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2014-06-26    来源:向Anne提问    【      美国外教 在线口语培训


Dear Annie: Your article about the importance of mentors and sponsors made me wonder about something that's happening in my own career, and probably lots of other women's, too. After three years at a large Wall Street firm, I got laid off in 2008 and decided to take the opportunity to get an MBA. Toward the end of my studies, I also had a child, and am now expecting a second one. For the past six months, I've been working in a great job at a global financial services company, where I have two mentors (both female) who have given me some invaluable advice and guidance.

But here's the thing. Either mentor would make a great sponsor, but I have gotten the impression that, because they both got where they are by putting in nonstop hours (including a lot of travel), they're skeptical about anyone's chances who can't or won't do the same. Since I'll soon have two very young children, I'm worried about ending up on the "mommy track" here. I intend to keep being a top performer, but will the need for a bit of flexibility in my schedule -- starting with a short maternity leave -- put me on the sidelines? Any thoughts? — Just Lisa

Dear JL: Complicated question! It sounds as if both your current mentors belong to the 27% of executive women who, according to a new poll by Citi and LinkedIn, don't include kids in their definition of success -- and hence may indeed see combining a high-powered career with having a family as impractical.

Carolyn Hughes, whose title is vice president of people at Sunnyvale, Calif., job site Simply Hired, puts it bluntly: "The No. 1 thing holding most women back in the workforce is the need for flexibility. Like it or not, 'face time' is still one of the main criteria for advancement in many companies. Women managers rarely challenge that, because talking about it just highlights their need to be out of the office more."
卡洛琳•休斯目前在加州森尼维尔市求职网站Simply Hired担任人力资源副总裁。她说得更加直白:“在职场上,大部分女性面临的最大阻力便是对灵活性的需求。不论我们喜欢与否,许多公司仍将‘出勤时间’作为提拔员工的主要标准之一。而女性管理人员也很少会对此提出质疑。因为这么做只会强调,她们在办公室之外需要更多时间。”

Hughes, who has two small children herself, points out that technology now makes it possible for many people to work effectively from anywhere. "Thought leadership and creativity can happen no matter where you're located at any given moment," she notes. Still, to executives like your two mentors, proving that may take some doing. Here are three suggestions for keeping your career moving forward:

1. Deliver great results. Hughes says you can turn a (possibly skeptical) mentor into a sponsor by doing outstanding work. "I refer to sponsors as champions, and one of the things they do is champion you by defending your ability to handle multiple responsibilities," she says. "You earn that by showing you can produce terrific results. Once you've done that, proving that flexibility can work, resistance to it usually dies down."
1. 拿出令人满意的结果。休斯认为,你可以通过突出的工作表现,将一位(可能持怀疑态度的)导师转变成自己的担保人。她说:“我认为,担保人就是支持者,他们需要做的一件事就是为你提供支持,证明你有能力承担多个责任。但前提是,你要拿出令人满意的结果。只要你能做到这一点,证明灵活性确实可行,抵触情绪就会随之消失。”

2. Reach out to more mentors. It might help if you could find another female mentor at your company who has succeeded at both raising children and rising through the ranks. But whether or not there is such a person, don't overlook men. "Most senior decision-makers in big companies are still men, so asking for their point of view and advice is smart," says Elena Bajic, CEO of Ivy Exec, a Manhattan-based career site and job board for high achievers.
2. 接触更多导师。从公司里另找一位成功抚养过子女、并且从基层做到高层的女性导师,这样或许能为你提供帮助。但不论这样的人是否存在,都不要忽略男性。曼哈顿职业网站和猎头公司Ivy Exec的CEO埃琳娜•巴季奇说:“大公司里,大部分高层决策者仍是男性,向他们征求意见与建议是一个明智的选择。”

You might even think about finding a mentor outside your own company. Ivy Exec recently launched a mentor network that matches senior executives across a range of industries with high-potential mentees working elsewhere. "Sometimes people need advice on topics they're just not comfortable discussing with higher-ups at their own companies," Bajic notes. "Job search strategies, or possible career changes, fall into this category. The best way to make your case for flexibility -- and especially how to argue for it in a way that male executives will relate to -- might be one of those sensitive subjects, too."
你也可能会考虑从公司外寻找一位导师。Ivy Exec近期启动了一个导师网络,对接不同行业的资深高管与在其他地方工作的受指导者。巴季奇称:“人们有时候会有一些话题不想与自己公司的上司讨论。比如求职策略或转行等等。而在你的情况中,为自己的灵活性需求进行辩护的最佳方法,尤其是采用何种方式才能让男性高管设身处地为你考虑,可能也属于这种敏感话题的范畴。”

3. Have a reliable support system in place at home. And make sure your bosses, mentors, and potential sponsors know you have it. Carolyn Hughes observes that senior executive women like Yahoo (YHOO) chief (and new mom) Marissa Mayer have "round-the-clock backup at home -- nannies, housekeepers, a whole lot of help they can rely on when they just can't be there. It's expensive and complicated, but you need to build that support on the domestic front while you're getting ready to move up in your career."
3. 家中有可靠的后盾。而且一定要让你的老板、导师和担保人知道。卡洛琳•休斯发现,资深高管,比如雅虎(初为人母的)首席执行官玛丽莎•梅耶尔,她们家中都有人提供全天候支持——保姆、女管家等等,这些帮助让她们可以放心离开家门。虽然这么做代价昂贵,而且非常麻烦,但当你准备在职场大展身手的时候,必须在家里建立起最有力的支持。

One further thought: Claire Farley, who was promoted to president of North American oil and gas exploration at Texaco (since merged with Chevron (CVX)) in her late 30s, and who is now a managing director at KKR (KKR), says that turning a mentor into a sponsor may just take time.

"In your first 10 years or so, in any career, being really good at your job is paramount," she says. "Sponsorship generally happens after you've put in 10 or 15 years as a proven contributor, once you've started paying attention to different leadership styles and figured out where you want to go." Coincidentally, 10 or 15 years is just about the length of time it takes for tiny kids to grow into bigger, somewhat more self-sufficient ones. Good luck.

Talkback: If you've kept your career moving forward despite working flexible hours to accommodate a family, how have you done it? Were mentors or sponsors helpful? Leave a comment below.

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