Watch Out

Most people, especially highly gifted people, do not really know where they belong until they are well past their mid-twenties.” –Β in Managing Oneself, by Peter F. Drucker

Were you as relieved as me, when you read the above quote by “the founder of modern management” Peter Drucker? Not only does he legitimize career uncertainty, he even acknowledges that it can be a sign of brightness. Oh, happy day!

It’s not exactly like I don’t know what I want to do in life. It’s just that I sometimes question whether I am in the right place to do “it”… Oh, and whether I want to keep doing “it” for the rest of my life… Although life is long, it is also very short! Especially with the decades of education we have to go through nowadays. Good thing modern medicine seems to be prolonging our lives with an equal amount of years, I guess.

This uncertainty is one of the many reasons that I am so grateful for the coaches in my life. As previously mentioned, my coaches help me confront and discuss questions about my career, motivations, values, etc., which are crucial aspects when defining my desired future.

At the moment, my coach and I are working on defining my strengths, to subsequently utilize them to achieve my goals. As Peter Drucker states: “a person can perform only from strength. One cannot build performance on weaknesses…

InΒ his article “Managing Oneself”, he further raises some of the questions, I am discussing with my coach:

  • Am I a reader or a listener?
  • How do I learn?
  • Do I work well with people, or am I a loner?
  • How do I produce results, as a decision maker or as an advisor?
  • Do I perform well under stress, or do I need a structured and predictable environment?
  • Do I work best in a big organization or a small one?
  • What are my values?

Come on, now, have a go at the above questions yourself! And if you are interested in learning more about Managing Oneself, read Peter Drucker’s article πŸ™‚

 

Bags and Business

When a friend of mine completed a grueling two-year graduate program, she celebrated her subsequent promotion and first ever salary negotiation by buying herself a designer bag.Β When she brought it to work, proud as ever, the first comment she received was: “Well look at that, we are definitely paying you too much“. Although the comment was (I assume) meant as a joke, allΒ her fears related to the salary negotiation immediately reappeared.

In the book “That’s What She Said”, Joanne Lipman explains how men are four times more likely than women to ask for a raise – and when women do ask, we typically request 30 percent less than men do. Luckily, she says, this gap appears to be closing somewhat among younger women, such as my friend. Still, women are far from parity when it comes to negotiating pay.

Thus, the next time you see a young business woman carrying a designer bag, I urge you to either congratulate her on negotiating a good salary for herself, or acknowledge her conscious financial choices that has allowed her to save up for it (that is what I call priorities!).

Or, you know, maybe she received the bag as a present from her generous parents…Β I guess most of us rarely know the exact financial situation of our colleagues (or friends, even). Thus, don’t judge a book by the expensive watch or designer bag on it’s arm!

Pearls are always Appropriate

If you don’t already appreciate the beauty of pearls, I am sure you will after these craazyy pearl facts:

  1. Pearls are the only jewels created by a living animal (I am not sure I would characterize an oyster/mussel an animal, but National Geographic insists that they are…),
  2. Saltwater pearls are extracted from oysters, whereas the freshwater pearls are collected from mussels,
  3. An oceanic oyster typically grows only one pearl at a time, whereas a single freshwater mussel typically produces 30-50 pearls at a time (talk about multitasking),
  4. All pearl oysters are born male and transform into females at around three years of age (ok, how is that even possible? and more importantly, how can you tell what gender an oyster is?).

I don’t know about you, but I definitely have newfound respect for oysters and mussels after these facts!

Chanel pearl necklace