4 #Networking Fails To Avoid

Happy Thursday, peeps!

With the Cherry Blossoms in bloom and the temperature rising, more millennials are finding themselves having to attend networking happy hours after work. Sounds pretty cool, right? Well, for some. But for others, it’s an event where they are encouraged to awkwardly stand in the corner of a room, have conversations with people they don’t know, and ultimately exchange business cards with promises of keeping in touch.

In part two of the “Stop Networking & Start Building Your Network” series, here are four things I’ve learned from networking that you want to avoid:

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Guest Post: How Networking Helped My Transition From Student to Young Professional

Today’s guest post comes from career coach  for young professionals Autumn Smith. Visit her blog for more tips on how millennials can jump start their careers. This is the first installment in a three-part series titled “Stop Networking & Start Building A Network.” 
A year ago today, I finished my last grad school final exam. The relief I felt in being done with school was like no other, but I knew I had a whole new challenge ahead of me. After graduating grad school in DC, I moved back to my hometown in Chicago. Although, I’m from the Chicago area, living there now, as a young professional, is much different than living there as a college student. I’ve had to readjust and make new friends, join new organizations, and navigate my way around this big city. Here are some things I did that could help you out during your transition.

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Use Failure to ‘#PutYourselfOn’

What I’m going to do right now is go back — to February 11th, 2014 when I was sitting up in my room, sipping on my favorite wine and scouring the Internet for new job opportunities with my newly updated resume.

And it wasn’t because I was bored and needed something to do, it was because I was let go from my job the day before. 

I’ll start off by saying that I wasn’t shocked nor emotional about being let go, but honestly the most relieved I have ever felt in all my 25 years of living. For a while, I had this gut-wrenching feeling that I knew I wasn’t made for my particular position, but I refused to give up anyway.

My mom could tell from our phone conversations that I wasn’t happy. I remember bluntly telling her tearfully, “I feel like I’m failing” over the phone just days before I was let go.

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#TechTuesday: #TIDALforALL? Not Quite, And Here’s Why.

Happy Tuesday, folks!

I know I’ve filled your feeds with tons of #WhoRunTheWorld content all month long, and I thank you for rocking with me. But now, it’s time to get back to our regular scheduled programming.

Yesterday, JAY Z, along with about 15 of the world’s most recognizable names in music, announced the launch of a new music streaming service called “TIDAL.”

Initially, when HOV announced last December that he had purchased the Hi-Fi music service from Norway’s Aspiro, I thought it would be yet another Shawn Cater boss move – which it is. This was also at the time that pop princess Taylor Swift stripped her latest album “1989” from Spotify.

Now, this post is in no way shape or form to diss JAY Z, or those artists who have signed on to the TIDAL wave. (Hehe.) I’ve always had respect for Mr. Carter’s business acumen, his creativity and his thoughtfulness toward bringing his art closer to his consumer.

However, as a consumer of music for most of my life, I’m just very interested as to how this “new experience” will benefit the consumer more than the artist. A number of questions ran through my mind as I was watching this press conference yesterday: How much did each artist have to front? Will they get more money by bringing their music to TIDAL instead of keeping it on Spotify? What happens (if and when) the company goes public? If it ain’t about the money, then why is a subscription so darn expensive? 

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Guest Post – Our Crown Has Been Bought: Why #WomensHistoryMonth Matters

To conclude the #WomensHistoryMonth guest post series is blogger Anuli Akanegbu. Visit her blog “Also Known As Anuli” for her musings on pop culture, technology and life as a 20-something living in Chicago.

Young Girl Playing By Herself


When I was a little girl I had more dream jobs than Barbie. I wanted to be a firefighter, a hairdresser and an international superstar all at the same time. I never once questioned whether I could do it all or have it all because I was taught to believe that if I tried my best and lived with passion then I could achieve whatever I set my mind towards.

I will admit that I currently envy that little girl and her ambition. Over the years, I’ve questioned myself and have given in on multiple occasions to Impostor Syndrome.

“Our crown has already been bought and paid for. All we have to do is wear it.” This quote is often attributed to Maya Angelou, but it was actually first said by James Baldwin in regards to the double discrimination he faced from being both black and gay.

Similarly to Baldwin the crown I wear is a double-tiered one because I am black and I am woman.

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Millennial on a Mission: Alissa Trumbull

To close out this amazing Women’s History Month, I’m excited to spotlight yet another young woman who has a passion for social media like myself, and is building an awesome brand to further connect with her millennial peers. The Social Outlaws is her newest endeavor, in which she and her co-founder look to highlight the latest in discoveries in social media and social business for their readers. It’s also pretty cool that she’s a fellow Evanstonian as well. :-)

Meet Alissa Trumbull.


Born and raised in Evanston, Illinois, Alissa started her undergrad work at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin as a Technical Theatre and Biochemistry major. She then transferred to Loyola University Chicago during her sophomore  year, and received a Bachelor’s in Social Work and a Theatre Minor. “I stayed on at Loyola for a Master’s in Social Work with a dual concentration in Health and Children & Families, and also received a MA in Bioethics and Health Policy,” she says.  And while she has chosen not to use her Social Work degree formally, she has always had opportunities to utilize the skills that she has honed, as all jobs require an understanding of human interaction. Currently, she works as a freelance writer and graphic designer, and moonlights at a local restaurant, The Lucky Platter. “I love everything about what I’m doing.”

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Guest Post: Why Is Women’s History Month So Important?

Today’s post is by guest blogger Diarrha N’Diaye. Visit her personal website for more of her amazing insight on fashion, beauty and travel. 

We work. We love. We nurture. We fight. We innovate. We birth. We support. But somehow we’re still the lesser. (What feels like) Eons later, women are still living in a man’s world. It’s a confusing and often complex phenomenon especially when we sprinkle of cultures and religion into the ‘1+1=1.5 equation.’  But every once in a while we remember the great power the woman possesses. We remember Shirley  Chisholm. Beyonce Knowles-Carter. Michelle Obama. Rosa Parks. Mariama Ba. Maya Angelou. Princess Diana. Malala Yousafzai. Sophie Zinga. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Our moms.

That every once in a while comes to us today in the form of Woman’s History Month. When the clock  strikes March 1st I get this overwhelming sense of joy and pride to be Female. My peacock feathers are out! My Instagram feed is overflowing with phenomenal women who inspire me to continue to push the limit and work towards the best version of myself. It’s a month to reunite and connect with our leaders and respected peers to collectively shed light on the importance of woman equality in this “man’s world.”

I grew up in my mother’s African Hair Braiding Salon where women from all walks of life convened at her 125th Avenue beauty haven. And trust and believe, I’ve heard it all within those four walls. But I also remembered being inspired by so many women, in so many ways. I remember: One lady had the most compelling stories about teaching special needs children. That inspired me to be compassionate to my peers in school. Another lady visited religiously and each time had a different story about her job as a bus route driver. She, somehow, taught me to be authoritative. This hilarious woman (who was well in her 50s at her time) retired young and traveled the world (in stylish grey braids, of course). She inspired me to not take my self too seriously. And to make sure I went away to for college and looked into a study abroad program as soon as I settled on campus. It was a great time growing up, and having a sense of self-worth in this otherwise man-dominated world.

Now that those days have come and gone I have had to find my own sort of haven, where women convene, inspire and spark new changes. And now, in my older years, I have made it a priority to always surround myself with strong females. Women’s History Month is a gift to me; it’s become my digital safe haven. *Cue “I’m Every Woman”*