Friday, August 26, 2005

Searching for a workplace Shangri-La

Some mommies I know willingly gave up their professions to throw their energies into the most worthy project they could-- raising their children. Other super-mommies I know balance their professional endeavors with their children and do so knowing their children will live better lives because food and shelter aren't hard to come by because mommy goes to work. Those kids also have mommies who are personally fulfilled and, are arguably better mommies for it. So, what to do?

The solution that's evolving for me is some working mommy hybrid where I only do work I enjoy and I only do it part-time while Sam is in the best day care available. I think I've actually convinced myself that he'll learn more and become more social if he's exposed to people other than me (they will of course also have to genuinely love Sam and have PHDs in developmental child psychology.) And since I wouldn't leave him unless my new job was perfect, the search is on. So far I've interviewed for two positions that sounded good but in both cases, the employer was looking for someone full-time, not part-time, flexible and subject to cancellation if Sammy gets a cold. The search continues.

I did glean a valuable piece of advice on these last two interviews. If you ever end up in the position where you're interviewing a potential employee, avoid at all cost asking the question or rather making the request, "tell me about yourself." I tried not to have the deer in the headlights look but I am always at a loss when that seemingly simple request is made. What does it mean really? Jump right into professional accomplishments? Build some rapport and personalize the interview with a monologue about my family life? Argh! While I lamented this lame-o question, Bob made me feel better by offering the employer's translation... "I'm not an experienced interviewer and I don't have any specific questions prepared so here goes..." A word to the wise interviewer-- be direct when probing for information, please!

Know anyone looking for a business consultant?
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