Celebrating Women’s Transitions!? What are “women’s transitions” anyway? Before getting into today’s post…please look for our RSS Feed link on our site. I keep tweaking…all feedback is welcome!
I have to tell you a story before getting underway — it guides how I approach today’s challenge. It starts with a guy, whose name I’ll change to Stewart. Stewart is an executive at Iron Mountain, an S&P 500 corporation. For the past four years I had the great pleasure of serving as Iron Mountain’s head of Human Resources and Administration. Stewart was a super, über “corporate guy.” I was usually entertained by his calculated moves. He was a corporate chess player “extraordinaire” – Ever met anyone like this?
Anyway Stewart got me one day. I didn’t even see it coming. He agreed with me in a private very-critical “pre-meeting” on a topic. Then he set me up in front of the CEO in a more public meeting by changing his position 180 degrees. I should have seen it coming — I was just too exhausted to see it that day.
In spite of this craziness Stewart used a positioning on occasion which I thought was masterful. It went simply…”let’s start with where we agree.”
So, on transitions, let’s start with where we agree:
From my humble perspective, a transition that incorporates a “working-self” covers a broad territory of change which can be triggered by a spectrum of events or circumstances. Here is my initial bucket list:
Bucket #1: “dis-engaging from” or “re-engaging with” the workforce due to personal decisions such as care of children or family members, or personal illness;
Bucket #2: embarking on a journey to pursue a “dream” that requires a different path than your prior endeavors – such as starting a business;
Bucket #3: “change of game” due to decisions within our control e.g. a geographic move to support a spouse’s or partner’s job;
Bucket #4: “change of game” due to events out of our control like the loss of a job;
Bucket #5: a change of approach due to a desire to integrate more fully the needs of family or other objective. This may lead to part-time work after previously working full-time.
Two quick observations. Regardless of the circumstances — my hypothesis is that transitions that include our working-self are more alike than dissimilar. “Let’s start with where we agree”…..
Second, my sense is that transition is not a point in time — or a period of months or years. I believe this event-driven concept to be false. It seems to me that transition requires a broad commitment that has downstream implications. You remember Robert Frosts’ famous lines “two roads diverged from a yellow wood and sorry I could not travel both and be one traveler”…
Reactions? Am I thinking about the buckets correctly? Have I captured yours?
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