Note: I’m barely hireable these days. In November of 2015 I accepted an awesome full-time position as a Program Manager at Microsoft; as such, my time and energy is mostly spent indirectly helping making software awesome in Redmond. But sometimes people are capable of talking me into doing stuff outside of my day job. You never know!

Back when I was more hireable, people often found me useful in a myriad of other ways. So I’m occasionally willing to do other non-Microsoft work, especially when a project or cause really excites me. I may not have the ability to take on your concept, but please feel free to get in touch about any of the following ideas. My hourly and weekly rates range wildly, but we can discuss what your budget is and figure out a scope that works for both of us.

Public speaking and event hosting

I’m relatively new in my “giving talks at conferences” career, but I’ve been MCing events for various nonprofits for ages. I’m freakishly comfortable on the microphone (digitally or in person) and I’m starting to get comfortable on a stage. In the conference-y vein, I tend to talk about user experience, motivation, and how to improve diversity in tech to make the community a better place. In the MC-y vein, it really depends—feel free to drop me a line about your event and we’ll talk.

And yeah, I’ll probably be on your podcast. (What’s it about?)

Freelance writing and editing

I’ve freelanced everything from guest blog posts to snappy marketing copy to highly technical 1,000-word briefs on actuarial science. These days, I tend to gravitate towards projects that are good fit for my voice, which you’ll get a feel for here on the blog. Please reach out if you have a project in mind for which you’d like me to write! I generally avoid free writing work for “exposure;” I expect compensation of some sort unless your publication provides some wildly amazing benefit to me. This compensation doesn’t always have to be monetary, so please reach out if you’re dying to hire me but can’t afford to pay me in a traditional fashion. If the project is a good mutual fit, we’ll work something out.

Usability feedback

I’ve been consulting with more and more companies about their general user experience, and I’m happy to weigh in on ways you can help make your product more natural and polished for your target customers. Former clients in this category are confidential, but include major apps and major companies, both inside and outside of the online dating industry. Please reach out directly for more information.

Small business marketing and social media help

I’ve recently started helping small businesses with their social media and website issues. Navigating the ever-changing world of different networks and passwords and images and accounts can be exhausting, and I’m great at helping businesses focus on what they ought to be doing based on their service, market, and general tone. Please reach out for more detail or to see if you’d like my help!

Here’s a quote from Kittie in SF, a happy jewelry maker I assisted with marketing advice:

Virginia has that rare gift of being able to tell you the straight-up truth (even if it stings) while remaining incredibly kind. Her confidence and enthusiasm is a necessary antidote for anyone who gets caught up in the rat race of their own worries and fears. She and I talked for less than an hour, and yet if something were to go drastically awry in my life, she would be one of the first people I’d think to call for advice (or a shoulder to cry on.)

Virginia’s practical experience and keen insight into the world of The Techie 30-Something extend far beyond dating advice. Wondering how to walk and talk during an interview? Or need three excellent ideas for promoting your website? I bet she’s got you covered.

Thanks, Kittie! Seriously, I love being able to help, and sometimes people find chatting to me more effective and practical than chatting to a self-proclaimed “marketing professional” who tells them to spend money and make decisions in ways that don’t feel right for them. Talk to me if you need help in this arena; we’ll figure out pretty quickly if I can assist you.

Online dating coaching

heartographer logoMy main company, The Heartographer, is primarily how people hired me for about a decade. I’m fantastic at guiding people through all aspects of online dating, from figuring out which site to use and how to perfect your pictures and messaging, right on down to figuring out how soon to do the deed and how to broach becoming exclusive. All that good stuff. I’m a heck of a great coach, guide, cheerleader, writer, and general helper-outer when it comes to finding love online. I’m really happy to not be doing this anymore, tbh, but for special pals I make exceptions. Maybe. You can always ask.

Look at me, blogging away just for you.

Linguistic QA

I’m fluent in Spanish, Catalan, and French, and I have years of experience working with these and other foreign languages. I’m primarily experienced with linguistic testing and proofreading, but I’ve also worked in localization, translation, and interpretation. There are loads of issues and pitfalls in the digital world, many of which are language-specific and more of which are universal. I’d be happy to help guide your project or team so that your foreign language text is polished and professional, and your team works efficiently to meet this goal. Former clients and employers include Microsoft, Amazon, Nintendo, NCsoft, Swype/Nuance, and many smaller companies.

Functionality testing

While I prefer to focus on linguistic testing, I’m also an adept manual tester of various use cases, settings, and environments for software products, websites, apps, games, and so forth. I do not do test engineering, such as scripting/automation, but I’m happy to create test plans to develop an overview of all areas that need to be reviewed, and I’m happy to train testers in conveying issues with the correct detail and severity level to ensure that bugs are reported and addressed as efficiently as possible. Please reach out directly for more details.

Language instruction

I’m a former EFL (English as a Foreign Language) and Spanish instructor, and I’m happy to teach these languages as well as Catalan. I’d prefer not to teach spoken French, but I’m happy to review written French for errors. If you’d like language instruction, please reach out directly and indicate your needs (i.e. business travel, expertise in a specific field’s vocabulary, etc.)

Tech-speak consulting

If you recently started a job at a tech company, but you come from a non-technical background, I can help ease the transition. I’m great at translating confusion over acronyms and jargon into meaningful feature requests, questions and answers, and I can often help point you towards resources your company offers that you didn’t even know existed! (I have experience at both Amazon and Microsoft, but this type of assistance applies to any tech company. Sometimes you just need to know how to ask for something.) If the way people talk at your company or organization is stressing you out, let’s see if I can help. This is something I’ll do free for 15 minutes to see if we’re getting somewhere; then we can discuss payment if you decide to book more targeted help.

If you absolutely must see my résumé, it is here. But I’m already quietly judging you for clicking. Just email me instead.