“Thank you for being honest,” said a woman who introduced herself to me Thursday after a speaking event I did with Women Unlimited. What struck me in our quick conversation was our agreement – both hers and mine – of how unusual it is for any of us to be so transparent. She sought me out after a story I told about a moment that I remember vividly. I was sitting in my boss’s staff meeting, an all-day affair attended by the top brass of a Fortune 500. I had worked tirelessly for decades for a seat at this table. This moment is so memorable and bracing because I recall sitting there saying to myself, “you’ve got to be kidding me. I’ve worked this hard…for this?!!? There must be something more.” Continue reading
“You are an ever-moving mark,” said Jessica Donohue at the Girl Scouts of Eastern MA’s Leading Women Awards last week. Ms. Donohue, who was recognized for her achievements as EVP of State Street, stood out from among the other awardees for her honesty and humility. She talked about a label ascribed to her as a young person, ADHD. While it has traveled with her, her vitality is outside of it. She was clear in her thinking about labels or the expectations that go along with them. “Don’t box me in. Encourage me to be more. Learn more. Resist naming – everywhere.” Continue reading
Posted in Observations on Transition
Tagged careeer transition, career change, change, divorce, empty nests, Girl Scouts of Eastern MA Leading Women Awards, job loss, retirement, transition, Women and Transition: Reinventing Work and Life, work family balance
One day I had two back-to-back interviews that ended with the interviewees asking me roughly the same question. It went something like, ‘I know where I’m at isn’t right, but I am not really sure what I want to do next.” I found it incredibly interesting because the circumstances that brought these two women to the same question couldn’t have been more different. One was regrouping thanks to a harsh corporate experience and the other was challenged by an empty-nest. This coincidence got me thinking that their experiences didn’t differ all that much from my own. After all, I arrived at transition with a deep belief that something more was possible for me. But what? How do we move forward from moments like these? Continue reading
Posted in Observations on Transition
Tagged careeer transition, career change, divorce, empty nests, linda rossetti, observations on transition, retirement, transition, Women and Transition: Reinventing Work and Life, women's transition, work family balance
“I’m not ready,” said Margaret. We were having coffee in a quirky independent coffee shop and talking about her job search. The search hadn’t really started, it was simply brewing on her ‘to do’ list. Margaret is a tour de force locally. She is a newly divorced woman, the parent of two high-school aged children and the volunteer chair of a group that established a multi-million dollar land trust in a neighboring town. This little endeavor is complete with a working organic farm and an impressive educational center. Not ready? How can this type of person not be ready?
“I gave myself permission – thanks to being a part of this group ,” said Stephanie. She was crediting a multi-session working group that I put together to help me develop a workbook, a companion to my book, Women & Transition. Over the course of our sessions together we learned that Stephanie had been laid off a year earlier from her job as a research and development manager for a tech behemoth, a job that she’d held in some form or another for almost twenty years. We also learned that our work together helped her dignify a small voice in her head that kept leading her away from R&D and tech. She was excited and scared about her new path. I was really struck by her words. I felt as if she and I were in the same place. How could this be? My transition is farther down the garden path than hers. Isn’t it? What was it about permission that spoke to me?
“That takes a lot of courage,” commented a journalist who joined me for a breakfast conversation a few weeks ago. Her remark followed my story of transition, a route that caused me to step away from a path I’d pursued for more than twenty years. She was interviewing me for a publication. I told her about my observation that transitions occur when there is a shift in what holds value or meaning to us. It is that moment – that shift – when we’re faced with a choice that so captivates me. Do we move? Why? Or why not? Honestly as she remarked about ‘courage‘ I couldn’t help but wonder if it really is the exact opposite…. Continue reading
“What if I want to work at the cheese counter at Whole Foods?” asked a women of me earlier this week after a speaking engagement that I did to promote my book, Women & Transition. She was the parent of a toddler and someone for whom Whole Foods would never have been an option prior to childbirth. I’d describe her as a type-A achiever who was asking important questions of herself. Did I hear frustration in her voice? Resignation? She seemed to be toggling back and forth between a new identity and one more firmly entrenched. My suspicion was that the newer one had already introduced her to unfamiliar waypoints and some unusual reactions from others. Continue reading
Posted in Observations on Transition
Tagged careeer transition, career change, career choices, career transition, observations from a women's transition, personal transition, transition, voice, Women & Transition by Linda Rossetti, women's professional transition, women's transition, Working Identity
I’ll never forget an interview I did for my book….. One afternoon a mid-forties woman who had three sons joined me for coffee in an artsy bakery in Pasadena, CA. She agreed to talk with me about her transition, triggered by an empty nest. Shortly after we began we unexpectedly turned our focus to an earlier transition, her decision to leave the workforce. She offered, “there was a lot of pressure on me to buy into the concept of being a full-time mother.” Her husband and her in-laws voiced strong opposition to her continuing to work. Financially she and her husband thought they could get by on one salary. Neither of her own parents were living. She said of her experience, “I was the guilty party for wanting to pursue my work. It was a particularly difficult time.” Continue reading
Three of us had lunch. We got together because one of our crew was embroiled in a complex issue at work. We listened to facts. We agreed. We disagreed. We offered opinions. Two minutes before parting the two of us not in the spotlight that day gave quick updates. I told the story about my editor’s pre-Holiday remark, “I am finally hearing YOUR voice.” She said it to me after patiently reviewing draft upon draft of my book. Out of the blue a note arrived a few days after our lunch…. Continue reading
“It was who he was, not what he did,” said Governor Andrew Cuomo of his late father in a eulogy earlier this week. Mario Cuomo, himself governor of New York from 1983-1994, died on January 1st. I have long been an admirer of Mario Cuomo’s. Not so much because of his politics or any specific cause he trumpeted. I loved hearing him speak. He was one of the best orator’s I’ve ever heard. If you aren’t familiar with him he is a guy who spoke of gun violence not with statistics but a heartfelt lament. “Too many children hear the sound of gunfire before ever hearing the sound of a symphony.” (DNC 1992) Andrew was right, there was no separation between what he did and who he was. You could just tell – his gift served as a mouthpiece for his soul. Continue reading