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The PWCC Blog provides a platform for our community to interact online so that we may deepen our connection with one another outside of meetings. Promoting PWCC’s mission to create a strong, vibrant network for professional women, the blog also offers individual members a unique opportunity for self-expression. Topics may range from advice on careers, financial matters, and work/life balance to personal observations or even humorous vignettes. Whatever the subject, we hope that all of our members will take advantage of this chance to support, inspire, and enrich the careers and lives of each other. If you’d like to write for the blog, submit your blog to admin@pwcc.org for review. All submissions are reviewed prior to posting. Information is posted regularly by the PWCC blog team, so check back often!

 

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Secrets Can Kill

Posted By Administration, Friday, May 19, 2017

Secrets Can Kill

The HBO series, “Big Little Lies,” adapted from Liane Moriarty’s novel of the same name, aptly represents the secret of domestic violence: external appearances often belie internal realities.  In the series, the beautiful Celeste, played by Nicole Kidman, is routinely physically (and, therefore, psychologically) abused by her husband.  And yet Celeste goes to great lengths to hide her abuse with makeup and long sleeves.

As a result, the world looks at the life of Celeste and her abusive husband and judges it to be perfect.

Thus the conundrum of domestic violence: its horror is often hidden by the victim who feels shame and guilt for suffering abuse.  Victims of abuse, often women, feel that it is their fault and that society will judge them accordingly.

Multiple health organizations, including the American Medical Association and the Emergency Nurses Association call for greater education of medical personnel in recognizing the signs of abuse.  But we should not just rely on doctors and nurses to identify those suffering abuse; we all must learn to speak up and out to protect anyone we suspect is experiencing abuse; we must also learn to honestly assess a potentially abusive relationship that we may be part of.

Helpguide.org, dedicated to presenting guides to mental, emotional, and social health, acknowledges that while “It's impossible to know with certainty what goes on behind closed doors,” there are “some telltale signs and symptoms of emotional abuse and domestic violence. If you witness these warning signs of abuse in a friend, family member, or co-worker, take them very seriously.” It offers a detailed guide to signs of abuse: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/abuse/domestic-violence-and-abuse.htm

Other good sources of information for recognizing abuse and actions to take include:

From WebMD, “Domestic Violence - Signs of Domestic Violence”

http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/tc/domestic-violence-signs-of-domestic-violence#1

 

From New Hope for Women, “Abuser Tricks”

http://www.newhopeforwomen.org/abuser-tricks

 

From The National Domestic Violence Hotline, “Abuse Defined”

http://www.thehotline.org/is-this-abuse/abuse-defined/

 

Let’s all educate ourselves and work to eradicate domestic violence.

 

Submitted by:  Carol Jambor-Smith

Professional Women's Club of Chicago, PWCC is a Chicago based networking organization that provides networking connections that support, enrich and inspire women to advance professionally and personally. Members come from public and private sectors, multi-billion dollar corporations, mid-size and small businesses, as well as, non-profit organizations. Membership is open to women from all industries in all stages of their careers who want to develop a strong lifelong network. Learn more about membership and upcoming activities

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Busy Woman’s Tips: Follow Your Passion to Find Your Purpose

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, May 10, 2017

When searching for your purpose, start by finding your passion.  Your passion will lead you right to your purpose. Many of us walk through life desperate for a deeper connection, but aren’t sure how to get it.  Follow a few basic tips to find the best way to use your interests and skills to help others.

 

Consider your unique talents: Clues to your purpose can be found in your unique talents and what you simply love, start by taking inventory of your gifts and talents, and look for common themes.

 

Recognize your transferrable skills: Most organizations accept volunteers.  Be clear about your skills, so they know what you have to offer. Some good transferable skills to highlight would be communication, fundraising, marketing, event planning, finance, coaching, mentoring, technical skills, problem solving skills, web design, writing, and accounting.

 

Start with baby steps: Try micro volunteering. No need to commit long term to anything until you know it is a good fit.  Micro volunteering is described as a no commitment, free to participate, and a 30 minute or less commitment. Start by searching websites for opportunities in your area.

