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  • Erin Greenawald 12:10 am on October 26, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , invitation,   

    Exciting New Things! 

    Sorry it’s been a while, guys. As several of my fellow bloggers have mentioned recently, I’ve been juggling a lot.

    Yes, it’s meant a lot of long hours of work, little hours of sleep, and days where I truly feel like I can’t think another thought. But it’s also meant that a lot of exciting new things are happening.

    The biggest thing that’s been taking a lot of my time and energy is that The Daily Muse is organizing it’s first country-wide meet-up—and I’m in charge of the whole operation! I’ve been excited about the idea of getting our online community offline for a while, so I was thrilled that they trusted me enough to put it in my hands. I’ve also never organized an event in my life (unless you count my epic childhood birthday parties…), so I was both terrified of all the things I didn’t know how to do, and excited to learn them on the job.

    Thankfully, my team didn’t just leave me in the dust to figure everything out. I’ve never been afraid to ask for help, and my bosses and team members have always been willing to give it. It may seem like asking for help may make them doubt giving me the job, but I’ve always felt that it shows them that I care about the work I’m doing enough to make absolutely sure I’m doing it right. It’s important to note here that my requests for help are never just a blanket, “I’m lost, help me!” When asking for help at work, it’s important to come with specific questions or challenges, so your managers know you actually thought through it first. (For more tips on asking for help at work, check out this article by one of our seasoned career writers.)

    Anyway, I already feel like I’ve learned a ton, and the event is still two weeks away. If you’re interested in networking with some brilliant young-professionals, you should come! Details are here, and I’d love to see you there! (We’ll be doing it in 8 other cities across the U.S., so if you’re a non-D.C. reader we may be in your city too!)

     

    Other exciting things have been happening around the company too, thought most of them not directly related to me:

    First, we launched themuse.com, our beautiful first step in consolidating our magazine and our company profiles and becoming the one-stop shop for when you’re thinking about your career.

    Second, our founders were named Business Insider’s top 100 coolest people in New York’s tech scene this year!

    There’s a lot more exciting things happening behind the scenes, but not all of it’s public knowledge yet. Just know, there are PLENTY of exciting things to come from The Muse.

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  • Erin Greenawald 9:36 pm on October 5, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , cowokers, , , , , working virtually   

    The Good, the Bad, and the Gchat: On Working Virtually 

    As I mentioned last week, my work for The Daily Muse doesn’t usually involve fun times with my co-workers—or any time with my co-workers. My work usually looks a little more like this —>

    Admittedly, this picture was taken during a day that I did get to spend at our co-working space in NYC, but you get the idea. Just me and my computer, getting chummy. Starting last August, I have worked 10—and now 20—hours a week virtually, in various locations and states of dress (read: I don’t always look that cute).

    There are a lot of things I love about working virtually. The biggest perk is that it’s continually given the the opportunity to work for a company I’m really excited about, but that is unfortunately not in the city I’m living in. When I first applied to The Daily Muse, I was a week away from moving to Copenhagen for a semester. I was worried they would turn me down because of my international situation, but they were completely on board. (Thank goodness.) Plus, I can pretty much work whenever, wherever, and wearing whatever I want. As your typical way-too-busy AU student, this is key.

    But as great as it sounds not to have to show up in your best business casual every day, there’s a dark side to working virtually, too. The hardest thing for me has been not having face-to-face interaction with my co-workers. As I learned over the summer when I did get to work in person with them, my co-workers are pretty awesome, and face-to-face time leads to a lot of great things: socializing, brainstorming, coffee breaks, collaboration, happy hours, joking around, more coffee breaks. My managing editor and I try to mimic it by sending each other links to Editor Real Talk or pictures of cute puppies over Gchat, but it’s just not the same.

