Confidence Game

In California on a business trip last month, I met a mom with two kids who'd graduated from business school in the late 1990s. She'd been home with the kids for five years, she explained, but was looking to go back. I assumed she'd return to the field she'd entered after business school. "I want to go into something non-profit," she said instead.

Now, I firmly believe that nonprofit careers are tremendously rewarding, but my heart sank a bit from the ambivalence etched on my new friend's face. I suspected I knew what she was thinking. Over the years, I've studied working and stay-at-home moms, I've met dozens of successful former lawyers and businesswomen in a range of lucrative fields who lose their confidence after staying home for a few years. They assume they can't return to their original fields, despite their successful track records. They erroneously think going into teaching, social work or nonprofit foundations will be easier. More often than not, these women use "I'm thinking of entering nonprofit" as code for "I've lost confidence in my ability to return to my profession so my only choice is find a less competitive field."

The reality is they'd be better off staying in their original field. Teaching and social work require years of education and certification. Due to naivete or arrogance, some former businesspeople don't realize high-level nonprofit posts are just as competitive and sought after as top business jobs. It's tougher than many women believe to convince potential employers that private sector achievements are transferrable to education and nonprofit arenas, and why, suddenly in mid-life, you heard a different calling that you will take as seriously as your former career.

Many stay-at-homes would be better off if they confronted the biggest hurdle preventing women from returning to their chosen industries: lack of confidence, the most critical ingredient in any job hunt. A recent New York Times article M.B.A. Programs Pay Off for Women Seeking a Return to Wall Street highlighted this reality and business schools' growing success teaching confidence by helping stay-at-home moms brush up on outdated skills, a topic we discussed last May in Opting Back In and in July in Business Schools Target Stay-at-Home Moms.

"The biggest issue facing them was not whether their skills were rusty; rather, it was the confidence that
they had lost while not working," explained the Times article. "[You] should never apologize for being out of the market."

Does this confidence game ring true for those of you at home contemplating a return to work? Do you feel the need to apologize for or explain why you stayed home? Do you fear your talent and skills have atrophied? What advice can we share with each other -- those of us at work and those of us at home?

By Leslie Morgan Steiner |  October 10, 2007; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  Workplaces
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Posted by: leslie4 | October 10, 2007 7:10 AM

No fair -- the blog author can't swipe first!

"The biggest issue facing them was not whether their skills were rusty; rather, it was the confidence that
they had lost while not working," explained the Times article. "

I suspect this is fairly optimistic and simplistic. I don't doubt that confidence is a big part of the game -- I do recruiting for my office, and how people present themselves plays a very big role in our decisions. But are they seriously suggesting that a big company is going to treat someone with a resume gap exactly the same as someone without? Seems to be a little blaming the victim going on here -- "if you'd just had more confidence, you'd have a job by now."

I agree that people returning to work after time off shouldn't automatically assume they will go into a less "prestigious" field -- both because, as Leslie points out, those jobs can be just as tough to get and demanding as the big-firm jobs, and because if you really want the big-firm environment, you owe it to yourself to at least try. But let's not be blowing sunshine where it don't usually shine and pretend that the big firms are going to always give someone with a resume gap a fair shake.

Posted by: laura33 | October 10, 2007 7:15 AM

While confidence may indeed be a big factor, don't underestimate the perception that nonprofit will be less demanding than the for-profit world. People who have children generally know they will have other conflicts, and this may prevent them from being as competitive as the average "unencumbered" worker out there.

In my experience, and I've worked in both the for-profit and nonprofit worlds, it is true that the nonprofit companies made fewer demands on my time. It helped a great deal to be there during my single-parent days. I did my job very well, but was able to go home at the end of the day and my time was then my own to spend with my son. That wasn't the case at the for-profit company where I spent many years.

Posted by: abrown2 | October 10, 2007 7:37 AM

This sounds reasonable to me, at least to a certain extent. Confidence has always seemed to be a major issue for me and for some of my former co-workers. Even the most accomplished among them always seemed to feel as if they were imposters, and they were just waiting for someone to figure it out.

However, I am not entirely convinced that the desire of some SAHPs to return to work in a different field has its roots in confidence issues. It can be more about trying to find a career that fits the new life one has built. As someone who's planning a return to work sometime in the next two years, it can be difficult to figure out a career path that lets one have a family life, too. I know my former job (full-time associate at a large law firm) will not allow the kind of lifestyle I want. So I'm casting about for something that's a better fit, either at a smaller firm or outside of the field altogether. And yes, I have considered teaching. Can't get much more lifestyle-friendly than that.

Posted by: newsahm | October 10, 2007 7:42 AM

That's the thing about being a shark. If you lose confidence or drop out for a while, you are gone for good!

Posted by: nonamehere | October 10, 2007 7:54 AM

There's nothing wrong with changing career fields, and an employment gap may provide a good opportunity. However, the new field should be chosen because it's what the person wants to do, not because it seems easier.

DW quit her job as a Fed after our fourth child was born largely because she absolutely hated what it had become. The fact that we had four young children, and after day care, commuting and other work-related expenses she was working for a pittance was enough to push her over the edge. So she became a SAHM for several years.

When it came time for her to go back to work, there was no way she was going to return to her former career. It wasn't a lack of confidence; it was the fact that she still hated it (having kept in touch with former co-workers, she knew it had only gotten worse since she left). So she looked around and made a conscious choice to become an instructional assistant in the school system. She took some classes to prepare herself. (It doesn't require a certification, as teaching would, but it helps to know what you're doing and why.)

The pay's lousy, but the hours are good, she works in the neighborhood school so the commute's trivial, and she truly enjoys working with the Special Education kids. She gets lots of psychic income from that.

So if you're truly interested in changing careers, an "employment gap" such as being a SAHP might provide the perfect opportunity. But change because you want to change, not because you think you might not be good enough to do your old job.

Posted by: ArmyBrat | October 10, 2007 8:14 AM

Confidence is everything, and I don't say that lightly. If you're not going to believe you can do a job, why would a potential employer take a chance on you? You can call it what you want -- the power of positive thinking, the will to succeed, or even the art of B.S., whatever. We are capable of amazing things as long as we DECIDE we can do it. If you decide you can't, you're right.

There's a SAHM in my neighborhood who was a math teacher for 8 years before quitting to stay home for 8 years. So she's now 38 years old and she told me she just doesn't think she has the ability anymore to manage an entire classroom of kids since she's been out of teaching for so long. WHAT??? Formal classroom teaching, maybe, but what has she been doing with her children, all of whom are happy, well-adjusted, and exceptionally bright kids. I tried to lay a slight guilt trip on her about the importance of women teachers for math, but she seems absolutely determined that she will not believe in herself. It's very sad.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | October 10, 2007 8:17 AM

newsahm

"And yes, I have considered teaching. Can't get much more lifestyle-friendly than that. "

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE choose to become a teacher because you will be a great teacher.


