Tagged: mentoring

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v28

Big day today! We’re getting a new U.S. Representative for CA34 sworn into Congress. Exciting times! This past weekend, I was in Los Angeles for another client, America’s Opportunity Fund (AOF) doing a training for AAPI campaign operatives and candidates. It was terrific to meet local activists and help them move ahead with their political careers. I’ll be in the Bay area in 2 weeks and can’t wait to see everyone!

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • I tremendously loved reading this post because I’m a horrible small talker (yes, believe me especially since I work in an industry where communication is key) and really alerted me to a basic reminder: everyone just wants to connect with the people they meet. Strangers may or may not become friends but they become less strangers to one another. The secret to small talk is being unafraid to be awkward. Easier said than done. So when I remind myself to give zero f*cks, I became a more open person to opportunity and connection. Be your awkward self and people will see that you’re authentic.

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  • Being a woman is HARSH. There are so many challenges and outside variables that nag at your self confidence. Are you married? Do you have children? Where are you in your career? Is there a growing competition between older and younger women? I am fortunate to have good genes that disguise my mid 40s age. I also have a mindset that allows me to stop thinking about age (whether it’s me or my friends/colleagues). For the longest time, I couldn’t track my friends’ ages. I knew that we were relatively in the same age group due to job experience etc but it wasn’t until they publicly celebrated milestone birthdays did I really see an age attached to them. IMO, there are women who are truly ageless, not because they look a certain way, more because they have a variety of friends of different ages, generally are current on technology and are compassionate/passionate advocates for their work & lives. I see the women who mentor me who are in their 70s & 80s and think, when I started in this business they were well into their 50s and they continue with such grace and veracity. The ageless generation (women who are in their 40s-50s) are my inspiration to keep myself curious and creative.

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  • I obviously love what I do because I spend a lot of my weekends doing it as well! I remember when I worked in the hospitality industry and realized that my schedule no longer aligned with my friends (they had weekends and my definition of a weekend may have been a Monday-Thursday and be non-consecutive). I recognized that the industry wasn’t right for me and also that I’m the type of person who would easily give up a traditional weekend if it meant doing what I loved. So if you’re in a job situation that doesn’t meet your passion, then you should consider a few things before you decide to throw in the towel. You maybe feeling a little stuck and you’ll have to assess the situation but if you’re living only towards the weekend, it’s a red flag that’s also blinking DANGER DANGER.

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Thanks for reading/sharing – we’ll be back next Tuesday!

— Madalene

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Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v26

OMG – it’s the end of the month and end of the QTR and we’re headed into the July 4th recess. Then it’s full steam ahead before the August recess. I’m ready for a break!

Here’s Tuesday Truths to get you through the week!

  • I believe a great deal in what Eric Liu espouses and I hope that people who have recently become active in the political process will take it to heart about being a part of a community and those who have been in the battle, allow space for those who are interested in joining. Civic life doesn’t start/stop at becoming an elected official and it grows every time someone wants to be a part of the collective mission.

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  • If you’re thinking about working in politics, doing it at a younger age has it advantages and if you’re extra fortunate to have the resources to participate, it’s even more advantageous. We’re talking long hours with very little compensation. I often say that working on campaigns can lead to many more opportunities should the campaign win and since campaigns are always understaffed, if you can excel at your job then you’re going to be successful. Campaign work is basically the equivalent of aging in dog years. You get to gain so much responsibility if people can see that you’re producing quality work. Life is good when you’re the last person standing or among the few left who survive the grind. With that mindset, it means that young people are given responsibility a lot faster than in a more structured setting and you may doubt your ability although management may seem to think otherwise. Confidence is a key factor to making sure that you don’t exude imposter syndrome as well as a healthy dose of reality from people who have more experience and are invested in your success. So if you’re in your early 20s you may benefit from hearing about Adam Litt, a former presidential speechwriter who worked in the White House at 24 years of age.

