CARES Act — What You Need to Know!

As consultants, part-timers and freelancers, The Second Shift community is uniquely affected by Covid-19 and the government’s CARES Act response.  There is a lot of confusing information about what we are qualified for and can expect to receive, so we’ve broken it down for you:

  • Freelance unemployment insurance is being offered on a large scale. As stipulated in the House bill, it offers freelancers an additional $600 a week in unemployment insurance, bringing weekly payouts to the $800- to $900-a-week range when state benefits are added, to workers including the self-employed, for up to four months.
  • The stimulus package also offers the self-employed and small business owners a $10,000 advance on an Emergency Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) that does not have to be paid back, even if the borrower does not qualify for an SBA loan. The program provides loans up to $200,000.

The Second Shift team is closely monitoring payments from our clients for your work, but we are seeing payment cycles slow down from even our Fortune 100 clients. Because freelancers can be the bottom of the bills to be paid, some organizations are offering grants to tide them over.

  •  The Freelancers Union just introduced the Freelancers Relief Fund,  which offers a $1,000 emergency grant to freelancers for necessities like rent and groceries that need to be covered before aid is delivered.
  •  Hello Alice, a funding provider, has also just offered $10,000 emergency grants to small businesses, in conjunction with nonprofits and government agencies, with the aim to deliver them in three weeks.

This is just a sample of what resources are available. Here is a great breakdown from the Freelancer’s Union.

The Helm has a write up of emergency resources available for small businesses.

Pitch Perfect: Marketing Consultant


Pitch Perfect Example (Marketing Consultant for Fitness App) 


The Job:

Fitness App (launched) looking to hire marketing consultant for 10-15 hours a month to run our social media marketing. Infrastructure (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Website, Blog) is in place. Need an experienced and savvy social media marketer to help us with content and SEO. Would work directly with managing member and fitness trainer to develop content to directly influence our marketing campaign and drive sales of the app.

Responsibilities + Deliverables

  • Create a social media strategy for the company that is on brand with the app
  • Direct and manage our content creation every week
  • Curate our social media sites with content (pictures, videos, optimized blog posts)
  • Run specific sale campaigns based on the calendar (i.e cybermonday, holiday workouts, January sales pitches)
  • Communicate with managing member and trainer for deliverables weekly
  • Ideally post content and manage analytics, but not required



The Pitch: 

Hi there!

I’m qualified to take on this opportunity because it’s exactly what I’ve been doing for a woman-owned business called XXXX, which makes custom merchandise for all industries, including health & wellness. (See an example here: Instagram Account).

I’ve run an influencer campaign with them with zero budget, and have helped them break into B2B sales after always focusing on B2C.

Prior to being a consultant, I lead social media and marketing programs for small startups, as well as for Groupon and Google.

Look forward to learning more!


Why We Like It: 

  • Show your real work: The job description asked for someone to run the company’s social media accounts so this member shared a link of the instagram page for the company she’s been consulting for. This provides a visual example of her work and gives her the leg up.
  • Share the value you can bring: This member shares that she led influencer campaigns for zero budget which means that she is scrappy and has the ability to successfully market without a big spend.
  • Be specific with related experience: This role wants someone who has experience in social media and marketing strategy, she not only shares that she has experience in the fitness industry (current role) but also at well-known tech companies including Google and Groupon.

The Second Shift in Fast Company!

In good company: The Second Shift is one of Fast Company’s 10 Most Innovative Workplace Companies.

#1  Microsoft, #4. Dropbox


For creating flexible gigs for mid-career women

The Second Shift is a small company, but it’s tackling a critical workforce problem: lack of flexible opportunities for women, especially mid-career, when many are assuming primary caregiving responsibilities for children and/or parents. The company connects employers with experienced women to fill in for positions or tackle special projects.


We could not have said it better. So proud to be recognized for the work we do and the amazing talent in our Second Shift members!! Keep you the good work and let’s continue to #makeworkworkforyou

Featured Member: Joanna Rohr


Whether playing rugby or organizing sports entertainment events for companies who’s mission she believes in, Joanna Rohr says it’s important to live and work your values. As our Featured Member she offers guidance about how to treat those above and below you and how her industry needs to change to support working mothers.


