Accountability Partners

Remember in 2nd grade when you had an “accountability partner” – you always had to know where they were, and you had to go to the nurse or main office together?

Or a reading buddy who came in from another grade to read to you- or for you to read to?

How about when you were on a class trip and you had to hold hands with so-and-so?

Or later on in life when you were a freshman touring the campus on orientation weekend, being led by an upperclassman?

Or that new job where you are paired up with someone to show you how to do this… or that?

Or that trainer at the gym. Forget you paid her money, you just know she is going to make sure you do what you need to do, then some. And you better be ready for that.

Or maybe you were fortunate like me and was given the opportunity to participate in a mentoring program… and you were matched with someone who had some skills set you were working on, the personality that matched yours to push you, or the experience in the field you were working in- in order to stretch you?

 

 

I find resorting back to an accountability partner, having a buddy who is in the entrepreneur business, getting guidance from someone who has been in your shoes and having a person you trust to confide in and be pushed by are all roles I have had in my life- and need now in my business.

When I attend workshops and seminars on the weekends and at night, I love being surrounded with like people- solopreneurs who are working towards their passion. Entrepreneurs who are sharing their lessons learned- because it is energizing.

I love having access to 4 awesome women who all started their journey before me and are in different places in their business (and different businesses) but I can reach out to them and ask questions. They actually answer me quickly- even though they are the midst of 1-2 jobs, family business, life events, day to day “stuff”.

And what is even better is how we get to share. Two of these #womentreprenuers share sites with me to learn from, online or in person classes to take, blogs to read for info or check out for ideas.

I am thinking of starting a small group of these womentreprenuers that has scheduled informal meetings where we are accountable to each other which in turn makes us accountable to our businesses. Here we share the ideas we have, the mistakes we have made, the goals we have reached, and the goals we are setting for ourselves. Would love to hear your stories of accountability tricks… as well as ideas like this that help motivate you and move you towards your goals.

“I have a dream”

My 2nd graders’ takeaways after watching Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s I HAVE A DREAM speech.

I have to admit, lights off and 21 pairs of eyes on the board watching the black and white footage was pretty impactful to me.

What they observed and then shared was amazing, proving the delivery IS still moving and inspiring.

I am proud of my 7 and 8 year olds, and I know they learned so much over the 5 mins, from many decades ago. This Monday will be more than just a day off for them.

(Occurred January 2017 in Georgia. Was it more than just a day off for you?)

What I learned from my mother…

I would like to share with you all the important lessons I learned from my mother, Barbara White Kohlhausen. She would tell me:

Look both ways!

Don’t use other people’s combs-

Don’t drink out of other people’s cups.

Always wear your seatbelt!

Don’t be fresh-

Lock your doors!

Make sure you locked your doors!!

Moisturize!

What you do to your face you do to your neck-

Exfoliate!

Be happy!

 

All very important tips for me, I am certain you will agree. One lesson I learned from Barbara was not something she said to me, but something I learned by watching her.

Much of my mom’s professional career revolved around social work and helping others.

Her first job putting her Masters degree in Social Work from Columbia University degree to work was for the county’s Meals on Wheels (MOW). At one facility she was the social worker in charge of the S.T.A.R. program for frail elderly. She also taught a Life Skills course for 9 years at our county community college.

Barbara served on our county’s Hospice board, and when she left MOW to become an entrepreneur, she served on MOW’s board and became a Hospice volunteer.

My mom was thinking of slowing down, working a few days a week or retiring…When an opportunity opened up to become the CEO of the county’s MOW location, Barbara was asked to fill that leadership role. She spent almost 6 1/2 years there, and when she stepped down, she moved back onto their board.

And at that stage in her life, because she had more time on her hands and more of herself to give, my mom began volunteering at a local animal rescue. Her childhood fear of dogs went away, and these puppies, dogs, kittens, and cats stole her heart and filled her week and weekend days. She also continued her service on the Rotary, and throughout her career she has been recognized and honored as a volunteer and as a leader.