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  • I’ve spent a great deal of June speaking on panels, whether to interns or full fledge attorneys and giving lots of career advice to those who are seriously thinking about running for public office. I get asked a lot of similar questions and it basically boils down to “What would you tell your younger self about your career trajectory?”. I did tell a group that they should consider a purchase in real estate in DC because everyone says that they’re staying for 5 years and then 25 years later, they realize that they should have bought property instead of renting #beingpractical. I have also started saying that life is unfair, get used to it and don’t think you need to take giant leaps to make a difference. I try to be inspiring and in the end, I find that I would rather give practical advice because work life is never consistently rosy. As a result, I’m happy to find that Jennifer Romolini is offering career advice that most people don’t know how to share.

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Thanks for reading/sharing and let me know how you’re doing!

–Madalene

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v25

We’ve got an election today in Georgia 6 so we’ll see what happens after the polls close and we left everything on the field. #Flipthe6th

In the meantime, let’s dish about Tuesday Truths!

  • We’re in full swing with interns in DC and that means a lot of young people running around getting coffee and making copies (seriously, does that happen anymore? c’mon people, aren’t we more environmentally friendly?). Nonetheless, there are going to be people who will think that there are jobs that are not worthy of them. I may complain about it because after 20+ years working in politics, I know that when there’s work to be done, I’m going to get it done, regardless of the task. At the end of the day, I greatly respect the people who have taken years to master the simplest of tasks because before they move on to the next accomplishment, they have achieved perfection. If you’re on the 1st rung of the ladder and want to reach the top rung, you’ll have to work for it and there maybe a time when you can take several steps ahead of others. To do that, you need to have a positive image of yourself as well as your abilities and where you want to go with your goals. Take this time to mold your scope of responsibilities to something that you can be proud of on your road to leadership.

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  • Can you believe that the U.S. ranks 101st when it comes to gender equity in our national legislature?? China, Iraq & Afghanistan outrank us (frigging unbelievable). In years past, American women declined to jump into politics, but the political climate has ignited a flame within women to run for office. It’s partly our jobs to build the bench. I always like to remind people that being in politics really means being a public servant. Women warriors, we’re going to call you and I hope that you’ll take the leap!

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  • The joke from my friends is that I must have a endless wardrobe collection and I’ve had fun documenting my fashion choices via Instagram and FB. One of the 1st questions I got was when I was going to repeat wearing the same outfit. I do admit to having an extensive closet so although I have repeated, it would be many months and sometimes years in between. Who knew that it was a fashion faux pas?

Thanks for reading/sharing and don’t forget to subscribe!

— Madalene

 

 

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v23

Can you believe that half of 2017 has already passed? We’re 6 months into this calendar year and yet it seems like it’s been forever. I don’t know about you, but I feel like we’re in a constant battle and to be perfectly honest, my brain and entire being is feeling a bit weathered from the barrage. I’ve been politically active for over 20+ years as a professional operative and if you count the years I spent as a student activist, even more time being involved in the issues of the day. My everyday life revolves around politics and political empowerment so it’s not unusual to be acutely aware of the challenges that we face as women and as a woman of color. Everything at this moment in time feels extremely amplified and charged. My friendships are based around my professional life so to step away from political life can be challenging because I surround myself from people who are just as passionate about the issues. So I find myself forcibly taking breaks that take me out of politics. As a result, I’m taking the time to pause and recharge in settings outside of DC, even during the work week. Taking this time allows me to re-center and think with more clarity. If you don’t have the ability to remove yourself from an environment, I hope you can find a way to find an oasis to give yourself the ability to exhale.

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good is something that I strive towards although I’m more than likely to want perfection to be a goal. The need for perfection is something I have tried to squash because as a child, I got straight As and had so much stress about disappointing people that it would sometimes create paralysis. I still try my hardest to be my best self, whether it’s learning more about a specific topic or doing new things because I still don’t think I’m a fully formed person, maybe 80% set in my ways and the rest learning how to evolve. So the idea of being flawless might be cornered by the very few, it’s not necessarily the mindset that I want to take for myself. Enjoying the good in a flawed life is OK because I can be happy with what I have and be in the moment. Striving for better is nice and it can be ambitious, but I won’t let it keep me from feeling blessed for what I’ve achieved.

