Tag Archives: Gen X

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v49

Photo credit: Alton Wang with photo editing by moi.

Are you gearing up for the holidays? After last week’s U.S. Senate vote for “tax reform”, I’ve turned into a bit of a grinch. I’m looking at all the things that are being eliminated and as a small business owner, it bothers me that the bill targets how I do my business expenses. Of course, we talk about not worrying about things that we can’t control so what I can control is making sure that the House members understand that this would be negligent on their part to pass the Senate version of this atrocity. Trust me when I say that when it comes time to pay my taxes, the response in my household is “Are you sure you’re not a Republican?” because I have a higher tax rate being self employed. My husband reminds me that it’s our fair share and although we don’t have children, we want future generations to have quality public education and hey, we all use that road & bridge so an infrastructure that isn’t crumbling would be nice. **le sigh** If you’re unhappy with where this legislation is headed then get your friends in the states where elected leaders are on the fence to voice their discontent. Getting off my soapbox and sharing Tuesday Truths!

  • Everyone talks about how getting enough sleep is a pillar to relieving stress. Lots of successful people talk about being early risers and maximizing their day. There are categories of people who do best according to how they get sleep. I fall into the “Lions” category where I usually get up before my alarm and when it’s still dark (although I like to exercise in the morning, which is more a “Wolf” behavior). Which animal sleep pattern do you associate with in your sleep activity? Now that you’ve identified which category you’re in, you can also design your day around how you wake up and power down to get rest.


  • There’s a theory that my generation (45-54) is moving into what’s called Generation Grumpy. My husband is already thinking about retirement in 10 years. While I’m a little bit younger than him, I will probably “retire” soon thereafter, probably another 5-10 years. So why are we so grumpy? It looks like the generation ahead of us are staying in the jobs that we would elevate into but they’re staying in those jobs longer. They aren’t retiring and as a result, my generation won’t be progressing into a higher income bracket or more senior level positions. Something to think about as we get older and stick around longer!


  • We could all use more positive thinking. I am pretty much a pragmatist. I have had and continue to have my share of disappointments so I always try to find the silver lining, although maintaining a level of optimism can be tiring when others aren’t as positive. I’m still working on meditating because my mind likes to wander so keeping calm is a behavior that I need to practice. Here’s a nifty chart where you can begin your journey of positive thinking.


  • I shared Tracee Ellis Ross’ remarks in a previous post about her owning her life. Here’s another version of her creating space and giving herself permission to give zero DUCKS. People always comment about how I turn down invitations because I generally schedule my life to fit all the things that I need to get accomplished (I really am a procrastinator at heart). I’m living on the edge here because I had a pretty full weekend so I didn’t write this post during my usual allotted writing time (see! I don’t always follow my schedule!). It’s my life and I’ll live it the way I want. No one else has to face the consequences for my choices. So don’t give others your power. When it comes to your career, those Benjamins belong in your wallet so how you choose to direct your career path is a combination of your financial situation, your obligations to yourself to increase/decrease your portfolio and how you want to live your life. You work hard for your money so when I hear about a young woman choosing to get out of politics because she can’t find the right fit, I want to hug her to let her know that I’m on her side. We lose another woman rising in the ranks yet at the same time, sometimes it makes perfect sense for a person to step out of their once chosen profession to pursue other interests and dreams. We’re not one dimensional and if you want something, fight for it and find people who will champion you. Leave everyone else behind.


  • It may be annual review time and I gotta give a shout out to negotiation extraordinaire, Tanya Tarr. She’s got techniques and a template on how you can prepare for this discussion. It’s an opportune time to pull together your greatest hits and talk about your major accomplishments. It breathes life into your narrative of why your work qualifies for more compensation, either in the form of a higher salary or more benefits. It’s a self confidence boost that will carry good will in the next year.


  • When we talk about why someone wants to run for office, it’s such a personal message. You may hear the sound bytes of “We want to build a better place for future generations” or ‘Our children deserve to breathe clean air etc.”. Honestly, I’m not a cynic. What most candidates don’t realize is that campaigns are about values. To get to the generic tag lines, you need to actually dig deep within yourself to recognize the pivotal moment that called you to action. Most people don’t think that they will grow up to be an elected official. It is a job after all and it’s part popularity contest along with some policy awareness. It’s also hard AF to run for any kind of elected office. Those who are truly motivated also recognize that they need to connect with voters and find the moment that ignited the spark to run for office. In my opinion, finding meaningful career goals is a microcosm of what it means to run for office. The tagline may be generic, the moment when you realized that you could affect change by running is not. It’s so deeply personal and is based on what you think are the values you want to explore and share with others. When looking at your career, you should also be aligning your goals to your values. Here’s an exercise that you can do to see what you can do to create meaningful goals.


