Ever wondered how being part of various online communities can provide value to your career?
Nicolassa Galvez, CEO and Founder of Chingona Coach, offered us a wealth of insights on this topic as she shared her approach to managing time and contributions within these digital realms and introduced the unique concept of anti-career coaching.
She shared how diverse communities—ranging from anti-career coaching to Latinas growing their businesses—provide her with mentorship, a sounding board, and an invaluable resource pool.
This episode is a treasure trove for anyone looking to grasp the power of professional communities and the realities of a project management career.
- Benefits of Engaging in Professional Communities [0:51]
- The power of online communities in career advancement is a topic that often gets overlooked. Nicolassa shares how she manages her time and contributions within these digital realms and introduces us to the unique concept of anti-career coaching.
- She shares how these diverse communities provide her with mentorship, a sounding board, and an invaluable resource pool. One community that she speaks highly of is the Digital Project Manager community, which has played a crucial role in her career growth. The community provides resources that have helped her navigate through her project management role.
Anti-career coaching is for individuals who were socialized as women and for whom traditional office environments and career advice don’t really work.Nicolassa Galvez
- Impact of Community on Career Opportunities [6:19]
- Nicolassa shares her experience in the Digital Project Manager Community and how it boosted her confidence to pursue her project management role. She expresses her appreciation for the community leaders who set a welcoming tone and create a space where everyone feels at home. The sense of camaraderie and mutual support is palpable, creating a nurturing environment for career growth.
- Humor and Community in Project Management [13:20]
- Interestingly, the conversation takes a light-hearted twist as Nicolassa delves into the shared humor within the Digital Project Manager Community. She believes this fosters a welcoming atmosphere and encourages interaction among members. This aspect sets the community apart, making it a comfortable space where people can freely express themselves without fear of judgement or ridicule.
- Nicolassa also shares her personal joys and challenges as a project manager. She admits that the least desirable part of her role is navigating office politics. However, on the brighter side, she finds joy in solving the puzzle of project management software and processes. Nicolassa’s insights into her role offer valuable lessons for those considering a career in project management.
A project manager can set the stage to be more autonomous. But I didn’t realize how much of a people role it is. You’re like the diplomat of the agency and you have to be a really strong listener, communicator, and translator.Nicolassa Galvez
Meet Our Guest
Nicolassa Galvez founded Chingona Coach to support women who are undervalued by their bosses. She wants you to learn how to love your job and then leave it. Love it… so you don’t bring your baggage to the next opportunity. And leave it… because she doesn’t believe traditional workplaces are set up for badass chicas who have big dreams and lean into being too much. After years of feeling tempered at work, coaching helped her rekindle her internal Chingona fire, and now she coaches other women to do the same.
Being part of the community gave me the confidence to feel like I belonged in the industry, to know what I was doing, and to learn from them when I didn’t.Nicolassa Galvez
Resources from this episode:
- Join DPM Membership
- Subscribe to the newsletter to get our latest articles and podcasts
- Connect with Nicolassa Galvez on LinkedIn
- Check out Chingona Coach
Related articles and podcasts:
Read The Transcript:
We’re trying out transcribing our podcasts using a software program. Please forgive any typos as the bot isn’t correct 100% of the time.
Michael Mordak: Hey, it's Michael from the Digital Project Manager and welcome to today's Member Spotlight. We've managed to string together the biggest and baddest collection of project managers who are out there creating change and challenging the paradigms that exist in projects today. Which is why we're sharing their stories, the personal and professional twists and turns we take while trying to answer the age old question—What do you want to be?
Today, we're speaking with esteemed community member, the CEO and Founder of Chingona Coach, Nicolassa Galvez. Niko has often been the only project manager working within her organization. So she looked to community, not only as a way to crowdsource knowledge, but also to access mentorship and connect with people who understand the role and the frustrations that come along with it.
So Nicolassa, I'd love to hear from you, if you could just give me an overview of some of the communities that you're involved with at this time.