Tell us your work story : Who are you and what do you do?

I’ve been a sports marketing consultant and event producer for over 10 years. I’ve been managing sponsorship and events for brands such as adidas, Gatorade, Progressive and Under Armour. I pride myself in my strong Midwest work ethic, creative problem solving, and leadership abilities. I am passionate about connecting people through sport and entertainment experiences. I left the agency world a year and a half ago so I could have more work life balance to raise my daughter. When I’m not pursuing freelance passion projects, you can find me playing rugby, traveling, skiing, and enjoying the outdoors with my husband Paul and my daughter Bailey.


What is your proudest professional accomplishment?

Producing the adidas Parley Run for the Oceans event in NYC, raising awareness of marine plastic pollution through running.


What is the hardest challenge you’ve faced, work-wise? (Please think broadly here. This can be anything from a tricky boss or colleague to whether or not to return to a job after maternity leave.)

The hardest challenge has been trying to balance my career and raising a child in a country and an industry that doesn’t support mothers.


If you could change one thing about how your given field operates, particularly with regards to women, what would it be, and why?

The biggest thing I would change is a more acceptable national maternity leave policy. It’s crucial for the physical, mental and emotional wellbeing that a mother and a child be together for the first few months. Working in the event marketing industry has such high demands on travel, often 50-75% of your time is on the road, it makes it impossible for a new mother to meet her babies needs when she has to go back to work 6 weeks later.


What advice do you have for other women looking to make a career change but are afraid or lack confidence? How is it on the other side?

I would say not to hesitate to enlist the support and guidance of other women. Once you figure out what career or company you want to work for, don’t hesitate to let it be known. Women can be really helpful to one another, you just need to enlist the right support and ask the key questions and the doors will open.


Do you have any advice on how to craft a winning pitch?

When I’m pitching, I always try to put myself in my clients shoes and figure out their pain points. What problem are they trying to solve? What are they being measured by? Once you’re on the same page and in the trenches, your work will show, you’ll be able to find strong solutions and they’ll see you as a true extension of their team.


What continues to draw you to your chosen field and what do you hope to accomplish in the years ahead?

I love the creative problem solving that comes with my job. I hope to continue to help brands build events and partnerships that help them reach their goals. My goal would be to work with more brands and projects that I’m inspired by such as REI & Patagonia.


What is the best piece of professional advice you’ve ever received?

One of my first bosses did a secret test during my first interview. While I was waiting, he had the receptionist spill a tray. There was water and papers everywhere and she was embarrassed. I got up to help her with a smile and told her if she hadn’t done it I would have. He told me I passed and that he only wanted to hire people that would help wherever needed and were kind to everyone. That always stuck with me. Treat the CEO and the Janitor the same and everyone will want to work with you. There have been so many times that my path has crossed with people I’ve worked with in the past. It’s important to make a good impression with everyone, senior and junior, you never know where they’ll end up, they may end up being your boss or client one day!


Who has been your biggest cheerleader // supporter // mentor? 

My girlfriends that I worked with at Match Marketing Group. They’ve been my biggest supporters in breaking out to do freelance work, they’ve even hired me over the past year!


How do negotiate the balance between life and work when you are the one setting the boundaries?

It’s difficult to find balance but I think being kind to yourself during the process is important. I try not to beat myself up too much if I’m not doing a great job of juggling it all. It’s impossible to be a perfect mom but you can be a great mom. I do regular monthly check ins with my husband and myself so we can adjust however needed.


If you could tell your younger self one thing about what this professional journey would be like, what would you tell her?

Nothing will turn out the way you planned, stay flexible and enjoy the ride!


How do you make work work for you? 

I make work work by only taking projects I’m passionate about and work for my family. Projects that aren’t too demanding with travel and have realistic timelines are key when you’re a mom.


If you want to be a Featured Member please fill out this form:

Fair and Equal

These days, in many marriages men are becoming more “woke” to imbalanced invisible labor and the importance of realigning responsibilities, especially when both partners are working parents. A new Gallup study shows that even though men agree with the idea of gender equity in the home, the reality is that roles often fall according to gendered lines with women taking on most of the tasks around childcare and managing the household. However, and here is the rub, the same study shows that a majority of men think they are doing an equal share. That’s what Fair Play is all about– it’s a system for families to look clearly at the tasks that go into maintaining their family and deciding who and how they get done. It’s not always going to wind up being equal, but it should be transparent and honest and up for negotiation. 


