Book Review: In the Company of Women

In the Company of Women

Grace Bonney, founder of Design*Sponge, opens her introduction with a quote by activist Marian Wright Edelman, “You can’t be what you can’t see.” Representation matters, and this is the impetus behind the creation of Bonney’s collection of interviews, In the Company of Women. As an entrepreneur herself, Bonney wanted to create a book depicting role models to inspire all women on their own professional journeys. The makers, artists, and entrepreneurs interviewed include women of color, women from the LGBT community, and differently abled women — communities that are often underrepresented — who are running their own businesses.

Each woman’s story is unique, but they are connected in their passion, dedication, and determination. Some of the life and business lessons shared here are similar, but ultimately they demonstrate that there are many paths possible in pursuing your dream as long as you continue to learn and adapt.

In the Company of Women is available from the East Baton Rouge Parish Library, and below is a sampling of the interviews.

Danielle Colding: Interior Designer, Brooklyn, NY

What was the best piece of business advice you were given when you were starting out?

To make sure to hire professionals to do the things you are not good at or knowledgeable about. The key takeaway was that you don’t have to be able to do everything on your own. Look to the experts when you need to.

Amalia Mesa-Bains: Artist, Curator, Author, San Juan Bautista, CA

What does success mean to you?

When I was younger, I thought success was about big, prestigious exhibitions. But as the years have passed, I feel even more successful when my work, both art and writing, is valuable to a younger generation, a legacy of sorts.

Roxanne Gay: Writer, Professor, West Lafayette, Indiana

What characteristic do you most admire in other creative women?

I admire their tenacity, their capacity for creating beauty and the unexpected forms that beauty takes.

Matika Wilbur: Photographer, Seattle, WA

If you were given $100 million, would you run your business any differently? How so?

Yes, I’d hire “superpeople.” We’d work in education, media, and music, and I’d create a fun, get-things-done professional and business network, like a consortium to celebrate Native artistic and intellectual talent. (There’s so much out there!) And I’d support important battles and challenges that my people, especially Native children and women, are up against.

Veronica Corzo-Duchardt: Graphic Designer, Artist, Philadelphia, PA

In moments of self-doubt or adversity, how do you build yourself back up?

When I’m doubting myself or having a hard time, I turn to my wife and a few close friends. It’s really important to surround yourself with people who are supportive. They usually help me put things into perspective. And at the very least, they’ll make me a strong whiskey cocktail and tell me how awesome I am, which doesn’t hurt.

Natalie Chanin: Fashion Designer, Florence, AL

Name a fear or professional challenge that keeps you up at night.

Cash flow. Cash flow. Cash flow. It is a good thing that many businesses are started by the young because older, more financially savvy people might never make the leap. I always advise those who want to start their own businesses to learn as much as possible about accounting, saving, and investing. Many families count on me and on the business I created to put food on their tables. That is not a responsibility I take lightly.

Carla Hall: Chef, Television Host, Washington, D.C.

What’s the hardest thing about being your own boss that isn’t obvious?

The lack of an employee annual review. There are times when I would welcome a report card from a third party.

Ayumi Horie: Potter, Portland, ME

Name the biggest lesson you’ve learned in running a business.

The lesson I’ve learned over and over is not to compromise on quality. Even though it might take twice as long to attend to all the tiny details necessary to make something shipshape, it’s worth the effort.

Mary Verdi-Fletcher: Dancer, Choreographer, Cleveland, OH

What did you want to be when you were a child?

I wanted to be a dancer and follow in my mother’s footsteps for as long as I can remember. I believe I was three years old when I started telling people that I wanted to be a dancer even though I was in a wheelchair.

Do Yourself, Your Career, and Your Employer a Favor — Take a Vacation!

Parents Giving Children Piggyback Ride On Walk By Lake

Americans work hard and they don’t like, or more accurately, don’t dare, to take time off. A study by Project: Time Off, an initiative by the U.S. Travel Association, reports that in 2015, 658 million vacation days went unused, and for 222 million of those, employees received no compensation for these unused vacation benefits.

