WatchHerWork https://watchherwork.com Her Life. Your Lesson. Tue, 07 Aug 2018 19:51:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 https://watchherwork.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/cropped-WATCH_HER_LO-FF-01-32x32.jpg WatchHerWork https://watchherwork.com 32 32 10 Ted Talks to Help You Get Your Career Right https://watchherwork.com/10-ted-talks-to-help-you-get-your-career-right/ https://watchherwork.com/10-ted-talks-to-help-you-get-your-career-right/#respond Tue, 07 Aug 2018 19:44:22 +0000 https://watchherwork.com/?p=8839 The post 10 Ted Talks to Help You Get Your Career Right appeared first on WatchHerWork.

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So many smart people, so little time. We’ve culled the vast library of TED to spotlight 8 videos that we believe can take your career (and your life) to the next level.

Enjoy and good luck being smarter!!

The Danger of a Single Story

My Year of Saying Yes to Everything

Programming Your Mind For Success

What We Can Learn From Spaghetti Sauce

The Art of Asking

The Career Advice You Probably Didn't Get

The Sociology of Gossip

Can We Have It All

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Register for the WatchHerWork Summit 2018 https://watchherwork.com/register-for-the-watchherwork-summit-2018/ https://watchherwork.com/register-for-the-watchherwork-summit-2018/#respond Thu, 26 Jul 2018 02:25:53 +0000 https://watchherwork.com/?p=8833 Registration for the WatchHerWork Summit 2018 is now OPEN!! Click HERE to register.  

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Registration for the WatchHerWork Summit 2018 is now OPEN!!

Click HERE to register.

 

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Best Side Jobs to Help Pay Off Debt https://watchherwork.com/best-side-jobs-to-help-pay-off-debt/ https://watchherwork.com/best-side-jobs-to-help-pay-off-debt/#respond Tue, 24 Jul 2018 18:26:40 +0000 https://watchherwork.com/?p=8824   The term “gig economy” has entered common parlance increasingly in recent years. The advent of apps and sophisticated communication technology allowed for a variety of different types of revenue that anyone with a bit of extra downtime can take advantage of. These options can be a great source of additional income and they are […]

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The term “gig economy” has entered common parlance increasingly in recent years. The advent of apps and sophisticated communication technology allowed for a variety of different types of revenue that anyone with a bit of extra downtime can take advantage of. These options can be a great source of additional income and they are perfect for paying off debt or paying down students loans.

 

Freelance work can be a tricky way to sustain yourself, depending on your personality. Studies show that the more freelancers work, the calmer and more enthusiastic they are, while difficult or conflicting requirements reduce their well-being. However, this type of work often allows you the freedom to pick and choose your battles.

 

Sometimes, these side-jobs require little to no prior experience, while others may cater to those with a specific expertise in an area. Below, we will explore options to increase revenue streams that can help transform extra spare time into dollars.

Ridesharing Apps

Apps like Uber and Lyft have taken advantage of recruiting nearby drivers to stellar effect. Consumers also take solace in using these services since they are affordable and eco-friendly. The apps have also increased their operations in sophistication, adding the option to hitch a ride that is already en route. The practicality that results from this marriage of logic and technology is why Uberpool works so well.

 

Once you undergo an initial vetting process, filling those voids in your schedule with revenue can be a simple as opening up the app. In many metropolitan areas, there will be an abundant supply of people looking to get somewhere.

 

While turning on the app and taking a few passengers to their destination can be a great way for some quick cash for a car owner, companies like HyreCar open up the possibility to people even without cars. Through this program, people can rent someone else’s car to try out ridesharing for a few days, or use the car long-term. Either way, the level of versatility is highly customizable to fit your time-allowance and desire.

Software Developer

For some people, tinkering around with software technology is a past time. However, this is also one of the most in-demand positions to be found in 2018. There is no shortage of business to be had as a developer, allowing you freedom to take on projects as a freelancer, telecommute, or even work full-time. As you continue to work in this domain, your skills will improve and your wages and range of abilities will increase.

