Coworking finds its home in Richmond @804RVA

Over the past decade coworking spaces have been popping up in big cities across the nation and with the changes in the economy, these spaces have been successful in fostering new ideas and startup businesses.

Larkin Garbee

804RVA Founder Larkin Garbee

Photo by: Phil Riggan, Richmond.com

In America the median income for independent workers is about $51 thousand, according to a 2012 government report by the State of Independence government report. This coworking movement has even made its way to the Richmond market. 804RVA is the area’s first and only official co-working space, which is fueled by creativity and techie innovation.

Coworking is a concept that was originally cultivated in the late 1990s from the term “jelly” in New York City by a group of freelancers and it has now evolved into a worldwide movement. The concept is to create a shared workspace for freelancers, consultants and other people who typically work from home. The idea is to develop a space where creativity and new ideas can grow and people can exchange designs while working productively and freely.

804RVA was founded October 2011 by local small business dynamo, Larkin Garbee. “I was just looking for a creative, collaborative office space and I hadn’t understood the coworking culture yet,” Garbee said. Wolf shirt days, creativity, collaboration and jelly pretty much sum up the co-working movement at RVA. 804RVA is located on the corner of Allen and Broad streets near the VCU campus.

Garbee’s personality and experience is the model that the 804RVA coworking structure was built around. “I have a passion for technology but I also represent a lot of other things for small businesses and marketing,” she said.

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804RVA is an artistic, joint office area that is built in the showroom of Garbee’s other business, James River Tile. “I felt like it was a shame to have such a really gorgeous location that was being completely underutilized,” said Garbee. It wasn’t long before 804RVA was created.
“I think Larkin is really kind of the main reason most people are attracted to this and keep coming and that’s because she is a freaking fireball,” said Dorsey McFadden a digital marketing consultant and 804RVA coworker.

804RVA provides its members with varying levels of coworking zones including private offices, collaborative spaces, semi-private work areas and conference rooms. People come to 804RVA for a number of reasons including the value of working with others, for a sense of motivation, inspiration and unique networking opportunities. At 804RVA coworking gives people an opportunity to meet and interact with their peers in an environment that facilitates productivity and learning.

“To me and the next generation as a whole, we don’t want to just spend our time just passing out business cards. We want to learn, we want to get our hands on stuff and figure out how it works,” Garbee said. “Some coworking spaces are unique to having strictly just developers or just designers and I would say ours is truly a mix.”

Coworkers at 804RVA come from a variety of professional backgrounds such as web design, real estate, copy writing, web developing, marketing and researching.

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804RVA is known for its culture because it is different from that of a traditional workplace culture, since there are no bosses there is no tension between supervisors and workers. “The culture changes day-to-day depending on who comes in,” said Dan Kanach, 804RVA coworker and owner of One Duck Creative, a small creative media company. “It is generally like-minded, driven people who want to be around other driven people.” Most 804 coworkers agree that 804RVA provides a fun environment where individuals are free to create and collaborate. “I couldn’t see myself working with other people if I wasn’t here,” Kasach said, who described himself as a bit of an introvert.

Matt Russo is another 804RVA coworker who has been a member almost since the beginning. Russo is a freelance graphic designer and is currently working developing projects for 804RVA. He says 804 is still trying to invent its culture. Currently people are working hands-on trying to make the space a more active community rather than a place used strictly for working. “Members are trying to make 804RVA a place where people interact together, work on projects together and go out together,” Russo said. 804RVA offers classes and organizes social events to strengthen the overall coworking community.

Brian Bassett is a software development principal at IBM and a coworker at 804RVA who chooses to work from 804RVA instead of his traditional office setting because he finds the environment to be more dynamic, exciting, interesting and collaborative. “It’s collaborative even though people work on their own projects, work for different businesses and have different goals,” Basset said.

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Coworking is especially helpful to freelancers and remote workers because it provides those people with a sense of community and inspiration. “It creates a melting pot of creativity,” McFadden said, “not just design creative but techie too.” McFadden sees coworking spaces as motivational tools and she is driven by the office setting because it pushes her to be more accountable.

