NY Times keeps the convo going

This past Sunday NY Times Magazine was titled The Work Issue and we applaud them for continuing to push the topic. One article in particular, Parent Companies, focused on companies changing their entire office culture to create to increase flexibility Here is a sample that perfectly sums up why The Second Shift is not just trying to find flexible jobs for our small sample of women, we are trying to effectively change the way that businesses think about work/ life balance, career path fluidity and working women. This is our mission and we are thrilled to see that the cultural zeitgeist is moving in our direction. 

Workers in the experimental group were told they could work wherever, and whenever, they chose so long as projects were completed on time and goals were met; the new emphasis would be on results rather than on the number of hours spent in the office. Managers were trained to be supportive of their employees’ personal issues and were formally encouraged to open up about their own priorities outside work — an ill parent, or a child wanting her mom to watch her soccer games. Managers were given iPods that buzzed twice a day to remind them to think about the various ways they could support their employees as they managed their jobs and home lives.

The research found that employees in the experimental group met their goals as reliably as those in the control group, and they were, in short, much happier: They were sleeping better, were healthier and experienced less stress. Other studies examining the same workplace found that the effects even cascaded down to employees’ children, who reported less volatility around their own daily stresses; adolescents saw the quality of their sleep improve. A year out, and then three years out, employees in the experimental group reported less interest in leaving the organization than those in the control group.

Pitch Perfect

Whatever term you use, being a freelancer/ consultant/ independent contractor is tricky. One of the many difficulties is the need to understand and put a value on your own worth. The Second Shift is a marketplace, so it is up to our members to pitch themselves for available work. The pitch is often a source of uncertainty and stress. Some of our members are seasoned pitch pros and we asked them for tips on what works to sell yourself.

Linda Rink is a 20 year marketing consultant veteran, she says, “Keep in mind that the pitch serves two purposes: 1) To convince the client that you can do the job better than anyone else, and 2) To minimize the potential for misunderstandings between you and the client once you are awarded the work. So a well-thought-out proposal not only may land you the contract – it may also save you grief, aggravation, and even money.  Think of it as a “win-win” proposal – both you and your client benefit!”

Member Abby Levy is a management consultant who says being first to reply to a job posting may give you a leg up on the competition.  “The pitch is the chance for someone to really get to know you, and determine not only are you qualified, but will I like working with you.”

  • She lists a few important to steps ensure you pitch stands out:
  • Specify that you have done projects like this before, if you have, and how you will approach it in general terms.
  • Indicate your relevant background and/or transferable skills
  • Articulate what you at excel at.
  • Be available to Facetime, speak or meet in person ASAP.
  • Reference Relevant specific experience from prior projects
  • Share what working with you will look like – include your key work streams or activities, milestones, deliverables or outputs and what resources you will need.
  • Finally – show enthusiasm for their business or the problem you are solving.

From the flip side we spoke a repeat client, Mike Steib CEO of the XO Group.  He agreed with Abby that being first in really makes a difference. So does emphasizing your background and relevant experience for the particular project. In the what not to do column he says, “ I got one pitched that just said attached is my resume, I didn’t open it.”

So what did the winning pitch look like? The XO Group hired the candidate whose pitch was concise, specific and confident.

Greetings, I have 20 years of experience in market research and strategic consulting. I have worked with some of the top corporations in the world providing strategic advice and research services, including my current client Pfizer and others such as McDonalds, P&G, Novartis, XM Sirius Radio and Johnson & Johnson. I typically conduct multiple market sizing exercises a year for various clients and have led numerous due diligence projects and go/no-go engagements. Additionally, I have personally moderated several thousand market research interviews through the years, including focus groups, individual interviews and online interviews. Your opportunity sounds very engaging. I’m happy to sign your NDA and agree to your hourly rate. I look forward to hearing from you.

Here are some samples of pitches we really enjoy:

I am a journalist in the New York City area specializing in business, finance & economics. I spent nearly a decade at Forbes magazine, working my way up from reporter to staff writer, while covering a multitude of topics that included profiles on entrepreneurs and corporations large and small; numerous money & investing articles; and even some investigative stories. Currently I ghostwrite a column for a Forbes executive’s blog/column on Leadership. These articles typically focus on a technology entrepreneur–their story, how they started their company, and where they see their industry heading. Given my background and expertise, I think I would be an excellent candidate for the blogger/copywriter position. Below are a few examples of the columns I have ghostwritten. I am happy to provide other writing samples if desired. Thank you. 