 

This work may include updating websites, creating new ones from scratch, or making apps. This could lead to an untold amount of income, especially if you strike gold by coming up with a clever app.

Video Reviewer

This is a telecommuting or part-time gig that can put your expertise in a certain domain to good use. Many people are eager to have videos of their work reviewed for feedback, from teachers or instructors to musicians to stand-up comedians. If you feel that you have a specialty and something to offer, this can be a fairly easy way to make some extra money on the side from the comfort of your own home.

Bilingual Editor/Assistant

Having the mastery of a second language under your belt can be put to good use in the world of remote freelance employment. Many companies are looking for people with multilingual expertise to look over material for any mistakes or awkwardness that could use some refining. This is especially true with law firms, where specificity of language and translation matters tremendously.

Photography

This is a staple of freelance work that is still as relevant as ever. However, it is important not to underestimate the expectations of clients seeking photography work. You should be a seasoned photographer with a high degree of familiarity with Photoshop or other retouching software.

Writing

Sites like Guru can be excellent places to get in touch with companies or individuals that need writing or editing done. However, standing out among the competition can be difficult, especially for people just starting out. Research indicates that one of the best ways to stand out is to build a portfolio that consists of similar but not identical projects. This grants the greatest amount of confidence by prospective buyers.

 

Skills that you develop as a writer has utility in nearly any professional realm since it hones your ability to communicate, but it’s also a prized skill all by itself, with a multitude of avenues to which you can offer your service. Consider what you are interested in the most and using that to guide your writing endeavors.

 

You can start a blog about an area of interest, which can lead to revenue generation down the road once it picks up momentum. It’s a good place for you to develop your voice and style, as well as a place to compile all your other work. Once you are comfortable with the amount of value you are offering, you can put a “donate” button or an ad that visitors can use to hire you.

 

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Protecting your Assets in a Divorce https://watchherwork.com/protecting-your-assets-in-a-divorce/ Tue, 15 May 2018 13:45:16 +0000 https://watchherwork.com/?p=8768 “Why me?” “How would I spend the rest of my life?” “How bleak would my life be, after divorce?” The soon-to-happen divorce pops up such dreadful queries in minds of anyone, more often women in every society. When a deeply knitted emotional relationship is on the rocks, the future seems to be dark and stressful. […]

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“Why me?”

“How would I spend the rest of my life?”

“How bleak would my life be, after divorce?”

The soon-to-happen divorce pops up such dreadful queries in minds of anyone, more often women in every society. When a deeply knitted emotional relationship is on the rocks, the future seems to be dark and stressful. But it is not the time to have your head in the sand. Avoiding the truth can’t change the reality. So instead of closing your eyes to the ugly fact, you need to be bold enough to face it head on. 

Divorce is not supposed to be carried out in an uncivilized manner always. A bit of your care and planning can save you and your broken family from many hassles. Though the relationship is at stake, but it’s time to decide how to divide the assets and property equally between the parting spouses. This is essentially important in order to get the financial strength that makes your living possible even after a divorce. You have given a lot to the relationship and so you do deserve a respectable life afterwards. Glance down some smart ways below to understand what it requires to finance your divorce.

Understand the Property Type

Before planning your finances in a divorce, try to figure out how much property is “joint” or “separate”. The joint or marital property is divided as per the respective state’s laws. So, the primary thing for you is to understand the property type with respect to the laws in the state you are dwelling. The separate property is not divided by the court. It includes inherited property, the assets owned before marriage, or the property owned as a gift or decided through a prenuptial agreement. Such pre or post nuptial agreements are very efficient ways to tackle down the painful crisis and are accepted by the state laws too. 

Get the Records in Black and White

Whatever is in your name or owned jointly, bring it on paper. Particularly, if your spouse is acrimonious, be smart in gathering all the proofs in black and white. Don’t ever rely on electronic documents, as the passwords might be changed or locked by the ruling spouse as a result of resentment. These records must include property documents, bank statements, tax files, financial statements or other such documents signed in last 3 to 5 years. If you and your spouse used to have a joint business, the same precaution implies on that too. 

