Career Hacks from Lindsay Shoemake of That Working Girl: "Pursue what you’re most passionate about."
Readers, meet Lindsay. [Lindsay, our readers.] Lindsay is on her game. She is not only a recognized expert in her field, but she is ALSO a blogging success. Social Media & Digital Marketing Manager by day, founder and editor of That Working Girl by night, she helps brands establish an impactful presence AND delivers sharp career advice that works for both those who are building their own brands and anyone looking to get ahead at their company, with a bit of lifestyle inspiration sprinkled in.
All at the age of 24, no less.
Inspired by her ability to get sh*t done, we chatted with Lindsay about her secret career hack that makes it all possible, what she made of her opportunity to meet one of her career idols, and the upside to being based in Denver (encouraging words for those of you interested in starting your own thang but aren't in the bright lights of a place like New York, LA or Paris).
Girl, show us your ways!
You started That Working Girl after a chance meeting with former editor of Cosmopolitan, Kate White. Tell us that story and how it led to the creation of your site.
Getting to tour the Cosmopolitan office while visiting New York City was truly one of the greatest surprises and successes of my career! While attending a journalism conference at the end of my junior year of college, my name was drawn at random from a raffle to visit and tour Cosmo.
I had no idea that we would be meeting with the Editor-In-Chief until all of the tour winners were sat down in a conference room overlooking the amazing Manhattan skyline, and in she came. I’ll never forget walking around the office and seeing all of the inner-workings of one of the most well-known magazines around the globe – the page mock-ups, fashion sample racks, editors’ office and more were all before my eyes!
When I had the chance to speak with Kate, I mentioned to her that I was frustrated in that I was still in college, but wanted to pursue a way to share my writing on a large scale. She told me to think hard about what I was most passionate about – and to write about that. I immediately knew that I needed to share my insight on building a fulfilling career with other women. The minute that I hopped on the plane home I began scribbling down content ideas for That Working Girl (I still have the notes!), and the rest is history.
What was the most important takeaway you learned from your conversation with Kate?
Pursue what you’re most passionate about. Whether it’s your blog or your overall career, true authenticity comes to fruition when we’re running after work and projects that make our hearts beat a little faster.
You've recently undergone a redesign. What prompted this change?
After three years of running That Working Girl, I was ready for a more grown-up, refined approach to the site. After researching fonts, colors and layouts that matched the overall aesthetic that I was looking for, I took the site offline for a month and focused solely on revamping the site and generating a whole arsenal of great content. At the start of 2015, That Working Girl came back better than ever before!
I’m currently in the process of designing a slight facelift to the site, which will take effect when the site moves to another, more user-friendly platform – more details to come!
You're based in Denver. What are the advantages and disadvantages to being in that market?
Denver is great in that the market isn’t saturated with tons of bloggers – our community here is small but growing, which is very exciting.
After moving to Denver a year ago, I immediately began looking up like-minded Denver-area bloggers on social media, and have had the pleasure of meeting several of which I now call friends! I love that the blogging community here is very friendly and open to collaboration.
When it comes to disadvantages, it’s been a challenge to keep up with my wonderful blog community in my hometown, Atlanta, while simultaneously trying to build up my presence out West. As much as I miss Atlanta, the Mile High City has been nothing but great so far!
Career-wise, I’ve grown leaps and bounds in Denver – my new role as Social Media & Digital Marketing Manager with my company has been a wonderfully rewarding challenge, as I was able to build my position from the ground up and really make an impact for the brands that I represent daily. I’m looking forward to seeing where the next year in my role leads me.
In addition to running your amazing site, you also work full time in social marketing for a luxury brand. How do you balance it all?
Balance takes practice, but it certainly isn’t impossible!
I live by my planner and my to-do lists. I keep my business and personal life separate, so I have my planner to keep track of deadlines and content schedules for That Working Girl, travel plans, meet-ups with friends and more. My task notebook at work keeps me up-to-date on everything pending on any given day at work.
My secret? I always write my to-do list for the following day before I leave the office each afternoon. That way, I can head home with a clear mind and won’t be wracking my brain all evening wondering what’s on my plate for the next day.
On weekends, I will typically carve out some time to update social media for That Working Girl or schedule content for the following week. I check my work email once over the weekend, flagging any items that need to be answered first thing Monday morning.
I’m very thankful in that my career and my blog complement each other very well, so even when I come home to a few hours of blog work on a weeknight, it doesn’t feel like a completely different task change.
What has been your biggest win with your site so far?
I have to say that being invited to speak with one of my career idols – Kelly Cutrone of People’s Revolution – on Huff Post Live about PR has been the biggest win thus far for That Working Girl! It was such a great surprise when one of the producers of the show reached out to me to participate.
It was also great experience for me to become more comfortable in a live broadcast situation – being able to ask educated, valuable questions on-air takes work!
What's a fun fact about you?
I’m a huge Fall Out Boy fan – and totally unashamed about it. I’ve seen them live 10+ times now, have gone to a few private shows, and have gotten to meet the band. I think Pete Wentz is a lyrical genius. I pretty much stopped listening to new music after 2007, so on any given day you can count on me totally blaring some beloved pop-punk in my office.
Reveling in a relationship, single and loving it, or Tindering?
I’m in a great relationship of two years! My boyfriend is just as career driven as I am, and it’s great to see how much we’ve encouraged each other along in our careers over the last couple of years.
What can you never leave home without?
My trusty work bag, laptop and chapstick. You never know when a pop-up work session might happen!
A HUGE thanks to Lindsay for answering my Q’s! For more from Lindsay and That Working Girl, follow her on Twitter (site and personal), Instagram (site and personal), Pinterest (site and personal), and Facebook.