 

Be realistic about your availability: Don’t start with opportunities that may be too time consuming or not convenient. Start with a short term project until you feel comfortable with the commitment.

 

Decide where and how you want to make a difference:  Do you want to devote your energy to a local nonprofit, where you can work alongside people in your community? Or spend your time on a larger effort where you’re working on your own via your computer? Do you like to get dirty and work with your hands?  Nature or wildlife conservation projects may be right for you. Maybe you have always had an interest in helping empower women; the PWCC has many members passionate about women’s issues.

 

You can’t think your way into finding your purpose; you have to do your way into it. Take a mental note from Nike and “Just Do It”. The more we act, the more we get clear on things. Remember these words from the great Muhammad Ali “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” 

 

Written by Debbie Story, Corporate Identity, Inc. As a promotional products professional, my goal is to assist companies to optimize their branding through consistent use of their logo on branded promotional products.

 

Professional Women's Club of Chicago, PWCC is a Chicago based networking organization that provides networking connections that support, enrich and inspire women to advance professionally and personally. Members come from public and private sectors, multi-billion dollar corporations, mid-size and small businesses, as well as, non-profit organizations. Membership is open to women from all industries in all stages of their careers who want to develop a strong lifelong network. Learn more about membership and upcoming activities

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Member Spotlight:Always Making a Difference: Meet PWCC Member Becca Berkenstadt

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, May 10, 2017

This month we profile Rebecca “Becca” Berkenstadt who embodies our theme of always striving to make a difference.  Eight years ago, while attending DePaul University, Becca started her own small business, Worldly Strategies, specializing in social media.  She has since grown the business into a digital marketing agency that provides custom, digital marketing plans for small- to medium-sized businesses and is also committed to giving back.  She works with a variety of industries and has helped numerous residential real estate agents, sports figures and authors improve their websites and use social media to market themselves.

 

Becca loves to travel and has found a way to combine her passion for travel with her work.  She has already visited all but two continents and has lived in Madrid, Spain and Sydney, Australia.  Right after graduating with honors from DePaul University, Becca moved to Sydney, Australia to work for an agency for just over two years where she continued to add more digital marketing expertise in search engine marketing and optimization.  She has a degree in marketing and management and also minored in Spanish.

 

Becca’s goal with her business is to help her clients increase sales, brand awareness, and traffic to their websites. Her digital plans seamlessly blend: social media management, online advertising, email marketing, website design, and search engine optimization (SEO).  Becca has been very successful at getting authors on Amazon’s Best Seller Lists.  She also uses her knowledge of online advertising with Facebook ads to improve business for her clients. She recently placed a $200 Facebook ad for an education company that generated $13,000 in sales.  Becca’s firm is doing so well she employs two part-time interns and continues to enjoy her love of travel because she can usually work from anywhere in the world.  

 

Some of the things that make Becca’s business stand out include that she has: 1) clients around the world, 2) the experience of living and working in marketing organizations around the world so she understands the different audiences, and 3) a strong feeling of corporate responsibility and that each company should be give back.

 

As part of her firm’s values, Becca has made it her mission to donate 5% of her firm’s net profits each year to DAIS.  DAIS stands for Domestic Abuse Intervention Services. Growing up, Becca watched her mom, Holly Cremer Berkenstadt, help organizations including DAIS in Madison, Wisconsin, to raise money and volunteer.  Becca saw her mother as a role model and followed in her footsteps by volunteering at DAIS and becoming a community philanthropist. DAIS is celebrating its 40th anniversary this summer and the organization’s mission is to empower those affected by domestic violence and advocate for social change through support, education, and outreach.  The facility serves men, women and children by providing workshops, group counseling and a place to stay.  Becca has been involved with DAIS for more than four years. She regularly attends events, participates in their annual fashion show and hosts a table, and provides pro bono marketing help throughout the year.