Nicolassa Galvez: I have a lot of online communities that I'm involved with. So, of course, Digital Project Manager community. I'm an anti career coach so I also, in a lot of coaching groups, not only for coaches growing businesses, but also people, who want to receive coaching.
So on both ends of that, I'm in a few groups for Latinas growing their business or interested in personal growth. And then another group is Community-Centric Fundraising. And that's a group of folks, nonprofit folks looking to change how nonprofits are funded.
Michael Mordak: Awesome. I noticed you listed a few groups there.
I'd love to know from you, how do you find time to make sure that you're focusing a little bit of effort into each of these communities and giving them the time they need?
Nicolassa Galvez: Well, I have zero notifications on any of my devices. I can't handle even like silent notifications or like red dots. So I actually actively have to go look for them.
I also really filter my emails. So, I, many of the groups that I go to, they archive automatically, and I never even see the emails. But the, five to ten groups that I actively want to participate in, their emails is usually how I go visit them, or I think of something, or I have a question, I go and actively seek them out.
Michael Mordak: Okay. So you're not time blocking, five minutes a day to go spend time in this community. You're just, when it's top of mind to you, you just head over there and use it as you need to.
Nicolassa Galvez: Yeah. Or their emails, like I make a point to get their, the emails of the groups. Cause you know, they'll have like digest the conversations or, like Digital Project Manager will send out something about AI and I'll be interested in that topic. And so then I'll go visit the group to see what people are saying about it because I read the email.
Michael Mordak: So basically make it work with your schedule and you'll find time for all those things.
I was really interested in the one item you had mentioned about anti career coaching, because it's not immediately intuitive as to what that might be. Are you able to explain what anti career coaching is?
Nicolassa Galvez: Yeah, I have a really struggled work. I can barely stay at a job more than like 18 months and, whether it's my cultural background or the fact that I have ADHD, I struggle at work a lot with the office politics.
So not as much as the tasks, but I'm really bad at office politics. So I couldn't really find coaching that addressed that, that wasn't just like, Oh, redo your resume or like, here's how to send politically correct emails. And so anti career coaching is for folks that were socialized as women who traditional office places and traditional career advice doesn't really work for them. Like there's something else going on that we want to talk about and support them through.
Michael Mordak: Yeah, that's amazing. That's a really noble and needed space. A lot of people will be able to make use of. So that's a really great way. I love that you're spending your time there and that you're making that such a big focus.
So you listed quite a few communities that you're involved with. And I was wondering if you could let me know a little bit more about, why do you feel the need to involve yourself in these communities? And what are you getting out of it?
Nicolassa Galvez: Well, in every job I've had, I've been like the only role there.
I mean, that happens a lot in nonprofits, but then also I worked at small marketing agencies as a project manager. And the agencies were so small that I was the only project manager. So I didn't necessarily have co-workers or, it's not like there's digital project networking groups, in cities.
So, I really seek out the communities because to crowdsource answers, to vent, like, to just be like, why is this happening? What is going on? Like, this is so frustrating, like, they're not following deadlines, they're not following directions, or just help, like, there's no point to reinvent the wheel.
And why wouldn't I want to see what other folks are doing that have already been doing it? And I also don't feel like mentorship is something that, like, I'm 45 and you hear about, like, people that had mentors, but I don't feel like in my generation that many of us had mentors. So being in these communities is an opportunity to mentor each other and to have that mentorship when we need it.
Michael Mordak: Yeah, it's almost like a bit of a buzzword in a way that kind of picked up steam and is also a funny way to incentivize people to, give away knowledge and, and sacrifice their time for free, which is giving back to the next generation of people coming through the system.
Another reason why I love what you said there is just because, we've got in the DPM community, our mastermind groups and opportunities for people to get involved in small groups and go through a lot of those processes that you mentioned, like crowdsourcing information, getting templates for things just to make your life easier and job easier.
And then I think one of the biggest ones, and it's funny because I think it's one of the busiest channels on our Slack channel, is the event channel. Just people getting things off their shoulders and sharing their frustrations with other people who understand it, who get it and, have been through similar things.