Coworking facilities like 804RVA operate based on memberships and provide members with better quality networking and stronger relationships. McFadden says small business people get the most out of these networking connections because it makes it easier access others and collaborate.

Coworking has helped some members break into new, cutting edge technology-based job markets. McFadden says coworking helps to hone professional skills and mold individual qualities and as a result of 804RVA she landed her first Pinterest account management job.

After talking with Garbee and Richmond’s coworkers the consensus is that people are tired of waiting on big companies to offer up jobs so they have taken matters into their own hands and created new jobs and projects through collaboration. People often turn to coworking spaces like 804RVA because of the lack of opportunities in traditional careers.

Some people agree with Dorsey McFadden and Dan Kanach and say coworking spaces serve a greater purpose as more transitional occupations. On the other hand others agree with Russo and Bassett and say these collaboration spaces have great potential to ultimately lead to better opportunities and new industries. As for Larkin Garbee, she says the future looks bright for coworking spaces in Richmond. As new ideas grow and evolve, she looks forward to playing host to more collaborative projects and classes in the future. She is currently planning on a larger scaled coworking space that will serve a larger community in the Greater Richmond Area by making things more accessible to non-members.

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It sounds silly, but your email address is important!

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Have you ever considered your email address to be a factor in your job search? This may sound strange and you may be thinking, “Who cares about my email address? It’s not like employers really pay much attention to that stuff.”  Employers have told us when they see an unprofessional email address it can make all the difference in whether they call you back for an interview or not.

Well, in today’s technological world your email address is in many cases your first impression. Having an inappropriate email address like hottiekisses@email.com or TruPlaya4Lfe@email.com is the same as showing up to a job interview in your pajamas, so unprofessional.

Like many people, you may not remember how old your email actually is, you may even be using the one you created back in high school. You know, the one that’s filled with numbers, symbols and even worse, your childhood nickname.

Now is the time to make a change to your email address because it really is the very first thing people see when they communicate with you online, even before your name. You don’t want to get automatically tossed in the trash because your first impression is IHateWorking@email.com.

Here are a few best practices when it comes to your email address and your job search.

  • Keep it professional: Avoid email addresses with your nickname, pet’s name, hobby or any other personal info besides your name.
  • Keep it simple: The best email addresses are simple and easy to understand. Avoid using numbers and symbols because these can be confusing since they look similar.
  • Keep it appropriate: If you’re having a hard time finding a suitable combination of your name, don’t give up because a professional email address can really help you land the job. Instead, expand your options to include your middle name, initial or a word related to the field you’re pursuing.

We recently heard from a job seeker who was surprised to find out that employers weren’t getting back to her because her email address looked inappropriate. Even though she followed all of the guidelines above, she was still getting the cold shoulder from employers because of her unique last name. Those of you with interesting last names like Ms. Goodbody, should consider changing your email address to include you last initial or middle name. This will help reassure employers by showing them you’re email address is credible.

Creating a new professional email address also shows employers that you are a serious candidate, it’s easy and not to mention, free. So take the time and create an email address that you’re not embarrassed to share with employers because with so much competition out there, you’ve got to be sure you do everything you can to land the job.  Don’t let an inappropriate email address make a negative first impression on employers.

This article was originally posted on July 2, 2013 on snagajob.com/resources

How making a good first impression can really impress

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I know you’ve heard the sayings, “first impressions are lasting impressions” and “you can never re-do a first impression.” Like many old expressions, there’s a lot of truth in these phrases. That’s why you should always do your best to make a positive first impression, especially during every step of your job search.

Of course, when you go for a job interview you want to make a good first impression with the managers and interviewers. But, have you ever thought about how your first impression with other employees and customers can impact your interview?

Well, the truth is that this could really make all the difference. We recently received a testimonial from Snagajob hired member, David, who told us how an awesome first impression helped land him a job working as a Team Member at a Chipotle in Maryland.