 

In addition to her work with DAIS, Becca is also a member of the group 100 Women Who Care Chicago.  This group’s mission is to use the power of collective giving to make a difference in the diverse neighborhoods of Chicago.  This is a great charity to get involved with if you don’t have a lot of free time.  The group meets just four times a year.  Each attendee signs a form to commit to donate $100 at each meeting.  When 100 people donate $100 at the same time, they raise $10,000 for a worthy cause.  In ONE hour!  There is no volunteering, no telemarketing, no event planning, no silent auctions to solicit.  Just a very easy, immediate way to give back to your local community. As a member, you can nominate a cause.  Three causes are randomly selected and the nominating member gives a five-minute presentation at the meeting. Then the group votes and the cause with the most votes receives the collective donation.  The group meets at Kamehachi restaurant in Old Town and their next meeting is Monday, July 24.  If you are interested in learning more, you can check out their website at www.100womenchicago.com and there are also chapters in the suburbs and around the world.

 

Becca is an active member of PWCC.  She participates in our Mentoring Program, co-chairs the Membership Committee and is on the board.  To learn more about Becca and her company and have her help you with a digital marketing plan you can check out her website at www.worldystrategies.com.

 

Written by Sheryl Dineen; Marketing & BD Specialist, Ice Miller LLP

 

Professional Women's Club of Chicago, PWCC is a Chicago based networking organization that provides networking connections that support, enrich and inspire women to advance professionally and personally. Members come from public and private sectors, multi-billion dollar corporations, mid-size and small businesses, as well as, non-profit organizations. Membership is open to women from all industries in all stages of their careers who want to develop a strong lifelong network. Learn more about membership and upcoming activities

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6 Lessons for the Working Mom’s Juggling Act

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, April 11, 2017

There comes a time in many women’s lives when they have to make a choice about their career.  Mine was in the spring of 2014.  And, for me, it was an easy one.  I loved my career, had worked hard to get where I was, and enjoyed my role as a Manager at West Monroe Partners.  I knew I wanted to keep working after having my first child.  West Monroe was like my second family and the thought of leaving indefinitely just wasn’t an option.

 

I read all the “working mom” books and blogs I could find to prepare – routines, schedules, meal planning, accepting help from others, practice childcare for a week before going back to work … OK, got it.  The Project Manager in me had all the boxes checked and the potential risks to derail my success identified.

 

The one thing I didn’t prepare myself for was the plateau, or at least what I perceived to be a plateau, in my career. I simply couldn’t dedicate enough time as others at my level to go above and beyond in all aspects of my role – even though I knew I was capable.  And I wasn’t willing to take even more time away from seeing my daughter to do it.  Time is fleeting and I didn’t want to miss the milestones in her life.  Things became even more complicated after twins took me by surprise in the fall of 2015.  I reduced my schedule by 20% and based my work related choices around local roles and what would allow me the lifestyle I needed for my family.

 

Were others wondering why I hadn’t progressed up the career model?  Did that mean that I was losing the respect of my peers and the leadership team?  After moving at a fast pace to where I was, this stall – whether real or perceived – made me question my value to the company and whether or not it was all worth it.

 

Finally someone gave me the reality check I so desperately needed – I had THREE kids at home and was able to spend a meaningful amount of time with them during the week and that I just couldn’t compare myself to others who were at very different stages in their lives.  I think the exact phrase might have been – “Seriously, Reva? This is what you are worried about?!”  The tough love worked.  When I stepped back to think about how I felt about my life – not the noise from others and my concern about how others may have perceived me – I smiled.   I didn’t realize until that moment just how truly happy I was at home and at work.

 

Once I had this a-ha moment, I did some soul searching on the what, why, and how I came to this place.  The answer – it came with tradeoffs and I had accepted that those tradeoffs existed.  I found myself in a non-linear career path at a place where people are so bright and driven that my experience defies the norm – and, honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Looking back on the last few years, here are the 6 lessons I’d pass on:

  1. Don’t compare yourself to others. No one’s personal life is exactly the same, especially once you introduce kids.  I had to look holistically at my life versus separating personal and professional when assessing my overall happiness.
       

  2. Find role models and supporters. It doesn’t need to be a formal reporting relationship.  Find people that you look up to and want your life to be like.  There are so many strong women in leadership positions at West Monroe that I am privileged to know and to call my working mom advisors.  There are also men that have fought hard on my behalf to land the roles and projects I wanted at the firm.  
       

