The Warren Campaign Operations Lead Who Read 15 Books From March To May

I like coming into a space where there’s chaos and bringing calmness and order….

Cathy Dinas

In December 2019, I moved 3000 miles from the Bay Area to Boston to work on the Warren Campaign. I was like, let’s get this person elected. Let’s get her in office. We worked seven days a week, 12 hour days on the campaign and there were nights where it was a lot longer. 

After Super Tuesday when she announced that she was going to suspend her campaign, I stayed on for an additional two and a half weeks to help shut down the headquarters. 

Our campaign ended two weeks before everything started shutting down and I returned home after all that to a pandemic. The first thing I did was sleep. I was exhausted after all that grind. Then I read. I read a bunch of Toni Morrison books. My family is from Haiti so I read a handful of Edwidge Danticat books. My favorites were Song of Solomon by Morrison and Claire of the Sealight by Danticat. 

I also applied for jobs in between but I think I played video games for about a month straight. I have never done that before in my life. 

*Cathy (a.k.a the Beyonce of Operations’) Tips for Working From Home In These Unpredictable Times*

1.Translating your office work culture into how you work from home is not going to be successful. I think folks and their employers have to realize that the 9 - 5 is not realistic right now. If you need to work in dedicated 3-hour intervals then do laundry, that’s okay. That, as well as embracing more non-traditional work hours. 

2.I realize that I get more done when I am sitting upright by a window than when I’m slouching on the sofa. If you can, get a desk by a window and an upright chair. 

3.Try to eat healthier snacks. If you’re eating chips at your desk all day, you probably won’t feel great.

4. If you are looking for a job: 

A) Do people know you are looking? Let people know so that they keep you at the top of their minds when opportunities come up. Before working on the Warren Campaign, I had interviewed with Black Futures Lab. They circled back with me after the campaign ended. I will be working as their Chief of Staff starting August and I can’t wait to get started. They have an amazing mission.  

B) Don’t be afraid to start conversations with companies and CEOs on social media. I once sent an email to a CEO about a position, then followed up with a Tweet when I hadn’t heard back. People feel more amplified on social, especially on Twitter. 

C) Keep busy so that you feel valuable. 

5. If you are an employer, be deliberate. 3 months after several rounds of interviews is a long time to wait to make a decision during a pandemic. You can potentially lose a valuable person. 

6. Don’t ghost potential employees. Friends have said to me, “we had a great conversation, then they never talked to me again.”  It speaks volumes to the organization and you are ruining your reputation. 

7. Take your vacation time! Remember that though you are at home, you are still working. If you need a break, don’t let your vacation time go to waste.

As told to us by 

Cathy Dinas