Posted by: chittybangbang | October 10, 2007 8:33 AM

The best confidence-booster i know: having nothing to lose! Two years ago I was sinking into major depression at a job I HATED. I put resumes out, but the job had so totally eroded my confidence that I felt like I had no strengths, no talents, no usefulness whatsoever. When I went to interview for my current job (which i LOVE), I couldn't understand why they'd even asked a loser such as me to interview. But, hey, nothing could be worse than the job I had at the time, so I squared my shoulders, smiled, and aced the interview. My new co-workers all talked about how impressed the company was with me because of my incredible ease and confidence in a roomful of interviewers (they had several department heads sit in on the interview, so there were five of them versus me.) It's the best interview I've ever done, and it was because i had nothing to lose. So for SAH parents, keep that in mind when you go out interviewing: currently you're unemployed. The worst thing that can happen at this interview is that you'll continue to be unemployed. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. For me, that made all the difference in my (outward) confidence. Inside was a totally different story, but they'll never know that!

Posted by: newslinks1 | October 10, 2007 8:34 AM

I, too, don't think it's about confidence, but about the lifestyle she wants. Once you have kids, the 60 hour work week grind is just not where you want to be. Whether or not a non-profit job is a 40 hour week is dependent on the non-profit. She's afraid to say what she really wants is a family-friendly job, so she's stuck with the old non-profit line.

Teaching is my dream. I've committed myself to 5 years in the gov't, then I'll look back toward the classroom. How I ended up here is a long road that actually started with a job that was intended to set me up with a teaching position. The great part is that it's never too late to change your course. But please, only teach if it's your love.

Posted by: atb2 | October 10, 2007 8:58 AM


WorkingMomX, confidence isn't "everything." There are things like, oh, qualifications that factor in, too.

I agree that if you're not confident in your abilities, then you can torpedo yourself despite your own qualifications.

But all the confidence in the world isn't going to help if you don't have the qualifications.

(Yes, I know, there are people with sufficient confidence that can BS their way into jobs for which they're not qualified, but that rarely ends well for anybody.)

Posted by: ArmyBrat | October 10, 2007 9:09 AM

"In California on a business trip last month, I met a mom with two kids"

Posted by Leslie Morgan Steiner '87 | October 10 7:09 AM

You met a mom with two kids? That's all? I can beat that:

As I was going to St Ives
I met a man with seven wives
And every wife had seven sacks
And every sack had seven cats
And every cat had seven kits.
Kits, cats, sacks, wives
How many were going to St Ives?

Posted by: MattInAberdeen | October 10, 2007 9:14 AM

I would also caution that non-profit work places do NOT always equate to 'family friendly.'

I once worked at this non-profit that was completely supportive of its employees getting a higher education. I could be gone every-other day and they didn't care as long as I was in class.

On the other hand, taking time off work for a 'kid-related' reason was really looked down upon.

Posted by: Corvette1975 | October 10, 2007 9:16 AM

Sometimes you just have to fake it 'til you make it.

Almost seven years ago I started a challenging new job. My office was next to the White House. Every day I walked by and thought, "If someone as unqualified as George Bush can be president, I can do this job."

Once you get back to work, your confidence builds naturally. But first you have to get back there. So fake it 'til you make it.

Posted by: leslie4 | October 10, 2007 9:20 AM

I have two comments that relate but do not have to do with staying at home with the kids, so read at your own risk.

I was unemployed for 6 months when we moved to NC. I started off really confident because I was a star at my previous job. Then, month by month, the interviews became fewer and my confidence dropped. I ended up accepting an offer for a job that I was totally overqualified for because I didn't think I could do any better. It took getting laid off from that job to light a fire under my butt that I needed to find work that I enjoyed, even if I had to fake the confidence.

My mom is in the same boat. She's been out of work for over a year, and she's very close to retirement age, so she thinks no one wants to hire her. So she's looking at jobs that really aren't a good fit, mainly out of desperation and low confidence.

I also felt this lack of confidence when I didn't get into grad school after my senior year. I applied to 4 schools and didn't get into a single one. Granted, they were very competitive. I was too embarrassed to apply again. Four years later, with my GRE scores about to expire, I knew that it was now or never. So I sucked it up, applied, and made my self look really good in the interview.

Both of those situations had everything to do with confidence.

Posted by: Meesh | October 10, 2007 9:24 AM

"And yes, I have considered teaching. Can't get much more lifestyle-friendly than that."

newsahm, what/where do you want to teach? It does make a big difference on the "lifestyle-friendly" part. Are you interested because it's something you've always wanted to do, or because you think it'll be less demanding? Because if it's the latter, then have some in-depth discussions with some current teachers to make sure you know what you're getting into. Most teachers I know have "homework" every night and weekends, just like their students -- and it seems like the older the kids, the more work for everyone. Which is fine if you realize that going in, but I do think it takes a lot of people by surprise.

One of my friends quit her job as a paralegal to teach, but then came back after only a year -- there was a lot more politics and work than she was willing to deal with for the pay and satisfaction she got out of it. I think a lot of people decide to teach because they think it will be easy, whereas it's really one of the hardest jobs out there to do well; you have to decide that it's worth it to put up with a lot of frustration and disappointment just to see the light go on in that one kid's eyes.

I watched my mom work her butt off as a college professor at a small school. She had flexibility to be home at a reasonable hour, but I also saw her working every night, every weekend, for crap pay. After watching her work day in, day out for 15 years, I decided I wanted an easier job -- so I became a lawyer. :-)

Posted by: laura33 | October 10, 2007 9:38 AM

Leslie, faking it 'til you make it only works if you're not asked to do something critical before you've gotten it figured out.

We hired a senior engineer early last year. I wasn't involved in that particular hiring (I was out of town for a couple of weeks during the interview process), but the resume looked good and I heard from some of the people who interviewed him that he seemed pretty impressive.

We assigned him an important task - one that a senior engineer should be able to do. Unfortunately, his work was completely unacceptable - system would never have worked; there were problems all over the place. Three of us had to dedicate a couple of 120-hour weeks to fix his mistakes.

When we were done fixing the problems, we sat down and talked to him in detail. When we were through talking, we politely suggested that he resign to pursue other opportunities - like, maybe a job he was qualified for. (We suggested that he could explain his short tenure with us as 'just didn't fit the culture of that company.' In the tech industry that's very believable, as it's fairly common that a talented individual just won't fit in with certain companies.)

Depending on the circumstances, you might be able to bluff your way through it, but in my experience, hiring an unqualified person for a job rarely ends well for anybody.

Posted by: ArmyBrat | October 10, 2007 9:43 AM

I work for a non-profit and am paid about the medium for my area of the country. I also work from home, which is fabulous. I just have a few words to say to anyone who thinks that working non-profit is easier or less time consuming than working for profit. THINK AGAIN!

While my non-profit has recently let everyone telecommute and have flexible schedules, the fact of the matter is, if something needs done, you have to stay and do it just like every other job. The only difference is that instead of share holders to report to you are often reporting to generous people who give you money to ensure that the mission of your non-profit organization can continue. Not only do people want to know where their money went, they want to know that the people who are handling the money are competent and committed to the organization. When I lived in DC, I was sometimes at my desk dealing with an urgent issue at 7:00 at night. The truth of the matter is that some non-profits deal with very important issues and provide services that can affect everyone in the country.