  • I’m going to the Politico Women Summit and there will be a plethora of fierce women in attendance. Instead of the “where do you work?” line of questioning, I’m going to use my standard, “Any plans for the upcoming holidays?” which can also lead to “Do you have any fun holiday party/festivities planned?” aka “What are your hobbies?” which can also lead to “Are you planning to see the new star wars movie?”. I’m such a big believer in learning about people’s lives outside of their work titles. Since I’m the rare bird that grew up in this town, I usually ask, “What brought you to DC?” and if I do find another DMV native, we usually end up talking about all our favorite places for (“______” fill in the blank). So the next time you’re in networking land, here are 55 questions you can use to break the ice and get to know someone.

That’s it for this week, folks – thanks for reading/sharing and I’ll see you in 7 days 🙂

— Madalene






Tuesday Truths 2015 edition v28

It’s Bastille Day and it also would have been my dad’s 86th birthday! Although he passed away when I was a teenager, my dad heavily influenced my life. I have him to thank for my adventurous palate, my healthy sense of wanting to gather friends/family for impromptu occasions (my mom was quick on her feet in pulling dinners together when my dad would bring home a party!), and he gave me a tremendous amount of confidence being an only child growing up in a multicultural family – yay for German and Vietnamese roots! I hope your week is going well and let’s get to reading!

  • Working in the rather unconventional industry of politics, I know a few things about not having supportive friends/family in my career choice (fortunately, all the people who really matter to me have all been very supportive of my decisions). It’s challenging everyday under the best circumstances so don’t let the naysayers influence your attitude or your actions.
  • Ever since I moderated a panel discussing how to work across generations, I’ve been intrigued about the dynamic between the Gen Xer and the Millennial. I work with a lot of Millennials and every year that has passed since I became a manager and have gotten older, I feel like I’m turning into the cranky neighbor, “Get off my lawn!”. There are a lot of discussions about how to attract the Millennial workforce and yet, I wonder how do we educate Millennials about the the already existing infrastructure and how to best adapt. So for those of you who fall in between the 13-34 age range, here’s how you can work with the Gen X demographic (all within the context that speaking for a group is considered widely general).
  • I often tell people that they need to have a communicative relationship with their manager/supervisor (this sounds a lot like the way millennials like to interact). Why? In my experience, my supervisors were able to see things about myself that I never saw. They were able to assess my potential and envision the things I could do as well as behaviors that I needed to strengthen. Although I’m very hands off (my staff may have a differing opinion), I’m always probing to see what my staff thinks they’re missing from their skill set as well as informing them of what I’m thinking they’re missing. This kind of feedback creates a more well rounded visual of your portfolio and it’s one of the steps that you can use to become a better version of yourself.
  • Even I need reminders that it’s never too late! I take a bit of issue on the article because success doesn’t necessarily mean that every thing you do is equated to monetary success but I get that the gist of the article is meant to inspire you. With that as an aside, remember that there are a lot of other attributes that will propel you along when you don’t have connections, training or wealth (one of them being talent!). Age ain’t nothing but a number!

Thanks for reading/sharing!

— Madalene

Tuesday Truths 2015 edition v8

Photo credit via

We’re in full swing! Congress has returned from their district work period and I’ve got multiple fundraisers on the same day. #politicscanbefun

This week, I’m a Sponsor for the Women’s Information Network’s (WIN) Young Women of Achievement awards. I’m honored to be an Advisory Board member as well as a past member of the organization so if you would like to see your support well invested in helping young pro-choice professional women succeed then please consider contributing to this great group! I appreciate them for all of their support of my work (thanks for reading/sharing) and know that the future is bright with these women evolving into true leaders.

Let’s get to reading!

  • NYFW concluded last week and they’ve got a few suggestions for work attire. If you’ve got the budget, here are 4 suggestions that can up your office wardrobe.
  • These qualities are definitely what I’m looking for when I’m in need of an associate or an intern and I hope that I exhibited this kind of behavior when I worked for my previous employers. A great standard when thinking about how you become an invaluable resource to the team.
  • As a bonafide Gen Xer, I’m always looking for ways to communicate with the Boomers and the Millennials. As the workforce continues to evolve, everyone needs to find ways to effectively express the values and vision of their organization. We’re not so different after all.
  • For those individuals who wonder if the only route to becoming a Hill staffer is to intern, here’s some solid advice whether you can skip that step.
  • I’ve experienced burnout (when I was 25, I took time off from politics to run my own catering company and work at a James Beard winning restaurant as a manager) so I know the feeling of waking up in the morning and realizing that you don’t want to go to work. I also remember the elation I felt when I worked at another job, waking up so early because I was so excited to get to work. BIG DIFFERENCE. Here how’s to tell the difference between being in a rut and feeling burned out so that you can decode work stress.

Thanks for reading/sharing! Don’t forget to subscribe and leave me your comments!

– Madalene