  3. Eliminate the word “balance” from your vocabulary, it is all about satisfaction. Work-life balance as a working mom (or parent for that matter) is just unrealistic.  I would describe it more as a constant juggling act.  There are days I only make it home for the tail end of bedtime and there are days I am able to spend 3+ hours in the evening with my kids.  The “balance” can swing wildly in either direction, but at the end of the day you have to ask yourself – Am I satisfied across all aspects of my life? If the answer is no, then reevaluate your priorities and what you can do to make yourself happy and be the best possible version of yourself. A great read to help understand this philosophy is Off Balance by Matthew Kelly – a quick read and personal favorite.
       

  4. Protect your boundaries. Just like your toddler, your colleagues will also test your boundaries.  Once you start to stretch them and make yourself available, the precedent becomes set.  Turn the auto-reply on and train your colleagues what an urgent issue looks like.  The only person who can protect your boundaries is you.

  5. Outsource everything you feasibly can. The best piece of advice I have received is to think about what you feel most strongly about doing yourself and then find ways to outsource the rest.  Just like you would at work, prioritize all the day-to-day tasks and get as much help as you can on the things that matter less if you physically do them yourself. 

  6. Compromise is part of the gig. You aren’t going to be at every happy hour and you won’t be able to attend all the evening networking events.  Be selective in how you spend your time and what you choose to do. Just because you want to do it doesn’t mean you have to. A time will come that you won’t have to worry about this tradeoff, but in the meantime – embrace it and move on.

I still wouldn’t say I feel 100% at peace with this change every day in my, previously very linear, career path.  Maybe I never will.  But what I can tell you is that on the days and evenings I am off work and home with my 3 little ones, I feel so grateful that I still have a career that I love and am able to spend so much quality time with them – regardless of what my title is at work.

Written by Reva Busby, Senior Manager at West Monroe Partners.  PWCC is grateful for the support of West Monroe Partners as one of our corporate sponsors and for sharing their insight about relevant women’s issues with our membership.

                                                                                                                 

Professional Women's Club of Chicago, PWCC is a Chicago based networking organization that provides networking connections that support, enrich and inspire women to advance professionally and personally. Members come from public and private sectors, multi-billion dollar corporations, mid-size and small businesses, as well as, non-profit organizations. Membership is open to women from all industries in all stages of their careers who want to develop a strong lifelong network. Learn more about membership and upcoming activities

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Busy Woman’s Tips: You’re not really my type, but do you have a friend? Borrowed tips from speed dating to up your networking game.

Posted By Administration, Friday, April 7, 2017

Although going to a networking event is very different from speed dating, the expectations are similar; in both cases, you get a limited window to chat up a complete stranger with the hope of making a connection. Follow a few tips below and you will be surprised that people from totally different professions and backgrounds can provide you with different perspectives and sources of advice you may not expect.

 

Use pickup lines Nervous and not naturally chatty? Having a couple of pre-prepared lines can be quite handy. Whether it’s about the weather, a great new place to eat or “Hey, have we met? You look so familiar!”, prepared lines can be the best go-to technique to start a conversation. Be original if you can, and, if you find something that works for you, by all means use it more often.

 

Be clear about your “Ask” At the end of the day, it’s not just about building a network – it’s about building relationships. Having a million connections is awesome. But having someone to email when you have a question or need guidance is key. Think about what you really need help with, personally and professionally, and don’t be afraid to ask.Knowing ahead of time what you’re hoping to accomplish will help you stay focused.

 

Dress Up Dressing well reinforces people’s trust in us. For the purpose of networking, we suggest leaning toward the formal end of business casual. When you’re planning your outfit, pick something professional but also pick something that makes you feel good—a great dress or those new shoes you’ve been wanting to wear will help you exude confidence. Remember to also check out the dress code for the networking event you are attending.

 

Offer to help Find ways to add value to others without expecting anything in return.  When you do something for someone else that helps them in some way, they naturally want to reciprocate. the best question to ask when you meet an influential person is, "How can I help you?" Obviously, you should really be in a position to assist the person. But even if they don't take you up on your offer, they'll probably feel warmer to you for having asked.

