TBM's Back-to-Work & Back-to-School List

Summer is winding down - can you believe it? It's time to kick off the flip flops and pack up a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils (or, your laptop). Whether you're starting your last year of college or grad school, or making your first major leap into the workforce, here's Laura's Top Ten for college-aged Millennials. 

1. You define your own success; be patient about achieving your goals.

The first year out of school, whether that’s college, grad school, etc. is tough for everyone, even people who move immediately into jobs in their field. It takes time to build a career, financial health, and your personal/professional identity. Your adult life is not going to magically “start” the year after graduating. Don’t put pressure on yourself to compete with your peers. Everyone is going to develop in their own way over time. You do you.

2. Learning doesn’t stop after college.

Make reading (books, papers, articles, etc.) a priority and a practice. Push yourself into new experiences that will require you to build and stretch your skill-sets: both your hard skills and your soft skills.

3. "Don’t get so busy making a living, that you forget to make a life."- Dolly Parton

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in being someone of “value” in the workplace, that we lose perspective on everything else (family, relationships, your own health and self improvement). Practice setting boundaries with yourself, and learn to say NO! Developing that good habit now will serve you for years to come, and will also help you avoid burnout, which is becoming a major issue for strong, intelligent, driven women of our generation.  

4. Find advocates in addition to mentors.

We all need and benefit from having mentors, so make sure to develop and nurture those relationships. But try to find a few mentors who are also champions and advocates of you and your work. These advocates can not only guide you professionally, but help you find, create, and build upon opportunities. You attract advocates by your actions and performance! Perform well and develop authentic relationships with colleagues and people you respect and admire. The best mentoring relationships are a two-way street.  

5. Learn how to negotiate.

Negotiating skills are some of the most important communication skills you can develop. Whether you’re buying a car, being hired for a new job, or collaborating with co-workers—negotiating is a part of life. I recommend reading Fearless Negotiating by Michael Donaldson. His “wish, want, walk” method is simple and effective!

6. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, in whatever aspect of your life.

It doesn’t make you weak, it doesn’t mean that you’re not capable… But sometimes you can’t do things on your own, and you’d be surprised at how supportive your colleagues, friends or family will be if you just ask! Remember, none of us accomplishes anything alone.

7. Opt out of toxic relationships.

Be mindful about the company you keep. As we grow older, it is okay to become more selective about who we spend quality time with. It’s okay to say goodbye to relationships that unhealthy or that don’t serve you. Dating someone who doesn’t treat you well? Have a friend you can’t trust or rely on? Letting go of these relationships can be hard, but it is oh-so worth it in the long run.

8. Call your parents.

If your parents, grandparents, whoever raised you are still in your life, make time to call them. These relationships mature as you grow older, and they can be very rewarding in your young adult life. Your parents have been where you are and can offer a surprising amount of support and wisdom if you give them the chance.

9. Keep your social media cleaned up!

I can’t stress how important this is. What you post on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, etc. is a reflection of you, and oftentimes it's permanent. Recruiters use social media to check you out in the hiring process. Time to untag/delete any party photos from college! Smart, articulate, accomplished young women can end up looking irresponsible, immature, and unprofessional because of party posts. Social media is a great place to express yourself, but be mindful of your internet image.

10. Learn how to manage your personal finances.

Take an online course, read a book, ask your parents—do what you can to learn about how to manage and maximize your personal finances. Avoid getting into unnecessary credit card debt; it might be tempting to splurge on a fancy purse, but it will cost you more down the road. Live within your means, save what you can, and don’t avoid checking your bank account—you should be tracking it every day!

The First 48 Hours.

By: Laura | March 3, 2016

Words almost can't express our gratitude for the amazing response we've received since launching the site two days ago. Thank you to everyone who's emailed us, Facebooked us, texted us, and shared our news in your own social networks. We've connected with some incredible women across the country and completely filled our capacity for our LA event on March 16th. To those who would still like to participate, we're already thinking about doing another session in LA later this year, as well as finding a way for you to contribute online. A huge thrill for us has been receiving emails from brand new friends and we are genuinely excited for the chance to meet so many new people throughout the course of this year. 

Lauren and I are not professional bloggers, trained writers, educated researchers, or accomplished filmmakers. But we are storytellers. And we feel the stories of our generation are ready for an authentic and supportive platform. We have some story vehicles in mind, but what we find over the next year may require something we haven't thought of yet - and we're okay with that. We know that by listening and learning the stories of our community will tell us how they want to be told. Right now our favorite saying is "we don't know exactly where we're going, but we're on the way!" - you can imagine why. 

Brave M. will be growing (digitally and emotionally) over the next several months and we appreciate you coming along for the ride. We are in need of a few resources in every city, so if you're in a Brave M. city on the current list, we'd love your help! We have acquired a few sponsors for specific cities and items, but will definitely need more. These are things like: still photography, professional video/audio support, event spaces, event rentals, food/wine, web support, accommodations, and access to local social networks. Shoot us a line if you would like to volunteer or contribute. 

It's 12:04am on the east coast, so that means it's Friday, which means it's the weekend! Have a great one, everybody. 


The Doing of the Thing is the Thing

By: Laura | March 1st, 2016

Last year, while we (Lauren and I) were both experiencing some major life transitions (see: job changes, cross-country moves, etc.) we decided we wanted to work together. We wanted to collaborate. We wanted to make something. But most of all, we wanted to make a difference. The question was: how? 

One of my favorite books in recent memory is Yes, Please by Amy Poehler. There's a chapter where Amy writes, "talking about the thing is not the thing, the doing of the thing is the thing." This quote has been lodged in the back of my mind for months. It's not enough to simply talk about the thing. You have to do the thing. So, after months of talking, planning, brainstorming, worrying, and dreaming, we are excited to finally say: we're doing the thing. 

The Brave Millennial is the thing and it's happening! We don't know where this journey will lead us, and we don't know what stories will unfold, but we are beyond thrilled to jump into the infinite abyss and see what happens. 

Thank you to our families and friends who have already shown us tremendous support in launching this endeavor. Want to join us on this journey? Here we go.