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MAKE IT HAPPEN
Ernst & Young’s
$4.95 / womenforhire.com
tIDBIts & tACtICs to
women for hire
MAKE IT HAPPEN
As you think about ways to grow your career, put yourself in
a position to try new things. If you never learn anything new or
take your skills to the next level, you’re not bettering yourself,
let alone increasing your value in the workplace.
To that end, it’s essential to cultivate relationships and network,
the theme of this issue—with people you perceive to be
smarter, wiser or even funnier than you. Usually these people
are right around us, completely accessible, but we don’t open
ourselves to the possibilities of meeting them.
I would often attend industry functions because it’s the thing
to do when you’re running a business or looking to grow your
career. One day I thought, “I keep going to all of these things,
but I’m not really getting anything out of them. What’s wrong
with this picture?” I wondered if I should stop going, and then
realized that probably wasn’t the best idea. There’s a reason I
was drawn to them in the frst place.
As I went through this self-analysis, I discovered that I always
brought a friend with me. We would stand in a corner talking
about everyone, instead of talking to everyone. I was missing
opportunities within any given event because I was afraid to
stick my neck out. So I started to go alone and I made a pact
with myself: I couldn’t leave an event until I introduced myself
to at least three people.
I’ve got to tell you, at the frst several events with this self-im-
posed new policy, those three people were all waiters. While
there’s nothing wrong with that, I realized I needed to intro-
duce myself to other attendees. It’s unnerving at frst, but you
get used to it quickly.
Today I still talk to the waiters, and I always talk to the partici-
pants too. Sometimes nothing comes of it. Other times—more
often than not—something does: a new resource, a new nugget
of information, a new friend, a new client, a new something
that I wouldn’t have gotten had I not put myself out there.
Many women attend our Women For Hire events because they
want to talk to one or fve or even 30 specifc employers. That’s
great. But they’re missing out on the larger opportunity when
they don’t also introduce themselves to the other women who
are there, too. You never know who you’ll meet.
So promise yourself that before you leave any event—a com-
pany picnic, your friend’s wedding, a kid’s soccer game, a
big industry function—you’ll introduce yourself to at least
three new people. The bigger the event, the more people you
Be realistic. You’re not doing this because you’re always
looking for someone to help you. You’re doing it because it’s
a savvy habit for anyone who cares about professional growth.
Not everyone you meet will have all the answers, or even any
answers, but always be willing to put yourself out there.
It should go without saying that you must volunteer to recip-
rocate. Look for opportunities to extend a hand to others even
when there isn’t an obvious favor in return. Step out of your
comfort zone when giving and receiving. You’ll be glad you did.
Founder and CEO
Women For Hire
Start Talking To Strangers
IN EVERY ISSUE
1 Corner Cubicle
5 Inside Women For Hire
11 Tidbits & Tactics
48 Expo Success Spotlight
19 Global Dynamo: Doing the Right Thing Landed this
Lady on Top. Meet Ernst & Young’s Beth Brooke
16 Work at Home: New Book Explores Ways to Earn Cash
Without a Commute by Tory Johnson
24 Unappreciated at Work? Might be Time to Move On
by Jennifer Valentine
26 Think Lattice, Not Ladder, For Career Success
by Lara Hall
28 A Key to Success: Get Out There by Shannon Joseph
30 Create Your Wow Factor by Robyn Freedman Spizman
32 Make LinkedIn Work For You
by Kay Lao
35 Break the Ice! Proven Steps to End the Awkward Silence
at Any Event by Michelle Atkins
38 Snapshots of Success: Meet 3 Great Gals Going Places
42 Networking Wisdom from Four Pros Who Know
46 A Mother/Daughter Tale: Joined at More than the Hip
by Lou and Crystal Cator
TAble oF ConTenTS
“I’m more than what appears on
my resume. Face-to-face is the
only way for my personality and
presence to speak for me.”
– Shannon Joseph, page 28
Beth Brooke is an American role model to thousands of women—and no doubt a whole lot of men too—around the world. The
global vice chair at accounting giant Ernst & Young gave generously of her time to a team from Women For Hire for this issue.
She simultaneously knocked out an interview with Tory Johnson, a cover photo shoot with Allyson Lubow and Reid Spector,
and a video recording with David Beilinson. Multi-tasking comes naturally to this highly-accomplished executive. Watch her
passion in action online at womenforhire.tv and read her take on a range of issues from college athletics to corporate philanthropy
starting on page 19.
©2008 General Dynamics. All rights reserved.
General Dynamics is an Equal Opportunity/Affrmative Action Employer. We welcome and encourage diversity in our workforce.
All applicants must be U.S. Citizens and currently hold or be capable of obtaining a DoD Security Clearance.
At General Dynamics C4 Systems we place the accent on people. We realize
that only through our people can we raise the bar for systems integration and
implementation, and provide our customers with winning solutions – core to edge.
Openings we are accenting right now for experienced professionals include:
These and other positions that accent your skill set and experience can be
viewed at . www.gdc4s.com/careers
ª Senior Software Engineer - ScottsdaIe, AZ
ª Senior Systems Engineer - ScottsdaIe, AZ
ª Software Engineers
ª System Engineers
ª Communication Systems Engineers
ª KMI - C12 Systems Engineers
womn-hr-ad_05-2008.indd 1 5-29-2008 4:14:07 PM
inSide Women For Hire
Smarter Than the
What sets Women For Hire Career
Expos apart from the standard, run of
the mill job fair, you ask? Well, we could
name the long list of top employers that
recruit with us nationwide. Oh, then
there’s the chance to network and swap
resources with hundreds of other
professional women. Did we mention
the free resume critique available to all
attendees? And don’t even get us started
on the smart seminars and great give-
aways. Still not convinced? Come see
for yourself. We think you’ll agree that
a Women For Hire Career Expo is
not just your average job fair.
FAll 2008 SCHedule
BoSToN: SEPT. 23
PhILAdELPhIA: SEPT. 30
WASHINGTON, DC: OCT. 2
CHICAGO: OCT. 7
ATLANTA: OCT. 14
DALLAS: OCT. 16
MINNEAPoLIS: oCT. 21
TAMPA: oCT. 29
NEW YORK: NOv. 11
LoS ANGELES: Nov. 20
Want to make your next event a success so big that people will talk about it for
years to come? Looking for a dynamic speaker who will make a lasting impression
on your audience? Look no more. visit womenforhire.com and search our Speak-
ers Connection today. You will fnd speakers with an expertise in career advance-
ment, effective negotiation, leadership training, health and wellness, current affairs
and much more.
Search by category, fnd your speaker and contact her directly. or email us at
firstname.lastname@example.org with your opportunity for a speaker and we’ll reply
with our recommendations.
Find A Stellar Speaker
Raytheon booked Daisy Saunders through the Women For Hire Speakers Connection to give the
keynote address at the 11th Annual Black history Program of Raytheon Black Employee’s Network
(RAYBEN) in North Texas.
If you have experience in sales or customer service and a bachelor’s degree, please apply online @ erac.com/womenforhire.
To contact a local recruiter, please call toll-free (888) 999-ERAC.
Serve the Customer • Be Honest • Have Fun • Be a Good Neighbor • Open Doors • Always Listen • Reward Hard Work • Own Our Brand
What company will I start my
management career with?
I believe this one.
I heard Enterprise was different, but until I
started working here I didn’t appreciate how
much. The ﬁrst thing I noticed is that people
count. Whether it’s a long-time customer or
an employee who’s just starting out, every
Take our signature “pick you up” service.
This was started by a manager who simply
listened to customers who needed a ride. Not
everyone was convinced it was a good idea,
but he was empowered to run with it - and it
ultimately developed into a trademark of our
superior customer service.
So, you see, that typical, impersonal,
corporate bureaucracy you’d expect
from such a successful industry-leading
company just doesn’t exist here. So if I have
a good idea, no matter what my job title, I
know it will be heard and my career will be
I believe in two-
And so does my
$9.5 billion company.
We are an equal opportunity employer. M/F/D/V.
JOB BOARD: Great
Opportunities Just a
Even if your city is not on our
fall expo schedule, connect
with numerous employers
that recruit with Women
For Hire by visiting our job
offers a national job board
that features positions in
every feld. You can search
jobs, post your resume and
receive alerts for positions
that may be of interest to
you. Just like the companies
that come to our expos, the
employers that post on our
job board are committed to
hiring and retaining smart
professional women within
their organizations. Start
searching today at jobs.
looking for you!
Okay, okay. We know chances are if you set your alarm to go to the gym, do those
chores or get into work before your phone starts ringing, you may just end up
hitting the snooze button. But what if sacrifcing a few z’s meant you got to hear
a dynamic successful woman speak about her career frsthand, had the chance to
network with a room full of other savvy women and left inspired to take your
career by storm? Throw in a hot cup of coffee and it might just be a dream come
true. Register today for the early morning seminar that takes place before every
Women For Hire Career Expo in your city this fall. Women For Hire CEO and
Good Morning America’s Workplace Contributor Tory Johnson leads this informa-
tive and insightful 90-minute session. So up and at ‘em. If you can rise, we know
you’ll shine! Space is limited so visit womenforhire.com and sign up today.
