A: If you’ve been at your career for a while and it isn’t going where you want it to go, you’re not alone. There’s a whole set of mid-career women who’ve gotten stuck in that big bubble in the middle and don’t know how to move forward. The hard thing is, that for each of us, there’s a different set of circumstances as to why. It’s not a situation of, “Oh well, if you do this… or if you do this… you’ll be on your way to a better career.” Maybe you would have to make a change that wouldn’t be easy on your family. Maybe finances require that your household have two stable incomes.
So when I do my talks on women’s leadership, part of what I talk about is how our work system is still based on the traditional 18th century factory model. We’re still operating in a system of billable hours and the need to be physically present every day. That model works against our 21st century lives -- and the flexibility we need in order to be more productive. The 21st century is so much more complex.
So what I’m asking in terms of a dialogue is for us to start looking at a new work model designed for this century.
It needs to be fluid in such a way as to enable greater productivity for employees. This is a larger question that more progressive companies are starting to tackle. Perhaps you can feel out your own institution and see if it’s open to a more progressive workplace model. Helping your institution through this kind of fundamental change could turn out to be a rewarding career experience in so many ways.