That being said, I don't want someone to work at my non-profit who is not committed to the cause and just wants to work there because it is assumed to be "easy."

Posted by: gartht799 | October 10, 2007 9:43 AM

so much agree with the misconceptions about nonprofit. soon after my first child was born, i met with the head of my high school because i thought working in nonprofit development would be more "family friendly" than my marketing job at johnson and johnson. no way. i would have worked LONGER hours for less than half the money. plus my "valuable" (i thought) private sector marketing skills were not that transferrable to school fundraising and development. it turned out to make far more sense to work part-time at johnson and johnson instead of changing careers. i am sooo happy i checked this out before i romanticized nonprofit work. it is still WORK, after all, with its own pros and cons.

Posted by: leslie4 | October 10, 2007 10:04 AM

Ditto what gartht799 said.

I have worked within the non-profit sphere for years, both as a consultant to and a direct employee of. And I have, if anything, found them to be more demanding than the for-profit world at times.

In my experience, there are more "hurry-up-and-wait" and/or last-minute decisions made at a non-profit, mostly because some of the people consider it to be a more laid back job. But when that position paper has to be published by X date or that letter needs to get to the appropriate Congressional committee before a vote, then you're pulling late nights just like your for-profit comrades.

If anything, it's more frustrating to jump into the non-profit world from the for-profit world (I think). My for-profit bosses expected accountability from everyone because there was a bottom line (and usually a shared bonus structure). My non-profit bosses played far more inter-office-political games and barely respected deadlines.

Maybe I had atypical experiences, but I will barely even work with associations as a consultant anymore - it's simply too frustrating when they drop everything on you at the drop of a hat and expect you to perform 1 week's worth of work inside 24 hours.

Go back to what you know, people.

Posted by: Chasmosaur1 | October 10, 2007 10:07 AM

Or maybe, Leslie, they're worried about how they're going to be judged by their peers -- i.e. people like you looking down on them for taking a non-profit job instead of their high-paying, high-stress career that they used to have. They're worried that people like you will think they have no self-confidence and that that is the cause of their career change.

Posted by: rlalumiere | October 10, 2007 10:07 AM

Confidence counts for a lot at the interview stage, but, unless you are socially connected to the decision-makers, you will not get the interview unless your career choices and your application for THIS job make sense on their face to the person who is culling through resumes. With any job opening, the employer's question is, "what can you do for us?" not, "what can we do for you?"

p.s. all non-profit means is that an entity does not distribute the profits externally. It doesn't mean that revenue-generation or fulfilling its mission aren't critical and/or time-sensitive.

p.s.s. I hope neither of my kids are ever assigned to a class run by a teacher whose only reason for teaching is that she thought it was the easiest job she could get paid to do.

Posted by: mn.188 | October 10, 2007 10:11 AM

rlalumiere

"Or maybe, Leslie, they're worried about how they're going to be judged by their peers -- i.e. people like you looking down on them for taking a non-profit job instead of their high-paying, high-stress career that they used to have. They're worried that people like you will think they have no self-confidence and that that is the cause of their career change."

No guts, no glory.
Tons of insecurity in this post...

Posted by: chittybangbang | October 10, 2007 10:12 AM

Posted by: ArmyBrat | October 10, 2007 09:43 AM

ArmyBrat, I am surprised that the people involved in this hiring decision were unable to identify this "senior engineers's" lack of skills during the technical interview portion of the hiring process. No one hires an engineer or IT professional based on a resume and their presentation skills. At this point in his career, DH goes through at least two of these technical calls before he can qualify for an in-person interview. It sounds like the wheels really fell of the bus at your place of employment. Or did you omit salient details?

Posted by: mn.188 | October 10, 2007 10:16 AM

"If someone as unqualified as George Bush can be president, I can do this job

This coming from someone who supports Mr. Unqualified-Obama, puleeze.

Posted by: pATRICK | October 10, 2007 10:17 AM

MN, I'm not sure why it happened, but the wheels fell off during the hiring process. I suspect that the problem was that we were really short-handed (we had recently won a new contract) and needed somebody to fill the position, and this person was the only applicant at the time who came remotely close to what we needed. But yes, we're usually a whole lot better than this when it comes to weeding out the imposters. If the initial telephone screen doesn't detect the BS artists, the in-person interview almost always will. For whatever reason, we messed up on that one.

Posted by: ArmyBrat | October 10, 2007 10:29 AM

ArmyBrat and MN, Another problem that can arise is when a powerful person making the hiring decision fancies him- or herself a great judge of future talent that s/he hopes to develop. Disastrous results can (often) occur if someone patently unqualified is hired far above their abilities when there's a convergence of the candidate's hubris (read: faking it) and the hirer's ego-trip.

Posted by: mehitabel | October 10, 2007 10:39 AM

While I agree that confidence does not necessarily trump the importance of qualifications, I also think that confidence and attitude play a huge part in being qualified for a job. It is not enough to have enough education and skills to do the job. You also have to believe in your ability to do it. And in some jobs (obviously not engineering or other highly technical jobs), it is possible to be smart and perhaps a bit underqualified or inexperienced, but have the confidence and basic intelligence to be able to rise to the occasion. When I took the job that I have right now, I had never done something at this level before. I knew I could do it, given the chance. And it worked out fine, because the skills I had developed previously segued pretty seamlessly into the new job's requirements. The first time I ran a big meeting by myself, I was a little intimidated at the prospect, but I took a deep breath, pretended it was old hat, and somehow managed to get through it well. Without a little bravado and the fine art of faking it, I probably would not have succeeded. Having confidence does not need to mean that you are substituting it for qualifications. It can just be a jumping off point that catapults you into something new or more difficult, but for which you are entirely suited.

Posted by: Emily | October 10, 2007 10:49 AM

I think Emily makes an excellent point here, namely that it may depend in part upon what field one is in, and how much is at stake. If we could help it, none of us would want to travel on a bridge or road designed by an insufficiently-qualified engineer, be defended by an insufficiently-experienced lawyer, treated by an insufficiently-experienced medical professional, etc.

Posted by: mehitabel | October 10, 2007 10:55 AM

I can only speak for myself, but were I to return to paid work, I would likely pursue the non-profit angle only because I am unwilling to stop what I am doing with my family for money only. While, I know this isn't an option or consideration for everyone, I would only be able to justify not being a SAHM by doing something that I felt was meaningful. I'm not saying that non-profit work is always meaningful or that for profit isn't. i wonder if other mothers have find that their priorities have shifted in such a way after having children.

Posted by: moxiemom1 | October 10, 2007 11:15 AM

Qualifications obviously matter. But I bet that in a job interview, an unconfident qualified person loses out to a confident less qualified person most of the time (unless the HR manager is savvy enough to see past the confidence game).

