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Never Burn Bridges– You Only End Up Burning Yourself

Burning bridges is an ill-advised, final emotional act, one that will not serve any of us well. First, the satisfaction in telling off someone is brief. I can’t speak for everyone, but I have found a fair degree of self-loathing present after I have told off another. At the very least, I set a higher standard for myself–in spite of the occasional failure to meet that standard. I wish to treat others as I would like to be treated, the old Golden Rule. Whether someone deserves a sound verbal drubbing or not just doesn’t measure up to the standards I strive to meet.

On Being a Woman and Winning a Yahoo! Hack Night as a “Demographic Outlier”

Photo credit: Sarah Clatterbuck

I just entered my first hack day a few weeks ago. And, to my surprise and delight, I was selected a winner. For those of you who don’t know, a hack day is where engineers take 24 hours and build their own ideas for products and then the ideas are judged. At Yahoo! We do this twice per year, and the judges are typically a panel of executives and architects.

How to Find a Mentor and Form a Relationship

As a follow-up to my last post, I thought I’d pose some ideas on how to establish a life mentor or mentors in your own life. There are two steps to this – finding a mentor and forming a mentor. Once you do these two things, it’s a matter of sticking with it and making a commitment to getting together regularly.

Finding a Mentor

As I mentioned in my earlier post, my mentors came to me as part of a faith-based group. Faith-based groups are a great place to find mentors, as you are already in a more open, vulnerable place when in one of these groups. So, a prayer, meditation, or support group can be a great place to find a mentor.

“We Apologize For the Delay, Your Call Is Very Important To Us” — Prove It, Corporate America

Last month, I spent a merry hour and a half on hold while making six different phone calls, three each to two separate companies. I hope that both companies actually record every second of the connection “for quality assurance purposes,” because I had a whole lot to say while on hold, especially to the company that subjected me to a male voice every ten seconds, repeating: “Your call is important to us. Please stay on the line.” I longed to crawl through the line and shut off that recording with extreme prejudice.

Confessions of a Workaholic: Turning Work Experience Into Expertise

I’ve never only held one single job. Ever since college, I’ve always balanced freelance and side work while being fully employed in either a full-time job or school.

I have Craigslist to thank– I am a Craigslist addict. To me, Craigslist is not just a site, but a gateway to a world of opportunities, and I’ve probably applied to and been hired to over 30 jobs and gigs on Craigslist. Even though I did go to college, I would say that I learned more lessons and real life skills from Craigslist than I did at UC Berkeley.

Slow Down and Make Good Decisions, Not Fast Ones

I like fast. I like to think fast, do fast, decide fast, accomplish fast. When I’m not going a mile a minute from one place to another, my mind is. And sometimes, that’s not a great thing.

I noticed this a couple years ago, and really started to notice after working with a certain individual– let’s call him Bruno. Compared with the way I usually did things, Bruno does things slowly. At first, this irritated me because it left me often wondering: “where’s the follow-up,” “I thought we agreed on this,” and “why aren’t we moving on this? I’m ready to go!” I felt like a speedy little motorcycle, revving my engine and waiting for that stoplight to turn green.

Bragging Is an Art: No One Knows How Great You Are Until You Tell Them

Question: why don’t women brag more? I’m not saying women don’t brag, or that men do brag, but I am asking why women don’t brag more.

I talked to three different women today who weren’t sure what to write about for this publication. (Yes, I realize I talk about enableher. a lot, but what can I say– it’s given me a lot to write about.) And all three of them had trouble because they were trying to start at the beginning. They wondered how to write on how they began their career, or how they remember their first classes, or they were at a loss as to what point they should even begin.

Thank You For Your Inspiration, Steve Jobs (1955-2011)

I only heard of the death of Steve Jobs an hour ago, and amidst the Facebook feeds flooding, Twitter failing, and my local public radio station KQED reprising the announcement, I realized: this was a great, great man.

Great people die. That’s just a fact of life. And we hear about it, much in the same way I am hearing about Steve Jobs’ death right now, and it’s saddening because it’s tough to see great people leave the world. It’s also chilling to me because it reminds me that death does take us all in the end. He was only 56.

The State of the Woman in the Workplace in 2011: It Could Be Better

Last night, I attended a talk in San Francisco’s pariSoma building in SOMA given by Nita Singh Kaushal, Founder of Miss CEO. My intentions were to pick up some tips, likely ones that I’d heard before, meet other women, and see if there were any interested writers for enableher.

As we sat through introductions and Nita began with statistics on the state of women in the workplace from this year, 2011, I began to feel I was going to get more out of this than I originally thought. The numbers flashed on screen: “women are making an average of 77.5 cents for every dollar a man makes,” “female CEOs are receiving compensation packages that were 85% the size of male CEOs, controlling for company size and other variables,” “40% of women are primary household breadwinners.”

Get Out There, Make Mistakes, and Move On

In my last post, I talked about how much Terry Gross inspires me not only because she herself has achieved so much, but because she reminded me that almost everyone, no matter how accomplished they are, started in a place less glamorous, less impressive, and less experienced. A simple truth, but a comforting one.

But what happens once you really start gaining traction? Whether you’re progressing in your career and gaining more responsibilities, or an opportunity comes along and you’re asked to show your skills in front of a large audience– the higher up you go, the further you have to fall. This too, can be a scary prospect.


Jessica Chan
Jessica Chan
enableher. Editor
Connye Griffin
Connye Griffin
Teacher, Writer, and Editor
Sarah Clatterbuck
Sarah Clatterbuck
Cycling-crazed Techie