Last week as I joined the nation in listening to Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee a woman whom I met years ago popped into my head. She was a classmate of mine at a one-day seminar sponsored by the Op-Ed Project. The organization works to expand the range of voices in the media. They believe that Whoever tells the story, writes history. My friend was very young, a year or two out of undergrad. She was smart and deeply thoughtful. Over the course of the day, the class learned that she was the victim of an aggressive sexual assault. The experience was consuming her. She couldn’t get beyond it. She felt as if she was treading water. Every once in a while it seemed as if she dipped below the surface. She was full of disbelief. Shattered. She hoped the seminar would teach her how to use her voice to contribute to a broader dialogue about change. She was game. But her experience gave her pause. She wondered if anyone was listening? Continue reading
Tag Archives: careeer transition
How many times over the past week have you said to yourself I’m not, I can’t, I don’t know, I could never…? Maybe the words were spoken silently in a lament for a dress size you can never seem to achieve, or for the absent support of a boss or co-worker, or for an internal struggle that seems overwhelming. What would happen if we took all the energy it takes to process these thoughts and redirected it? Continue reading
I had five minutes to myself Sunday morning. The dog wasn’t awake yet and my two teenagers were still snoring. I sat down to read the newspaper. It was pure pleasure. I feel like the only person on the planet who still reads a physical newspaper. The digital versions always leave me wondering if I’ve read all the day’s news. I spread the paper out flat, just the way I remember my dad reading it when I was a preschooler. He read the paper on the living room floor amidst all our toys and games. This morning I never got past the headline. It reminded me of one of the most important assets we each possess, our voices. Continue reading
Are you making plans to re-set something in ’18? Exercise levels? Career goals? Relationships? Your look? Last week I observed a quick moment that reminded me of the very real opportunity we all have as we begin another year. The opportunity isn’t found in the newest exercise app nor in the latest color palette for our homes. Instead it is something that resides in each of us. Continue reading
“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
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
“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