WOMEN FOR HIRE TV:
Meet a Dynamic Woman
So busy you got stuck at your desk again for lunch?
Don’t despair. It only takes a minute to meet a new
dynamic woman. Each day WomenForHire.Tv pro-
fles a different inspiring and accomplished woman.
Hear from experts, entrepreneurs and executives
across industries. With this daily dose of inspiration,
you’ll be reinvigorated and ready to face the after-
noon. Spend some time with the women on Women-
ForHire.Tv. You’ll be in good company!
inSide Women For Hire
Be an Early Riser
A better way?
It’s about an inclusive and fexible environment that
attracts and advances all women. It’s about programs
that provide high-level mentors, professional coaching
and individualized career development plans to help them
achieve their potential. It’s about leaders in every business
unit who connect them with professional networks.
It’s about making a difference for our people.
What’s next for your career?
©2008 Ernst & Young LLP
Ernst & Young refers to the global organization of member frms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young LLP is a member frmserving clients in the U.S.
Join the Women For Hire groups on LinkedIn and
Facebook today to connect with diverse women nation-
wide. It’s also free to sign up for the Women For Hire
Network where more than 35,000 women share ideas,
resources, advice and even some laughs.
We’re proud to partner with Ann Taylor
to promote its new microsite built for
professional women. visit anntaylor.
com/success to become a member and
receive a special introductory offer.
inSide Women For Hire
WOMEN FOR HIRE
MAGAZINE: Extra, Extra!
Subscribe online to have this magazine delivered three times a year to your
home. Encourage friends and co-workers to visit womenforhire.com to sign
up for a free subscription too.
WOMEN FOR HIRE FOUNDATION:
Give an Hour to Empower
The Women For Hire Foundation offers job search support and skills training for
low income women in need. Consider donating what you earn in an hour to help
another woman to achieve her career best. visit womenforhire.com/foundation to
make your tax-deductible contribution today.
WOMEN FOR HIRE
Be a part of the unique team that has made Best Buy
the #1 retailer of consumer electronics. Choose from
an exciting list of careers like Customer Experience
Manager, Geek Squad
Agent and General Manager.
We offer competitive pay, employee discounts,
a wide range of benefits and excellent career
opportunities that will help you lead a balanced
professional and personal life.
Bring your skills, talents and energy together
for a career opportunity at Best Buy
Visit Careers.BestBuy.com today
to apply online for a career with us.
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TidbiTS & TACTiCS
According to the Center For
Business Research, more
than 50 percent of business
owners are women—and the
numbers are growing. Yet
for many women, launching
and sustaining a business
can feel overwhelming and
out of reach. That’s why
entrepreneurs Lauren Bacon
and Emira Mears penned
The Boss of You: Everything
a Woman Needs to Know to
Start, Run and Maintain Her
Own Business. (Seal Press,
How can you gauge whether
you can turn what you love
into money? Here’s what the
authors told us.
A lot depends on what it is
you love best. You might
have a burning passion to
spend your days hula hoop-
ing, but you’d probably fnd
it tough to get paid for it.
The key here is to put your-
self in your audience’s shoes
and ask yourself what you
can offer that will motivate
them to part with their hard-
There are two big questions
to answer when you’re defn-
ing your business: ‘What
am I selling?’ and ‘Who are
my customers?’ They might
sound simple, but every great
business builds out from
the answers to those core
questions. So start by getting
clear on those two things.
Perhaps you’re a nutrition-
ist who wants to work with
pre-and postnatal mothers, or
maybe you’re designing styl-
ish belts for discerning fash-
ionistas. Once you’re clear
on that part, you can expand
on the basics by determin-
ing what it is that sets you
apart from the competition:
Do you tailor your advice
to each client individually?
Are your belts handmade and
exclusive, or factory-made
One exercise we can’t
recommend highly enough:
dream up a couple of imaginary
customers, complete with
names, ages, occupations and
all the details you can think
up. The more detailed, the
better: the point is to put a
‘face’ to your ideal customer
base, to help you get inside
their heads. Once you have
your profles, sit down with
each one and list out the
reasons they’ll choose to
buy your product or service.
From there, you can begin to
evaluate what kind of prices
they can afford, which gives
you something to work with
once you sit down to create
a budget for your business.
Can You Turn A Hula Hoop Into
Ylj`e\jj6@]pfl i\Xe`eefmXkfi# XeXeXcpk`ZXck_`eb\i# Xn_`qn`k_
dfY`c\ [\m`Z\j fi X Zfejld\i jXmmp dXib\k\i n`k_ X gXjj`fe ]fi
N\ f]]\i X ]Xjk dfm`e^# Z`kp ZXc`Y\i \em`ifed\ek `e k_\ E\n
Making the leap from col-
lege to a stable career is no
picnic, with most graduates
fnding themselves at the
bottom of the ladder without
a clue of how to climb to the
next rung. Tanner Stransky
thinks help has arrived for
these workplace newcom-
ers in the form of fashion-
backward go-getter Betty
Suarez, star of ABC’s hit
Ugly Betty, which is why he
wrote Find Your Inner Ugly
Betty: 25 Lessons for Young
$16.95). Stransky can relate
to being at the bottom: he’s
an editorial assistant at
Stransky has compiled
career life lessons based
on the Ugly Betty character
as well as what-not-to-do
advice from characters on
NBC’s The Offce.
• Discern friends from fren-
emies: “Finding colleagues
who are like-minded and
can be confdants is the
frst step toward building a
• Be tech savvy: “Being the
resident tech expert can give
you access to top brass and
• Be wary of offce romanc-
es: “Tv shows featuring
young professionals have
proved that point with an
You might think work
sucks—and we hope you
don’t because we actually
like what we do. But in their
new book Why Work Sucks
and How to Fix It (Portfo-
lio, $23.95), authors Cali
Ressler and Jody Thompson
think they have unlocked the
secret to why many people
hate what they do: there’s
dysfunction junction in the
To fx it, they’ve created a
results-only work environ-
ment they call, appropriately,
ROWE. “If you can get your
results in 20 hours a week—
fne,” says Thompson, a
mother of two. “If you do
your best work at the beach—
fne. RoWE isn’t about face
time. It’s about well-defned
goals and results, results,
One of the things that
plagues the corporate world
is “sludge,” which Ressler
and Thompson defne as “any
negative comment we make
that serves to reinforce old
ideas about how work gets
A few examples:
• “Coming in at eleven again?
Boy, I wish I had your
• “I wish I smoked. Then I
could always be on break and
never have to work.”
• “How in the world could
John get a promotion? He’s
never even here.”
“When we judge people—
when we sludge them—we
are expressing outdated
attitudes about time and
about what work looks like
and how it gets done,” the
authors say. “Another way of
looking at sludge is as a kind
of code for the status quo. We
can’t come out and say what
we want to say, so we talk
around it. One of the things
that makes sludge so danger-
ous is that it seems so small.
We must eradicate sludge
from the workplace.”
TidbiTS & TACTiCS
Grade Results Not
Workplace Advice a la ‘Ugly Betty’
Our strength is our diversity. At MetLife, we recognize that the diverse talents
and perspectives of our employees lead to our growth and success. That’s why we
actively seek candidates from a variety of backgrounds. And once you join MetLife,
we offer opportunities for networking and support through a variety of groups and
workshops, including our Multicultural Resources Network. Our Individual Business
Advisory Councils—Women, African-American, Hispanic, Chinese and South Asian—
work to develop representation and business in their markets. It’s no wonder that
we have been recognized by Working Mother magazine as a Best Company for
Multicultural Women for the past two years.
Join a company that values your unique contribution. For more information about a
career with MetLife, call 1-800-JOIN MET or visit metlife.com/careers
MetLife is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Bring your talent to a
company that celebrates you.
Bring your talent to a
company that celebrates you.
08016820_womenforhire_2008v3 1/31/08 4:07 PM Page 1
In his provocative new
book, The Milkshake
Moment (Wiley, $19.95),
management expert Steven
S. Little teaches how to spot
stifing behavior in your
you’ll fx it, grow and pros-
per. The book’s title stems
from his frustration at trying
unsuccessfully to order a
milkshake at a variety of
venues—simply because it
was not on the menu, even
though the key ingredients–
milk and ice cream–were.
The subtitle of Little’s book
pulls no punches: “Over-
coming Stupid Systems,
Pointless Policies, and
Muddled Management to
Realize Real Growth.”
The “milkshake moment”
comes, Little says, when
individuals decide they can
do the right thing and serve
the interest of others—rather
than follow arcane internal
rules that actually prevent
them from serving their
Those rules and procedures
stife creative thought and
lead to legions of work-
ers who see no connection
between what they do and
the overall purpose of their
organization, he says.
“At least 80% of the em-
ployees I encounter appear
to have no idea how their
job fts into a grander sense
of the organization’s pur-
pose,” says Little.
He has some tips for manag-
ers to gauge the role purpose
plays in their organization.
But his tips could easily ap-
ply to anyone seeking a job.
