corporate world:
Making connections. Networking is important, yet painful. Try aligning yourself with people who have similar interests and make genuine connections rather than surface level “business” contacts. Those relationships and connections have a longer lifespan and higher return. Just because you’re not in a textbook corporate environment doesn’t mean you won’t benefit from professional networking. Find someone who will not only help you, but will also receive a benefit from the connection as well.
Networking on social media. If you’re an introvert, try reaching out and making contact from the safety of social media. This helps you still get your foot in the door without having to increase your anxiety levels if you’re not comfortable with “cold calling” or “blind date” networking.
Keep it professional without losing your personality. When someone writes a professional email that’s personable and thought out, it sends a better first impression. This isn’t your sorority group text. Check your spelling, check your grammar, and rein in excessive exclamations or emojis until the relationship is more colloquial.
Be proactive rather than reactive. Being organized is so much easier and more professional than having something go wrong and having to come up with a plan on the spot. Think about everything that could go wrong, or every question that the recipient might have. Have your solutions prepared for any scenario.
Don’t confuse activity with results. When in doubt, try to work a project out through an email before requesting a meeting.
Meetings are the worst because:
They are a time suck and are rarely as productive as they should be for everyone attending
The people who talk the most are usually the ones accomplishing the least.
It’s better to have everything in writing so nothing is forgotten or overlooked.
When meetings are good:
Face to face connection
Security or private information
Tips for writing a professional first email:
Try not to send an initial email from your phone, but if it’s all you have, draft it in your notes first and create a professional email signature to replace the “sent from my iPhone” text.
Include as many details as possible. Bullet point dates, timelines and deliverables to remove any uncertainty from the recipients. Always have the most important details in writing so the expectations are set from the beginning and everyone is aware of their deliverables. Including as much information as possible cuts back on the back and forth and keeps everyone always in the loop.
Take yourself seriously as a professional, even if what you’re doing feels like a creative “side job”. If you present yourself as an experienced pro, others will take you seriously and you’ll empower yourself as well.
Connect with 2-3 people who would be good to have in your professional arsenal. Connect over social media or in person, whatever is most comfortable for you.
The Urgent vs. Important Matrix is a powerful productivity tool that can 10x your effectiveness. It consists of 4 quadrants that classify your daily activities according to two parameters: level of urgency and level of importance.