And then I'd also love to hear from you, being involved in these communities, are there any significant career moves or opportunities that were made available to you that you may not have otherwise had the chance to take advantage of?
Nicolassa Galvez: For me, it was mostly the confidence. So I came into project management, not officially like, going and getting my, I think it's like the PMI or...
Michael Mordak: The PMP, yeah.
Nicolassa Galvez: Yeah, certification. It was just like something that was needed and they, sought after and asked me to do it and hired me on to be the project manager. And so I went out to seek resources and came across Digital Project Manager and was really intentional about not wanting to dive into the official, PMP certification at that point.
And so being part of the community gave me the confidence to, like, feel like I belonged in the industry, that I did know what I was doing and also like the stuff I didn't know what, I could learn from them. So it helped my career in so many ways, because just the confidence of being with the peers and being able to be part of those conversations, the webinars, the masterminds, like the different pop up community calls, that's really where it helped my career the most. Not as much as like a job application, but when I was in the job, like keeping me going and like, Oh, like, am I crazy? Or is this like crazy?
Michael Mordak: I love that. Yeah. And confidence is a huge one, especially as somebody who's coming into the role. Did the company pay for the PMP or did they asked you to go and get that in order to start the role?
Nicolassa Galvez: Yeah. And that was the other thing I was like, if you're not going to pay for it, I'm not going to pay for it. And because I wanted, I knew I liked project man, possibly because of my ADHD, I've always been extremely structured and organized on paper. Like if you saw my bedroom, it's nothing like that, but you know, I had to have a lot of structure in the way I organized my work or, my education or I learned it, when I was in school, I had a lot of support.
And so just based on their experience with me and knowing how much I organize, they wanted me for this role in their marketing agency. But they never offered to pay, you know even I paid for the DPM membership like out of my own pocket like they wouldn't even pay for that. Because I knew I needed that professional support system and so it was worth it for me to pay for it myself.
Michael Mordak: I mean, one interesting way to look at it too, is in the community, you have a ton of people who've acquired their PMP.
So, I mean, I mean, the knowledge behind it is all there. And I mean, really, if you wanted to, you could even just go in and ask people about, different parts of the job and the knowledge that they're giving you is based out of their time studying for it and passing the exam. So, I mean, even if that's something that you wanted to pursue, then, you've got people in the community that have that knowledge.
So that's a big part of it. And that kind of goes in line with what you're saying. I mean, you just gain so much knowledge and insight from people who've been through the ringer, who've, gone through all these different aspects of the job for years. And so it's almost like just fast tracking your way through the career and getting to the next step before needing to go through all the trial and error that other people may have gone through already.
Nicolassa Galvez: Yeah. And I appreciated that. Like I, you know, well, I love like the methodology of project management, the people skills. We're just not, like the middle management, like having the, the leaders of the agency versus like the implementers and trying to navigate that all. That wasn't really part of my natural, like that's just not my characteristics.
So while I was a project manager for almost eight years, I never wanted to make it official by going and getting that certification because I knew it wasn't a career that I was interested in. But I still really loved the work and then the community. So yeah, having a place to go that wasn't part of this official line was really impactful for me because I could stay in touch and even, I wasn't a project manager for a couple of years because I was focusing on my coaching certification.
But, I project managed my own coaching business. So it was still really important for me to be part of the group and there's so much more than just project management and the community that it was, worth my time to stay involved.
Michael Mordak: That's awesome. And then a little bit of a twist on this so far, are there any, and this doesn't need to be DPM specific, but of all the communities you're in. I'd love to know from you, who is the coolest person or maybe most influential person that you've met through a community?
Nicolassa Galvez: Well, I actually was going to say Ben, because I know you said any group, but like I've been part of DPM so long.
