It's October, ladies and gents! While most might be focused on their next Halloween costume or pumpkin spice latte, we at Capital Women are instead stoked on a brand new advice column and a variety of events, including the traveling art event SUPERFIERCE. See what there is to get excited about this month below.
I did some contract organizing work for a really great national organization about five years ago. I enjoyed it, and got along really well with my manager (let’s call them Margaret), but unfortunately I didn’t really keep in touch with anyone after the contract ended.
Now, I’m living across the country, and that same organization is hiring for a role I think I’d be a great match for. I really want to reach out to Margaret, to let them know I’m applying, but I can’t help but think that it’s too weird to reach out after five years of radio silence. Am I good?
Honestly, I think you are! But you’re right that five years is a long time, so you will definitely want to phrase your message a bit differently than you would for a more recent connection.
Luckily, a friend of mine was in a situation like yours recently, and they sort of knocked it out the park (their “Margaret” responded warmly, and they’re meeting up for coffee soon). The key to their success was twofold:
First, definitely acknowledge the time gap. Open with something like “I hope this email finds you well, and that you have had a good five years since I worked with you doing X in Y location.” Talk a bit about what you’ve been up to lately (keep it brief), and mention a bit about why you enjoyed working with the group so much before. No need to lay it on super thick, but let your excitement show.
The second tip, however, is where my friend really shone. After making their ask (“If you could flag my application for the hiring manager or HR team, I’d really appreciate it”) they added a bit of genius: “I hope this isn't an inappropriate ask, but certainly neither you nor I would be in this industry if we were afraid to make big asks.”
It’s simultaneously flattering and honest. They showed a level of self-awareness that people making these kinds of asks usually don’t, which is a great data point to have for a job candidate. They pulled out all the stops for this job, and they meant it, and it showed. They don’t have the job yet, but they took a tenuous past connection, made it current, and leveraged it for a job they really, really want. It’s a great model to follow!
This 10-year-old restaurant critic wants to be the next Food Network star in the D.C. dining scene. [Washingtonian]
Anyone who thinks this D.C. rapper came out of nowhere hasn’t been paying attention. [Washington City Paper]
Caos on F, a D.C. box theater space, is hosting a drama, called “Clover,” which is focused on a former Washington, D.C. socialite, called Marian Hooper "Clover" Adams. [DCist]
A 45-foot-tall sculpture of a nude woman may come to the National Mall and stay there for four months. [Curbed DC]
See all of the love that has been given to "Veep" star Julia Louis-Dreyfus after she announced that she was diagnosed with breast cancer. [The Washington Post]
October 5: On the third Thursday of every month, the Women’s National Book Association (WNBA) hosts a book group at Kramerbooks & Afterwords. This month, the book is Ann Patchett’s Commonwealth.
October 5: Known as "SUPERFIERCE," this traveling art event hosted by female artists offers a DJ, open bar, and interactive installations.
October 5, 6, and 7: Time to enhance your wardrobe or even begin your holiday gift shopping. Over 60 artists will showcase their limited-edition clothing, jewelry, and accessories at the Smithsonian Craft2Wear event in the National Building Museum.
Through November 5: Get an inside look at ARTECHOUSE’s brand new, interactive, autumnal art exhibition.
Michelle Goldchain and Kim Stiens contributed to this newsletter.
Special thanks to the tipsters who suggested the Smithsonian Craft2Wear and the Beltway Poetry Quarterly Reading events!