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Podcast Transcript

Managing Your Career Part 1

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  0:10  
Welcome to "Your Authentic Path to Powerful Leadership" with Marsha Clark. Join us on this journey where we're uncovering what it takes to be a powerful woman leader. Marsha, I am loving how we're kicking off 2023 with a focus on all things new and fresh. And that includes this first episode, which is a three part series on managing your career with intentionality.

Marsha Clark  0:37  
Well, I am too, Wendi, and I can't believe it's 2023. We have so many interesting topics and interviews lined up for these first few months of the year. And this series definitely helps us keep this theme of intentionality moving forward.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  0:51  
Yes, so the title of today's episode, the "Myth of the Ideal Worker", where did that come from?

Marsha Clark  0:59  
Well, Joan Acker introduced the concept when she presented her research on institutions being "gendered" (and I say that in quotes) in a number of articles, including hierarchies, jobs, bodies, that was in the 1990 timeframe, and then inequality regimes in 2006 in the Gender and Society Journal. So that's the origin of it. And since then, Ackers' construct of the ideal worker has been examined and challenged as really the foundational prototype for over 30 years.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  1:32  
Okay, when did you first learn about this idea of the ideal worker? And why did you decide to include it in your work with women?

Marsha Clark  1:40  
Well, I was first introduced to this term and really through the research from a 2012 Catalyst report by the title, "The Myth of the Ideal Worker". And I'll remind our listeners that Catalyst is a global nonprofit organization. It was founded in 1962 and it helps companies build workplaces that work for women. I love that. And their mission is to accelerate progress for women through workplace inclusion. And at the time in 2012 that I read this report, it reflected the reality that men and women could deploy the same career advancing strategies and not get the same results. So I wanted to share this research with the women in my programs and really to further identify the strategies that did work for women.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  2:28  
Okay, so what or maybe who is this mythical ideal worker?

Marsha Clark  2:35  
In theory, it's someone who places work as their number one priority above all else. So that's the sort of overarching definition. And the way the Catalyst report described them was someone who (and this is a bulleted list so that our listeners can kind of take that into account as they hear this information) one who actively seeks high profile assignments, one who rubs shoulders with influential leaders, one who communicates openly and directly about their career aspirations, one who seeks visibility for their accomplishments, one who lets their supervisors know of their skills and willingness to contribute, one who continually seeks out new opportunities, one who learns the political landscape or unwritten rules of the company, and one who isn't afraid to ask for help.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  3:36  
Okay, so what's so mythical about these behaviors? Like you're reading this off and I'm like, ooh, I wish I had this person on my team. These seem reasonable.

Marsha Clark  3:46  
Yeah, they are. And for me, it relates to the myth that we as women have heard most of our lives, which is keep your head down and do good work and good things will happen. So most of the women that I know work really, really hard and they're not always receiving or certainly not guaranteed that good things are going to happen. And that's the myth, is that, you know, I've got to just do the work, do the work, do the work, and someone's going to recognize that.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  4:13  
Right. And yeah, and "somebody" in quotes, "somebody" will certainly pay attention or realize that, you know, there you are grinding away in the corner. I mean, I'm almost getting like a Cinderella kind of image in my head. But a lot of what you listed as qualities of the ideal worker sounds similar to strategies many employees use to advance themselves in their own careers.

Marsha Clark  4:42  
Yeah, actually, they are very similar and in some cases, identical. And that same Catalyst report identified what they described as nine distinct, high potential career advancement strategies that align very strongly with some of those qualities of the ideal worker.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  4:59  
Okay. So I'm not sure that everyone who's listening knows what you mean by high potential. So why don't you clarify a definition for that, please.

Marsha Clark  5:07  
Yeah, so I'm going to, there's lots of definitions out there because there's always I mean, anybody just has to Google this stuff to find lots of things. So I'm going to give you a definition from an organization and a database called DDI. It's a global leadership development and human resources consulting firm so they do a lot of work in this area. And their definition is simply: High potential talent is someone who has the likelihood and ability to accelerate their growth, to rapidly develop toward a future leadership role. The term can be used for people at any level, from individual contributors up to high level executives. What's important is that these are people you are identifying to invest differentially for growth to fulfill your leadership pipeline. So think in terms of succession planning.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  6:00  
Right. Exactly. Okay. So what are the nine strategies for high potential career advancement?

