Top Career Issues Facing Women
Episode 21 - What are the Career development issues facing women
This episode is about the many struggles women face in their careers and the different leadership styles that we offer. We will tackle more on this topic in the future episodes, but for now, I hope you enjoy listening to this short discussion. It's an audio version of a Facebook live video from late 2019, and I thought it was an important one to share.
This audio is from the beginning of my Facebook page and my whole project, including this podcast. At the time of my launch, I received a lot of feedback from women. I quickly filmed this response to my input because I thought this was important; this is what's top of mind for your audience, so you need to address it! You can tell that it was my first video, and I have a lot of nerves. Still, you can also feel my passion for this subject and how much I care about women achieving, women breaking the glass ceiling, helping each other, advocating for each other, and moving upwards in their careers.
It was International Women's Day a few days ago, and I see this as the episode I wanted to have for you this week.
Be careful with success bias: We tend to compare ourselves with others who we see as successful, without seeing their struggles, and most importantly, without seeing women in senior leadership are the minority.
There is so much strength, creativity, and experience that a different career style can bring to leadership! Always choosing a candidate with a linear career progression does not offer the organization enough diversity and inclusion. We haven't been able to create a narrative about why it's important for us to have that diversity, not just of gender, but of work experience, and how that enriches the leadership teams and, ultimately, the decision-making power of organizations.
Transcript of this episode
Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of the Job Hunting Podcast. I'm Renata Bernarde, your host, and in this podcast I give tips, advice and I interview experts to help you nail your next job and have the best career. Today I will be sharing with you another audio from my Facebook live video collection. If you have a Facebook account, you can follow me on @renatabernarde.co on Thursdays I do weekly live videos and I use it as an opportunity to connect with my followers live, deliver unscripted presentations and chit chats on topics that have been on my mind that week. And in this case it was a feedback that I received from followers and things that I've read that made me think, ah, okay, it's time to address this. It's a good opportunity for me to speak to people that are really keen to move back into corporate career, but they may be reluctant to do so. And it wasn't just one or two, it's actually quite a lot of people that come to me with that question.
They come to me as prospect clients. I've had clients that I've helped in the past and you can see some of those testimonials on my website. Coming back to a corporate career, following a maternity leave break, even an extended period where you've been at home taking care of kids or you've had your own business for a decade or so, or you had a completely different career, creative career for example, and it's time now or you really want to reconsider your choices. It's completely normal. It's completely doable, but when you're doing it on your own, it feels quite daunting and overwhelming. So I address this in this very short live audio that I first did on my Facebook page and I hope that you enjoy listening to it.
I can certainly address it again, hopefully with a guest. I'd love to invite somebody to speak about it with me in a future interview. Okay, before we proceed, don't forget to join my community so that I can send you free content such as masterclasses, guides, and templates to help you start job hunting and planning for career success. There are always specials happening like free consultations with me and I also send you a weekly newsletter which includes a new episode of the job hunting podcast and other special content that I put together just for my community. Without further ado, here is the audio where I talk about coming back into the corporate career following a break. Note that this audio is live, I was filmed live on my Facebook so there could be some commentary, some things that are happening in real time. So keep that in mind. Enjoy.
Hello everyone. I'm back! Today, I'm talking about a very interesting topic and it's something that's been following me so I felt it was better to address it. A few weeks ago I listened to a podcast which, you know, had nothing to do with job hunting or anything, but it was a gentleman and I think he's my age. He's probably in his mid to late forties and he was saying, I stepped out of the corporate career at a difficult time for me. I was in my mid-thirties. I had a lot of debt, I have family and you know, private school fees to pay and it wasn't a good time but I did it anyway and he's quite successful. But he was saying it was really hard. And earlier this week somebody I know wrote a very long post on her Instagram account saying, reflecting on the fact that sometimes she regrets having stepped out of corporate career too early, too soon.
