So many tabs open...

This picture of my computer is pretty representative of my brain.

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I'm working on getting my neglected blog back up and running. As you can see, I have a lot of tabs open... work email, personal email, calendars, scheduling a train to NYC, articles I'm reading, maybe some "This is Us."

Feels about right. I've had a lot of tabs open in the 2.5 years (gasp!) since I've written on here. 

The most significant tab: we added two more babies to our family! In February 2016, our twin daughters were born. It's an adventure, for sure. But they're now 2 years old, and we're out of [some of] the crush. I can breathe (and sleep) a little more. 

Trust me ladies, this was as surprising for me as it was for you...

Trust me ladies, this was as surprising for me as it was for you...

So that gave us 4 very small children... when people ask me how we've survived it I say: the grace of God, a strong partnership, and the good fortune to be able to afford household help (fortune indeed). I wrote an article for Motherly where I share some of what I've learned. 

The WORK tab: after 7 years at my last job, I knew it was time for a change. As you've likely learned about me on this blog - I really like working. It's where I feel God has given me my strongest abilities to contribute to the world. But I had been working in a job that wasn't aligned with my natural skills and interests, and that left me with the feeling that something was missing. I started looking for a new job, but didn't want to give up 40-50 hours/week with my family. Especially when so much of a traditional work day is wasted (from 50%-60% based on various studies: meetings that don't lead to outcomes, constant interruptions, browsing espn.com or Facebook). So I launched MatchPace this past fall.  At MatchPace I help organizations reimagine their workday: increase focus, cut out the waste, and give people their time back. It's a retention tool for them: there are a lot of really talented people out there who, like me, don't want to waste so much of their day on low-value activities, but still have a lot to offer. So they get to retain better people, and have improved outcomes. 

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The HOME tab: our little house, at 1100sqft, wasn't cutting it. While we weren't really actively looking, we bumped into an opportunity this past summer to move 3 blocks from where we lived. We love our neighborhood, so it was great to be able to stay (although we do miss our immediate neighbors so much!)

 

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That covers the main tabs. Keeping each of those areas running require a pretty significant operating system :) 

Life is full and complicated and hard and good! 

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Yes, I will Google-stalk you. Here's what you should do about it.

I was recently interviewing candidates for a position we had open. Once I reviewed someone's application, if they looked interesting to me, the very next thing I did was go to Google.

I'd type in their name. If that didn't immediately generate a response, I'd type in their name and city. I looked on LinkedIn, I looked on Facebook, I looked on Twitter. If I were more savvy I'd have checked out Instagram.

And yes, I made judgements about the person based on what they posted online. Pictures, status updates, comments. I can learn about you from what you post, and that becomes part of the data that I use to evaluate your application.

If I see a picture of you and your friends around a bonfire with red solo cups, no big deal. If I see countless pictures of you playing beer pong, falling down drunk, smoking a questionable substance, I pause. If I see a picture of you from a recent beach trip, no big deal. If I see selfie-after-selfie of your cleavage or bathroom mirror shots, I pause. If I see sweet pictures of your children, I smile. If I see weeks-worth of posts lamenting potty-training progress, I pause. If I see where you’ve posted articles about topics that are important to you, I take the opportunity to learn. If you post articles or status updates bashing people who disagree with you, I pause.

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How to Choose Childcare

So you’ve just gotten a positive pregnancy test and you're considering telling your parents and close friends. What else should you do?

Sign up for childcare, of course!

You're likely staring at the screen saying: "What? I just took a pregnancy test. I haven't even been to my doctor/midwife yet. You want me to think about childcare?"

In response, I offer this passage a woman posted on a listserve I subscribe to:

"So, after three years on the waitlist (literally since I was six weeks pregnant) for the daycare at my office, our two and a half year old finally got a spot! Woohoo!"

And that is far from the first time I've heard of that happening. Several years on a waitlist for childcare. I wish I were joking.

When I was pregnant with our first child, we started looking into daycares and found the same thing: years long waitlists.

It’s likely more common in more urban areas, but even if you don’t have years long waitlist, you still have to sort out the different options for childcare. Obviously this requires some planning.

Looking for childcare assumes you are returning to work. We'll talk about that in another blog. But - assuming you are returning to work, you'll need someone to look after your baby.

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Did you negotiate your salary?

“We’ve all heard it before: By not negotiating, women sacrifice thousands of dollars by the end of their professional lives. Recent research has revealed, however, that the number is closer to half a million.”[1]

This quote comes from an article on the Glass Hammer which cites that 52% of male MBA graduates surveyed negotiate their salaries, compared with 12% of female MBA graduates. And when the researcher had people evaluate those negotiations (on video) the women were perceived as demanding, while the men were not.

Should you still negotiate your salary and risk being perceived as demanding? How? And what do you leave on the table if you don’t negotiate?

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