Take the Right Help

Financial planning is not that easy. It involves a lot of technicalities to be figured out rightly. There’s nothing wrong in hiring financial divorce mediators for your help. These mediators have expertise in sorting out the financial calculations as well as make the ways out to bring the parting spouses on table to settle down an agreement. Don’t fret over the cost in case of hiring such a help. Such mediators actually cut down the overall cost of divorce budgeting by getting the agreements signed even out of the court. They also give you advises on dealing with legal matters like paying the court-ordered attorney fees, identifying debt obligations and other such important matters.

Calculate the Tax Amount

Don’t be a goof by getting the pre-tax money happily. The spouse paying the alimony is exempted from tax and the one receiving the amount is under tax liability. So, calculate your tax amounts smartly. Also, the gains obtained on bonds or stocks are also tax payable. Rather than fighting over petty stuff, focus on getting the big advantages.

Save some Money

Be prepared for the worst from your spouse. Sometimes, as a revenge too, spouse tries to leave the counterpart in a vulnerable situation by leaving them without a penny. Don’t rush into a divorce decision prior to keeping yourself in a safe position. Set up an individual account to manage your finances in order to cover up the essential daily expenses. Particularly if you are accompanied with your children, you definitely require a handsome amount of money in your own account to manage all the financial debts.

Degree and Job: Your Best Future Support

Last but not the least is to think through your source of living. Way before filing a divorce, focus on completing your degree, polishing your professionally required skills and getting a job as soon as possible. Both education and job give you empowerment that will be helpful for the rest of your life. Financial autonomy is more important especially if you have to support your children. Even this will be a favorable point for the attorneys while deciding about your case. Also in the long run, it will pay you off tremendously in terms of a better standard of living for your children especially.

I agree, divorce is a nasty decision that has lifelong impacts on the entire family. But a smart little planning to finance your divorce can save you from never ending fights over the petty matters. After all the sacrifices you made in your marriage, now you deserve the shares on equal basis for a peaceful and contented future.

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4 Moves to Prepare for an International Assignment https://watchherwork.com/4-moves-to-prepare-for-an-international-assignment/ Tue, 15 May 2018 13:34:57 +0000 https://watchherwork.com/?p=8764 Globalization has made it possible for a lot of professionals to experience working abroad. Top-level companies offer exchange programs overseas for training. Likewise, they open positions from their main headquarters to high-performing employees from local offices. If you work for a global organization, there’s a huge likelihood of getting an international assignment at one point […]

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Globalization has made it possible for a lot of professionals to experience working abroad. Top-level companies offer exchange programs overseas for training. Likewise, they open positions from their main headquarters to high-performing employees from local offices.

If you work for a global organization, there’s a huge likelihood of getting an international assignment at one point of your professional career or another. It can be a short-term arrangement or a permanent one. Whichever of these assignments you end up with, it’s essential to prepare for it.

To provide you an idea of the things you need to do should the buzz about your international assignment becomes a reality, relocation and storage companies have pieces of advice that you can use. Four of them are listed below. 

1. Go through your possessions to determine what to bring, dispose of, give away, sell, or store.

Clearly, you cannot bring everything you own to the country you’re relocating. So, organize your possessions to better manage your upcoming move.

  • For the items to bring – these shouldn’t be a lot. These are items that you normally use and don’t need to be replaced.
  • As for the things to dispose of, these are mostly rubbish that you can no longer use and no longer serve their original purpose
  • For things to give away or sell, these are your personal items that are still useful but you don’t need to bring. You can put them up on auction online or you can dedicate a day to hold a garage sale. The money you’ll earn can be used for your new beginning overseas.
  • Lastly, the items to store are valuables that you cannot bring but cannot relinquish ownership of. You need to find a reliable storage company and go through the various options of safe and convenient storage solutions.

Storage companies are not created the same – compare your options thoughtfully. You need one that offers units in a variety of sizes and pricing. Along with that, you need the storage facilities to be secure, with the ability to maintain the quality of the items you will retrieve and use again someday.

