freelancing /

It’s Who You Know: 4 Tips On How to Network Your Way Into A Powerful Career

I currently work as a journalist and the Director of Marketing & Communications for a luxury travel and lifestyle magazine called Travel Time. I got involved with the magazine because of one reason: contacts.

The magazine is based in Santiago, Chile, so there is no way I would have heard of it or had the opportunity to work with such a revolutionary publication if it wasn’t for networking. A Chilean friend of mine, AZ, whom I had met in India while we were both working for the same company, was serving as the Editor-in-Chief at the time when she asked me to write an article about Uganda, after I had returned from my trip.

On Being a Woman and Winning a Yahoo! Hack Night as a “Demographic Outlier”

Photo credit: Sarah Clatterbuck

I just entered my first hack day a few weeks ago. And, to my surprise and delight, I was selected a winner. For those of you who don’t know, a hack day is where engineers take 24 hours and build their own ideas for products and then the ideas are judged. At Yahoo! We do this twice per year, and the judges are typically a panel of executives and architects.

Starting A Design Studio: Don’t Let Inaction Hold You Back– The Time Is Now

In the last week, the wheels have been in motion as I begin a new design studio: Demand by Design Studios. My partner and I decided we just need to put our work together and toss it up onto a WordPress site, come up with a logo and a mark which we might change next week, and just get going.

Within a week, we created our web presence. We even have a few potential clients already, though we aren’t fooling ourselves that starting a business is as simple as uploading a logo and a few samples.

How to Find a Mentor and Form a Relationship

As a follow-up to my last post, I thought I’d pose some ideas on how to establish a life mentor or mentors in your own life. There are two steps to this – finding a mentor and forming a mentor. Once you do these two things, it’s a matter of sticking with it and making a commitment to getting together regularly.

Finding a Mentor

As I mentioned in my earlier post, my mentors came to me as part of a faith-based group. Faith-based groups are a great place to find mentors, as you are already in a more open, vulnerable place when in one of these groups. So, a prayer, meditation, or support group can be a great place to find a mentor.

Live Blogging: Designing for Mobile Workshop Event at Adobe


I’m writing this on an iPad from the offices of Adobe in downtown San Francisco, trying my hand at this live-blogging thing. This event is called Designing for Mobile, and its an educational day focused on HTML5, UI/UX, Creative Suite integrations, and Lean Design.

I learned about this event from joining a group called Creative Suite Lovers. When I signed up for this event, the price was $10 and I didnt think the event would be a huge deal– something fun and cheap to check out.

Confessions of a Workaholic: Turning Work Experience Into Expertise

I’ve never only held one single job. Ever since college, I’ve always balanced freelance and side work while being fully employed in either a full-time job or school.

I have Craigslist to thank– I am a Craigslist addict. To me, Craigslist is not just a site, but a gateway to a world of opportunities, and I’ve probably applied to and been hired to over 30 jobs and gigs on Craigslist. Even though I did go to college, I would say that I learned more lessons and real life skills from Craigslist than I did at UC Berkeley.

Slow Down and Make Good Decisions, Not Fast Ones

I like fast. I like to think fast, do fast, decide fast, accomplish fast. When I’m not going a mile a minute from one place to another, my mind is. And sometimes, that’s not a great thing.

I noticed this a couple years ago, and really started to notice after working with a certain individual– let’s call him Bruno. Compared with the way I usually did things, Bruno does things slowly. At first, this irritated me because it left me often wondering: “where’s the follow-up,” “I thought we agreed on this,” and “why aren’t we moving on this? I’m ready to go!” I felt like a speedy little motorcycle, revving my engine and waiting for that stoplight to turn green.

What Happens When You Start To Get Too Much Freelance Work: Learn to Scale

Too much freelance work? More than you can handle? What a great problem, especially in this economy.

I just came back from Startup Weekend EDU and it was an incredible experience, one that I’ll be writing on later. It was a great way to actually show what I could do as a freelance designer/front-end coder during the 54 hour “hackathon,” — more valuable I think than even a portfolio and definitely more “show don’t tell” than the sometimes-stuffy networking events. As a result, I made quite a few contacts that may turn into potential clients.

Thank You For Your Inspiration, Steve Jobs (1955-2011)

I only heard of the death of Steve Jobs an hour ago, and amidst the Facebook feeds flooding, Twitter failing, and my local public radio station KQED reprising the announcement, I realized: this was a great, great man.

Great people die. That’s just a fact of life. And we hear about it, much in the same way I am hearing about Steve Jobs’ death right now, and it’s saddening because it’s tough to see great people leave the world. It’s also chilling to me because it reminds me that death does take us all in the end. He was only 56.

The State of the Woman in the Workplace in 2011: It Could Be Better

Last night, I attended a talk in San Francisco’s pariSoma building in SOMA given by Nita Singh Kaushal, Founder of Miss CEO. My intentions were to pick up some tips, likely ones that I’d heard before, meet other women, and see if there were any interested writers for enableher.

As we sat through introductions and Nita began with statistics on the state of women in the workplace from this year, 2011, I began to feel I was going to get more out of this than I originally thought. The numbers flashed on screen: “women are making an average of 77.5 cents for every dollar a man makes,” “female CEOs are receiving compensation packages that were 85% the size of male CEOs, controlling for company size and other variables,” “40% of women are primary household breadwinners.”


Jessica Chan
Jessica Chan
enableher. Editor
Sarah Clatterbuck
Sarah Clatterbuck
Cycling-crazed Techie
Globetrotter and Journalist
Globetrotter and Journalist
Globetrotter and Journalist