Switching Scales: Think Small to Achieve Big Career Results

There’s a popular phrase that gets bandied about occasionally when the topic of goals arises, “Boiling the Ocean.” It’s a funny phrase, and if you have an active imagination, elicits some giggles, or simultaneously makes you sad depending.  It’s one of the phrases in the corporate world used with a bit too much frequency, yet it has validity. In this case, I’m throwing this phrase out because I believe it has relevancy to career growth. Especially relevant if you’re not as far along as you want to be, or perhaps you’re changing careers later in life, either way, you’re feeling like you’re behind. Our brains like to tell us to hurry when we feel behind, to race ahead so that we can catch up. But what are trying to catch up to exactly? To someone else? To what we see as success? According to Investopedia – Boiling the ocean is to undertake an impossible task or project or to make a

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A Product Manager’s Tips on Responding to Feedback

Earlier in the year I wrote this article on LinkedIn. At the time I was a product manager for a large software company, and wanted to discuss some of the ways I had learned to accept feedback I was given, whether solicited or unsolicited. As an active presence on Social Media, specifically twitter, this week had the theme of feedback: when to give and how to give it. In the words of one twitter user: Put something on the internet, you are going to get feedback… constructive, positive, negative. It is becoming one of the few guarantees in life. – Curtis Harris Feedback can be a gift, it can help us course correct the direction we’re going, and give us perspectives we do not have as individuals. That assumes that the individual giving you feedback is assuming positive intent, and have your best interests in mind. Unfortunately we live in a world where people are not always kind, or cruel.

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Embracing Messiness: How to Avoid Laundry & Humanize our Role Models

My home is an exercise is controlled messiness. I hate having clutter on counter-tops, or shoes hanging out in the entryway; however my opposition to clutter ends there. Kitchen and bathroom drawers are open season for shoving things into them. Let’s avoid discussing folding clothes, shall we? Yet, my friends and family believe that I am a “clean” person, and I cringe when I hear this. Why? Because I know the chaos that lurks in the drawers, and in the spare bedroom..(spoiler: it’s where unfolded clothes go to die).  I also know I am not alone…. Non-folders unite! The point is it’s easy to accept the picture people present to us, even if it’s manipulated. It’s in our nature to want to see the best in people we admire. But putting people we admire on pedestals removes their humanity, and the bits that make them, them. It’s like the Olympians in Greek Mythology, worshiped in their temples while they observed

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How to Quiet Doubt With Ice Cream

When you start a new venture, I promise you, there will come a day when a voice emerges. Some days it will be quiet, sometimes moderate, other times blaring in your ear all day long.  It won’t shut up. It will be so incredibly loud you wish you could drown it out, but you can’t, and you succumb. It will be the voice of doubt, and nobody is immune to its siren song. Doubt is a character trait of our humanity. It means we have the ability to weight our choices, and question them, making sure we are heading a direction that feels right to us. Doubt would have saved many a teenager in the Friday the 13th movie series. No, Amanda, tying your shoelace alone in the woods is NOT smart decision.  You should doubt the wisdom in this decision!  *insert screechy slasher music* Is doubt a reflex when we touch something that is too hot, or is brought

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5 Networking Tips To Support You When Life Sucks

Let’s be honest. Life can super suck. There will be days during this journey toward success when out of nowhere you will feel completely blindsided by life. It will happen in a matter of moments, a phone call, a letter, an email, your breath will catch, and suddenly reality has shifted and your future is uncertain, unpredictable, unknown. We humans are creatures of habit, creatures of security, we require some level of predictability to our lives to keep living. Whether or not we say we are spontaneous creatures, we still need to eat, sleep, shelter from the storm, and these require forethought. Some of us, especially the older we get, or if we have children, require even more predictability whether toward future retirement or developing the life of a smaller human. What are the catalysts for entropy in our lives? They can come from various sources: From our employers who call us into an office to tell us our position

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Become Your Own Hero

I’ve had a great day. I needed a reminder that community is important. Finding a group you identify with, builds you up, supports you, and most importantly, motivates you is life changing. I want to tell you why this blog and the interviews that I will be conducting are important to me. Let me tell you why my day was great. Today I was part of a panel of women who were chosen to talk about mentor-ship, specifically what mentors influenced their life and how a person could find a mentor. You may have read about my thoughts on mentor-ship in another post , and realized that I don’t approach mentoring from a traditional point of view, it wasn’t really an option. My point of view exists because of how my career began, and the ultimate trajectory it took. I never finished college. I am 40 years old, and I am finally hitting my stride career-wise. I am now making money

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Who Needs Wheels? Re-invent Yourself

2 months ago, I started a new job. This line does not convey the absolute enormity of this job change. Let’s start again: 2 months ago, I left a job that changed the direction of my life and my career. In this job I was able to travel the world, expand my network by thousands, and gained invaluable experience, be comfortable. Not only that, but I made the choice to leave this job to work for the company’s direct competitor. Hopefully that gives you a better sense of the immense change I sought in my life. The question that should be emerging from all that is Why. Why would I make such an extreme job change that potentially disrupts my career? Why introduce that level of risk to my life?  The answer is relativity simple; I was extremely unhappy and near burnout. There were three variables contributing to my unhappiness: I didn’t have a voice. At the time, I found myself

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Go Your Own Way: 5 Tips to Build Your Own Mentor

Recently I’ve had discussions around the idea of mentor-ship. Specifically, I’m on a panel about mentor-ship in two weeks at the Wonder Woman Tech Conference.  Of course when you’re on a panel about mentoring one does start to think about the mentors that have helped to propel your career forward.  I thought about it… and thought about it… and thought about it some more… and there wasn’t a.single.mentor where I was like “wow, they really inspired me to do more.”  Which, made me automatically think “am I really that selfish that I can’t think of a mentor in my life??”.  The answer, no, and here’s why. Not all of us are lucky enough to find mentors in our lives, professionally or personally. Having a mentor implies that we have been lucky enough to be put in a position to have a mentor, or someone who sees the exceptional skills we inhabit. The diamond in the rough so to speak. Careers, and

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Finding Your Jenny

Growing up in Wisconsin can be tough. I was an awkward child, standard level intelligence, poor. Poor was enough to isolate me in my school growing up where others had the coolest and latest Nikes, and I had whatever we had purchased off the sales rack at Woolworths. This post isn’t about how I used to tie my shoelaces around my pants because they were too wide, it’s really about how I struggled socially for a long time, even through college and into my career. I never really had a tribe of individuals who I fell in with until I was older and met my oldest and dearest friend, when I was 16 going on 17. (/imagine nostalgic music with 70 mm film reel…) She and I met at a camp we both volunteered at and realized our shared love of french fries with mustard.  Don’t knock it till you try it. From that point on, she was my person.

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