Hello! I would love to work with you on your design needs. I have 10+ years experience as a freelance designer, working in advertising, layout, print and digital graphics, infographics and illustration. I have designed brochures for publishing houses like Random House and Penguin Books, created an anniversary logo for Columbia University and designed icons and infographics for magazines such as Fast Company. I am very familiar with working with brand standards, having worked with clients such as Knoll, whose signature style has really been upheld through a strong and consistent use of their brand guidelines. I am organized and responsive, and find it rewarding to have clients with whom I can form a long-term relationship. I was looking through your website and see you are building a new makerspace—I’m very interested in digital fabrication so think that’s particularly exciting! Please visit my website: to see some of the work I’ve done, and let me know if you have any questions or would like to speak further. Thanks so much!

I am a marketing strategist turned e-commerce specialist. I’ve worked on multiple market analysis type research projects in my many years as a consultant. I have experience and knowledge in skincare (worked at LVMH), healthy lifestyle (worked at PepsiCo’s Global Nutrition Group), and am very familiar with the involvement of technology in this field (i.e. wearables etc.). I served as a director of consumer insights at a public company and have vast knowledge in market research. Lastly, I’ve done independent research for various consulting groups and online retailers, who I am happy to provide as reference. Please let me know if you have any questions and if you’d like to set up a call to further discuss.

So go out there and pitch away. If you have any questions or concerns you can always reach out to us at info@thesecondshift.com. Good luck!

A Colleague Drank My Breast Milk and Other Wall Street Tales

A Colleague Drank My Breast Milk and Other Wall Street Tales

It’s Payback Time for Women

It’s Payback Time for Women

Get to work!

For the first two years of the Second Shift we worked from our dining room tables, which meant lunchtimes with Jenny’s 3 year old or Gina’s cat Gibby. This past year we grew from 2 – 4 people and moved to a “real office” which is a few desks in a friend’s shared work space. We are 15 years older than everyone around us, but that’s very helpful when we can’t figure out how to link Tumblr to Twitter or get the copier to connect wirelessly.  We are just one story in 54 million—that’s the estimate of how many people took on freelance work in 2015.  While we got lucky in our present situation, there are lots of options out there for Second Shift members who need to find a quiet, non-sticky space to get down to business. Don’t be afraid to set up shop and make new, younger friends– at the very least you will finally learn the difference between a gif and a meme. 

Here are a few to check out: 













Happy new year from the Second Shift! We are looking forward to all that 2016 will bring while we reflect on how much we have accomplished in 2015. What a year it’s been!

We officially launched this company a year ago with an idea, a website built from sticks and gum, a few friendly businesses we pestered to give us jobs and a handful of women who agreed to be our guinea pigs. We started out with “a dollar and a dream” and became a full-fledged women owned and operated start-up. In the past year our network grew to 500 women with many more patiently waiting as we diligently vet them for membership. We brought on an amazing CFO, Kemp Steib, who will guide our business to great heights. A dream came true when the NY Times wrote a story about our incredible members and the mission of the Second Shift. Most importantly, many women are now matched with work that provides them the flexibility to make work work for them. 

We want to sincerely thank all of our members and the businesses we work with who understand the talent, value and expertise of our network. In 2016 we will work tirelessly to create more opportunities for our members and to strengthen our community. We accomplished so much in one short year… can’t wait to see what happens next! 


Mara Geronemus is a rock star– she is a valued member of the Second Shift who has tackled numerous projects through our marketplace, she did most of the legal work for the formation of the Second Shift, she is the mother of 3 little kids, PTA president of their school,  and makes a mean baked ziti. We asked her a few questions about her time balance and the legal implications of being an independent contractor. 


True story from Co-Founder Jenny Galluzzo

In the scope of life’s highs and lows, yesterday really stood out. I woke up to the realization of a dream– the Second Shift was profiled in the NY Times! The day went by in blur of congratulatory phone calls and emails and women signing up for membership and companies posting jobs.  I was floating on a cloud  . .  .until my six year old son’s school called to tell me nobody had come to pick him up. Oops – I totally forgot that his Thursday after-school program ended last week!  I naturally started freaking out, but the sweet woman and fellow working mom that I was on the phone with wound up comforting me; telling me to take a deep breath and run out to get him. I jumped on the subway frantic and nearly in tears, until I realized that he was safe and well taken care of, and that it was neither the first nor the last time this has and will happen.  The irony of having a business about balancing work and family and the lack of balance in my own life is not lost on me. I try to laugh it off but we mothers put so much stress on ourselves. Balancing a growing businesses, two little kids in two schools and a a zillion other life commitments means that things fall through the cracks and we have to cut ourselves and others a little slack. I find that I am good at being empathetic to others and I have to remember to show myself the same kindness.