Tag Archives: balance

10 Ways to Take Control of Your Career Now

7th March 2013

If only it were that easy...but it sure is pretty. Source.

If only it were that easy…but it sure is pretty. Buy this guy

You might have noticed an uptick in my thoughts around careers, leadership and purpose in the past few months. I’ll let you in on a little secret, this week, I wrapped up a six month women-only leadership program. And it was awesome.

I’ve been incredibly blessed in my short career to have been surrounded by awesome bosses, friends and mentors. However, around a year ago, I started noticing a gap. I needed, for lack of a better description, girl talk. Because let’s be honest, as much as I’d love to tell you that all is equal between boys and girls, it’s not. We are different creatures and to no surprise, sometimes we just need someone to share that with.

Enter Pathbuilders. I’ll save my elevator pitch on the program itself for another post, but after one such conversation on life and careers with a leader in my life and my need for something different, he asked me to check it out. After ten minutes on the phone, I was sold.

Six months and many, many mentor conversations later, here I am. So what did I learn? A lot.

My top 10 biggest takeaways:

  1. Bosses aren’t mind readers. If you want something, you have to ask for it. Be vocal and make your feelings and desires known.
  2. No one is more invested in your career than you. Invest in it now. Spend time making Rory Gilmore style pro-cons lists. Figure out what you want to accomplish tomorrow, next year and in 10 years from now. It doesn’t have to be right, but start thinking about it.
  3. Leaders aren’t made by being the loudest one in the room, leadership starts with listening.
  4. Be. Confident. Be confident in who you are, how you speak and how you present yourself. Only you own you. As Tim Gunn would say, make it work.
  5. Money matters, job descriptions matter, clients matter, but culture trumps them all. At the end of the day, you want to love who you work with and where you spend your time. Money ain’t gonna buy you happiness after a 50+ hour work week.
  6. But…do know your worth. Network, get to know others in your field, learn your strengths and where you can improve. I love my job, but that does not mean I should ever stop keeping an eye out for what everyone around me is doing. It’s not only good for my position, but strengthens my value to my employer as well.
  7. Take your emotion out of the meeting. This is a tough one for me. I’m a pretty passionate person, and I’d be lying if I told you I hadn’t cried at work before. However, this piece of advice is one I have certainly put into action. Make decisions and conversations around facts first, feelings second. Anyone can rebuttal the “I think” moment, they cannot do the same when you share results.
  8. No results + excuses = no results. Manage others’ expectations and then exceed them. Spend your time finding solutions, not telling everyone the problem.
  9. Give and ask for feedback, and do it often. We can’t expect to improve without open, honest dialogue. You should never wait until an annual review to find out if you are succeeding.
  10. Enjoy the ride. No one has it all figured out. We are all human. It’s OK to not know where you want to be in 10 years from now. The important part is actively working towards it.

I honestly wish every single women starting her career had the opportunity to experience such a program, but just like those post-college graduation realizations, the experiences count beyond the classroom. Go out there and do something about it.

Rewiring Success

23rd February 2013


A Pinterest favorite, and beautiful artwork found here.


I’ve spent the past five and a half months in a women-only leadership program (more on that soon). The experience has been fantastic and has opened my eyes to growing in the workspace, both personally and professionally, but more than anything I have spent a significant amount of time thinking about my future and success.

Before we go any further, let me preface the rest of this by saying, I certainly haven’t reached a come to Jesus, OK I get it, hallelujah moment about where to go next or what my magic yellow brick road of career path looks like (though man, I wish someone would hand that map over).

It has, however, forced me to think about how I define success.

Earlier this week, I read an article about work-life balance which hit the nail on the head perfectly for where I am currently. What if our happiness isn’t about the hours, the balance, the clients or the people alone, but starts with the root of accomplishment?

So it starts here: how do I define success?

The article sites a study where a group of workers was forced to take a night a week away from their smart phones and email. The discussion following was incredibly interesting:

The people who thought themselves addicted to work were really addicted to success and its signals. So if you want to build a team culture where people are encouraged to unplug and renew, rewire the signaling. Cheer when people come in and say that they unplug; slap their wrist when they don’t. Source

Going back to the mechanics.

What if we moved past the lists, the checkboxes and the powerpoint slides and focused on the relationships, the conversations and where work would lead to in the next five years? After all, today and tomorrow will eventually add up to a career, right?

Rewire the system, take a look at the mechanics and maybe this twenty-something can turn those check-lists into change.

Defining Busy: One Year Later

6th February 2013

If you haven’t been able to tell through my past posts, I’m a big fan of nostalgia. Stories, cards, photos, I keep them all. When I stumbled across Timehop a little over a year ago, I was instantly obsessed.

If you aren’t familiar with Timehop, this brillant little app takes your data from across your social networks and delivers it to you in a nice, neat little daily email sharing exactly what you were doing one year ago on that day. You can also download their app for extra love and see back as far as you have been active on a particular social network…posts from freshman year of college are AWESOME in case you weren’t aware.

As much as I LOVE Timehop, it’s not exactly the primary purpose of this post. So back to our regularly schedule programming we go.

A year ago, I posted this to Twitter: Definition of Busy

Working in a client-facing business means I’m constantly pulled in a billion different directions. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the hoopla of it all and share with everyone just how busy you are as if there were some award for having the most miserable schedule. Believe me, I’m guilty too.

A year ago, I challenged myself to remove those words from my vocabulary, I even blogged about the ordeal and how it made a difference in my day.

There will always be a deadline, another project, or something else to check off of the list. It’s only going to get crazier from here – heck, I’m a single girl and I don’t have the responsibility of a cat in my apartment, let alone a husband and children. If I’m completely honest with myself, that future juggling scares me to death.


At the end of the day, you are busy doing the things YOU want to. Only you can make the decisions for how you fill your days – that’s one of those great perks of being a grown-up. I’m fortunate enough to be surrounded by some awesome people who are constantly trying to remind me of that, as difficult as that can be somedays.

One year later, I’m still guilty of letting the b-word slip, but it’s a work in progress. Taking time to do things like sit, set goals and blog more are now also on my to-do list. I love this quote from Jessica Lawlor in a recent interview post for Rachel Esterline’s 13 in 2013 series:

The truth is, there is no such thing as work-life balance; there’s just balance.

I couldn’t have even thought to sum it better myself. How do you keep balance between the crazy?