Eve Rodsky, the creator of Fair Play, offered to coach two lucky Second Shift members as they reorganize their family responsibilities using the Fair Play system. Marlo and Pia (names are changed to protect their privacy) generously offered to let us follow their journey. Here are their initial thoughts as they start Eve’s process. 




How long have you been married?

11 years


How many kids and ages?

3 kids (ages 6, 9 & 11)


Where do you live?

Miami Beach


What inspired you to apply for a Fair Play bootcamp?

I read the book and loved it.  It resonated with me more than any other book I’ve read regarding the challenges I face trying to balance work and home responsibilities.


What makes you excited to work with Eve?

I am hoping that she can help me get my husband on board with implementing the program.  He is more hands-on and helpful around the house than many other husbands/dads I know, but I think he is afraid that the program is an attack on him and criticism of him not doing enough when he feels he does a lot.  I am excited to work with Eve so she can help me reframe the goal of the program and get him on board.


What is the ultimate goal and what does success look like?

My goals are to reduce the amount of home-related things that I’ve become solely responsible for and create clearer expectations with my husband as to who is responsible for what.


Was your partner/spouse on board? Has he/she read Fair Play?

He has not read fair play and has resisted reading it.  He claims to be on board with the book and with working with Eve, but I think he’s a bit afraid that it’s going to be an attack on him.




How long have you been married?

6 years in April 


How many kids and ages?

3 kids (12, 10, 2)


Where do you live?



What inspired you to apply for a Fair Play bootcamp?

The desire to have a stronger partnership 


What makes you excited to work with Eve?

She has amazing experience and insight on this topic


What is the ultimate goal and what does success look like?

More balanced approach and feeling like we can prioritize each other’s priorities as if they were our own


Was your partner/spouse on board? Have he/she read Fair Play?

My partner is on board. Neither of us has read FairPlay. 


Women on Fire! Join us March 9th.

In honor of International Women’s Day we hope you will join us for a special performance  of Women on Fire: Storie’s from the Frontlines:



This group of true stories was collected by writer and artistic director Chris Henry as she explores the “State of the United States” from different cultural, socio-economic, and diverse perspectives. The all-female cast will be complemented with a modern dance element choreographed by Lorna Ventura with original music by Lars Jacobsen.



The Second Shift team has a block of tickets set aside for our members, friends and allies. Please join us and stay after the show to hear Chris Henry and some of the performers talk about the making of the show.

  • Women on Fire: Stories from the Frontlines
    written by Chris Henry and As Told by a Group of Anonymous Women
    choreographed by Lorna Ventura.
  • The Royal Family Performing Arts Space
    145 West 46th Street, 3rd Floor
    New York, NY 10036

Comeback Careers with Ginny Brzezinski

Ginny Brzesinski and her sister-in-law Mika (you may have heard of her) have a new book out about making a career comeback in your 40s, 50s and beyond. It’s filled with valuable insights and advice from experts (including our co-founder Jenny Galluzzo) as well as a roadmap to pivot or relaunch a career. We had the chance to ask Ginny about her personal experience and inspiration for writing Career Comeback.


Tell us about your own personal journey and how that inspired you and Mika to write this book? 

I spent 12 years on Capitol Hill as a press secretary — a job I loved.  When my boss, Senator Bill Roth of Delaware, lost his re-election bid, I was 7 months pregnant with my second child and my oldest was barely one.  I took that election loss as my own personal off-ramp and embraced being an at home mom for seven years. When the kids were school aged, I got my real estate license and set up a business in residential real estate sales, a career that gave me flexibility and did not require a commute.


Fast forward ten years…as my kids were getting ready to fly the nest, it occurred to me that it was time for me to fly the nest as well — to seize the opportunity to do something meaningful and challenging, something I could love for the next 20 years.  I saw my kids transitioning into super exciting things, and I thought, why not me? But I had no idea how to do that – who changes careers or starts something new in their fifties? I did not know what that would look like or how I would get there…or if I was crazy since I was…gasp…over 50!  It was the perfect midlife storm.


