Do you know someone like Janice? She’s a busy woman. She takes care of her kids, takes care of her parents, and works. These are just a few of the reasons why women are the busiest generation in history. Don’t fit into this category? Keep reading. If you are female, right now the statistics are pointing you in this direction: The direction of busy-ness.
Women today earn the majority of Masters degrees and PhDs, are half the workforce, and are responsible for the majority of caregiving (both child and eldercare). You don’t have to be an astrophysicist to figure this one out: The opportunities and education for women are ramping up faster than our caregiving responsibilities are ramping down.
Before we collapse from a massive buzz-kill, let’s look at the good news: We have many opportunities, and do a lot of things well. So, let’s put our great brains to use dig into solutions. Here are a top five which, if you employ them, will make an immediate difference in your career, life, and balance level.
Women are less likely to ask and negotiate than men. In Babcock and Laschever’s brilliant must-read “Women Don’t Ask,” we learn that men are four times more likely to negotiate first-time salaries than women. The pattern continues throughout a woman’s life, and surfaces in future negotiations, and at home. For everything from help and support to higher pay, ladies, we need to ask.
Skilled time savers set limits. For instance, right now I’m writing this post and giving myself until 3:00 pm to do it. Here is a picture of my Outlook Calendar, (with limits, explained to me in color). Try setting a time limit on currently limitless activities. They’ll take as much time as you’ll give them. The time-sucking activities are laughing at you, can you hear them?
Think only celebrities have door to door service? Think again. Many services can be delivered to you, brought to your office, etc. for a nominal additional charge (if any). Mobile dog grooming, dry cleaning delivery, grocery delivery, the list goes on. For instance – while I am not completely proud of the following fact – I’ve not gone grocery shopping in the store in about three years. Do a Google search for “delivery” and add “pharmacy” or “car detailing.”
Where and with whom do you log the most hours? Our research shows that having people and places (e.g., life-partner, workplace) that are supportive are the most important factor enabling busy and balanced women to “do it all.” So while you’re focusing on your MBA and your PDA, be sure to focus on your TLC. It actually really does matter. A lot.
Studies correlate mentors with higher pay. But you have to do this the right way. Women, specifically, find power in numbers. That number is five. Women with five or more mentors are more driven and confident than those with four or fewer. By making close, advisory relationships a top priority, these savvy women look around their “table” – so to speak – and it is full. Have a relative with Alzheimer’s? Save a seat for an expert caregiver. Want to get smart about social media? Re-connect with your tech expert friend for coffee. You might be an email away from filling a seat at your table of five.
What works for you? You’ll be acting as a member of someone’s table of five with your knowledge and tips — thank you.