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career advice

In career on
October 11, 2017

Three Ways to Approach Crying in the Workplace

Before we jump into today’s guest post from Holly Caplan, I wanted to chat about my own experience crying in the workplace, and why I thought Holly’s expertise would help millennial women everywhere.

I’ve definitely cried at work before. I cried more than a few times at work when I was a graduate and research assistant, and I cry sometimes now (although it’s a lot easier because I am a freelancer and I work from home.) I loved having an office when I was a GA because I could tuck away in my office and let out a few tears when my job got particularly stressful. My goal was to not to cry in front of my professors though. I’m fairly sure I managed not to cry that way. It’s okay to be emotional, but the more you can control it, the better it will before you in the long run.

I know that my audience is filled with bright, amazing women across the country. I thought that Holly could shed some great light on crying in the workplace for y’all, so that you are prepared for what the working world may bring.

But, I am being chatty, so I will let Holly take over from here, she is the expert after all!

Crying is a natural emotion that has many benefits, but crying in the workplace can be seen as a weakness. How do you combat those two notions? Click through to read Holly Caplan's great advice for young adults entering the workforce when it comes to crying. #Career #CareerAdvice

Keep Reading, Darling

In career on
March 24, 2017

How to Transition Your Wardrobe from College to Post-Grad Life

Life’s too short to wear boring clothes. ~ Cushine et Ochs

Of course, it is! But all those fun dresses, crazy prints, cute jeans, sorority shirts, and loud bags you’ve been sporting in college look a lot different from all those “what should I wear to my interview” Pinterest searches you’ve been doing. How can you transition your wardrobe from college to post-grad life – without going broke or sacrificing your personal style?

Luckily, this task isn’t as daunting as it might seem! Here are 7 steps to elevating your style without breaking the bank, and with your own fabulous personality staying front and center!

How To Transition Your Wardrobe From College To Post-Grad Life | Graduation is quickly approaching. Transitioning your wardrobe to post-grad life is a vital part of finding a good job because you want to dress for the job you want. Click through for seven great tips to help you transition your wardrobe today.

Keep Reading, Darling

In career on
March 17, 2017

How to Craft the Perfect Elevator Pitch

Interviews and career fairs can be intimidating – how is it possible to cram all of your life experiences and qualifications into a tiny time frame and convince someone to hire you?

It’s a lot to speak about in a short period of time, which is why an elevator pitch is the perfect segue way into a career conversation. Whether you are just starting college or you are launching your full-time career, the elevator pitch is (arguably) one of your most important tools, and after covering a few basic points, you’ll be all set to start conversing with a future employer (and potentially score that job!).

 How To Craft The Perfect Elevator Pitch | If you had just 30 second to impress your potential future boss, what would you say? Katrina David helps you understand what goes into an elevator pitch and how you can use this information to craft your perfect pitch and get your foot in the door for your next job.

Learn how to craft the perfect elevator pitch with this post from happy contributor @supkatrinaa on @happyarkansan.

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First – what is an Elevator Pitch?

An elevator pitch is an introduction that takes about 30 seconds to 1 minute to get through, and it’s designed to be the launchpad for a conversation with a representative, potential employer, interviewer, etc. The name “elevator pitch” comes from the idea that if you were put in an elevator with the CEO of your dream company, you should be able to convince him/her that you would make a good hire before the elevator dings to a stop. 

It’s a fun approach to a potentially stressful situation, and a proper elevator pitch will leave a stellar first impression on the representative you are talking to, and give you the opportunity to begin a good conversation with a future employer. 

Include a Strong Opening!

Think of an elevator pitch like a mini persuasive essay – you want your audience to be hooked from the moment you begin, and there are a number of ways to do this. Some websites will tell you to make your elevator pitch into something creative & “out-there” (someone from my school actually rapped his elevator pitch at a career fair!). While this can be a good tactic, it can be debilitating and risky if you don’t have an amazing idea right off the top of your head.

Don’t worry though, because your opening can still be strong and powerful without using a gimmick or a story! Instead, focus on making your initial interaction as strong and confident as possible. If you smile, offer your hand for a firm handshake, and introduce yourself with conviction, you’re sure to grab people’s attention without having to do anything over-the-top.

