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“What if you are ready for a different career challenge and want to find a new role to level up your experience but are worried now is not the time to make a big change?” says Eileen Chadnick of Big Cheese Coaching.
She gives some examples reflecting the kinds of conversations she’s had with people in this dilemma. With a softening labour market, “George” worries whether it’s prudent to leave a role where he has familiarity and some seniority. “Irina” has young children and aging parents and worries that she wouldn’t have the bandwidth or time to invest in a demanding new role.
“If it doesn’t quite feel like the right time, do you simply wait it out?” Ms. Chadnick asks. “This question does not have a singular answer. People will have different circumstances, goals and risk levels. Navigating career moves should always invite some thoughtful consideration to the process.
“If in the end, one decides ‘now is not the right time’ to change jobs, there are other ways to keep up the momentum with their career growth.”
Read Ms. Chadnick’s tips for growing your career while staying in your job.
It’s not just you. Experts agree the post-pandemic workplace really is more distracting
If you find that working from the office feels more distracting now, you’re not alone.
Not only has the workplace changed since the pandemic began in early 2020, but experts suggest so have our brains. As a result, many workers are feeling uneasy in office environments that may have once felt like a second home. While some of that discomfort may be temporary, experts suggest we may never feel the same about shared workspaces again.
“It’s possible that our threshold for being distracted may have changed, because the pandemic lasted several years, and we became accustomed to an environment that is quieter, and that we have more control over,” says Veronica Galván, an associate professor of psychological sciences at the University of San Diego. “It can be jarring to go back to a situation that is quite different.”
Read how the pandemic affected our ability to concentrate and feel comfortable in an office environment.
Opening my New York boutique gave me a sense of home
“I grew up an only child in Toronto, but I never felt alone,” says Canadian fashion designer Tanya Taylor.
“From a young age, I communicated best through creating. I painted 1960s-style life-sized models on our basement walls so that I could feel like the room was full of friends to dance with. When I was older, I made my first boyfriend a collage of our dream life including a poem where I cut letters out of rose petals to profess my love. (He was scared, I was inspired.) I bonded with my mother through papier-mâché projects and my father through dance.
Despite all of these artistic sparks, I studied finance at McGill University in Montreal. I loved business and wanted to live in a culturally inspiring city to find myself. Needless to say, my creative itch wasn’t scratched. Fashion, however, seemed like a form of self-expression that could combine my love of the arts and business education.”
Read how Ms. Taylor launched her own fashion brand at 25.
In case you missed it
The problem with workplace wellness programs? They don’t work for everyone
Natasha Singh burnt out in 2021.
She had worked in tech marketing for more than eight years, calling it a “roller coaster experience from startup to big corporate.” And while she says she learned a great deal during that time, “so many of those years were deep in burnout.”
Although there were wellness programs to support employees in place at her organizations, a lack of inclusive activities and significant work demands made participating a challenge for Ms. Singh. While her colleagues were finding time to take advantage of gym memberships or lunchtime activities, she felt she couldn’t.
“I would watch my peers and [they] were going to yoga at lunch. They were going to work out at 5 p.m. They were centring their wellness first and work second,” says Ms. Singh. “My peers were white people, and I was one of the only people of colour at the time in the organization. It was their level of privilege. The things they don’t have to worry about, that I do, are different.”
Read the full article.
When it comes to women’s voices at work, authenticity is what matters
What does a leader sound like?
According to research into how people perceive voices, a deep baritone is much more likely to connote leadership than a breathy soprano.
“If we ask people who sounds like a leader, who sounds like they would be dominant or in charge, even when it comes to women’s voices, it’s usually the lower pitched voice that is preferred in terms of leadership,” says Jillian O’Connor, assistant professor of psychology at Queen’s University, whose research focuses on how the voice influences our perceptions of others. “[And] if we ask people who sounds more trustworthy, it’s still a lower pitched voice.”
Even in stereotypically feminine leadership settings, like parent-teacher associations and school boards, this preference holds, says Dr. O’Connor. The gender of the audience also doesn’t seem to matter. When someone is speaking as a subject-matter expert, such as giving a TED Talk or a presentation at work, both men and women subconsciously lower their voices, says Dr. O’Connor.
“It’s about lower pitch being [perceived as] more authoritative, more dominant and more powerful.”
Read the full article.
Ask Women and Work
Question: I’ve started a business with two partners – my sister and a friend. We’ve been operating for about six months, but we are running into problems with planning and decision-making. With three of us in charge, it’s taking too long to come to agreements on next steps, action items, expenditures, etc. How can we infuse structure into our co-owner relationship and streamline our decision-making?
We asked Karla Briones, owner of Global Pet Foods and Ottawa-area business coach, to tackle this one:
The number one thing I would recommend for anyone starting a business with co-owners is to have a partnership agreement, right from the get-go. You can find these documents online, and they outline exactly the kinds of questions you are asking about: What is each person’s role and responsibilities? How will business decisions be made? How will disagreements be handled?
In order to avoid challenges with decision-making, it’s important to be crystal clear about each person’s roles and responsibilities in the organization. Sometimes that will be very obvious, depending on each person’s personality, their strengths and what they like to do. But it can be helpful to do a personality assessment test such as a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator or DiSC assessment to give you insights into what individual traits each person can bring into a business environment. By knowing your Myers-Briggs personality or your DiSC assessment personality, it will be easier to understand how everyone thinks and the best way for you to work together.
In worst-case scenarios, when there’s a big decision and you just can’t come to an agreement, you can put it to a vote. There are three of you, and sometimes democracy works. However, it’s not a great idea to put everything to a vote, because that will really slow you up as an organization. Ultimately, there will need to be one person making the decisions in different areas of your business.
For example, in my retail business [Global Pet Foods] I work with my husband. From the beginning, we decided that I would be in charge of anything that was customer-facing. I was front-of-house, responsible for staffing, inventory, that kind of thing, and my husband was back-of-house, so everything that was behind the scenes. I think when you’re just starting out, titles might not make sense, but when you think about it, I was the CEO, the CMO and the Chairperson, and my husband was the CTO and CFO.
Another important part of making business decisions is having regular meetings. My husband and I meet with our senior management every week, no matter what. They’re sacred. If we can’t do the meetings in person, we do them online. These meetings are one hour, tops, and we discuss operations, HR, marketing, sales – each of the different departments of our business. A lot of decisions get made during those quick, one-hour weekly meetings and it keeps everybody accountable.
Submit your own questions to Ask Women and Work by e-mailing us at GWC@globeandmail.com.
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