They’re smart questions to
ask yourself before accept-
ing a position.
• Who is your organization
trying to serve?
• Do the people in the orga-
nization understand whom
you are trying to serve?
• What is your organiza-
tion trying to accomplish
over the long term?
• What unique strengths
does your organization pos-
sess and value?
• What gets you out of bed
in the morning?
Megan Hustad says she
wrote How to Be Useful—a
Beginners Guide to Not Hat-
ing Work (houghton Miffin,
$19.95) to give people in
their early 20s a “cheap
and cheerful overview” of
American self-help books—
“a genre I’ve always been
hustad, 34, culled from
every inspirational book she
could fnd, talked to all kinds
of experts and then penned
this amusing, enlightening
and funny book.
“Start paying attention to
how you treat cashiers,” she
says. “If you want to be suc-
cessful in the long run, you
need to start worrying more
about other people. You
need to not just treat them
well and express interest in
them but make up your mind
that to the extent possible,
whoever you’re talking to,
whether it’s your boss or cab
driver, will feel better after
having encountered you
than they did fve minutes
Advice Hustad wishes she
had gotten when she was 22?
• If you’re not naturally
perky, start practicing.
who are quick to smile, easy
to make laugh—rise faster
in corporate environments.
If you act sardonic, you’re
firting with permanent sup-
• Chill on the critiques. “You
think your ability to skewer
pretensions makes you
sound clever and incisive,
when it really just makes
you sound snotty.”
• Beat the boss to the offce:
“Everyone I interviewed told
me that this was expected.
But no one was informed
ahead of time. They learned
the hard, getting-chewed-
• Share knowledge. “Stra-
tegic moves made in your
mid-career 30s will involve
colleagues you befriended as
a twentysomething. If you’re
too shy, secretive or hyper-
competitive, you severely
limit your future options.”
TidbiTS & TACTiCS
How about a
‘Culling’ All Self-Help Books
The Home Depot is more than an equal
opportunity employer. We constantly look
to our associates for great ideas, and we
recognize that many minds are better than
one. That’s why diversity, teamwork and
innovation continue to help The Home
Depot grow as an industry leader.
Full & Part-time Sales Associates,
Cashiers, Specialty Sales, Store
Management Opportunitites and More.
Full and Part-time Benets
Tuition Reimbursement (full-time)
A Career with Growth Opportunity
The Home Depot is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Bilingual candidates are encouraged to apply.
Available positions may vary by location.
Apply online today.
.o¬eo¦o·||·e.co¬ +6 .o¬eo¦o·||·e.co¬ +¯
Rate yourself. As promised, no grades! But if you’ve answered
“no” to Questions 6 and 7, and “yes” to all the others, you’re
well on the way to working from home. If not, don’t fret. This
test is not a black-and-white predictor of future success. Use
this as a mini-barometer for deciding if you’re really ready to
If you truly believe in your head and your heart that now is
the right time for you to make a go of making money at home,
there are four main categories you should consider. You’ll be
able to adapt one of these paths to your own interests and goals.
/S| T¬| 3CSS. If you’re working and satisfed with your job,
but not its location, this could be your easiest path home. Your
immediate job is to convince your boss that you can be just
as effective, maybe even more so, working from your spare
bedroom as your third-foor cubicle.
|||| / ||||. Many companies of all sizes look for individuals
who can work from home: people to answer calls, provide sales
or customer service, give technical assistance or perform virtual
offce tasks such as making travel arrangements. There are also
companies, law frms, government agencies and non-profts
willing to set workers up at home. You could be their next hire.
3| YC|| C\| 3CSS. Obviously, if you’re running the show
you get to say where you work, right? This could be the right
time to launch a small business based on a professional skill or
personal passion, hobby, craft or service that you can provide.
It doesn’t have to be a huge venture requiring a large capital in-
vestment and a fve-year plan. It might be as simple as planning
children’s birthday parties for busy moms or driving seniors to
3|CC|| / ||||CT S/||S ||C. Think beyond Avon, Mary
Kay and Tupperware. The number of companies selling their
products and services outside of stores, in peoples’ homes or
online has mushroomed tremendously. If you’ve got a passion
for wine, spa treatments or educational toys, just to mention
a few categories, there’s a company out there that wants to
put your passion to work. Start-up costs are usually small and
you can set your own hours and schedule. Direct sales can be
a second job to fund a fantastic vacation or pay off debt. Or it
could be your breakthrough career—the one that gives your life
meaning, satisfaction and bucks for your bank account.
|/C¬ |/T¬ ¬/S |TS ||CS /|| CC|S. So does working
from home in general. It’s a lifestyle for many, but not every-
one. Obviously before jumping into something like this you’ll
want to ask a lot of questions about yourself and whether
you’re cut out for the challenges of work at home. Only when
you have honest answers and you’ve done your research on
the viable options that exist will you get a realistic idea of your
chances for being happy and succeeding.
Will Work From Home: Earn the Cash Without the Commute
(Berkley, $14.00) will be available in August. Purchase it
online or at your favorite local bookseller. You’ll also fnd
videos on many legitimate work at home options online at
I became interested in work-from-home opportunities in 2006
as workplace contributor for ABC’s Good Morning America. I
reported on how an increasing number of people wanted more
fexibility on the job and a chance to make money from home.
The response was overwhelming. I got thousands of emails.
Clearly we had hit a nerve. The response led me to report on
ways to work outside the offce and achieve better work/life
balance. I answered and advised countless viewers who called,
emailed or sent letters with specifc questions and challenging
situations. And as I traveled for work, I was even stopped in
airports by people seeking a nugget of advice from “that jobs
lady on TV!” I realized that many people needed more than
quick answers. What they wanted was a trusted guide to review
the options available to them. So my co-author, Robyn Freed-
man Spizman, and I set out to create just that. What follows is a
frst-look from our new book, Will Work From Home: Earn the
Cash Without the Commute (Berkley, $14.00), to be published
in August.—Tory Johnson
Working from home has its pros and cons. It’s a lifestyle for many,
but not everyone.Think it’s time for you to take the plunge? Invest
about fve minutes and learn some valuable facts about yourself.
Are you ripe and ready to bear the fruits of at-home labor? Or do
you have some growing yet to do? No grades here, but let’s fnd out.
Circle the most appropriate response, then rate yourself.
Work at Home
New Book Explores Ways to Earn
Cash Without a Commute
1) Have you been considering the idea of working from home
for six months or longer?
Yes No Not reallY
2) If you’ve told anyone else about your idea, has the response
been positive, as in “Wow, that sounds perfect for you?”
Yes No Not reallY
3) Have you sought out anyone who works successfully from
home and asked questions about how it really works?
Yes No Not reallY
4) Do people (including yourself) consider you a disciplined
self-starter who enjoys working independently without con-
Yes No Not reallY
5) Once you get an idea in your head, do you typically pursue
it until you’ve achieved it? Are you persistent?
Yes No Not reallY
6) Do you consider your workplace your primary source of
friends and social connections?
Yes No Not reallY
7) Do you constantly crave the company of others? For
example, do you feel lonely after a few hours at home alone
on a weekend?
Yes No Not reallY
8) Do you have strong powers of concentration and an ability
to ignore distractions?
Yes No Not reallY
9) Do you consider yourself a highly-organized person who
knows how to manage time and tasks?
Yes No Not reallY
10) Do you typically set goals, make lists and in other ways
measure your progress?
Yes No Not reallY
Ernst & Young’s Beth Brooke is one of
the dynamos of corporate America, and
a role model for women globally. Raised
in Indiana and a graduate of Purdue Uni-
versity, she has earned her top spot as the
accounting giant’s global vice chair of
strategy, communications and regulatory
affairs—as well as a seat on its Americas
Executive Board—through hard work,
perseverance and sheer smarts during a
27-year career with the frm. (She took a
two-year break to work in the U.S. Trea-
sury Department during the Clinton ad-
ministration.) Brooke is ranked among
Forbes’ 100 Most Powerful Women in
the World and she serves on numerous
boards, including TechnoServe, The
White house Project, The Committee for
Economic development and Partnership
for Public Service.
At 49, Brooke has accomplished what
many executives only wish they could
do: devote equal energy to doing the
right thing for the world, her employer
and herself. She sat down for a candid
conversation on the issues that matter
most with Women For Hire CEO Tory
Johnson. Prepare to be inspired by
Brooke’s vision and her infectious love
Tory: How’d you go from a girl who was
told she might never walk again because
of a degenerative hip condition, to mul-
tiple MVP titles in various high school
sports and playing college basketball?
Tell me about the impact of sports in
Beth: I really wasn’t an athlete. I was a
normal kid until I had the hip thing. I re-
member coming out of surgery, thinking,
“Not only am I going to walk, I’m going
to be the best darn athlete you’ve ever
seen.” It was a mental thing. That’s when
I got serious. My dad was a great athlete.
Every night he would hit fy balls to me.
We’d shoot baskets on our court, or we’d
play ping pong.
At Purdue, I had a really intelligent
coach, and that was the role model to
me, that you could be both an athlete and
an academic. I was a closet academic.
I wasn’t sure you could be or were sup-
posed to be both.
