Everything you didn't learn in school that will help you survive the world of work. A place for newbies, for working moms, for seasoned professionals and "free agents" to share strategies, tips and tales from the trenches.

Nov 9, 2007

Online tools part 4: Family/relationship management

Working women out there rarely find themseleves with too much time on their hands. Having little ones in the home can drive your free time into extinction. This doesn't stop Mom & Dad, Sis, and Grandma from complaining that they never get to see you and why don't you ever call? Thankfully there are many online resources to help you stay in touch with your loved ones when you don't have the time to update them all individually. Here are a few of Ms. Minchin's favorites:

Babysites.com: This site offers an easy way to share photos and updates of your little one with friends and family. You can post video and audio clips, maintain an online journal and growth charts. This site offers a free version (with advertising) and paid upgrades. You can password protect your site to keep out the weirdos too.

The family post: This site provides a great way to create your own family forum. You can share photos, stories and a family calendar. It even comes with a family directory as well as a message board. This is a great tool for keeping the extended family in synch, and planning events such as a family reunion. One problem with the site is how to determine who pays for it. It can be a little pricey, and money always has a way of causing family problems. It would be nice if Family Post could find a way to split the cost across family members (of course gandma and grandpa don't have to pay).

Free Wikis: There are countless free hosted wikis that could be tailored to a family forum format. The downside is they aren't as user friendly for the non-technical family members, and require more time from the site administrator to maintain and customize the site. The upside is they are free, and provide a way to collaborate or jsut share updates with extended family. My favorites are:

Lastly, don't be afraid to try Facebook. The fastest growing demographic for Facebook are people aged 35+. Ms. Minchin signed up and was immediately back in touch with an old High School friend. You may not be able to talk your mother into creating a profile (and probably don't want to) but it is a handy way to keep in touch with friends and colleagues.

Nov 7, 2007

Lady Executives, why do I expect more from you?

It's not right (or is it?), but I do expect more from women executives. Forbes recently launched its "ForbesLife Executive Woman" section, and here's what they believe the Executive Woman is concerned with: (One assumes that they've done the market research to support this, so I feel entitled to my disappointment)

-Sports cars
-Designer clothes
-Money managers
-Vacation homes
-Funny anecdotes about incompetent underlings

I realize that by expecting more from my female execs I am both adding more pressure to the role these women take on and reinforcing a sexist double standard that requires women to be more touchy-feely while being able to infiltrate the OBN. But I can't help it.

What do I expect?
I suppose I expect female execs to be more family friendly, philanthropic, and willing to mentor other women.
I was hoping to see headlines more like:

-Innovative flexible work options
-Nonprofits making a difference
-Why working moms are your best investment
-Benefits plans that make an impact
-Growing talent within your workforce
-Rewards for top talent

I realize that I don't expect really anything from male execs and am pretty content if they show even a basic level of general competence. Is that wrong? Is it wrong to expect that women can succeed and change the rules? That they can't redefine leadership? Is it wrong to recognize that women have to work 3 times as hard to make it to levels that male executives do (and why I don't expect as much from male execs)? Business women out there, what do you expect from your female execs?

It's in the Life & Style section
My crimes aside, the biggest crime of all is the new "ForbesLife Executive Woman" is listed in the style tab under a header "work/life balance".

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