For us #WomenWhoWork, we most often wear several hats on any given moment of any given day. Many, if not most, of us are mothers, and we’re wives, friends, sisters, daughters, too. It’s in our nature to provide for those around us. We are motivated, personally and professionally. We have dreams. We are #WomenWhoWork. And, most of us are really, really, really burnt out.
The Modern Femme Movement is coming to Virginia Beach, VA in May 2016. It’s a three-day, power-packed long weekend of motivation, restoration, challenge and purpose. And you need to be there. Why?
1. Revive: As small business owners and female entrepreneurs, we all hit the wall sometimes. Doing this thing called life while scraping up the means and motivation to dig deep and create something all our own is beyond challenging. It’s not for the feint of heart and it’s certainly not a path full of rainbows. But you know what? You’re not alone. That same passion that runs through your veins and keeps you burning the midnight oil runs in the hearts of every. single. person. you will meet at #MFM2016. Surround yourself with women who get “it.” Be encouraged and be yourself among women who share the same trials, tribulations, victories and triumphs that ebb and flow in the life of a small business owner. This is your tribe, ladies.Welcome home!
2. Refresh: This will be a convention like no other. Not only will you be professionally challenged to take your business to the next level, but you will be personally encouraged to embrace your unique beauty and strength as #WomenWhoWork. You’ll hear from financial specialists, media gurus and powerful women in key positions across the country. But you’ll also hear from body image counselors, quiet wisdom and purpose and be offered simple advice on claiming your personality and communicating with grace, style and class. #MFM2016 is so much more than an entrepreneurial conversation. It’s a quest for a well-balanced life where today’s woman thrives in the office and at home.
3. Reward: You deserve a break. It’s time to slow down. Take a few days to sit back and look at the big picture. Sleep in a bit on the Heavenly Bed at The Westin Virginia Beach Town Center. Connect with the local shops at the beautiful Town Center of Virginia Beach. Put your toes in the sand and be moved by the ocean waves. Paint. Dance. Learn. Grow. This is your time. You’ve earned it! As women, we often hesitate to gift ourselves. The decision to break away from the routine and step out to a new environment and have life continue on “without us” for a few days feels invasive or more hassle than it’s worth. Trust me, this is worth it. Take the leap of faith and commit to do something for yourself. Commit to self-care. Join the Movement.
Over 20 speakers. In 2 days. 900 other #WomenWhoWork. Celebrate YOU.
Just to name a few – A powerhouse female reality TV star from Bravo. Two former celebrity news anchors who left the limelight to follow their dreams. One Croatian leader who is living the American Dream against all odds. One female entrepreneur whose fundamental mission is to give moms the power to generate income while staying home with the kids. A bad ass boudoir photographer. A wedding photographer who refuses to work on Saturdays. A doctor who focuses on making your shi(f)t happen. This weekend is ALL. ABOUT. YOU.
PS. Want a scholarship? Ummm, yeah!!!! We’ve got one. Right HERE.
How to Organize Hand-Me-Down Clothes – Guest Blogger: Brittany Bullen
Brittany lives with her husband and three sons in Utah. She is a playwright, composer, actress, singer, thrift shop lover, Mormon and aspiring vegan. She is the founder of the International Bloggers Association, is a member of the Dramatists Guild, the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science and the Cognitive Behavioral Society (’cause why not). Brittany has a B.A. in English-Writing from Denison University and has an imaginary Ph.d. in Googling stuff she wants to know. You can keep up with her at BrittanyBullen.com.
Going After The Job You Really Want
In the years that my children were in grade school, I enjoyed getting to know the support people in their buildings – the custodial staff, the secretaries, the para-professionals – and it never ceased to amaze me how the two latter groups consisted, in large part, of former lawyers, accountants, and business executives.
Similarly, many of the women stacking shelves at our local Gap store and manning the counter at the spin and barre studios were former accomplished professionals, too.
The pull of a low-stress job and a school-hours or flexible schedule must be strong, I used to assume.
But I was wrong.
True, working the same hours as your children is convenient, and having a job that you don’t ‘take home’ with you at night and over weekends, has its advantages. However, I learned through two decades of coaching and placing these women that it wasn’t the schedule or the workload that drew them to these positions. It was the safety.