*Here she is receiving a standing ovation for her work at Meals on Wheels Rockland in 2015

Now, she has settled into her new life, in the South… and her days are filled giving back and supporting organizations that make life better. She is on the board of our local community garden, she volunteers in non-winter months to provide weekly art and nature activities to adults with developmental disabilities and acquired brain injuries,  she volunteers at our town’s farmers market and most recently was recruited to do some fundraising for our city’s new public library.

What an example she has given me, what an influence she has had on others, and what an impact she has made on all the different non-profits she has chosen to dedicate her time. Not everyone has the time to volunteer, not everyone chooses to work for non-profit, not everyone could work for a non-profit, and not everyone is motivated to work to help others and to make a difference. I recognize this and I am grateful I have had this role model right next to me my entire life to inspire me to make a difference.

Do you have vision…

…boards?

I do- one for my desk at work and one that hangs near my vanity at home.

I read this article last week Forbes New Year’s Article and it is in alignment with how I want to move forward with my boards- more BIG WORDS that stand out.

Last time around- my very first-time vision boarding-  I was interested in making the boards aesthetically pleasing, this time I need the words to jump out at me daily!

In 2018 I created my home vision board, at home on 1 January surrounding by girlfriends who were doing the same thing as me- embarking on their first vision board creation. When we all finished up- very impromptu- we started sharing our vision boards with each other. Explaining what we put on our board, and what it meant for us for this coming year. It was almost like making ourselves accountable by having this opportunity to explain to each other.

This time around I am heading to a friend’s home. She has been doing this for years as a New Year’s Day tradition. I look forward to learning from a pro!

What I do know is that:

  • It’s great to work on this surrounded by great people (in my case, great women) who have strong visions on their own
  • It was helpful for me to share my vision with others- almost like “putting it out there”
  • In reflection, I should have planned a mid-2018 gathering to check in on each other and on our visions. I think that would have been great.

*Notice the book I am holding. Read this Oprah recommend for the first time only last year. It inspired me to do the boards.

**Also take note of the shirt I am wearing. “What would Barb do?” – this is not in reference to the character Barb on Stranger Things, but in fact, a question for me in regard to my mom, one of the most impactful role models I have had in my lifetime. Stay tuned- another blog to follow on this beautiful topic.

Fun Friday Post- The Differences in the Three Corners of the US

Born and raised in the Bronx… the first (almost) 4 decades of my life I lived under 65 miles from Union Hospital (which was torn down in 1997- no relation to my birth that I am aware).

A job opportunity gave this New Yorker the opportunity to move far, far away… to a beautiful land known as “SoCal”.  And so I began to record…

The Differences (I have noticed) between Cali and NY so far, after 4 months (in no particular order whatsoever) [December 2009]:

