Showing posts with label career. Show all posts
Showing posts with label career. Show all posts

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Know thyself before thy marries

Seriously considering your life mate?  How does one really know?  I recommend you take a trip and travel with the man of your dreams ... see how he reacts over airport security, flight delays, luggage mishaps, hotel shortcomings, bathroom usage, where dirty clothes end up, eating schedule/choices, all-inclusive aka free drinks galore, babes in bikinis (gawker or glancer), packed airline, uncomfortable beds, seats; and just about anything else that spells disillusion or disaster.

I am constantly preaching to my 21 and 22 year old beautiful daughters that now that they're beyond puppy love or perceived deep love of their teens, relationships get more complicated as we take on more responsibilities in life:

  • EDUCATION:  University, training,
  • Commitment:  work, schedules, work out
  • Spending time with family
  • Moving out on your own
  • Extra curricular golf, hockey, football, TV channel surfing, remote controlling gamers
  • Money matters (going for dinner means you always pull out your wallet)
  • Temptations:  alcohol, drugs, fast lifestyle
  • Sleeping habits (blanket hog, snorer)
  • Friends (need a lot of boys nights out?)
  • Couple friends (healthy ones)
  • Goals in life
Those are all beyond the recommended conversations therapists, experts say you should have.  I knew of a guy who was engaged for a couple of years and when they were finally setting the date for the nuptials, he found out she never, wouldn't, ever have kids.  That was the opposite of his spectrum.  He was getting married because he had thought he had met the ideal mate to parent with and that was his reason for getting married:  to have kids.  In desperate reaction and panic, he started to host singles parties.  The guest list were single, eligible ladies, young or same age, in his own version of speed dating:  line them up and check them out.    I fell of the radar willingly and never did find out how his wife made the grade.  Yes, he's a dad and even goes by the title of Dadpreneur (not an uncommon title if you start trying to narrow down the likely suspect). 

This particular fellow probably had himself as priority in all boxes for ticking off.  Spend time with me, move where I want to be, my friends, my goals, my lifestyle.  I'd be surprised if he wasn't a blanket hog and snorer which means dearly beloved move yourself on to the couch if it bothers you when you aren't giving birth, getting up in the wee hours, to tend to his offspring.  The only pictures with the chip off the old block are photo ops where he looks like the world's best dad, meanwhile flying around promoting himself.

No, lol, I didn't marry him and that doesn't describe me.  Sometimes our radars are on high alert and we can sniff a doomed partner from a mile away.  Then why do we sometimes end up with someone so different that fit into our criteria?  Philosophical and spiritual leanings tend to say it is fate.  We sometimes fall for someone who reminds you of your father (mother) who you weren't that close to, but because we want a second go at it.  Chances are the qualities you dislike in your father will be cloned in that man of your perceived dreams.

I suggest you heed the warning that if drinking in a club brought you together, that may be the major activity you share.  Romantic notions of snuggling to watch Rom-Coms are ditched by speed, gun slugging, car speeding action movies (which is okay if you're into that ... if not, get used to it).

I recommend you pay attention to the little things....because the thoughtful gifts, flowers, candlelight dinners dim drastically by the second year.   Be skeptical that he is courting you and it may not last forever.  The acrobatics in bed can turn into napping on the couch and the Honey-DO list that never gets done.   Hope and prayer ... and then be thankful for the thoughtful consideration he pays towards you.  Don't fall for the looks, fall for the behavior.  Who wants to be with a man you have to fight over the mirror with? 

A tinkerer is great.  They're always fooling around with a tool and home to do it.  They are not as boring as you think.  He can whip up Thanksgiving Dinner, gravy and all, leaving you to set the gorgeous table, do the inviting, and look refreshed and relaxed to enjoy the wonderful spread ... not washed out, beaten, tired from spending all day in the kitchen.  Why is it that men who can cook look vibrant, have a sense of humor, fun side and care for others.  That's not macho some say?  Well the macho, testosterone is sexy and most appealing up to around your 40s but can be boring long long before then.