To be able to master being in the arena, a
tremendous number of hours every day,
and in class and on the road, discipline,
focus, getting your priorities right—it
was an incredible experience. Certainly
that discipline, focus and competitive-
ness helps me today. More importantly,
though, is learning how to work with a
team, which is everything in business.
I was in the Middle East a couple months
ago with some women entrepreneurs.
One pulled me aside and said, “You
don’t seem to have fear. Why is that?”
I didn’t even bat an eye. I said, “That’s
because I’m an athlete.” I’m conditioned
to not fear, to not be afraid, even when
Tory: Are you ever intimidated or
Beth: Our chairman [James Turley]
asked me in front of an internal Ernst &
Young audience, “On a scale of secure
and insecure, I bet everybody here thinks
you’re pretty secure. Where would you
put yourself?” And I said, “Oh, pretty
insecure on a daily basis.”
Doing the Right Thing Landed
this Lady on Top
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Beth: Because you’re always trying
to be better. My dad used to tell me,
“You’ve been given gifts. Use them.
But recognize that tomorrow you’re
probably going to fall on your face, and
then you’re going to have to get up and
go again.” He instilled in me this sense
that you’re never quite good enough,
never gotten as good as you could get.
Keep working at it. It brings a little bit of
insecurity, which is good.
Tory: First job out of college, you very
quickly realized you didn’t pick the right
employer. How do you make decisions
Beth: values mean an awful lot, and for
me in that frst job, I had alarm bells go-
ing off inside of me, saying, “This is not
my value system.” I didn’t know at that
moment if that was the business world’s
value system or just this place. There
was no diffculty in saying, “I’m not do-
ing that.” The scariest thing for me was,
will it be better elsewhere? The minute I
got to Ernst & Young—Ernst & Whinney
at the time—it was, “Thank goodness.
That was bad, and I have found home.”
Tory: What are the values and rules you
Beth: Honesty, candor, authenticity.
How you behave better be consistent
with what you say even when no one’s
looking because guaranteed somebody’s
looking. I fnd disappointingly too many
people in life who don’t behave as they
speak and they lack authenticity. If
you’re going to be a leader, people care
about whether you’re honest, candid,
authentic, and whether you care about
them. I’m passionate about what I do,
and if I’m not, then I’m doing the wrong
Tory: You’re passionate about champi-
oning women’s advancement. What fac-
tors make women’s issues, inclusiveness
and fexibility a business imperative?
Beth: The cold compelling reality is that
by 2016, 70 percent of our incoming
workforce will be women, so there’s a
huge need to have an inclusive work-
place. More compelling to me is every
day I see better solutions reached when
you have diverse perspectives at the
table. With diverse perspectives—in-
cluding gender, ethnicity, generational
and cultural diversity—you get better
To enable that diversity, you must have
an inclusive work force. Those people
have to be able to come to work every
day. Flexibility is a huge enabler for men
and women. Unless we biologically reen-
gineer women, we’re always going to
face the life choices that make fexibility
even more important for us. Or until
we reengineer the social family model
and who the natural burden of care falls
to. Right now the child care and the
elder care disproportionately fall on the
women. In any organization fexibility
has got to be priority number one if you
want to have a truly diverse work force.
As a soon-to-be 50-year-old dinosaur,
I’m not going to be able to understand
this world in the way that the youngest
generation understands it today. Reverse
mentoring is huge.
Tory: You don’t have children. It’s im-
possible to know if you’d have this posi-
tion or if your career would have taken
the same path with kids in the house. But
do you think not having children has in
any way impacted your success?
Beth: I’ve thought a lot about that and I
do think that not having children prob-
ably made it a little bit easier for me. I
probably at times in my life was freer to
make work choices that maybe had I had
children I would not have been able to
I also know as a single person when
all the talk would be about work-life
balance, which always oriented around
children, I was mentally saying, “Wait
a minute. Single people have incred-
ible challenges. Nobody’s doing all the
household stuff for me. I’ve got it all.”
If you peel back everybody’s onion just
one layer, you fnd out everybody has
personal challenges and hurdles to bal-
ance. They’re all different, but they’re all
Tory: You believe strongly that everyone
should be able to invest time in public
Beth: It’s transformational in the way
you think about society and societal chal-
lenges. Before I went into government, I
somehow thought societal problems just
got dealt with by someone, but I really
didn’t understand how that happened. I
was in government working on Super-
fund reform, the toxic waste that plagues
our society. The toxic waste cleanup
wasn’t happening; I was trying to solve
that problem, doing what we could from
a public policy perspective. I internalized
that it was really smart people who have
walked away from great jobs to make al-
most no money because they really care
about the challenges this country faces,
and were trying to make a difference and
do something about it.
I was one of them. I totally got it then,
and I understood more about business
when I was actually in government. I
understood more about what CEOs cared
about and how they dealt with govern-
ment. I started to truly understand how
business and government had to work
together. Everybody would beneft from
that kind of public service because—for
me, at least—until you sit on the other
side, you think you understand it, but
Tory: What kind of negotiator are you,
and how do you infuence key constitu-
Beth: I’m all about a win-win. I prob-
ably learned negotiating the best when I
was in government trying to forge com-
promise. It’s a huge chess set: move one
piece, and the other side of the balloon
pops out. The goal in any negotiation is
that everybody walks away feeling like
a winner. The only way you get there,
in my mind, is you listen intensely. You
understand everybody’s concerns and
issues so deeply that you can forge a
compromise where everybody may not
be thrilled, but not angry. If you can get
that, then you move things forward in a
Tory: You encourage people to dream
big. How do you follow that advice to
dream big for yourself?
Beth: What I tell people is don’t waste
time dreaming about small things.
Dream big. Find mentors who can help
guide you. I’m a sponge. I’m always tak-
ing in information. Right now I’m really
focused on the economic empowerment
of women around the world.
The data is so clear that when you eco-
nomically empower women, there’s a
multiplier effect. They take care of their
children. They take care of their com-
munities. Nations get strong. We started
our Corporate Responsibility Fellows
Program where we work with micro
entrepreneurs and we stick on some of
our best people.
That leads me to ask, what if we focus on
women entrepreneurs around the world?
What kind of multiplier effect could we
as an organization create? What if we
could put our heads together to actu-
ally bring together the right parties to
focus on the economic empowerment of
women to really make a big difference?
That’s what leaders do—have the right
networks, be out in spheres where you
see things and feel things, and your
instincts lead you places to explore.
Tory: Do you ever disconnect? Have you
ever gone away for two weeks and had
Beth: [Laughter] That would not be fun!
I disconnect all the time in little ways.
I love my kittens. When I’m with them,
“How you behave better be consistent with what you say even when no one’s looking
because guaranteed somebody’s looking. I fnd disappointingly too many people in
life who don’t behave as they speak and they lack authenticity.”
Allow Beth Brooke’s own
words of wisdom help guide
you and your career.
Brooke serves as a mentor for the
FORTUNE/U.S. State Depart-
ment Global Women’s Mentor-
ing Partnership, which provides
international emerging women
leaders the opportunity to develop
their leadership, management
and business skills through the
study of U.S. business culture and
a working mentorship program.
Brooke’s mentee, Lorena Piazze,
commerical manager of Vidpia,
one of Argentina’s leading glass
manufacturers, shadowed her for
three weeks in May, attending
meetings and events with senior
leaders at Ernst & Young.
“So much of success in life is
demystifying some big black box
that everybody else seems to
know about that you don’t, and
you realize there really isn’t a big
black box,” says Brooke. “Part
of mentoring is opening up what
experiences we’ve had, what expe-
riences they’ve had, and it’s really
I’m so disconnected. I have a lot of
friends. I have a river place that they all
come to and I’m as disconnected as you
can get when I’m there. When I’m with
my mom, she’s my number one priority,
and I’m disconnected. Even just being on
an airplane is fun. You can let your mind
run wild. The only routine part of my
day is an early morning workout and the
one phone call I make to my mother. If
I had more consistency, then I probably
wouldn’t be happy.
Tory: In the last year, what are you most
proud of having accomplished?
Beth: I’m most proud of our Corpo-
rate Responsibility Fellows program.
It’s not only great for the entrepreneurs
we help—on average they employ 200
people in their local villages and pay
them 10 times the minimum wage. But
the impact on our people when they
come back from those three months, they
are forever transformed. All I’ve done
was replicate my own learnings of my
very frst days in Africa when I had that
same transformational impact working
with entrepreneurs for TechnoServe, a
nonproft that does great work. As an
American, it forever changes how you
look at America and what our role in the
world could be and should be.
Tory: Your face lights up when you talk
about your experience with TechnoServe
and now with the Fellows program.
Beth: I traveled to Africa and down to
Central America to work on projects with
entrepreneurs. My experience was solely
focused on lifting people out of rural
poverty through entrepreneurship. We
saw it work in incredible ways.
This husband and wife had been grow-
ing beans on their one-acre farm in
Kenya for years. Bean prices had fallen.