  • Toilet seat covers in public restrooms- I know we had them in NY, but they are in every bathroom here. EVERYWHERE.
  • Lobsters without claws- Maine lobster is a rarity. The lobsters they serve here are clawless, my favorite part of the crustacean.
  • NYC drivers must be crazy, but Cali drivers move from the left lane across multiple lanes to the right for their exit, instantly without warning.
  • The salespeople in the apartment complexes were not pushy at all. In fact, they guided me to other apartment complexes. Hmmm… maybe they didn’t want me? Seriously- didn’t try to persuade me at all.
  • Lime instead of lemon- OK this happened a ton in NY too, but no matter how clearly I ask, I always get a lime in my Diet Coke.
  • Driving in rain is an issue. A major challenge for Cali drivers. I hear “Be careful driving- it’s raining.”
  • Take out for dinner just doesn’t seem popular. Especially delivery. Maybe because everything is so far?
  • No knowledge of The Yule Log on Christmas Eve (this caused a pretty big panic attack for me in September… I knew I was FAR from home) yet it appeared on 3 separate channels… and 3 different versions of it in California in December 2009.
  • When an ambulance or fire truck has its lights on, ALL slow down and move to the right to stop. Even if the truck is going southbound, you are going northbound, and there is a divider between you, you stop.
  • Casual seems to be the dress here no matter what. Even weddings, fancy restaurants, etc. It’s refreshing.
  • Many, many speed bumps. Seem to POP UP (pun intended) all over in parking lots, and they are no joke.
  • Weaving vs. foiling- When getting my hair highlighted blonde before going brunette (then eggplant, then brunette, and finally auburn, I think), the hairdressers used the word “weaving” (I immediately thought of African American hair or extensions) instead of foiling.
  • No gel wraps- It has been a challenge for me to find the resin wrap I used on my nails- and got with no problem in NY, NJ, and CT. One of the nail people told me the climate out here doesn’t do well with gel, so they use silk.
  • Vietnamese people run nail salons here, not Korean.
  • Although everyone does seem much more active out here, there is no walking to places. When you ask if a place is close enough to walk, the answer is almost always no, even if it is. (Walkin’ in LA, Walkin’ in LA, nobody walks in LA )
  • There is public transportation out here (busses and trains) but Californians do not use it. (When speaking with someone on a train headed from Ventura County to San Diego County, he started with- You must have a DUI- to be riding the train.)
  • No real friendships? Well, that is what I have been told, by at least 3 different people that I can remember. They told me to wait and see, but that people are nice, but different from east coasties.
  • No pizza “pies”. If you want a pie, for example, a large mushroom pie, you order a large mushroom pizza. They don’t bake pies at pizzerias- and think that is what you are ordering.
  • Cross light buttons work! Those things on the corner, that tease us in NY, actually work out here.
  • But even if they didn’t, drivers stop for pedestrians out here. Although jaywalking is a big deal out here and a no-no, a driver would stop if you even put your toe in the road.
  • If you are sitting in the back seat of a car, you must wear your seatbelt. No matter what age you are… It is a violation and ticketable if you don’t.
  • Wildfires are common out here and don’t cause alarm.
  • At many fast food places, you place your order, pay, and are given a number to put on your table. The food is delivered to you, so there isn’t a crowd at the registers… Efficiency in action.
  • There are lights that run mostly during rush hours, controlling when cars can leave the ramp and get onto the freeway. LA has the worst traffic. Inefficiency in action.
  • Californians seem to be challenged by parallel parking.
  • I have heard the word “backside” used more often in the past 4 months than in my entire life. Not to mean your “bottom”, but in reference to the back of something.
  • Overall, LA was not very decorated for Christmas. Especially storefronts and apartments (specifically in Woodland Hills).
  • They put Russian dressing on burgers.
  • Freeway vs. highway. There are no highways out here, only freeways.
  • There are surfer reports on the daily weather forecast on the news. Yup.
  • There is a big deal made about discarding Christmas trees. Seems to be an even bigger deal than selling them.
  • I have yet to see flies, bees, or mosquitoes. Ants either. I am sure they are here somewhere… but… no sign of them yet. No screens on windows because there are no bugs. Leave those windows WIDE open!

 

 ADDENDUM… after nearly 6 months

  • There are few toll roads out here. Nothing like the Turnpike or the Garden State Parkway.
  • There seem to be no sewers out here. Where does the water go? Guess that is why they have mudslides and tons of hydroplaning going on.
  • Retaining walls- I am not sure if they know about them. Instead, before a heavy rain, I saw the fire department had piles of sand on the road, free for the taking. It was great seeing Mr. Mercedes packing up his sand and putting them in his trunk. Plastic is actually put down on the ground, under the sod, grass, foundation for the houses- so they don’t slide in the rain.
  • Kush doctors are legal. You cannot walk on the pier in Venice Beach without someone offering you some marijuana.
  • I have seen it in only two indoor malls here, but I do hear it is pretty common: there are people that clean up your trays in food courts. Just leave them at your table when you are done eating.
  • Lane sharing seems to be legal for motorcyclists. In fact, I think they rule the freeways here.
  • There are no Greek diners.
  • Diagonal walkways.
  • I really haven’t seen that many cops on the road. And, I have been looking long and hard for Ponch from CHiPs.
  • Even stores named NYC bagels or just advertising NYC bagels…don’t taste like NYC bagels at all. They are light and fluffy- no substance. It is definitely something about the water in the tri-state area!
  • FOBs. I rented an apartment; I was handed a FOB. I started my job; I was handed a FOB. Although I checked back and Linda (bestie in NJ) has a FOB for work now, I honestly never heard of one before moving out here.
  • The hamburgers are wrapped- like hash browns- here. This is ingenious! It catches all the juice and toppings better this way, I guess. I haven’t done recon in McDonald’s to see if they do this too.
  • There are no pedicure dryers in nail places. YES it is much warmer here, but there are plenty of months that flip-flops will not be warm enough… so I am not sure what you are supposed to do! I, of course, didn’t realize this for my 1st pedicure, wore my UGGs, and had to sit waiting FOREVER to leave.
  • Every parking lot seems to have labeled “Compact Car” spots (which I think is different in itself from NY). SUVs and pickup trucks are ABSOLUTELY accepted as compact cars here.
  • Car chases are actually breaking news, and show on TV. The last one I saw was OJ’s… I have seen 2 out here so far.
  • I cannot believe I forgot this on the original list, but there are NO Dunkin’ Donuts here. I researched, and there are some stores up by San Francisco. Of course, they sell the bagged coffee in some supermarkets, but if you, too, are a fan, you understand that this is just not the same.

