Monday, October 20, 2014

Do you apply for jobs you want or for which you are overtly qualified?

It's not an issue unique to women but we are the main audience for the message.

I was recently offered a chance to apply for a job.  I listened to the description at the meeting, immediately pointed out that I did not have what I perceived to be the core skill set (vs. asking what they saw as the main skills for success) and offered to send them more qualified candidates from my network.

<grin> They offered me the job any way.

Do we put more diligence against allowing ourselves to go for assignments we want than we do in being self-aware in other areas of life? e.g. as a parent, a spouse, a driver… all influential and important efforts too

What holds us back is often personal and unique, though collectively women don't apply as often for stretch positions. Why are we turning down jobs we haven't even been offered yet?  If we have the support and sponsorship of our communities, we should allow ourselves the reach.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Mottos to live by

In email signatures, on posters, on post-it notes... mottos can make us laugh, think, groan or grow.

Having a philosophy and being able to articulate is part of being self-aware. But the small sayings and mottos that crop up in our profiles don't have to be a complete life-statement. Often, a line can provide an insight into how to approach a new(er) relationship by showing a shared belief, a thoughtful idea or simply a great sense of humour.

My latest one liner is: I'm here to comfort the disturbed and disturb comfortable.

Previous favourite lines - which can make great Twitter posts - have included:
- I'm the keeper of fingers in pies and poker of holes in dams
- Don't tell me where I'll land, show me how to fly this darn plane
- I'm proud to be upright and showered today

As ever, I'm indebted to Ray Bradbury for the line I've used my whole adult life: "Thrash them with licorice whips till they cry "mercy"!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

You must be tired....

You know when folks say to a busy person "Oh you look so tired! I don't know how you do it all!" or something to that effect?

It's meant to come across as a compliment. Often the recipient suddenly sags with fatigue they didn't realize they were carrying and feels the effects that adrenaline held at bay.

The last time someone made that comment to me (and I suddenly felt the blue circles under my eyes pop out like stones against the snow), the person standing next to me shook his head. "How quickly someone can make great effort look like wasted energy," he said. "Plus, a man wouldn't say that to another man."

He saw the comment as someone envious of my energy and looking to justify why they don't push themselves the same way. Seriously, the comment alluded, who would want to go the 100 extra miles when there is little recognition for the effort and the personal sacrifices (time, sleep, life outside of the project) are so large? No, thanks!

I am not sure which way the comment is often meant; I believe it's meant kindly. But it does show that our recognition of efforts by women can sometimes be marred by editorial comments – in this case a commentary on how we look.

The next time I notice someone in my network is tired, I hope I'll remember to simply offer to help instead pointing out that they look like they could use the help. If I don't have time to spare, I will remember to compliment the effort and not the temporary impact they may or may not feel.