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  • Bad habits can be hard to break. The more you understand the root cause of these types of habits, the better chance you will have in re-setting your life. Mindfulness is how you begin changing those habits. I have found that life is a series of choices and how you decide to pursue your choices is really the deciding factor. Bad habits are really choices that are sometimes made without real contemplation. So much of life requires self reflection. People ask for my help about their brand but if you haven’t taken the time to think about it yourself, no one can really help you. We can coax you to think about certain aspects but the actual decision of what you want for yourself can ultimately only be decided by you. Punishing yourself isn’t going to help the situation (see above post about perfection). Recognizing what triggers these habits will help to better understand the emotions that cause you do something. Breaking the cycle begins with stopping yourself just so you can notice the negative things that are happening.

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  • I have the mantra of #livinahappylife and that means living it the way that I find the most fulfilling. For a moment in my mid 20s, I needed to remember what fueled my passion. I have never believed in destiny, the idea that it’s pre-determined that you would do something or there’s a master plan. There are times when society will place pressure on you to be defined by what you’re doing or where you work. No longer giving F*cks is so important to finding your own happiness, even when what you may doing is actualizing your life. Life isn’t meant to be perfect, it’s meant to be lived so that you can enjoy all the things that surround you.

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  • Everyone always talks about how multi-tasking is completely useless. Yet, I find on job descriptions the ability to multi-task is part of the requirements portion (I will need to review my own firm’s job descriptions for interns and associates to REMOVE that piece.). I work on so many projects that a majority of the time, I find that we never get from A-Z on a project because there are so many hiccups. Does that count as multi-tasking? The word has been so over-used that it’s hard for me to think of my work life as nothing more than a connection of actions that are dependent on others to do what’s necessary for me to move on the next action to completion. This all being said, there’s a time management strategy called kanban that can eliminate multi-tasking and get you to a more focused way of completing projects.

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  • When your work life has got you DOWN, remember Toni Morrison has the reminders about your worth. Living in DC, people like to tie our identities to the jobs that we have and it takes a lot of effort to not allow that connection be the criteria of how you value yourself. You can also stop the cycle! When you meet people for the 1st time, talk about their interests, not about what they do or who/where they work – life is so much more and don’t let others determine that value for you.

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Got a comment? Drop me a note below, on Facebook, or twitter! Thanks for reading/sharing and I’ll see you here next Tuesday!

— Madalene

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v22

Hope everyone had a good 3 day weekend! My father served in the armed forces and although he had already retired his military service by the time I was born, he reminded me of his dedication to the U.S. with his actions and through his relationships with those who served with him. I constantly grew up with stories and mementos of his military career. For example, there is a piece of jagged shrapnel that sits on the fireplace mantel of my childhood home that is a keepsake of what my father endured. He was wounded by that piece of shrapnel and kept it as a reminder. When my father passed away, my mother and I had his burial at Arlington National Cemetery and when I visit him now, I’m made more aware of how many more burials there have been in the nearly 30 years since his funeral. The markers are not of those who served in long ago battles/wars but within recent times. I see parents visiting their children, especially mothers/fathers and widows who sit on lawn chairs, sometimes with small children playing beside them while the adults keep their deceased loved ones company. Even after three decades, if I allow myself the moment, I can tear up thinking about my father so I can only imagine the grief that those left behind must feel. Military service is one of the highest honors to this country and I salute all of those who have served and continue to do so as well as give the utmost respect to the family members who support and continue on in service.

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

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  • Managers, soon-to-be managers, supervisors & the like – we need you to create space for emerging talent and guess what, you’ll be rewarded with those people who step forward with them taking things off your plate! Ways that you can expand the leadership circle starts with you so let’s get cracking by changing the environment – it’s a WIN/WIN!

