Jordana Abraham, Samantha Fishbein, and Aleen Kuperman are classic Millennials. The three childhood friends who all attended Cornell started their new media company as a WordPress blog when they were seniors. They called it Betches, and it was a site about all their thoughts on pop culture, fashion and everything in between written in their signature snarky tone.
This is a site where you get answers to questions like “Which one of Kim Kardashian’s Exes is the best? A definitive ranking” or literally any information about any person who has ever appeared on Vanderpump Rules. The site quickly grew a strong following and so after they graduated they decided, much to their parents’ dismay (and confusion) that this, a blog, would be their job.
Each woman invested $1,500 and slowly but surely the site went from a blog to full-on media company including two New York Times best-sellers that made more than $5 million in revenue in 2017 according to Forbes.
Seven years later, the company is going strong (they have over 6 million followers on Instagram and a thriving e-commerce branch) and as the founders have grown up so have their readers which is why the content has expanded past recaps and the inner lives of Riverdale characters to career and wedding advice. So who better to dole out work advice to Millennial women then these three? Confusing job titles? Check. Taking a major risk at a young age? Check. Social media savvy? Check. Being super ambitious? Check.
And they have put all their advice into their newest career book, When’s Happy Hour? Work Hard So You Can Hardly Work (Simon and Schuster) “We started writing when we were 21 and as we have gotten older so has our audience. Their questions have now turned to self-fulfillment and becoming who they are, finding their passion and trying to navigate this post-college world. We felt that there was nothing out there speaking to us. This is a raw truth about what its like to be in that position,” Abraham told Ladders.
The three women, as they always do, work as a team to write their books. “We’ve definitely gotten more questions recently about how to succeed at work, how to ask for a raise, etc.,” Fishbein noted. “As things get more complicated you start to look for more answers.”
The transition from college to adulthood is a tough one and leaves so many feeling quite clueless. “Coming from college where it is carefree and no responsibility and suddenly being thrown into an office where all you have to do is be responsible is so hard. And then you are given that one happy hour where all you have to do is let loose a little and it can go very wrong. No one gives you a guide,” Kuperman noted. “So we thought it could help with that. We’ve had a lot of experiences and there is white space for this truly honest advice for the female millennial.”
Taking inspiration from some of their favorite authors like Tina Fey and Mindy Kaling, the book covers (in a casual but very informed way) such topics as a history of women in the workforce, finding your passion, climbing the career ladder, working in the digital age, firing people as non-awkwardly as possible, navigating a post #MeToo work culture, language usage and of course, how to behave at the company happy hour or really any workplace situation in which even the slightest action is monitored. “For the young women who don’t have that kind of guidance whether it be a mother, or a sister or a boss, we thought we could be that for them,” said Kuperman.
Like how do you fire someone? “It is a business moment but it is also a humane moment,” said Fishbein. “It can be very tricky. Leaving it with the right boundaries and not hurting the person to the extent that you can.” Or crying at work? They all advised their readers to avoid it if you can but agreed that crying at work gets a bad rap. “It is a very emotional response to things. If you take that, crying at work, and reframe it as not an expression of weakness but an expression of caring it might not be as stigmatized. There are way worse things you can do than cry,” said Abraham.
The book is also full of anecdotes and references from your favorite pop culture pieces including The Devil Wears Prada, Sex & the City, Bridesmaids and then some real life notable folks like Theodore Roosevelt, Tina Fey and the cast of The Hills. It also has charts to help guide women through difficult career situations like the work happy hour. For example It’s okay to “Take shots with your boss” but it is not okay to “Take shots at your boss” or We would promote someone who “Doesn’t dip out at exactly 5:00 pm every single day” or We probs wouldn’t promote someone who “Leaves at 4:45; claims to work from home the rest of the night but Insta stories from happy hour.”
Fishbein said writing the history of women in the workforce was particularly interesting: “With the time we’re in now and the perspective it gave me and hopefully will give the readers just about how disadvantaged women have been up until quite recently and just realizing if it weren’t for the past few decades we could not be in the position we’re in now. It gave me a sense of mission in writing this and having a company.”
Their main hope with the book is to help their readers find what they are “both good at, what you like doing and what you feel like is missing in the world. This is something that can help guide you. Every experience doesn’t have to be positive in that I succeeded in this or I failed but really that is a constant journey and just taking information from everything you do and moving forward with more self-knowledge.”