So one morning as I was sitting there, contemplating how to make my next move and watching Mika on Morning Joe talking about her Know Your Value movement, it occurred to me that Know Your Value could help women like me who did not lean in or who had hopscotched their work life around kids.  I also felt that Know Your Value was not talking to women in Mika’s and my own age group. We “mature” women (seriously, we need to come up with new, more flattering verbiage here) have different wants and needs and challenges than Millennials. I thought that Know Your Value could help. So I texted Mika (it may or may not have been an all caps text…) and said KYV needs to help women like me, stat!  We have value too! And Mika texted back (while live on air, no less): Let’s do something together – join the team and we’ll write a book.


At the time, I didn’t think she literally meant a book.  I mean, who just says, let’s write a book? But I said yes, and here we are.


In researching this book, what was the most surprising you discovered?

I was surprised at how many women (like me!) had insecurities about their age and career zig zags.  To me, they appeared totally together, intelligent, amazing, experienced and strong. For so many, their confidence in the career area was crushed.  That’s why we came up with the #strongerwiserbetter hashtag. We all need a little reminder of how awesome we are, and how much value we have.


What do you think are the most important attributes that predict success in a career comeback?

The women I talked to who had successfully returned, transitioned, or started something new had been resilient, unafraid of failing, willing to learn new things, intellectually curious and they didn’t give up.  If they were returning after a career break, they had also been realistic about starting over and willing to play the long game – they realized that their first job back might be a lower level or for less pay, but that they would prove themselves and rise.


What is the goal of this platform and what do you hope to teach women about how to think about their career paths?

We wanted to know: how do you reboot, relaunch, return to, or reinvent a career at age 50?  Or 40? Or 60? And how can you create a career and life that provides purpose and financial security at age 50 and beyond?  With this book, we created a road map to find that comeback career, from revving up your networks to rebooting your resume and aligning your digital footprint with your goals — all through the 50+ lens. But as importantly, we help with the inner journey – rewiring your mindset, calling BS on ageism and building confidence.


Women often psych themselves out before they even get started—what do you advise women who lack confidence or think they cannot have a new career in their 40s and 50s?

We learned so much about the fears and deeply personal feelings women have when they are looking to make a comeback after midlife.  We put up barriers and find reasons why we can’t do things. Just get started – make it a priority.


A few mini tips from our book —


Build confidence through knowledge and expertise.   Make sure your skills and knowledge are relevant – relevancy trumps age every time!  Check out the LinkedIn profiles of people who are in jobs similar to ones you might be interested in.  Compare their resume to yours and see where you might need to brush up or fill in skills. Take a volunteer or pro bono project to freshen your resume.  Keep up with your industry, so when you are ready to go back you are conversant and knowledgeable in interviews.


Own your story.  Don’t apologize or be embarrassed about a career break or your age!


Rev up your network — 85% of jobs are found through connections – start having strategic conversations with people and let them know you are interested in returning or transitioning to a new field.  People want to be helpful – they may not have a job for you, but they may be able to connect you with someone in the field.


There is so much fear in this process!  But don’t fear failure — fear never trying!


Most of all, call BS on ageism, starting with the ageist narrative in your own head.  Turn your age into an advantage! Remember, with your age not only comes wisdom, maturity and experience, but you are more available – no more maternity leaves (!), no more carpools (or fewer), so much less drama.  You can put 120% into something, and that is a huge selling point.

Featured Member: Ife Obi



Ife Obi is an optimist, over-achiever, and a realist. She is our Featured Member because she understands that to #makeworkworkforyou,  it’s important to take risks, make bold changes when it isn’t working for you and trust in your own resilience.  


Tell us your work story : Who are you and what do you do?

I’ve spent over 15 years in marketing entertainment, consumer products, and services. Always striving for more, I ventured out on my own and started to focus on marketing consulting while opening my own small chain of fitness studios in Brooklyn, NY.


What is the hardest challenge you’ve faced, work-wise?