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  • The feedback that I’ve received from my team throughout the years is that people in my office feel valued and I take the time to invest in their progress (even after they leave Arum Group). When brands/companies/restaurants/retail establishments create a healthy work environment, teams form with the company philosophy in mind. Individuals are not just getting a paycheck, they believe in the work. When you have customer service where the employee cares about the customer because the employee knows that that’s part of the brand of the company as well as why, you have a brand that will weather more challenging times. Companies that care about their employees take the time to understand their employees’ well being. If I’m on deadline, I maybe a more irritable person and less cheery but my team knows my quirks and knows that I’m on their side to making them successful. Personality is an ever changing situation but the core of my team’s values remains the same. We fight for one another and when we make mistakes, it’s on me. I’m thankful for their work and I care about them individually. It’s important to understand that I value them and not see them as just another person who clocks in. This creates trust between us and that they can count on me as much as I can count on them.

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  • For those folks who are experiencing their 1st professional job interviews post college, you may want to review these tips to make sure you’re prepped. Some of them are very basic but better to be overly prepared then running late going to the wrong address. I had a young woman who was walking frantically in my neighborhood looking for the address for her interview (mind you, I live in a fairly residential area so not a lot of office buildings) so she knew that something was off. I asked her if she needed help and she showed me the address. Of course, living in DC is also about understanding the quadrant system and she was in NE and not NW (where she was scheduled to interview). I let her know and she was quite distraught that she was going to be late (not a good feeling when you’re trying to remain calm as you interview). It happens and you can prevent being frazzled if you advance your interview location or at the very least, check out where it is located on google maps. Happy Interviewing!

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  • Congratulations, you have the job offer! In this market, you may want to accept the 1st position offered to you but let’s take a moment to think about whether it’s the best fit. You spend so much time at work that aside from the paycheck, you might as well get something out of it for a future position.

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  • For those of us who work constantly, there is a major risk of burnout. My friends and colleagues who have moved out of DC have discovered that work life balance does exist and it’s a crazy atmosphere that drives DC professionals to becoming workaholics. Whether it’s the peer pressure of those around us who are consistently working themselves to the brink of exhaustion or the demands of our jobs, where there aren’t enough people to execute the tasks at hand, DC is a hotbed of crazy work schedules and no time to decompress. It makes us wonder if we’re really cut out for a sustained period of time of non-stop work. Does this lifestyle make us resilient because we are battling time and its effects? If anything, it makes me put boundaries on my time. I used to answer my emails every day of the week, including holidays. Instead, I have a no email Saturday. I don’t look at my emails which means I don’t answer anything and continue the cycle of work. It’s a small step in reclaiming my time and the space that is thoroughly occupied with work. I enjoy what I do so it’s not really a complaint of that type of work, but more of an assessment that I need to be more well rounded. Less work time and less guilt and more time set aside to do things outside of work. It’s nice to have coffee with someone and not discuss work! How you take the time to become resilient is less about enduring the tasks at hand and more about how you give yourself the time and space to recharge.

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  • If you haven’t seen these photos about race and power among women, then you need to check it out immediately. Representation is so important as well as breaking racial stereotypes. The images are a starting point for a deeper and more complex conversation. What do you think about them flipping the script?

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Thanks for reading/sharing! Do you have a topic that you want me to cover? If so, leave me a comment below or on Facebook or drop me a note!

— Madalene

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v20

May is Asian American Heritage Month and there are a lot of cultural and political festivities to celebrate the AAPI story. Tuesday night will be Asian Prom, where a lot of my colleagues and luminaries will be all gussied up. There’s a lot of going out and networking – just perfect for the introvert in me 🙂 Needless to say, I know how to harness my energy to make it most useful to me. There’s a whole political fundraising schedule for these kinds of events. The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation has their legislative conference in September while the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute does a series of events during Hispanic Heritage month (September 15-October 15) as well. I was asked by a male colleague if I bought a new dress every time I had to attend these galas and my answer is that I have a closest dedicated to formal attire and my dresses go into rotation. It’s a good thing that Facebook has the memories feature because I can see what years I wore what dress. The dress that I’m wearing for the Tuesday night gala is a dress that I pulled from the archives. I think the last time I wore it, I attended a CHCI gala and there aren’t any photos of me in it so it’s new to you! It also helps that I have generally stayed the same size throughout the years so I can continue what’s in my closet without having to do too much damage on my wallet.

