WiLab Post: Finding Opportunity in the Turning Point

Please check out the release of this story on WiLab!

FINDING OPPORTUNITY IN THE TURNING POINT

I recently had a fantastic opportunity to speak to a group of young women at Hult International Business School in Boston, MA for the “Women in Business Series: Walk in Her Heels” hosted by the Women in Business Club.

Hult

I discussed my background and my perspective on how it took me time to realize that the work I am doing today is in conjunction with my original goals as a fresh grad. 12 years in business has afforded me an understanding that fulfillment is much more complicated and you should not expect to gain a fulfilled life from your job alone. We are complex human beings. Take an honest look at yourself, your goals and aspirations to build the right opportunities for yourself. In addition, timing is not everything. Everyone talks about “having it all” which seems absolutely impossible when you are attempting this feat. It is also unfair to put that type of pressure on yourself. I am a successful business woman, wife, mother of a 4 yr. old with another baby on the way. Being everything to everyone has its ups and downs.

It was important to me to discuss a topic that I find interesting and something that has helped me in my own career which has been “Finding Opportunity in the Turning Point” When faced with a challenge or turning point in your life on the cusp of change. How can you make the best move, create the best opportunity and successfully position yourself to achieve your goals?

Recognizing the Turning Point, The Need for Change?

When you realize its time to take on a new challenge; graduating from college, changing jobs, career paths, or a major life event,  it is important to recognize the turning point and prepare yourself for a change. I am a list maker by nature and planning the next opportunity takes time to map out. Preparing to dive in takes practice, but when do you dive in the deep end and take a risk? I suggest to start by aligning your personal goals with professional goals. Does your next move incorporate your overall aspirations and mission? If your job path does not, that’s OK. We can’t all make our favorite hobby a job and sometimes reality sinks in. I often find balance between my career and interests by tying in extracurricular activities. Be dynamic.

Diving in the Deep End, Preparing for Change & Diving in

One of my most embarrassing moments was at a 6 grade party. I stood on the diving board (a chubby 10 year old girl), my crush was swimming in the pool, and for some odd reason I decided to announce that I was not only going to dive in, I would up my game and do a back flip. I proceeded to do a back flop in front of my entire class. It was at that moment I decided not to give a f**k and laugh with others (who were laughing at me) and not take everything so seriously. I use this analogy now 20 years later. You are inevitability going to dive in and potentially fail, big time. But that is the first step. Understanding your strengths, disposition and capabilities will help maximize your potential for success. Create a portfolio of your greatest strengths, where do you excel? Figure out what angle you are making the decision from, what is important to you, right now? When seeking a new opportunity, explore all options.

When you dive in the deep end to seek change in your career, do your research and know your audience. This will help you position yourself appropriately to communicate effectively with your audience. If you promote yourself to change, you will create new opportunities. Get out there!

Marketing Yourself, Tools for Engaging in Change

Some quick tips for marketing yourself; preparing your qualifications to engage in change, ask yourself; how are you presenting yourself to the world? Be your own advocate, find advocates. Who do you know that can introduce you to a new career, potential employer, advocate for change? Get comfortable with networking and the only way to do this is to practice.

Taking Chances, When to Take Risks?

It is important to consider timing when taking chances with your career. It might make sense to take a risk at this point in your life, for others stability might be at the top of the list. Ask yourself, can you really live with this decision every day? Do a walk through of your daily activities and make sure you are happy with your decision. How do you connect with the team, the mission?

Finding fulfillment is much more dynamic than landing a job. It is a combination of many things. Finding opportunity at the turning point is lead by your passion, understanding and disposition for the need for change. Capture your interests in both your job and through extra curricular projects to keep a sharp edge on your resume and credential building exercises. At the end of the day, its only a job and true happiness, fulfillment and change is initiated from within.

5 Quick Ways to Use Motherhood to Your Advantage in Your Career Search!

Check out the release of this story on WiLab!

