I took more than a year off from working a “normal” job beginning the summer of 2015, shortly after turning thirty. I wrote a book and got an agent, I traveled, and I tried to come to a better understanding of who I was outside of an institutional identity bestowed upon me by a school or corporation. I needed to figure out who I was other than a “Yalie” or a “Googler” or a “techie” or a “frequenter of SF brunch eateries.” After ~16 months, I returned to the corporate world, joining Facebook, yet another famous (and sometimes infamous) institution, and it was while working there that I realized that my time off was only the beginning of a much longer, tougher journey. I continued hacking a new path through the underbrush of a life that had been defined by large organizations since my late teens, often stumbling along the way, but learning more in my two years at that company than I did in the five before. My learnings led me to a new job these last couple of months, as well as to a realization that I want to focus more of my free time on what I have found the most fulfilling in 10+ years in HR: helping women succeed and engaging with them in their careers.
When I look back over the last decade-plus, the moments that stand out to me are the ones in which I coached women to reach their full potential, often learning alongside them as I asked probing questions, gave advice, or simply provided a listening ear. I’ve had immense privilege to work with women who have what many would call high-powered or extremely successful careers–and I’ve still seen these women encounter and overcome obstacles that few men even have to consider. I’ve also seen peers, friends, and colleagues from different generations and backgrounds take on new personal and professional challenges despite of these obstacles, from switching career paths and starting their own businesses, to becoming first-time parents and navigating loss and change. Some of these colleagues and friends have sought my advice and help, professionally or otherwise, and it’s been a true joy to provide it, and to discover a new confidence in my ability to do so.
I’m therefore going to spend the next month or so transforming this personal blog into a new endeavor: The Work of Women. The Work of Women will be a blog and, hopefully, an online community where women and those who identify as women can learn and grow together as we face new challenges and opportunities in the workforce of the late 2010s and beyond! I’m still working on planned content, but I’m going to begin with a series of profiles of women in different careers and life-stages, with the goal of exposing readership to stories which will inspire them and make them look at their own career in a new light. I’m also tentatively planning a monthly book club, a newsletter, career tips drawing on my professional expertise, and, if there is enough interest, a regular advice post accepting questions from readers. (I should note that while my intended audience is women, men should still feel welcome to read, learn, comment, or write in if they feel so moved. This site will not, however, tolerate abusive or misogynistic comments or attitudes and is meant to be a safe, constructive space for women – so if misogyny’s your bag, please consider this your polite invitation to see yourself out now!).
Interested in learning more or have suggestions for content or other things you’d like to see on this site? Feel free to comment below, email me at email@example.com, and please do fill out the short survey here to express your interest:
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Happy New Year!