These past few months, I've stared at a lot of blank screens. I’ve had a few big projects come up, and didn’t know where or how to begin. So I stared at the screen. I stared for long stretches of time, trying to will myself in a direction that seemed to not come.
My mother first taught me about managing up. That isn’t what she called it, of course, but when I got my first job, she’d tell me stories about her career. She'd share how she went from working in the basement at her company to getting promoted to a number of different roles, and the little things she did to get there. She'd regularly give me suggestions on how to be great at work, and how to get the most done with (or in spite of) whatever boss I had.
A few years ago I read, "Nice Girls Don’t Get The Corner Office", by Lois P. Frankel. At that time in my life I was reading a lot of career development books for women; some were helpful and others made me feel overwhelmed by the amount of “steps” it might take to climb the proverbial ladder. In Frankel’s book, she mentioned the notion of women using touchy-feely language in the workplace and how we should learn to be more direct. What is "touchy-feely language"?
This weekend, I was thinking a lot about how far I've come along my career path. The person I was at the start of my career almost wouldn't recognize the stronger, more resilient professional that I am becoming. I thought about those situations in my life (personal and professional alike) that, while in them, felt impossible to get through or to let go of. But each of those situations helped to clear a path forward to where I am today.
What would it look like if the rooms we walked into or the tables we sat at were diverse? What about in terms of board membership? Imagine sitting in a boardroom that was representative of the communities you live in and the customers you serve. I believe that is exactly what California is striving for in trying to pass a bill that would require publicly held companies to have women on their boards. Which is great news for women of color: we are not equally represented on corporate boards, so there is lots of opportunity and board seats to secure.
Working in groups doesn’t end in school. Depending on the industry you're in, collaborating and working well with others is a prerequisite for being successful.
We all know what a bad teammate looks like, but what qualities make you a good team member?
Here are four tips to make you a better teammate:
Step Up: Have you ever been in a group or committee and someone had to be the “leader…”
Did you know that our CEO, Minda Harts, has a podcast? It's called Secure The Seat, and is in its second season. Secure the Seat is about women of color in the workplace — what does it take to secure a seat at the table, and once you do, how can you bring others along with you?
We're more than halfway through the year, and it's the perfect time to start thinking about ways to level up in the second half of the year. Below we've included five new tools to add to your career toolkit.
1) For The Aspiring Entrepreneur: As some of us are preparing for our seat at the table or securing our seat, many might be thinking how to create their own empire…
I am a HUGE fan of my local public library. It’s a treasure trove of information and entertainment: there are books, movies, storytimes for kids, language classes, passes to visit local attractions, access to language learning, info for small business owners, author talks, technology classes, and more. I cannot say enough nice things about the library.
In 1959, Peter Drucker, famed management consultant, coined the term knowledge worker. A knowledge worker is a professional who "creates, modifies, [...] simplifies," and amplifies knowledge to meet the goals of their office. Madame C.J. Walker, knowledge worker. Indra Nooyi, knowledge worker. Corvida Raven, knowledge worker. Olivia Pope, knowledge worker.
Sometimes all the positive self-talk in the world doesn’t change the fact that some situations leave us stuck. During these times, despite how much perspective we try to have, we just can’t help but feel wedged between a rock and a hard place. If you’ve ever found yourself in this position, and chances are if you’re alive and reading this right now you have, then you’ve experienced that sinking feeling of running out of options. Rather than give you a pie-in-the-sky approach to managing those feelings or improving that situation, we have another alternative – surrender to what is.
This Friday at 1pm EST, we'll be on [Slack] hosting a resume peer review.
If you've worked at the same place for a while, it's easy to get caught up in the day to day of things. Before you know it, years pass and you're mentally ready to leave your company, until you remember that you have to wipe the cobwebs off your dusty old resume.
Many years ago, I found myself here.
As our accountant friends know all too well, tax season is upon us! Many of us dread this time of year, but for others they know that refund check is headed their way.
When I was right out of college, I remember getting my refund check and not knowing what to do with myself. Twenty something me was so excited for all this "free money" (I didn't know better), but I had no plan or strategy in place for what to do with it. So I’d do my happy money dance and throw the money into a savings account, thinking I was being so practical.
One of our core pillars at The Memo is generosity.
We live in a world where most people think, “I gotta get mine” and “It’s all about me.” And yes, the old proverb, “You came in this world alone, you will leave alone” is true.
However, there is a counter-argument for that mentality, and it's what I think we don’t focus enough on: “No [wo]man can be an island.”
“Are you ready to get your life back and head to work?”
“Aren’t you excited to get back to your routine?”
“Won’t it be a relief to not worry about the baby all day?”
Life. Routine. Worry.
As I stood there crying tears of joy holding the positive pregnancy test, everything changed. There was a shift in my universe. The GPS had to recalculate. The destination didn’t change, but we had to implement a detour. My life would never go back to what it once was, I wouldn’t want it to. The routine I had fallen into would change, it had to. And worry, well that is an innocent side effect of motherhood.