What the Heck is a Work, Life, Baby Balance?

work-life-babySheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, is a successful working mom.
Her husband is a successful working father, CEO of Survey Monkey.
How the hell did they manage that?

Sheryl has a book coming out in March called Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. I will be buying it, of course. As you can imagine, we are trying to figure out this whole work/life/baby balance ourselves and I can tell you this much… it is tough!

I read a lot of blogs, I follow along with what Marissa Mayer is up to, I Google a lot of things – oftentimes at 3am, when the baby has woken up for his midnight snack. I will buy Sheryl’s book and add to her fortune. I am interested in her perspective and who couldn’t use a little rah rah rah at 3am on a weeknight, when you have an 8am meeting the next day?!?

Just from following Sheryl in the past, I know she expresses the importance of:

  • Two engaged parents in childcare (50/50 split)
  • Fair grounds from employers for men and women
  • Flexible jobs for both parents
  • Woman pushing themselves

Before reading the book, I know a few things of my own too:

  • Don’t take too much advice from other people on what works for them, it has to work for you
  • Make your own rules and go after what is important to you and your family
  • Sheryl and Marissa have more money than I will ever have, so they have a few more options than I do

I don’t know what a work, life, baby, dog, exercise, social life balance is. I am working on it. As I work on it, I can only hope that I help make some changes for anyone else who comes behind me, I hope someone can learn from my mistakes and successes and I hope I can be honest with myself and the people around me about how it is going.

In the meantime, if you want to know more about working women and moms, you can read this Business Insider article, you can pre-order Sheryl’s book, you can read this piece by Anne-Marie Slaughter on why women can’t have it all or watch this interview from Sheryl on how she does ‘have it all’.

What Hunter S. Thompson Reminded Me About Dating and Job Interviews

I recently read this Business Insider post on Hunter S. Thompson’s brutally honest cover letter to the Vancouver Sun . He is crass and arrogant. Most of all, he is utterly himself.

My company is growing and receiving resumes, cover letters and interviewing prospective team members is a part of my job. I find that process so interesting. I like stories and each of these job applicants is telling me their story. Some stories are better than others and some stories are just told better than others.

That Hunter S. Thompson letter reminded me that in so much of our lives, we just need to be honest about who we are. Whether you are trying to land a job or dating or meeting a new friend, the best way to make sure you get the right position/mate/buddy… is to present yourself as yourself.

Most jobs these days can be trained but is the culture, the workload or are your potential coworkers the right fit for you? If not, in a few weeks, months or years you will be bored, frustrated and looking to jump ship.

Same goes for dating. If you go into a relationship pretending to be something you are not, expressing interests in things you think your mate likes but that you don’t… after the distractions have come and gone (planning a wedding, honeymoon, starting a family), what will you have left? You won’t have the common interests, likes or values you had because they were embellished in the first place.

Look at my unfortunate husband. He got the straight talk version of me and for some reason still accepted. Good days, bad days, crazy days and perfect days… this is what the poor bastard signed up for. We know we share similar interests, have the same values and we have the same horrible sense of humor. When our good looks and busy lives are gone – we will be stuck with each other and I look forward to that.

When I interviewed for my job (5 years ago) I said all the wrong things, wore the wrong thing and failed the written test… but I got the job. I was myself and apparently I was what they needed. I was what this company was looking for.

Pretending to be someone else or what you think someone else is looking for will only get you so far. Be honest with who you are. The relationships and the journey will be so much more fulfilling.

If you think you can use me, drop me a line.
If not, good luck anyway.
Sincerely, Hunter S. Thompson


Oh phew! It is a Cat

monopoly-ironUgh this contest to toss out a Monopoly token and replace it with something new has been very stressful for me. I don’t understand why it is necessary to change a classic but hey, Uncle Pennybags (Monopoly man’s name) never asked me.

So the Facebook contest is over and the good old iron is out and is being replaced by a cat. The new replacement options were a robot, a helicopter, a diamond ring, a guitar and a cat. I guess the cat is the best option but it is still sad to see an icon go. I wonder if Monopoly boards with the iron will go up in price?

The iron wasn’t a go-to of mine – I am more of a thimble, shoe or dog person but it is still sad to see the old iron go. People identify with ‘their’ Monopoly piece(s). People who choose the iron are often women and very practical in their game playing approach. iVillage said:

You move toward victory in a totally organized, even-handed way. You’ll never have three houses on one property of a color and a hotel on another two—oh no, it’s all or nothing.

There are organized, strategic women all over the world today mourning their beloved iron. I guess there are probably cat lovers all around the world though that are celebrating.