discussion boards

  • I've been working in a business development role that involves a lot of nights out with clients. But now I'm pregnant and I'm afraid that I won't be able to - or want - to be out entertaining clients at night once the baby comes. Do I need to find a different job? What have others in my situation done?

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    Tags: Career advice, Pregnancy at Work, Wealth Management
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    I think you shouldn't worry too much in advance -- different women experience different things after a baby is born. Unless you an interview now, I think it's just a waste of emotional energy...see how you feel after maternity leave before deciding to make a move.

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    You can certainly still continue to go out for a meal and have a fizzy water! I am sure that you will be excused as tummy gets bigger that you are not able to stay as late as you normally would and people will understand completely but appreciate the gesture that you made the effort to come. I think as women, we do over analyse the situation sometimes and make it an issue when it doesn't have to be. Enjoy your pregnancy, enjoy the dinner out paid by work and your clients/colleagues. Once baby is out, it's a different adventure indeed that those nights you were out, you'd appreciate them for what they were.

  • Hello - when did you all decide to go on maternity leave? Trying to figure out whether to stay until I basically give birth to max out my mat leave or to take it easy the last couple weeks before my EDD...I'm a little bit worried about going to labor in a mtg!

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    Tags: Maternity leave, Pregnancy at Work
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    With my first I was working from home the day I went into labor and worked until i couldn't work any more and left for the hospital. With my second I was induced and took advantage of the hospital wifi to work until I didn't want to. In both cases, I was grateful for the distraction during the early parts of labor. And I was glad for the extra days of paid leave (and not having to pay for child care) on the other end! Another friend tried to take a week off before but ended up not going into labor until 42 weeks. I think she regrets not saving her paid leave!

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    I went into labor 15 days before my due date and my water broke at work. It was so embarrassing. If you can work from home before your due date, that's the best.

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    Is it possible to telecommute for the last few weeks? I had the same concern but didn't want to use any maternity leave, so I was able to negotiate a flexible work environment (aka work from home) so I was comfortable physically and mentally. And I was actually able to get more work done, so my manager was happy!

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    Day before I delivered for my first, and two days before my scheduled C-section on my second. You will want to save all your leave for when the baby arrives.

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    I agree you should save the time to be with your baby. You'll be glad you did.

  • I'm interested in becoming a consultant but all the job descriptions seem to come with these insane travel requirements. How do people get a consulting job that allows them to not constantly be on a plane? Is that something you only earn the right to do after you've done a travel gig?

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    Tags: Career advice, Consulting Industry
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    Some consulting companies have a bigger travel focus than others. As others have mentioned, there are smaller consulting companies that focus more on state/local business - Slalom Consulting is one I've worked for in the past.

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    Consulting firms have all kinds of roles and models these days. If you have a strong background, they will probably find a way to accommodate you that minimizes travel. Be clear from the beginning that it's important to you.

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    There are some firms that have more of a local footprint/model. Point B, in particular, stands out but there are others. In my experience, traveling has been a necessary (but surprisingly fulfilling) part of the job. I have met people and worked in cities that I would have never encountered otherwise. I will say that if you live in a bigger city (LA, Chicago, NYC) there is often more local work than if you live in a smaller city so take that into account when choosing a living location.

  • I'm still in school and would like to start my career as an FA on the best foot -- Which of these companies is the best places to go? Are there any real differences? Trying to choose on whether to target one of these companies more than another: Edward Jones, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, and UBS

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    Tags: Wealth Management
  • What do you do at work when someone older and wiser outmaneuvers you for their own benefit?

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    Tags: Career advice, Inappropriate situation, Women not helping women
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    Sit down with someone you trust and use the fresh perspective to reframe the situation to your advantage: often times, when someone attempts to use you for their own benefit, they're relying on your abilities to do good work. Make sure you add their "success" as a win in your column: "I spearheaded this project for [Manager So-and-so], and it led to [this great outcome for him/her]." This behavior is often passive-aggressive, and when someone confirms your participation in this successful project, the Manager will usually be so surprised that you dared to highlight your involvement that they will just confirm your participation without thinking.

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    If it is men, then follow their lead and get the duties done and over with. Overtime, they will understand the work ethics for females. Don't be too naive and besides men think we are too naive anyways. Just be honest and be yourself. If it gets our of hand, ask a female supervisor to separate you to be with women.

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    Learn from the experience!

  • Hi, I am starting a new job shortly as Head of Marketing for a tech company. The logical part of my brain knows that they believe I can do the job or they wouldn't have made the offer but another part of me is gripped by imposter syndrome and feel out of my depth. Do any of you have some advice on how to overcome imposter syndrome?