 

Talk about something other than work What interesting hobbies do you have outside of work? Maybe you have a side gig selling artwork, or maybe you volunteer. You may be adding to their knowledge base, or it may be something they are also interested in.  

 

Ask a lot of questions People love talking about themselves. Asking lots of questions helps establish a bond and also harvests good conversation. How do you like working for your company? What’s your primary role at your company? What projects are you working on right now? How did you get involved in your field?

 

PWCC provides networking connections that support, enrich and inspire women to advance professionally and personally. Additionally, the founders hoped to recruit women who represented a broad range of industries and services.

 

Written by Debbie Story, Corporate Identity, Inc. As a promotional products professional, my goal is to assist companies to optimize their branding through consistent use of their logo on branded promotional products.

 

Professional Women's Club of Chicago, PWCC is a Chicago based networking organization that provides networking connections that support, enrich and inspire women to advance professionally and personally. Members come from public and private sectors, multi-billion dollar corporations, mid-size and small businesses, as well as, non-profit organizations. Membership is open to women from all industries in all stages of their careers who want to develop a strong lifelong network. Learn more about membership and upcoming activities

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Member Spotlight: Anne-Alice (Annie) Homsy – Making the Most of Her PWCC Connections

Posted By Administration, Friday, April 7, 2017

This month we profile PWCC member Annie Homsy who joined in 2017.  Annie is the perfect example of how pursuing your interests and working with mentors can assist you in making connections in both your personal life and career. Annie attended DePaul University from 2005-2008 and received her undergraduate degree in Political Science and Government. She graduated cum laude.  Annie and her sister Elizabeth (who is also a PWCC member) grew up in Chicago as the daughters of two environmental attorneys and they were lucky enough to travel the world.  Annie loves to travel and is fluent in five languages including Arabic, English, Filipino, French and Spanish, and is also in the process of learning two more.

 

To read more about Annie, her path to PWCC, and how it’s helped her personally and professionally, please click here. 

 

In addition to traveling and learning other languages throughout her life, Annie trained to sing opera in the Bel Canto style. She became addicted to the music and toured on stage for almost 10 years.  While she still loves opera, she traded in the financial instability of an artist for a career in finance.  She is still a member of the DePaul Choir, having joined during her undergraduate years.

 

After college, Annie held several financial-related positions as she moved up in her career.  Realizing she would need an advanced degree in order to achieve some of the top financial positions, she is currently pursuing her Master’s degree at night with the goal of graduating in December.  One of Annie’s goals for joining PWCC and participating in the PWCC mentoring program was to focus on her job search and network for a new position.  She said her mentoring with PWCC’s Past President Karen Jones from U.S. Trust was invaluable and led her to a new position as Assistant Vice President at Bank of America.  Annie said Karen has also provided guidance on goals so she can be more focused.

 

Annie is also involved with the DePaul Graduate Women in Business Program and is now president.  The networking and social group meets once a month to discuss a wide range of topics.  In line with our "Making Connections" theme this month, Annie actually met Ellyn Caruso, Founder & Principal of Caruso Communications, LLC, at a PWCC meeting and invited her to be on the March panel of women executives to talk about how they have created successful careers in various industries. 

 

 

Annie also enjoys writing.  In fact, when she was in high school she wrote a book based on her Grandfather’s Civil War journal, where he wrote about his Union Army experience and his extensive travels.  Her sister edited the book, which was published, and can be found on Amazon:  “Grandfather’s Civil War Story.”  Annie still loves to write and is working on two other books (a cookbook of family recipes and her father’s experiences during the Vietnam War).

 

Annie is looking forward to receiving her M.B.A. in December so she can celebrate with a trip through Italy and then figure out what her next three goals will be for 2018.  She is also looking to get more involved with PWCC and to continue to help to mentor others. Look for Annie at our next event or connect with her through the Member Directory because you never know where a connection will take you.

 

Written by Sheryl Dineen.

