What’s Going on With Women?


This week my Shifting Careers column, “Women Build Businesses Their Way,” will appear in two places, its traditional online home at the New York Times online, and as the Thursday Small Business feature in the print edition of the paper. It’s about Ladies Who Launch, a social networking group for entrepreneurial women, and the bigger subject of whether women run their businesses (and their lives) differently than men. As I reported this story, I could have taken quite a few detours since the topic was rich. And I have a feeling it’s a subject I’ll be circling around for a while.

A few interesting links I stumbled on while working on this story:

  • A great post at Blogher, about different approaches to corporate women’s networks: “BusinessWeek Takes a Second Look at Women’s Networks”
  • “The Real Reason So Few Women,” a post from Marty Nemko (who has appeared in my Coach’s Roundtable) about why there are so few women at the top. Perhaps it’s just that women want different things than men, or that we have differing definitions of “the top.” Marty’s archives are encyclopedic. He’s got an article or a handful of articles on pretty much any work-related topic you’ve ever thought of. And often, they are smart and provocative, like this one.
  • Penelope Trunk, whose archives are also rich with smart posts, wrote this post last week about male CEOS.
  • Commentary from The Center for Women’s Business Research, that “. . . both sides (of the opt-out debate) ignore what at least some of these women are doing at home in addition to raising their children: they are starting businesses. Read more here.

I have a feeling we are closing in on a time when referring to a feminine style of doing business might be seen as a compliment.

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Finding Passion in Work (www.nytimes.com)

This week I launched a new feature in my Shifting Careers column; it’s called the Coaches Roundtable, in which I’ll be posing questions to the best career coaches I can find and posting their answers. Here’s the first one, in which I asked a question about how to find your passion at work, something a lot of readers have been asking me about:

Read the column here or at NYT.com in the Small Business section.

If you know coaches I should be calling on for certain kinds of questions, feel free to recommend them.

*** Btw, you can now sign up to receive updates to my blog by email. Just input your email address in the handy little sign-up box on the right side of the blog.

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From Peddling Poison to Green Cleaning (www.nytimes.com)


This week, for my Shifting Careers column at nytimes.com, I spoke to Stan Halpern, who made one of those career changes that seem to happen when you face your own mortality. Halpern is now an evangelist for green cleaning, and like many who find religion, he spent the majority of his career peddling what he now sees as poison — commercial cleaning supplies that did the job, but probably hurt a lot of people along the way.

Here’s the story:
A New Way to Clean Up

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Is Your Career a Kayak? (NYT.com)

I normally pay a lot of attention to people striking out on their own. But lately I’ve been noticing those who swim against the tide of self employment. You know, the ones who ditch all that flexibility and autonomy for the life of a steady paycheck, defined hours, in-person colleagues, and a bundle of benefits. Read more in my Shifting Careers column today at www.nytimes.com.

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Take a Class, Tweak Your Career – (NYTimes.com)

When I left the law to pursue freelance writing, I debated going for a masters degree in journalism. But then I took a few adult education classes and realized that for my goals, it wasn’t necessary to go back to grad school. It also didn’t make much sense to me to invest tens of thousands of dollars for a career where I’d be earning substantially less than my salary as a lawyer. I’m now a huge fan of these kinds of classes. This week, my online column for the New York Times, Shifting Careers, is about why these classes are often all you need for a dramatic career shift.

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