They’d grown beans too long, so their
soil was acidic and wasn’t producing
much. TechnoServe worked with them
to understand that their farm and their
land could be great for growing bananas
if they de-acidifed the soil with lime and
had irrigation. TechnoServe helped to
bring that to them.
This husband and wife started growing
some of the world’s best bananas. They
got thousands of farmers in this village
to band together to all convert their farms
to banana-growing farms. Now they have
this big banana cooperative, and they sell
together so their prices can hold up on
the world markets.
We go visit and this husband and wife
said, “Why don’t you come with us. We
want to show you the medical clinic
we’re building for the village,” because
the nearest hospital is fve kilometers
away, and when the children are sick in
the middle of the night, they can’t walk
fve kilometers. They say, “We’re using
a percentage of our profts in the whole
co-op to build this medical clinic.”
We walk with them down in the village,
and we look out over the hill, and I’m
expecting to see a bright shiny new medi-
cal clinic. I look over the hill, and I see a
foundation, two cinder blocks high, and
it’s the foundation of the medical clinic.
They’re building it brick by brick as they
earn money from the co-op.
I think, “This is what the world’s all
about.” Nobody had to tell them about
corporate responsibility. They know what
their community needs and they take their
profts and do it. That was the genesis of
the idea. It’s how we started the Corpo-
rate Responsibility Fellows program.
Tory: What do the Fellows say when they
Beth: “I understand now what it really
is to make a difference. I was the lifeline
for this entrepreneur. I was side by side,
making decisions that impacted whether
this business lived or died. I stuck with
it. It was so hard to leave. But I’m now
working on a global, multinational com-
pany, and I see how I make a difference
for them. I get it. I see it in a different
way than I saw it.”
That to me is huge because they came
back, and it translated. Even before a
company can afford to pay us, we’re
committed because we know all of the
global multinational companies of today
started as this little micro entrepreneur at
some point, and that’s where it all begins.
All photos by Allyson Lubow.
It’s easy to allow other people to
defne your worth. They’ll volunteer
their opinions about you or treat you
in a way that speaks even louder than
words. While you can’t control what
other people say and do, you hold all
of the power to determine how—or
if—you allow it to affect your self-
esteem. The best way to weather
ups and downs: have confdence in
yourself and your abilities. Jennifer
Valentine of Perkasie, Pa. has had to do just that personally
and professionally. Here’s her story:
For more than a decade, I had two demanding roles: one as the
primary caregiver for my aging mother, the other managing a
fast-paced data processing company.
My mother was a force of nature for 86 years. It was a chal-
lenge for both of us to handle the transition from independence
to the ever-increasing need for assistance. I loved my mother,
and it was an honor to care for her. She always let me know
that she appreciated me.
I also loved my job. I worked for the company from its begin-
ning and felt like it was my baby. I thrived on the challenges
of managing and growing a business, working weekends and
evenings, whatever it took to get the job done. I had every
reason to think my employer appreciated my efforts as well.
Then, within the period of about a year, my mother died, my
job ended, and I lost two of my main roles. I was no longer the
caregiver to my mother. I was no longer the manager of the
As my mother’s health declined, I knew the inevitable would
happen. It did not necessarily make her passing any less pain-
ful, but at least it made sense to me.
I knew I did not have the ability to
change the course of nature.
When my boss explained the deci-
sion to let me go, he said it was
nothing personal, strictly fnancial,
and he was sure I would be just
fne. Well, for me it was both per-
sonal and fnancial. The pain of not
earning an income was the easier
part to handle. No longer being wanted was a different story. I
did not feel fne. how did this happen?
I felt betrayed. I felt irrelevant. I felt like a fool. I felt alone.
I looked for jobs, but often talked myself out of applying. Who
would want me? I was stuck thinking about my former job and
Then I decided to attend a Women For Hire Career Expo,
where I heard CEO Tory Johnson speak. In talking about let-
ting go and moving on after losing a job, Tory asked us, “Why
would you want to stay where you are not appreciated?” I
felt as if she was speaking directly to me. Rather than telling
myself, “I’m not wanted,” I changed the message to “I’m not
appreciated.” And, I was right, I wasn’t appreciated. I decided
at that moment, the frst change I had to make was with me. It
was time to move on. The old job was not coming back. My
new role is to value and appreciate myself, because no one can
ever take that away from me.
I still miss my mother and I’m sure I always will, but I no
longer miss my old job. While I am actively seeking my next
employment opportunity, I am also exploring my own business
idea and I’m taking a course to learn about the possibilities in
that industry. I have moved on.
Unappreciated At Work?
Might be Time to
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Ask women who’ve worked for years
and many will tell you that what they did
right after college bears no resemblance
to what they do now. Banish the idea of
a career ladder–the image of advancing
in one direction one rung at a time is not
refective of today’s realities. Instead,
envision your career lattice, which
enables you to move in all directions as
you fnd your way to success. Lara Hall,
a senior marketing manager at American
Express, is a perfect example. Here’s
I started my career in recreational thera-
py, working with seniors with depression
and anxiety at a day treatment program.
I led sessions that focused on improv-
ing their quality of life through cooking
groups, music, art and crafts.
Recreational therapy had been my dream
since I was 12, after I heard a practitio-
ner speak at a career day in junior high
school. I had my career fgured out. or
so I thought.
But immediately after graduating from
the University of Utah, where I had a
full scholarship, I realized the feld didn’t
pay well. My frst job offer was for $8 an
hour. Welcome to the real world!
No matter. I liked my job and loved the
people I worked with. But it was emo-
tionally exhausting to see elderly people
who had lived good lives and were now
I knew I could never be self-suffcient
on the salaries offered in recreational
therapy. I was making $25,000 a year
and the prospect of making much more
wasn’t good. Still, I put my heart into my
work and tried as hard as I could to do
Then one day our small company was
purchased by a larger frm that was more
marketing-focused and didn’t see recre-
ational therapy as a priority. Within a day
my supervisor let me know my position
would be adjusted: I’d now spend half
my time doing therapy and half market-
ing the company. I was nervous.
I spent my frst new week out of the of-
fce, building relationships and marketing
our program with the new big boss. He
was so enthusiastic and told me I had a
natural skill for marketing and sales. His
enthusiasm and support rubbed off on me
so much that by the end of the frst week
I was ready to leave my therapy groups
to focus all of my time on marketing.
That didn’t happen—I kept the 50/50
split another four months or so, but I’d
defnitely caught the marketing bug.
The wheels started turning in my mind:
I had a new career possibility ahead of
me—one that I had never envisioned
One of the psychologists I worked with
asked me to join him as marketing direc-
tor of a new, cutting-edge Alzheimer care
facility that he had been tapped to run. I
accepted the position—and the $20,000
salary increase—to start my full-time
marketing career. I’ve been in marketing
ever since and loving it. Ultimately I
moved to New York where my frst posi-
tion was as marketing director for three
years at Women For Hire. I leveraged
that experience to secure my current role
at American Express.
You never can tell where life will lead
you. My advice:
• /|\/YS \C|| ¬/||. Even when
I didn’t particularly like what I was do-
ing, I rarely slacked off. You never know
who is watching. Had I not continued
to work hard in that frst company when
it was taken over, the new boss might
never have noticed me. But because I
was a good worker, he found that I was
smart and creative—nice traits to have
in any feld.
• |C|’T 3| /||/|| C| 3|||C
|||||||Y with a wide variety of people
in the company—the higher ups, the
people who make more money than you
do. I did, with the psychologists, my
bosses and the board of directors at that
frst job. I don’t view this as sucking
up but as a natural refection of who I
am—a friendly person who is not intimi-
dated by another person’s loftier salary
• ||/||. ||/||. ||/||. Once I was
tapped for the marketing position and
found out that I was really interested in
it, I went back to school for an MBA to
learn even more about the subject. It paid
off in the form of better opportunities.
• 3| C|||-|||||| if you are asked to
try a new role—even if it isn’t something
in your background. Twenty years ago, I
kept an open mind and I have no regrets.
Lattice, Not Ladder,
For CAREER SUCCESS
©2008 DHL Express (USA),Inc. All rights reserved. PT02752
JOIN DHL AND MAKE A
WORLD OF DIFFERENCE.
Variety. They say it’s the spice of life. At DHL, it’s a way of life. Because we’re a
global organization, the diverse cultural backgrounds of our employees help make
us the world’s leader in the shipping and logistics industry – delivering to more
than 225 countries and territories every day. Our success lies in our commitment
to creating an environment that embraces the many different thoughts and
backgrounds of our men and women, our customers, and our business partners.
So visit our web site today, and fnd out how you can make a world of difference.
Sometimes comfort leads to complacency and we don’t even
realize it. We think we’re doing all the right things to meet our
goals until someone steps in and shakes things up. If you’re
stuck, seek a source for a shake up. The “light bulb” moment
might come from reading a book, watching television or meet-
ing a new person. Don’t resist constructive criticism. Embrace
it. Shannon Joseph, 40, a management trainee at Enterprise
Rent-A-Car, needed only to leave her house to discover it’s a
big world out there. Here’s her story:
The fear of getting in front of people has never been an issue
for me. It’s typically the place I feel most comfortable. Hav-
ing been an entrepreneur for so many years, selling products
and out-of-the-box ideas was second nature. However, selling
myself to a potential employer had become a challenge.
