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Archive for the ‘womenomics’

Playing to win: new rules of womenomics

June 02, 2009 By: almostgotit Category: employment, feminism, playing to win, unemployed, womenomics, working 12 Comments →

 
Katie Hnida, viagra sale a 1999 placekicker for the University of Colorado 

Hat tip to Kathy, ed who alerted me today of the Salon.com article,
She works too hard for the money: The authors of Womenomics challenge professional women to say no to overly demanding jobs — even in a recession. 

We are in tough times indeed. Jobs are scarce. Unemployment is more common, and potentially more devastating, than ever. Folks already at a career disadvantage (mothers returning to the work force, for instance) are at a greater disadvantage than ever, too.

And along with the increase in unemployment is an growing deluge of career advice.

How should a person navigate these ever-deepening waters? At the risk of adding to the flood, Almostgotit would like to propose that

  1. Even the best advice is only as good as it is also useful, and
  2. If anyone’s advice fails to work for you, even if it comes from experts, you should throw it out.

Take the Harvard-Business-School-Approved“Best alternative to negotiated agreement (BATNA)” approach, for instance.  What if you really don’t *have* a great alternative plan, nor the confidence to act as if you do? What if you are, as increasing numbers of us are, so depleted by fighting a series of losing battles that your ability to follow — or benefit from – ANY standard plan of action has all but vanished?

Do you then settle for the idea (whether objectively true or not) that you have no other choice but to accept a low-paying or otherwise exploitive job, thus feeling like even more of a failure?

Perhaps a change of metaphor is called for here, instead, (or a “reframing,” if you prefer cognitive psychology talk.)

For many women, this may mean acting more like the stereotypical ballsy male. According to many of my own career advice books, sports metaphors are very popular with men. Perhaps they should be more so with women, too… especially in what is still a male-dominated workforce. Why not try it and see if it works better than drumming up a demoralizing “Plan B”?

—————-

Well-behaved women seldom make history.
- Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
Professor of History, Harvard University

—————-

Imagine you are the star quarterback. If that feels too arrogant, Get Over It! When it comes to furthering your own career, you SHOULD consider yourself a star, so that you can also present yourself as such.

If you are a woman, imagine that you are the most badass, muscular female quarterback ever to hit the pros, and that you’ve made it all the way to the Super Bowl!

You are on the verge of winning it all!

And here’s the thing: star quarterbacks play to win. They intentionally don’t HAVE an alternative plan.

Can you imagine a coach telling his team before the Super Bowl that they should play hard but also be prepared to lose? And what if the coach also insists on a time out so he can tell your team how long the odds are, not because he expects you to beat those odds but because he insists that you all be prepared to graciously concede the game to the stronger team?

Would a badass star quarterback on the verge of winning the Super Bowl really put “Being a Good Sport” at the top of her agenda?

And would she still want to play for such a coach?

If imagining yourself as a star quarterback is not a helpful metaphor for you, then by all means throw it out.

But if it resonates at all, then you might want to consider: what are your friends, colleagues, coaches, and even family members telling you about your own merits and abilities? Are they supportive, or are they really counseling you to lose?

As if you needed any more discouragement, come on now!!

Play to win. Men play that way, and so should you.