 

2. Learn more about the culture of the country you’re moving to.

This is one of the things that you need to do because it will allow you to assimilate much faster and easier. Likewise, it will prevent you from making serious social faux pas that may derail you from establishing meaningful connections in the new workplace and community.

If the country also speaks a different language, take the time to enroll in a language class. This is a must because your job and daily life will rely heavily on your ability to communicate in the vernacular.

 

3. Read up on the climate of the region.

Research on the climate of the country you’ll be relocating to because it may be too different from what you’re used to. Countries with extreme weather can prove to be too challenging for one’s health especially if you have a medical condition that can flare up due to an unfamiliar climate. 

Discuss this with your bosses. If you are the only choice for the position in the international office, informing them about this concern will likely prompt them to make the best living and work arrangements for you.

It’s worth noting too that learning more about the typical weather of the place you’re moving to will direct your packing and shopping for a new wardrobe.

 If you’re coming from a really cold nation and you’re moving to the tropics or the desert, you definitely will not be needing any of your thick, padded coats and footwear. These are items you may want to give away, sell, or put in storage before you leave.

 

4. Collect all the important documents to bring with you.

If you’re married and your company will be letting you bring your family, the documents you need are:

  • IDs
  • Marriage license
  • Your children’s birth certificates
  • Contracts for assets or properties under your name
  • School records and others

You need all these especially if the international assignment is a permanent one. You may one day decide to purchase your own home and open a bank account. Plus, when your children go to school, they will need their documents as well.

 

Moving abroad for your job sounds exciting but it’s not going to be an easy transition. Get all the help you can and consider utilising immigration consultant services to ease the pressure of ensuring all the steps for the move are sorted. Your international assignment may be everything you need to advance in life. Before you leave for greener pastures, settle all your affairs properly and make the necessary preparation for the new life that awaits.

 

AUTHOR BIO

Chris Humphrey is the General Manager of Easytruck Moving & Storage. In 2013, the company combined their expertise in professional moving services & storage to create an entirely new approach to the business – and mobile storage was born! Easytruck now operates over 30,000 sqft of air-conditioned facilities in three convenient locations in Dubai and is the only Mobile Storage operator in the UAE.

 

 

 

 

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No. I don’t want to mentor you. Let me tell you why. https://watchherwork.com/no-dont-want-mentor-let-tell/ Sat, 28 Apr 2018 14:20:33 +0000 http://watchherwork20.wpengine.com/?p=7454 When you’ve been working as an executive as long as I have, you are often approached to be a mentor. Behind closed doors, my friends and I swap stories about mentees that have gotten those requests all wrong. There are a few fatal conditions that are death to a successful mentor-mentee relationship. Let me pull […]

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When you’ve been working as an executive as long as I have, you are often approached to be a mentor. Behind closed doors, my friends and I swap stories about mentees that have gotten those requests all wrong. There are a few fatal conditions that are death to a successful mentor-mentee relationship. Let me pull back the curtain to share a few harsh truths with you. (I promise they’ll make you stronger).

Here’s why you’re having trouble:

1. You ask me questions you could Google – Let’s say an advertising VP agrees to meet with you. Her time is not free. At $300 an hour, her commute and lunch with you are the equivalent of $450. Do you really think you should ask her what degree you need to get into advertising? What a copy editor does? How many employees her company has? No. If you don’t come to the meeting prepared with thoughtful well-researched questions, you waste everybody’s time and time is money. If you invest some time reviewing articles, blogs and YouTube videos, you will be able to come up with great questions that yield invaluable information. Research your mentor using company bios and LinkedIn. Do your homework and your time together will be well spent.

2. You want a hook up – Sometimes, it’s clear that you want access, not information. You want to meet someone I know or you want a leg up on an opportunity I have the inside track on. I know you’re trying to use me. I see you a mile away and I don’t like it. Be upfront about what you want in the relationship. Honesty is the best policy. Be clear about your intentions and bring value to the relationship.