Marsha Clark  6:06  
Alright, I'm going to give these and then we'll talk a little bit more about them. So one is get trained through experience, simply stated in the phrases that I've always heard is "on the job", on the job training. The second is gain access to power. And what that means is hierarchical power or positional power, for our listeners who have heard us talk about that definition. Three is make achievements visible. Four is blur work life boundaries. I always think that one's an interesting one. Get formal training. So in addition to the on the job, you know, go to training classes, attend programs, conferences, and so on. Plan your career. Don't just let it happen, plan it. Seek advice when needed. Scan for opportunities outside the company; scan for opportunities inside the company.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  7:10  
Okay, so these really do sound very much like what it takes to fit in as an ideal worker. And I agree that some of these are pretty obvious as far as trying to implement them. But will you fill in the blanks on them so that everyone gets kind of a more complete picture on what some of these activities actually look like?

Marsha Clark  7:31  
Absolutely. So the first one is get trained through experience. And this is asking for, volunteering for, stepping up to a variety of work assignments so that I can increase my knowledge and skills. So it's not just keep your head down in the corner, let people come give you things. It's you seeking things out in that regard.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  7:53  
Okay, makes sense.

Marsha Clark  7:55  
Gaining access to power, identify who the most influential people in the organization are. So whether it is influencers that are peers and colleagues or influencers at the top of organizations. Seek introductions to people in your organization who can influence your career. Build a network of contacts with, and I always kind of royal a bit with important people in the firm, or the organization because I think everybody's important. So but the important people are the ones who are identified, easily identified as working on big projects, visible projects, high stake projects, that kind of thing. And then building that network is something we've talked about in previous episodes. And learn how things really work inside the firm. So this is a lot of the political savvy that we talk about, how to navigate that. And push to be involved in those high profile projects that give you an opportunity to showcase your talent.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  8:58  
Right, in front of the people who have that power.

Marsha Clark  9:00  
Yes. Get your name out there.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  9:03  
Get your name out there. And just for everyone, I have a little sidebar that I'm remembering. When I went through the Power of Self Program there was a tiny, little tiny, completely instantly actionable tip which was, when you have the ability to be a part of a meeting where the person with the power is in the room, sit next to them. (That's right.) That was like a little light bulb "aha" moment. So always try to sit next to the most powerful person in the room.

Marsha Clark  9:36  
And if you want to know who the most powerful person and influential person in the room is, it's who gets the most eye contact. (Yep.) And so if you're in question about that, that's another little tip.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  9:45  
Not necessarily the position of the seat at the table, the person who gets the most eye contact. Love it.

Marsha Clark  9:51  
That's right. The next one is make achievements visible, and this is ensuring that my manager is aware of the things I'm getting accomplished. Seek credit for work done. And this is hard for women because we want to give everybody else the credit. But I'm going to remind our listeners of the results plus recognition equals influence. So I'm not just going to get the results, I'm going to get some recognition for those. And then requesting additional performance feedback. And I want to say something on this. This is a tricky one for women. So I want to I want to digress for just a moment. If we ask for too much feedback, we appear to others to lack confidence and we're needy, high maintenance, you know, that kind of thing. And so I want to, again, remind our listeners that you can get feedback by, like, let's just say you've achieved, you've finished up a big project, or you've hit a major milestone. You can go into your manager's office, and you can say, you know, we've hit this major milestone, I'm really proud of the work that my team has done. And I'm proud of what we were able to achieve. Here's what I think worked really well. Here's what I learned, here's how that's going to help us going forward. Did I miss anything? (Right.) And that did I miss anything is a way of getting feedback without ever using the word feedback. (Exactly.) And so that's the important part of this of getting it without appearing needy or lacking confidence. And then seek to be considered for promotion when I feel it's deserved. And this is another tricky one because we never, if we haven't checked every box, and you know, all of that, then we don't know if it's deserved, or can I do it or all of those kinds of things. And what I would say is step up. You're a learner, you've taken on things that you didn't know how to do before and if you feel like this is going to be a good opportunity for you to learn new skills, to have some access to people in influence and power and it be a high visibility kind of project, go for it.