 

Professional Women's Club of Chicago, PWCC is a Chicago based networking organization that provides networking connections that support, enrich and inspire women to advance professionally and personally. Members come from public and private sectors, multi-billion dollar corporations, mid-size and small businesses, as well as, non-profit organizations. Membership is open to women from all industries in all stages of their careers who want to develop a strong lifelong network. Learn more about membership and upcoming activities

 



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Busy Woman’s Tips: Building Financial Strength by Saving for Yourself First

Posted By Administration, Thursday, March 2, 2017
When you fly on an airplane, the flight attendant instructs you to put your oxygen mask on first, before helping others.  Why is this an important rule for ensuring survival?  Because if you run out of oxygen, you can’t help anyone else with their oxygen mask. This is an important metaphor for those of you who run around taking care of everything and everyone else except yourself. Most advisers tell parents to prioritize retirement savings because you and your child can borrow for college, while nobody lends for retirement. 

 

If you're having trouble finding ways to pay yourself first, try taking these steps to get into the habit:

 

1. Figure out how much you can afford. If you take a close look at your expenses, you may find that even small changes in spending habits, such as bringing your lunch to work, making less frequent trips to the salon, or calling the cable company to ask about reducing your bill, can create big savings over time. If you know you can only pay yourself a small amount right now, look for opportunities to increase these payments in the future. 

 

2. Create a savings strategy. Once you’ve found the money you need to pay yourself first, it’s important to find a smart way to save those funds until they’re needed. You can start by moving money into a savings account once a month, before you pay your other bills. Speak to your employer about deferring a set amount from each paycheck into a savings account as well and ask about additional savings plans they may offer. Network with financial advisors at the PWCC luncheons for more great tips!

 

3. Teach your children about money. Children as young as three years old can grasp financial concepts like saving and spending. Create three jars – each labeled “Saving,” “Spending” or “Sharing.” Having them involved in their future savings will help them learn valuable money management skills that will have a major impact on their financial futures. Even if you can afford to fully fund a 529 for your child, it is best to involve them in the process and have them contribute.

 

First focus on yourself, your career, your business. If you’re successful, then you’ll have plenty to give back.

 

Written by Debbie Story, Corporate Identity, Inc. As a promotional products professional, my goal is to assist companies to optimize their branding through consistent use of their logo on branded promotional products.

Professional Women's Club of Chicago, PWCC is a Chicago based networking organization that provides networking connections that support, enrich and inspire women to advance professionally and personally. Members come from public and private sectors, multi-billion dollar corporations, mid-size and small businesses, as well as, non-profit organizations. Membership is open to women from all industries in all stages of their careers who want to develop a strong lifelong network. Learn more about membership and upcoming activities

 

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The Imperfect Work-Life Balance

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Imperfect Work-Life Balance

How do we serve clients, ourselves and those that matter most? 

 

At each of life’s stages, we are given choices – deciding how we spend our time, when and where we choose to invest in ourselves, how we build and rely upon our network of family and friends.  Although these choices are never easy, they often come up quickly and force you into a decision that will pivot the trajectory of your life, and yes, lead to more choices!

 

This is not meant to be a “women can have it all piece”; however, I do not believe that every choice comes with a sacrifice in another area. And, I believe you can successfully do both – be devoted and dedicated to your family and contribute to the workplace in impactful and meaningful ways. There is a ton of commentary about “work life balance” or efforts to answer the question “can women have both a career and a family without sacrificing on either end” or defining “how women can make an impact in male dominated industries”.  While I have figured out what works for me, the solution may be different for you. As a woman dedicated to my career, my family and myself – I live by three simple guiding principles.  And, it took me a while to not only get comfortable with these principles, but also to stop worrying about what others thought about my choices:


1. It’s ok to ask for help.

I have to ask others around me for help consistently, whether it’s a friend, my husband or the marketing team at West Monroe. What I have learned is that everyone has their own priorities, stresses and needs, and just because I have kids does not make me unique – everyone needs help! I consistently step up to provide support, advice and help to those around me, and it is ok for me to ask for the same.  I could not do what I do today, at home or at work, without the support of those around me. Try to think about life as a two-way street – as you provide support to others, they will feel compelled do the same for you!