After relocating from New Orleans to Dallas after Hurricane
Katrina, it was essential for me to re-enter the work force. I
spent hundreds of hours glued to my computer searching every
possible job site. I have no doubt that I have visited every
career search engine in cyberspace. By the time I realized my
results were unremarkable, a year had passed and I was still
A friend introduced me to Women For Hire. She had attended
the Women For Hire event in Atlanta and thought I should
check out the event in Dallas. I admit I wasn’t completely sold
on the career fair approach, but I was willing to try. I needed
About three weeks after registering, I received an email
requesting information about my story. Women For Hire CEO
Tory Johnson was researching a possible workplace segment
for ABC’s Good Morning America and she was interested in
learning how I came to be unemployed.
I shared with Tory my experiences of loss, told her how frus-
trating it was to get absolutely no response to the countless re-
sumes I had sent out. I told her how hard it was to be rejected.
Here I was, a seasoned marketing professional with an MBA
and enough charm to make everyone feel like family,
and I couldn’t land an interview.
As I hit “send” I sensed a somewhat cathartic relief of getting
it off my shoulders. An hour later, Tory called. I talked. She
listened. I cried.
By the end of the conversation, our mentor-mentee relation-
ship began. Tory was exceptionally honest with her perception
of my career search. Almost too honest, I thought! I needed
to polish my resume, reevaluate my goals and, most impor-
tantly, get out from behind that computer. She was blunt. “As
a marketer, you’re defnitely not doing a good job marketing
yourself.” Not what I wanted to hear, but what I needed to hear.
My direction had to change.
While the need to network seemed obvious, it took an awful
lot of commitment and perseverance. Focusing all of my search
efforts online fueled a false sense of security. I believed I was
doing all I could to fnd work, but in reality I wasn’t.
Taking a cue from Tory, I began to pick up the phone and make
cold calls. I met with people face-to-face. And yes, I attended
that Women For Hire career fair. In doing so, I regained my
What helped me more than anything else was meeting face-to-
face with potential employers. I’m more than what appears on
my resume. Face-to-face is the only way for my personality
and presence to speak for me. Getting out there also proved to
be the only way for me to discover opportunities that I hadn’t
really thought of before. By putting my best self on display
and by opening my mind to new people and new ideas, I se-
cured a position that on paper wouldn’t have been as appealing.
There is truly no substitution for getting up from that computer,
getting out there and making yourself known.
“I’m more than what appears on my resume. Face-to-face is the only
way for my personality and presence to speak for me.”
A Key to Success:
Get Out There
Everyone has the potential for success,
but not all of us are particularly adept at
spotting opportunities to shine. That’s
why Rick Frishman and I teamed up
to write a guide to identifying valuable
qualities and developing a plan to market
these talents. In Where’s Your Wow? 16
Ways to Make Your Competitors Wish
They Were You (McGraw-Hill, $19.95),
we break down the process into easily
applicable tactics to make your strengths
Making a lasagna is a metaphor for how
your career is built one layer at a time.
Sure, there are more sophisticated ideas
and business-like terms, but nothing
about achieving a Wow has to be overly
academic or even rocket science. We
know of nothing more memorable than
a great meal, dish or culinary experience
that invites you back time and time again
to dig in and enjoy. If we asked you to
name some of the top chefs, your favor-
ite dishes, or your favorite restaurants
right now, like most people, you could
probably rattle off a list.
Every new opportunity leads to other op-
portunities. The secret to success is being
mindful of how all the layers and all
the ingredients blend with and comple-
ment each other. When you put together
enough Wows, you achieve a Wow!
This approach forms the foundation of
our system of success: create a unique
idea that flls a need or solves a problem,
target the qualities that make it (and you)
distinctive, build your personal brand
around those qualities and get the word
out in every way possible.
Most successful people in the world
didn’t start out being successful. They
went through many ups and downs,
highs and lows, and faced a lot of chal-
lenges. With each success and with each
failure, with each experience and with
each lesson learned, they grew stronger
and could weather any storm.
At age 12, my daughter Ali wrote The
Thank You Book for Kids (Active Par-
enting, $12.95), on the value of saying
thanks. She wrote to famous people—
from Michael Eisner to the president of
Harvard—who she thought other kids
would fnd interesting and she asked
them who taught them to express grati-
tude. They were so generous in providing
After the book was published, Ali gave
a workshop for a Girl Scout troop and a
local newspaper wrote about it. A pro-
ducer at CNN read the piece and called
to book Ali. When people at other shows
saw her in prime time, more media calls
came in asking Ali to address how par-
ents could motivate kids to write thank
you notes. When the CNN anchor, whose
name was Mark, asked on-air how he
could inspire his own children to spread
this message of kindness, Ali didn’t
miss a beat. She said, “I teach kids to
have fun with words. For example, take
someone’s name and give a compliment.
Like your name, for example, Mark.” In
seconds, Ali came up with “M stands for
magnifcent, A stands for articulate, R
stands for remarkable, and K stands for
kind.” Ali knew her content and gave a
creative example of her ideas in action.
The publicity continues to this day.
Ali’s experience shows how one little
idea can lead to many opportunities.
When you have a business idea or
message you wish to share, you must
be authentic. You must have a dedicated
interest in spreading the word, recognize
that every piece of publicity is impor-
tant, and have a clear picture in your
mind of what you want to see happen.
Little accomplishments, which are
earned through meaningful and
deliberate networking, add up to
Spizman is the co-author of Where’s
Your Wow? 16 Ways to Make Your
Competitors Wish They Were You!
(McGraw-Hill, $19.95). Visit
By Robyn Freedman Spizman
WL700626 Women For Hire.indd 1 8/16/2007 1:06:20 PM
You’ve earned your professional network, now Kay Luo, direc-
tor of corporate communications for LinkedIn, tells you how to
tap into its value.
Put your best foot forward with a complete profle. Fill out
your profle like it’s an executive bio—include past companies,
education, affliations and activities. descriptions of roles, re-
sponsibilities and accomplishments dramatically improve your
appearance in search results. By flling out past companies and
educational details you increase the likelihood of being found
by former co-workers and alums.
Build your network before you need it. Networking done
well is about an exchange of value. Connections are one of
the most important aspects of your brand—the company you
keep is a refection of you. Generally, you need about 30-plus
connections to start seeing the value of LinkedIn. The quickest
way to build your network is to import your address book from
Outlook or your webmail account and see who you know on
Give before you ask. If you fnd ways to help other people
achieve their goals, the laws of reciprocity will work in your
favor. LinkedIn helps you maintain your relationships by giv-
ing you a way to reach out and help your network when they
are asking for advice, hiring or looking for experts.
Create a “professional permalink” and control your Google
search. LinkedIn is one of the few ways you can infuence
what people fnd when they Google your name. To make your
information available for search engines to index, create a
public profle and select “Full view.” Customize your pub-
lic profle’s URL to be your actual name. (Mine is linkedin.
com/in/kayluo.) Add your URL to your business card, website,
email signature and anywhere else you may want to provide
people with more information about you.
Use your network to get advice and solve problems. Next
time you have a problem or just want advice, ask a question
on LinkedIn Answers. These questions get broadcast to your
network and the LinkedIn network of more than 22 million
professionals, allowing you to tap into the collective knowl-
edge worldwide. Ask for service provider recommendations,
advice on what conferences are worth attending and questions
on subjects you need information about.
Work For You
You may know a ton of people, but if the right
people don’t know you, you are missing out
on opportunities. When building your career,
who you know often takes second place to
who knows you. Make yourself known.
Increase your overall visibility and your
digital identity so decision makers can fnd
you, and identify the people whose radar
you’d like to be on. –Women For Hire
Own your name: Go to a domain registry
like GoDaddy.com, 1and1.com, or Register.
com to register your frst and last name, fol-
lowed preferably by dot com. If it’s already
taken, try adding a middle initial or name.
Post a professional summary that outlines
your key credentials. Ideally go a step further
to showcase your best work. Add a smart blog
on your area of expertise and now you’re
really establishing yourself as a woman of
substance. Commit to updating it regularly.
It’s a turn-off to visitors when the last entry
was months ago.
Expand your online network: In addi-
tion to using LinkedIn, check out Zoominfo,
Facebook and even Myspace depending on
your feld. Find at least one industry-specifc
group within your feld and join its online
social network too. Identify the most popular
blogs that are read by industry executives.
Submit original entries and post intelligent
comments that demonstrate your perspective
on hot button issues. Offer to write content
for enewsletters and online publications that
reach an infuential audience. This gets your
Reach back: When you spot great content,
send a note to the writer offering your feed-
back. Everyone wants to know that someone’s
reading their stuff. Take the initiative to let
thought leaders know who you are and what
you’re interested in.