My hardest challenge work-wise was to leave a situation that wasn’t healthy for me and to enter a world of the unknown. I spent a long time in a situation where the environment was toxic but the pay and perks were great. Deciding to leave and take a chance on what’s next, or to stay, make great pay but to give up on my mental well-being was a hard choice to make. But ultimately, in my opinion, it was no longer a choice.


What advice do you have for other women looking to make a career change but are afraid or lack confidence? How is it on the other side?

We thrive in environments that excite us. If a job or a career is not serving us any more, it’s time to change. If not, we just grow resentful and it eats away at so many parts of our lives. It’s important to remember that we are extremely resilient. All the work that we put into what we do is not exclusive to one company, or one department, or even one field. We are problem solvers and hard workers. When we make the change, there may be some hurdles but ultimately, we’ll figure it out and get to where we want to be. And with that you’ll find much more happiness and fulfillment.


What continues to draw you to your chosen field and what do you hope to accomplish in the years ahead?

I believe marketing is all about solving a problem which is what excites me. How do we get this to be viral? How do we drive more revenue? How do we increase users? It always requires new ways of thinking or new techniques or you will end up falling behind. Marketing is the biggest part of the success of any business, and as a business owner myself, it’s important for me to stay in the know, applying those learnings to my own business.



How do negotiate the balance between life and work when you are the one setting the boundaries?


I still struggle in finding the balance as I’m a workaholic, but I have gotten over the idea that I need to prove myself to anyone. If I’m hired to do a job, then they are confident in me getting the job done. So with that I can work remotely, I can leave the office at 5, I can stay home when I’m sick, I can have my life outside of work…and have no guilt.



How do you make work work for you? 

I can’t work just to earn. I have to enjoy what I’m doing, learn from what I’m doing, and it has to come with balance and fulfillment. I make sure whatever I do checks all those boxes.

We want YOU to be a Featured Member!

Sign up here:

The Juggle: Nell Diamond

The Juggler: Nell Diamond, Founder and CEO of Hill House Home, a New York based direct-to-consumer home and lifestyle business.


ON MORNINGS: My morning always changes depending on what time I set my alarm. Henry usually wakes up somewhere in the 7 o’clock hour, which is great. When he was a newborn, he woke up at the 5 o’clock hour, and that was not great. There’s a huge difference between 5 o’clock and 7 o’clock hour. Our nanny comes around eight thirty, so usually, either Teddy or I will work out in the morning, or we’ll all have breakfast together as a family. Henry really likes to make his own smoothie in the morning, with our supervision. Then, at eight thirty, usually depending on whether Henry has a long way to get dressed or not, I will walk to work through Washington Square Park which is my favorite part of the day. It’s so nice.


ON SYSTEMS: I love calendar invites. I think it’s the way to do things. Teddy and I definitely send each other a ton of calendar invites for things we’re doing, including when we’ll be gone for work. Like, lately, Teddy has to be in D.C. a lot for work, so I’ll get a calendar request that I can see on my calendar, reminding me that he’s gone before it actually happens. Other than that, I definitely look at my calendar every night, so that in the morning I’m not surprised by anything. I don’t have to wake up and remember that I have something big that day.


I really like the Gmail snooze feature, too. I’ve been using it a lot. So, I use my inbox basically as a to-do list. If it’s in my inbox that means I have to do it. And I hate at the end of the day when I have all of these things left in there that I can’t actually take action on. So if there’s an email that I need to have an internal meeting before I respond to, I’ll snooze it until the day of that meeting, so that I will get to it then, but I don’t have to take up my mental space thinking about it now when there’s nothing I can do about it. Because there are a ton of emails all the time that I can’t act on right away without doing other things, so that’s been really big for me is to snooze emails because I still get through the ones that I get through.


And then I really try to always respond to emails that I can respond to in less than a minute. So if the response takes less than a minute, just do it right now.


ON BACKUP PLANS: I have a really amazing built-in backup plan: my parents live here. So, there’s definitely been quite a few occasions where I’ve totally misscheduled something and forgotten that both Teddy and I will be at a late meeting until seven thirty or something, and my mom has definitely stepped in. I’ve gotten better at that. I try to look in advance a little bit and know when something is going to be out of the ordinary—that’s where it helps to have a real routine so that I’m not always being surprised and having to recalibrate all the time.