David received an email from us inviting him for an interview at a local Chipotle. When he arrived for his interview he was greeted by a team member and asked to wait in the lobby of the restaurant until the hiring manager was available to speak with him.

While David was waiting, he noticed a man in the entrance carrying boxes and, without any thought, he jumped up and offered his assistance. The man then thanked David and introduced himself and, to David’s surprise, the man with the boxes was actually the hiring manager!

Following a very successful interview, the manager thanked David again for helping him. He said that he really liked David’s “empowerment” and was so pleased with his interview and eagerness to help that he offered him the position starting the following week.

David’s story is a great example of how a positive first impression can help you land the job. During your job search, you should always try your best to present yourself in a friendly, approachable and professional manner to everyone you meet, because you never know who’s watching.

So, the next time you have an interview think about David’s story and ask yourself how you can make the best impression with everyone you see throughout your job search.

This article was originally posted Jun. 11, 2013 on snagajob.com/resources

Summer jobs for college students

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Classes are over, finals are here and all you can think about is sweet summer vacation. Well stop day dreaming because summer is right around the corner and if you want to make the most of it you’re going to need some extra cash. Trust me, you don’t want to be sitting in a kiddy pool in your backyard while your friends are having the time of their lives on vacation.

Unfortunately mom and dad were right and money doesn’t grow on trees, and that means it’s time for a summer job. I know what you’re thinking, “It’s my summer vacation and I don’t want to spend it working some boring job.” I totally understand and that’s why I’m here to help you discover an awesome summer job.

Summer jobs can be a ton of fun and many can feel like a vacation of their own. Here are a few summer jobs that are sure to get you out of that kiddy pool and put some extra cash in your pocket.

Theme park –What could be more fun than working at a theme park? Everyday you’ll be surrounded by fun characters, delicious food and awesome rides.  The best part is, not only do you get to enjoy the benefits of working at such a cool place, but so do your friends and family. When you become a team member at an amusement park you get free admission and discounts that you can share with your closest pals.

Ice cream truck — Working from an ice cream truck is the ultimate way to stay cool and check out the town. Seriously, what’s cooler than cruising around to your own theme song in a ride that is filled with delicious frosty treats? I guarantee you that everyone will always be happy to see you too. It’s almost impossible to be grumpy around ice cream!

Local event venue — As event staff at a local venue you’ll be able to attend all of the hottest concerts and sporting events in your area. Who knows, maybe you’ll even meet a rock star or famous athlete.

Lifeguard — Lifeguarding is the good ole’ traditional summer job because it’s a great way to say cool, get a tan and relax in the sun. Not to mention the rewarding feeling you’ll have knowing that you’re protecting members of your community.

Pet care — Do you love animals? If so, a summer pet care job is perfect for you. It’s summer vacation for our furry friends too and nothing would make them happier than hanging out with a pet enthusiast like you.

Summer camp — If you’re more of a people person, you should consider a job at a summer camp or community education program. Summer camps are a great way to be active and have fun in the sun while impacting a child’s life as a mentor.

Landscaper — If you enjoy working outside, this is a great way to be active, get fit and get a tan. Imagine all the new muscles you bring back to school with you!

Spa — Maybe the great outdoors isn’t really your cup of tea, well working at a spa could be the option for you. This relaxing job will give you the opportunity to make people happy while working in a peaceful, laid-back environment. Let’s not forget about the best part, the discounts.

At Snagajob, the summer job search is well underway so get out there and find the perfect job that fits your interest. Whether you love nature, want to hang by the water, enjoy being active and helping  your community or taking care of our four-legged pals, there is a summer job waiting for you to apply. So ditch the kiddy pool and find a fun job, you’ll enjoy while earning some extra dough.

This article was originally posted May 21, 2013 on snagajob.com/resources

How to succeed at your next job fair or hiring event

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Every type of employment event gives you the opportunity to learn about a specific company, make personal connections with prospective employers and even get your foot in the door of a new career. With all of the wonderful prospects job fairs and general hiring events provide, it’s important for you to make the best impression possible. That’s why we’ve put together a few tips on how to nail down a job while avoiding common blunders.