5 QUICK WAYS TO USE MOTHERHOOD TO YOUR ADVANTAGE IN YOUR CAREER SEARCH!

Source: One Kings Lane

It is a challenging decision to determine how to best market yourself when attempting to revitalize your career, change jobs, or get back into the work force, and it can seem like a daunting task! When you take the time to update your resume and LinkedIn profile, remember how motherhood offered you a unique skill set that you can capitalize on. Use this to your advantage and draw upon applicable experiences that will highlight you as a stand out candidate! Being in the staffing industry for 10+ years has given me insight to what Hiring Managers and Organizations are seeking:

1. Buzz words: Get past the gate keeper. Someone is sitting at their desk, weeding out the piles and piles of resumes that are in their inbox. If you don’t have the top 10 buzz words that are found within the job description that you are applying for, you are out. You should tailor your resume for each job that you apply for.  On paper, are you a fit for this role?

Mama Buzz Word Key; communication skills, motivation, team player, problem solving, strategic, time management

2. Can you do the actual job? A deeper dive into applicable skill sets. Let’s be honest, sometimes as Mom’s we feel like we can take over the world, and with that said -take on too much! Look at the job from a high level perspective. Are you going to enjoy the day-to-day tasks, what can you accomplish in this new venture? Envision yourself in the new role. Drill down and highlight where your applicable experiences are in your past positions and make sure to be clear and concise when describing your abilities.

Mama Buzz Word Key; ability to hit your goals, demonstrated record of success, multitasking, organizational skills

3. Personality, will the current team be able to work with you? You are who you are, and you can’t change that. When on an interview, the greatest influence you will have is choosing when to speak. Listen to the team, what they want in a new employee, turn the tables on them. Then respond with your greatest assets.

Mama Buzz Word Key; accountable, adaptability, compassion, deep listening, empathy, teamwork

4. Schedule, what can you offer in terms of commute restrictions, daily schedule, etc. As a parent, you undoubtedly have a full schedule and need the extra cushion of flexibility when starting a new job. Kids get sick, cars break down, things happen. Do not lead with this foot, but do not shy away from the reality that you need some flexibility.

Mama Buzz Word Key; dependability, fast learner, flexibility, motivation, work well under pressure

5. Something extra, do your research! LinkedIn and Google are amazing tools. Utilize them before you apply to a job or interview with a team. Understand their atmosphere, current events of the organization and the people you are meeting with. You might actually have something in common with one of the team members and you can point to the common thread during the interview to help you stand out!

Mama Buzz Word Key; creative, passion, perspective, research

Revamping your resume, changing careers, interviewing -the entire process can be nerve wracking to say the least, especially knowing that you have some constraints being a parent. Use these tips to your advantage and prepare yourself as much as you can by using your Mama skills! When in front of an audience, take a moment to consider the question and answer accordingly, pulling the skills from your toolbox that are applicable and highlight your in-depth knowledge of the opportunity and job at hand. Mothers are natural born leaders -use this to your advantage!

Some recent articles that we enjoyed;

7 Ways Being a Mother Made Me a Better Leader, Phaedra Troy

6 Ways Motherhood Improved My Resume, Scary MommyRachael Minkowsky

Resume Tips: The Shortlist for Every Industry, Megan Broussard

Good luck!

~Erin

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: BLISSFULMAMAS

dsc_0013Blissfulmamas is inspired by living in the moment, embracing the chaos and enjoying the crazy wonderful ride of motherhood. As working professionals, we really do have it all! Come as you are and embrace it. Families are like snowflakes, each different and unique, no two the same. The antiquated idea of the perfect roadmap to raising a family, balancing a professional job, and everything else in and between is long overdue for a make over! Blissfulmamasis a networking community for working mamas with a positive outlook, looking to collaborate with each other on career advancements, job opportunities, managing and organizing family life, without forgetting about the long overdue personal “me” time. Our goal is to act as a positive outreach for working mamas and be a place where working mamas can collaborate & find resources, all available on the go!

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Read more about and from the author: BlissfulMama’s WiLab Profile

Freeze those Eggs! A New Benefit Perk?

Check out our featured post in WiLab!

FREEZE THOSE EGGS! A NEW BENEFIT PERK?

