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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 the workplace
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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.


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First of all -- CONGRATULATIONS!

I personally believe in "faking it until you make it" really can work. There are also some practical, confidence hacks out there -- have you heard of Amy Cuddy and her Ted Talk about confidence? "https://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are?language=en"

Definitely worth checking out for practical advice and inspiration for the kind of challenge you're talking about....

Of course you can try to get some career / executive coaching if you want to talk to someone more in depth. But the bottom line is that it takes time to get over that feeling and it's doubtful any one thing will just turn the switch off which is why I love the Amy Cuddy approach.


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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, 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.


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Any advice on ways to depart from my workplace before maternity leave? I want to leave on a good note.

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Tags: Maternity leave, Pregnancy
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Do you have someone stepping in for you? Leave them some notes about project that are in the works, or other oddball situations that may come up. Ask that person what they need from you, and finish what you can. You have bigger fish to fry, and they will survive without you!


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Pumping at work. All my office has to offer is a small closet with a task chair thrown in there for nursing mothers. Has anyone else experienced a similar situation and how did you handle it?

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Tags: Pumping
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I have! When I started at my office, the pumping room was a shared space with a shower and toiletry shelf for women who worked out before work or at lunch. It was NASTY. I'm talking people would leave hair brushes covered in hair and curling irons out. Tons of dried hair spray every where. Toothbrush without a cover, and extremely dim lighting because the bulb burnt out and no one bothered to fix it. It never appeared like it was cleaned on a regular basis. It was also right off of the bathroom so I could hear/smell people when they'd use it. I spoke to HR and when she reached a dead end, I involved the office manager and even the janitor! Fortunately all three were moms themselves and became very passionate about my cause. I'd recommend using your internal network to try and start the discussion. Google photos of nursing rooms and show them examples from other companies. Remind your HR group or your boss (if you have that kind of relationship) about the laws in your state. Talk to other moms in your office. There were 2 others pumping at the same time as me and one pregnant woman who planned to pump - we were louder in numbers! Good luck :)


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I was expected to use my office (because it has a door), but it also has windows (to the hallway, and outside). I brought curtains to cover the windows and made the best of it. i could have requested a space, but it would have been similar to your situation, so I just made my office more comfortable. If your office is not very big, or there are not many (any) other nursing mothers, I would try to make the space more comfortable. If there is a manager or decision maker you are comfortable with, I would recommend going to them to at least ask for a more comfortable chair.


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A male peer keeps interrupting me in meetings. It's driving me crazy. Should I say something to him?

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Tags: Colleagues, Discrimination, Inappropriate situation
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1. Start your talking point with, 'Please leave all questions and comments until the end. " And that way, if/when that person interrupts, you can remind them - 'please leave all questions/comments until the end, I am not done yet.'
2. Find an advocate/ally in that meeting and have a pre-meeting. Ask them to watch for the behavior and help you by stating "she isn't done yet, please don't interrupt." This has been VERY helpful at my company! Find someone that you know will be watchful and also has the voice to say something in a kind, solution-oriented way.


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The person before me had great advice. I don't know if what I'm doing is better.... when my one male colleague interrupts me, I keep talking and louder. It eventually makes him stop, people ask me to repeat what I said if they couldn't hear, and it also exacerbates the fact that he's a jerk who interrupts me and others all the time. Other people in the meeting notice when he does it.


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You should probably ask him to lunch and try to get him to be an advocate for you. If he thinks he's helping you, he'll be less apt to step on you. It sounds annoying - - but it will probably have a better outcome than just calling him on it.


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Is self-employment a good idea to merge my business with a corporate company as an experienced businesswoman going in the healthcare industry?

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Tags: Flexibility
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I have to travel to China and I'm currently breastfeeding. What is the best way to deal with it? Should I just pumpo and dump? Is it even feasible to ship back the breastmilk?

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Tags: Pumping
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Personally I had a really hard time doing the dumping thing....I didn't ship it back but I did carry it back with me in my luggage with plenty of ice...are you flying business? When my ice packs started melting, I found it pretty helpful to get ice from the plane crew....and during the trip itself I kept my breastmilk in the hotel fridge / freezer...


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Check out the company milk stork. Your employer may cover it


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Our lactation room is so far away from where I sit that it takes me like 10 minutes to get there. It's hard enough to step away from work to pump, but this makes every trip to pump 20 minutes longer. What should I do?

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Tags: Pumping
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That is not acceptable - and it's even illegal in NY State. Tell your HR department and commandeer another space. I used a visitor office near my desk.


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I'm pretty sure that the men who sit around the lactation room can hear me when I pump. I don't really care, but should I? Is it in bad form? And why can't someone invent a quieter pump?

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Don't worry about it - you already have so much to worry about as a new working mom! The truth is that they probably would know what you're doing in there anyway and while yes, it would be nice if someone invented a quieter pump, it's something that just sucks. Some people eat loudly, others talk too loudly on the phone, etc...I understand why you're embarrassed but don't be!


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I had to stop breastfeeding my baby after 6 months because it was so hard for me to pump at work. Between a difficult manager, bad lactation facilities, and a heavy travel schedule, my milk dried up. I feel so sad -- like I've already let my baby down.

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Tags: Pregnancy, Pumping
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Don't be so hard on yourself!! You did your best and remember, in a few years your healthy toddler (and you) will probably think of htis time as a distant memory. That doesn't feel like much consolation now but trust me, it does get easier and the fact that you care so much means you're not letting your baby down


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I had a similar experience. Pumping is just the worst. And that bag is so heavy.


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