So, tell me a little bit about yourself…

“Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?” is a fairly common question in interviews and networking events, and it is also the perfect time to use your elevator pitch. Use the initial statement as a guideline for what you’re going to include in the pitch – you want to answer the question, after all!

Make a list of a few basic points about yourself – your name and major for a start. Other things you can include are a succinct reason for why you chose your major, career goals that you may have, or particular “soft-skills” that you would like to highlight. Remember, you’re basically selling yourself, so include points that make you seem more appealing to your interviewer.

Work in two of the points that you made on your list into a sentence, and bam, you have the middle of your elevator pitch.

It’s NOT One-Size-Fits-All!

No two people are alike, and that’s the perfect reason why you should be tailoring your elevator pitch to the person you are talking to specifically. In the case of an interview, be sure to speak on what you find most appealing about the job you’re applying for. You can even include some key character traits or skills that were outlined in the job description – that might get you some bonus points with your interviewer because he/she can see that you’re really paying attention. (i.e. if the job description says they are looking for people with “great organizational skills”, throw that into your elevator pitch!)

On the other hand, if you’re starting a conversation at a networking event, you can be a little bit more casual and simply end with a question about the other person. Don’t become a robot that just regurgitates information – that’s a recipe for awkward! Which brings me to my next point…

Go With the Flow

I highly suggest not committing your speech to memory word for word. You want to sound naturally confident and sure of yourself, and unless you are an actor, that can be difficult to achieve if you’re just memorizing words. Plus, conversations can get derailed fairly quickly in a real-life setting, and being comfortable with the most important pieces of information rather than an entire speech will help you stay on your toes in the case of an unexpected question.

Instead of memorizing your elevator pitch like vocabulary words, write a little sticky note out with all of your key points, and practice different variations of the pitch in the mirror a few times the night before your big day. Remember, confidence and comfort are key, and you want to exude confidence and comfort in who you are any time you’re trying to “sell yourself”.

Final Thoughts

Professional settings and elevator pitches may be stressful, but the most important thing in any scenario is that you remain 100% true to yourself at all times. Don’t let all of the preparation and nervousness detract from your personality and passion – after all, you’re pretty great, and you want your potential employers to see that too.

I hope these tips will help you craft your elevator pitch, and you’ll be equipped to take on any interview or networking event by storm. Good luck!

Click the picture above to learn more about Katrina!

In career, Guest Posts on
January 4, 2017

Build An Amazing Career Network That Will Last A Lifetime

Hopefully you were able to add some “Career Pampering” to your holiday.  If this sounds fun, but you aren’t sure you indulged fully, (or just want to know what in the world I am talking about) check out my previous guest blog post here titled How To Increase Your Network Over Winter Break.  I offered delightful, yet responsible steps toward filling your winter break with new networking activities.  As a mother, an investor and an entrepreneur focused on college students, it fills my heart when budding young professionals take a break from their intense drive toward success to pamper themselves, not only personally, but professionally, in a thoughtful way.

 Build An Amazing Career Network That Will Last A Lifetime | Click through to find out how to network effectively through using a relationship manager so you can take the next steps in your networking habits.

Are you are just getting started on identification of your best professional contacts and don’t already use a CRM, or contact management tool like Salesforce, Highrise or Evercontact?  Then I recommend you use an excel spreadsheet.  Yes, there are lots of tools and apps that help an established networker but… do not think about those now!  We don’t want to get distracted from the goal of actually getting started. If you need a simple tool to start tracking your relationship portfolio, check this out:

Here we go!  

Name.  Employer.  Title.  Relationship.  Next Step. History.

Only six column headers needed across the top to get going in the right direction.  

Get The Daily Relationship Manager



Hey, Girl Boss, it’s time to take the next step. Download the FREE daily relationship manager so you can keep up with all of the new contacts you will be making. This freebie has daily spaces for the entire 2017 year so you can keep up with all the next steps you want to make, contact information you have, and so you can begin to see the network you are building this year.

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Identify immediate family.  

This includes brothers and sisters that are in high school and beyond, even if they do not have a “profession” or are “currently employed”.  Some of the most capable entrepreneurs are under 20, so a title of “student” can be very welcome to your list.  An important aspect to this exercise is to transition your mindset toward thinking about people professionally.  Then planning actionable steps toward connecting on that level.