In the Silicon Valley arms race to lure the top talent with the best benefits and attract more women to their staff , Facebook and Apple are offering to pay for the egg freezing procedure for women who choose it to delay childbearing.

With this latest announcement, comes a flurry of opinions on the matter. Does this benefit really help women in their careers take the pressure off?

Having a high-powered career and children is still a very hard thing to do,” said Brigitte Adams, an egg-freezing advocate and founder of the patient forum Eggsurance.com. By offering this benefit, companies are investing in women, she said, and supporting them in carving out the lives they want.

This latest NBC article makes some very interesting points; although I wish they had actually interviewed potential candidates for this new benefit and gotten their take on the topic. Will people really utilize this benefit? How does this benefit change family planning / career plans? Would you consider freezing your eggs in hopes to get ahead in your career, to avoid the dreadful biological clock that most women fear? Will the process work when you are actually ready to have children? Is the process painful? What are the risks that it all together will not work?

With the great pressures on women and career, this benefit will most likely come at an important time in bringing more women into the workforce, and assisting them to reach top level executive opportunities.

From a business perspective, most want to know…will this perk pay off?

“The attitude toward egg freezing is very different,” and more positive, than just a few years ago, said Christy Jones, founder of Extend Fertility, a company that offers and promotes egg freezing across the country. Women are making the proactive decision to freeze their eggs at a younger age, and the choice is “more one of empowerment than, this is my last chance”

Will the perk pay off for companies? The benefit will likely encourage women to stay with their employer longer, cutting down on recruiting and hiring costs. And practically speaking, when women freeze their eggs early, firms may save on pregnancy costs in the long run, said Westphal. A woman could avoid paying to use a donor egg down the road, for example, or undergoing more intensive fertility treatments when she’s ready to have a baby.

But the emotional and cultural payoff may be more valuable, said Jones: Offering this benefit “can help women be more productive human beings.”

This last statement makes me cringe “help women be more productive human beings” REALLY? I didn’t realize we were all so unproductive. Regardless of your organization’s standpoint, the companies that offer these benefits, and the companies that SELL these benefits; like Extend Fertility & Eggsurance….The choice is YOURS. The choice that you make regarding your career and family planning is up to YOU and your FAMILY. Try to block out the demanding voices all around you and even in your head. When the time is right (it may never feel like the right time if you have a demanding career), but when you are ready to have a little mini you in the back of your car, sharing the joys of life  – you will find a way to make it work. And for those who struggle TTC or if you fear TTC later in life, by all means freeze those eggs!

We found the following articles published on Bloomberg Business Week  by Emma Rosenblum  to be more thought out, better presented and factual if you are looking for additional information; check out these two stories.

The Real Reason Women Freeze Their Eggs Isn’t Career Growth

Given a choice, every woman I spoke to would prefer to have had children earlier and naturally. The hindrance in most cases was their not having found the right partner at the right time. Sure, most were working hard in their careers; this was part of why, they felt, they hadn’t settled down. Not one of the women I interviewed took egg-freezing lightly. They didn’t want to have to do it. While it’s nice to have the option, I doubt that droves of young women in Silicon Valley will be lining up to collect that money.

Later, Baby: Will Freezing Your Eggs Free Your Eggs Free Your Career?

Behind this week’s coverLike many others who’ve frozen their eggs, Emily uses the word “empowered” to describe the experience. She thinks it will allow her to date without radiating the desperation of someone who has to have a baby right this very second. And now she doesn’t feel as guilty about dedicating most of her time to work. “It’s like, thank God, I don’t have to focus on having kids quite yet. I’m not in a real panic anymore,” she says. Her mother, however, would still like her to get on with it. “She said to me, only half-jokingly, ‘I’m glad you went to business school and work 100 hours a week—and don’t have time to meet anyone—so you can afford to freeze your eggs.’ Thanks, Mom.”

