Friday, November 13, 2009

You are not a Superwoman!

"You are not a superwoman!"
That's what my mom said, a working mother with 30 years experience and still working now as a Consultant, in her almost 60 years of age, in one of leading women magazine in Indonesia.

Her insight: You need to build a support system that could run by itself when you're not around. You could not concentrate and be productive at work if you keep calling home every 15 minutes.

My mother developed a neat supporting system at home. In her previous career, she was a senior manager in food industry for 15 years. At the same time, she and her friends released almost hundred recipe books and at the same time raised 3 annoying children successful with almost no major disturbances (one of them is me, of course... :P).

How she did it?
  • Check on the resources that you have. Identify their area of expertise. Assign them to do that area. Let them handle it. Don't bug them. Reward them.
  • If there's an area that need help and no resource available, find an expert. Let them handle it, reward them. 
  • If could not find an expert, then develop whatever resources that you had, to become an expert. Put a close supervision while they're doing it. Reward them.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Managing Your Boss

A bit weird? Why should you manage your boss? Isn't he the one who should manage you?

No. In the real world, you should have the skill to manage your boss, so she could better manage you. And how you could manage your boss? Here are 5 basic tips that I learn from my experience, on top of from reading several sources:

1. Get to know him and his background
There is this Indonesian proverb 'Tak kenal maka tak sayang' or 'You won't like what you don't know'.
Understand his background, preferences, work style. Customize your approach base on this understanding.

2. Prepare your ground
Never come to the meeting with empty head. Do your homework. Accompany proposals with facts. Re validate your information. Accuracy is important.

3. Argue gracefully

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Survival Kit for New Kids on The Block

Surviving in a new company is not an easy job. When you joined a new company, more often than not, you'll feel like lost in the jungle. Drawn in new information flood. Or worse... Nothing to do because no one give you a clue on what to do.

Here are 5 survival kits that I used when I was a New Kids on the Block:

1. Admit that you are new
By admitting that you are new, you will be more open to information. Rule of thumb: listen 80%, talk 20%.

2. Understand the organization
Diligently mine information as much as possible about your new place, both written and unwritten. Identify the structure, who's doing what. Familiarize with how they run the business.

3. Earn your place

Working Mother: Win Your Children

As a working mother, there might be times when you feel jealous to your children's nanny. I did, maybe sometimes still. But the lowest point in my career as a mother was when my daughter was hospitalized because her nanny was taking 1-month unpaid leave.
I have to admit that during the last 1 year before the incident, I got promoted and was very much absorbed with my new role. I was so sure that our bonding was good enough, I overlooked the fact that, just like any other relationship, it needed to be cultivated all the time.

So there I was, strucked by lightening. Realizing that I NEED TO WIN MY DAUGHTER BACK! Now or Never. Now or lose her forever. I started to do things that I knew I should do, but too lazy to do it. I did all the things that I had done when she was younger. And I want to share the 5 things I did to WIN MY CHILD with you...

1. Establish daily routines
To make children feel secured, they need know what to expect. And I also tried to use a very little time that we had.
- I tucked her to bed every night. If I had to stay late, I made it a necessity to talked her on the phone before she went to sleep.
- Before sleeping, we call her father (usually he came home after she sleeps), say prayers together, and I sing her to sleep.
- We take a bath together in the morning. And I used that moments to hear her stories about anything.

2. 50 hugs a day
I am a believer of a theory that says every child need to be hugged 50 times a day to make them feel that s/he is being loved. So I always hugs her every time I could. My daughter and me, we love to cuddle soooo much.
Sometimes when she sleeps, I just love to slip to her room and give her many hugs and kisses. When I'm angry, I put her on my lap or sit beside me, and always put my arms around her. So she knows, that even when I'm angry, I do not love her less.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Career Mom's Share

Career Mom's Share is a 'Share and Learn' place created by a Career Mom, who had build her career for more than 15 years.

The topics will cover:

  • Work
  • Career Development
  • Working Mother Issue
  • Work Life Integration

Hopefully this blog will give you an insight about managing your life and career from a working mother perspective.

Have fun!
Career Mom