What makes one company more “woman-friendly” than the next? To find out, Fortune recently partnered with Great Place to Work to understand what it is women are looking for in the workplace. It’s not surprising that the best companies for women to work have a lot in common in terms of policies, practices, and flexibility. Using […] The post Top Places for Women to Work That Offer Flexibility appeared first on FlexJobs. Source: http://www.flexjobs.com/blog/feed/Read More
I loved being a stay at home mom during my maternity leave. I adored it. Our long walks together, my daughter napping in the stroller while I logged a few miles on the way to the neighborhood coffee bar. Staying home with my daughter those first few months was the absolute best decision I’ve ever made. But so was going back to work.
I remember the first job I ever had. I was 14, a babysitter, staying with some neighborhood kids one Saturday while their mom ran errands. I think that first pay day was all of five dollars. I can recall folding those worn dollar bills into the pocket of my blues jeans and feeling the tiny glow of earning my own way in the world. I was hooked.
Yes, work gives us all financial independence, but it gives me much more than that. Work makes me a more complete person. I thrive on the daily interaction with the smart capable people I get to work with. I am challenged. I brainstorm. I make mistakes, make corrections. And I grow.
Parenting is a big picture, long range assignment. You don’t know if you’ve been a successful parent for decades to come. Work gives me small, achievable “wins”. I get to see the tangible results for my efforts. A successful meeting there. A well received writing assignment here. My self esteem gets a nice boost. I can think “yep, someone values me and my work.”
My career doesn’t solely define me but my career does create a more stimulated, involved human being. But most of all work allows me to be a role model for my daughter. I’m a better mother when I can model hard work for my daughter. She sometimes sees me late at typing away at my computer late into the night, furiously trying to make a deadline. I’d like to hope I’m showing her how to meet deadlines, solve problems. Keep your word.
Taking time off from work to stay home made me realize something essential about myself, yes I HAVE to work but I also LOVE to work.Read More
Your professional style sets the tone for your first encounter, from how you feel once you put on that final accessory and grab your shoes to the impression you leave with each person you encounter. Personal image makes an impact. Meet style and image consultant Lori Barber. Lori is the founder and president of Elements Image Consulting. She provides her clients with the elements of style, confidence and success to enrich their daily lives and align their public image with their personal and professional goals.
1. Tell us a bit about you and your background.
I spent 12 years working at Fortune 100 companies, promoted every 2 years from sales engineer to marketing manager to national accounts manager. I was the only female on a team of 50 male managers. Understanding the importance of image and professional presence helped me succeed in a male-dominated industry.
2. How did you get started in your career?
After I started my image consulting business, I started networking right away to friends, neighbors and local community members. I asked everyone I knew if I could speak at their place of business (coffee shops, country clubs, churches), work in their closet, determine their colors and help determine their brand. With each presentation and individual client, I gained more confidence, knowledge and referrals. As my business grew, I developed a website, sent out monthly newsletters and spoke anywhere and everywhere that I could. Each new opportunity led to more opportunities and learning experiences.
3. Did you take time off for your family? If so, was it difficult to restart your career? What was your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?
After my first child was born, I left my job to stay home. I was commuting over an hour a day to my corporate job and the logistics were not sustainable. We then had two more children, my husband started two companies, and we moved two times while I was a stay at home mom. Once we finally settled in our new home in Atlanta, I was able to slow down enough to address the feelings that I had been suppressing for years - I wanted to go back to work. The biggest challenge was figuring out what to do. I considered retail sales (as I always loved to shop), but the hours weren't conducive to my family schedule and I wanted to have somewhat of a connection to corporate (without the restrictive schedule). While researching a vacation plan, I came across a brochure for an image consultant that I had collected almost fifteen years before. Once I determined that this was a legitimate field, I immediately registered for a two week training course, started my business and began speaking and working with clients.
4. Who’s one of your favorite female role models. (famous or not!)
Robin Roberts. I always admired how she stayed true to herself after joining Diane Sawyer at Good Morning America. They became the first all-female anchor team on the news. She did not try to emulate Diane’s elegant, classical style, instead choosing bright colors, natural jewelry and sweaters sets. She exudes presence, authenticity, integrity and ease.
5. What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?
Put yourself out there - you will always learn from it. Sometimes knowing what you don't want to do is more powerful than knowing what you do want to do.
