Want to Advance? Set up Your Own Personal Board of Directors

Deb PineBy Deb Pine, Executive Director, Gloria Cordes Larson Center for Women and Business & Bentley University Executive Education

As experienced and trusted advisors, mentors can have a significant impact on your career trajectory. Research has shown that people who have mentors are more likely to get promotions and are more satisfied in their jobs. When Indra Nooyi became the CEO at PepsiCo, she credited the mentoring she received for helping her break glass ceilings in business, “If I hadn’t had mentors, I wouldn’t be here today.” Read More

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3 Facts About Ambition That Will Help You Succeed

Hana Schank

Hana Schank

When careers don’t go as planned, what went wrong—and how do people adjust? Seeking to find answers that would help them navigate their own paths, Hana Schank and Elizabeth Wallace interviewed all of their sorority sisters who graduated with them from Northwestern University in 1993. What they learned was “life-changing,” Schank says, because it gave validity to their choices, and she saw “I wasn’t just flailing here and there.”

But you don’t have to be going through a midlife crisis to be helped by their findings, which they published in The Ambition Decisions: What Women Know About Work, Family and the Path to Building a Life. Here are three key facts about ambition that every woman should know: Read More

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Career Lessons from a YouTube Star

When a video goes viral on YouTube, a lot of luck is involved for sure. But that luck is often in combination with even more hard work.

At least that was the case for Franchesca Ramsey, a video blogger with more than 29 million views on YouTube. When her video “Sh*t That White Girls Say… to Black Girls” went viral in 2012, she had been writing, filming and posting for more than six years—when she wasn’t entering standup comedy contests, trying to get acting auditions or working at her day job in web design. Read More

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Must-Have Answers from ‘Ask a Manager’ Author Alison Green

For many employees, the work itself is easy. It’s the office politics that are hard. That’s partly why Alison Green started her blog, “Ask a Manager,” 11 years ago. A chief of staff at a non-profit organization at the time, she kept thinking that coworkers would have made different decisions if they’d had their boss’ or HR’s perspective.

“As a manager, I could see that people weren’t going to get the outcome they thought they were,” Green recalls. “It occurred to me that a lot of people would benefit from knowing what their bosses are thinking when they hear x or what they mean when they say y.” Read More

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How Nice Leaders Say No

At work, as in life, there are always going to be jerks. They seem to climb—or claw their way up—fast, but you don’t have to join them to succeed.

“You don’t have to check your true self at the door,” says Fran Hauser, author of The Myth of the Nice Girl: Achieving a Career You Love Without Becoming a Person You Hate. “Nice and strong are not mutually exclusive traits. I believe that the most effective leaders have both.”

A former media executive, Hauser is talking from experience. She helmed the digital teams of some of Time Inc.’s most important brands—People, InStyle, Entertainment Weekly and Essence—while scooping up industry accolades along the way, including Advertising Age’s “Women to Watch” award. Still, her door was always open to people who wanted her help; one question she frequently got from young women was, “How can you be so nice and successful?” Read More

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How to Stop a Bad Boss from Impeding Your Career

If you have a difficult boss, you know what it is to feel stuck. You can always quit, of course, but leaving without a new job is risky. Most people can’t take the financial or professional hit. Or maybe you are at a great company and simply don’t want to leave.

The thing to remember in this situation: “Your career is a marathon and not a sprint,” says Mary Abbajay, president and CEO of management consultancy Careerstone Group. “Every long run has rough patches, but that’s when you grow—when you’re being challenged.” Read More

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Office Hours: What to Do When You Get a New Boss

Changes in management can be unsettling, whether they’re part of a major restructuring or due to just one person’s departure. We asked Suzanne Quigley, director of community and corporate responsibility at QVC and PA Conference for Women board member, for her advice on what to do when you get a new boss. Read More

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Office Hours: Help for When a Colleague Makes More Than You

You just found out that a coworker is paid more than you. But the two of you have the same job. What should you do?

You could call your network (and you should). You could also read our new column, “Office Hours,” where we’ll be posing your burning career questions to our board members and other Conference for Women friends.

Here’s what four business leaders from our boards would recommend doing if you’re underpaid—advice you can take to the bank, literally! Read More

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Career Advice from One of the Most Accessible Executives in Boston

By Christina Luconi, Chief People Officer, Rapid7

Chief marketing officer at Rapid7, Carol Meyers is a local legend in the Boston entrepreneurial community. She has played senior leadership roles at LogMeIn, Unica, Shiva, Lotus and GE, and she serves on the board of directors for Emarsys and MineralTree, as well as plays an advisor role to SocialRep and WordStream. Still, she feels she has not done enough.

“I want to keep learning. I want to try new things,” Meyers says. “I have always been driven by a desire to create something, to drive growth, to make things happen. This has not diminished over time, though I have developed a tad more patience.”

She has also gained invaluable insights and wisdom about work and the choices women face. Here, she reflects back on her career and shares her career advice. Read More

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5 Questions You’ve Always Wanted to Ask a Head of HR

Macy Andrews

By Macy Andrews, Senior Director, Global Talent Brand and Culture, Cisco

If anyone has great career advice, it’s a human resources executive. After all, she knows what recruiters are generally looking for in candidates, what are good answers to common interview questions and what is needed for HR to approve a request. The problem, of course, is that unless you are friends with, or related to, someone in HR, it can be hard to tap this fountain of information.

Until now, that is. Here, Jill Larsen, senior vice president of human resources and talent at Cisco, where she globally leads both Cisco’s talent acquisition function and HR for Cisco’s services organization, shares her take on how to get what you want: Read More

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