And then the next one, as I said, was blur work life boundaries. And the definition of this in the Catalyst report is communicate my willingness to work long hours and or weekends. Just, I just have to laugh at this because to communicate that, it's expected of so many people that I know that are working. I mean, in order to get everything done, it's often required to work long hours and or weekends. And so from that standpoint, this is when I think about it for men versus women, it's a very different story. So I'll just leave it at that for now. The next one is get formal training, proactively developing new skills through training, such as courses and workshops. And for our listeners there, I want to emphasize this. If you get an opportunity to go to do some kind of significant training opportunity, take it. Don't say oh my gosh, you know, I'm so busy, I have so many things going on. Those opportunities are the company's way of telling you that they're investing in you. And they believe in you. And you have not only an opportunity to learn the skills or gain new knowledge, but you're also going to meet people and a wider variety of industries or geographies or functions. And it will broaden your perspective about leadership and about work in general. So take advantage of those formal training opportunities. And then plan your career. And that's a part of what this whole three part series is about Wendi, is that we want when women are asked, "Where do you see yourself in the next three to five years?", they have an answer and not just waiting for someone to come and offer them an opportunity. So looking at that, and being very deliberate, just like you're planning out, you know, this week's meals or you know, this year's family vacation or whatever all those things might be, seek advice when needed. And this is one where we as women often think we have to do it all ourselves. But this could be advice from co workers, from colleagues from others about how to improve your future work prospects to get, again, I think about it as broadening our perspectives. And then scan for opportunity outside the company. And this is looking at, you know, job advertisements to see what's available, maintaining an active outside network and staying in touch. If you don't have a contact in the executive search firm world, find one because they can give you information, they can open doors, they can, you know, put you in their database and you can pop up for opportunities that you would never know about otherwise.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  15:00  
I bet they're also a resource if you're questioning whether or not you're actually getting the salary you deserve.

Marsha Clark  15:07  
Well, that's right. They know more about the market value of the roles and especially in today's world where things are so volatile with great resignations, great retirements, breakups, all that kind of stuff. And that is then ensure that you do know, which is remain informed about your market value. And especially in volatile markets because those are opportunities to make big leaps. And then scanning for opportunities inside the company. And I often look at this as if there's a lateral job that you want in an area that you know less about, get to know people in that group. Talk to them about what it's like to work in that group. What is the work like? What is the nature of the work? What are the outputs, the deliverables, the processes, the culture, and so on, so forth.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  15:59  
Yep, I remember from the Power of Self Program something that you presented about people who deliberately look for opportunities, or you said, as you said, scan internally versus externally. And I'm remembering this as like a four grid box, or like a four box grid or something like that. That sound familiar?

Marsha Clark  16:23  
Yeah, it's part of that same Catalyst report, and the grid that you're remembering has two axes. So imagine the vertical axis says internally focused strategies and the horizontal axis is externally focused strategies. And so you know, where those the vertical and the horizontal intersect, it's low and on the ends of those, it's high. So typical, you know, two by two as it's often called. And so I'm gonna go through this. If you're trying to draw this, I hope my descriptions can help you on that. So in the low end of both the external and internal, so the bottom left quadrant is called coasters. Okay, and I'm gonna go through and talk a little bit about each one of these. So you're just trying to draw it for now. (Right.) At the high end, or the top left quadrant is called climbers. So that vertical axis of internally focused, if you're low, you're a coaster. If you're high, you're a climber (got it) climbing the corporate ladder. Okay, on the horizontal, so to the far bottom right, is scanners. And then the top quadrant of the so on the right, high end is hedgers. So if you think about the externally focused, again, low is coasters high is scanners. And if you're high on both internal and external you're a hedger, so kind of hedging your bets on where the next best job is going to be.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  18:04  
Okay, so now let's dig into the behaviors of each one of these because these are very interesting names.