The reason cited most often by employees is that they feel there is too much to do and that there will be a mountain of work waiting for them upon their return, making the vacation not worthwhile. Also, company culture often doesn’t encourage taking time off. Instead, it is the employees’ perception that the more time they spend at work, the more successful they will be.

Is this healthy? No! Is this productive? No! Is it possible to do this differently? Yes!

Let’s see what taking time off can do for you.

Improve your health

Stress reduction:  Vacations reduce stress by removing people from situations that are associated with stress and anxiety, according to a study by the American Psychological Association. Other studies have shown that employees who take time off complain of fewer stress-related illnesses, such as headaches and backaches, once they return to work.

Heart disease prevention: A number of studies have shown that taking time off can decrease your risk for heart disease. One study showed that women who took a vacation only once every six years were eight times more likely to develop heart disease than women who took at least two vacations a year.

Strengthened immune system: Since too much stress and overwork negatively affects the immune system, the rest and relaxation associated with time off will likely lead to strengthened immune systems — and fewer days of work missed due to sickness.

Improve your productivity

Taking time off is not only good for you, it is also good for business! Research shows that when done right, time off will increase your energy level and happiness, which translates into higher productivity. Incidentally, many of the countries with the highest labor productivity are also home to employees that take most of their very generous vacation allowances (e.g. Switzerland, Netherlands, Germany).

Accelerate your career

Taking more time off can lead to better job performance and faster promotion. An internal study at professional services firm EY has shown that for every additional ten hours of vacation that employees took, their year-end performance ratings improved by 8%. According to Project: Time Off, people that use all of their vacation time have a 6.5% higher chance of getting a raise and/or getting promoted than employees who decide to let 11 or more days of their leave lapse. A word of caution, the relationship established in this study is correlation, not causation, but it is an interesting notion nonetheless.

However, beware — a poorly planned or poorly executed vacation can achieve the opposite effect: you will return to work even more stressed. Therefore, plan your time off wisely. Plan and coordinate with your colleagues ahead of time to avoid that huge mountain of work waiting upon your return. Most importantly, relax and recharge.

Now have fun planning your 2017 vacations!

Written by Anne Nowak.

Tech Talk: Lynda

lyndalogo is an online education platform that offers thousands of video courses to help you learn a broad array of skills, including software, creative, and business skills. Within the Lynda library, you can browse courses by topic, software, or learning paths. Let’s take a look at some of the courses available on Lynda.

3D + Animation

  • 12 Principles of Animation for CG Animators (1 hr 23 min)
  • Animation Foundations: Storyboarding (1 hr 32 min)
  • Learn Adobe Fuse CC: The Basics (1 hr 25 min)
  • Matte Painting: Environments for Film (3 hr 21 min)
  • MODO Essential Training (5 hr 25 min)

Audio + Music

  • An Insider’s Guide to Today’s Music Biz 05: Managers (51 min 18 s)
  • Learn Melodyne 4: The Basics (2 hr 8 min)
  • One-Minute Weekly Songwriting Tips (25 min 21 s)
  • Podcasting with GarageBand (2 hr 17 min)
  • Vocal Production Techniques (1 hr 42 min)


  • Business Process Modeling Fundamentals (1 hr 20 min)
  • Contracting for Creatives (1 hr)
  • Design Thinking: Venture Design (1 hr 3 min)
  • Migrating from Google Apps to Microsoft 2016 (2 hr 11 min)
  • Personal Finance Tips (1 hr 23 min)


  • AutoCAD Civil 3D: Site Design (3 hr 38 min)
  • Bluebeam: On the iPad (1 hr 8 min)
  • Customization for CAD Managers (2 hr 6 min)
  • Rhino Project: Architectural Documentation (1 hr 18 min)
  • SketchUp 2017: Essential Training (3 hr 48 min)


  • Logo Design Techniques (5 hr 7 min)
  • Drawing Vector Graphics Laboratory (5 hr 56 min)
  • InDesign Secrets (23 hr 51 min)
  • Learning Print Production (4 hr 16 min)
  • Understanding Data Science (1 hr 16 min)