 

IT’S GETTING LESS AND LESS…. After 10 months

  • I pay the hairdresser directly. Not the shop. I call her directly too. It’s actually easier… but different.
  • Stacked parking at event venues. No emergencies allowed.
  • Some apartments don’t have refrigerators.
  • The creation and use of the term “Marine layer” in the weather forecast.
  • License plates travel with the car, not the person.

 

THE FINAL ACT, wrapping up an entire year….After 12 months   August 31, 2010 *NOTE- as recent as 8/7/10 a random connection I made became the 7th person to tell me you cannot make real friends out here- people are flaky and will just not show up for plans, no call, no email—as per  #16, first 4 months.

 

  • Trains run late OFTEN and travel s—l—-o—-w—-l—-y on the tracks.
  • Scarves. BIG fashion statement out here. Summer, winter, fall, spring. Love it. When it gets “cold” out- bring out your UGGS and scarves, and keep wearing your t-shirts and shorts.
  • There is no “super” here to call in your condo or apartment building. Out here, “super” means superintendent for a school.
  • Dry cleaners open late and close early. That’s odd and frustrating. But, they are still run by Koreans for the most part!
  • Doctors do not have evening hours (4pm has been the latest appointment I have seen. Some do have weekend hours. Some. None of mine.).
  • “Auto Malls” seem to be big out here. I have seen them in many many towns.
  • Unlike the NE, when you get a manicure, you do not get followed over to the dryer section for a free-mini neck and shoulder massage.
  • Water bagel? I was told this is when a bagel is not egg bagel.
  • The unwritten courtesy of flashing of your headlights to warn for upcoming parked police cars does not exist here.
  • PBA cards, aka GET OUT OF JAIL (almost) FREE cards, do not play the same role out here as they do in NY and NJ.
  • Sigalert. How could any major city survive without this? ALWAYS check Sigalert before getting into the car. ALWAYS.
  • May HAZE. JUNE GLOOM. Givens/knowns.
  • Protein burgers. That’s a burger, wrapped in lettuce. Another ingenious idea!
  • Cyn means canyon.
  • The 101 Freeway officially goes north-south in some areas and west-east in others. The signs even say so!
  •  In Santa Monica (not sure where else, if anywhere else) there are lights on the ground in some pedestrian crosswalks that light up when people are crossing.
  • No rest stops with fast-food restaurants-bathrooms-gas stations like on the (Garden State) Parkway.
  • Drop off wash and folds… could not find any. Granted, I wasn’t looking in LA… I was looking in Ventura County.
  • Humidity. Pretty much NEVER visits.

 

Onward and southward… from SoCal to the SOUTH… Georgia!