She's probably in her early thirties. I don't know how old she is exactly, but she probably stepped out late twenties and now is a sole trader, young founder and doing really well as well. But you know, I can, I can understand people thinking, ‘Oh, what if I had stayed and what would, where would that lead?’ And I thought I would address that. The first time somebody came to me with that question was many, many years ago. And it's quite a different, different question, but it's along the same lines. It was a friend of mine who called me, I was already in Australia and she was from, she's Brazilian, so she was in Brazil and I used to be the PhD coordinator at Melbourne university's business school and she said, ‘Should I do my PhD before having kids or after having kids?’. You know, it's one of those questions like you never really know for sure what the best answer is, but if you have somebody you know is an expert.
Like at the time I was, you know, inducting a lot of PhDs into the department, ask them of course, and I will give a subjective answer. Sorry, I would give an objective answer and you may not like it and she didn't. I thought about it and I didn't want to answer. And in the end I said, look, you should do your PhD after. Because you know, having kids beforehand, PhD is, it may look like a huge, huge task to do, but it's just the beginning of your academic career. Once you submit your PhD in, it's all done and dusted. That's when the hard work begins of amplifying that and publishing it and, going to conferences and speaking about it. And you can't do that with young babies. So I said, look, if you're asking me, you know, objectively have your kids and then do the whole thing, do the PhDs and then roll it over and make the most out of it.
Because if your thesis gets old, by the time your kids are older and you're ready to, you know, be promoting it, 10 years will have passed and it's not going to be the same uptake and interest in it as when you just published your PhD. Anyway, and so that was the first time that somebody came to me with a question that I thought was really difficult to answer and, but there was an objective answer.
Going back to this situation about when to step out of the corporate sector and have your own business and is there a good time? There is a good time. And this gentleman on the podcast, he said that, and he said, you know in your 20s and in your forties is when you are, it's the best time to open a business. And I agree with him.
Let me just get my tea cause I'm getting thirsty. So in your twenties first of all, you're young. If anything goes wrong, it can go wrong a hundred times, and you can still, you know, get, get back into the corporate sector. You can have a second business, a third business. There's so much opportunity. It's probably good to fail a couple of times. You, you know, you're not going to be burned in any way. Hopefully, you know, if you haven't done anything super wrong, there's no reason why. And you can always change careers. There's lots of reasons why doing something early on is good. You have a lot of energy, you have no debt, you have no kids or family. That's sort of like consuming all of that. Right? Then in your later life, you might have been in like I am now, you are in a situation where you, you have less debt.
You don't have to pay for a big mortgage, I still do it, but it's not as big as it used to be. Kids are not at home. You don't have to, you know, worry about that. Your monthly budget is much smaller. You can invest in other things. You can invest in your business and you can bootstrap and do that. So those are the two times when I think it works. But whatever you decide to do, it doesn't have to be forever. This young woman who is saying she regrets stepping out of the corporate sector. If she ever wants to come back in her early thirties, late thirties, early forties, she can still do it. Absolutely. And in fact the people with that entrepreneurial capacity and skill set are so needed in the corporate sector. We call them entrepreneurs. I love that word. Why? Because you need people internally that will change things, that will make the workplace more vibrant, more interesting and more in times, you know, with what's happening around the world, the sector and so on.
So definitely if you're wondering, go back in. If you need to go back in, you know, sometimes your business doesn't work as well as you wanted to or intended to. So that's definitely something you can do. And the other reason why you may want to stay in the corporate sector or go back to the corporate sector is to build a better runway. If you are the sort of person who likes to bootstrap your business or your start up and you want to fund it yourself, going back to the corporate sector and building that cash to support your next big idea is great. And Andre and I have a friend, and she's just, she's done just that. So she left the corporate sector head of business. It went really well for a few years. It wasn't suitable for her lifestyle anymore. It was too intense. She had young kids, she sold it, she went back into the corporate sector.
And I'll go back to that cause that's really interesting. She had young kids. Corporate sector sometimes is better for that than having your own business. Went back to the corporate sector, stayed there for maybe 10 years, left again and now has enough cash to start a second business. So she's kind of been doing that and I think it's brilliant. In fact, I told Andre I want to interview her for my podcast. I think it's a great example of somebody that has blended a career and has moved between sectors and between having her own business and working in large organisations and done quite successfully in both. I really like that and I want to learn more from her and instead of just going there and learning for myself, I might as well interview her if she's keen, so hopefully early next year I'll have some interviews in the episodes as well.