3. You don’t tend the garden – Every relationship needs maintenance behaviors to grow and deepen. Send a birthday card, a thank you note, some flowers or at least a kind email. These gestures go a long way in forging a real relationship. What you water grows.

4. You know every damn thing – I am not a genius and I don’t have the answer to every question, but I’ve lived a little more life than you. Sometimes, you have taken those blog posts about confidence a little too far and act like you are an expert at everything. I don’t want to spend our time together discussing an article you read or a podcast you heard about being a CEO. I actually am a CEO. Listen more than you talk.

5. You think I’m your Mama – You have baby bird syndrome. A baby bird sits in the nest expecting the Mama bird to come feed them. This behavior is wholly inappropriate in a mentor-mentee relationship. I am not your Mama. Do your research. Investigate the profession you are interested in. Ask me actionable questions, not general ‘what should I do with my life’ questions. I have no idea what you should do with your life. I met you 2 weeks ago.

6. You have an innie and I have an outie – Sometimes, more often than we would like to admit, we are just too different. Maybe one is a staunch Republican and the other a raving liberal. One is a fast-talking, F-bomb dropping Yankee and the other a genteel Southern lady. One hates technology and the other lives their entire life ‘doing it for the Gram’. It doesn’t mean one is wrong and the other right, but it does make a mentor relationship challenging. Don’t take it personally. You can’t force every relationship. Know when to take the ‘L’ and move on. If you decide to stick it out, understand that it’s up to you to manage these differences. You’re the one seeking advice. Swallow your pride and get the goods.

7. You go all ‘Single White Female’ on me – Be careful not to get too dependent. The idea that one person with one perspective can “direct” your career is outdated. You need the perspectives of several people. I’m not an expert in every subject. If you build your tribe of support around your career development, it will prevent from becoming over-reliant on me to be your muse. Even Jesus rolled with 10 people. I can’t meet with you once a week or talk to you every couple days. Don’t show up to my office uninvited. Don’t hover around me if we happen to be at the same event. Make sure your requests for my time are reasonable and you focus our time together on my areas of expertise so we can be successful. Admiration is nice. Stalking is just weird.

8. What got me here won’t get you there – This one isn’t really your fault. Sometimes an industry has changed so much, that the path I took 25 years ago isn’t as directly applicable to your career as we both would like. Maybe I got into my industry because it was the family business or because my parents pulled some strings. I got here, but I can’t necessarily help you blueprint a path. This is hard for me to admit, so you will have to ask good questions and listen carefully for steps you can execute to make sure I’m the right advisor for you.

9. You forget I’m breathing my own rare air – I’m busy. Maybe I no longer have a secretary. Downsizing has me doing the work of 2 people. Technology creates a round the clock expectation of responsiveness. I’m never off. I don’t have time to see my own friends and family. You forget I am a real person with my own challenges; both professional and personal. It’s lonely at the top and you approach our relationship selfishly never once asking me how I’m doing or what you can do to support me. Time is my most precious resource. I want to help you, but it costs me time and focus on other priorities. Never forget that. Be appreciative.

A successful mentor-mentee relationship is possible, but you have to work at it. Mentors are like mates; you may have to kiss a couple frogs, but don’t give up. In the event that you don’t have a mentor, don’t despair. If you can’t learn from someone in person, don’t underestimate your ability to learn from afar. There is more information available than ever before online both written and video-based on WatchHerWork.com. Take ownership of your career and get the info you need.

Make it easy for me to help and maybe, just maybe, I will.

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Is Giving Up Meat For You? https://watchherwork.com/is-giving-up-meat-for-you/ Fri, 20 Apr 2018 13:38:54 +0000 https://watchherwork.com/?p=8766 “Lentil soup is mental fruit and ginger root is good for the yout [sic] . . . life brings life, its valuable, so I eat what comes from the ground, its natural let food be your medicine, no Excedrin. -Dead Prez By now you keenly aware that a meat free diet is all the rage. […]

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“Lentil soup is mental fruit and ginger root is good for the yout [sic] . . . life brings life, its valuable, so I eat what comes from the ground, its natural let food be your medicine, no Excedrin. -Dead Prez

By now you keenly aware that a meat free diet is all the rage. Beyonce is “going vegan” in preparation for Coachella, The “What The Health” Netflix documentary is shifting the paradigm of traditional meat eaters, and animal rights and environmental concerns are still at the forefront despite changes in legislation. Overall, a meat free diet or plant-based eating has increased by 600%.