Marsha Clark  18:10  
Yes. Well, they are. So the climber is one who is seeking to advance in their current company, so climbing that corporate ladder, if you will. And the tactics that strategically help them advance are: ask for a variety of work assignments, ensure that your supervisor knows you're willing to work long hours, actively networking with others in the company, and seeking out opportunities for greater visibility. So if I specifically have chosen the climbing strategy or the climbing approach, these are the strategies that are going to help me.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  18:50  
Okay, so, yes, so I'm envisioning quite a few people in my network who are climbers, like they've stayed in their current company, they're working the system. (Yes.) That is working the system. I mean, somehow, that phrase just popped out of my mouth. That's really what they're doing.

Marsha Clark  19:09  
Yeah, that is what they're doing. They are working the organizational system or the promotion system. And so they've gone from individual contributor to supervisor to manager to senior manager to director and so on, and that's how their career has advanced.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  19:22  
Okay. All right. Next one is hedgers.

Marsha Clark  19:24  
Hedgers is one again, using both an internally focus and an externally focus. And I just want to say to our listeners, you know, I never went outside. I always felt like that was being disloyal. And if I had a do-over I would do that over. I would know. And it's not that I didn't love where I was and all that kind of stuff. But I also didn't have market information to really understand what my value...

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  19:50  
So you were a climber?

Marsha Clark  19:51  
I was a climber, yeah, and I'm a big proponent of hedger. So the strategies that work for hedgers is, you know, they typically score highly on all the career advancement tactics. So you're using all the ones that the nine that I shared with the listeners a moment ago, but they're going to focus their energy both inside and outside, and they're going to hedge their bets to maybe move faster. And I would bet that our listeners are familiar with the phrase of, you know, their company being the best first and third company to work for. So that it's a phrase that I often hear, which is the, I'm going to start with company A, I'm then going to go leave and go to Company B. And I'm going to maybe get an increase or maybe get a promotional title, or maybe get a high visibility job that looks good on my CV, curriculum vitae resume, and then I may come back, and I'll be better off than if I had stayed. So that's not an unusual circumstance. And they're prepared to, a hedger's prepared to advance their career whether remaining with their current company. So there, you know, there was a time when people who move jobs were called job hoppers, and it was a negative thing. (Right.) Today, it is almost the opposite of that. If you've stayed with the same company, you have a very narrow view of, fill in the blank, whether it's a function or company or an industry or whatever. And so these folks often have moved faster in their careers because of their willingness to change.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  21:28  
Okay. Yes, I know people like that as well.

Marsha Clark  21:31  
Well, especially in recent times. And you know, sometimes it's forced and sometimes it's not, because reductions in force or, you know, mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, all of those kinds of things can lead to whether it be desired or undesired movement. And then the third one is scanners. And they're the ones who are looking more to the external marketplace than the internal marketplace there. So they're consulting with others on how to improve their future work prospects, what's available out there, you know, what are you noticing? What are you seeing? Do you know anybody at this company that you could introduce me to, and so on, and then are poised to at least change jobs, if not also organizations. So, you know, I think the idea of changing jobs is like, I'm going from being in sales to marketing, marketing to sales or accounting to finance as well as shifting organization. (Got it, got it.) And then the fourth one is the low on both internal and external, and they're the coaster, so just coasting along, doing what it takes. You know, they're not really actively searching anywhere and deploying any of these tactics. And, you know, they scored really low on all of these. I call them the kind of keep your head down and stay under the radar and, you know, because it's almost more of a job than it is a career. (Right, right.) And I also want to acknowledge, though, that sometimes there are periods in our life when that's the right strategy for us. So if I know I've got small children, I don't want more responsibility, I've got enough already, or if I'm taking care of aging parents. So there's nothing wrong with that. Just recognizing where we might be at any point in our careers helps us then to know what strategies to deploy.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  23:25  
Yeah, I think that's very important because as we've gone through all four of these, I'm recognizing myself at different times in my life. So I'm glad you made that point. Okay, so we've covered a lot of ground already. And I want to kind of do a little recap of where we are so far. So we've explored what the behaviors are of the mythical ideal worker, and then the nine different strategies high potentials used to advance their careers. And now we just broke down the four different profiles used to describe how people search or scan for opportunities, both internally in their organizations and externally at other organizations. So now I'm thinking that if I were listening to this, I'd be wondering about those so what now what questions that you like to use to process information. So how should our listeners use this information as they think through their own career planning?