I've talked to a lot of hiring managers who complain that former SAHMs come in and say "I don't know what I can do...Just give me any job and I'll do it." And I meet a lot of high qualified, very well educated SAHMS whose ONLY problem is lack of confidence.

In my opinion, one of the main benefits of these back-to-work programs business schools are offering is they boost women's confidence.

Posted by: leslie4 | October 10, 2007 11:15 AM

I think confidence is an issue definitely--even in my current job I feel like one of those old TV ads--"I'm not a doctor, but I play one on TV". But CHOICE is an issue too. I am hoping to have children in a few years and am hoping to stay home with them, and when I go back to work I can't see that it will be in the field I am in now (finance/accounting) which at least where I work demands lots of hours, lots of face time and lots of obligations to be part of a team, all for something that doesn't really (let's be honest) make anyone else's life better at the end of the day. I am glad to hear what moxiemom says because I can feel my priorities shifting just THINKING about having kids.

Posted by: teaspoon2007 | October 10, 2007 11:22 AM

I, too, read the decision to go into nonprofit work as a possible lifestyle choice rather than a lack of confidence. I made the choice to move to Arizona and I targeted state and municpal employers because I wanted a set schedule. I walked away from a very lucrative job offer in WDC in the private sector (I didn't apply for it--they actively recruited me). The job would have required a minimum of 25% travel, and as a single mother, I could not do this. My career choices have been dictated by the fact that I am a single mother who receives no help from my ex-husband. It's certainly not a lack of confidence, and I really love what I do for a living. Sometimes balance means taking a job that does not pay as well, or making a career change.

Off topic, but I HAD to share this. The Mommy Wars in Japan results in the murder of rivals' children:
http://www.marieclaire.com/world/news/murder-mothers

Posted by: pepperjade | October 10, 2007 11:33 AM

"all for something that doesn't really (let's be honest) make anyone else's life better at the end of the day."

Why not change jobs now?

Posted by: chittybangbang | October 10, 2007 11:34 AM

Why not change jobs now?

Posted by: chittybangbang | October 10, 2007 11:34 AM

Why not post something other than snarks and criticisms?

Posted by: anonthistime | October 10, 2007 11:41 AM

Wow. Today's blog is so ridden with misconceptions about professionals working in the diverse non-profit community that I don't even know where to begin. So maybe I'll just take a pass for today. It's not worth the effort to try to explain the significance of non-profit work and the motivations of those of us who do it really, really well, when the starting point for the discussion is the arrogance and misinformation dripping from Leslie's post.

I'll wait for another day.

Posted by: gottabeanon | October 10, 2007 11:44 AM

"If someone as unqualified as George Bush can be president, I can do this job

This coming from someone who supports Mr. Unqualified-Obama, puleeze.

Posted by: pATRICK | October 10, 2007 10:17 AM

Thank you pATRICK!!!

Posted by: DLC1973 | October 10, 2007 11:45 AM

unless the HR manager is savvy enough to see past the confidence game).


No way Leslie. Give me a confident person anyday rather than a better qualified handwringing loser. A confident person will better represent me than a shy retiring wallflower and people can work on their qualifications.

Posted by: pATRICK | October 10, 2007 11:48 AM

anon

"Why not post something other than snarks and criticisms?"

I'm allergic to a$s-kissing.

Posted by: chittybangbang | October 10, 2007 11:50 AM

Gotta agree with the Obama assessment. But I would add Fred Thompson as well. Both of these guys have incredible charisma, but not much more (as I see it).

As they say out west, "All hat and no cattle."

Posted by: pepperjade | October 10, 2007 11:53 AM

Thanks, newslinks, for the inspiring story.
On the topic, in general, I also don't read lack of confidence into the desire to go into non-profit. Rather, I see it as a result of reflection on past years of a high-pressure career resulting in a decision that the money, etc. is not worth all the stress.
However, people looking to go into non-profit should be aware that the politics can be vicious. Don't assume it will be a nicer environment. The workplace may be dominated by an unbelievable control freak.

Posted by: dc_ca_2004 | October 10, 2007 11:54 AM

Hi Chitty,

Although I am pretty sure that preparing financials doesn't contribute much to anyone's quality of life, I do like my job and my colleagues, the pay is good and I am content doing as good a job as I can here until I have kids, God willing, and then I will see about doing something else.

Posted by: teaspoon2007 | October 10, 2007 11:54 AM

Not necessarily a$s-kissing to agree with someone but maybe that is the only POV that you see. Here is an astonishing thought, how about posting a divergent opinion on the daily subject?

Posted by: anonthistime | October 10, 2007 11:57 AM

I realize it didn't sound that way in my post. My place is better than most and the hours/face time/team obligations are fine with me now since no one is waiting for me to come home.

Posted by: teaspoon2007 | October 10, 2007 11:57 AM

Two things 1- breaking into non-profit world is not as easy as one might think. A friend moved to a smaller job market (Houston) with lots of big city (New York/London) paid experience, networked and volunteered with various community organizations and could not get her dream job at a non-profit. There was a hurdle that she just couldn't seem to cross. 2- I don't see non-profit work as particularly stable or family friendly... many organizations are small/understaffed and don't offer the benefits that a for-profit organization can. Frankly that's why a lot of them recruit just out of college kids for lower level positions.

Posted by: tntkate | October 10, 2007 11:57 AM

anon

"Here is an astonishing thought, how about posting a divergent opinion on the daily subject?"

Which are labeled as "not nice", "snarks and criticisms"...

Posted by: chittybangbang | October 10, 2007 12:03 PM

Pepperjade - YIKES to that Japan article. Makes those Texas cheerleader moms seem positively balanced. Maybe Leslie should take her blog international, sounds like those ladies could use it. I'm glad our "mommy wars" here use words!

Posted by: moxiemom1 | October 10, 2007 12:10 PM

This reminds me of the discussion that followed Linda Hirshman's notorious article, "Homeward Bound," in the American Prospect back in November 2005. Professor Hirshman wrote:

"The preparation stage begins with college. It is shocking to think that girls cut off their options for a public life of work as early as college. But they do. The first pitfall is the liberal-arts curriculum, which women are good at, graduating in higher numbers than men. Although many really successful people start out studying liberal arts, the purpose of a liberal education is not, with the exception of a miniscule number of academic positions, job preparation."

One of the sharpest replies to "Homeward Bound" came from Laura at 11D, and mentions "not-for-profit work":

"The New Rules -- Don't get a liberal arts education. Don't be idealistic about your job. (Only morons do not-for-profit work.) Get a job that makes a lot of money. (The goals of feminism will be complete when all women are corporate robots.) Marry guys with lesser jobs and voted for Nader -- a bleeding heart type. (Home life is bad for women, but good for men.) Only have one baby; two kids are much, much more work and then you'll have to move to the suburbs. (If you absolutely must procreate, please only squeeze out one.)"

Can it be that the idea that it is a lack of self-confidence that leads a returning-to-the-workplace SAHM to the not-for-profit sector rather than back to the high-powered corporate sector that she previously worked in, that this idea is akin to the idea that "only morons do not-for-profit work"?

