Do you have “IT”?

Who has “IT”? What exactly is “IT”? And why do I want IT so badly?

Is IT like grace – you have it or you don’t?

What are the undefinable but recognizable characteristics that make up the “IT factor”? IT here is defined as executive presence, not the people you call when your computer isn’t working (ahem, Rachel!)

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Happy work Bat-Mitzvah to me

Today I celebrate my 13th year at Cisco. In my religion 13 years is a milestone that leads to a Bat Mitzvah, reflection, and celebration. While I am clearly not an active religious participant (to the dismay of many family members), I do love a chance to reflect and celebrate.

So what have I learned?

  • How to market products and solutions. How to market to specific audiences. And most importantly, how to market myself. As a naturally shy person and somewhat of an introvert, the last one took quite a bit of getting out of my own way to accomplish.
  • Harmony is possible but I have to work really, really hard to maintain it. It’s kind of like walking the balance beam when you are completely uncoordinated. There are a lot of bruises to recover from with potential for long-term emotional scars.
  • I’ve accomplished a lot in 13 years. Despite a few career lulls, I am exactly where I imagined myself in 2013 (not that I had a long term plan or anything).
  • Going back to bullet two, it’s clearly possible to achieve personal goals even at an intensely demanding (but rewarding) company. In my 13 years at Cisco I have accomplished quite a few personal goals: got married (no small feat as we learned in my Get What You Want NOW blog), launched two babies, earned my black belt and life coaching certification, became a blogger, and got published (there’s still time to help me get published again. Vote for Discovered in a Skein of Yarn!)
  • An important part of being happy at work is working with people you like. Who you work with, and for, counts. A lot. I try to be someone that others enjoy working with, and for (that last part is possible because I finally achieved my long term career aspiration of becoming a people manager. I am spoiled with the most incredible team ever!)
  • Apparently I have some guiding principles I feel strongly about. They are: be present, be authentic, be candid, be a deliberate creator, have positive expectation. I’m still working on the “be present” part.
  • My passion is to help people discover their own passion and connect to work that is fulfilling and meaningful. I can do this every day in my current job. Score!
  • Give people a chance even when they don’t have every skill needed to do a job. That’s how I am celebrating 13 years – because Phylis hired me despite my total lack of experience. Thanks, Phyl for taking a chance on me – and happy anniversary to you, too!
  • How to effectively say no.
  • Working at home is pretty sweet.
  • I’ve learned a lot, and have a lot more to learn.

The appropriate thing to say when someone gets Bat Mitvahed at age 13 is mazel tov. Even better if you’ll share a virtual glass of wine or champagne with me.


Kitchen Nightmare

The kitchen is the heartbeat of our household. Depending on who is cooking it’s where magic or disaster happens.

The Chaotic Kitchen: Managed by woman-who-never-learned-to-properly-cook (Me)

Step 1. Open the refrigerator at least 5 times hoping dinner will miraculously appear. This is the first sign of trouble: fully cooked meals are more likely to be found on the stove top or in the oven.

Step 2. Accept responsibility to cook dinner. Sigh…

Step 3. Find something simple to cook. Wish again that dinner will somehow appear without me dicing, slicing, or sautéing. Ask myself if I can afford a personal chef (the answer is no).

Step 4. Prep food. Find solutions for seemingly simple dilemmas like “can I substitute garlic and onion if the recipe calls for shallots?”. Seems risky. Opt to leave them out (and let’s not talk about the time I couldn’t remember the difference between scallions and chives.)

Step 5. Cook. If you can call it that.

Step 6. Yell at kids for being too close to knives and hot objects. Feel good it took this long to scold them.

Step 7. Smoke alarm goes off. What’s on fire? Dinner. Dinner is on fire. Must decide: save dinner or run around like a crazy person opening all windows and doors.

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