Try Again. Fail Again. Fail Better.

Try Again. Fail Again. Fail Better.
The first time I read Samuel Beckett’s quote “Try Again. Fail Again. Fail Better” I did not fully understand it or grasp the importance of those words. As a young social worker, a client painted this quote for me. It took years (and mistakes, setbacks, and disappointments) for the meaning of this sentiment to fully sink in. I was reminded of this quote again this week, upon hearing that Hillary Clinton would not be our first female President. Despite all of our hope—and arguably our need—to ... Read more
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What’s Wrong with Ambitious Women?

What’s Wrong with Ambitious Women?
Recently, while on the campaign trail, President Obama noted differences in perception that still exist regarding ambitious men and women. Ambitious men are seen in a positive light, while ambitious women are suspect. For some reason, the motives of high-achieving women are challenged. Their talents are questioned. Their leadership skills are downplayed. Their success is discounted, attributed to others, or chalked up to luck. Women and their ideas and achievements may be accepted as part ... Read more
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Management Perks and Pitfalls

Management Perks and Pitfalls
Management looks easy. You have a staff. You make assignments and tell others what to do. You make more money. You get credit for all that your direct reports accomplish. If that sounds too good to be true, it is. A promotion to management requires some additional–perhaps new–skills. Most important among them are leadership and supervisory skills. For every perk of management, there is a accompanying pitfall. For example, your salary might be higher, but you also have increased ... Read more
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What’s in Your Red Envelope?

What’s in Your Red Envelope?
The first woman was appointed to a Cabinet position when Franklin Roosevelt was elected President in 1933. The appointment caused a great outcry and much resistance from male counterparts who objected to Roosevelt putting a woman in such an important role, especially when the country was struggling to find a way out of the Great Depression. Roosevelt held firm, and Frances Perkins, a social worker, became Secretary of Labor. Many people wondered why Perkins would want or accept such a ... Read more
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Are Strong Women Always Nasty?

Are Strong Women Always Nasty?
In the final presidential debate, Donald Trump called Hillary Clinton “a nasty woman.” The comment was made after heated exchanges on a variety of topics. Secretary Clinton was forceful and fearless throughout the debate. She didn’t appear cowed; she never backed down. In fact, the consensus was that she won the debate, the third in a row that she has won. What is the definition of “nasty?” What makes someone “nasty?” Clinton was talking about ... Read more
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Don’t Wait for Inspiration

Don’t Wait for Inspiration
A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper. –E.B. White The most prolific artists, writers, and otherwise productive workers do not wait for inspiration in order to begin their work. They simply begin. They may adhere to a schedule they’ve set for themselves to sit down and paint, practice, or put pen to paper. They may reward themselves once they’ve reached specific goals. They often set boundaries with friends and families and ... Read more
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Are You Really Asking for Feedback?

Are You Really Asking for Feedback?
One of the criticisms that we hear repeatedly is that the millennial generation wants constant feedback. Frequently, an accompanying statement is that they can’t handle criticism. So what are they really looking for? Praise? Direction? Attention? Mentoring? Access? Clarity? Context? Validation? All of these? Something else? While generalizing about any group is always dangerous, are there some commonalities that can be identified? We know that those in the younger workforce tend to be ... Read more
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Is Face-to-Face Networking Really Necessary?

Is Face-to-Face Networking Really Necessary?
You’re a networking whiz. You have “likes” and followers galore—Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, even Pinterest. Everyone knows you, everyone that is except for colleagues throughout your organization or professional field. You remember them. They are the ones who identify the up-and-coming talent, and who make decisions about promotions and opportunities for growth and advancement. They don’t spend their time trolling the web or evaluating personal posts of ... Read more
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Are Self-Imposed Boundaries Imprisoning Your Career

Are Self-Imposed Boundaries Imprisoning Your Career
We are all subject to boundaries of many types—geographic boundaries, legal boundaries, various rules and regulations, and the boundaries of good taste. All of these are essential to a well-functioning society. There are other boundaries, though, that are not essential, nor even useful. Many of these are self-imposed. Think, for a moment, about personal boundaries you have erected for yourself. Do they help or hinder you?  Do they have a positive effect, or are they limiting? Sometimes we ... Read more
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What Should a President Look Like?

What Should a President Look Like?
One of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign tactics is a repeated question to audiences about his opponent. “Do you think she looks presidential?  I don’t.” His audience always shouts,”No.” What Trump is asking with this question has more to do with gender than actual appearance. The implication is that Secretary Clinton doesn’t look like she can (or should) be the President of the United States because she is a woman. In past campaigns, we have ... Read more
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