Monday, September 21, 2015

A shared post for outspoken women (and those who admire them)

This post was on my feed and deserves to be shared.

Hand Luggage Only is a lovely travel blog and so much more. Thanks to all the folks who put a little goodness in the world!

So Here's a Thought...

Monday, September 14, 2015

Promotions: outcome or goal?

IMO - it is an outcome.

If a promotion is the end of a career plan, short or long-term, then what happens once we arrive there? Nothing. It is like having marriage or getting pregnant as a goal; it's the outcome and one milestone in a long journey. A promotion is like wanting to be 16 and able to drive...suddenly you're there and getting older/owning a car takes on new meaning...

Certainly we should celebrate promotions as a milestone. It might even be used a marker of success. It is not however a goal in and of itself.

When folks tell me they want a promotion, I ask why? Most can't answer.

Two reason for business to consider a promotion are often:
1 - the job function itself needs to be regraded higher (and not necessarily the person doing the function)
2 - the person is capable of greater scope & reach

#2 is where a personal plan comes into play; we need concrete evidence of our aspirations and what we're doing to achieve them. Then a potential promotion becomes an acknowledgement or milestone of that ongoing aspiration.

I look for what I want to learn next and how much I'm willing to offer in order to get the opportunity. I ensure my current top four favourite skills are going to come into play so there's a strong base for me to succeed while I stretch myself in new areas.

Would I love a promotion? You bet! Is my job satisfaction dependent on it? Nope. Is my willingness to stay in one place, in hopes I'm recognized, a factor in how I plan my career? Yup. My resume is always up-to-date.

How to answer the question: Why do you want a promotion?
  • The scale of the undertaking requires it and I am the right person for the job (and have examples of your leadership ready to offer)
  • I've been driving my business forward in a support role and I am ready for the risks and pressures of leading from a more forward position  (examples ready...)
  • I can't learn X without attempting Y inherent in the position (and a good reason why you can't learn X in your current role...)
Meanwhile, do all you can to drive and push our businesses forward from the positions in which we currently operate. A job title should not hold us back from stretching and reaching...

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Mixed tape for the office... send a song to your mentor

Yeah... I know using the term "mixed tape" makes me older than Brittany Spears but looking good like Madonna :-)

The kids are back in school. Everyone has returned to their offices. It gets dark earlier and earlier... It's time to keep the sunshine going while we put on our "last quarter" suits and try to deliver a year's worth of projects in a few short months. Counting down to December...

Send a song to your favourite mentor to remind them to keep smiling. Please add to my list too!

1.       Help by The Beatles
2.       Pressure by Billy Joel
3.       Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd
4.       Until the End of the World by U2
5.       Eve of Destruction by Barry McGuire
6.       Crisis? What Crisis? by Supertramp
7.       Don't Worry Be Happy  by Bobby McFerrin
8.       Grateful - Michael Feinstein
9.       I'm Still Standing - Elton John
10.   Always look on the bright side of life - Monty Python (Eric Idle)
11.   Right here, right now - Fatboy Slim
12.   Don't bring me down – ELO

13.   Monday Monday by Mamas & Papas

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Women in Leadership - who gets to join?

After a few hot debates last month on what is/is not a WIL issue, a few things were clear:

  • Not everyone understands why WIL conversations & actions are even necessary
  • No one agrees on the issues and root causes
  • Some women remain embarrassed by any WIL association with their career

That's all okay. Really. If we all agreed, it would be consensus and we know consensus is not always the way to work things through.

Given the proliferation of diversity discussions happening, there has been a similar growth in smaller "specialty" groups to drive more specific agendas. Shining bright lights in dark places should always be applauded! Each issue women face around the world has its own campaigns, support networks, etc; but sometimes this makes it harder for women in differing groups to support each other.

Questions I heard in August:

  • Is discrimination faced by lesbians a WIL issue?
  • If the majority of elder care is done by women, but men are involved, does it make it not a women's issue?
  • If, as a woman, I've never dealt with bad career options due to my gender - does that mean I still need to speak up for other women?
  • How much of WIL is whining?
  • How much of WIL is just good old career questions with people looking for a shortcut?
  • Why are female role models important? Why not gender-neutral?
  • How can WIL encompass sexual harassment and mentoring in the same umbrella?

I feel passionately about some of these questions. However, it's not the answers that are important as much as we continue the dialogue. Ethics and morals are personal ... but open dialogue helps some of the darker choices lose their power.