Disrupting Our Approach to Navigating Disruption

On Friday night I went to a barbecue for our elementary school principal who’s retiring at the end of next week.  Having been in her role for 10 years, she’s the only principal any of the current parents knew. In the vast majority of conversations with parents Friday evening, it was clear that most were mourning the transition.  Many had also met the new principal. Despite generally positive feedback, most still wished the change wasn’t happening. It reminded me once again that change, and the disruption that typically precedes it, is hard. Continue reading

Why I Left Two of the ‘Top Companies To Work For’

LinkedIn was out last week with its list of top companies to work for.  It’s a list of 50 companies, nearly all of which will be familiar names.  When trying to figure out your first move, or your next move, these lists can seem an easy go to as the best place to start.  However, while I’m a fan and avid user of LinkedIn, I’d recommend giving this approach a second thought.

Recommended as a cheat sheet if you’re ‘looking to make a job move’ or ‘thinking about a new career’, their methodology is actually something of a popularity contest: gauging the LinkedIn community’s interest in a company’s jobs, employees or corporate information and as best as can be told from the accuracy of one’s personal updates, how long their employees stay at that company.

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The Power of the Lousy Internship

I was heading out to meet a friend for coffee last Wednesday and spied on the counter my daughter’s lunch bag.  Since she’d left 20 minutes ago, I gave it some careful thought. I could easily walk the 2 blocks to school and drop it off for her…it would get me some fresh air and after all, she had a test that day – not ideal on an empty stomach…and mid-thought I realized I was doing a bang up job of justifying what I knew I shouldn’t do.  Prevent her from learning a lesson in responsibility, in a way that would stick.

Undecided on whether to listen to my brain or my heart, I headed out, knowing I’d still have plenty of time upon my return to drop off lunch before noon.  As I sat down for coffee, my friend talked about how glad she was to have her daughter home from college, but worried about the internship she’d started a week earlier which was turning out quite badly.

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Making Meaning From Internship and Summer Job Lessons

A few weeks ago we had the softball season-ending barbecue for one of my daughter’s teams. She and her sister had entered the next division this year – where the players had considerably more skill than they did last year. Case in point, one of the opposing team’s star pitchers was clocked at 44 MPH. She’s 10.

It started out as a tough season for my daughter – a couple of strikeouts in multiple at bats resulted in fits of tears, the silent treatment and slammed doors when we got home. Her frustrating experience isn’t all that uncommon. But the approach her coaches took was. They cheered her on after every attempt and spent as much time as she wanted in the batting cage. Despite no particular natural talent, she was willing to work hard and they gave her as much time and attention as their very best player. At some point, something clicked. Half way through the season, she got her first hit. And then another. And then a few foul balls off the toughest pitcher in the league.

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I rarely asked my interns to be creative. And always appreciated when they were.

Last week I hosted a book club at our house – a group I look forward to seeing month after month at least in part because there’s no judgment when I’ve not yet started, or only half completed the book by the time we get together.  I asked my husband to grill our dinner – and my daughters appeared to want a role too. So they proposed one: they would be in charge of name tags.

This is NOT a group that needs name tags.  In total we’re roughly 25, and while who attends each month varies somewhat, not only do we know each others’ names, work situations and addresses, many of us know which colleges each others’ kids are applying to, their sports and extracurriculars and so on.

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