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    Tags: Career advice, Women in tech
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    I am a fan of listening a lot when you start a new job - whether you are out of your depth or not (and I bet you are not!!). When I got a recent promotion, I went on a "listening tour" within our company to invite folks to help me get oriented and share thoughts and ideas for how to be successful in my new role. Listening doesn't cost you anything and you can still have your own opinions and ideas, but it helps folks know you are open to collaborating and hearing from everyone. Folks like new colleagues that want to learn what's been going on, what has worked, what is needed, etc. You don't have to position yourself as having all the answers. By asking questions and really listening, folks will see that you aren't just there to do things "your way" and you will learn. It is truly one of the most underutilized leadership skills: Listening.

    Bravo on your new job - you will no doubt be wonderful!

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    Congratulations for landing the new job! How great to be starting a new adventure. Here are some suggestions.

    First of all, the company knows what you bring to the party so to speak when they hired you. If they thought you were unable to do a great job, they would never have hired you.

    Secondly, if a person is 100% qualified, then there's no room for growth. My former manager who was the VP of HR told me once that when a person is 85% qualified for a job, move them on. Why? because they will get bored and perhaps under-perform. This just reinforces the fact that your new manager knows that you are 100% capable and have room for growth.

    Thirdly, men will apply for jobs for which they are 65-75% qualified (in general) and yet they rarely suffer from imposter syndrome. So, ask yourself why you're feeling insecure. Write the reasons down and objectively look at them. Then, counter them with examples of your experiences and/or background. This is an interesting technique for focusing on your strengths vs. what you perceive your deficits. Self-limiting stories are deadly.

    There is always a ramp-up time when you're learning about a new company, product, industry, team members, your "internal go-to-people", and your manager. This information gathering phase is part of the process vs. a reflection on your competence. Many, many people doubt their competence at this point so you're in good company. Just remember has nothing to do with that as much as it has to do with building a new knowledge base. And, if you were unqualified, you would never have been hired!

    Last, but not least, find yourself a mentor and/or buddy who does comparative activities. Use them as a resource when you come across a problem. Or, do some research to find the answer to your challenge -- the Internet has an answer to everything!

    You'll do great!

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    Whatever you do, don't lose sight of your team (the people who report to you). If you feel unsure of yourself, they'll feel unsure of you. Lift them up and make them feel empowered and you might start to feel the same way.

  • My significant other is in the military and is stationed on the east coast, while I am currently in the Midwest. My company says they are flexible with working remote options, but I'm not sure of how to ask for one week remote a month to spend time with him. I would like to gradually build that up before he deploys so I can see him and maintain my job but I'm nervous to ask because I'm not married so I'm not sure if they would see that is a good reason. I always work longer hours when I'm remote and am more productive but the perception from colleagues is not positive of remote workers. How should I frame up the request to hr and manage colleagues who have comments?

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    Tags: Career advice, Work-life balance, Flexible working
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    Good idea to start the arrangement now. Leave out your "why" and get approval based on the merits of the business proposal. Present remote work as a business strategy that benefits them. (Double-digit productivity increases are typical.) Get more strategies at "http://www.workoptions.com/flexible-work" under the Telecommuting heading.

  • I'm a new mom, and I am feeling a lot of pressure to attend an "optional" holiday team dinner. I will not be allowed to have my cell phone on me. My DH will most likely be working late due to year-end preparations at his company, and my MIL has never watched my baby for that long. She also doesn't speak English, so if she calls the restaurant for an emergency, I'm worried it won't get to me. I am extremely uncomfortable attending this dinner, but feel that if I do not attend, there will be backlash. What do I do?

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    Tags: Career advice, Management issues, Work-life balance
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    Here are a few ideas: 1. Can you take a half day off of work on the day of the dinner? This way you can spend time with your baby, and your MIL won't be there any longer than usual. 2. Your husband may need to work that night, but it doesn't sound like that's set in stone - can he reorganize things so that he can be at home? Perhaps he goes in early a couple days that week? 3. Can your husband arrange to be your MIL's emergency contact during the dinner? (I assume he would have cell access). This alleviates the language barrier issues. 4. Is there someone at work (another working mom, a mentor, HR representative) who you could talk to about the "backlash" piece? Maybe they would have some insights. 5. This may be more trouble than it's worth, but is there another babysitter who could relieve your MIL at around the time she is normally done watching the baby? This may also help with the language barrier issue. Best of luck!!

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    If you don't want to go, then don't! Unless skipping will cost you your job, just say you have an infant, you can't attend, and leave it at that. As a new myself I've been learning to do this too and I'm not even making up lies anymore. I've found many women who soften as soon as I say I'm a new mom- they've been there too and understand!

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    I remember well this feeling of anxiety about leaving my baby! Most of the time it all goes well with no problems, as I'm sure others with kids will tell you! That (I know!) doesn't make it any easier to leave your little one at home. I am curious about not being allowed to have your cell phone. If you explain to the organizer that you have a new baby at home, would they really deny you having your phone with you? If so, can you go to the dinner for a short time, only the minimum to make an appearance, say hi to the boss, and then leave? If you can't bring your phone, you can talk to the restaurant manager and explain the situation, enlist her/his help in making sure you are alerted if your MIL calls. Also, you can step out every 30 min or so to "use the bathroom" and call your MIL to be sure everything is ok.

