This gal on our business blog knows a thing or two about women in business as she founded Career Contessa, a blog that prides itself on “having honest conversations about work and life” – something we all can benefit from and relate to. Already Inspired? Ya, us too! So Without further ado, meet Lauren, and take a look at The Unique Space (quite literally) she works at!
Name: Lauren McGoodwin
Company: Career Contessa
Title: Founder + CEO
City: Los Angeles, CA
Tell us a little about Career Contessa and how it got started!
I launched Career Contessa in 2013, because I was hungry for a resource that offered both inspiration and actionable insight for my own career. At the time, I was at a job I hated and desperate for some career direction. Although I was ambitious, I struggled with deciding which career to pursue. Even after I decided to pursue a career as a recruiter, there was nothing online that provided an honest look into how I could get that job or what the day-to-day was like.
I couldn’t find any one resource that filled that need for me—so I decided to create it myself! I created Career Contessa to have real women provide the information I was looking for about work and life. And the site has grown so much in just a little over a year! Our focus at Career Contessa continues to be facilitating honest conversations (by women, for women)—offering inspiration for and practical advice about work and life. Now, we do this through our profiles of successful women in various fields and with our relevant blog content, ranging in topics from how-to’s to personal essays to salary information.
What does a typical work day look like for you?
I’m pretty serious about my morning routine and, luckily, I’m also a very early bird. Every morning starts with some exercise—usually a run or an exercise class (I’m currently into kickboxing). Next comes coffee, answering emails, and diving into my to-do list. It’s nice to be able to start work knowing I’ve gotten some “me” time” in already, and it sets the rest of my day in motion. I’m also more creative in the morning, so I like to take on projects involving strategy or writing at that time. Then I spend a big chunk of my afternoon either in meetings, fulfilling admin duties, or checking in with the team.
What is your favorite part of the office and why?
The Unique Space is not only pretty to look at, but it’s filled with other interesting people and activities. I’ve met plenty of new business people while in the kitchen making coffee, and I’ve learned about cool events because they’re being hosted at The Unique Space. Overall, the space works really well for where Career Contessa is as a business. We’re a startup, we have employees located throughout Los Angeles, and we’re not interested in maintaining a constant space. With Unique, we’ve found a solution to all of that—and the occasional food truck visit doesn’t hurt either!
With all the amazing women you feature we’re sure you’ve received some great tips, what’s the best business advice you’ve ever received?
Some of the best advice I’ve received includes staying focused and persistent, as well as valuing and maintaining relationships. Staying focused is definitely a challenge for me. There are so many good ideas and so many directions you can take your business, but if you lose focus, you can wind up going too many directions and not getting very far with any. Building and maintain relationships is a given, so I remember to not just reach out to people when I need something. The magic of relationship-building comes from staying in touch organically.
What do you look for in the contessas you feature?
We look at a lot of different things when considering a Contessa, such as: her job, industry, location, diversity, and more. However, the most important thing we look for is women who are passionate about their work and their desire to share an honest picture of their job. We don’t want to hear just the good parts—we want it all and we want real women sharing what their work is really like. We’re not helping anyone if we sugarcoat all day long. We want to help women learn more about the careers they’re interested in, because we recognize the effect that loving what you do can have on the rest of your life.
What you wanted to be when you grew up: Interior designer
Beauty secret: Clarisonic (although I’m not sure this is a secret anymore!)
Celebrity style crush: Jessica Alba and Lauren Conrad (It’s a tie)
Secret talent: I can make a cauliflower pizza that you’ll actually want to eat
I can’t live without: My Fitbit