Every morning when I was in elementary school, I would wake up and complete my routine: wake up, read Bible, pray, bathe, brush teeth, get dressed, and eat breakfast. After breakfast, however, I would make my way back to my bedroom and write my schedule for the day on my dry erase board. The board would look something like this:
7:55am – 2:55pm School
2:55pm – 3:30pm Ride the bus home
3:30pm – 4:00pm Eat a snack
4:00pm – 5:00pm Do homework
5:00pm – 5:30pm Watch Saved By The Bell
You get the picture. Continue reading
A couple of years ago, I was interviewing for a position at a start-up. I had been on the job-hunt for several months and was becoming more and more desperate to land a job. The interview was going very well. The interviewer seemed impressed with my experience and credentials, and we were developing a good rapport. Given the engaging conversation we were having, I didn’t think anything of it when he so casually asked me where I was living and whether I planned on moving away from home. In a sly manner, he added, “And you don’t plan on having children anytime soon, do you?”
It was so sudden that I didn’t even have a chance to think about it. I was 26 at the time, so having children was the furthest thing from my mind, for I was married to my career. I quickly answered, “No.”
He offered me the position the next day.
It wasn’t until several days later that I thought about the implication of his question. Besides it being illegal to ask such a question during a job interview, I wondered whether I would have still been offered the position if I told him that I wanted to have children soon.
I’ve read numerous articles on how employers discriminates on women in their late 20’s and early 30’s for fear that they’ll devote more time to their children than to their company. I always thought this was ludicrous and believe that women can indeed become superwomen. We can have it all. The article below, written by Mrs. Zuhairah Scott Washington, General Manager at Uber-DC, clearly articulates my thoughts.
The False Choice Between Babies and Startups
“Yo, Yaa Yaa,” my brother said, scrolling through his phone, “I got a text message about this cool startup company looking for people. You wanna work there?”
“Sure,” I said looking up from my MacBook filled with an inbox of endless emails from recruiters. I had been on the job hunt for three months. For the first time in my life, I was willing to step into something new, and for some reason, a startup seemed like the something new I was searching for.
“So yeah, let me get the contact person’s phone number,” my brother said, looking at his phone. “Just give him a call. Cool?”
About a half hour later, I called the recruiter. I mentioned that I was referred to this position. I mentioned my educational background, my strong interpersonal skills and of course, my previous experience working at a startup.
He was stunned. “I’m gonna let my recruiter know and give you a call back.”
Less than 24 hours later, his manager called me. “Yes, we’d like to interview you,” he said, “How’s tomorrow?” Continue reading
Graduate school did not give me all the necessary tools needed to excel in the workplace. Sure, it taught me theory and concepts, but the workplace is a jungle: it requires more than just knowledge and skills.
Five years of work experience has taught me that communication, confidence, and skills trumps knowledge in any position. A degree of emotional intelligence is crucial too. Here are my lessons learned from working in my industry.
Master the art of reading between the lines.
In school, feedback was constant. Write a paper and earn a grade. Take a quiz; learn what to study for the exam. Present the wrong answer to a question in class; get corrected for your mistake. Everything was straightforward. Continue reading
Call me entitled because my parents told me I was special. Call me a unfocused because I switch jobs more often than most people switch the songs on their workout playlists. Call me Peter Pan because I still live with my parents. Call me whatever you want because I believe there is more to life than going to the same job each day from 9:00am until 5:00pm; working on the same project day in and day out; driving to the same company 250 days each year; and waiting 35 years to retire from the same company you’ve been working in since you graduated college.
I’ve mentioned before how aggravated I become at journalists for talking about how entitled millennials are and how difficult we can be to work with. The truth is that as the Baby Boomers retire, the millennials are taking over the workforce. We believe in work-life balance over the work-is-your-life mentality. We want to live our lives to the fullest.
I have been in the workforce for 5 years now and some of the processes and systems bewilders me sometimes. How is it that the Baby Boomers and Generation X were okay with these obsolete workplace practices. Well, my 75 million peers and I are here to challenge the status quo.
In my relatively short career, I could not help but ponder why some of the things occur in the workplace the way they do. Here’s my attempt at explaining my frustration with the workplace. Continue reading