Posted by: MattInAberdeen | October 10, 2007 12:18 PM

Which are labeled as "not nice", "snarks and criticisms

Yes, when you are attacking an person rather than offering an idea or your experience.

For example "Why not change jobs now?" can be easily viewed as a snark.

What about, "I know of some accountants that do work for non-profits (if true) or If you enjoy accounting work, would you be better suited to doing this for a non profit?"

Posted by: anonthistime | October 10, 2007 12:19 PM

Pepperjade,
Thanks for the Japan article. Yes, social relations in Japan are an unbelievable pain. People bow down to you one day, turn their noses up at you the next. As the article says, bullying is the normal mode of group interaction. Someone told me that MacArthur called Japan "a nation of 12-year-olds." I think he was being diplomatic. 2-year-olds is more like it, a lot of the time.

Posted by: dc_ca_2004 | October 10, 2007 12:19 PM

It has nothing to do with loss of confidence while at home: I hated my field when I was working in it. In a couple of years when my youngest is in school, I definitely will want to try something else!

Posted by: lmlarock | October 10, 2007 12:23 PM

Moxie: Yeah, I can't imagine the rage it takes to brutally murder five-year-old children. It was noteworthy that these mothers confessed that their worth is measured in their children's success...but something is WAY out of balance there. Couldn't hurt to have a Japanese "On Balance" column! Better to have these women rage annonymously on the blog than go psycho on the playground.

Posted by: pepperjade | October 10, 2007 12:30 PM

Really? You think we bought into Leslie's reasoning? When have we ever done that? I think we all agreed that each non-profit has to be judged individually, same as for-profit companies.

--------------------------------------------
Wow. Today's blog is so ridden with misconceptions about professionals working in the diverse non-profit community that I don't even know where to begin. So maybe I'll just take a pass for today. It's not worth the effort to try to explain the significance of non-profit work and the motivations of those of us who do it really, really well, when the starting point for the discussion is the arrogance and misinformation dripping from Leslie's post.

I'll wait for another day.

Posted by: gottabeanon | October 10, 2007 11:44 AM

Posted by: atb2 | October 10, 2007 12:31 PM

Gotta agree with the Obama assessment. But I would add Fred Thompson as well. Both of these guys have incredible charisma, but not much more (as I see it).

I think Thompson is a nobody personally. BTW concerning the japanese, Ithink their problem is a lack of spirituality. When you only focus on wealth,status and work, you end up with a lot of empty people.

Posted by: pATRICK | October 10, 2007 12:50 PM

Definitely confidence can get you jobs - and help you keep them. My DH was about to quit his job, and this interview came up for a big company, and it sounded quite interesting to him. The thing is, we were all set for him to stop working and stay at home, and start his own business, me the breadwinner, etc.
So he went to the interview, they called him back a little while later (VP was out of the country) and then they loved him and offered him the job.

I think if he was the only one working, and knowing how miserable he was at his old job, he might have felt undue pressure to do so well at this interview he might have blown it. It's funny, cause he still doesn't really want the job (we're working towards him quitting again), so he doesn't take c*** from others - and when SVPs call and tell him he *has* to do something right away, he tells them, we'll put you on our schedule and I'll let you know. Then he gets yelled and and he tells them: sure, take it up with the CEO - have them fire me, whatever. They are completely shocked and can't believe it at all.
He REALLY DOESN'T CARE. It's so funny to hear these stories from him.

Posted by: atlmom1234 | October 10, 2007 12:50 PM

anon

"For example "Why not change jobs now?" can be easily viewed as a snark.

What about, "I know of some accountants that do work for non-profits (if true) or If you enjoy accounting work, would you be better suited to doing this for a non profit?"

"Making nice" is deadly dull and takes up too much space on the Internet. Naptime.
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Posted by: chittybangbang | October 10, 2007 12:52 PM

Okay, and when I was out of work for almost 4 years, I found out the US headquarters of a company that uses many with my grad degree is here. I was shocked (had I known, I would have targeted them years earlier!).
So I sent them a resume, and the reality is, there are few people out there with my grad degree, especially then ones you don't have to fly here for an interview. So, I had a phone screen, where I think I did great, I had lots of confidence, - I think that being a mom has *given* me more confidence, not LESS. I did well at the interview and got the job. The HR person seemed quite happy to hire me.
Yes, confidence is HUGE. The problem is, and I think DC is one of the worst, that some people/places value ONLY what you do for work, and not so much what you do with your life. So our confidence is built on what we do for a living, not who we are, etc. This shows through sometimes when a SAHM wants to go back to work.
But, when I changed jobs, and so I had a gap, some HR people just glossed over it, they didn't care at all...

Posted by: atlmom1234 | October 10, 2007 12:55 PM

I think part of the confidence issue comes from women being embarassed about being SAHMs. When asked what they do for a living, many women state that they are SAHMs and then go into a dialogue about how challenging it is, how much they do, etc. Why? Why not have confidence in that decision? If people question it, do you really want to be friends with them?

I think that a few years of not feeling confident about a decision may hinder your move back into the workplace.

Posted by: Thought | October 10, 2007 1:01 PM


"Making nice" is deadly dull..."

Criticism can be pointed and very sharp without resorting to ad hominem
attacks.

The inference is clearly that you only make comments to gratify yourself and have no interest in real discourse on a subject.

Posted by: anonthistime | October 10, 2007 1:02 PM

"The problem is, and I think DC is one of the worst, that some people/places value ONLY what you do for work"

SO true. When you are at a social engagement in WDC, the first thing someone asks is, "Who do you work for?" They want to be able to let you know they work for someone/something more important, or if you work for someone/something more important, they want your business card. No so much in other areas of the country.

And yes, confidence is key to employment, among other things. Frequently, in surveys measuring what trait a person finds attractive/sexy in a potential mate, "confidence" usually leads the list for both men and women.

Posted by: pepperjade | October 10, 2007 1:09 PM

$5 says that chitty is "hillary" with a new registration name.

gottabeanon - Come on. Make the world a better place. Give us a point-by-point breakdown of the insult and ignorance displayed by assuming that non-profits welcome potential, former for-profit employees' desires to combine minimum effort with a "lower than she used to make" paycheck as long as she can also claim the mantle of the non-profit's aura of making the world a better place. You can do it.

Posted by: mn.188 | October 10, 2007 1:11 PM

MN: Or maybe Chitty is a new moniker for It which must not be named.

Posted by: mehitabel | October 10, 2007 1:17 PM

anon

"The inference is clearly that you only make comments to gratify yourself and have no interest in real discourse on a subject."

Oh, dear. I had no idea that this blog was for Saints only. Mea culpa.

Posted by: chittybangbang | October 10, 2007 1:18 PM

And I have a friend (and I know she's not alone) who has always says how nothing is more important than kids, that she can't understand why anyone goes back to work, etc. But she went back to work, part time, WFH.
So, when she sees people she hasn't seen in a while, the thing she does is go into how important her JOB is, how wonderful it is, etc. Not so much about the kids.