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

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  • I have always said during the many trainings I’ve done that working on campaigns is like working in a start up many many times over during each election cycle. Generally, there’s not a lot of institutional knowledge and the “adult(s)” in the room are in the late 30s-60ish age group. There’s a lot of young people who are looking to move ahead. The big difference is that election cycles are short and when you work in an organization such as a start up, the payoff can be much later. The similarities, however are tremendous. So when you’re looking for a raise, take heed of some of these points and you’ll see that you have a lot ahead of you.

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  • I’m all for women empowerment and showing solidarity for my sister friends who are battling against misogyny. So when people decide that women who are not supportive of other women who are advocating policies that adversely affect women and discriminate against groups due to their bigotry, are anti-woman or not a feminist, I get extremely annoyed. Remove the gender factor and you are left with a person whose values I whole heartedly disagree with on a very base level. It’s almost the equivalent to when I work with AAPI candidates. First and foremost, my values don’t change when it comes to the ethnicity of a candidate. If you share the same values as me and you’re “fill in the blank“, then we’re going to get a long just fine. I may want more AAPIs and communities of color represented in elected office but I will not actively work with someone who advocating for anything remotely related to discriminatory views – selective sexism.

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  • From time to time, I do #ootd posts on my instagram. In all honesty, I am decidedly less creative in the winter months with my wardrobe selection than when the temperatures get warmer. Getting the chance to layer up and to wear more summer attire is more appealing than throwing on a sweater and pants on the regular. However the warmer months also means dealing with humid DC afternoons and office buildings that over compensate with cranking up the air conditioning. I’m fortunate that I don’t necessarily follow the skirt suit uniform so if you’re looking for creative inspiration for what professional attire you can wear in the summer then look no further. Elle magazine is sharing 11 women and their go-to outfits for the summer. #8 and #10 are my favorites!

Got any questions for me? Drop me a note in the comment section or send me an email!

Thanks for reading/sharing! See you next Tuesday!

— Madalene

 

 

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v16

Thanks so much to all of you who took the time to vote for the “Diversifying the Progressive Movement” panel for Netroots Nation. Appreciate your support!

Is anyone else feeling the affects of Spring in DC? I’m feel like a bit of a zombie with a foggy brain and my head is either going to explode from congestion or I can’t stop sneezing or rubbing my eyes -__- BLECH! It’s so hard to function when I can’t breathe which always makes for fun call time for me because it sounds like I’m crying while asking for money @_@ –> neither a good look or sound!

It’s another Election Day so I’m crossing my fingers and toes for GA-06! Let’s get going with Tuesday Truths!

  • I’ve talked before about my dislike of being asked “to have my brain picked” – the term just annoys me to no end. I don’t see myself on the zombie menu. Needless to say, the term needs to die a quick death. Along with it, the notion that all of my advice is free. As a fundraiser, I know the significance in the “time is money” mantra. As a consultant, my work is based off of getting clients and utilizing my time to bring in more clients or getting work done. It’s hard to say, “no” and protecting your time is essential so take a cue from my colleagues, Tanya Tarr & Tammy Gordon and learn this tactic so that you switch from free advice to getting paid.
  • There are times when people get promoted in an industry and you wonder how is it possible that they have reached this level of seniority and yet, have no idea how to work with people? Motivating and keeping staff on the same page towards a common goal is tricky business. To compound the situation is if you work in an industry where there isn’t room in the budget for leadership development or people don’t make the time to learn skills that will help them manage. Some say that there is a difference between being a leader and being a manager. Regardless if you’re managing or leading, everyone’s concerned with results and results are dependent on how you work with others.
  • I get asked a lot about career advice and how to succeed in a tough market such as politics. The fact of the matter is politics is seasonal work and staying in business as long as I have (15 years and counting) is considered an eternity. Evolving my skills as well as the types of projects I want to work on are essential to staying relevant. It’s also important that the people I work with in this industry can rely on my ability to deliver. Regardless of what industry you’re involved with there are common themes that thread throughout in determining how you can guide your own career destiny.
  • Are you pitching yourself for client work or just trying to pitch yourself into new responsibilities at work? The key to success is to show how you can solve a problem to that potential client or supervisor. I’m a big believer in “Why” – Why a business exists, why an entrepreneur is motivated and they why is equally important to the potential client in why they have a problem because you’re going to find the solution for them. Pitching yourself is never really about pitching yourself — it is more about how you bring unique ideas to solving their problems.
  • I am a Type A true and true. Although I lean on the procrastinating side which is a little wacky since Type As are always on the go with their time. Maybe I’m mellowing 😉 Are you and if not, what does it mean to work with a Type A?

