PROTECT YOUR PASSION IN 2009

It has been said that "the surest way to keep a man in prison is not to let him know he's there."  And the surest way to keep a woman from embracing her pure career ambition is to make her believe she's already done it. 

Don't believe it. 

Heading into 2009, we women still are not advancing in our careers the way we should.  We're not getting the fulfillment we desire or making the money we deserve.  And this time it's not men who are holding us back.  This time, sisters, we're doing it to ourselves, because ambition-for us-is still a dirty word. 

Do you unconsciously buy into our prevailing cultural paradigm, that double standard that says: ambitious men are go-getters, but ambitious women are bitchy, greedy, cold, arrogant females who attract enemies, repel lovers, make rotten mothers, live lonely lives and, in one way or another, miss out on fulfilling lives because of their ambition? 

Are you not advancing in your career as quickly as you'd like?  Are you not making the money you deserve and getting the fulfillment you desire?  Are you afraid of what you might have to sacrifice if you pursue your big goals? 

YOU'RE NOT ALONE.

Continue reading "PROTECT YOUR PASSION IN 2009" »

Balance or Not, You are Normal

Dear Debra: I ordered pizza for dinner for my kids twice this week-and last; the house is a wreck, I brought home a mountain of work last weekend and barely made my daughter's school play.  What's wrong with me?  Does everyone else have their act together?

Here's the truth that no one tells us, especially glib work-life balance evangelists: Once you get out into the world of work (and even before that-in college, for example) you should just expect that your day-to-day life simply isn't always going to flow smoothly.

Continue reading "Balance or Not, You are Normal" »

How To Protect Your Credit

Dear Debra: We agree on roles and responsibilities in our team meetings. Then two people, in cahoots go off, change the rules, put their names on our team’s work, and hog credit. Later, after they’ve already been recognized as project drivers by supervisors, they play dumb when we, their team members, try and call them on it. How can we stop sneaky, passive aggressive credit-stealing behavior without coming across as whiners?

Before any group project begins, get explicit written agreements that specify how responsibilities, financial rewards, and credit will be apportioned.

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Small Business Holiday Marketing on a Shoestring

Dear Debra:  What holiday marketing promotional strategies can a small business owner operating under cash crunch can utilize? I know it’s smart to tie in with seasonal themes, but need to be frugal in this economy.

Create a 3-part telephone conference series, scheduled once a week a few weeks prior to the holiday you're tying in with. Rent an inexpensive bridge line (under $25 for each seminar or some providers offer free, bare bones services if you want to do your own recordings). Your participants need only a regular telephone line; they'll call in at the designated time, punch in the passcode you provide, and then sit back and enjoy 60 minutes of your presentation, interactive discussion, or maybe you'll decide to interview experts on your topics.

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Balance Is Bunk: Either/Or Is False Choice for Women

Dear Debra: I'm 29.  My husband and I have an amazing 3-year-old.  I've worked part-time since he was born.  Now, not only do we need my full-time income, I'm dying to dive back into my career.  But I feel guilty, like I'm abandoning my son.  Plus, we want another baby someday.  I just can't see how to balance ambition and mothering

Continue reading "Balance Is Bunk: Either/Or Is False Choice for Women" »

Is It Honorable For Women To Give Up Their Ambition? Part II: Let's Get Real

 

When it “sunk in that mainstream schools shortchanged her severely autistic son”, Amy, 39, closed her thriving medical practice to help start charter school. For a long time, it seemed to be working out. “Then I found my husband in bed with a woman on the school committee. We went through a horrific divorce. I had to try to revive my career; at 49, it’s finally starting to take off again. But at my age, with everything I had to deal with, it was f_­­_g hard.” 

 

What If? Could this be you?

Continue reading "Is It Honorable For Women To Give Up Their Ambition? Part II: Let's Get Real" »

Is It Honorable For Women To Give Up Their Dreams?

Debra: You preach ambition for women. Aren’t you forgetting something? What about life balance? Mothering? –32, with better values than “just career”

Say your ambition is to be a great wife, mother, friend, or fair-minded coworker who refuses on moral grounds to educate herself about office politics. That doesn’t bother you, does it? No, because that’s socially sanctioned ambition. You’ll likely regard the following women as having chosen “honorable ambition”.

Continue reading "Is It Honorable For Women To Give Up Their Dreams?" »

When Joining Mom and Pop Is Good Business

Last week we talked about the cons of joining the family business (review my CONS advice at www.AmbitionIsNotADirtyWord). Now let’s talk pros.

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Joining Mom and Pop Good or Bad Business?

Dear Debra: I just finished my M.B.A. I’m seriously considering joining my parents’ business. Advice? –Mixed feelings at 26 


Let’s start with cons to consider:

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SAME OLD STORY: CLINTON'S CAMPAIGN PROVES THAT THE SCARLET LETTER FOR 21ST CENTURY WOMAN STANDS FOR AMBITION

I'm traveling through the Little Rock, Arkansas airport hours after meeting in New York with a group of women to talk Hillary and women and ambition. Exiting security, the first thing I see, through the airport bookstore's window, is a large black and white poster of a photograph of Hillary, Bill, and Chelsea walking up onto a podium. The caption reads:

"Get Ready to Pary Like It's 1992".

Don't put on your party shoes just yet. There's still a hill to climb. And not just over substantive differences between candidates. Hillary's up against the same old story: it's tough being a working woman--and her campaign proves it, say female execs. They may or may not back her, but successful city women say  Clinton's travails show what they're up against.

Tory Johnson, CEO, Women For Hire, workplace contribitor on "Good Morning America" and anchor of "Home Work" on ABC News Now called a breakfast meeting to talk about what successful working women are saying about Hillary Clinton. Tory's resulting article was originally published in the New York Post, February 25, 2008 and is reprinted with permission below.

Nypost22508_5SISTER ACT: Tory Johnson (center) talking Hillary and careers with (from left to right) career coach and business psychologist Debra Condren, Working Mother Media CEO Carol Evans, attorney Sara Newman and Hyperion Books publisher Ellen Archer.

Guest post by Tory Johnson, CEO, Women For Hire.

LOVE her or hate her, win or lose, successful working women are talking about Hillary Clinton.

But it's not her politics that have them fired up. What getting under their skin is a laundry list of gender-nuanced issues brought to the fore by  Clinton's run for the ultimate corner office.

Continue reading "SAME OLD STORY: CLINTON'S CAMPAIGN PROVES THAT THE SCARLET LETTER FOR 21ST CENTURY WOMAN STANDS FOR AMBITION" »

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I’m all about creating ways for ambitious women to share our stories with each other.

I am a business psychologist, researcher, author, executive coach, and career advisor. I lead workshops and lecture frequently on women’s need to embrace our ambition. I founded the Women’s Business Alliance, a motivational think tank for more than 2,500 women. For more details, see my about page.

I’d love to hear your story. Ambitious women owe it to ourselves—and the world—to make the contribution we were born to make. Let’s keep the dialogue flowing.

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