  • Computer Science Principles: Programming (1 hr 25 min)
  • Learning Android App Development (1 hr 30 min)
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2016 Essential Training (3 hr 18 min)
  • Programming for Non-Programmers: iOS 10 and Swift (3 hr 24 min)
  • Unity 5 2D: Building an Adventure Game (2 hr 22 min)

Education + Elearning

  • Create Effective Learning Assessments (35 min 30 s)
  • How to Create Instructional Videos in Camtasia (1 hr 12 min)
  • Learn Moodle 3.1: The Basics (1 hr 49 min)
  • Test Prep: GRE (6 hr 44 min)
  • Word 2016 Essential Training (5 hr 41 min)


  • Cloud Computing: Cloud Storage (1 hr 15 min)
  • Ethical Hacking: Mobile Devices and Platforms (1 hr 47 min)
  • Linux: Storage Systems (3 hr 30 min)
  • PC Maintenance and Performance Fundamentals (1 hr 8 min)
  • Windows Server 2016: DNS (1 hr 50 min)


  • Google AdWords Essential Training (3 hr 4 min)
  • Instagram for Business (1 hr 16 min)
  • Local SEO (2 hr 31 min)
  • Marketing Analytics: Segmentation and Testing (53 min 4 s)
  • Qualitative Marketing Research (1 hr)


  • iPhone and iPad Photography with iOS 10 (2 hr 55 min)
  • Learning to Critique Photos (1 hr 12 min)
  • Photoshop CC 2017 for Photographers (7 hr 57 min)
  • Video Gear: Technical Tips (4 hr)
  • VR Photography and Video: The Basics (42 min 17 s)


  • Advanced Cinematic Video Lighting (1 hr 19 min)
  • Creating Motion Graphics with Fusion (3 hr 49 min)
  • Crowdfunding Campaigns for Independent Film (1 hr 9 min)
  • DaVinci Resolve 12 Essential Training (15 hr 43 min)
  • Final Cut Pro X Guru: Titles and Effects


  • Design Thinking: Understanding the Process (41 min 57 s)
  • Installing and Running WordPress: WAMP (56 min 10 s)
  • Learning Python Web Penetration Testing (2 hr 49 min)
  • Ruby on Rails 5 Essential Training (10 hr 21 min)
  • UX Design Tools: Axure RP (1 hr 37 min)

Access to Lynda is free for East Baton Rouge Parish Library patrons with a library card, and you can sign into Lynda through the library’s Digital Library.


Once logged in, you will see three sections. The top left section gives you quick access to courses you were most recently viewing. Below that is the “My Playlists” section. You can add courses that you are currently watching to the playlist as well as save courses for future viewing. This way all the courses you’re interested in are located in one place, and you don’t have to search through the Lynda library for them again.

The third, and largest, section features courses. Here you can see courses that have been recently added as well as popular and recommended courses.


When you are viewing a course — in this case “Data Visualization Tips and Tricks” — a contents section appears on the left. Here you can see the the progression of lessons and the length of each video. To the right of the contents is the video, and the section below the video gives further information and options, such as a transcript of the video and the option to download the lesson to view later, which is great if you know you’ll be somewhere without internet access.



So are you ready to start learning? Which course will you watch first?

Written by Thien-Kieu Lam.

New Career Center Books

If you’re looking to start your own business, you are in luck! We have recently received several new titles from the How to Start a Home-Based Business series from Globe Pequot Press. Each book in this series tackles a different type of home-based business. The books break down the process of starting a new business, including the following aspects: how to offer a quality product in your specific field, writing a business plan, pricing your products or services, marketing your business, financial planning, and legalities.

You may place a hold on any Career Center book through the East Baton Rouge Parish Library website.