Marsha Clark  24:30  
Now, there's two big things that I would offer up. One, it's my experience and certainly something that research reinforces, that many women and myself included, are often more opportunistic rather than intentional when managing our career. And what I mean by that is that we're we often are waiting on someone to present us with an opportunity and then we say yes or no. So I often say they come get us, right. And this is in contrast to us really thinking about and mapping out our careers and deploying deliberate strategies to, in fact, achieve our career aspirations. It is not unusual for me to have a coaching client that says, I haven't updated my resume in 20 years because I've never had to, or I've haven't done an interview in X number of years because somebody's always coming at me, and I've just moved on. And so this is a different way of thinking about that. And what I hoped in sharing this framework with the women in my programs is to give them a framework with very descriptive language and specific strategies. I don't like to just say, here's what you should do; I like to say, and here's how you can accomplish that and so in helping us get clearer about our career path and how to get there. And I want to add a couple of other things, Wendi. The Catalyst research proved this yet, once again, because I've seen it in a lot of places that men are paid for potential while women are paid for proven performance. (Yep!) So I want our listeners to get that. So men are paid for potential while women are paid for proven performance. I will give a man an opportunity to go do something he has not yet done, which is about potential, where as I'll share with a woman, well, maybe you can fill in on an interim basis and in six months we'll see if you've been successful. And I just, that happens again, and again and again. So the men who went to a new employer had the greatest compensation growth. (Interesting.) They were doing their external search, they changed companies, they got a big raise. And women earned more when they stayed where they had already proven their worth. (Wow.) So this idea of it's a very toxic environment so maybe I just need to change in the company if it's a company culture issue, not a boss issue, thinking about it in those terms. But it's a different way of thinking about do I have to demonstrate proven performance, and if I stay in my current company there's a track record. But if I'm going to a new company, you know, even though I can show them all the things I've done, they don't know it. It's not proven in their minds, it's just words on a piece of paper. (Okay.)

And then the other thing is the idea about compensation. Women were more likely than men to ask for a variety of skill building experiences to proactively seek those training opportunities and to make achievements visible, and including asking for feedback and promotions. The one big difference in that compensation, and we've done a lot of work around this women don't ask concept, is that men negotiated and countered their initial offers and therefore got more money as a result of that. And, you know, the way that I share this with women is that it's when we don't negotiate or ask for our true market value, is a way in which we collude in our own marginalization. And so what we know is that women have made very slow progress in regards to compensation comparisons, and that it slowed down even further during the pandemic. So it's, we've still got a lot of work to do on that. But as you're seeking internal opportunities or external opportunities, know your market value.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  28:51  
Right, right.

Marsha Clark  28:54  
So one more thing that I have, a couple of other things that I want to talk about, is, I want our listeners to know that the best way to advance their career is not a one size fits all. So women benefited most by making their achievements known. So I'm going to go back to results plus recognition. So the sub bullets, if you will, are: ensure your manager is aware of your accomplishments, seek feedback and credit as appropriate and I talked earlier about how to get that feedback without appearing needy or lacking confidence, ask for a promotion when you feel it's deserved. And, you know, I love helping coaching clients say, okay, it's not just a recitation of your job description. You have to be able to show the business results that you've achieved in order to get the promotion and to show the increase in responsibility. And then I want our listeners to recognize that whoever is your sponsor or champion or advocate in that process, they're putting their reputation on the line to advocate on behalf of you. And so you want to help them know how to best support you through that process. And where men benefited most by scanning for the external opportunities and blurring work life boundaries, their willingness to work overtime, and they're almost always on top of their watch. Even when I ask a man, where do you see yourself in three to five years, he either gives me a title or an amount of money that he wants to make. And I mean, I'm telling you 99 times out of 100. Yep. If I ask a woman, where does she see yourself in three to five years, she says, well, that's really good question. And so this idea about our ability to really know our market value, use the strategies is so important. And then I wanted to say that both men and women benefited by gaining access to powerful others. So build that network with, you know, the people that are influential and quote unquote, "important", which means visible and highly credible, and get involved in high profile projects so that your name can be added to that list.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  31:28  
So before we move on to my next question I have to insert something here about blurring work life boundaries and what that means for men and how men do that and are successful at it. And yet, we've spent many episodes in this podcast talking about managing boundaries, not taking your work home, or if you do, like not making that a habit. How are we, you and I as we sit here talking about these things, how are we justifying the appearance of blurring a work life boundary in order to look like a high performer/high achiever? Like that seems really... I'm having a little ethical problem with that.