But the question remains, is giving up meat for you? With all the noise how do you know if this is a journey you would like to take?  There are three things to consider when deciding whether a meat free lifestyle is for you.

  1. What is your why? Why do you want to embark on a meat free lifestyle? Frankly for me it wasn’t because I had an extraordinary love for animals or the planet.  Nor was it that didn’t like the taste the bacon.  In fact, I loved bacon!  For me it was out of necessity.  I was 38 with high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and symptoms of angina.  I was given two choices treating the symptoms with medication or reversing the problem; I chose the latter. Whether your why is your health, your love of animals or the environment just make sure you figure it out. This will be your reminder and motivation of why you embarked on meat free lifestyle during those challenging times. 
  1. Be open to trying new foods. The truth is that living a meat free lifestyle doesn’t have to mean just eating salad and tree bark.  There so many delicious recipes available at your fingertips that will take your taste buds to another level but it requires an open mind. From jackfruit, to green juice, to lentils and callaloo you must be willing to try foods that you may not have ever tasted before. Be creative.  Think P. Diddy—just about anything can be remixed into a meat free dish. For example, meat free ox tails.
  1. Finally, if you’ve seen the documentaries and read the books, you now have plenty of information from A to Z regarding health, the planet, and animals.  So let me say this, you only have one life. You don’t need any more information, studies, or data to move you to move.  Dive in!   Your only concern should be that you are getting enough calories daily and enough B12 via a supplement and Vitamin D (which you get from the sun).  Then I want you to track how you feel for 21 days. After 21 days you should have more energy, less brain fog, and more regularity (wink wink).  But the number 21 is also magical because the number of habit creation.  It takes time to change something you have done your entire life.  Take the time, exercise discipline, but most importantly be gentle with yourself while transitioning.  

So is giving up meat for you? Yes, if you understand your “why,” are willing to be open to the various possibilities of food, and apply what you have learned by way of information—then you are ready.  Remember this is a huge change for your mind, body, and even your spirit.  Be gentle with yourself.  The animals and planet will benefit from your decision, but most importantly your health will thank you for it.

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Finding Myself on the Other Side of the World https://watchherwork.com/finding-myself-on-the-other-side-of-the-world/ Wed, 28 Feb 2018 02:59:51 +0000 https://watchherwork.askreginabaker.com/?p=8181 I’ve watched plenty of friends whose lives have been enriched by the solo trek experience, and when I took a recent leap – quitting a successful job to go on sabbatical – I knew an extended international solo trip would be the capstone of my mid-career break. I planned for months, down to the right […]

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I’ve watched plenty of friends whose lives have been enriched by the solo trek experience, and when I took a recent leap – quitting a successful job to go on sabbatical – I knew an extended international solo trip would be the capstone of my mid-career break.

I planned for months, down to the right clothes for different climates, best medications in case of illness, optimal luggage to swiftly get through multiple transit points. I worked with a reputable travel agency and arranged for guides at most locations. And a few weeks ago, I set out alone on my long-awaited journey through Thailand, Singapore and Taiwan.

And halfway through my dream trip, I was taken down by a serious and prolonged bout of food poisoning. I was in a beautiful, small beach town in Thailand where infrastructure was somewhat limited, and almost no English was spoken (my Thai guide spoke just enough). I thought I’d brought my entire medicine cabinet with me, but I wasn’t prepared for this.

