Stress Carriers

Stress Carriers
We all know one or two of them. They may be a friend, relative or co-worker. What they have in common is that they scatter stress like Tinkerbell scatters fairy dust. They are stress carriers. They often appear friendly and helpful, but they have a knack — and perhaps the intention — of making others feel inadequate or upset. They also are skillful at shifting their work or worries to others smoothly that you are left wondering how it happened. It is easy to recognize a stress ... Read more
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Stepping Out and Stepping Up for Opportunity

Stepping Out and Stepping Up for Opportunity
At 2am four years ago, I responded to a general post seeking volunteer tennis coaches. I was about to finish graduate school and had coached sporadically for seven years, so I thought this could be a fun, interim experience. For the next two hours, I emailed back and forth with Vi, the person who posted the ad. She had just started a new NGO that delivered tennis programming to kids who live on the Southside of Chicago. I naturally was curious about this person who was up so late at night ... Read more
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Beware the Lemmings

Beware the Lemmings
The lemming is a small rodent that mostly lives in the Arctic. Folklore has it that lemmings follow each other even when it results in their jumping off cliffs in what some describe as mass suicides. The lemming analogy is a cautionary tale for a “group think” mentality and can be applied to several situations in the workplace. New employees are more susceptible to becoming lemmings than others who are better informed. Frequently, an established worker volunteers to help the new person get ... Read more
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The Devil Doesn’t Need Advocates

The Devil Doesn’t Need Advocates
We’ve all been there. The meeting has dragged on and on. It looks like the team has finally arrived at an action plan. Things are winding down, tasks are being assigned, and you are ready to pack up and get back to your real work. At that very moment, someone says, “Let me play devil’s advocate” and launches into a rehash of the previous discussion. Colleagues groan inwardly, everyone hoping the boss will dismiss this unnecessary showmanship. The concept of ... Read more
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Male-Entrenched Work Cultures Affect Nonprofits Too

Male-Entrenched Work Cultures Affect Nonprofits Too
We frequently hear about how difficult it is for women to reach top leadership positions in corporate America. What we don’t often recognize is that many nonprofit organizations also have a male-entrenched leadership culture. For example, in health care women make up 74% of the workforce, but only 18% of hospital CEO positions are filled by women. This isn’t a surprising statistic. Even in female-dominated professions, men rise faster through the leadership ranks than women. ... Read more
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Choosing a Career in Nonprofits

Choosing a Career in Nonprofits
Omar Garrett, a marketing manager with LinkedIn, recently wrote a piece in the New York Times encouraging young people to consider work in nonprofit organizations. He notes that only one in 10 “career-oriented” graduates (those with majors in program like business and engineering) plan to pursue work in a nonprofit. Stating that although other career-paths offer a surer path to financial and professional success, nonprofits need new grads who in turn can gain vital skills and prove ... Read more
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100 Ways to Start Smart

100 Ways to Start Smart
Our first book on nonprofit leadership for women, 100 Ways to Start Smart and Stay Ahead in Your Career will be available soon. It is a collection of 100 essays which provide professional advice for young women starting their careers in the nonprofit sector. Introduction Betsy Clark Women who entered the workforce during the 1970s and 1980s did not have as many choices as young women today. Some graduate programs and some occupations were almost closed to women. Each of us from that era has ... Read more
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