    So, now that you know the best and worst of the matter, here are a few other things you should know if you’re thinking of picking up a virtual internship:

    1. If you aren’t a self-motivator, don’t do it.
      No, your boss won’t be watching you work over your shoulder, but that doesn’t mean you get to slack off—if you don’t do your work, your boss will still know. Take yourself to super-star intern level by regularly communicating the status of your projects to your boss, even if they aren’t due yet. It’ll make her life easier knowing what to expect from you (and reminding her that you’re doing good work never hurts you either).
    2. Get ready for an email explosion.
      All the assignment check-ins, quick questions for your boss, and little conversations you would have in the hall? Get ready for them all to be in your inbox. Long emails that replace presentations or team updates, short emails with quick questions about a project, just-in-the-subject-line emails for quick need-to-knows. We recently adopted a team chat service called HipChat that has relieved our inboxes some, but the amount of email you send and receive as a virtual worker is pretty absurd.
    3. If you can find a way to meet the people you work with, do it.
      Whether you can afford to take a trip to go meet them all, or Skype is the best thing you can do, find a way to spend a little time with your most immediate co-workers face-to-face. It’s kind of hard to really get to know someone over the internet, to get how you vibe with them. I worked with all of my co-workers over email and the phone for nine months, but didn’t feel like I really got to know them until I met them in person—and now I feel like I can interact with them all much better virtually. It’s nice to have a face, voice, and personality associated with the person on the other side of the email chain.
    4. Don’t be afraid to have a little virtual fun.
      When all your work is done via email, it can be easy to feel like every email you send has to be business related. News flash—it doesn’t. You have to find some way to virtually replace the break room (in fact, most of our breakroom content stems from the jokey emails and chats we send to each other). Obviously, this will depend on the level of professionalism within your organization and how well you know your co-workers—and you don’t want to spam people’s already crammed inboxes—but a fun email every now and then can be a good way to give everyone a quick break.

    That’s all I got for now! Do you have any questions about working virtually, or tips from your virtual work experiences?

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    • Julia Beyer 4:59 pm on October 16, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Thanks for these extremely useful tips about working virtually, Erin. I am highlighting this in the SOC Spot Newsletter.

  • Erin Greenawald 8:24 pm on September 28, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , , party, ,   

    Put On Your Professional Party Faces 

    Hi, I’m Erin and this is me at work! (I’m the curly-haired gal in the middle.)

    Now, usually my work is not quite as glamorous as having my celebrity shot taken at a party with my lovely co-workers. In fact, in the interest of full disclosure, “me at work” usually involves me sitting on my couch/somewhere on campus/in some random coffee shop squinting at my computer screen for hours on end. But this week—this week was special.

    I work as an Associate Editor for The Daily Muse, an online magazine geared towards young, professional women (though we like our dude Muses too!) where you can go to get the best advice about your job search and career. As an editor, my weekly duties include working with my wonderful columnists to fine-tune their pieces, putting out our three weekly e-newsletters, coming up with new article ideas for the site, and writing when I find the time. So, lot’s of computer time. Oh, and I work virtually so even my interactions with my co-workers are predominantly over chat, with a few scattered conference calls.

    But as I said, this week was a very special one. Our bi-coastal team was all brought together in NYC to celebrate our 1-year birthday as a company. While it was certainly a big week for the company, it was also a big week for me personally. I’ve been with the company since almost the beginning, so it was a chance for me to celebrate one year working for a company (and still going strong!). That feels like a pretty big deal at this stage in my life.

    The party itself was a great success. A bunch of our investors, advisers, and partners in New York were there, as well as some of our writers and staffers who I haven’t gotten to meet before now. We all enjoyed sponsored food and drink, networked like pros, and made a big announcement about what’s next for the company (more on that to come). It all felt very glamorous. Besides the party, we also got to spend some time all working face-to-face in our new New York co-working space, and doing some team learning activities.

    There will be plenty of internship musings to come (pun intended), but for now I just want to welcome you to the next few months of my Daily Muse adventure. So, new friends. Prep the disco ball, put on your professional party faces, and get ready for a good time. The Daily Muse is ready to rock your career and mine—and have fun doing it.

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