Now, another thing that I think is interesting about staying in the corporate sector is that, like I said, it is easier sometimes when you have young kids. Women have a tendency to think that running your own business while raising kids is a good idea. Personally, I think it's a terrible idea if your business is already in place. Yes, it's a great idea. But if you're starting your business and having kids at the same time, it can be really overwhelming. And again, in my first live, go back and listen. We tend to focus on the success stories. All those women that have done that, you know, a little Bubs and toddlers and had her own business and look how successful she is. Guys, it is bloody hard to do that so hard and so many people can't cope because it's a lot. Having your own business and raising kids, it's quite a lot.
The corporate sector, if you're in with a good employer, yeah. You know, with a good employer or an okay employer. With an okay employer, you have regular hours, regular income, you can pay your bills and you can set yourself a budget and even though you know it's nine to five or part time or whatever time it is that you're working with an employer, you can set a routine around that for your kids. So there’s some benefit in that and that certainty of income coming in, certainty of times that you know that you need help or that you will be home. All of that’s good. With a great employer, like our friend had an American international firm with a subsidiary here in Australia, a lot of workplace flexibility. She could work from home, she could leave earlier to pick up the kids work from home in the afternoon. All of that was really good.
In fact, I have somebody else that I'm talking to, to help me develop my course and she's been in the same organisation for almost 20 years, I think 17. And the reason why she stayed for so long was she was a single mother and she was raising her son. And yes, you know, that's kind of my ideal customer for the job hunting course. One of the ideal customers that I thought of is somebody who has been in the same organisation for a long time but still has energy and an excitement and ambition enough to think, okay, I'm ready. What else is there for me? Let's try something new. How can I go about this? You know, I haven't done any job hunting for a decade or more. Is there help out there that I can access? Yes, I want to offer that. So I've interviewed her last week and got some great ideas about how to promote it and what sort of content would be needed for somebody like her to, to join the job hunting course later, early next year.
So yeah, so building the runway for a future project or business. When I say building a runway, what I mean is saving money so that you can bootstrap yourself even if you're not the sort of person that bootstraps, which I am and I know many people are, women are more conservative like that. But sometimes depending on your start up, especially if it's a tech start up, you might need to get money or if it's a bricks and mortar, you know, or a place like a florist or some sort of shop that you need to ask for funding to. Uh, what is it called? Gosh, I forgot the name. You know, go to a bank, get a loan. Loan, oh, there you go. It’s better that you can show that you're going to match the funds that you're getting, you know, and that you have invested in your organisation as well.
You have a better chance to get a better loan, a lower interest rate and more money if you can show that you have also personally invested in the organisation. So yeah, there are many reasons why you might want to keep your job for a little longer or go back into the workforce, even if you are an entrepreneur and I'm happy to help. I've done that and I know people that have done that and I have kind of a few theories there as you can tell, and I'm going for my walk now, but nice to have this chat I hope people can watch later on, which is great. Bye guys!
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Bye for now!
About the Host
Hello, I’m Renata Bernarde, the Host of The Job Hunting Podcast. I’m also an executive coach, job hunting expert, and career strategist. I teach professionals (corporate, non-profit, and public) the steps and frameworks to help them find great jobs, change, and advance their careers with confidence and less stress.
If you are an ambitious professional who is keen to develop a robust career plan, if you are looking to find your next job or promotion, or if you want to keep a finger on the pulse of the job market so that when you are ready, and an opportunity arises, you can hit the ground running, then this podcast is for you.
In addition to The Job Hunting Podcast, on my website, I have developed a range of courses and services for professionals in career or job transition. And, of course, I also coach private clients.
Contact Renata Bernarde
I’m determined to help you! I want you to feel empowered, nail your next job, and have the career you want.
My free resources for job hunters: The Optimized Job Search: Weekly Schedule & Masterclass.
Learn more about my services, courses, and group coaching: RenataBernarde.com