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    If you feel that uncomfortable, maybe you should listen to your gut. Why do you think there's going to be a backlash? If it's optional and called optional, there must be a reason. What if you simply were out of town for the holidays early or your baby got sick? A little white lie here and there never hurts...I remember feeling really anxious when leaving my newborn and it's totally normal. I don't think you need to beat yourself up for it but I also don't think anyone at work needs to know it's because you feel anxious.

  • Whenever I'm working on an engagement, I go above and beyond to build strong relationships with the client and sell additional work. But I always feel like men get the credit for selling instead of me. How can I claim credit without seeming petty?

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    Tags: Career advice, Consulting Industry, Other
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    This is something that I am trying to work on the approach to this myself right now. One thing I notice about men is that they are very good at self promotion whereas women sometimes have their heads down concentrating on the job in hand. Networking and self promotion is as equally important for your career as getting the job done.

    Observe what is happening around you when your colleagues are achieving this credit where might not. What are they doing that you are not?

    Here is a real experience that I have observed a few times for example; a woman washes the dishes for a week because she knows it needs doing and gets on with it. A man washes the dishes on one day and actively seeks recognition for making the effort. He doesn't acknowledge that the woman has done this already five times that week but merely seeks praise for his completed task.

    There is nothing wrong with him seeking the praise but do you see the difference? He actively seeks recognition whereas the woman has not, she has done this five times but quietly without looking for the glory therefore it's taken for granted and nobody notices. I believe the same type of thing happens in the workplace but of course on a much more complex level. You are all bidding for the same glory and you need to sell yourself.

    What you might be saying in your question is your considering to fight for the credit at the very end which makes you think it could look petty but maybe you can seek the credits along the way and don't wait until the end of assignment to start to look for the glory. Obviously I don't know your exact circumstance so it's hard to make a judgement but I hope that my comments are helpful?

  • Hi all - I'm in a bit of sticky situation. I just found out I'm pregnant yesterday and am expecting a job offer in the next 24-48 hours. The company I'd be joining offers 16 weeks of paid maternity leave for mothers who have been at the company for at least 1 year. We know that FMLA covers 12 weeks of unpaid leave for mothers who have been a the company for at least 1 year. So, given that I'd be giving birth before one year, I'm concerned that not only will I be entitled to no maternity leave whatsoever (paid or unpaid) but I could be in jeopardy of the company not holding my position for me. So my questions are:

    - Would I need to take disability in order to pull together some sort of maternity leave for myself?
    - Am I crazy to even take this job? I don't like my current position but I am comfortable and would be entitled to 12 weeks of paid leave here.

    Husband thinks job happiness is critical and is encouraging me to take the job if I get the offer. He is confident we can figure out the maternity leave piece of things and make it work - and thinks that in NYC it's highly unlikely that a big, female-friendly company would not hold my position.

    What do you think? Super anxious about this! I suppose if I do get an offer I need to ask at that point for more details on the mat leave policy (without giving away that I'm pregnant) so that I can figure out if *perhaps* they do offer some leave to women who have been at the company for less than one year.

    This would be a great position and really advance my career so the timing is a real bummer.

    Thanks for your insight!

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    Tags: Job search, Maternity leave, Negotiation
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    I thought all large companies over a certain size had to offer 12 weeks unpaid FMLA? I also thought it was irrespective of length of time worked at the company, but could be wrong. Check the FMLA provisions out - it's federal law, should not vary by employer.

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    That's great! Good luck and don't forget that when the time comes, you can always try to negotiate for mat leave (something I wish I had done b/c even if they say no, it's not a hard-and-fast rule as so many people assume)

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    Thank you so much for your insight. I got an offer today and asked about mat leave policies. Seems like my friend who works there who told me they provide 16 weeks paid was misinformed. They simply offer 4 weeks paid on top of FMLA (with the usual 6 weeks of disability for vaginal birth / 8 weeks for c-section, and the ability to use vacation to add onto the mat leave). Sounds fairly typical of large corporations. The HR person did say they have been flexible in honoring FMLA for employees who have been at the company for under one year--so that sounded very promising.

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    If your new employer really does offer 16 weeks paid leave for moms who have been there one year, my guess is that there is a high likelihood they will make an exception for you b/c they are on the spectrum of employers that are generous about paid leave. Of course there is no guarantee but it seems to be in the "spirit" of the rule (esp since you literally just found out you were pregnant). IMO, short-term disability is def an option if you'er really worreid about pay for your leave and you are not crazy to take a job you like more than your current one (I tend to agree with your husband but i'm a work-gives-life-meaning-kind of gal). I think your idea of asking about benefits / maternity leave policy is a good one and I would even consider going a step further and possibly share the news if you'er comfortable...whether that's at month 3 or whatever point you want. I also think you can just ask about it as a new starter without any of those assumptions, b/c it's becoming more acceptable for women to ask those quetsions about policies. Good luck!

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