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Work/Life Balance and Lessons from Managing Two Careers

My wife and I both work. We’re not alone, obviously. But since we had a baby last year, we’ve thought a lot more about our careers. There seems to be a growing group of people who look a lot like us: two people who want to not just continue working because they need to, but two people who would like to keep moving up in their careers.

After baby arrives, some couples choose to have one spouse stay at home. We’ve had a few friends who have done that and it’s seemed to work out well for them. We know others who spent some time away from work but ultimately returned. For us, we knew early on that we’d both be returning to work.

It’s not always a perfect arrangement, though.

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#HootHROS and Why Best Practices are Broken in HR

hootsuite_logo_owly_detailWhen I started in corporate HR, I was pretty lost. I leaned heavily on my manager, a network of local practitioners I established quickly, a scattered, online group of talent professionals, and every resource I could find to read. It was haphazard and the phrase, “fake it till you make it,” rang through my ears loud and clear on my walk or ride home from work.

It was a different time. One that we shouldn’t have to repeat again.

Yet, time and time again, HR practitioners are starting the same things over again. They search forums and blog posts for things like:

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The Disease of “Nobody Believes in Us”

rugby-78193_1280Tell me if you’ve heard this before:

  • They said we couldn’t do it
  • Nobody thought we would win
  • It’s us against the world

Or a hundred different variations of the same theme. Nobody believed in us. We had to do it on our own to prove the doubters wrong. We were successful when everyone else thought we wouldn’t last.

Let’s acknowledge one thing: It’s usually trope. It’s a figure of speech. Most of the time, it might be a couple of people against you and seven billion people who didn’t even know you exist. There is no “they” or if there is, you can call them out by name.

Here’s the problem, though: The “nobody believes in us” mythology comes off as petty when exposed to the light of the truth.

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My Personal Technology Stack

I’ve used a variety of personal technologies over the past few years. Everything from Apple, Windows, and Chromebooks for laptops, to Android and iOS for my phone and tablet. Usually, I’ve had multiples of all of these things at once but for the past year or so, I’ve been pretty consistent with what I’ve used to the point that I’ve sold all of my other devices. 

Since I will often get questions about what I’m using, here’s what’s currently in my bag as I’m traveling to LRP’s Benefits conference:

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Year One

Dear Elida,

1236574_10101232659796953_162843595_n365 days ago, at this exact time, I held you for the first time.

I cried.

You see, your mom got you all to herself for nine months. My connection to you was through occasional viewings through creepy looking ultrasounds that just made me feel like I was watching terrible sci-fi or through putting my head to your mom’s belly. That can be uncomfortable for both of us.

So when I held you, I didn’t want to let go. Not for your mom. Not for nurses. Not for grandparents.  Unfortunately, letting go is what I’ve done a lot of over the past year.

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