#001—Edvolve Together: New Beginnings

Hi all, hope you had a pleasant holiday weekend. A lot is happening in the world… I opened up last week about feeling exhausted + the burnout many of my friends are feeling.  The replies I received were beautiful. I am sending all of you good vibes 💜 

Also, I can’t believe this is Week 10 of my weekly community updates!

To celebrate, let’s try something new.

I’m so grateful for all the feedback I’ve gotten. One thing I’ve heard repeatedly is that while the curated resources are great, people love reading the Final Thoughts. I get at least 15 replies every week asking to share more of my opinions on topics related to the resources I attach.

So, starting this week the email update will look a little different. There will still be plenty of resources for you, and I’ll be diving deeper and sharing more of what’s on my mind.

I’d love to hear your feedback on the new format or any thoughts in general, so please feel free to simply respond to this email 😊

And if you value these updates, please spread the love and forward them to anyone you think could benefit.

Share Edvolve Together

For my new readers, be sure to add shireen@edvo.com and now shireen@substack.com to your contacts so these don’t head to spam!

Now, on to more good stuff 👇


💼 Hiring and Job Hunting 

I’ve been thinking a lot about how I started my career. I recently spoke about it with Trish Lindo, a veteran of the entertainment biz here in LA, on this week’s Edvolution podcast episode.

One thing we both have in common is that we ignored advice about how to start our careers. In Trish’s case, a professor advised her to start her career in a small town and work her way up—the conventional route. 

She headed straight for Hollywood instead. 

When I was graduating, I had a lot of people telling me I needed to get a job, save up money, and then start my own business. But something about that just didn’t feel right to me. I knew I had the skills and the drive to strike out on my own, and so—against a lot of advice—I did. That decision led me here, and I couldn’t be happier with how it happened. 

So, as you search for a job or simply evaluate your options right now, I’d encourage you to listen to your instincts at least as much as you listen to other people’s advice. Even if things don’t work out exactly as you planned (they rarely do), at least you’ll know you owned it. 

Here are some resources to help you get going:

#nowhiring on LinkedIn has new posts daily from people offering opportunities—it’s a good follow for relevant posts. 

Navigating a lay-off? Here's the recording from an AMA (Ask Me Anything) I conducted a few weeks ago to help you deal with this transition.

• Austin Belcak's webinar on Getting The Dream Job here. He also offers career (paid) coaching. If you're interested, use Edvo25 and you'll get 25% off  (I/Edvo don't take any affiliate fees—just sharing for the community!)

Job Search Bootcamp: I love spending one week each month hosting this bootcamp. Back in the day, I used to host these every week. I started again in March to support folks during CV-19.  Over 50,000 people have joined me for these bootcamps over the years, and it's been incredible bringing these back as a passion project. Since so many of you requested weekend dates for the monthly job search bootcamps, my June bootcamp will be during the day on a weekend! Tickets are available here (early bird ends this week) 🚀 And shoutout to Playa Tech for co-hosting these bootcamps with me!


👫🏼 Social and Professional Hangouts

The boom in virtual meetings and hangouts has me thinking about the divide between in-person and online education. I was talking to someone recently who was adamant that in-person education was superior to anything online. 

Personally, I’m not so sure about that. 

In the past, online education hasn’t really been optimized for success. As interest grows, we’re going to see more of the kinks being worked out in online education, just as we’re seeing better networking and health and wellness events being held virtually. Plus, our efforts at in-person education in this country aren’t exactly going great either, so I don’t believe we should dismiss online education and training. In-person and virtual learning can be used in tandem, and people should be given the options that work best for them. 

After all, virtual events are all we have right now, and they’re working pretty well 👇

• Software Testing Meet Up

May 28th, 5:30 p.m. PDT

The latest in this series of QA/Devs Meetups, with teams from Split.io and Sweetgreen! RSVP here.

• Mothers in Tech, Brunch

May 29th, 8:00 a.m. PDT

In celebration of Mother's Day, come join this virtual breakfast featuring hard-working mothers who are also succeeding in their respective industries. A few incredible mothers will share their insights on how they achieved success, advice on navigating the workplace as a working mom, and how we can help the next generation of mothers in tech. Get ready for an honest, vulnerable, and insightful conversation. RSVP here.

• BYOL Virtual Lunch, Community Talk via Ladies Get Paid

May 29th, 10:00 a.m. PDT

Whether it's our jobs, our partners, or even where we live, if our life choices are out of alignment with our values, we can feel it. And it usually doesn't feel good. In this week's BYOL, let's talk about how to identify our values and then orient them in a direction that brings us joy and purpose. RSVP here.

• HiiT Total Body Workout

May 29th, 12:00 p.m. PDT

No interest in the constant jumping and endless burpees that usually accompany at home workouts? Get ready for the ultimate Iron Cardio approach to torching calories and building muscle. RSVP here.

• UX, LGBTQIA+ Happy Hour

June 2nd, 5:00 p.m. PDT

A nice little virtual hangout for the late afternoons to unwind and chat with fellow UX practitioners. RSVP here.

• Uncover Your Purpose, Career Coaching

June 3rd, 6:00 p.m. PDT

Facilitated by Ladies Get Paid founder, Claire Wasserman, this group coaching session is dedicated to helping you shift your mindset around what work can be, and find clues that will help bring you closer to a career full of purpose and meaning. RSVP here.


😎 Fun Things to Brighten Your Day

One of the worst narratives that has come out of the pandemic is the idea that we need to “hustle” and make some massive change to ourselves during a pandemic. Plenty of people have spoken up in opposition to this narrative, but I continue to see it in my news feeds.

Right now, just taking some time for yourself may be the best thing for you. Maybe that means learning something new or maybe it means getting out for a walk every day. And even if you start a new project or try to learn an instrument, nothing says you need to become a pro. Your hobbies are valid no matter how much attention you get from them.

Do things because they bring you enjoyment and a little peace in this hectic world. That’s enough.

• If you do want to pick up an instrument: Fender is offering free guitar classes here!

• Or if you just want to listen to some music with friends, check out AuxParty for group music listening!

• My parents and I got together for a virtual game night last week. It took me about 30 minutes to get them set up, but it was worth it lol! Check out PlayingCards.io for virtual card games, BoardGameArena for virtual board games, and Kahoot! for online trivia!

DownDog Yoga is free until July 1 for college students and healthcare professionals.

• And here’s Google Earth Tours of UNESCO World Heritage Sites


⭐ Final Thoughts

Regardless of how I’m feeling, something that always cheers me up is being able to pay it forward—whether it’s by sharing a simple resource, complimenting someone, or giving feedback, it makes everyone feel better when they can support someone + receive support from someone. 

Since I started holding career Bootcamps again, I’ve been blown away by how eager participants have been to help others and pay it forward after the Bootcamp is over. They’re offering to review resumes, host mock interviews, help with personal branding, and share networking advice. It’s incredible to see so many people step up to help others right now.

If you need help with anything career-related, I can put you in touch with a former boot camp participant, or answer any questions myself. Feel free to reply to this email. 💜


And that brings us to the end of the new and improved community update. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I did putting it together. Have a great rest of your week!

P.S. I’d love to get your feedback! Let me know what you thought of this week’s update, and if there’s anything else you want resources on! Just reply to this email - it’ll only take a moment but would be extremely helpful.