Observations after 3 weeks + 3 days December 28, 2013: 

  • The LONGEST stop lights exist in and around Atlanta.
  • Everyone gives free refills. There is an over-abundance of soda flowing in this metro area.
  • No liquor in supermarkets. In fact, it’s hard to find!!!!
  • Tennis is big here.
  • Drive 2 miles… It’s a gorgeous neighborhood. Go 3 miles… Not so nice… 3 more, nice again.
  • Curvey windy roads that all look the same. 
  • Shortage of lights lining the streets.
  • No avocado available at Subway! (You’re not in Cali anymore, Dorothy)
  • Bringing your own bags to the supermarket is not heard of.
  • Open 24hr Vietnamese restaurants (PHO) and they aren’t bad!!!!
  • My hubs mentioned something about the drivers being bad around here, but I have to disagree… Sorry SoCal-ers but the drivers were worse out there!
  • In California, it’s “the 101” and “the “405”. In Georgia, like in NY, its “285” and “85”.
  • No screens on windows because you keep your windows shut all the time due to pollen/allergies and the heat!
  • When meeting someone knew- the first question after name exchange is “Do you have children?” then… “What church do you go to?” and everyone wants to bring you to their church.

 

We are love love loving exploring the Dirty South & all she has to offer!

More Georgian observations after 1 month and 3 weeks:

  • Every street is Peachtree something or there is one nearby.
  • As Tim pointed out, there are many cars abandoned on the side of road (I remember this from the NE but not from CA).
  • You can drive on the “right” right side of the road and BAM your lane crosses over other the lane going in the opposite direction and puts you on the “wrong” left side. I don’t know how else to describe it, but other Georgians will get it. (*Addendum added 4/24/18: diverging diamond interchange- they are popping up all over and apparently big in Europe)
  • Advice from the info guy on the phone from DMV:
    • There is no DMV. It’s DDS.
    • If you miss a turn, turn around!!! The roads aren’t designed for you to make the next turn and connect to where you need to be.
    • Some phone numbers have 8 digits, not ten.
  • Drivers actually let you in when you are accidentally cutting them off.
  • Similar to how Southern Californians didn’t know what to do with the rain, Atlantans don’t know what to do with the cold (us either)!
  • Like Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks in NY, there is a Waffle House every few blocks.
  • I live the farthest from the ocean than any other places I have lived before, but live closest to the largest aquarium in the country.
  • People seem genuinely nicer.

Observations after 4 years and 7 months [June 2018]:

  • Tags not license plates.
  • Vietnamese people run nail salons here, not Korean, like in Cali.
  • They serve wine in nail salons. And hair salons.
  • Smoking is still permitted in some bars.
  • GBI. Not FBI.
  • Georgia DOT Hero trucks, sponsored by State Farm (plastered with logos) go to breakdowns on the highways.
  • Red versus Black football game (the school -UGA- plays itself every year).
  • No teachers unions down here. Teachers make an embarrassing salary here and work just as hard as in other places, where teachers make better salaries (but still pathetic compared to other careers. They all have college degrees, plus a certification they had to pass a test to obtain, plus most places require a Masters. An advanced degree. And they still make less money than those who maybe just have a college degree, no certs. Just sayin’ y’all.)
  • SEC. SEC. SEC. Bigger than the NFL.
  • Open container allowed almost everywhere (slight exaggeration)
  • Lots of service roads.
  • Witnessed a fender bender when stuck at a light. The 2 drivers got out of their cars, approached each other before looking at their cars, and shook hands.
  • Longest red lights. (Noted in first observation list, but I think they have gotten longer.)
  • Festivals. Festivals for everything. Art Festivals. Beer Festivals. Bourbon Festivals.
  • Halloween is one huge holiday. Traffic begins at 2:30pm instead of 4:30pm.
  • “Meat + 3”
  • Pizza by the slice isn’t a given. Some places, it is offered only at lunch. Why? No idea.
  • School start back up in July for teachers and August for kids.
  • “Might could” is a phrase. (I might could do this, if I had help!).
  • So is “have your picture made” (aka take a photo of you).
  • Pollen covered cars… looks like yellow snow, but not “that” yellow snow.
  • Allergies in the fall. Allergies in the spring. Allergies for one and all!
  • Town squares. Historic downtowns. Quaint little “cities” full of character.
  • Antiquing is a sport.
  • Pot liquor.
  • We eat peaches that really come from South Carolina. They are hard to find from Georgia, the Peach State.
  • Tater tots.
  • Boiled peanuts. Sound gross, taste yummy.
  • Chick-fil-A. It’s huge- except on Sundays.
  • Contractors don’t want to make money. It took us so long to find a landscaper (one who would return a call, one who would send an estimate after coming to our house). in 2015. Now, my parents are going through the same thing- with a roofer, a door installer, a fence company (2 came out to their house, only 1 sent an estimate).
  • Cornhole, also a new sport to me.
  • Parking your car on the wrong side of the street, in the wrong direction. Not in the city, but in the side streets of residential areas.
  • Everyone talked about the bad traffic when we first moved here. I honestly did not think it came close to NYC or LA…. The last 2 years I do see Atlanta traffic has completely caught up to that of NY and LA.
  • Pimento cheese is a staple.
  • Until just now… next month (July 2018)- you did not have to be hands-free in the car with your cell.
  • SWEET tea.
  • From what I have heard from 2 recent transplants- the “eye contact”. Here, people make eye contact. I haven’t noticed that as something that stands out different from other places, but apparently, it is! I wonder if I make eye contact with people?
  • Farmers Markets. Indoors, permanent structures that have the best food shopping options at great prices.
  • Turducken. Maybe it’s not a southern thing, but this is the first time I have heard of it- in my life.
  • People go to the lake for the weekend (or drive to the beaches of NC, SC, GA, FL).
  • Bourbon drinks.
  • Bourbon slush. Thank you, Baby Jesus.
  • Churches. I think one road to my in-laws has 10 different types in a few mile stretch.
  • At a stop sign or street light if you make a left, the road can be one name, and make a right, it could be a completely different name. Thank goodness for WAZE.
  • “All y’all.”
  • We have more family, friend, and framily visitors here than we ever could have hoped. We love it.
  • There are so many transplants here. So many. It’s hard to find an actual southerner, with an accent. But when you do… you will hear things like “fixin’ to do this or that”
  • Southern hospitality. It’s a thing; it’s a good thing.