1) Do your research — Job fairs and employment events can be very informational but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to do your homework. Get to know more about the company or companies you’re interested in and familiarize yourself with their brand before your interview. Check out the store, order something off the menu or window shop their merchandise to get a better understanding of the customer experience and what they’re looking for in their employees.

Doing your research shows the employer that you’re interested and you know how to take initiative. Best of all, it teaches you something new and saves you from embarrassing yourself. Nothing can be more humiliating than getting caught raving about a product the company doesn’t even sell. I know this sounds silly but it really happens all the time.

2) Look the part — When you’re on the hunt for a new job always dress professionally, wear a smile and keep a positive attitude. As an employee, you’re always on a stage. With more frontline jobs emerging in the workforce, you’ve got to be mindful of your appearance, especially your facial expressions.

3) Remember the basics — Preparing for a job fair is like preparing for a traditional interview, and that means you have to practice.  Approach each potential employer with confidence and communicate your skills with enthusiasm. It’s normal to be nervous during any interview, just remember to be yourself and practice. Before the job fair run through general interview questions and prepare a brief one-minute summary of yourself, include details about your education, skills, qualification and career goals. This will help the recruiter get a better understanding of who you are and it will help ease your nervousness.  Don’t forget to bring extra copies of your resume and something to take notes with.

You’re ultimate goal is to make a positive impression and be remembered for all the right reasons.  Your awesome personality, professional attire and friendly attitude will certainly help you make an impact at your next job fair. Attending a job fair can seem stressful but if you follow our tips you’ll be a job fair pro and one step closer to your next job in no time.

This article was originally posted May 5, 2013 on snagajob.com/resources

Have a case of Senioritis? You’re not alone

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The last semester of senior year can be the hardest of a student’s career. As the semester winds down the pressure of graduation begins to set in, and so do the symptoms of senioritis. Although many students believe senioritis is a myth, the truth is senioritis is an illness that can get a hold of even the best students. Typically, senioritis isn’t fatal if it is managed and treated properly, but if it goes untreated it can result in a major decline in the GPA.

Common symptoms of senioritis include: laziness, playing hooky from school, the uncontrollable urge to procrastinate, frequent naps and an overall distracted feeling when it comes to work of any kind. As a college senior, I have had a senioritis symptom or two, and I have many friends who have been affected by senioritis.  If you feel these symptoms taking over, don’t worry it isn’t too late, because Snagajob has a few treatments guaranteed to fight off those senioritis symptoms and get you back on track.

Use the buddy system — Buddy up with a fellow senior who needs focusing and get those assignments, job applications and graduation forms finished together. If you tackle all of that boring stuff with a buddy it can actually be kind of fun.

Stay organized — Before you know it graduation day will be tomorrow, and if you’re not organized you can miss out on important deadlines and due dates. Keeping a planner with a set schedule can really help keep you from slacking off. I find that having a well-organized planner can make all the difference. It helps me hold myself more accountable for my actions and not to mention the gratifying feeling I get when I check something off of my to-do list.

Plan for the future — Although sometimes school may feel like it will never end, the end will be here sooner than you think. Senioritis has a tendency to infect students when they’re close to the finish line. Be sure to visit your school’s career center and meet with a career advisor. They can help you figure out your options and motivate you to keep moving forward.

Make it count — It’s your last year of school so you’ve got to kick the sickness and make it count. Don’t be afraid to break up your rigorous routine and explore new things. Take a chance and step out of your comfort zone and try something different because you don’t have many chances to be a senior. So take that class you’ve always wanted to or join the pancake eating club. Whatever you decide to do, just make sure you get out of bed before three in the afternoon and take advantage of your opportunities before they are gone! 

Find a balance — It is most important that you find a good balance between work and fun. Staying on track and beating senioritis doesn’t have to be all work and no play. It’s important to have fun and reward yourself for all of your hard work.

Just follow these treatments we have prescribed to you and before you know it your senioritis symptoms will be gone and you’ll be walking across the graduation stage.