2. Commit to what matters most…and, it is ok if it changes!

I could not be more grateful that I am a part of a company like West Monroe Partners, where it is encouraged to “start the conversation” about what I need at any given point in my career.  The first time I began this conversation was seven years ago when my mom was diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer.  I approached my relatively new employer with a fairly demanding ask: to support me through my mom’s illness, so I could live my life with no regrets and be available to support my parents while at the same time not sacrificing my own career aspirations.  Little did I know that this conversation would be the first of many as I continued to shift priorities throughout my career, bouncing from full-time, to part-time, to full-time again! Everyone should ask themselves what will make their life meaningful at any given time and have the comfort to know that it can and will change.


3. Take time to celebrate your success.

Personally and professionally, most of us run hard and fast, leaving little time to celebrate our successes. It is important to remember to step back, evaluate what you have accomplished and take pride in your achievements.  Without moments of celebration, life becomes monotonous and unfulfilling.

What I have learned is that these choices, my support system at work and at home, and my confidence in my abilities as a marketer, friend, wife, and mother have allowed me to achieve success as I have defined it!

All life-decisions, transitions, and desires for change, come fast and while your choices may be overwhelming, it is important to make the best decision you can today and give yourself the flexibility to change your mind tomorrow.  While those are my three guiding principles – everyone needs to choose their own.  What are the guiding principles that you live by?

 

Written by Casey Foss, Marketing Director at West Monroe Partners.  PWCC is grateful for the support of West Monroe Partners as one of our corporate sponsors and for sharing their insight about relevant women’s issues with our membership.

                                                                                                                 

Professional Women's Club of Chicago, PWCC is a Chicago based networking organization that provides networking connections that support, enrich and inspire women to advance professionally and personally. Members come from public and private sectors, multi-billion dollar corporations, mid-size and small businesses, as well as, non-profit organizations. Membership is open to women from all industries in all stages of their careers who want to develop a strong lifelong network. Learn more about membership and upcoming activities

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The Rule of 3: How to Make Public Speaking a Walk in the Park (Sans Clowns)

Posted By Administration, Thursday, February 2, 2017
Updated: Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The Rule of 3: How to Make Public Speaking a Walk in the Park (Sans Clowns)

You may not like clowns but if you’re like 74% of the people polled in a survey on anxiety, you’d rather walk into a park filled with them than speak publicly.  (http://brandongaille.com/14-fear-public-speaking-statistics/). However…since you’re more likely to be asked to speak publicly – most likely at work -- than you are to walk with clowns, why not learn a simple way to develop a memorable speech quickly?

 

Consider these phrases:

  • Stop, Drop, and Roll

  • Liberté, égalité, fraternité

  • Veni, Vidi, Vici

  • Faster, Higher, Stronger

These recognizable phrases all follow the Rule of 3, a writing tip that’s aneasy way of generating ideas and organizing them intoa talk that your audience will remember.  This Rule works because it’s based on the fact that people find it easy to remember 3 things.

To apply the Rule of 3, divide the idea you want to talk about into 3 pieces, with each piece a subset of the main idea.  Remember this: each sub-idea must be clearly connected both to the main idea and to the other two ideas.

Let’s say you’re going to talk about why you don’t like clowns.  Your main idea might be “I’ve never really trusted clowns.”

Sub-set idea number 1 might be “To trust someone, I need to see her face and a clown’s makeup makes that impossible.”  You might add some details about clown makeup to explain this idea a bit.

Sub-set idea number 2 might be “Another reason I don’t trust clowns is that they dress in ways that are too fantastic.”  This idea continues to develop the idea of clowns not being trustworthy AND uses connecting language -- “another reason” -- that shows that this idea is connected to the one before it.

(The principle of creating connections between ideas is essential to effective public speaking as connections provide the roadmap your audience needs to follow your talk. There are many types of connection words that you can use, such as numeric [first idea, second idea], and emphatic [least to most important].)

Sub-set idea number 3 might be “The final reason I don’t trust clowns is their silence.” Idea 3 is still connected to the main idea and the two other sub-set ideas, with its connection emphasized by other connecting language -- “The final reason.”

