Posts Tagged ‘Jane Perdue’

The Job Coaches: Dealing with layoffs: Keep moving, change lanes later

January 20, 2012
Following 10 years of promotions, Margaret was laid off for the first time in her career. Her company had been hit hard by the recession and needed to dramatically reduce its

Included in those reductions were key performers like Margaret who worked in functions no longer deemed “business critical.” Margaret believed being laid off meant that she had failed. She froze, personally and professionally, and did nothing for several weeks except look back at what had happened, wondering what she could have done differently.

Margaret hadn’t failed at her job; however, she was failing at dealing with the situation.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, between December 2007 (when the recession officially started) and October 2009, there were 49,357 mass layoffs affecting more than 5 million people. (A mass layoff is when 50 or more people are laid off at the same time.)

So there are many individuals like Margaret who are dealing with an unexpected speed bump in their career path.

Hitting those career obstacles hurts, just like it did when you fell off a swing when you were 10 years old. But, just like you did way back then, pick yourself up and keep moving. View the situation as a “teachable moment” for exploring, growing and learning instead of allowing yourself to withdraw.

As Albert Einstein remarked, “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”

Use these seven lessons and inspirational quotes to keep moving:

1. Look for lessons to be learned. Work with a trusted confidante to explore your thoughts and feelings about what happened. There’s something positive to be learned from nearly every situation that will make you better the next time around.

Consider this quote from songwriter and scholar Bernice Johnson Reagon: “Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they’re supposed to help you discover who you are.”

2. Aim for acceptance. Denying what happened or looking to find fault won’t make the situation go away or change the outcome. Focus instead on what you do well and look for opportunities where you can apply your strengths.

As author Carlos Castaneda reminds us, “The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.”

3. Analyze your thoughts and feelings to become more self-aware. Take a long hard look at your reactions so you can better understand your motivation.

Ponder these words from American essayist and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Most of the shadows of life are caused by standing in our own sunshine.”

4. Keep taking wise risks. Expand your comfort zone. Learn and grow by trying something new.

As Aldous Huxley, English writer, tells us, “There’s only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self.”

5. Build bridges to the future; don’t burn those to the past. You never know when a past boss may be-come a future boss, so you want to assure that the relationship remains posi-tive.

Billy Cox, author of The Dream Book, offers some excellent advice, “Taking the high road is usually not the easy one to take or the most popular … but if you compromise your principles and your integrity, it will always end up costing you far more in the long run.”

6. Be optimistic. Shed those “what if” thoughts or “maybe I should have” worries, and remain positive.

As author Remez Sasson writes, “The difference between can and cannot is only three letters. Three letters that can shape your life’s direction.”

7. Get, and stay, moving. Volunteer, take a class, work out, become a mentor, network. Learn from the past and energetically move on.

Reflect on these words from orator and philosopher Edmund Burke, “Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.”

The next time you are cruising down the highway and see the road sign that reads “keep moving, change lanes later,” smile and follow the good advice.

Jane Perdue is CEO of The Braithewaite Group. The Job Coaches are experienced volunteers from the Center for Women’s Job Search Assistance Program. Ask them a question by calling 843-763-7333 or e-mailing If you would like further assistance, register for a workshop or make an appointment; a donation of $20 is requested.

First appeared in the Moxie section of The Post and Courier Friday, January 1, 2010.

C4W Member Profile: Vikki Matsis

December 7, 2011

What is your profession? Manager of the Notso Hostel.

What do you enjoy doing outside of your career? Singing every Thursday night at Fish Restaurant on King Street.

How long have you been a member of the Center for Women? One month.

What inspired you to become a member? Jane Perdue is a friend and a great inspiration to me. She is an active member and I wanted to become a part of a strong community.

What kind of impact has the Center for Women had on you? It has inspired me to step into my power in the strong leadership position I hold at work.

How has living day-to-day as a woman affected you? It has positively affected my life in that I am yin to the world’s yang.  I can influence strong, progressive change as a compassionate, deeply caring person.

What kind of message would you like to send out to women who are trying to succeed in today’s economy? Turn off the television. Your thoughts determine your future- what goes in willinevitably come out. Meditate on what brings you happiness and work towards keeping your peace of mind.

The Job Coaches: Coping with a difficult boss

December 2, 2011

Think you’ve got the worst boss in the world? Well, your boss may have serious competition according to a recently released five-year comparative study commissioned by Lynn Taylor Consulting.

photoAccording to this study, seven out of 10 people believe bosses and toddlers act alike.

“Self-oriented” is noted as the top offending boss behavior, with stubborn, overly demanding, impulsive and interruptive rounding out the top five.

A recent Gallup management study of one million employed workers confirmed that having a poor relationship with the boss is the No. 1 reason people quit their jobs.

“People leave managers, not companies … in the end, turnover is mostly a manager issue,” Gallup wrote in its survey findings.

However, with the economy in tatters and jobs hard to come by, quitting may not be a viable option.