Thanks for checking it out – see you next Tuesday!

— Madalene

 

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v15

In the midst of this month, I’m on the road traveling every week so there’s a lot to do on my schedule. I was in Boston over the weekend to do a training and was energized by the work of the participants who want to get more politically engaged in their areas. It was also incredibly rewarding to see young AAPI women in high school and college who are already leading the way and who have a desire to do more. BIG LOVE to all those who participated in the training and who are making strides to increase their political engagement. #AAPIResist

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

Being able to grow with a company can be important to your career & Sheryl Sandberg has a quick tip career advice. My 2 cents is that you should spend time with your manager/supervisor to get their feedback on how you can strengthen your weaker areas. I usually spend time with my staff so that they can get an assessment so that I can also learn from them what we can do better as a team in communicating ideas and what they want to learn. Having this kind of conversation in professional development prepares you for when you need to do a formal performance review.

Need to learn sound leadership advice? These definitely fit the bill. I’m always working to be more well rounded so that I can be more self aware and better in bringing forth an environment that allows for creativity and innovation.

Over the weekend, I was conducting a campaign management training and we started talking about the Myers Briggs test (I’m an INTJ BTW). The ability to analyze a situation through intuition or data is really the basis for how we made decisions. That’s why when we train political operatives, we talk about the head and the heart. It’s a combination of data and street smarts that creates political strategy. Intuition plays a valuable role in making these decisions.

Assertiveness is an important asset. Knowing when to use it is just as important as being a leader itself. Men are lauded for it and women are considered…loud @_@ Whatever! I’m all for saying what needs to be said when it needs to be said. My demeanor in meetings is basically a sit and listen. I want to hear what’s happening and when questions come to mind, I write them down so that I can voice them when it’s appropriate. My role as a fundraiser is all about being assertive. If I wasn’t, I wouldn’t be able to raise money. Making asks as well as following up on commitments demands that you enter into uncomfortable situations, whether for you or with others. Time to get jiggy wit it and get comfortable with getting out there.

When it’s time to depart from your job, you’ll need to give notice. That means telling your boss and handing in a resignation letter. Honestly, you’ll feel like you’re riding a roller coaster and your stomach is probably doing backflips. It’s normal. I had a boss who was considered a bit of a curmudgeon but he was also a teddy bear. Understanding how they will react can also help tailor the approach in which you deliver the news. He was fine afterwards and I probably was a little overly concerned to how he would react. I’ve had to inform clients that I wouldn’t renew contracts. Just as awkward and I still have to see them at events for other clients. No need to burn bridges because you never know when you’ll have to cross the bridge again for a future opportunity.

Politics can be seen as a popularity contest. In a lot of cases, people are attracted to the virtues that include high energy and charisma. Humble may prove to be more rewarding but it doesn’t necessary highlight the “superhero” in the way that a narcissistic leader does. Read more to why we make this kind of choice in our leaders.

I think I made $26,000 a year when I had my 1st job at the DNC which was over 20 years ago! Here’s what women are making now after they graduated from college and the industry standard. #Adulting is challenging!