Now that you’ve built the internal pieces of your talk, it’s time to think about how to begin it.

Telling an opening story is the best way to immediately connect with your audience and get them to pay attention to what you have to say. An example opening for your clown story might be: “Growing up I used to go to the Ringling Brothers Circus performances in the original Madison Square Garden every year.  Unlike the other kids who loved watching the clowns perform, I was never really enthralled.  And now I realize that my less-than enthusiastic response was because I never really trusted clowns. ”

You could finish your clown talk by recapping your main idea in a slightly new way: “Recently, news stories have connected clown sightings with people feeling scared.  As someone who never found clowns to be funny and who always distrusted them, I feel somewhat vindicated by this negative publicity!”

Regardless of how complicated the subject matter of your talk may be, following the Rule of 3 gives you the building blocks you need to put yourself on the path tobecoming a strong public speaker.

Written by Carol Jambor-Smith, Ph.D., Founder and Principle of Jambor-Smith Communications.Jambor-Smith Communications provides you with the strategy and training you need to execute internal and external communications that empower and motivate staff, build and retain clients, and inspire interest and confidence in your brand.For more information, contact Carol Jambor-Smith at carol@jamborsmithcommunications.com



Professional Women's Club of Chicago, 
PWCC is a Chicago based networking organization that provides networking connections that support, enrich and inspire women to advance professionally and personally. Members come from public and private sectors, multi-billion dollar corporations, mid-size and small businesses, as well as, non-profit organizations. Membership is open to women from all industries in all stages of their careers who want to develop a strong lifelong network. Learn more about membership and upcoming activities

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Busy Woman’s Tips: Grow Your Relationships with Effective Networking

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Busy Woman’s Tips:  Grow Your Relationships with Effective Networking

 

If you are like me, you often feel invisible in social settings, what is the best way for an introvert with a busy schedule to network?  Even worse, what do you do when you waited too long to follow up, gathering a stack of business cards on your desk? Follow a few basic tips to get your networking back on track.

  • Look for networking opportunities everywhere, whether you’re at a trade show, conference, meetup, or even chatting with someone on your commute. You need to make the most of every opportunity because you never know who you might meet! A smile and a hello is all it takes to get the conversation started.

     

  • Attend PWCC events! Our luncheons are much more than "business card swaps.” They are designed to enable everyone at the table to interact and connect with each other, both on a personal and professional level. You’ll be able to meet potential clients, colleagues, employers, customers, friends, and associates each month. Our format makes networking with new professional peers as easy as lunching with close friends.  After attending just a few events, you will be surprised at how many people begin to recognize you and you them.

  • Your goal is to create awareness of your brand and your existence. Try to follow up in a timely fashion, usually within a few days to a week of the event. It will help keep you top of mind of your potential clients or business partners. Don’t worry though if you have waited too long, it is still OK to invite someone to connect, sending them a note saying, “It’s been a while since we met, I am hoping we can re-connect and say hello at the next meeting.”

  • Cultivate a genuine interest in seeing others succeed…. and help them do it! Introduce people to each other. Anytime you have a chance to introduce people who can benefit from knowing each other do so.  Sending a quick email introduction is a great habit to get into. 

  • Go the extra mile about how your businesses or connection can be mutually beneficial when you do reach out to someone. Take the time to research and understand what his or her company does, if you don’t know already. You can also research your contacts businesses and follow them on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter, when you do, the owner may follow you back.

Get your networking back on track, starting now!  Take notes on every business card you collect, look at your stack of cards within a week, and make some connections!

 

Written by Debbie Story, Corporate Identity, Inc. As a promotional products professional, my goal is to assist companies to optimize their branding through consistent use of their logo on branded promotional products.

 

Professional Women's Club of Chicago, PWCC is a Chicago based networking organization that provides networking connections that support, enrich and inspire women to advance professionally and personally. Members come from public and private sectors, multi-billion dollar corporations, mid-size and small businesses, as well as, non-profit organizations. Membership is open to women from all industries in all stages of their careers who want to develop a strong lifelong network. Learn more about membership and upcoming activities

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