Career Column

Your career is probably one of the most important aspect of your life. It helps define who you are, who you want to be, and what you’d like to be remembered for. As a young professional who has worked at two companies and dealt with two different corporate personalities, I try to impart my perspectives on the working climate today.


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Book Review: Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

Lean In by Sheryl SandbergLast week, we did an entire series centered on women and money. It was inspired by one of the books generating a great deal of buzz right now, Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In. Lean In is meant as encouragement to women to “sit at the table” and take charge of their careers.

The book is interesting, and includes some great advice that anyone — woman or man — can use to further their careers. While the tips in the book won’t work for everyone, it is nevertheless an interesting read.

Gender Roles and Careers

Sandberg makes it a point to include the information from a number of research studies. Much of the information she presents about gender roles isn’t particularly new, even though it is interesting to read. Many of us already know that, even in two-income households, women still do more housework than men. One of the points Sandberg makes in Lean In is that, “As women must be more empowered at work, men must be more empowered at home.”

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 Career, Family 
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Women & Money: Can You Keep Your Career On Track from Home?

Working from homeMany women choose to take a hiatus from their careers in order to stay home and raise their children. After five to 15 years, though, many of them decide that they are ready to get back into the workforce.

Forget about Sheryl Sandberg and the “Lean In” option; there are a number of women who just need to make sure that they remain competitive after being outside the workforce for a few years. In fact, a recent study from UC Berkeley indicates that one of the reasons that women might not be leading in the workplace is due to the fact that they are taking care of business at home, and that interferes with career advancement.

So, what happens when you take time off to raise a family? What are your options? How can you remain competitive during maternity leave and beyond?

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 Career, Family 
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Women & Money: Technology Offers More Options for Working Mothers

Mother / Son Computer TimeMarch is Women’s History Month, and it’s interesting to have a look at whether or not women really have more work options now than they did in the past.

As a work from home mom, I know that technology has the potential to provide greater flexibility in our working lives. However, I’m a work from home mom who runs a freelancing business. I don’t have to report to an employer who wishes I spent more time at the office.

Recently, the furor over Marissa Mayer’s decision to ask telecommuters to come into the office has led to a discussion about women, working from home, and workplace flexibility.

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 Career, Family 
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Women & Money: Do More Women Want to Stay Home Now?

Mom and Daughter 2“Despite the fact that there are more young women in graduate and undergraduate programs, the young bride is willing to give up her career for marriage and kids,” Susan Shapiro Barash says.

Barash teaches gender studies at Marymount Manhattan College, and is well known expert on gender. Her most recent book is The Nine Phases of Marriage: How to Make It, Break It, Keep It. She points out that, for some women, the goal isn’t to advance their careers, but rather to to stay home. “They’re the children of Boomers. They have watched their mothers get divorced and hit glass ceilings,” Barash said.

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Do You Work More Than 40 Hours a Week?

40 HoursI only discovered this INC article published on the Time website in which Geoffrey James discussed the diminishing returns of working more than forty hours a week for more than a few weeks. The article starts with the realization, remember this was written in early 2012, that the COO of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg, went home at 5:30pm every day to be with her kids. It continues with some editorial but the argument in the post was that working 40 hours a week for long periods of time wasn’t going to be good for the employee or the employer.

I know plenty of people who works forty-plus hours a week. They go in on weekends, they work long hours during the day, and it’s all in the name of productivity. Some of these people have been doing it for years. There’s one guy who doesn’t feel right unless he goes in on weekends and we joke that one day he’ll come home and be surprised to find out that his kids are going off to college (he doesn’t have kids yet). The difference with many of them is that they love what they do. The forty-plus is less of a grind for them and more of a voluntary thing that they enjoy doing because, honestly, college wasn’t a 40 hour a week job. It was often 70 hours or 80 hours a week. When we made the transition to “work,” it was a step down to only do 50!

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What Lessons Did You Learn from Your First Job?

first jobWhen I turned 16, I got a job as a cashier at a local craft store. This high school job taught me quite a few things about life, including that I wasn’t exactly cut out for a “traditional” job.

The first job you have leaves an impression, whether it was a summer job, or whether it was working in your parents’ business or whether it was something you did after school for three years straight. Hopefully, there were some things you took away from your first job.

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6 Skills to Boost Your Career Prospects This Year

HandshakeAs a new year gets underway, you might be trying to figure out how you can improve your career prospects. Whether you plan to ask for a promotion, or whether you are looking for a new job, it’s vital that you develop marketable skills.

You might be surprised at some of the skills that are becoming more important as a way to help your career.

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Going Bald? How to Improve Your Confidence & Financials

Bald EagleDonald Trump is famous for his business prowess, but maybe even more so for his infamous comb over. In a society that values youth and attractiveness, noticing you are beginning to lose your hair can be emotionally difficult. According to Today Health, “Male pattern baldness affects 40 million men in the U.S., and a quarter of them start going bald by age 30.” Knowing you are not alone often doesn’t make you feel any better.

If you are losing your hair, you have four choices: comb it over, wear a toupee, buy Rogaine, or shave it off.

Surprisingly, only one of those choices is best for your financial bottom line.

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