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: BLISSFULMAMAS

dsc_0013Blissfulmamas is inspired by living in the moment, embracing the chaos and enjoying the crazy wonderful ride of motherhood. As working professionals, we really do have it all! Come as you are and embrace it. Families are like snowflakes, each different and unique, no two the same. The antiquated idea of the perfect roadmap to raising a family, balancing a professional job, and everything else in and between is long overdue for a make over! Blissfulmamas is a networking community for working mamas with a positive outlook, looking to collaborate with each other on career advancements, job opportunities, managing and organizing family life, without forgetting about the long overdue personal “me” time. Our goal is to act as a positive outreach for working mamas and be a place where workingmamascan collaborate & find resources, all available on the go! 
 
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WiLab Feature; Blissfulmamas is on a Mission to Bring You Work-Life Balance and Bliss!

We are truly honored to be featured by WiLab in their most recent post; Working Mom Series: Blissfulmamas is on a Mission to Bring You Work-Life Balance and Bliss!

Check it out at: http://womensilab.com/2014/10/08/working-mom-series-blissful-mamas-is-on-a-mission-to-bring-you-work-life-balance-and-bliss/

Thanks for the love WiLab!

Have a Blissful Night!!

Erin & Becky

Working Mom Series: A Day in the Life

WiLab Logo (1)WORKING MOM SERIES: A DAY IN THE LIFE

Contributing author from WiLab, Timna Molberger

i-don-t-know-how-she-does-it-poster

When I got pregnant with my first, L (just turned 2 years old), people asked me if I would go back to work. Without hesitation, my answer was a resounding “definitely!”

For me, going to work is a necessity.

It is my sanity. I feel that I am a better mom for it. When I come home, I have more patience for my kids (not always) and I am eager to spend time with them. My time with them is precious, not daunting (although at times still difficult and constantly testing my patience). However, finding the balance between work and home is not easy. I find that I need to be extremely organized yet very flexible (not an easy balance to find or maintain). Over the past two years I have developed an ideal schedule for me that makes the balance between the two manageable.

My ideal day as a working mom of 2 (L is 2yrs old and M is 6 months)

6:30am – 7:30am – Wake up, shower, get everyone dressed and fed, grab lunches/bottles (made the night before), and out the door

7:45am – Daycare drop off (divide and conquer with my husband)

8:05am – On the train to work

8:30am – Arrive at work – emails, meetings, projects, etc

Midday – Look at pictures/videos of kids because I miss them

5:00pm – Leave work for pick up

5:30pm – Daycare pick up (divide and conquer with my husband)

5:30pm – Playground (summer), indoor play (winter)

6:15pm – Family dinner prepared the night before

6:45pm – Bath time

7:00pm – Getting ready for bed, quiet play, bottle for M

7:30pm – Kids’ Bedtime (hopefully asleep by 8)

8:00pm – Prep for tomorrow – lunches, bottles, clothes, dinner, laundry

8:45/9:00pm – Work, relax, work out, get together with friends (depending on the day)

11pm – Bedtime

Sounds pretty nice, huh?

  • These ideal days do happen, but often at least one of the following shakes things up a bit (on bad days, MANY of the following happen):
  • Tantrum about getting dressed or eating breakfast
  • Tantrum at dinner, bath time or bedtime
  • Before 5am wake up
  • Didn’t prep lunches/bottles the night before so we end up running late
  • Didn’t prep dinner the night before so no family dinner and L eats whatever we can find
  • Midday call from daycare because one of the kids is sick and needs to be picked up
  • Doctor’s appointments
  • Sick days (your kid and then most likely you)
  • Too much work to do anything else after bedtime
  • Too exhausted after bedtime to function
  • Middle of the night wake up
  • And the list continues

At the end of the day…

The things that have to get done get done. You may not have as much time as you once had, to get your nails done, or relax on the couch, or even get enough sleep, but somehow you make it work, because you want it to work. The key is be flexible and don’t beat yourself up about the little things. Easier said then done, I know. We are harder on ourselves than anyone else is, and remember, your children will love you just the same if you cook them a gourmet dinner or scrambled eggs (they probably would prefer the scrambled eggs!).

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Timna MolbergerTimna Molberger is the Director of Analytics at Visible Measures. As a working mom of 2, Timna squeezes in as much time as she can with her husband and two children and when she has a spare moment or needs a break you will find her rock climbing, hanging out with friends, or just relaxing. Timna holds a B.A. in Economics and Sociology from Connecticut College.