Thanks for reading/sharing! If you haven’t already, please subscribe – see you next Tuesday!

— Madalene

 

 

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v14

Over the weekend I had the opportunity to speak at the GW Women In Business Spring Conference about Entrepreneurship.

Here are some of my thoughts about the questions that they asked:

Introduce yourself:
I am a political campaign strategist and I help people get elected to office. (Going back to the templates of ways that you can introduce yourself in under 20 words).

What is a risk you have taken in your career path?:
I got into politics and then I left politics to pursue a job in another industry which I thought was interesting (I started a catering business & worked in a James Beard winning restaurant) and then I left the hospitality industry because I wanted to get back into politics. My career hasn’t been linear. I’ve left my 1st career choice because I felt burnout and I thought I needed to try something different that I thought was my passion. It taught me to maintain relationships and to listen to my instincts. It’s OK to not have all the answers and even when you think you know what you want to do, you may find that it’s not cracked up to be in reality. Everything in life is a learning experience and you can do whatever you set your mind to do, but you also need to recognize what makes you passionate about your work. Since my return to politics, I haven’t had the sense of burnout like when I was in my 20s because I better understand myself and my limits. That’s not to say that my goals won’t evolve into something totally different from where I once started. That’s life – people change and how they want to approach life. “If you get tired, learn to rest not quit.” – Banksy

What advice do you have for students who have a passion for starting their own business but fear that it won’t achieve long term success?:
Have a clear vision and definition of your success. Success is a personal goal. Do not become consumed in comparison to someone else’s instagrammable life. Long term success can be 6 months, it can be 2 years, 4 years, 15 years – a lifetime – it’s all up to you. If you know that you have a quality product or service that resolves a challenge or is innovative then you can go to the market place ready to compete. Try to be socially responsible. Always be a student and learn from others. I still take other people’s classes on subject matters where I’m considered the subject matter expert. I don’t have the answers to everything and neither should you.

How did your experiences in college and your early career impact your drive to create the Arum Group?:
When I was a child, I skipped a grade and later tested into a math and science high school program. I was an athlete and was student body president. So, I was basically every single Type A person with the grades and extracurricular activities to go with it. My father passed away when I was 15 and from that moment, I became an adult. Fast forward to turning 17 then starting college 4 months later so I have always been quite independent. I was a bit naive which only helped me to dive into the deep end without much fear. I was fortunate that I was raised with enough praise and expectation that whatever vision I had for myself was always positive and that my own ambition wasn’t questioned. My parents instilled in me that I have value and that whatever project/job/career I chose, I would make an impact. So that’s a lot of self worth. Temper that with a bit of curiosity, willingness to learn things that I knew were my weaknesses and a lot of go get it attitude. All of these ingredients mixed together with a dash of I don’t want to have one boss created Arum Group. I couldn’t find a job that allowed me to be the things that I knew that I could be so I created my own luck (with everything that I try to do) so that it could lead me to the opportunities that started my own consulting firm. There are times when I think I want to close up shop but I know that I wouldn’t be happy so I have to continue to create opportunities that I find fulfilling so that Arum Group can be a company that fulfills my definition of success.

If you’re beginning your professional journey and in your 20s, you have a lot of life ahead of you to experience a lot of different things and even as you get older, you need to keep learning. Like I mentioned earlier, you need to be willing to be a student at every opportunity. A former colleague of mine was featured in the NYT about her journey as a seasoned professional at 52 and how she used her network to find the right opportunity for her.

Do you have any questions you want answered about being an entrepreneur or working in politics? Drop me a line and I’ll give them a go!

More Tuesday Truths!

It’s #EqualPayDay and we “celebrate” it so that people can be made aware of the causes and impact that are created by the gender wage gap between women and men. I’ll be training about Salary Negotiation in DC and if you can’t make that training, my colleague and friend, Tanya Tarr will be doing a free webinar on Negotiating as well. There are ample opportunities to get trained in these skills so take advantage of learning how to value your worth. If you can’t join either activity, you can read how science teaches us when to make the first offer.

