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Opting-In: Advice For Moms Heading Back to Work

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getting – and keeping – women on the leadership track

 
 
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How to Take Calculated Risks

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In 7th grade, I remember asking my favorite teacher, "What should I do now?" He responded, “Follow your heart, it won't let you down."

Those words still resonate with me now, years later, and it’s a piece of advice I constantly apply to my professional life. Even though I’ve taken some leaps of faith and made some mistakes along the way, I cherish them because I’ve always done what I believe in, I’ve always followed my heart.

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From work life to home life: how to be the boss of both worlds

Balancing motherhood and work is a science that in my mind never is perfected, but always a work in progress. It requires a different frame of mind and the acceptance that you might make some mistakes along the way. First and foremost, give yourself the benefit of the doubt. This is a constant period of trial and error—and the basis for tip number one.

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Working From Home – Does it Work?

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has dominated the media after recently taking the helm of the Internet giant.

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Are You The Next Tech Superhero?

How many successful women in technology do you know?

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Four Things I Wish I Knew Then That I Know Now

It’s like that song “Awake” by Katy Perry, where she sings, “I wish I knew then. What I know now. Wouldn’t dive in. Wouldn’t bow down…” If you could, what would you really say? Would you tell yourself not to drink too much, don’t smoke, don’t date him, or choose this job over that job? Probably.

I started to think about what I would want to go back and tell my younger self. And, I would of course, tell the younger me to “buy stock in Apple” or “the winning lottery numbers”.

But in reality, if I could, I would tell my younger self 4 things that I know now:

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Word of Advice: Don’t be Active in Office Politics

Whenever you get a group of people together there’s going to be chemistry, or lack thereof. Dynamics between individuals are made up of one’s personality, culture, upbringing – everything that makes you, you. The workplace is no exception. People have their own ideas, their own way of doing things, and in order to make it the best work environment it can be, learning to navigate the politics of the office is not only a lifelong skill that’s fundamental to a long-term career, it’s necessary for your own sanity.

Let alone being good at what your job actually is, you also need to master the office, its people, and their personalities. Getting bogged down in office drama, politics, and clicks can make or break a position. On May 17th, the Wall Street Journal put out a great article that took office personalities and placed them in a “meeting” situation to illustrate just how detrimental a disagreeable employee can be to a group’s goals, agendas, and participants. It is a great read and I encourage you to read the full WSJ write-up (we’re giving you the benefit of the doubt that you’re not one of those disagreeable employees who interrupt with jokes, or the naysayer who rejects every idea that someone comes up with).

Inspired by that article, here are a few pointers that I’ve picked up along the way when trying to avoid office politics:

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How to be Indispensable in the Workplace

Being an asset in any part of one’s life is to truly enjoy what you do, love who you’re around, and ultimately be who you want to be. To be indispensable in the workplace means to go beyond what’s required and simply love doing it, because if you don’t, someone else will. Think this doesn’t make a difference? Think again. Anyone can do what’s asked of them. But, in order to add real value, you have to genuinely have a passion for what you do, because if you do, the extra effort that you give will be effortless. It’s just something you are accustomed to do—go the extra step.

Here are a few tips on how to be indispensable:

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A Day in the Life of a: VP of Marketing

How did you get to where you’re at in your career?

I feel lucky to be in the point of my career that I am. A lot of it was predicated on relationship building and gaining the trust of peers and managers along the way. I have been working in marketing for over 15 years, with 11 of those being in the industry of staffing. Over time, you build up a level of expertise and strong relationships that as they progress…you progress. I also feel I was lucky to have people around me that I could learn and grow from. I have always been fortunate enough to have leadership that inspired me every day and challenged me to take risks and not be afraid to make mistakes. When one’s professional career is cultivated in an atmosphere like that, you are bound to advance as a professional. Lastly, I think there was a little good old fashioned luck involved—being in the right place at the right time. Once I was there, I made the decision to stay with my employer when others might have job/employer hopped a bit. Longevity does play out to benefit an individual over time and opportunity is bound to open up when you get to truly know your employer.

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