Elements Image Consulting is a personal image consulting company whose work revolves around the principles of style, confidence and success. They help you discover and create your unique and personal style leading to more confidence, self-esteem, and both personal and professional success.Read More
I first heard Samantha Ettus speak at Biggest Baby Shower Ever a few years back. Samantha's personality and laughter filled the auditorium. We met on that stage as I helped her give away strollers to a handful of winners out of the thousands of attendees at the event. We felt like Oprah "You get a stroller! And you get a stroller! And you get a stroller!" We instantly clicked.
Since then I have heard Samantha speak numerous times about work life balance, planning and why careers for women matter. She has shared her message on the stage at MomFair several times, telling us not to let an opportunity pass you by. To take every meeting as an opportunity to build your network or share a tidbit about yourself as a professional that can grow your reach and build the next opportunity for yourself. After all, men do it all the time. As women we need to step up and take more opportunities for ourselves.
At our very first MomFair, Samantha shared with us her advice about Work Life balance, making little changes and planning better to make your life easier and more efficient. One of her key suggestions, that I immediately implemented, is to keep all of your errands close to work, home or your child's school. She calls this the "golden triangle." You don't need to go to a dentist or hair salon that is 10 miles out of your way. Find someone just as great within your driving range and save yourself hours a week or month that you can use for something else. Hours are precious.
You too can benefit from Samantha's advice in her newly released book The Pie Life, a Guilt Free Recipe to Success and Satisfaction where Samantha helps you "transform your life into one that is more satisfying, rich, and delicious than you ever thought possible and join the thousands of women already living The Pie Life." Samantha pulls her advice from her personal experience, her career and the many interviews she has done over the years with successful women and men. Many of these interviews appear in her book including Shonda Rhimes, news anchor Gayle King, Wall Street maven Sallie Krawcheck, entrepreneur Liz Lange and Marie Claire Editor-in-Chief Anne Fulenwider.
Opinionated and fearless (two of my favorite things about her) Samantha loves to give advice. Sam has become a bestselling author of four books, a writer for Forbes, a renowned speaker and host of a nationally syndicated call-in radio show. She's been on Fox Business, ET, the Today Show and Good Morning America sharing her years of expertise with millions of viewers. She's never shy to jump in at a focus group and can't help but offer a few words of wisdom at a cocktail party. I love the story she tells about a father discussing his wife's choice to leave her career to be a stay at home mom and how Samantha turned the question back to him and asked "Do you want to be the one to give up your career to be solely responsible for the needs of your child every day? To spend every day concerned only with feeding and pooping schedules? To make that your entire focus?" The mom stayed in her job and they found a way to both be there for their child and keep their careers.
Now Samantha wasn't diminishing the importance of motherhood. As a mother of three, making time for her children is her top priority. She was simply turning the tables and asking a man to think about choices women are expected to make every day. As a society we are so quick to assume that mothers should give up their careers and stay home to raise children. When you turn the question around on a man, the answer is compelling.
There are times when Samantha's advice can seem polarizing, as she talks often about staying in the game during the "maintenance years" (those years where your kids are little and need more of your time) so that you can return to work when you are ready. Samantha is clearly not arguing against being a stay at home mom, she is simply saying that for those moms who want (or need) to work, there are strategies you can implement so that opting back in to your career when you're ready isn't as difficult. The reality is that for anyone who has been out of work for an extended period of time, getting back to your career, to the level at which you were performing or earning before is exceptionally hard. Rather than give it up altogether, she advises that you stay in the game - part time work, consulting, continue to attend industry networking events and conferences, find ways to stay relevant.
Mainly Samantha wants you to know that it is possible to have a career and raise great kids. Parenting is a topic Samantha tackles regularly. She talks often about the possibilities we create for ourselves, and our children. In her recent TedX talk "The Secret to Unlocking a Child's Potential she said..
"The world's most extraordinary people have one thing in common....they each had an adult in their life who made them believe they could be absolutely anything."
Think about that for a minute. Having someone believe in you and teach you to believe in yourself - that you could be absolutely anything - that is the key to success. Not just for your children, but for yourself. Remember that with the women you encounter in your life. And find that belief in yourself. You can be anything. Sam says so.Read More