Since I was talking about Entrepreneurship to a Women’s Conference, I wanted to highlight the challenges that women face in this space and guess what, the challenges are somewhat similar to what women face when running for elected office: ability to raise capital for their venture (campaign fundraising), starting earlier in life, as well as how women spend more time as a caretaker.

There are days when I can’t get my sh*z together and need to reflect on how I can better optimize my day. If I ever get to this point, can someone send me a life preserver filled with a trunk load of vodka or gin? I’d rather drown drinking a cocktail, thank you very much!

Thanks for reading/sharing & let me know what’s going on in in your world!

— Madalene

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v13

Last week was a roller coaster ride. Luckily it ended on a high note with the AHCA pulled from a vote. Constituents must use their voices to convey their concerns. Concerted efforts cause elected officials to take notice. Do not allow people to make you feel that your voice or your vote doesn’t matter because you are not alone. Here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • Most people know that I am the Advisory Council for the Women’s Information Network (WIN) and from time to time, they invite me to write in their monthly newsletter. In this month’s edition, I shared my thoughts on the need for “Activist Mentoring”. In my opinion, the political climate calls for all of us to help individuals more collectively and for individuals who are seeking mentors to think beyond their personal/professional goals. You can read more here. Since I’m continuing down the mentor/mentee path, here are some ways that you can create a mutually beneficial relationship with your mentor. The best mentoring relationships are organic although that can be challenging because it means that the mentee is in search of and must ask a more experienced person to serve in that mentor capacity. Don’t be shy in asking someone for their advice and give them reason to want to help you by taking the additional step of helping them in some capacity.
  • I’ve been sharing a lot of networking tips because the job market is a little whacky and I’m getting asked on a lot of coffees. I’m going to need to start doing official office hours because it’s getting a little too much for my schedule. For me, networking is massaging my list of contacts. Keeping up with them so that I have enough knowledge of what is important in their lives as well as reaching out to new people who I can possibly collaborate with so that we can have a more dynamic relationship that results in net positives for them as well as for me. I believe in making my own luck so when I invest the energy in building a relationship, I know that luck will come back to me in some other forming the future. Good karma does happen and nice guys/gals do not finish last.
  • Later this week, I’ll be speaking at the GW Women in Business Spring Conference about Entrepreneurship with the theme of “Power Your Purpose”. The organizers asked me to share my thoughts on how I challenge myself and using my business to fuel my passion. I realized from an early age that I wanted to be in politics and it has been an adventure. The most important piece for me is that I also want to share what I know. The purpose is finding your “WHY” and living that so joyfully that it compels you to want to share it. I’ve had a lot of opportunity to work with a lot of people and it’s important to me that I can connect people to create bigger and better things. Fundraising is a lot like matchmaking and the more I can find those matches, the better.
  • I may be preaching to the choir but in case the people in the back couldn’t hear, let me share the feminist glossary. To be perfectly honest, it was good to review it because I’m always down to brushing up on the feminist movement. We missing anything?
  • Want to learn more about how women candidates can talk about politics, parenting and their personal lives? The Barbara Lee Family Foundation worked with Lake Research Partners to conduct a survey to find out what voters think about women candidates and how marriage/parenthood affects their decisions as voters to support these candidates. The findings are reflective of a previous post I shared and gives women candidates a sense of how they should present themselves regardless of where they are in life. Fascinating information for any woman who is thinking about running for elected office!
  • A lot of my colleagues have used the word to describe me as “fair”. I’m always working towards fairness and treating people fairly. When people come to me and ask my opinion on a situation, I try to think about the situation from the other person’s perspective and really give it a 360 point of view. I don’t want to be drinking the kool-aid if it doesn’t really help in gaining knowledge into a challenging situation. I’m not a perfect person and there will be times when I don’t care for an individual, but recognize that I need to work with them and Brene Brown’s advice really makes me dig deep into being a better person. Plus it brings back why I strive to be fair.

Thanks for reading/sharing and let me know what you’re working on these days!

— Madalene