 

It has been just under 9 years (8 years, 6 months to be exact) since I left the NE corner of the states (in 2 states almost equally- NY & NJ) I had occupied since birth. What an educational, fun journey it has been! Never thought I would leave NYC, my 5th favorite person at that time of my life. I never lived more than 65 miles from where I was born. Then, I moved 2,800 miles away. Now, only 860 miles away.

 

But it does seem soooo far away from the city stoop I would sit on, across the street from my aunt’s house, at my grandparents’ and godparents’ house…

Super Woman? Super Connector!

Superconnectors communicate in a very specific way. Rather than just breaking out into conversation, they combine critical thinking and pointed ways of speaking and listening to learn quickly about people.”

This is the article that sparked this piece.

I like to think I am a super connector. Both personally and professionally.  I enjoy bringing people together either to make the experience better or more fun. To help get the job done more efficiently or more creatively. To help someone get to that next step or enter the space – either with an introduction, an advocate or a new friend.

I have been told in the past I am a great networker… but this new label of super connector takes it to a whole new level.

Similar to the writer of this article- “I’ll hear a cue, and that triggers an instant reaction to put person A in touch with person B to help grow or move forward both of their aims”- I meet people when shopping who I know I have to connect to my day job so they can enroll in the program or volunteer as a mentor, or when I am at a program and I find out a client’s spouse is a veteran, I know I need to introduce them to VETLANTA, or when I am at VETLANTA quarterly summit and I hear about someone who just moved to Atlanta and they are looking for a great place to eat OTP, I can give them recommendations from my 5-year-young transplant experience! I have done this naturally for years. Social media has made it easier because it does job my memory quicker … about this great job opportunity (who do I know was looking for a job in digital marketing?)… or this restaurant with $1 oysters (who was that other person around here besides my mom who liked them)… or that free women’s event with a great speaker (which client of mine was looking to “get out and about” more).

If you would like to connect with me, please do so on LinkedIn or shoot me an email!

 

 

Am I a Trailblazer?

trail·blaz·er
/ˈtrālˌblāzər/
noun
  1. a person who makes a new track through wild country.
    • a pioneer; an innovator.
      “he was a trailblazer for many ideas that are now standard fare”
      synonyms: pioneerinnovator, groundbreaker, spearheadtrendsetter;

 

I will let YOU read and decide!

