Go On…Ask!

Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, recently published the book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead.  She is opening up the conversation to women in the workplace on how they manage a delicate home / life balance, and ask for what they want.  Sandberg starts off the book with an eye opening epiphany when she asks her then boss at Google if they can create designated parking spaces for pregnant women.  You know what his response was?  Yes!  And the reason why it hadn’t been established sooner? No one had brought it up.

How often do we shy away from asking what we want and deserve?  What are you so scared of?  Getting a “no,” or getting a “yes” and not knowing how to handle it?  Men still out earn women in the workforce.  Many times it is due to the fact that men are not afraid to ask for a high salary right from the get-go.  If the job offer is being presented to you, what is the risk of asking for a little more?

Being a valued employee, partner, parent and friend takes time, energy and the ability to open up and get buy in from those around you.  The phrase that “it takes a village” stands true for most anything including: child rearing, creating safe neighborhoods, establishing a productive work environment and more.  I hope all of you will take heed from people like Sandberg, and learn to Lean In, take a deep breath, and ask for it.

Hot and Cold

Did you ever play the game “hot and cold” when you were younger, where someone would hide an object and tell you that you were “hot” when you were close to finding it and “cold” if you were far away?

I met a woman recently who shared with me that she is wanting to make a career move.  When I asked her what she wanted to do, she didn’t have any idea.  She was well educated, had a resume full of excellent experience, and could be flexible enough to work in a variety of fields.  That age old question of “what do you want to be when you grow up” had stumped her big time.  Wouldn’t it be great if we could use the “hot and cold” game to direct us to the right career path?  Finding your hot and cold doesn’t need to be as hard as you think.

To get started, take a look at the things you do well.  Are you good with numbers?  Are you organized? Do you thrive in team environments?  Then, think about what you are passionate about.  Are you motivated to support the less fortunate? Grow a small business? Work with children?

My Dad has his Masters in Economics.  He utilized his education and love of solving problems to have a successful career with major corporations.  Upon his retirement, he switched gears and looked to use his strengths from his business, and merge them with his passion: teaching.  Looking back, my Dad always had a passion for teaching.  He was a soccer coach, scout leader, and avid reader.  He was able to combine what he does well with what he is passionate about to have a second career, and even work in time to engage one of his other passions – travel.

The perfect combination of your “hot and cold” is not always easy to find.  Experimenting with your talents, and testing to see how they can fit into a rewarding and fulfilling lifestyle is the best way to achieve a balance.  There is no set template for finding your perfect job, and sometimes switching things up can make your “cold” feel a lot warmer.