But if my trip was supposed to be a learning experience, this illness wasn’t going to interrupt my education. This is what I learned from my once-in-a-lifetime journey to the other side of the world:

  1. You must reach beyond your limits to find them. I thought the real education would come from immersing in a new culture without the comforts of home. But in getting so sick on the other side of the world and having to navigate my way through it, the bigger lessons were so much further outside my comfort zone than I realized …
  2. Set yourself up for success (and rethink your definition of it). I did so much to set myself up for success. What I didn’t plan for was serious illness disrupting my dream trip. But I’ll be damned if I was going to let it take away this moment for me. And I reminded myself that “fun” wasn’t the point of this ride. My aim here was to push my boundaries and to learn something about the world and myself. And learn, I did. When I put this into perspective, it was hard to see this moment as anything other than successful.
  3. Discomfort is part of life. Get comfortable with it. I may sound pessimistic, but life has shown me (and, perhaps, you) that I can’t count on smooth sailing for long. Sometimes it completely knocks me off my feet, and sometimes it just shoves me hard enough to remind me it’s always there. The key, I think, is to learn to be at peace with the idea of discomfort without being a total fatalist. Don’t look around every corner in fear of what might jump out at you, but be calm and brave when it arrives, knowing that you’ll likely be ok regardless. Getting sick on my trip surprised me, scared me, angered me. But somewhere deep down I knew I’d be ok. And I was.
  4. You don’t have to be confident to be strong. Even when life is going well, I am riddled with anxiety. Finding, nurturing and growing my own confidence will be my life’s work. But this trip reminded me that I’m stronger than I think. Just because I don’t see my strength doesn’t mean it’s not here. Hopefully, the more life shows me I’m strong, I’ll start to believe it for myself. And that’s something to build on.
  5. It’s ok to be inconvenient. When I first got sick, a friend very astutely texted “don’t be shy about asking for what you need.” Like many, I’m all too often concerned about rocking the boat, making someone uncomfortable or shaking up someone else’s day/life/plan on my account. In a moment when I was truly only obligated to myself, I still found I was worried about being an inconvenience. But her advice kept ringing in my ear like the relentless bell I needed to hear. Ask for what you need. Demand it, if need be. Doing so put me on a path to recovery and got me back home to my family and friends. Her counsel served me well, and – hopefully – I’ll hear my own voice say the same next time.
  6. Be open to the unexpected. The things I thought I would love during my trek, I certainly did (though I missed more than I would have liked). But there were plenty of unexpected gifts during this experience. Practicing living in my own fear and discomfort was one (a hard-earned blessing, as it turns out). The second was falling in love with a country that previously hadn’t even been on my “future vacation” list. Taiwan was part of my itinerary as a suggestion by a knowledgeable friend, and what a treat it turned out to be! Beautiful, welcoming, fascinating. Majestic mountains, pristine coastline, exciting cities. Way beyond expectations. I’m so looking forward to next time.
  7. Rethink your understanding of once-in-a-lifetime. You just might be more blessed than you think. So your once-in-a-lifetime opportunity didn’t go the way you wanted? If you want a do-over, figure out how to make it happen. Nothing is more limiting that the assumption of scarcity. I can’t wait to return.

My sabbatical has been time to slow down long enough to hear my own voice, take account of my life choices and path, and learn more about the world and my place in it. My solo trek was to be a critical part of that journey. And what an education it turned out to be.

 

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Watch Who Advises You: Remember Monica Lewinsky https://watchherwork.com/watch-advises-remember-monica-lewinsky/ Tue, 09 Jan 2018 20:37:04 +0000 http://watchherwork.com/?p=7933 I have a top 10 list of the Worst Work Women in the World. Linda Tripp hovers right at the top of that list. You remember Linda, don’t you? She befriended a young White House intern named Monica Lewinsky. Monica had the unfortunate experience of becoming a household name after the illicit details of her […]

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I have a top 10 list of the Worst Work Women in the World. Linda Tripp hovers right at the top of that list. You remember Linda, don’t you? She befriended a young White House intern named Monica Lewinsky. Monica had the unfortunate experience of becoming a household name after the illicit details of her sexual relationship with then-President Bill Clinton became the stuff of dinner conversations and water cooler gossip all over the world. Linda was 24 years her senior and I’m sure Monica trusted her as a mentor and a guide through what had to be one of the most complex professional quandaries a working woman can go through: a mutual physical attraction with your boss, the President.