Me, when i was home and not employed, put on my linked in page that I was a mom. Cause I was. The kids were the ones I worked for (still do, though).

Posted by: atlmom1234 | October 10, 2007 1:22 PM

I'm horrible at interviewing - once I'm past that, my employers have all been amazed by how good I was/am at my job (Application Systems Engineer - I love that job title!).

I never did the SAHP role. DH has been doing it for 16 years. Before our older son was diagnosed with autism, we'd talked about DH going back to work (he was also a computer/software developer). Even all those years ago, DH was sure his skills were out-of-date, and no one would hire him.

He used to be the one with all the self-confidence who always aced every interview, got the top salary offers, etc. The only way I ever got through an interview successfully was to have a couple of them for practice first, and it didn't matter if I bombed. Then DH would drill with me and grill me like a hostile interviewer, until I was ready for the real thing.

I seriously doubt that either of us will do much more interviewing. After 16 years, DH is truly out-of-date in our field, and I've been working for the same company for 16 years in several different divisions, and can't see any reasons likely to make me want to do anything other than division-hopping again.

DH does personal computer building and consulting for non-profits, our local schools, and friends. Some of it is paid, and some is gratis. He can always be available to our boys, controls his hours, and when a kid who didn't have a computer gets one for free - from donated parts (My employer has used DH's free hardware recycling a couple of times.) that's more satisfying to both of us than an extra paycheck could ever be.

Posted by: sue | October 10, 2007 1:22 PM

MN: Or maybe Chitty is a new moniker for It which must not be named

Nope, it's probably Hillary. IT could not contain him/herself long enough to post without revealing his/her nuttiness.

Posted by: pATRICK | October 10, 2007 1:43 PM

"And yes, confidence is key to employment, among other things. Frequently, in surveys measuring what trait a person finds attractive/sexy in a potential mate, "confidence" usually leads the list for both men and women".

Or as I like to think 'Fortune favors the bold".

Posted by: pATRICK | October 10, 2007 1:45 PM

Right, pATRICK - if you don't think you're any good, why would anyone else?

Posted by: atlmom1234 | October 10, 2007 1:46 PM

"Oh, dear. I had no idea that this blog was for Saints only. Mea culpa"

Not saying that you have to be a saint or never snark or never chide someone. But your whole repertoire is just that, snarks and snide comments that attack people.

Posted by: anonthistime | October 10, 2007 1:47 PM

I guess I should be a bit more charitable. Maybe you're a professional critic. TV reviews? Movies? The ballet?

Posted by: anonthistime | October 10, 2007 1:49 PM

Mafia hitman?

Posted by: anonthistime | October 10, 2007 2:02 PM

chittybangbang, I didn't have a problem with your remark.

It's true! If you're so enlightened and look down on the rat race because it doesn't involve making anyone's lives better (whatever your definition of better is), why not do it now, as soon as possible? Then at least you wouldn't be a hypocrite.

The nonprofit conversation here all sounds so holier-than-thou. The fact is that lots of people work to change the world outside of their paying jobs. I volunteer and give blood, to name a few things, but I push paper for a living. And honestly, I wouldn't waste my spare time cutting construction paper on the homeroom floor of Suburbia Elementry when I could make a real difference to needy people, so how's that for holier-than-thou?

Posted by: Meesh | October 10, 2007 2:09 PM

I was commenting on the whole of Chitty's comments over the last few weeks, not just picking on todays.

Posted by: anonthistime | October 10, 2007 2:44 PM

Or as I like to think 'Fortune favors the bold".

Posted by: pATRICK | October 10, 2007 01:45 PM

Yeah, but then again . . . .

After about your twelfth interview with the Bold who think they have so much to offer - all except industry-specific experience, qualifications, and any objective support for their self-designation as The Bold, you'll be glad to interview the Normal, Super-Competent, and slightly, but not annoyingly, Self-Deprecating.

Bold with some substance is great. When there is nothing to back it up, it's a waste of your time and mine.

Posted by: mn.188 | October 10, 2007 2:46 PM

FWIW, I spent about a third of my working life in non-profits. Part of the reason I wound up leaving was because I didn't feel like I was helping anyone there either, so I figured I might as well make a decent living and try to do things for others in other ways. As you say, just because my job doesn't necessarily do much to make anyone's life better doesn't mean I don't.

Posted by: teaspoon2007 | October 10, 2007 2:52 PM

Bold with some substance is great. When there is nothing to back it up, it's a waste of your time and mine.

Well obviously MN. I was referring to two roughly matched candidates. Except in the technical fields, the ability to exude confidence with clients, bosses etc is a critical factor. You are a lawyer, if you go to court and can't convince anyone of the rightness of your argument, who cares what degrees you have or where you went to school? I have worked with people who aced all their tests and yet couldn't sell a pitcher of ice water to a man dying of thirst, they had so little confidence in themselves.

Posted by: pATRICK | October 10, 2007 2:55 PM

""newsahm, what/where do you want to teach? It does make a big difference on the "lifestyle-friendly" part. Are you interested because it's something you've always wanted to do, or because you think it'll be less demanding"

If I were to seriously consider it, it would want to be a part-time instructor at the high school or college (adjunct faculty) level. I never meant to imply that teachers don't work hard. Hard work and bringing work home to do after the kid is in bed are fine with me; I just want to be able to be out of the office and home with her by 5:30 or 6 pm.

I'd never teach full-time, nor would I teach younger kids. I'm not fool enough to think I could do a great job if I was in it only for the good schedule.

Posted by: newsahm | October 10, 2007 2:56 PM

yeah, my boss was interviewing someone to hire for an analyst position, who came with some supposedly great experience. He was obnoxious to everyone, 'bold,' rude to the administrative assistants, telling everyone how to do things, etc. I was given a 1/2 hour after lunch to interview him and did. I sat there so upset, cause he was such a jerk, and I thought: oh, no we're going to HIRE this guy - and I'm going to have to WORK with him, every day.

Afterwards, my boss basically said: heck no, we're not hiring this guy - he doesn't know how to talk with other people, you have to be nice to everyone, not come off so cocky, etc (and, as people have said before, know something - he didn't really know anything, even though he thought he was finessing the questions).
And, it was great to hear when other coworkers called some people who worked with the guy and they said: don't hire him.

Posted by: atlmom1234 | October 10, 2007 3:04 PM

I'd hope confidence comes from some knowledge about yourself and your skills. Otherwise it's hot air. If someone who's been out of the workforce needs to take a refresher course or find a way to put their skills to the test again, then I think that's a great way to build confidence. I'd be a wreck interviewing for a telemarketing job because I couldn't sell a lilypad to a frog. However, ask me to research and write about something and I have all the confidence in the world. Being home with kids didn't mean that skill went rusty so I had the confidence I needed to get a job when it was time. It may be harder in other fields but I agree with Leslie that it should be easier to regain confidence in familiar, if rusty skills, than to develop confidence in entirely new ones.