A caregiver is sexy.  He is up at the crack of dawn, rarely breaks a sweat and always be counted on to show up to work regardless of the sniffles, a bruise tooling around, or slicing his finger making you a key lime pie from scratch or a lime cocktail (one or two, not a dozen).  He has a job, a career, and a vision of who he wants to be and where he wants to end up.  He's not coasting from one room mate to the next, over staying his welcome, and moving on because he owes favors, money or both.

Why are you reading this for heaven's sake?  You know better girl.  You don't expect a man who will be so rich and into himself that he only needs a trophy.  You want to be someone, make a difference in your field, your passion, your career, your family.  Don't blame yourself that you only want a partner who wants to rise above it all and make a life you love and love living. 

"Courage is not the absence of fear; it is action in the presence of fear.  Bold people do what they know they should do -- not what they feel like doing."
                           ~Joyce Meyer

Yep, so get to it.  Stop imagining what you want:  remember that saying that goes along with the line of things happen to those who are busy doing, not making plans.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

CASUAL casualties

As the world keeps evolving, our work environments keep changing with it.  What was once conventional wisdom in how we dress for our careers and the office has become skewed.  Unless you were in the backend of a business in delivery, manufacturing, production, construction, working in the field, you were expected to dress professionally -- that meant a suit and tie for gents and close-toed heels and conservative styles for women.

Dress codes is an HR nightmare relegated to the past for the most part.  Our stereotypical perception of salespeople, lawyers or executives come into the office with a suit on.

What was once "casual Friday" has become "casual everyday".  Now, it isn't so easy to tell.  Companies allow a relaxed approach to attire that communicates that they want to appear people oriented, open, inspiring, motivating. 

What started in software bull pens with dim lights, jeans with expressive t-shirts, has gone beyond.  With work-from-home footprints continuously growing.

I don't dislike the idea.  I've worked from home for years.  It helps create balance for individuals and lessens the burden on super Moms and Dads.

I do think it can go too far.  We emerged from a culture that our wardrobe spoke to the importance of our jobs, our career aspirations and corporate culture to tattered jeans, faded t-shirts and flip flops.

Women are judged more critically than men.  The good news is that you can create casual looks that promote your individuality without bending the boundaries on casual. 

Dress for the job you want, not the job you have is wise advice.  Putting together classy looks while maintaining professional demeanor can be accomplished with a creative imagination. 

Here are some of my own inspirations to help avoid crossing the casual line and becoming a casualty of not being taken seriously enough:

You can get away with shorts if you dress them up.  I gave two options on accessorizing.  Navy with silver jewelry or red with gold.  The  navy purse isn't a necessity because most tablet covers come with credit card pouches for ID and such.

Combining the right hues of gold, white and soft brown with nude beauty make up a look that portrays class and calmness.  Notice that I chose a bag that would compliment the lacey top.  I like layering vests over tops for comfort and style touch.  The makeup should be neutral and not over powering.  Put together, you exude confidence and calmness with the right blend of femininity.


Red expresses cheerfulness, for when you want to say you're got personality, flair and are optimistic with pizazz

Colored hair is fun for the club but not necessarily right for the office.  I love purple and used it to accentuate an eye popping beautiful look.


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Speak up or shut up?

You can't help but read about Jian Ghomeshi from Canada.  There is a lot of news surrounding one of our media types named who has plead innocence to numerous allegations of sexual harassment. 

Does speaking up harm your reputation?
It got me to wondering about the women who spoke up.  There is certainly safety in numbers ... being made easier when it wasn't just one whistle blower but several.

Is lodging an official complaint a detriment to your career?  I would imagine that being the first one brave enough to come forward was the trickiest.  Putting oneself up to the microscope is intimidating and scary. 

Unfortunately, society puts that person under a great amount of pressure and scrutiny.  We all see it play out so many times, its no wonder that there is deep reflection and struggle before stepping forward.

