My life three years ago is sometimes incomprehensible to me. Retrospectively, it’s so absurd that it’s hard to believe that the things that happened happened, or that I tolerated some of the things that happened, or that I actively participated in some of the things that happened.
Enough mystery. When Jessica’s article about the time her husband spent unemployed went live, I told her about my experiences on both sides of the unemployment-in-a-relationship fence. I spent three years with an unemployed (former) spouse, and then became unemployed myself last year, during the course of the relationship I’m in with my boyfriend now. Jessica recounted beautifully the anxiety of watching a partner she loves undergoing the stress of unemployment and job-searching. Keep reading »
This January, I had a bad job interview. I performed the best I could, but they’d kept me in a room, coming in groups of two or three at a time, grilling me on why I wanted and was qualified for an entry-level customer service job for two straight hours. I’ve been employed in some way or another for the last ten years, and I graduated with honors last year. I couldn’t just say, “I need a better job than I have now, and frankly this is going to be a cakewalk for me.” Some of them said I was underqualified; some of them said I was overqualified. No one really seemed to have a real sense of what they were doing; HR was out for the day, so it was all sales managers. I was so upset and confused afterward that I sat in Merchandise Mart crying for a half hour before working up the courage to get on the train. Keep reading »
As I read the chyron “Girls Gone ‘Mild’: Book Advises Women Not To Raise Their Voices,” I was all ready to watch this Fox News segment advising women on how to carry themselves professionally in the workplace and then kill it with fire.
But as Sylvia Ann Hewlett, the author of Executive Presence: The Missing Link Between Merit And Success, addressed “Fox & Friends” this morning about ways women can up their gravitas in the workplace, I found myself thinking, Hey, this is not such bad advice. Keep reading »
For three years, I woke up at 4 a.m. every day. I spent two days a week as a full-time student; one of those, I was at school from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., and the other I split with one of my five weekly eight-hour work shifts. I did all of the driving in my household, which meant all of the grocery shopping and all of the car maintenance. When I wasn’t at school or at work, I was doing homework, determined to graduate with honors after three previous less-than-stellar years at a different college. On the one day off I had every week, I was usually visiting my then in-laws. Toward the end, I managed to squeeze in going to the gym three times a week as well. I got four or five hours of sleep a night, barely paid the rent and bills, and was running on ambition and self-confidence.
I was a wreck, but it was one of the best experiences of my life. Here are the life lessons I learned during my three-year stint burning the candle at both ends… Keep reading »
Could it be that plain old mental habit is the reason for gender inequality at work? According to consultant and former businesswoman Caroline Turner, that’s pretty much what it comes down to. In a blog post for the Huffington Post, Turner said that the biggest reason women aren’t proportionately represented in business leadership positions is a set of “mind-sets,” or unconscious ways of viewing the world. The most powerful and deep-rooted of these mind-sets, it seems, is the “double bind,” or the idea that if a woman channels her more feminine energies, she’ll be liked by her coworkers but not seen as a leader. On the other hand, if she allows her masculine energies to lead the way, she’s likely to be judged and disliked. What I take this to mean is that the biggest obstacle we’re up against in the workplace is essentially subconscious stereotyping. Keep reading »
A wife bringing home the bacon isn’t the death knoll of a relationship that it has been made out to be. According to a new survey of 1,000 married couples over age 25 by MONEY magazine, husbands are actually happier when on equal financial footing with their wives. Keep reading »