Posted by: anne.saunders | October 10, 2007 3:12 PM

"He was obnoxious to everyone, 'bold,' rude to the administrative assistants"

This is not BOLD it's jerky. Bold is when you speak up and lead, instead of crouching in your seat hoping no one will call on you. Bold is when you go ask out the knockout blond while your friends hide in the corner. Bold is when you ask for a raise instead of meekly accepting a 1 percent raise. BIG DIFFERENCE

Posted by: pATRICK | October 10, 2007 3:12 PM

Right. Too bold can be a bad thing. I once interviewed a guy who tried to talk over me during the interview, because I tried to clarify something that he had misunderstood about the job he was interviewing for. It was as if he was trying to insist that his understanding was correct, even though it was not. To me, it signified an inability to listen and even more than that, an potential communication problem, because he was so aggressive in maintaining his erroneous position. So too much boldness, and not enough finesse, can really sink your boat. I guess it's all about balance.

Posted by: Emily | October 10, 2007 3:16 PM

Altmom1234 - your husband's situation made me think of Office Space - great film. It was awesome how once he didn't care and didn't try, he was fast tracked for management!

Posted by: moxiemom1 | October 10, 2007 3:19 PM

Posted by: moxiemom1 | October 10, 2007 03:19 PM

Gotta go now, I have a meeting with the two Bobs', they called me at home:)

Posted by: pATRICK | October 10, 2007 3:23 PM

"No, believe it or not, Mrs. Cleaver, the fact that you had a ten-year career working in finance at Booz Hamilton Spawn of Satan Systems, but spent the last 7 years volunteering at your church, organizing your Book Club and being a self-employed wedding planner from time to time, doesn't put you in the group of ten-best qualified applicants for the position as Development Officer for the Brookings Institute, the Cato Institute, or the National Save the Whales Foundation."

Posted by: anonfornow | October 10, 2007 3:26 PM

"No, believe it or not, Mrs. Cleaver, the fact that you had a ten-year career working in finance at Booz Hamilton Spawn of Satan Systems, but spent the last 7 years volunteering at your church, organizing your Book Club and being a self-employed wedding planner from time to time, doesn't put you in the group of ten-best qualified applicants for the position as Development Officer for the Brookings Institute, the Cato Institute, or the National Save the Whales Foundation."

How about First Lady?

Posted by: chittybangbang | October 10, 2007 3:30 PM

true, moxiemom. He doesn't want to be afraid, he wants to do what he wants to do and do a good job.
He's tired of being afraid - and we both have discussed that we don't want to make decisions based on fear, we want to do it from a position of strength. So if he got fired for doing the right thing, he knows I'd completely 100% support him and we'd figure everything else out.

So part of it might be fear, not lack of confidence. Fear of getting rejected, fear of other people's judgements, etc. Many of us do so much out of fear, it's very interesting to see.

Posted by: atlmom1234 | October 10, 2007 3:46 PM

Patrick, make sure you have all your required pieces of flair!

Posted by: moxiemom1 | October 10, 2007 3:58 PM

Good for him altmom - having a job you enjoy is one of the best gifts in life!

Posted by: moxiemom1 | October 10, 2007 3:59 PM

moxiemom: well, at this point, he's just amusing himself. He gets these calls from these people who think they are very important. And he tells them that they have to play by the rules like everyone else. And they get very annoyed. The biggest annoyance is him saying: sure, go ahead, get me fired. He knows they won't do it, but with that fear not there, they can't hold stuff over his head, and he says he gets these flabbergasted looks, and people say: what would you do if you lost your job? And he says: find another one.

Cause many employers try to instill fear in their employees. Which leads to today's topic, too, as in, people returning to the workforce feel bad for having left. And employers want you to NEED the job, and if you haven't been working for a few years, then maybe you don't NEED it, maybe they can't force you to stay, maybe they don't want to hire you.

Posted by: atlmom1234 | October 10, 2007 4:03 PM

"Patrick, make sure you have all your required pieces of flair!"

14 right? just if I want to do the minimum? ;)

Posted by: pATRICK | October 10, 2007 4:06 PM

and don't forget the pieces of flan, either.

Posted by: atlmom1234 | October 10, 2007 4:06 PM

"How about First Lady?"

Posted by: chittybangbang | October 10, 2007 03:30 PM

Okay, that IS funny...

Am I the only person here abhorred by the idea of Judith Nathan Giuliani, the puppy killer and homewrecker, as First Lady? I know we shouldn't choose our presidents based on their spouses...but I gotta wonder about Rudy's judgment...of course, Bernie Kerick makes me wonder about Rudy's judgment...

Posted by: pepperjade | October 10, 2007 4:13 PM

"How about First Lady?"

Posted by: chittybangbang | October 10, 2007 03:30 PM

Okay, that IS funny...

Am I the only person here abhorred by the idea of Judith Nathan Giuliani, the puppy killer and homewrecker, as First Lady? I know we shouldn't choose our presidents based on their spouses...but I gotta wonder about Rudy's judgment...of course, Bernie Kerick makes me wonder about Rudy's judgment

***

If that's the case, we don't need a "First Man" either...

Posted by: DLC1973 | October 10, 2007 4:15 PM

How about First Lady?"

Posted by: chittybangbang | October 10, 2007 03:30 PM

Okay, that IS funny...

Am I the only person here abhorred by the idea of Judith Nathan Giuliani, the puppy killer and homewrecker, as First Lady? I know we shouldn't choose our presidents based on their spouses...but I gotta wonder about Rudy's judgment..


I feel the same way about Bill Clinton. Which poor 18 year old girl will he violate with a cigar this time if he gets back into the whitehouse............

Posted by: pATRICK | October 10, 2007 4:28 PM

"If that's the case, we don't need a "First Man" either..."

If we chose our presidents based on their marital behavior, we would have some very slim pickins'. After all, Dubya seems to have been a pretty good husband. And look at what kind of president he turned out to be.


Posted by: Emily | October 10, 2007 4:30 PM

realistically, it would SEEM that one's choice in spouse could possibly be a good indicator as to one's decision making capabilities. But it doesn't. Look at the best leaders throughout history, and look at their private lives. woowee. If we only had the 'best', Emily's correct, we'd never elect anyone.

Posted by: atlmom1234 | October 10, 2007 4:32 PM

You don't get to be president by seeking balance. You can have a great home life, or inner peace or a successful political career. Pick any two.

Posted by: anonfornow | October 10, 2007 4:38 PM

Posted by: atlmom1234 | October 10, 2007 04:32 PM

You pick a spouse with your heart, a notoriously illogical, unrational mechanism.........

Posted by: pATRICK | October 10, 2007 4:38 PM

Hey anonfornow -- that's a perfect response. Except I'd add one thing to the resume: President or Chair of the private pre- or elementary school parents committee. One has to have those skills sharply honed to work in the nonprofit world, i.e., how to deal with difficult people.

Posted by: gottabeanon | October 10, 2007 4:58 PM

I have considered teaching. Can't get much more lifestyle-friendly than that.