While you cannot control how your boss behaves, you are in control of how you manage the situation.

–Is your boss a glory grabber who takes all the credit for your good work? Sure it rankles to see the boss accept all the praise and fail to mention your contribution, but there are a few things you can subtly do to favorably remind others of your involvement. Send e-mails containing pertinent work information to your boss and include other key management personnel in the distribution. Casually mention your input on a project if you get to share an elevator ride with your boss’ boss.

–Are you dealing with a weathervane boss who changes the rules without notice? The most effective way to deal with this impulsive behavior is to clearly define the work outcomes with your boss when the assignment is given, and then send a confirming e-mail to him/her that outlines the established expectations. When your boss flip-flops on what is to be done, calmly share the e-mail and renegotiate the results.

–Does your boss remind you of a helicopter hovering overhead, constantly interrupting and micromanaging your work? First, you need to recognize and accept your boss’ deep-seated need for control; and then manage around it. Reassure him that you have the bases covered and keep him updated on your progress by sending periodic e-mails, reports, phone calls, a quick coffee chat or whatever communication vehicle your company uses.

–Could your boss be doubling as a secret agent, that mysterious person who’s missing in action and who communicates irregularly? With a boss like this, you must take responsibility for getting on his radar (sure it’s a pain, but failing to do so only hurts your performance review) by scheduling meetings or popping into his office to quickly chat, ask questions and confirm work assignments.

Bosses typically fall into one of three categories: those who are totally clueless about their behaviors, those who know they aren’t a good boss and do want to get better, and those who plain don’t care.

If your boss falls into one of the first two categories, you may want to discuss your concerns with them. Organize what you want to say, present it in a thoughtful manner and do not respond in anger, which only hurts you.

If your boss falls in the last category and/or may be behaving unlawfully, talk to your HR representative if your organization has one; otherwise speak with another trusted person in management or decide if you can continue to work for the company.

Always take the high road in dealing with a bad boss so your performance is above reproach.

Jane Perdue is CEO of The Braithewaite Group.The Job Coaches are experienced volunteers from the Center for Women’s Job Counseling Program. Ask them a question by calling 843-763-7333 or e-mailing If you would like further assistance, make an appointment; a donation of $20 is requested for appointments.

First appeared in the Moxie section of The Post and Courier Friday, November 20, 2009.

The Job Coaches: Learn company’s ropes to get promoted

November 4, 2011

Jane PerdueQ: Someone else got the promotion at work I was hoping and working for. I’m feeling angry and disappointed. What do I do?

A: Feeling let down is a normal reaction when you are passed over for a promotion. It’s OK to be disappointed, but monitor your emotions. Coming across negatively won’t help your chances for future opportunities. To understand why you did not get the job, take a look at yourself and your current work situation and answer some challenging questions.

Do I have the right technical skills? Ask your boss what knowledge, skills and/or abilities you lack, either for your current position or the one you were seeking. Create a plan to fill in those competency gaps: volunteer for projects, attend training programs, work with a coach, read books, take classes or ask for a mentor.

Am I known as a team player? While you may have all the right technical skills, how you conduct yourself might be holding you back. What you do AND how you do it are equally important. Do you have a reputation for being difficult? Do people want you involved in their projects? Technical brilliance alone won’t get you promoted. You need sincerity, authenticity, top-notch interpersonal communication skills and the ability to build relationships.

Have I built a solid network? It’s important to be connected with individuals at all levels within the organization: people who know you, know what you do and who actively support you. It’s pretty powerful when someone from another department is talking with your boss and they compliment your work.

Is my work ethic strong? Consider the quality and quantity of your work: do you do just enough to get by, or do you regularly go above and beyond? In these difficult economic times, employers value people who can do more with less.

Do I look like a professional? Hey, we all know the days of the three-piece suit are long gone, but looking clean, neat and appropriate never goes out of style. Observe what senior leaders at your company wear. A good rule of thumb is to dress for the job that you want.

Am I visible? All too often, we believe that hard work will take us to the top, but hard work alone isn’t the answer — your boss and others in your company must know about your contributions. Many of us are taught not to brag and feel uncomfortable talking about our accomplishments. The workplace reality is that you need to tactfully tell people; otherwise they may have no idea of your great ideas or output.

Am I aware of my company’s culture? Every company has its own ways of decision-making, rewarding good performance, communicating up and down the ladder, handling conflict, etc. Get plugged in to how work gets done at your company so you are working with the flow, not against it.

Learn from your experience and get better positioned for the next promotion that comes your way.

Jane Perdue is principal/CEO of The Braithewaite Group.

The Job Coaches are experienced volunteers from the Center for Women’s Job Counseling Program. Ask them a question by calling 843-763-7333 or e-mailing If you would like further assistance, make an appointment. A donation of $20 is requested for appointments.

First appeared in the Moxie section of The Post and Courier Friday, September 25, 2009.

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