Episode 135: The Comeback

The first step is getting your head sorted, really understanding what are the stories you’re telling yourself about why you can’t go back.
— Lisa Unwin
Lisa Unwin

Lisa Unwin

Many women will take time out of the workforce at some point in their careers. But getting back in can be notoriously hard. In this show we meet Lisa Unwin, co-author of She's Back. We discuss how to change your attitude to persuade an employer (and yourself) of your worth, how to frame an absence from the workforce, and why career and motherhood have a lot in common with a game of chess.

You can also read a transcript of the show.

Further reading: ‘It’s Time to Change Your Strategy on Hiring Women’ by Lisa Unwin, via Thrive Global.

‘Meet the Women who want to Crack the Return to Work Problem’, via the Daily Telegraph.

Here’s the article Lisa and Deb wrote comparing motherhood and career to a game of chess (and advising you how to play) via Strategy + Business.

Why ‘I’m a Mum, I’m Looking for Part-time Work, is the Wrong Way to Start’ by Lisa Unwin, via Thrive Global.

Episode 134: Running for Office

There are some days when I think, ‘Oh my gosh, what am I doing, why am I doing this? These people are never going to accept me,’ to, ‘Yes, I can do this...why not me?’
— Suzanna Coleman
Suzanna Coleman (center, with burgundy top) and supporters

Suzanna Coleman (center, with burgundy top) and supporters

Because of my party affiliation people assume they know everything about me. But I am the next generation of Republicans. I’m not what we see right now.
— Morgan Murtaugh
Morgan Murtaugh and her grandmother on the day of our interview

Morgan Murtaugh and her grandmother on the day of our interview

The US midterm elections are just around the corner. In this episode we meet two women running for office for the first time, Suzanna Coleman and Morgan Murtaugh - one Democrat, one Republican.

Each woman faces a challenge on November 6th. Suzanna is in Alabama, an African-American candidate in a conservative state. She's going up against an older white man who’s been in office since 2010. Morgan is a young Republican in liberal southern California, facing off against a congresswoman who’s held the seat for 17 years. Each thinks their community may be ready for change. In a few weeks they’ll find out for sure.

You can also read a transcript of the show.

Episode 133: The Ambition Decisions

In a lot of our friends’ relationships the default was, ‘My husband’s career takes priority,’ even if that didn’t actually make sense for the two careers people had.
— Hana Schank
Elizabeth Wallace and Hana Schank

Elizabeth Wallace and Hana Schank

I empathized in some ways with the stay-at-home moms, but also I had this tugging feeling inside of me of wow, you had so much potential, why did you give that up?
— Elizabeth Wallace

In the early '90s Hana Schank and Elizabeth Wallace graduated from college with big dreams for the future. But more than 20 years later they didn't feel like success stories. Career and family life felt messy and underwhelming. But surely their friends from college had it figured out - maybe they could pick up some tips? Hana and Liz set out to interview the women they'd graduated with to find out how they'd channeled their ambition over the years and what their stories can teach the rest of us. The result is their book The Ambition Decisions.

In this episode we cover everything from how ambition changes over time, to ceding control at home, to not automatically falling for the advice to ‘do what you love.’

If you have a comment please post below, I’d love to hear from you.

You can also read a transcript of the show.

Further reading: Here you’ll find links to the original series of articles Hana and Liz wrote for the Atlantic that eventually led them to write the book.

Episode 132: The Military Spouse and the Challenge of Work

Before my husband was in the picture I was making really good money, I was taking care of myself. And now I have to depend solely on him, and it’s hard.
— Laura, military spouse
Laura and her kids

Laura and her kids

Why is it so hard to combine a career with military life? That's the question we look at in this show, brought to you by Stacy Raine, a military wife herself.

Women who marry a US service member often start out with careers of their own. But as time goes by and families move around the country, military spouses find it tough to find work. This show looks at the reasons behind that, what we can do to change the status quo, and why the rest of us should care.

Are you or have you been a military spouse? I'd love to hear from you in the comments. 

Episode 131: Would You Work in a Women-Only Space?

What’s happening here is people are feeling comfortable and not drowned out, and like they’re being heard.
— Mallory Kasdan
Mallory Kasdan in the podcast studio at The Wing in Dumbo, Brooklyn

Mallory Kasdan in the podcast studio at The Wing in Dumbo, Brooklyn

We’re supposed to be championing diversity, and women have done so much to do that. And this felt like we were going a little bit backwards.
— Amy Rowe

Women-only workspaces are becoming more and more popular for freelancers and entrepreneurs. One such space, The Wing, has garnered a lot of press and is opening branches in multiple US cities as well as abroad. For fans, these spaces are a haven for professional women. But others say a women-only office is no triumph for equality. 

In this show I visit the Brooklyn branch of The Wing and meet up with one of its members, podcaster Mallory Kasdan. I also talk to former TBE guest Leigh Stringer, a workplace expert, and to UK-based Amy Rowe. Amy works from a co-working space herself, but it has plenty of men - and she likes it that way. 

The Wing in Dumbo, Brooklyn

The Wing in Dumbo, Brooklyn

What do you think? Would you work out of a women-only space if you had the chance? Or does the whole idea seem like a step backwards?

You can also read a transcript of the show.

Further reading:

Here's Leigh Stringer's piece for Slate on why women are drawn to female-only workspaces.

Episode 130: How to Make the Most of Your Time (re-release)

If people are thinking about taking an 80 percent schedule I would caution against that, because it is quite possible to slack for twenty percent of the time and still get paid for it.
— Laura Vanderkam
Photo by Shaiith/iStock / Getty Images

Photo by Shaiith/iStock / Getty Images

We say it repeatedly - that we're 'crazy busy' and 'don't have time' for various things we enjoy, or used to. The pressure of work and life is too much.

Or is it?

In this show I talk to author and journalist Laura Vanderkam about women and time management. Her book is I Know How She Does It - How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time. Laura says many of us buy into a negative storyline about what's (im)possible as a worker and a parent. She argues there are ways to have a senior job and a family and not lose your mind - you just have to think creatively.

You can also read a transcript of the show.

Further reading: If listening to the show has inspired you to keep track of your own hours for a week, you can download one of Laura's timesheets here: http://lauravanderkam.com/manage-your-time/

If you'd like to read more about that lawyer who quit Clifford Chance after at least one terrible day, here's her goodbye email.

And this Harvard Business Review piece, Why Some Men Pretend to Work 80 Hour Weeks, is by Erin Reid, the Boston University researcher who studied men and women at a large global consulting firm.