Posted by: newsahm | October 10, 2007 07:42 AM

OH, I wish I had been around today!!!

Of course, become a teacher! Home at 3, summers off, any idiot can do it!!

Well, let me disabuse you of some notions:

You may get finished your on-location work day just 15 minutes after your child -- unless you have detention duty, your mandatory activity to monitor, faculty meetings, parent meetings...

You do have hours of work outisde school. Maybe you don't have it every night, but you have a lot of grading and preparation work to do on your own time.

Working in an office, all jokes aside, does not actually prepare you to teach at anything below the college level -- and I'm not very sure about that. You need training on developmental progress, effective instruction and assessment techniques, class management techniques, and, in many cases, subject knowledge -- and I'm just skimming the surface.

And, as far as confidence goes, if you are not self-assured and confident, the children will eat you alive. They're like lions on the Serengeti who see a limping gazelle -- and you're the gazelle.

In other words, it is NOT true that any idiot can just walk off the street and 'decide' to become a teacher.

And the pay...is better than nothing.

On the other hand, you do get most of the summer off (you finish a week after the students and start two weeks before them, and you have to take professional development courses to remain certified, and you should really work on your plans for the upcoming year, but you don't have to go to school every day).

You should ONLY become a teacher if you would continue to work at it if you won the lottery. If you can't say that (unless, of course, you've been at it for 40 years and you just want to retire already), then you ought to consider some other career.

Posted by: educmom_615 | October 10, 2007 5:07 PM

"Working in an office, all jokes aside, does not actually prepare you to teach at anything below the college level -- and I'm not very sure about that. You need training on developmental progress, effective instruction and assessment techniques, class management techniques, and, in many cases, subject knowledge -- and I'm just skimming the surface."

I had a teacher who every day assigned us a chapter to read during class while he read the newspaper. Needless to say my mom put the kibosh on that and transferred me out. I know you are right, just had to jab you, just a little.....

Posted by: pATRICK | October 10, 2007 5:12 PM

I feel the same way about Bill Clinton. Which poor 18 year old girl will he violate with a cigar this time if he gets back into the whitehouse............

Posted by: pATRICK | October 10, 2007 04:28 PM

Perhaps the one who lifts her skirt to reveal a bare bottom with the intent to seduce him?

Ms. Lewinsky was 21 (not 18) and responsible for her own behavior. Mr. Clinton, too, was responsible for his own behavior. Both had to deal with the public fallout of their irresponsible behavior, but I give Ms. Lewinsky credit for demonstrating more grace under pressure than the Prez did.

And if Bill were my husband, he would have required surgery to remove a size seven-and-a-half stilleto-heeled shoe from his a$$.

Posted by: pepperjade | October 10, 2007 5:13 PM

Now, now, pATRICK!

So, did you learn anything?

Posted by: educmom_615 | October 10, 2007 5:21 PM

Ms. Lewinsky was 21 (not 18) and responsible for her own behavior. Mr. Clinton, too, was responsible for his own behavior"

Forgetting a few things aren't we? Like he was the President of the US, he lied about it to a grand jury, to us on tv, to his wife and daughter and humiliated them publicly. Just a little more than bad behavior....

Posted by: pATRICK | October 10, 2007 5:25 PM

"Now, now, pATRICK!

So, did you learn anything?"

Yes, never tell your mom that you have a lazy, newspaper reading teacher. You may find yourself transferred to a real teacher and have to work your butt off. ;)

Posted by: pATRICK | October 10, 2007 5:28 PM

LOL!
Let me guess -- he was old, right? Maybe one year away from getting his pension?
I'm sharing this one in the faculty lounge tomorrow...

Posted by: educmom_615 | October 10, 2007 5:33 PM

I had a math teacher in 9th grade who used to take little catnaps while leaning against the blackboeard, chalk in hand, eyes closed, pretending to think while she worked out an algebra problem. We realized she was asleep one day when she just stood there, snoring softly, for about 5 minutes. After that, she was hamburger. Or rather, a gazelle among the lions. Kids can be so cruel.

Posted by: Emily | October 10, 2007 5:47 PM

pATRICK - back to what you said earlier, do you respect the guys who report to you that ask for raises (and obviously deserve them as well) more than the ones who deserve them but don't? What about women? Have you had women ask you for raises and continue to respect them? Am just referring to the article some time ago that supposedly women who are 'bold' as you said in the workplace, or those who negotiate in interviews, were viewed negatively. Wondering what your personal experience is.

Posted by: _Miles | October 10, 2007 6:04 PM

Patrick, when Clinton lied, no one died. The same cannot be said for the current president...bumper sticker philospohy, I realize, but true nonetheless.

About that public humiliation thing...yep, that's why I said if he were my husband, he would require surgery...

Posted by: pepperjade | October 10, 2007 6:07 PM

You say its about a "lack of confidence", I'll bet its more about "I won't have to work as many hours and my employer will permit me more flexibility to put my family first before my job." What do some of the women who've gone into non-profits say?

Posted by: RBCrook | October 10, 2007 6:23 PM

There was a social studies teacher in my high school - who I never had - who had tenure and apparently would come to school and teach while drunk (or not teach, as the case may be). My friend passed the class when she told him she was going to report him - so he gave her a passing grade. Obviously, he didn't care much one way or the other.

Posted by: atlmom1234 | October 10, 2007 7:45 PM

educmom -yes very close to retirement

Pepperjade-get a new bumper sticker, that one is old and lame

Miles-No I don't respect people who don't stand up for what they believe they should get, regardless of sex.
I have worked for women and had some great bosses and some crappy ones. Crappiness is an equal opportunity employer.

Have a nice evening!

Posted by: pATRICK | October 10, 2007 7:54 PM

Not sure why you're taking a backhanded swipe at non-profits, assuming that they are "not as competitive" but whatever. I happened to work at a non-profit for 3 years alongside some of the hardest-working, most accomplished, and most brilliant people I've worked with.

But anyway, I was out of the workplace for 2 years when we moved overseas. There weren't any ready-to-go positions available that suited my background, and I also wanted to spend time with my then-one-year-old daughter.

I have since started working part-time in a job that is *sort of* in line with my background, but which really is new and different and is requiring me to sweat out a new learning curve. I suppose some people might have confidence issues in returning to something they are not an "expert" at, but I can't help but remember that I *am* an expert in another field, and next year when we move back to DC I'll be able to look for something that is better suited to my background, and I will also have a new skill set that might help me forge a new path.

I definitely don't feel the need to apologize for staying home, although I think it's worth explaining why you take a break. I don't feel like my skills have atrophied, although I did take sort of a "mental break" for a while and didn't really follow developments in my field as closely until I started working again.

Although my part-time job is not a perfect fit, I think a lot of my co-workers are impressed with my background, which is different than theirs, and respect my abilities even though they may not directly apply. I do sometimes lack confidence in making decisions on my new job, but I think that's because I don't know this particular industry as well as my own. I'm looking forward to hopefully getting back into my field in the next year or so.

Posted by: viennamom | October 11, 2007 9:02 AM

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