Category Archives: Career Choices

Life Lessons from NFL Official #53 (the Only One Who Wears Mascara)

Many female firsts are lifetime dreams come true. But some are more a matter of chance, the happenstance of finding something you’re good at when barriers are coming down. The latter was the case for Sarah Thomas, the first woman to be an NFL official. “I was working as a paralegal when my older brother said one day that he was going to a football officials’ meeting,” she recalls. “I … [ more ]

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How She Got There: Micho Spring’s Path to Becoming Chair of Global Corporate Practice and New England for Weber Shandwick

Take a young woman coming of age in the 60s, when many careers were closed to her gender. Mix in political awareness from having fled communist Cuba as a child and add courage and flexibility from forging a new life with her family in New York. What you get: a college dropout, a 31-year-old deputy mayor of Boston, a top executive at one of the largest communications firms in the … [ more ]

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Oscar Nods for Hidden Figures Are a Win for Women, Diversity and STEM

By Lindsay-Rae McIntyre, Chief Diversity Officer, IBM Riding a number of successful weeks at the box office, Hidden Figures was up for three Oscars last week: for best picture, best supporting actress and best adapted screenplay. Though the movie didn’t snag any golden statuettes, the nominations are a win for the film’s director, actors, producers, writers and crew —and for women, diversity and STEM.

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How Women Can Get Ahead in Technology

What’s really holding women back in technology? You may have read about the “pipeline problem”—girls don’t study science, technology, engineering or math in equal numbers to boys—but that’s a red herring, says Gina Helfrich, founder and organizer of Feminist Hack ATX. “The biggest obstacle, in my opinion, is poor retention numbers,” Helfrich says. “Research shows that more than half of women in technology leave the field by mid-career.”

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‘Teach Yourself and Figure It Out’

By Nicole Story, Vice President of Creative, Poo~Pourri Seven years ago, I was living in my parents’ garage. With an advertising degree from the University of Texas and no job prospects, I was the quintessential definition of a millennial who graduated at the height of the recession. But this wasn’t the first time I’d faced a setback in my young life, and I had developed a mantra to help me … [ more ]

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Podcast | Make Your Next Move with Confidence

Click Play below to listen. Learn how to pivot strategically, and you’ll see change as an opportunity rather than as a crisis. In 30 minutes, Jenny Blake, author of Pivot: The Only Move That Matters Is Your Next One, will share her four-stage method for moving forward, which you can cycle through every time you hit a plateau or want to shift direction. You’ll come away knowing how to • identify new … [ more ]

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Update on Happiness (It’s All Good!)

Happiness is largely a choice. That may sound like magical thinking or like what no-guff grandparents meant when they said to buck up, but it’s actually the finding of a field of scientific study called positive psychology. “Many people think they can’t be happy right now because of their biochemistry or their job or life situation, but research has shown that we are not just our genes and environment,” says … [ more ]

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Carla Harris on How to Lead and Succeed

When Carla Harris first went to Harvard 30-some years ago, she had two beliefs that she ended up adjusting. The first was that Harris, now a vice chairman and managing director at Morgan Stanley, would be a lawyer. The second: that only her professors would have things to teach her. “I actually learned as much from my classmates, who were from all over the country and the world,” she says. … [ more ]

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In Praise of First Jobs

Even mindless first jobs can prove to be invaluable experiences. How else would some of us know how to carry six plates at a time or fold sweaters so neatly? On a more serious note, starter stints can teach useful lessons about people and the nature of work as well as our chosen fields. Check out what initiated some of our 2016 speakers into the world of gainful employment—and what … [ more ]

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Free Teleclass | Make Your Next Move with Confidence

Make Your Next Move with Confidence Tuesday, October 25, 2016 12:00-12:30pm Central

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Mindy Kaling on Her First Job, Worst Job and Being the Boss