Fortune 100: Best Companies to
Work For (2005, 2006, 2008)
Business Week: Best Places to
Launch a Career (2007)
Forbes.com: America's Most
Trustworthy Companies (2007)
Barron’s: America’s 500 Best
The Princeton Review: Best Entry
Level Jobs (2004-2008)
CollegeGrad.com: Top Entry Level
For more information about
The Sherwin-Williams Company and our
Management/Sales Training Program
and Internships, visit
An Equal Opportunity Employer
Women4Hire8x10.75 1/28/08 2:14 PM Page 1
For the frst eight years at Women For hire’s early morning seminars, attendees would check in,
take a seat and wait for us to begin.
They’d sit silently for 15 to 30 minutes—barely acknowledging the women around them. We didn’t
give it that much thought—except to wonder how much more fun it would be if they broke the ice
and actually talked with each other. Besides, we thought, there had to be a better use of their wait-
So we began an informal exercise in which everyone who arrives to our seminars must fnd 10
people who ft specifc criteria.
At 20 events this past year, it worked fawlessly: within minutes, the buzz was energizing—not a
quiet gal in the crowd. Everyone talked, so much so that we often had a hard time getting everyone
to quiet down when our program began. Success!
It’s up to organizers to get strangers talking—and talking substantively—at any event, whether for
a few dozen or a few thousand people.
In our case, we give each attendee a form and ask them to fnd women who ft each statement.
They can jot down a name when they make a match. We collect the forms and at the end we draw
a winner for a prize.
Among the topics, we’ve asked attendees to fnd someone who:
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Break the IC
Proven Steps to End the Awkward
Silence at Any Event
There are many variations on networking exercises. If you’re responsible for hosting or organizing a gather-
ing, you can tweak any of these options to suit your audience effectively. Give one a try.
In this drill, you pair with someone you don’t know and fnd three things that you have in common which
are not obvious. If you limit it to two minutes, then move onto two more people and do the same, you’ll be
amazed at how much common ground you can fnd.
Break your group into two-person teams by having everyone pick a partner they know little about. Every-
one interviews each other for about 15 minutes, based on questions or general guidelines you provide in
advance such as current employment, past jobs, family life, hobbies, favorite forms of entertainment and
so on. When time is up, reassemble and have each person introduce their partner to the group. This exercise
not only helps people learn about each other but reminds them to listen to what someone else has to say.
3|||| |T /|| S¬| \||| CC||
At separate tables, put a pile of Legos in the center of each and have everyone collaborate on building some-
thing. Give a prize to the winning table and have them talk about what went into their design.
Give everyone a piece of paper with three questions on it, such as: 1) What is your biggest fear in the work-
place? 2) What’s the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you at work or at school? 3) When you
look in the mirror, what do you see?
Give everyone fve minutes to answer the question then have them crumple their paper into a ball and throw
it into the front of the room. Everyone then reads someone else’s answer. The room will fnd a lot of com-
mon ground, which sets the tone for better communication during the event.
T/TTCCS | |S
Buy pairs of different stick-on tattoos and give each woman one to put on her hand. Then ask everyone to
fnd their partner. When they do, ask them to share three professional accomplishments they have been most
proud of in the last six months.
If you’ve participated in an ice-breaker exercise that’s worked well at events you’ve attended, share the
ideas with us. Visit blog.womenforhire.com and post your examples on the entry related to this topic.
FOR OUR ORKIN MAN.
BUT WE’RE JUST
AS PROUD OF
OUR ORKIN WOMEN.
Whether you want to work in branch operations or in our corporate offices, we have a wide variety of
positions for motivated women. Here are some reasons to join Orkin today:
• Career growth opportunities
• Excellent pay
• Paid training
• Comprehensive insurance plan
• 401(k)/employee stock purchase plans
• Ethical business values
• Equal Opportunity Employer
• Financial stability in a recession-resistant industry
• Large company with a small-company feel
It’s an exciting time to work at Orkin. Join us as we
continue to grow. To apply, visit orkincareers.com.
Hannah Seligson, who grew up in Alexandria, va., says that
after she graduated from Brown University with a degree in
political science she took a job–then found herself glued to a
computer looking at spread sheets.
“I took a job in political consulting, where I was essentially
an Excel monkey,” she says. “The job was a bad ft all around,
and they beat me to the punch and fred me after nine months.”
That inspired her to write a career guide for young women,
called New Girl on the Job: Advice from the Trenches (Citadel,
“I wrote the book that I wish I had had when I graduated col-
lege in 2004,” says Seligson, now a journalist, author, speaker
and blogger. “Being a journalist appeals to me because I love
fnding the story in things, even if it’s something like a dog
parade. ‘Why’ is my favorite word.”
“My biggest fear when I entered the workplace was that I
would dread going to work every morning,” she says. “That
I’d have to endure a case of the Sunday night blues for the
next 50 years. I’m very lucky to be doing something that I
love now, but even when you land your dream career, stagna-
tion can happen. I try to tackle it by fnding ways to keep my
career fresh and interesting. I’m always asking myself: ‘how
can I avoid falling asleep at my computer today?’ ”
Snapshots of Success:
An Equal Opportunity Employer
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Do you want to be challenged and
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Stephanie Argyros’ family owned a
bagel shop. “I literally grew up behind
the counter. I’d been serving coffee and
working in that environment since I was
13 and eventually managed the store
with my older sister.”
Shortly before graduating from New
York University in 2006, she registered
with the school’s career center. “Within
48 hours, I received an e-mail to attend
an interview with a Starbucks recruiter,”
she says. “I wanted to fnd something
in social work, but my employer at the
time didn’t offer benefts and I thought
perhaps I could make more money with
Starbucks. The company’s mission
statement and guiding principles really
resonated with me.”
She left that frst meeting with a Star-
bucks recruiter “on the verge of tears. I
felt like I had just made a friend rather
than having just been through a job
interview. I realized that I didn’t have
to be a social worker to make peoples’
She joined the company in March
2006. Fourteen months later she was
promoted to store manager, supervising
some 40 people. Argyros now manages
the highest profle Starbucks location
in New York City. “Every day I am
faced with hundreds of opportunities to
enhance, enrich, inspire and uplift other
people whether they are the partners
who work with me or the customers I
Why is Starbucks the right ft? “I get
to see immediate results in the smiles
of my customers as they relax in the
café. I also get to see long term results
when, for example, a partner I hired as
a barista gets promoted to shift supervi-
sor. Knowing that I played a role in an-
other human’s development just makes
me feel good.”
As the daughter of a Korean mother
and an American father, Allison Pill-
inger had a culturally diverse child-
hood in South Florida. She attended
public and private schools, played
competitive tennis and traveled the
world. At 18, she entered Harvard,
where she was an editor on The Har-
vard Crimson. After graduation, she
joined Goldman Sachs in New York.
“Many people commented that this
seems to be an ‘expected’ path,” she
says. “Quite the contrary. During my
senior year of college, that goal was
landing a job. I didn’t need to have a
degree in economics to know that the
market was quite competitive. The
supply of analyst spots on Wall Street
was certainly less than the demand.
I needed an edge, my personal story
that would differentiate me from the
pack. My edge came from learning
about and being honest with myself.
This meant going through many inter-
views (practice interviews are often
undervalued), constructively receiv-
ing feedback and having conversa-
tions with industry contacts from
Her advice two years later? “Do not
underestimate the challenge, but at
the same time do not be intimidated.
We all experience it, we all grow with
it and we can all have a success story
Many careers have been built on the art of networking. There’s
no shortage of books on the subject and there’s an abundance
of experts who’ll spout endless tips on the topic. We went to
some of them to roundup their best advice.
DONDI SCUMACI, author, Designed For Success: The 10
Commandments for Women in the Workplace (Excel Books,
Networking isn’t just passing out ten thousand cards at a trade-
show. That’s just an in-person version of spam. Networking
is making a real connection—understanding what people care
about and what they are trying to get done. Networking is not
an event; it is a discipline.
• Volunteer. Sign up for causes that matter to you. You’ll meet
people who share your interests and concerns. Common ground
is a great foundation to build on.
• Manage your contacts. Instead of building a database, build
a knowledge base. Go beyond collecting names and telephone
numbers. Over time, if you pay attention and ask the right
questions, you will learn the goals, interests and challenges
of your contacts. That’s when they stop being contacts and
become colleagues, friends and resources.
• Keep in touch. Send thank-you notes, birthday cards and
holiday greetings. Make opportunities to stay in front of your
contacts in meaningful ways.
RHONDA L. SHER, author, The Two Minute Networker (2MN
As with real estate, networking is about location, location, lo-
cation. Nail the referral by booking an appointment for a mani-
cure at the end of the day at a high-end spa near the offces of
your primary targets. Start a simple conversation based on the
color of polish and build from there. Hit the Starbucks closest
to the business contacts you’re eyeing and you might just chat
it up over a cup of Joe. Browse the bookstore aisles where titles
on a topic of interest are shelved. You’re likely to meet like-
minded people perusing the same content. Never judge a book
by its cover. The person in front of you at the carwash could be
your next angel.
SUSAN ROANE, author, How To Work A Room (Collins,
How we communicate online forms an indelible impression.
Be respectful, use proper English and be engaging rather than
demanding. Avoid brief, terse emails; add a few extra words
Networking Wisdom from
FOUR PROS WHO KNOW
READY TO NETWORK?
