Chic Interview: Whitney G. Wilkerson, owner of NEXT for Women

Written by chicceo Published in
We were first virtually introduced to Whitney G. Wikerson of NEXT for Women by a mutual friend and we instantly hit it off. Whitney is not only a very Chic CEO, she also has fantastic experience and a great web community. We've partnered with Whitney and NEXT for Women to bring you a ton of great content in the month of March to celebrate Women's History Month! Make sure to sign up for our newsletter so you are in on all the good stuff. We're kicking it off by getting to know NEXT for Women a bit better!
 

Tell us a bit about NEXT for Women.

NEXT for Women is an online community offering free and life stage relevant advice on every aspect of a woman’s budding career. In many regards we have taken the concept behind executive coaching and leadership training and democratized it - we bring the advantages of these resources to young women without the heavy price tag. The advice isn’t limited to our articles and videos alone: other users who read your questions about, for example, building a personal brand, can share their acquired wisdom through commenting and user generated content.    

 

 

What inspired you to start NEXT for Women? What need did you see unfulfilled?

I knew from the many conversations with my friends and colleagues that I wasn’t alone with my quest for answers to my professional and personal challenges and a sense of community. I didn’t want to read another CEO’s autobiography talking about his adventure to the top. I wanted real, honest experiences. Real, honest feedback. Real, honest insights. That I related to. And so did other young women. So I did what any serial entrpreneur who was raised by the same would do - I started it.    

 

What's your one piece of advice for women who are unhappy with their career trajectory?   

First, it is about reaching clarity on why you are unhappy in your career. Is it the company culture, the money, the industry, or a combination of several factors? Can any of these factors be easily changed? If the answer is no - then what exactly is it that you want? Do you even know? Vision boards can be a tremendous tool during a period of uncertainty or impending transition. Here is more information and a ‘how to’ by Martha Beck on vision boards.  

 

We love reading all of the pieces you have under each category, like "How I Finally Left My First Job" and  "How Can I Coach Myself To Take Risks?" How is NEXT staying on top of current topics and concerns of women in business to bring such great content?  

Due to the nature of our platform that encourages user generated content we have a constant stream of articles being submitteed by the NEXT for Women community. If one person is wondering or experiencing something at work, there must be many others in the community doing the same and the content will resonate. Fostering relationships with NEXTers and giving them a place to share what is on their mind is one of the best things we have done as a company.   We also heavily pull from our daily lives. For example, I was recently asked to meet with a young man over lunch who was seeking some advice on his career. He graciously offered to pay for my meal. That started me thinking about instances when I had been asked to spend time counseling other young professionals and I picked up the tab. The end result is an article that will be published soon on our site about who should foot the bill at a business lunch.
 

Office OMG! is so funny! Tell us a bit more about it and why you started it.  

Office OMG! are those moments that we have all had - from calling a potential client by the wrong name to having one too many drinks at the holiday office party. The embarrsment can be horrifying in the moment, but most often we all come out the other side wiser and with a funny story to tell. We decided to start Office OMG! to give NEXTers an outlet for those ‘OMG’ moments and to add an amount of levity to our community. My favorite entry is from Brittany when she shared with us her story of landing a dream internship that was almost foiled by a New York City pigeon.      

 

What's next for NEXT for Women? 

My goal has always been to create something vibrant and positive that answers both want and need and we have grown tremendously over the last several months doing just that. Our audience keeps growing, we have brought on several new regular contributors and launched our video library. We plan to keep the course and continue building out of these assets in addition to launching some very exciting new promotional campaigns.  

 

 

Well Whitney, you've earned our banana!

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