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167 | Sexism at Work | Erika Gable, Executive Director, Women’s Small Business Accelerator, Columbus, OH

Episode 167 is live! This week, we talk with Erika Gable in Columbus, Ohio.

Erika is the Executive Director of the Women’s Small Business Accelerator. She brings over 17 years of experience with nonprofits and social enterprises.

Today, we’re going to cover a sensitive topic that we don’t usually cover on this show: sexism at work. Our goal with this conversation is to both enlighten and empower both men and women on this important issue that impacts everyone.

Erika Gable - Sexism at Work

On today’s episode, Erika shares:

  • The biggest misconception about sexism at work
  • Why people don’t speak up more about sexism
  • What we can all do to treat everyone more equally
  • How to handle sexist behavior if it’s happening to you

Listen and learn more! You can play the podcast here, or download it on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher.

To learn more about Erika, visit her website at http://wsbaohio.org/.

Thanks to everyone for listening! And, thank you to those who sent me questions. You can send me your questions to Angela@CopelandCoaching.com. You can also send me questions via Twitter. I’m @CopelandCoach. And, on Facebook, I am Copeland Coaching.

Don’t forget to help me out. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts and leave me a review!

Talk to Strangers

If you’re like me, the adults in your life taught you early on, “Don’t talk to strangers.” You may have even heard the phrase, “stranger danger.” The idea is that strangers can harm you in some way. Staying away from strangers kept you safe from kidnapping or something else bad.

I whole heartedly agree with this idea for children. As a child, avoiding strangers helped me to keep myself safe in a number of potentially dangerous situations. Frankly, I still sometimes avoid strangers in public places for fear that “something” might go wrong. It’s like a residual reaction left over from childhood.

In reality, as a professional, strangers are the very people you want to talk to. I don’t mean the random people you pass in the street. I’m talking about the person you’re sitting next to at a professional conference. Or, perhaps there’s a new employee in another department you haven’t met. It could even be the person sitting next to you at a coffee shop.

I like to think of networking as making new friends. And, new friends are all around you. William Butler Yeats once said, “There are no strangers here; only friends you haven’t yet met.”

The same applies for LinkedIn. I’m often asked by job seekers whether or not to accept connection requests from strangers on LinkedIn. Most people prefer to only connect to others they have worked with before. But, if you’re in the business of looking for a job, connections are everything. Expanding your network means there will be a greater chance that you’ll know someone at the next job you apply for.

In fact, LinkedIn prioritizes candidates who have connections at companies where they apply for jobs. When you apply to a job on LinkedIn, LinkedIn sends your information (along with every other applicant) to the recruiter or hiring manager. LinkedIn has to decide who to rank first, and having connections with the company is one of the factors they consider.

On top of that, LinkedIn will let you contact strangers, if they are second and third degree connections. This means that you may be able to reach out to a hiring manager you don’t know – if you have enough first degree connections.

In real life, you may wonder what this looks like, especially if you don’t typically work to build your new connections. Take the time to introduce yourself to new people at events and parties. Ask the other person about themselves. Listen carefully. Afterward, follow up with the person on LinkedIn and set a time to connect again in person.

With enough practice, these sorts of interactions will become a bit more natural and less forced. And, with enough follow up, the strangers you meet won’t be strangers anymore. They’ll be business contacts. They’ll be friends. They’ll be people who you can turn to when you are looking for a new job at a new company.

Angela Copeland, a career coach and founder of Copeland Coaching, can be reached at copelandcoaching.com.

166 | You just got laid off. Now what? – Elizabeth Gross, Founder, Job Search Divas

Episode 166 is live! This week, we talk with Elizabeth Gross in Boston, Massachusetts.

Elizabeth is the Founder of Job Search Divas, where she helps job seekers through their job search journey. Elizabeth has extensive experience at a number of companies, including Monster, Bank of America, and Constant Contact.

On today’s episode, Elizabeth shares:

  • The first thing you should do when you’ve been laid off
  • The biggest challenge you may face if you’ve been laid off
  • What you can do to be a better job candidate online
  • Which emotional support you should (and shouldn’t) seek out after you’ve been laid off

Listen and learn more! You can play the podcast here, or download it on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher.

To learn more about Elizabeth, visit her website at www.jobsearchdivas.com.

Thanks to everyone for listening! And, thank you to those who sent me questions. You can send me your questions to Angela@CopelandCoaching.com. You can also send me questions via Twitter. I’m @CopelandCoach. And, on Facebook, I am Copeland Coaching.

