Tag Archives: career transition issues

The Courage of No

When was the last time you said, no?  I’m not asking about passing up a calorie laden dessert or skipping an indulgence at your favorite retail escape.   I am asking about turning down something meaningful because you knew deep down that it wasn’t right.   A job offer?  A proposal?  A move?   Someone else’s expectations? Continue reading

The Flotsam….

“Have you seen it?” said a woman to the cashier at the Superette.  I was eavesdropping on the conversation.  “The flotsam?”   To that moment I’d never heard the word.   Webster’s defines it as the wreckage of a ship or cargo that gets washed up by the sea.  “Over many months,” the check-out line story went, “beachgoers” had created this awesome structure.  What transpired was elegant.  Homespun.  Substantial.  Continue reading

Looking forward…

“Oh, I can’t do that,” shared an interviewee with a soft laugh.  We were talking about the internal barriers to transition.   Have you ever heard a similar voice in your head?  She’d transitioned before.   She could easily see – in hindsight – the walls erected by her own assumptions.  Those walls restricted her ability to envision what ‘might be.’   She went on, “I knew that I had to stop doing what I was doing.  I didn’t know where I’d end up.”   She seemed stalled by the simple question, ‘What’s next?’  Continue reading

A decade’s lesson: maintain relationships

“I figured out how the guys do it,” screeched an exasperated friend following a conversation with a former colleague.  Over the course of the call my friend learned about a common practice in the financial services industry…parking certifications.  It seems that if a person leaves a large firm to ‘work’ in a consulting capacity said professional can hold onto their certifications.   Not so if that person simply becomes unemployed.  ‘That’s how the old boys network does it,” she fumed.  “They park someone’s certs and say they are ‘consulting.'”  She was beside herself.  From her perch….this ‘parking’ courtesy wasn’t often extended to women regardless of their vocation after leaving a large firm.  Continue reading

Transition’s Winning Formula…

“It wasn’t me,” shared Carlos Kotkin as part of The Moth’s Radio Hour.  “I felt like my spirit, my soul, was being stifled.  I hated my shoes.”  So went the conclusion of a story entitled The Accidental Executive.   Carlos went from college drop out, to chauffeur, to studio executive at 20th Century Fox in what seemed like twenty-four months.   Serendipity?  Perhaps.   His next move may surprise you. Continue reading

400 and 2

‘I’ve got young children,’ recounted a slight teenager as he retold of a pleading woman’s request as he worked to untangle her from the rubble of last week’s garment factory disaster at Rana Plaza, Savar, Bangladesh.  400.  The number of workers, largely female, who won’t be returning to waiting children or siblings or spouses.  $37.  The average monthly wage that makes a difference there.   Great hopes relinquished all for another tee-shirt.  Great hope…despite tremendous personal risk. Continue reading

Pedaling fast enough?

This week I happened to catch an interesting story in the New York Times by columnist Tara Parker-Pope.  She compiled a story about a multi-media project sponsored by her paper that asked readers to submit photos and stories about Life After Cancer.  “What cancer made me do in my own professional life is pedal faster,” shared breast cancer survivor Susan Schwalb, an artist featured in “New Meaning and Drive in Life After Cancer.” (New York Times, 12/4/12 D5)  Reading it I couldn’t help but think about pedaling but it was direction not speed that had my attention.

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Career and Life Blockers…

Ever heard of blockers?   I picked up on the phrase during my tenure as head of HR and Administration at a large S&P 500 corporation.  A blocker in that context was a person who stood in the way of another’s progression.   For those outside the corporate world this may seem odd so here’s the scoop.   Every year the CEO, the head of HR (yours truly), and all business unit presidents would discuss the ‘talent’ (read: employees) who held the title director or higher.  In our world that numbered more than 400 people. Continue reading

Does transition ever end?

I remember hopping into taxi cabs terrified that my broken portuguese wouldn’t suffice in communicating my desired location.  After a few lengthy and circuitous rides around Sao Paulo, Brazil I reverted to taking the local bus.  Much to the horror of my work colleagues I might add.   These taxi escapades introduced me to the colorful ribbons that dangled from the rear view mirrors of almost every cab in the city.   On each read the phrase, BonFim, and it’s originator the Church of Nosso Senhor do BonfimBonfim simply translated means, good end.    If ever there was a wish for transition…. Continue reading

Summer Book Review #21: A Room of One’s Own

“Did you post about Marissa Mayer, YAHOO’s newly appointed CEO?” asked my husband late last week.   For those out of the news vortex Mayer is expecting her first child in October after assuming the role of YAHOO’s CEO July 16, 2012.  She shared the following with Fortune’s Patricia Sellers, “my maternity leave will be a few weeks long and I’ll work throughout it.” Continue reading