Post Date: March 20th, 2015

What makes a great colleague?


Three Career Professionals share their discussion about the OTHER side of work.

Earlier this month I shared a post with two colleagues. What followed was great insight and discussion into being parents and career professionals. Thanks to Adrienne Tom of Career Impressions and Skye Berry-Burke from Skye is the Limit for their insights.

Maureen: “Ladies, this article reminded me of some of the challenges I faced when my kids were really little:  “I didn’t realize how horrible I’d been – until I had a child of my own.” – PowerToFly President Katharine Zaleski

Adrienne: “I struggled to understand working parents before I became one myself;  I then felt pressure and isolation after I first had kids while I tried to locate that elusive perfect ‘balance’…..and now I relate to other portions of the article:  working from home can result in great things!. . . This is the first year I feel that I finally reached a more manageable place in work and life, after 8 years…”

Skye: “My latest post is about time management and finding that balance for my family and my business. “… a while back I was provided some valuable advice from both Maureen and Sharon Graham, who separately said that I had to stay true to my ‘authentic’ self as a resume writer. …Since I started being honest about my time commitments and my priorities in my business, I am noticing that I myself am more productive. I have also been able to build a much deeper relationship with many clients who ask will me questions about my family and in turn start to feel more comfortable sharing their career stories with me

Adrienne “…Each of us has our own unique journey to travel with self-employment . . .  Sharon [Graham] and Maureen provided sage advice:being honest with clients about your work situation will make things a lot easier. I struggled with that; it is very ‘freeing’ not to box yourself into what you think is the expected ideal – just go about it the way that works best for you!”

Skye: “The journey of being a working mom, from home, and doing a job I love is truly the most amazing ride in my life! And I agree Maureen, it is even better with friends and colleagues that share the same passion and challenges!!”

Maureen:  “There was so much work to do [when my children were little] and so little time to do anything else. Sure there were evenings and weekends that I really pushed myself to meet deadlines instead of spending time with family, but I think those made me cherish time spent with family more while forcing me to maximize my time spent in the office working on ROI projects.

What I have learned most is that the days, the weeks, the months – maybe they won’t balance; but rather they’ll all blend together into one amazing life!  I love the idea of having a blended life that’s sometimes balanced and sometimes…well, way, WAY off kilter!  This was written nearly 5 years ago when my kids were infants and life was BUSY!

I worked my butt off when my husband was deployed, when I worked with a six-figure executive career management firm, and when I started my own business. Then, in 2012 when we moved to Europe things slowed down.  I had worked hard. It was time to focus on my kids who are at the age where we love hanging out together.

Overall the balance of being an entrepreneur, having kids, and working from home is amazing. We are so lucky to have found, not only a career we love, but other professionals who love it as much and are willing to share their stories with us to remind us that even on the days where it’s really tough….it’ll get better – even awesome again!

Hope you’re both enjoying the ride.”

All of us have, or had a mom. Someone who raised us from the time we were unable to do anything for ourselves. Chances are good you will run into someone in your day-to-day work life who is in the process of doing just this.  Knowing how to relate, engage, motivate, and maybe even support her will benefit not only you and your relationship with her, but possibly your customers and your company.

Zaleski writes “There’s a saying that “if you want something done then ask a busy person to do it.” That’s exactly why I like working with mothers now.”

I’m blessed to have great colleagues willing to share their ups and their downs in a way that supports and nourishes me. I hope you have the same thing.

As a great colleague your job is to recognize opportunities to help where needed.  You can answer questions, share common concerns and interests, and celebrate the big wins together.

Whether you are starting out, struggling, or thriving, you likely have colleagues who have been there, are there, or are going to be there to help.

Related Categories: Career Development, Networking, Parenthood