Marsha Clark  32:19  
Well, our listeners can't see this, but I have a big smirk on my face and I'm feeling very cynical about this. I'll just say that to you. This idea of women are blurring work life boundaries all the time. I mean we're juggling, balancing, spinning plates, we're doing all that kind of stuff. And it goes back to men work over time, and it cuts into their personal time. Well, if they're willing to do that, then they must be really good employees. They're the ideal worker, right? (Right.) And we as women are doing that constantly and yet, we don't talk as much about it. And so that's a part of it.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  32:56  
I think we think it's a failure on our part. Like, if I was good enough, I would have gotten this done in the office and I wouldn't have had to bring it home.

Marsha Clark  33:05  
That's absolutely right. I did not check all the boxes, I was not a good girl, I didn't color inside the lines, I mean, all of those things that we talk about. (Okay.) And so, again, I'm a bit cynical about this. But where I keep going back to is make sure your boss knows not just what you've done, but if you spent three hours last night after the kids went to bed, and you had packed lunches and checked homework, and had done the dishes, right, then let your boss know. I spent this time, I did this work, I produced this for you, because we don't want to make a big deal about it. And it has to be matter of fact, it can't be, you know, pounding your chest and all of that kind of thing and it can't be 8,000 words. It has to be, you know, I spent some time on this last night and I think I've got something good to share with you, you know, something along those lines. I'm kind of making this up as I go but it's something along those lines to let them know what you've done and that I spent some time on this last night. Because there's this image of when "they" go home, the women in their house may just be doing all the domestic things. And so they're not recognizing that you're doing all those domestic things plus you're doing three hours more worth of work. So yeah, we don't get the credit for that. (Exactly.) And so we do need to set those boundaries, I mean because that can be taken advantage of very easily.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  34:40  
Absolutely. Absolutely. So how have you seen this "ideal worker myth" shift or change over the years, I mean, especially with the recent pandemic and movements like the great resignation?

Marsha Clark  34:55  
Well, so there's another woman's research name Caroline Waterworth, and it was published in August of 2021. And she says that during COVID, new home workers have had to adapt to a new home life blend. Work and hobbies coexist often into the evening. Many employees have reported benefits of the approach in terms of mental health and family dynamics. And the erosion of this separation has not worked for all. And I mean, I think that's another important point. But home working has temporarily allowed working moms to work on a more equitable compromised environment as compared to their male counterparts as all of the additional networking has fallen away and peers and colleagues have become aware that everyone does have a life outside of the office. So this is now no ideal, this idea of the ideal for anyone. And then a 2020 servation survey for the commission on a gender equal economy, found that 79% of people agreed that women and men should share caring tasks for children more equally. And this was supported by annual surveys from working families which show time after time that fathers want more flexible working arrangements too in order to be more involved with caring for their children. So while the distribution of childcare still skewed, you know, more towards the mother, a consequence of the COVID-19 lockdowns is a shift towards a quality where both parents had jobs that could be done remotely and that included the domestic chores as well. (Right.) And I just want to say this, too. I can't tell you how many men that I've worked with that said, I had no clue what that was like, what that day looked like at home. And so there's a whole new appreciation for that. And I have great hope, too, that the younger generations than my old Baby Boomer generation, that the fathers are much more hands on as fathers.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  37:12  
Yes, yes. So with all the changes we've experienced around the globe in the last few years, how would you contrast that pre COVID definition of the ideal worker and now the post COVID definition of an ideal worker? What does that look like?

