On Not Doing Free Work for 'The Experience' + More with Melinda B. Lewis by@noonies

On Not Doing Free Work for 'The Experience' + More with Melinda B. Lewis

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The Tech Industry's Greenest Awards. Public Nominations Are Open. Voting Starts Aug 13.

Melinda B. Lewis has been nominated for two Hacker Noon awards this year, and we're really excited to have her onboard. In this interview: saying no to working for free, millennial experiences of student loans, and digital detoxes.

1. Which 2020 Noonie/s have you been nominated for?

  • Contributor of the Year - Women in Tech, and
  • Editor's Note: shoutout to Skillsoft for sponsoring the Hacker Noon Contributor of the Year Award for our Women in Tech tag category.

    The winner of this award will receive a 1-Year FREE Access pass to Skillsoft's Percipio, with 6 months Free Access to the runners-up. The Winner will also receive a 5 year standard registration for a .tech domain, and a custom Hacker Noon t-shirt! The 1st and 2nd runner-ups get a standard .TECH domains for 3-yrs and 1-yr, respectively.

    2. Tell us a bit about yourself.

    I’m a writer and marketer with a passion for culture. I’ve been called “disruptive” and “creative” for my work that spans over ten years. My second novel about student loan debt got to #12 on Amazon and I’ve also been sponsored by Airbnb, Industrious, and Wayra for book events.

    In addition, I’ve worked with many startups and brands like Kaiser Permanente, Waze and Tony Robbins to develop marketing, branding and acquire new users. I used my professional experience to help build curricula for digital marketing classes at Academy X and business and intercultural communications classes at the Sorbonne.

    3. Tell us about the things you make / write / manage / build.

    I write about modern culture and have covered topics such as diversity, office politics, ageism, corporate culture and millennial life.

    I self-published A Modern Trilogy about a millennial’s journey to pay off student loans and my second book got to #12 on Amazon. I am presently working on two new books.

    In June, I did a digital detox to explore my goals for the future. It’s was then that I started the Wisherie.co, a remote, skills sharing network. It’s rooted in the passion economy and improving mental health. My goal is to provide 20 professionals new work-trade projects that help small businesses by the end of 2020.

    4. What are you most excited about right now?

    There’s a lot of creativity right now! I’m excited for more! I like having access to virtual events to exchange ideas and meet new people from all over the world.

    The pandemic has given us more opportunity to celebrate diversity, create new opportunities and build our networks.

    5. What are you worried about right now?

    Improving mental health and new solutions to do so needs to be a priority and continue into the future.

    6. What's the worst tech career advice you've ever received?

    I didn’t take the advice of a former manager who suggested I do free work for a large tech company, and I absolutely don’t regret that decision.

    I’m also happy I didn’t listen to a tech recruiter who recommended I work at a bar to do alcohol promotions in order to get more experience in marketing.

    7. How has the pandemic changed your life and/or career?

    My freelance work has slowed down with projects still on hold. This has been frustrating, but given me more time to network for new opportunities. I’ve been able to focus more on my writing, including two new books.

    In June, I took did a digital detox to explore my goals for the future. It’s was then that I came up with Wisherie.co, a professional skills barter network. It’s rooted in the passion economy and improving mental health. Support has been incredible and excited to watch it grow.

    8. What or Who are you keeping an eye on in 2020?

    The evolution of marketing, especially how social media is changing. It’s been interesting how companies are re-evaluating marketing and their audience. I’m working now on a new article about the decline of influencers.

    9. What's an opinion you have that most people don't agree with?

    I consider myself a minimalist. To me, this means limiting what I own to things I use. I also try to be mindful of my use of technology and am a firm believer in digital detoxes

    10. What are you currently learning?

    I’m learning Italian and been brushing up on my French. Like a lot of people, I also have learned how to use Zoom, how to entertain myself and even had a “Zoom party of one” dinner party in my apartment.

    There are over 200 Tech Industry Awards and prizes up for grabs this year -- not to mention a prize pool valued at over $10,000 -- including:

    These 2020 tech industry awards are entirely community-driven, and are Hacker Noon's way of recognizing and rewarding the makers, builders, and creators making the internet a better place to hang out today. 🤓

    Have your say, make a technologist's day!


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