ON COUNTING STEPS: I walk home from work which is a really nice wind down time. I track my steps kind of obsessively. So, I use my Fitbit. I try to get 10k a day, which Teddy laughs at because he’s a crazy marathoner so if he goes outside, he gets ten thousand, whereas for me, it’s a journey. I have to be on an epic odyssey to get ten thousand, but I do it. I do it every day.


ON ME TIME: At night, I really love to read. I love fiction, so I try to read a little bit, even if it’s just five pages. During the week, I find it really hard to be social and then spend a whole day at work the next day, so we try to keep weekday social or work events to a minimum because it’s just hard to recalibrate the next morning.


ON DREAD: I dread being late for work and having to take a cab. I hate it, it starts my whole day off wrong. I hate the feeling of being late, in general.


ON A FIVE-YEAR PLAN: As a business, what we’re really hoping is to re-define modern womanhood. And to kind of allow women to consider things like, what color pink piping goes best with the monogram on my bed at the same time as they’re considering what valuation they should give their business, and how much equity they should give away. And we don’t believe that those two things are mutually exclusive and we do believe that this kind of group of women that have become our customers contain multitudes. We want to allow them the space to be all of those things at once, and never the same thing twice. We’re really proud of the community that we’re building, and we’re also proud of how our products speak for themselves, and allow women to speak for themselves at the same time.



Pitch Perfect: The Not So Perfect Pitch

For Pitch Perfect this month, we are comparing two pitches for the same job and one of them is an example of what NOT to do. 


Example of pitch that needs improvement: 

While my extensive marketing background in luxury e-commerce may suit well, my experience is more strategic than daily tactical so my skills overlap your requirements and your nice-to-have with gaps. I’m the right person to help you build out your growth plan, develop strategy and KPIs, write content, find vendors and tools, and identify growth areas for lead gen and sales. I’m not the one to manage the shopify store, place ads, or design graphics. I realize that I’m not an ideal fit to your posting but Second Shift identified our match so I thought I should respond in the event you don’t find the right fit as soon as you hoped.


Our feedback: 

  • Stay Positive- When applying for a job, don’t say that you are NOT an ideal fit and that there is likely someone better out there for the role.
  • Tell a Story- Don’t call out the gaps in your experience and that you don’t have ALL the skills they are asking for.
  • Be a Team Player- Sell yourself with your can-do attitude and excitement for new opportunities to learn skills and gain experience. 


Example of a good pitch for the same job: 

I am XXX and I am currently the co-founder of an e-commerce site. As we wind down our operations, I am seeking my next role in the design and e-commerce space with a company whose aesthetic inspires me. I hold and MBA as well as over 7 years experience managing e-commerce businesses, but my most recent role is most parallel to this one at XXX.


Over the past four years, I built and managed a Shopify website – with a limited budget. As the lead of e-commerce, I’ve learned the ins and outs of the platform, as well as some coding and software integrations that streamlined business. In addition to managing our site (products, collections, homepage, merchandising, etc.) and keeping it fresh, I’ve lead content and marketing initiatives across all other platforms, including social media and email. For these I wear every hat – from photographer to budgeter and planner.


A self-starter with various applicable skills, I’d love to discuss this more with you.


E-Commerce Manager Job Description and Responsibilities-

The role requires the ability to strategize and execute programs to achieve goals. This includes taking initiative, working with existing retail team, and executing programs from start to finish. In this job you will need the ability to multi-task and manage internal and external resources to successfully bring projects to life. The best team member should have strong visual and communication skills and understand how to prioritize projects. This person must also be a self-starter who has the ability to work well independently and in a team setting (ok if remote)

Managing Products in Shopify

  • Add new products and manage existing products
  • Uploading Pictures
  • Product Description & Dimensions
  • Shopify Tag Management

Merchandising Products and Updating Collections on Shopify

  • Updating Homepage
  • Curated Themes – Product or Inspirational Imagery
  • Test ideas to increase conversions
  • Merchandising/Curation Calendar

Customer Engagement via Social & Email

  • Manage Social Media Accounts
  • Plan daily/weekly campaigns
  • Email Marketing Outreach