This article was originally posted April 5, 2013 on snagajob.com/resources

Before they became president, they held hourly jobs!

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Did you know that many of our presidents started out as hourly workers just like you? It’s true, they were clerks, bank tellers and even ice cream scoopers. In celebration of Presidents’ Day, here at Snagajob we want to honor our presidents by sharing their hourly jobs with you.

Before their job title was head of state, our presidents held another position: the hourly worker.

George Washington–At the age of 16, long before he became our nation’s first president, Washington worked as a land surveyor.

Abraham Lincoln–Honest Abe worked several hourly jobs before he was sworn into presidency. He was a store clerk, postmaster, surveyor and tavern keeper.

Warren G. Harding–Harding was an insurance agent before he became a journalist and the 29th president of the United States.

Herbert Hoover–Before Hoover began a career in politics he worked as an office boy for a California mining company. Today, Hoover’s job would be more commonly known as an administrative assistant or clerk.

Harry S. Truman–President Truman worked as a bank teller prior to his career in the White House.

Dwight D. Eisenhower–Growing up, Eisenhower worked as a night supervisor at Belle Springs Creamery.

Richard Nixon–Before his presidency, Nixon made a living by working in his family owned grocery store and gas station.

Gerald Ford–In college Ford worked as a dishwasher at his fraternity.

Ronald Reagan–Before Reagan began his acting career and became the 40th U.S. president, he worked as a summer lifeguard saving 77 lives in his seven-year career!

George H. W. Bush–Bush Sr. worked as a sales clerk prior to his career in the Texas oil industry and his presidency.

Barack Obama–President Obama began his career as an ice cream scooper at a Honolulu Baskin-Robbins.

It’s important to remember that everyone starts out as an hourly employee somewhere, even our leaders. The next time you walk into work remember to take a good look around because you could be working with a future president!

This article was originally posted Feb. 15, 2013 on snagajob.com/resources

The right way to start a new job

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Whether you’re working in a restaurant or an office there’s no denying it, starting a new job can be quite intimidating. I know that adjusting to a new work environment can be difficult. Fortunately, most employers will do their best to make you feel welcome. To make adjusting easier, I’ve got few tips on how to survive being the newbie at work.

Be positive: Keeping a positive attitude is key. This shows your fellow employees that you’re approachable and happy to be working with them. Don’t forget to show off those pearly whites.

Be friendly: Get to know your fellow coworkers and make it a point to learn their names. Don’t take it personally if some people aren’t quick to warm up to you, they’ll come around. That being said, it’s nice to share a little bit about yourself, but know where to draw the line. There’s no need for everyone at your job to know about your pet dog, Sparky, running away when you were six.

Find a focus: If you’re having a hard time adjusting to your new job it helps to find a focus. Put your effort into your work and zone in on the things you are really good at.

Make a friend: As the new guy or gal on the scene, you’re a hot commodity. There’s bound to be a coworker that you connect with, find that person and they’ll help you through the newbie struggles.

Beforehand, learn about the company you are joining and see that its culture and values match yours because the welcoming feeling that you get when you start a new job depends on the company’s culture.

If being the new worker on the block becomes overwhelming just remember that you were chosen for this position because you have the skills and someone thinks you’re perfect for the job.  Follow my tips and push though the first few weeks. I guarantee that after a month you’ll no longer feel like the new guy in the workplace.

This article was originally posted Dec. 19, 2012 on snagajob.com/resources

Reasons why an internship rocks

Why an internship rocksby:

I’m Amber Shiflett, Marketing Intern here at Snagajob and a senior at Virginia Commonwealth University.

I’m here give you the inside scoop on internships. As a college student, I’ve completed a ton of internships. Whether an internship is paid, for credit, unpaid or not-for-credit doesn’t change its value. Internships are investments in your future. Often, students are reluctant to pursue internships because they worry they’ll be stuck doing menial tasks like getting coffee or making copies and let’s face it- no one wants to work for free. The truth is, although not all internships pay in cash they do pay in other ways.