Like the first time y'all were on Slack, like you were on Slack and then you switched to the online thing and then you switch back to Slack and just how involved he was. And it was, intimidating coming into this group. I didn't have my certification. And, to have one of the leaders or founders of the group, like be so present, be so involved and be so accessible and, not gatekeeping that culture was present throughout the entire community and it continues, like five years later, six, I don't even know how long I've been in, like that culture, hasn't left.
It's still a really strong, welcoming community. And so to me, that's like the big star is to have somebody that sets that tone and, a lot of them, like Patrice has always been so helpful and just always like checking in on us, making sure all the questions are answered. And I just feel like that's, she's 1 that stood out just because I had some like nonprofit questions and, I don't know her exact background, but she was able to answer them about like project management and nonprofits and just always making sure no one's question sits there alone, like no one's in the corner not being talked to. And those are like the big stars in communities that stand out to me.
Michael Mordak: Yeah, I love that about community. It's interesting because it's almost like a backdoor into, that company or the group anyway. I mean, cause you go into these communities and yeah, like you said, leaders, people who are at the top of the industry are involved in these communities and you can just go in and talk to them and ask them questions about their experiences.
And a lot of times they'll make themselves available just because, they're in there because it's part of their life and they love it and that's what they spend their time doing.
Nicolassa Galvez: Yeah. It wasn't cliquish.
Michael Mordak: Yeah, exactly. I mean, I feel like anybody would say this about their own community, but I mean, I feel like we have a really great group of people that are really just passionate about sharing their knowledge and helping other people come to understand the things that they've come to learn throughout their careers.
So, and I mean, Patrice is a great example, but we have got a number of other people as well who are in there and just love sharing knowledge. So it's pretty rare that a question goes unanswered.
Nicolassa Galvez: Yeah, I love it. And the other thing, like, is the sense of humor that this community has. It's so rare, especially in online communities, because, it's, we're in Slack, so it's a lot of text, and that's hard to get humor across. But, always since I've been there, there's been a feeling of humor with everything.
And it's not a humor that's making fun of people for not knowing certain things. It's this humor about, like, the grace of us all being these human beings in a group to learn from each other. And so it's a really warm humor. And it, like, takes down some of the walls. And especially if project managers are stressed out about something or just, like, I feel like people talk about their family and their kids and stuff, but it's just a really light community and not light in the sense of not taking things seriously like they still really love their profession and, but it just there's not it's not stressful to go into the community or you're not like proving yourself.
Michael Mordak: Do you find that as prevalent in other communities that you're involved with or is that something?
Nicolassa Galvez: No.
Michael Mordak: Oh, no Hey, and so how does that affect the difference in those communities? Does it like affect how maybe much time you want to spend there or how you interact with people?
Nicolassa Galvez: Yeah, I mean, I feel like we have to be, especially myself, I feel like a lot of workplaces you have to, ADHD or neurodivergent folks talk about having to mask a lot and how draining that is.
And so like I have a really dry sense of humor that doesn't always come across in text, but it totally like comes across in the DPM community because I think you already have that part of your culture. So you don't take every like sentence so seriously. It's a more human interaction and, I worked remotely even before the pandemic.
So I've always been really used to interacting online and I also almost prefer it to in person. But some communities can be really sterile. And I mean, it's still like helpful information. Like I might, pop in there to get a question or, read the digest to see if there's anything I need to chime in.
But as far as like the hangout vibe, I think DPM has a couple other communities where you're like, Oh, okay, like I want to hang out with these people. I want to go have coffee or get a drink with them. And that, yeah, it's not prevalent in a lot of online communities.
Michael Mordak: I love that. That's really cool.
And then as we get toward the end of this conversation, I just wanted to find out from you, I know that you're not working in project management currently, but when you were working in PM, what would you say was your least favorite part of the role?
Nicolassa Galvez: Well, actually I am bringing project management to the current nonprofit, even though it's not part of my role I'm like, I cannot survive if we do not have a project management system. Like we have to, you know, and right now they're on me to be with Trello and I'm used to ClickUp and I'm like, I don't think I can do Trello. We're like, I'm making a good effort. But like I think I will bring project manager role to every single job I go to.