Monica should have been able to rely on Tripp. Women should help each other, especially the youngest of us, as we try to make our way through life and work. At 22 years old, Monica was impressionable and 49-year-old Clinton was a charismatic powerful formidable challenge for any young woman.

Linda should have helped her.

But she didn’t.

Instead, she manipulated her. She leveraged her. She earned her trust and then sold her down the river. She urged Monica to keep the infamous semen-stained dress and then recorded their conversations as Monica agonized over her adulterous error in judgment. Monica thought she was talking to a confidant, a mentor. In actuality, she was talking to an enemy in every possible sense of the word.

What should you learn from Linda?

  1. Your co-workers are not your friends. That’s a harsh statement, I know, but true nevertheless. Sometimes those relationships can grow into friendship, but all too often, we just give away that level of trust because someone has a cubicle near ours. That is not enough for someone to earn the title of friend. Set and maintain good boundaries.
  2. Shut your trap. Do not discuss your personal business at work. Keep your private life private. Period.
  3. Just because someone is older, does not mean they are wiser. Nor does it mean they have your best interests at heart. Sometimes they’re mean and selfish and self-serving and opportunistic and jerks. Really watch the people you choose to listen to. Age and character are not the same things.
  4. You need to crowdsource wisdom. It takes a village to raise a career. No one person has all the answers. Don’t put all your eggs in one ‘mentor’ basket. You need to test the advice you receive for internal and external consistency. That means running things by a few people and assessing conflicting viewpoints. I can’t help but think that if Monica had asked even one other person about what she should do, the trajectory of her life might have gone in an entirely different direction.
  5. Live right. Exercise good judgment. Conduct yourself in an honest ethical manner and don’t let anyone take you off track. Unfortunately, women are still held to a higher standard. Some people bounce when they fall while others go straight Humpty Dumpty. Linda and Monica will live in infamy while watching Bill Clinton’s latest appearance on the Jimmy Fallon Show. It’s not fair, but it’s real.

As Madeleine Albright, Former US Secretary of State has famously said, “There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women”. Pack light, Linda. Pack light.

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Push the Button Before You Know the Answer https://watchherwork.com/push-button-know-answer/ Tue, 09 Jan 2018 20:27:12 +0000 http://watchherwork.com/?p=7930 “Wait your turn”. “Act like a lady.” “Don’t speak out of turn”. As women, we’ve gotten some pretty crappy advice through the course of our lives. Our parents are good people. They meant well. They wanted us to be dainty delicate flowers who would be well liked and would get along in society. Maybe even […]

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“Wait your turn”.
“Act like a lady.”
“Don’t speak out of turn”.

As women, we’ve gotten some pretty crappy advice through the course of our lives. Our parents are good people. They meant well. They wanted us to be dainty delicate flowers who would be well liked and would get along in society. Maybe even snag a husband…

The problem: This advice limits us in the workplace. Where our male counterparts are leaping before they look, we are making hundred item pro/con lists and doing 15 hours of internet research. The reality is, sometimes you have to push the button before you know the answer.

I know. I know. It sounds crazy. Why would you jump into something if you don’t know exactly how it works? Why would you volunteer for an assignment you’ve never done or seen done before? Why on Earth would you take on a duty you haven’t completely mastered? Well, my friend, because fortune favors the bold. The fellas are raising their hands to take the assignment. They may have to stay up all night to get churched up or call in every favor to get tutored in the task, but they do indeed have the assignment. The one that you probably would have killed…. The one that would have skyrocketed your career….. The one you secretly wanted in your heart….

Is it because they are smarter or more capable than you? Do they have a better rapport with the boss or a better set of base skills? The answer is probably no (because you’re a beast). They have the project because they pushed the button. They spoke up. They took the chance.

Failure is scary, but a life lived in the shallow pools of mediocrity is scarier. Stop hiding in the herd. Push the button. You’ll figure it out.

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