Location: Boston, MA

Contact Timna: info@womensilab.com

Read More from Timna: Timna‘s WiLab Profile

The Balancing Act: To Work or Not to Work?

WiLab Logo (1)

Please check out our newest co-author of Blissfulmamas; Timna Molberger of WiLab.  We will be frequently sharing her publications here at Blissfulmamas that relate directly to mamas, their career choices, family dynamics and me time! We are very excited about this partnership and look forward to upcoming posts from Timna!

Timna Molberger

Timna Molberger is the Director of Analytics at Visible Measures. As a working mom of 2, Timna squeezes in as much time as she can with her husband and two children and when she has a spare moment or needs a break you will find her rock climbing, hanging out with friends, or just relaxing. Timna holds a B.A. in Economics and Sociology from Connecticut College.

Contact Timna: info@womensilab.com

Read More from Timna: Timna‘s WiLab Profile

THE BALANCING ACT: TO WORK OR NOT TO WORK?

workingmomgraphicFor many women, the decision to return to work after having a child is not an easy one.  There is one question that influences the way that new mothers, and their families, will spend the next chapter of their life: ‘To work or not to work?’

Once this difficult decision of what they want is made, they need to determine whether it is feasible for their family.

‘I want to be a stay at home mom.’

If they want to be a stay at home mom, the question remains, is that option economically feasible? If it is, fantastic! However, if the family cannot afford for the mother not to work, then they have to start looking into childcare options and cope with the disappointment of not living up to their own expectations of motherhood.

‘I want to work.’

For women who decide to be working moms, can they afford childcare or do they have family/friends who can offer care? Childcare can be as expensive, if not more, than their annual salary. This is especially true if you have more than one child in daycare.  Those who wish to work but cannot afford childcare or do not have family/friends who can provide care, face the difficult challenge of becoming a stay at home mom.  That means providing a constant curriculum of activities to help their children develop individually, exposing them to other children to foster interpersonal skills, all while keeping their sanity.

‘What if I want both?’

There is also the option of working part-time, at the office or at home, which may be a great solution for some women.  This option not only requires the financial flexibility, but it also requires a flexible employer to support this decision.  A mother may also decide to stay at home until her child is older, however, returning to the work force has its own challenges.

I was fortunate enough to be able to pursue my choice of being a working mom. Since this is a blog for working women, I decided to focus on the challenges of finding a childcare option that is “right” for the working mom.

Childcare Options For The Working Mom

  1. Daycare – Finding a daycare that accepts infants immediately decreases a working mom’s options.  Many daycares don’t accept children under the age of 15 months.  With an average maternity leave of 12 weeks, finding a daycare is no easy feat.  Daycares also vary greatly in what they offer in terms of hours, facilities, faculty, and activities.  Since there are limited spots for infants, daycares can (and do!) charge a hefty price for these spots. Once a working mom has found a daycare that will take on infants, it’s the waiting game, literally. Waitlists for daycare can be months long, some people even put their names on the list before they are pregnant.
  2. Nanny – Fortunately, there are great resources to help find a qualified nanny through sittercity.com and care.com. However, working moms still need to find a person they trust and who will expose their child to the level of activities necessary for development.  It is important they trust their gut!  Nanny share is also an option that can help financially but takes some coordination to accomplish a successful experience for everyone.
  3. Family – Some working moms are fortunate enough to live nearby family members who are willing to take on the responsibility of caring for their child and like/trust their family member enough to have them care for their child all day. After all, often times these same family members have most likely raised them and/or another child. Some who go for this option, however, do so out of necessity.  They need or want to continue to work and have no other affordable option for childcare.

How am I doing now?

I have found that the key to finding happiness as a working mom, is being comfortable with the decisions they make.  The last thing they need is to worry about their children’s health and safety while trying to succeed at their job.  Sending my kids to daycare puts me at ease that they are getting the nurturing and development they need.  Our daycare provides great care and communication with parents, which helps put me at ease.  If I had to go back I would have made the same decision.