Michael Mordak: Once you've seen the light of project management, you cannot turn it off.
Nicolassa Galvez: Yeah. Even in my own coaching business, I subscribe to ClickUp. Like I pay for it. I don't even do the free account. I'm like, Nope, this is official. It is very important.
But the most frustrating thing for me was the lack of autonomy that is inherent in the project manager role. So I think like a project manager can set that stage to be more autonomous. But I didn't realize how much of a people role it is. You're like the diplomat of the agency. And you have to be a really strong listener, a really strong communicator, a strong translator.
Like your people skills have to be on point. I could never get them all the way on point. I don't know if people know how much of like a people role that is and how much if you like collaboration and you like, helping two groups of people who have the same goal, but have different ways of getting there. If you're the kind of person that likes to help those people navigate and make compromises and find solutions and do that group work, then, project management is not just like handing out tasks.
Like I could hand out tasks all day. I just couldn't get people to do them because it's all of that, those relationship building and those people skills and how to, what do they call it? Manage up and manage down. So definitely the managing up was the most difficult. Like I would, go to bat for the developers because they weren't always given all of the things that could make, the leaders, account managers would always make our jobs the most difficult.
So that was the most challenging, like even if the developers didn't meet their deadlines or didn't follow the process, I was like, I get it because, we're putting crazy deadlines on you, so.
Michael Mordak: And then I was going to follow that up with a brighter question and ask what your favorite part of PM was?
Nicolassa Galvez: I could get lost forever in project management software and processes. Like I think it is so interesting. It's like a puzzle or a maze to me. And just I love, tasks and sub tasks and estimating time and planning things out. And I'm totally okay even like planning all that stuff out. And of course, it's never going to go to plan, but I love refining. I just love project management software.
Michael Mordak: It's like a puzzle that's constantly changing while you're trying to put it together.
Nicolassa Galvez: Right? It's like a blob puzzle. Yeah. So I love software all day, every day, spreadsheets. Although I used to really love spreadsheets, but now that we have all this project management software and especially in nonprofits, they use a lot of spreadsheets and I'm like, cause they're missing out.
Like I love spreadsheets, but let me show you some project management software and you will be blown out of the water.
Michael Mordak: Yeah, bring them into the light, let them know that there are better ways of doing things. Awesome. I love that. And I just want to say that I really appreciate you taking the time to talk about community, talk about your experience with community, because I know that, it's not always easy to throw yourself into a community or to get involved.
But there really is so much value and there is so much knowledge. And I mean, if you, like we mentioned, if you join the right kind of community, or if you find a community that maybe clicks with you, there are people who are willing to just be really helpful and share their time and really just be inclusive and welcome you in.
So I think it's always worth it just to take that first step and try to put your name out there or try to at least get involved in some way. And maybe you join a community and you don't say anything.
Nicolassa Galvez: Yeah, someone just did that today, like lurking. So like, yes, join the community and lurk as long as you want.
Someone in the DPM community this morning was like, this is my first time asking a question.
Michael Mordak: Oh, yeah, that's right. Yeah.
Nicolassa Galvez: And that's perfect. Like, you can ask a question whenever you want. You don't have to just come in. Like, sometimes I'll go into communities and I won't do the introduce yourself. Like sometimes I'll be like, I'm not ready to introduce myself.
Sometimes I never, I still find the community valuable and I never introduce myself or sometimes after a few months, then I go in and do the introduction. So it's totally fine to come in to be a wallflower in the community. You're still welcome.
Michael Mordak: Yeah, of course. Awesome. Well, thanks again for your time. I really appreciate you taking these moments with me and going through all these questions. We'll be in touch in the DPM Slack and we'll continue to connect.
Thanks for tuning into our Member Spotlight with Nicolassa. She has so much more knowledge and insight to share with you. So come, chat with us in the Slack channel, along with our entire community of Digital Project Managers. You can learn more about membership on our website at thedigitalprojectmanager.com/membership.
Until next time, thanks for listening!