I started to get the sense that work-life balance would be a problem at this company when I noticed that the girl setting up my interviews was sending emails and meeting invitations at odd hours. I had been interviewing for a role at a Very Cool Tech Company, and the scheduler was sending me messages at 7:00 pm, 8:00 pm. There were subtle signals that the pressure to meet the expectations of the job would be large. And then, the kiss of death, the phrase that made the work-life balance question clear: "This is not a 40 hour a week position." It was clear that it would indeed be much more than that.Read More
"I've been thinking about interior design, or maybe architecture. Because I really like math, but I also want to be able to do something creative. But then I'm worried about job opportunities, I know it's ridiculous to try to get a job in those fields."
I had a hunch, so I asked, "Do you have any programming or web development experience?"
"It's funny you ask that because earlier this week I started teaching myself to code online. I like it!" Her face lit up.
"And have you ever heard about interaction design?" She smiled. And then proceeded to tune out the rest of our session because it's clear I had hit a nerve and she just wanted to go google.Read More
Last week, I went to the doctor and came back with some not-great news. I have a health profile that includes a Big Scary Illness, and occasionally I have a situation where my doc says "Heads up, this doesn't look good". I'm in the middle of one of those scares right now, and there's an internal battle that goes on in my brain in a situation like this:
1. "Crap I'm going to need lots of money and really good health insurance." (ie, a nice stable job!), and
2. "Wow life is short, and I should make the most of the time I have by doing what I love." (ie, pursue my passion now while I can!).
It's the ultimate battle: do I prioritize practicality or passion in the face of a life situation that makes me need and want both?Read More
"My mom said I should be a librarian because she knows someone whose daughter is a librarian and said that's a good option," my student told me.
"Do you want to be a librarian?" I asked.
"I don't know...", she broke eye contact.
At least it's obvious that she's pursuing Mom's goal instead of her own. Some of us are working on a far more insidious type of career choice....the one made through more subtle clues about what our parents or family members want of us. It's more common that I work with a student who says, "My parents are worried about what kind of internship I'll have this summer." Or, when I ask "How did you decide you wanted to be a doctor?" the answer is "My dad is a Neurologist," which, I have to remind the person, is not actually answering the question.Read More