Don’t forget to help me out. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts and leave me a review!

 

Running Away Money

I recently had the privilege of interviewing Margaret Heffernan. Margaret is incredibly impressive, with a career that includes running five companies in the United States and the United Kingdom, being a college professor, authoring five books, and giving multiple TED Talks. Originally from Texas, Margaret has lived all over, including in the U.K.

Margaret’s career is so impressive that it was hard to narrow down the questions to a list that would fit into one podcast episode. As you can imagine, the interview was wonderful. The insights Margaret shared haven’t left my mind since we spoke.

Margaret describes herself as someone that has always done work that she’s loved. At times, she was paid well, and other times she made very little. But, she was always happy in her work. I asked her how she was able to organize her career this way.

She made two important points that I want to share with you. When a job wasn’t the right fit, she didn’t hesitate to walk away – even if she had only been there for a short period of time. This reminds me of the way a company would quickly fire someone if they weren’t the right fit. But, as employees, we stick around out of some kind of artificial loyalty.

When Margaret worked in an environment where it was clear that succeeding would be an uphill battle, she looked for another job that was a better fit. This would happen in situations where perhaps the staff didn’t treat everyone fairly. Rather than take it personally, she moved on and looked for a better situation. This must have been a tough decision at times, given how important equality is. But, I think we can all agree that it’s easier to succeed in an environment that supports you and your talent.

The second tip Margaret he was gold, quite literally. She said she was always careful to keep enough, “running away money on hand.” I can’t tell you how happy this phrase makes me. Running away money is often referred to as an emergency fund. It is typically six to twelve months of salary (or living expenses) saved up. Most people place this money in a savings account for safe keeping.

Having a financial safety net gives you choices. It allows you to walk away if you really need to. It allows you to control your own destiny, not your company. Very often, when we upgrade our house, our cars, and our lifestyles, we are simply chaining ourselves to the very company we hate.

And as Margaret noted, just having the running away money doesn’t mean you actually need to run away. It often gives you a boost of confidence to be yourself at work. You know you’ll be okay, even if everything else falls apart. That added confidence alone makes things at work go better, and it keeps you from running away at all.

You can listen to my entire interview with Margaret Heffernan here.

Angela Copeland, a career coach and founder of Copeland Coaching, can be reached at copelandcoaching.com.

SXSW 2018 Recap: My First Year Experience

I recently had the opportunity to attend South by Southwest in Austin, Texas for the first time. If you’ve never been, SXSW is a giant festival in downtown Austin that draws in thousands of people. Founded in 1987, SXSW has boasted an economic impact to Austin of over $300 M in past years.

Since it started, SXSW has grown in both size and scope. It is now a combination of a number of festivals in one, including music, film, comedy, interactive, health and more. My main focus was on the “more” part. I attended a number of sessions on topics related to today’s workplace trends.

The workplace sessions were structured in one of two ways. Either a single speaker would give a lecture on one topic, or a panel of three to five experts would weigh in on a particular issue. Topics ranged from negotiation to sexism to diversity to new employer perks to faith in the workplace to the gender pay gap to neurodiversity. This was a lot of ground to cover in a short amount of time!

As you can imagine, the speakers were both incredibly talented and informative. In fact, I’ve had the opportunity to interview a number of them for my podcast.

So many important ideas were shared in these workplace sessions. Some companies are now offering creative benefits, including paying back your student loans after you finish college. It’s no longer unusual to start your career over from scratch midway through, and more programs than ever are available to help make the process possible. Organizations are increasing their focus on diversity and inclusion, using both their existing teams and new technology to make it happen.

But, the point that I really took away from my SXSW experience has to do with networking. You can listen to all of the lectures presented, but nothing compares to what you can learn from other people. And, SXSW is the perfect place to meet or reconnect with those people.

I met up with a number of old colleagues during my visit. I met a number of new people, from various industries and from around the world. And, I met a number of great people from career websites LinkedIn and Indeed.

These conversations provided an incredible amount of value – more than I could have gained in any classroom. They led to new connections, new ideas, new podcast episodes, and new opportunities.

The experience reminded me just how important networking is to your overall career. It’s not only important to meet new people, but it’s important to stay in touch. It’s important to reconnect. It’s important to help one another. Networking is very often what your next job is made from.

I look forward to attending SXSW again next year. But, my focus on networking will increase. After all, where else in the world can you connect with so many creative and talented people in one place?

Angela Copeland, a career coach and founder of Copeland Coaching, can be reached at copelandcoaching.com.