During a summer of inordinate hot air (from the election cycle as well as the heat outside), Mindy Kaling’s down-to-earthiness is a welcome cool breeze. When asked about being brave, one of the only women to create, produce, write and star in her own network series—and the only one to put her name in the show’s title—is quick to contextualize her courage. “Have I been brave?” Kaling asks. “I’m not … [ more ]

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Three Ways Women Hold Themselves Back

Fifteen years ago, Trudy Bourgeois resigned from her vice president job managing a $3 billion business unit—and walked away from a healthy six-figure salary, country club memberships, first class plane tickets to everywhere for her husband and herself and much, much more. “When I told my mom about my decision, she started to cry,” Bourgeois recalls. “She asked if she needed to get the sisters together to pray. I was … [ more ]

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Glamour’s Cindi Leive on Courage, Confidence and What Mirror Selfies Are Good for

To talk to Cindi Leive about careers is to wish Glamour’s editor in chief were your boss—if not your best friend. She’s not just warm, funny and smart. She also telegraphs a big heart, the vibe that she cares and wants to help—women in general and those she personally knows. It’s partly Leive’s candidness that conveys this generous spirit. Case in point: she freely admits that the secret to her … [ more ]

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Career Moves: Ask These Two Questions Before You Leap

Unfortunately, you don’t have to love your job to be good at it. Sara DiVello had gone into public relations thinking she could make a living and write, her true passion. “At first, I got caught up in the cool factor of working at a big company, in the fancy skyscraper—I felt like I was Melanie Griffith in Working Girl! But as I advanced up the ranks, I got lost … [ more ]

Posted in Speaker Articles, Life on Your Terms, Embrace the Unknown, Career Choices, Transitions Tagged , |

What’s Really Holding Women Back from the C-Suite

Certainly there are many factors contributing to the absence of women at the top of companies—sex discrimination, gender bias, the fact that people promote those who remind them of themselves, to name a few. But to Marshall Goldsmith, who has been coaching executives for 35 years, there is one simple—but not so easy—way to help close the leadership gap. “Fix childcare in this country,” says the author of Triggers: Creating … [ more ]

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The Very Best Career Advice

Over the past year, we asked past and future speakers at our conferences in Austin, Boston, Philadelphia and Silicon Valley for the best work or life advice they’ve ever received or given. Here’s the best of their best answers.

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Management Moves: Real Leaders Reveal How They Advanced

Diversity and inclusion make a company stronger. Liberty Mutual Insurance is proof of that. At the launch of our Women and Allies Employee Resource Group ([email protected]), which focuses on advancing women and engaging men in the process to enhance their mutual success, we invited employees to share their personal career journeys, lessons learned and key moments from their professional lives. Here, four inspiring stories:

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Lessons from Off the Beaten (Career) Path

Borrowing clothes to put on models for photo shoots—in this behind-the-scenes-reality-TV-show world, we all know that’s what a stylist does. But back when Kemal Harris was quitting her day job to become a stylist in her small Canadian town, it was a far-fetched idea rather than an actual job description. “My parents didn’t understand it. They asked, ‘Are you making the clothes?’” recalls Harris, laughing. “They thought I was crazy.”

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Q&A: Rachael Ray on Her First Job, Being the Boss and Eating Healthy at Work

Even though she has 22 cookbooks, four TV shows, a lifestyle magazine and a line of dog and cat food, don’t call Rachael Ray a one-woman-cottage-industry. “I don’t like those terms,” she says. “It sounds like I created an ‘evil empire’ or something.” Her success wasn’t plotted out: “I just enjoy working, I enjoy people and I enjoy food. So, I do what I love; the TV just sort of … [ more ]

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Business Advice for Optimists

Before The Life Is Good Company was a going concern, let alone a $100 million business selling positive messaging on apparel and accessories, it was two brothers—Bert and John Jacobs—peddling their artwork on T-shirts at a trade show. They had decided to wear suits to look more mature, but toward the end of that day, a customer asked what was with the suits—they didn’t seem like the kind of guys … [ more ]

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