For every one person who blows the whistle, how many haven't?  What about the stories that don't come out?  The ones about people who have similar experience but not involve well known figures like Ghomeshi or celebrities like Cosby?

I created a new blog that is a bit more anonymous than one that has a greater audience.  I want to be able to write about things that mattered to me but were not associated with who I worked for or related to my career.  I am quiet about my identity.

Having said that.  I am bothered right now about an announcement I just heard at work.   Recognition in expertise.  Among them, was this young male colleague that made sarcastic offensive comments to me on a regular basis when I first started.  So bad, that those within hearing sucked in their breath, widened their eyes and looked at me to see my reaction.

He thought he was funny when he slighted my height (I'm short), made underhanded jokes about my age (I'm old enough to be his mother) ... you get the picture. 

I was new to the organization so I didn't want to start off my career going under the trouble maker or whiner umbrella.  Even so, the comments cloaked under humor were offensive and he should have been reprimanded. 

I'm not going to judge those within earshot for not doing anything.  They were not the object of this person's sorry humor.  Perhaps maybe they had been and thought I'd be strong enough to do something.  Even though their reaction clearly showed how unacceptable it was.  I didn't cower from him, but nor did I lodge a complaint.  Hind sight, I probably should have.  Not because of the recognition but because he is being set as a positive example.  Little do others know.

I was probably right by standing off and not doing anything, thinking that it will eventually catch up with him, as it often does.  I was wrong to think that it wasn't my place to lodge an official complaint because I have a sense that people who get away with bad things are good at a number of other things. 

I had done something before.  Years back a female junior colleague came to me to confide about a senior male who had more than sexually harassed her, he had abused her.  I was considering leaving anyway thus I only brought it up on my exit interview when asked:  "what could have been prevented to make you decide to stay?".  I honestly told.  Nothing was done.  I was left, the offender stayed for years after.  It came off as sour grapes to smear someone perhaps.  Timing is everything, but the opportunity did present itself to say something.

Further along in my career in a much more senior position, I reported directly to a President of a company.  He was responsible for leading, ensuring signatures and carrying out its Code of Ethics.

During one conversation he voiced concerns about a person allowing personal problems to impact performance.  I thought there was an opening and it was appropriate timing to voice that I thought that this gal was a manager who started a personal relationship with a new hire, was a violation of our Code of Ethics.  I spoke up not using that terminology simply expressing concern because the "victim" was a subordinate, non manager who ended up with a broken family - a wife with a newborn, betrayed,  asked the guy to leave his home.  Looking for a place to live, etc. impacted his work performance poorly.

It was clearly a breach of Code of Ethics everyone signed.  That executive didn't do anything.  One could contemplate it was because the offender had been with him for 15 or so years and he had directly helped her climb in her career.   

Sadly, the anguish expressed was from decreased performance, not whether it breached any code.  Unfortunately, everyone else saw them leave on breaks and sitting in a parked car together.  It sets a tone culturally.  I remember his answer that several young people had met and married at this company.  I didn't argue, I got that he couldn't distinguish the difference in the situations with two consenting adults.

How difficult is it to separate a personal performance with poor judgment.  One can understand where it may come from.  However, companies take a no nonsense stand when drugs or DUI situations arise.  It just seems so much more difficult and sensitive with personal relationships aligning with company policy.

Do I regret bringing it up with my boss?  For my own personal beliefs, absolutely not.  Because I signed the same Code of Ethics the others did, absolutely.  What is the point of having the clause that a boss cannot have an affair with someone he directly manages or is senior to? Regardless of gender.

Sadly, companies pick and choose who they may make examples of.  They may have been considering getting rid of one party anyhow, so they find an excuse to get rid of the person who brought the matter up.  Economy, decline in business, yada yada yada.   Thanks for your contributions, best wishes for your future.

What saddens me most is that the person who is offended enough to try to right a wrong is caused so much anguish. 

One can't contemplate how bad things are going to have to get before someone does something ... sooner than later.