Marsha Clark  37:28  
So the old ideal employee who is presumably a man wholly dedicated to work, putting family and personal life on the backburner is no longer as beneficial to today's organizations. And the 21st century's ideal employee is someone who reconciles or integrates work, family and private aspects of life thus, as I said a moment ago, contributing more to all of them, including the professional realm. We need that balance in our lives. (Yep.) And increasingly, both diversity and equality are deemed important to companies for the benefits that they in themselves bring. And so here are the five features of the new ideal workers, if you will. (Okay.)  So the myth of the ideal worker that I shared a moment ago was from 2012, this is now 10 years later. So it may be a man or a woman, yay, of any ethnicity, race, age, disability or other status. Their career starts at any age, with time stepping in and out of the labor market as needed. They bring and draw on their knowledge and experiences from past jobs and other spheres of life including social, sporting, family and cultural realms. And they may prioritize work or family or something else vital, depending upon the personal circumstances and stages of life at the time. And they put more stock in feeling that they are contributing, they're part of a team and learning, and less stock in the status.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  39:05  
Wow. Yeah, okay. That's really interesting because (pardon me) I feel like probably my generation, Gen X, is the last generation that - and I'm really interested to see if we get feedback and comments on this for what I'm about to say - I feel like we're the last generation that cares about status, title, promotion, giving that deference to your elders or your betters, you know, all of that. Do you find that in your coaching experiences with younger generations?

Marsha Clark  39:47  
So the research on that - there's a Harvard Business Review article and I think it's called The Next 20 years, but what it talks about is it's cyclical.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  40:00  
Ah. Okay.

Marsha Clark  40:01  
So the Silent generation was before the Boomers. So Silent Generation, Boomers, X and Y. Z's are going to look more like the silent generation and we just recycled through there. (Interesting.) And so, you know, we have this fear either that we're going to spin out of control or the oh my gosh, where the world is falling apart or sky is falling. So having lived 70 years and seeing even some of the what comes around goes around or whatever that saying is, I think that it'll be interesting. I hope I live another 25 to 30 years to see 100 year span because I'm a student of that. And so this Harvard Business Review article went back and looked at all the way to when the Mayflower landed, and, and tagged generations throughout that time period. And they link it to archetypes, and I don't remember all of them. One was prophet, one was artisan, one was artist, I don't know, something along those lines, and it's just cyclical. So the fifth one looks like the first one.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  40:01  
That's okay. We're all going to hang around for the next 50 years and see what happens.

Marsha Clark  41:08  
That's right! That's the best way to know.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  41:22  
Well, this has been a very eye opening and actionable episode yet again. This is one that I would suggest all of our listeners go back and listen to again and take some notes and especially like, look at that four quadrant grid and identify what stage are you right now and then what stage do you maybe want to plan your career around moving forward.

Marsha Clark  41:47  
Yeah and, Wendi, I will tell you, we have the transcripts of these podcasts on my website. And I've been thinking about this and y'all, our listeners, are hearing me think out loud right now, but putting the visuals in that transcript so that if they want to download that from the website, they can do that and have the visual available, too.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  42:11  
I think that would be an awesome addition to the website and another reason for everyone to visit the website. So, everyone, thank you for joining us today on our journey of authentic, powerful leadership. Again, please download, subscribe and share this podcast from wherever you like to listen. Again, please visit Marsha's website, for where there will be links to the tools that we've talked about today. Subscribe to her email list where you can stay up to date on everything that's going on in Marsha's world. And you can also get her book, "Embracing Your Power" on the site and connect with her on social media.

Marsha Clark  42:54  
Well, thank you for that, Wendi. And thank you for guiding us through another, you know, tiptoe through the tulips. So, um, you know, I just want to say this is the first in our series, and we're going to talk in the second series about high potentials. And then we're going to talk about in the third of the series a career transition worksheet to help people get organized. And it's the beginning of the year, it's fresh, it's new. And we know the market is still crazy as it relates to job availability and job movement and volatility, actually. So it's a good time to get clearer about some of these things. So we hope the information that we've shared with you today helps you do that, or maybe gives you some provocative thoughts to think about things in ways you haven't before. And so we're here to help you in any way that we can. So let us know what you're thinking. And, you know, this is another one where the good ole boy network has been alive and well for a long time. I think the good ole girl network - or as my EDS friends told me one time, you're part of a chick clique. I'm okay with that. Yeah, I'm part of a chick clique! And you know, and so this is where we as women can help other women. So as I always sign off, "Here's to women supporting women!"

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