Most of the aspiring women-returners I’ve met in the last 20+ years arrived at my office already defeated. When, after having a child, they were faced with the “all or nothing” choice to work 60 hours a week, or quit and stay home, they chose the latter, leaving behind careers that they loved and becoming part of the female brain drain that plagued (and still plagues) the U.S. Then, when they’re ready to opt back into the workplace, résumé gaps and related biases have made it difficult for these women to land.
By the time they come to me – a kindred spirit, having been one of them myself – they are discouraged and fully expect rejection as ‘punishment’ for taking years off to raise their children. Which, of course, is ludicrous, and I get right to work helping them erase that narrative from their heads.
But in the heads of the ones who don’t come to me, that narrative is on a continuous loop. Many of them are now helping our kids in the classroom and signing us in to spin class because they settled for ‘safer’ jobs.
A 2015 Women in the Workplace study conducted by LeanIn.Org and management consulting firm McKinsey found that 43% of leadership-track women derail themselves for child rearing at some point; 90% of them with the intention of returning. These women should be assuming leadership roles, growing companies’ bottom lines, and changing workplace culture, yet many are stuck. They don’t know how to properly prepare for their career re-launches and they get quickly discouraged by early rejections.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
Women-returners are unquestionably employable. Employers my partners and I polled consider them the best hiring demographic. I’ve personally witnessed hundreds – probably over 1,000 – of them find fulfilling work in my small corner of the world (Connecticut).
Some things make it easier, of course, like keeping up with industry trends, staying current with certifications and licensure, and maintaining relationships with old clients and co-workers. But even women with significant skill deficiencies and long-lapsed credentials can return to work successfully if they have these five things:
1 – realistic expectations based on thorough research and honest self-assessment
2 – a compelling résumé that meaningfully accounts for her opt-out years
3 – a commitment to remediating skill gaps on the job or through inexpensive means like online classes or local continuing education courses
4 – aggressive (not a popular word among women, but spot-on here) networking to get in front of connectors and hiring managers
5 – flexibility and the willingness to consider unconventional offerings like temporary projects or low-paying internships as a way to get a foot in the door.
The economy is improving. The labor market is tight. The voluntary quit rate is at a 17-year high. Employers are competing to hire good people. And, these days, you don’t have to be perfect to be ‘good people’.
Your gapped résumé, your ‘not entirely perfect’ experience, your application that meets only 60% of the job criteria, are all plenty good enough now.
So, if you are wistful for more challenge (and money) than your current job can provide; if you want to get back on the corporate track, but are playing it safe working for minimum wage; listen up. Your time at home was valuable; its impact will be long-lasting, but you have an opportunity now to take advantage of favorable economic timing and get back to the work that you really want to do. Go for it.
FREE Online Conference Alert! A Don’t Miss Opp for Small Biz Owners
I made the announcement last week to mark your calendars for May 12-14, 2016 for Modern Femme Movement (Seriously, do NOT miss this!!). More coming on that front (Stay tuned!), and a teeny, tiny reminder that subscribers to this blog (Fill me out over there!! —–>) and members of the Facebook community will get the first shot at early registration. I have a few other surprises in the works, but I wanted to take a quick moment to share a fabulous free online conference opportunity for busy women.
Next week, Fit, Focused & Effective: Health Summit for Busy Women, will kick off with an honest look from top women in health, wellness, and fitness as we all aim for a more balanced, fulfilled life. This free online conference is packed with insight, wisdom and takeaways from 20 of the busiest women on this planet! And I’m thrilled to say, quite honored actually, that I’m included in this bunch of fabulous ladies.
Bryn from coachbryn.com interviewed me several weeks ago for this summit, and I can’t wait for my own podcast to run for a 48 hour stretch beginning May 29. We may have run down a few rabbit trails talking about my tattoos and why they are therapy for me, and I finish off with the one question you should be asking yourself every, single day as a small business owner and busy working woman.
There are very few free online conference opportunities that offer such rich insight to attendees. These ladies are not “phoning it in.” There is a real heart passion for women finding peace and contentment in good health, good business and great family. The podcasts allow you the flexibility to tune in when is best for you. I hope you’ll join us!