Here are just a few reasons why internships are investments in your future:

1) Real world experience: Joining a company as an intern gives you the opportunity to work hands on in a professional environment. As an intern you’re not just there to get coffee or run errands but you’re there to gain actual work experience. Internships help by teaching you more about the career path you are pursuing. Think of it like this – internships are a way to test drive possible jobs and explore different career options.

2) Networking: Internships often give you the opportunity to attend meetings and events. By interacting with professionals you gain new connections and learn how to communicate in a professional environment. Personally, my internships have introduced me to a lot of useful resources and have given me the opportunity to meet a variety of professionals in my field. Networking has helped me acquire references and find new job opportunities. Internships can even provide you with a professional mentor.

3) Resume Builder: As a college student I know the importance of a strong resume. Without a solid resume it can be tougher to be considered for a position. And how can you have a strong resume without any experience? Internships are key to building experience as a student or recent graduate. Employers are much more likely to hire someone with internships and work experience rather than someone with a generic resume, lacking experience.

4) Time Management: As an intern you’ll become a master of time management. When you’re working in a fast paced professional environment you need to know every minute counts. Time management is vital in every circumstance whether you’re attending meetings, finishing tasks on deadlines, making phone calls, picking up your boss’ dry cleaning or walking their dog (just kidding about those last two).

5) Career Foundation: Internships provide you with the building blocks you need for your future. Many internship opportunities help set the foundation for your career. It is important that you choose you internships based on your interests and career prospects. As an intern you have the opportunity to get your foot in the door with a company. Keep in mind, employers often use internships as a recruitment tool to test out future employees and in many cases, companies hire interns after graduation.

Internships are great tools to improve your chances as a job applicant and help make you a better potential employee. So make the investment in your career and look into becoming an intern.

This article was originally posted Nov. 27, 2012 on snagajob.com/resources

Shop Locally, Boost the Economy

Posted: August 28, 2012 | Author:  | Filed under: Charity/Non-profitCity of RichmondNational News,Retail | Tags:  |

Over the past few years we’ve heard people talking about the importance of shopping local. These programs have been springing up across the country, urging consumers to join the “Buy Local” movement.

So, what difference does it make when communities shop at local businesses?

Well, the truth is when consumers buy from local stores instead of big box stores, more of their money stays in the community.

“Those purchases are twice as efficient in terms of keeping the local economy alive,” says The New Economics Foundation researcher David Boyle, in this article in Time magazine.

This movement plays a big role by boosting the economy and generating more jobs in the community.

Although sometimes the costs may be slightly higher at locally owned businesses, there are many benefits, such as lower transportation costs, more eco-friendly communities and the opportunity to form growing relationships with local business owners.

Buying local also alerts the community about the gaps in the market, creating a stronger sense of entrepreneurship and pushing for new businesses to prosper in markets that hadn’t previously existed locally.

When spend your money in RVA it keeps our neighborhoods unique with prospering local businesses versus streets lined with big box retail chains.

Here in Richmond, there are a few organizations that are dedicated to encouraging consumers to buy local goods and services. The Greater Richmond Retail Merchants Association is well known for their Think. Shop. Buy. Local movement, a large scale movement that works to promote the economic benefits of buying local goods by working across Richmond and the surrounding counties.

Originally created as a project at VCU, ShopRVA is a smallernonprofit made up of local businesses, organizations, and individuals who are joined together to promote the culture and individuality of RVA. ShopRVA was created in 2009 and works to make RVA more green, economically and environmentally. Their goal is to make Richmond businesses into a strong foundation for a thriving local economy.

 “ShopRVA is new and filled with so much potential, people should listen to what they have to offer,” said Micah West, a student who worked with ShopRVA at VCU’s 2012 Social Media Institute. “They support the great things we have in the Richmond area and they want to express the creativity and personality of Richmond.”

These organizations work to remind us what makes Richmond such a unique city and they highlight why RVA is a wonderful place to live, eat, work and shop. With local restaurants on nearly every block, small markets throughout the Fan, and unique stores and boutiques in neighborhoods like Carytown and Libbie & Grove it is easy to shop RVA.