Look Outside of your immediate family. 

What families are a part of your tribe?  We’ve always said it takes a village to raise a child.  As a college student and young professional, your tribe is stronger than 90% of all the other tribes across the world (yes, even with your challenges, you are more blessed than many others across the globe).  Think about each and every family. What do the adults do for a living?  Open up that search engine and start with LinkedIn, and then Facebook, then their business’ website.  Do not neglect the full time volunteers in your village.  They often have professional training and community connections that are more robust than the professionals that go to work day by day.  Put all this information in the “History” field. Have any of your friends’ parents offered to help you in anyway?  If so, within the “Next Step” field, make a note to connect with this person… and include a specific date for task completion!  Find this date on your calendar, and schedule an event reminder.

Have you stayed in touch with more than one teacher or coach?  

Put these names down after reviewing their educational and professional profiles online.  

Do you know your current advisor or counselor in a personal way?  

Do you know your favorite club or organization’s advisor in a personal way?  Review these contacts’ professional profiles online also.  Take particular note in the professional circles they have had over the years.  Who do they know?  Someone in your field of career interest?   Someone in your new city of choice?  If so, make a note of this in the “Next Step” field and schedule an event reminder on your calendar.

Do you know any organization alumni well?

The last group we are going to add today, is often the group with the most potential to assist you… but often the most overlooked and undervalued.  These people are what I call “low hanging fruit”.  Spend particular time here.

National Honor Society.  Robotics Club.  Key Club.  Varsity Basketball.  Spanish Club.  Your Sorority.  The Student Government Association.  The International Student’s Union.  The Quidditch Club and The Cake Club (my son’s favorite – ha!)  

Think about the organizations you have been involved with since your start.  Who are the alumni that were in the organization when you first joined, that graduated before you?  These are friends that are just a few steps ahead of you on their career path with similar interests.  They are fresh into the companies that might love you too… with the added benefit of knowing who is hiring and when.  You likely have not thought of these friends as career portfolio potential.  Add these names to your list.  Take as much time as possible to thoroughly research who these friends are with now.

Get The Daily Relationship Manager



Hey, Girl Boss, it’s time to take the next step. Download the FREE daily relationship manager so you can keep up with all of the new contacts you will be making. This freebie has daily spaces for the entire 2017 year so you can keep up with all the next steps you want to make, contact information you have, and so you can begin to see the network you are building this year.

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Whew! That’s a great start toward identification and planning!  (Do we have dinner plans yet?)

It’s my hope that you have 20-30 names on this list now…. or more.  And with that, it’s my hope that you have 5-10 contacts identified to visit, with specific dates and times scheduled to your calendar.  But don’t worry that yours looks a little different.  This is not meant to be a comprehensive list.  It is meant to be the most important thing:  A JUMP START.

So before you save this list and get back to planning your next semester…one more thing to firmly add to your “Next Steps” column.  The one point from which all successful networking habits emerge.  

From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of her they will ask all the more.

Some people think that networking is all about scheduling meetings to help move one’s own career forward.  That is certainly part of it.  But successful networkers need not be the most socially gracious or outstanding.  They must simply be people that recognize that networking is about giving and receiving. As you begin intentionally managing your relationships, keep the people with whom you are networking (or hoping to) interests at heart.  Your network will provide you great opportunities, if you are able to facilitate introductions to and opportunities for people in your network.  Find mutually beneficial ways of connecting others professionally and personally.  

Because as we get older, it goes faster and faster.  And for successful professionals, the lines between private and professional often get closer and closer.  The years go by in a blink.  Blink and 2018 will be upon us.

Get The Daily Relationship Manager



Hey, Girl Boss, it’s time to take the next step. Download the FREE daily relationship manager so you can keep up with all of the new contacts you will be making. This freebie has daily spaces for the entire 2017 year so you can keep up with all the next steps you want to make, contact information you have, and so you can begin to see the network you are building this year.

Powered by ConvertKit

About Kaki Garard

Kaki Garard, is a Tech Entrepreneur, Investor and Founder of Upper Network, LLC.  Using 20 years of successful major gift fundraising practices, Upper Network helps people find and leverage the best opportunities for their career interests.  Connect on LinkedIn here:  Kaki Garard LinkedIn