How to Start a Home-based Bookkeeping Business

How to Start a Home-Based Bookkeeping Business
by Michelle Long

How to Start a Home-based Handyman Business

How to Start a Home-Based Handyman Business
by Terry Meany

How to Start a Home-based Etsy Business

How to Start a Home-Based Etsy Business
by Gina Luker

How to Start a Home-based Fashion Design Business

How to Start a Home-Based Fashion Design Business
by Angela Wolf

How to Start a Home-based Catering Business

How to Start a Home-Based Catering Business
by Denise Vivaldo

How to Start a Home-based Professional Organizing Business

How to Start a Home-Based Professional Organizing Business
by Dawn Noble


The Functional Resume, Part B: The Single Track Career

Resume and question marks

One of the most crucial parts of writing an effective resume is choosing the right format. We usually distinguish between chronological, functional, and hybrid formats, with each having distinct pros and cons. To that end, we will be discussing different resume formats and which ones work for which job seekers. Today, we’ll look at the functional resume format.

What is it?

The functional resume format is the opposite of the chronological format which we discussed previously. Whereas the chronological format was all about where you worked and when, the functional format minimizes your chronological work history. Instead, the functional format focuses on your skills, key competencies, accomplishments, and highlights of experience – basically, what makes you special and uniquely qualified.

In another post, we discussed how the functional resume can benefit job seekers with nontraditional career paths. Today, we’ll look at the other type of job seeker for whom the functional template is a good choice.

The Advantages

The functional resume format works well for people who have a long history working in a single career at multiple locations. For people with this sort of “single-track” career, the functional template can prevent redundancy. For example, if you’ve worked as a nurse at five different locations over the past twenty years, doing pretty much the exact same job at each location, you may not want to write out the exact same duties and skills five times on your resume. Instead, you can use a functional template to describe all of your job skills and experience without being repetitive.

This can be especially advantageous for older job seekers whose best work accomplishments may have been many years ago. The functional template allows you to put your best achievements at the top of your resume, regardless of when they occurred.

The Disadvantages

The primary disadvantage of the functional resume is that it can be hard to write. Since you have an extensive work history in the same field, you will not be able to put everything you’ve ever done on a resume. You will have to focus on the most valuable and relevant information. This means that you will need to search your memory and determine your best skills and accomplishments, even stretching back over decades. The process of writing a functional resume is time-consuming and complex. However, in most cases, the extra work is worth it, because a functional resume will prevent you from having a lengthy resume which repeats the same phrases over and over.

Components of a Resume

Contact Information: Your name, physical address (optional), phone number with area code, email address, and LinkedIn URL (optional).

Personalized Sections:  This is the largest section of the functional resume, and the least rigidly structured. This is where you get to be creative. No two functional resumes look exactly alike – you need to find the best way to present your skills and qualifications. You may start with a summary of qualifications, a short paragraph of keywords describing your best skills, and then move to a “highlights of experience” section, where you detail some of your relevant experience. Or, you may start with a large, bullet-point-filled skills section, then have a key accomplishments section where you brag about the best stuff you’ve done. Or, you may divide it up into several sections of key competencies. Look at our example for inspiration. This resume is for a seasoned employee who’s trying to condense an extensive career into a succinct document, while drawing attention away from how old some of his best experience is. He begins with a detailed list of his most relevant skills as an office manager and bookkeeper, then highlights a few of his greatest accomplishments from throughout his career. If you’re still not sure how to format your functional resume, check for examples online and in resume books.

Work History: This section will be brief and near the bottom of the resume. Each entry in this section will consist of your job title, company name, city and state, and dates worked. Nothing else is needed, because all the details are included in your personalized sections.

Education: This would be the place to include academic degrees (bachelor of science, associates degree, etc.), vocational certifications (teaching license, LPN, etc.), and industry credentials (CPR, TWIC, OSHA, Servsafe, etc.). Remember to include the name and type of diploma earned, the name of the school, and the city and state.

References: Your references should not be part of your resume. References should be on a separate document, one which you only provide when it is asked for. You may include a line on your resume that says “References available upon request.”

In addition to these tips, you can come by the Career Center in person anytime during business hours for one-on-one help with your resume.

Written by Lynnette Lee.