HERE ARE FIVE GREAT SITES TO
KEEP YOU IN THE KNOW.
A consortium of major corporations and top business
schools, Forté’s mission is to substantially increase
the number of women business leaders by increasing
the fow of women into key educational gateways and
business networks. Forté strives to motivate women to
prepare for a business career, increase women’s access
to education and business networks, educate women
about the value of an MBA and support them fnancially
in their business education. Fortefoundation.org
Uptown Scoop is a free daily e-note (like an email, but
short and sweet) and your personal connection to all
that’s hip, hot and trend-worthy–like the latest in fash-
ion that works at work, super smart business tools and
tips, fabulous offce décor and more—all perfect for busy
women in business who want to stay plugged in
to what’s next, what’s new and must-have.
The largest career site specifcally for college students
and young professionals, Experience.com offers access
to internships and entry-level jobs targeted to your col-
lege, university or alma mater; real-world insights and
valuable career management resources; and a network
of inspirational role models.
Local Job Network
This network of employment and career sites covers the
entire United States. Unlike the national job boards that
focus frst globally and secondarily on the local areas,
The Job Network focuses frst and foremost on the local
cities and communities. LocalJobNetwork.com
Professionals in the City
A socializing and networking organization, Pros in the
City offers professionals in major cities an opportunity
to unwind, have fun and meet people who share their
interests outside of the workplace. Prosinthecity.com
that personalize emails so you can connect meaningfully with
others. Use the endorsement option on social networking sites
to make a positive comment about colleagues and associates.
This encourages them to return the courtesy to you, which
contributes to building your online reputation.
JEN BILIK, Head Honcho, KnockKnock.biz
My frst job out of college was an internship at New Line Cin-
ema. Among my class of interns, all anybody could talk about
was networking. They didn’t seem to care about what they
were learning or doing, just about their contacts. They spoke
knowledgeably about Networking with a capital N even though
none of them had ever done it. They characterized people who
had gotten jobs through family or social contacts as undeserv-
ing, but seemed to want the same thing themselves because,
cynics at 21, they felt it was the only path to success.
My feeling about networking then—and now, after multiple
jobs (including some that stemmed from my New Line experi-
ence), a freelance career and owning my own business—is that
it’s so natural it shouldn’t even have its own word. My fellow
interns seemed to think “networking” was an end unto itself,
artifcial and strategic. Instead, I have always found that good
people want to work with other good people—just like life.
When you meet someone, if you have similar interests and
passions, it’s immediately apparent, and the conversation will
organically move in a “We should collaborate” or “Are you
looking for a new opportunity?” direction. Sometimes this is
helped along by attendance at professional events and fnagling
introductions, but if you don’t have the goods, nothing will
come of the encounter.
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Lou and Crystal Cator co-own a mother-
daughter coaching company in Illi-
nois. They work with top employers to
develop leaders, improve communication
between managers and direct reports, and
help individuals take responsibility for
their behaviors and actions.
Before they could work together on be-
half of their clients, this duo had to work
out the kinks inherent in the shift from
family to business. While their personal
bond and shared interests led them to the
same professional passions, they are the
frst to admit it isn’t always smooth sail-
ing when working closely with someone
you love. We asked them to share their
challenges and triumphs of thriving on
The C Words: Control, Communication,
Lou: As with any good partnership, even
though it is supposed to be 50/50 usu-
ally it isn’t. Someone is controlling and
someone is controlled. When I invited
my daughter into my company, I had
mixed emotions. I was skeptical. We
both like control.
Crystal: It is one thing to communicate
with your mother as a daughter, but it’s
a whole other world when you have
to communicate as a business partner.
Since I was joining her business, I had
to play by her rules. It was very diffcult
in the beginning because I wanted to
change many things. It became a lesson
in compromise. I learned to accept the
hard work she had already done and in
return we had to compromise on what
was going to happen in the future.
Lou: I had to examine my prejudices
and biases toward our mother/daughter
relationship. I had to forget our history
and our ups and downs while she was
growing up. Change can be good—at
least that is what I had told some of my
previous clients! It was intimidating,
but I was determined to embrace it. Old
ways aren’t always the best way.
Balance and Building the Business
Crystal: We’re able to transition
smoothly from work life to personal life.
Even if we’re out of the offce we are
still able to talk about work with ease.
Some of our best ideas have come as a
result of a long day of shopping.
Lou: We are always trying to fnd more
effcient, cost-effective ways to network
and promote our business. We begin each
day by reading the local newspapers. We
look for seminars that attract execu-
tives. Such seminars could be fnancial
planning, investing, health information
or legal and human resource issues. Our
goal is to determine the decision-level
of the potential attendees. (Sometimes a
phone call to the sponsoring group will
clarify that.) Based on our research, we
make a determination if it will help with
our efforts to reach the C-level that we
target. If it does, we attend.
Crystal: My hobby is gardening, so I’m
joining other business people to compete
for a national “America’s Beautify Your
City” award. I’m proud of what I do and
I talk to everyone who will listen. I’m
also always interested in what others
have to say.
Lou: I recently joined the Executive
Women’s Golf Association. Most of the
members are women who are deci-
sion-makers or can infuence a positive
Crystal: We split up and talk to as many
people as we can. People are usually cu-
rious about what we do. Not every event
is valuable for building our business. We
might have a snack and a drink, but the
people we meet aren’t in a position to
help us land new business.
Lou: Events that target small business
owners aren’t typically valuable for busi-
ness development. Attendees are there to
promote their business and aren’t inter-
ested in purchasing products or services.
Crystal: My mother took the chance to
take me under her wing, to introduce me
to who she knows and to show me how
business is done. That’s something they
can’t teach you in a classroom. To my
mother, thank you for showing me how
to be a professional businesswoman.
DefiNe clear roles.
Building on your individual
strengths, defne each person’s
role clearly. One person
might handle sales, while the
other works on product
In any working relationship,
nobody likes if someone is
keeping tabs on them. Accept
varying work styles and give
each other space.
Don’t second-guess each
other’s roles and decisions. If
you’re always nit-picking and
questioning the moves and
motives of your partner, the
relationship is doomed to fail.
A Mother/Daughter Tale:
Joined At More
Than The Hip
kell039398 º Women lor Hire mag ad º 8w x !0.75h º 4c º rll º V!, 2-5/6/08, llNAL-5/!3/08
DeVry Universily is accrediled by The Higher Learning Commission ol lhe Norlh Cenlral Associalion, www.ncahlc.org. Keller Craduale School ol Managemenl is included in lhis accredilalion.
Program availability varies by location. © 2008 DeVry Universily. All righls reserved.
Ten convenient locations in the Chicagoland area.
Chicago Loop, Chicago O’Hare, Schaumburg, Lincolnshire, Gurnee,
Oak Brook, Naperville, Elgin, Tinley Park and Merrillville, IN.
A degree from DeVry University’s Keller Graduate School of Management provides
the professional credibility and skills critical to succeed in your career. You’ll learn practical
skills from working professionals who use real-world teaching methods. Plus, our fexible
schedules let you take classes onsite evenings and weekends or go online any time for even
Get your professional edge at Keller’s ten convenient locations in the Chicagoland area.
Get ahead with degree programs in Business Administration, Accounting & Financial
Management and Human Resource Management.
Count on Keller for
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By Angie Parra
After working on Wall Street for more than 10 years, I found myself looking for a new opportu-
nity within the fnancial arena. I wanted something where I could wake up each day and make
I attended the Women For Hire event in Dallas more than a year ago and met with many different
employers. New York Life stood out to me. The company offered a chance to be an entrepreneur
with a twist: I could be in business for myself, but not by myself. That made quite an impression
In New York Life, I have a 163-year-old partner, which is always a great comfort. I’m very
happy with my career. Right now is an especially good time to be with a company that is reces-
sion-proof—there will always be a need for what I offer to families.
As an agent with New York Life Insurance Company and a fnancial services professional
registered with NYLIFE Securities LLC, one of the challenges of my job is that people don’t
always know what I do or what I can offer. Financial services
are tools for life’s transitions, which include purchasing a
new home, having a baby, sending a child to college, start-
ing a new business or planning for retirement. It’s also about
helping you achieve fnancial peace of mind in the event of the
One of the greatest rewards that I get from my job is sitting
down to work directly and personally with families to help
them set their fnancial goals and objectives. I listen to their
needs and interests and we work together to prioritize what
matters most to them. I get tremendous satisfaction from
building these relationships.
What I would tell anyone interested in this career is that
the knowledge will come. You must come into it with solid
communication skills, self-discipline, and a strong network
of contacts or the ability to build a good network. I’ve also
seen many people transition into this job very successfully
from various backgrounds—teachers, real estate agents, even
stay-at-home moms. New York Life has an extensive training
program to teach you what you need to know about this par-
ticular business. The support is ongoing and it’s truly the gold
standard for the industry. I know if I do my part in attracting
clients and nurturing those relationships, the company will
be there every step of the way to deliver the best training for
me—and the best products for my clients.
eXPo SuCCeSS SPoTliGHT
to Make a Difference
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