Click to read the recent interview I did with VoyageATL: Read the article here!

I was introduced to VoyageATL through the creatives and creators of Biscuits and Burlap (blog click here):

 

Sculpt Your Job

When I was in my role as programs manager, I volunteered to coordinate the end of year holiday celebrations. The company, fortunately, did more than just a holiday party. They ran festive challenges (we are very competitive) as well as a potluck partying and team building activities. I added on activities for the last week of the year which covered mindfulness, healthy choices, and vision boarding for the following year. I am still heading the holiday activity and grew the Week of Merriment to the Month of Merriment.

When I was Vice President of Education, I hosted the monthly staff birthday parties in our department. Not only did this get me to celebrate other people on their birthdays (I love birthdays, mine most of all!) but it brought people from different departments to our area of the ship (yes, I worked on a ship) to where my team worked- a place closed off to the public and not on the way to any other offices in the organization.

When I was an elementary school and middle school teacher, I volunteered for roles in our teachers’ union. Now some of you may be very much against unions, so I just lost your attention… but those of you still with me- through this work I learned how to negotiate contracts (and have difficult conversations). As a teacher and an English major in undergrad, this is training I never received. Now, I was receiving this training in real-time, and it mattered to me and my career as well as those of my colleagues.

What can you do in your current role to build in some of those things you love?

click here for this post on LinkedIn

Working with a Purpose

“Working with a Purpose- Perhaps the most underrated desire of modern-day employees is the desire to work with a purpose. Many employees would be willing to give up fancy nap pods or office game rooms in exchange for fulfilling work.” [Read the article that inspired these words]

Funny for me- I find the purpose I want to support and then apply to the organization that supports that “purpose”, which usually means the perks are not the pods or the games but the people and the energy behind the mission.

Hence many years in the classroom, working directly with students in need (Title 1 Schools, schools with high “free-lunch” numbers, schools without a lot of money for classroom supplies and external professional development opportunities).

Hence quite a few years working for the Intrepid Sea Air and Space Museum in the education programs that reached the 5 boroughs of NYC, the surrounding schools in NJ, NY and CT, the teachers of these students, and high school students with character and leadership and civic engagement programming opportunities.

Hence the work for a small leadership company, delivering programming for Marines transitioning out of their volunteer civic duty into the civilian world, working with them individually on understanding themselves better and helping find the next place for them to hang their “cover”.

Hence the years of developing the groundwork for a national-in-reach civic education center at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Foundation in the Walter and Leonore Annenberg Presidential Learning Center to include awarding college scholarships to seniors in high school.

Hence years working for the Wounded Warrior Battalion (no, not where you made your donations to- that’s Wounded Warrior Project who supported the wounded, ill and injured service members or their spouses I worked directly) creating a transition plan helping our service members figure out what they could do next- because they could not stay in the USMC or Navy any longer due to injuries as a result of their selfless services or diseases and illnesses they didn’t choose to get but unfortunately were dealt that hand.

Hence years working to support the daily operations and building of education centers and curricula with the intent of developing and building financial literacy early on in life- as early as grade school and middle school.

And now, here I sit, managing the client experience at a company who delivers programming to high-performing women at all stages of their career.  I celebrated my one-year anniversary in July for Pathbuilders, and I am currently conducting check-in calls for the 85+ partnerships we have introduced. I am feverishly taking notes of best practices, ways to build up your team, ways to improve your (you name it) in the office. These are ideas I can share with our participants, I can learn from, and I can share with others as I coach our clients.

And with this first blog, I introduce my very own endeavor, my baby, my writer’s project, my newest pride and joy. The Word Warrior. Through this company, I will help many others who struggle with the words, who don’t have the time,  who don’t have the energy after _______ (fill in the blank- you name it!)  to sit down and get their thoughts onto paper or into text.

I find work with a purpose, I work for a purpose, and I am grateful there are so many wonderful companies and organizations that afford me this opportunity to fulfill my desire to work with a purpose.