Wish you felt more passionate about your work? Maybe it’s time to make Hallmark’s favorite random holiday into a celebration of career love, instead. In this week’s very special Valentine’s Day edition of PayScale’s blog roundup, we have insight into dealing with difficult clients (courtesy of a former professional matchmaker), the financial and emotional risks of starting a business with your own funds, and tips for defeating impostor syndrome.
(Photo Credit: JD Hancock/Flickr)
Alison Green: Career Lessons From a Professional Matchmaker
No one likes having tough conversations at work, but few of us have to handle situations like the one a former matchmaker describes to Ask a Manager‘s Alison Green:
There were a few times when we had to have these kinds of difficult conversations regarding behavior. I remember one client who had a reputation of being very “handsy” on his dates, so my coworker had to call him up and explain that this behavior wasn’t acceptable and was partly the reason he wasn’t getting second dates with his matches.
We constantly had to have conversations about criteria for matches. This was probably the most frustrating part of the job. Clients wanted matches who were fewer than X miles from downtown, or who only liked rock-climbing, or who were fifteen years younger than them. And then they would get angry with us that we didn’t have this mythical person in our pool of clients. We had to have a lot of conversations with clients that consisted of, “What you find attractive and what I find attractive may differ, so no, there’s no way that I can only set you up with ‘hot’ people.”
Makes dealing with your demanding boss and clients sound positively easy, right?
Penelope Trunk: Balancing Marriage and Business
Knowing better isn’t necessarily the same as doing better. Witness Penelope Trunk‘s latest post about trying to keep up her financial responsibilities to her family and to her new business:
My husband overhears me doing a coaching call where I say, “You can’t have an amazing career and be home at 3pm when your kids come back from school. There are no careers where everyone else puts in their full effort and they also want to work with someone who works part time.
“And besides that,” I say, in a speech I give at least once a week, “If you start a new career when you have a four-year-old kid, you are competing against 23 year olds who also are starting new careers but have no kids. That’s tough competition.”
Then the conversation goes like this: “Penelope, you’re doing it. You’re home with your kids and you have a great career.”
Trunk’s response is NSFW, but it is eye-opening for anyone who thinks someone else — their Facebook friend, their neighbor, the other parent in carpool — has it all worked out. Short version: no one has it all worked out. The way you balance business and family is that you keep adjusting the weight back and forth between one side and the other, and know that it will never be 100 percent even.
Falon Fatemi: How I Learned to Manage Impostor Syndrome
Arguably, the most important relationship we ever have in our lives (or our careers) is with ourselves. It’s sad, then, that so many of us spend so much time feeling like fakes. At Careerealism, Falon Fatemi talks about how her first performance review at Google caused her to experience impostor syndrome for the first time:
Women business leaders are particularly susceptible to these feelings because they already tend to underestimate or “round down” their achievements. For instance, if a woman wants to go for a big promotion but only meets six out of eight requirements, she’s much less likely to apply for the position than a man with the same qualifications.
Impostor syndrome isn’t the same as being modest. Rather, it’s the nagging feeling that affects your performance and your perception of your capabilities. It’s the voice in the back of your mind that says, “I’m not enough.”
If left unchecked, these beliefs can seriously impact your career and prevent you from realizing your potential.
This Valentine’s Day, give yourself the gift of self-esteem. Tally up your accomplishments, not your as-yet unachieved goals, and you’ll be on your way to creating your dream job.
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