Meet our new featured member Nishea Clark.


Nishea Clark is a Second Shift member who truly understands what it means to take a leap and bet on yourself. She holds an MBA from Kellogg and has worked as a marketing consultant for companies such as Pfizer, XM Satellite Radio and Johnson & Johnson, as well as advertising agencies and the US Army. Nishea is our featured member because she exemplifies many of the attributes that make up our incredible network of women– she is smart, ambitious, a go-getter who knows her worth, and isn’t afraid to capitalize on her strength and determination.

–What inspired you to choose to go freelance?

It was actually an accident of sorts. I was at a job I detested and was miserable. A friend called and asked for help,  he said, “don’t quit your day job, just take a couple of days off, make some good money consulting.“ I quit anyway, I thought to myself,  this will give me enough money, plus my savings, to have a fun summer while looking for a new job. I sent an email to some old colleagues and friends saying I was taking the summer off but if anyone needed any help or knew of interesting projects, let me know. I was completely booked 24 hours later, never took my big summer vacation and that was 14 years ago this May.

–You recently completed a job through the Second Shift– how did you find the process?

The process was incredibly simple– I responded to the request while in line at the super market from my iPhone, I heard back the next day, took the interview while on vacation at Disney World with my kids and started a few days later when I got back to NY. My client was nice, smart, flexible and gave me the autonomy and trust that I love, so I had the freedom to deliver a great end product.

–What is your schedule– are you "on” certain hours or days or months and then “off” at other times? What is your personal balance?

Work-life balance has been a work in progress for me. I tend to always be “on”. I check my phone constantly and I am very nocturnal, which has given me an edge on international projects when I may respond to RFPs while my competitors are still asleep. I am good at working wherever I am, so it is not unusual for me to be writing emails or drafting report outlines while waiting in the car to pick up my daughter from school. I have put hard stops on deliverables when I know I will be away with the kids or they have important events like the Holiday concert and kindergarten graduation.

– Any tips for women in full-time careers looking to downshift to a more flexible Second Shift schedule?

Know your limits and expectations for yourself. Understand your motivations for working and imbed those within your freelance career.  Then sell them to your client as an asset. For me personally, I work best when I can spend the majority of my time in my own environment. I found that I got little done in the typical office environment.  When I was able to set up my home office to my own needs, set up my own hours (my most inspired thinking is late at night) and utilize technology to still be “everywhere” and extremely accessible, I can deliver great work. I sell that to my clients. I remind them that they don’t have to waste office space and resources on me, that because I am self-motivated, they don’t have to waste their own precious time checking-up on me. I tell them how great they will feel when they walk into their office in the morning and find that their deliverables and updates are already sitting in their email first thing because I likely sent them at 2am. No spending half the day anxious about your report coming in. And I make sure to deliver on my process to be accessible and flexible.

–You have your own consulting business– what sorts of jobs do you take on and why?

I specialize in market research, planning and strategy. New product launches are especially interesting for me. I love the thought process of investigating a marketplace, looking for new angles or untapped opportunities and a unique niche. I greatly enjoy interviewing (both business customers and consumers) to try and delve into motivations and expectations. I have worked domestically and internationally in a wide variety of category areas including pharmaceuticals, consumer packaged goods, tourism, financial services, media and entertainment. My engagements have been as short as one week and as long as four years. I pride myself on making it as easy as possible for the client to work with me and get great results.