There is No More Ladder. 3 Ideas to Consider for Your Next Career Move

What if I Said There is No More Career Ladder?

I know, I know…controversial. The concept of climbing the corporate ladder has been the cornerstone in corporate career growth thinking for most of the 21st century. I know within my group of friends and colleagues it has been a staple for those new, in the midst of, and at the pinnacle of their careers. I mean, what would we do if there was no ‘up’ in our personal career journeys, right?! If you’re in line with this ideology, I’m going to surprise you and say, you’re thinking about it ALL wrong.

Of course, we want to grow our careers and continue to learn, but we don’t necessarily need to follow a strict upward path to do so. Think about it as more of a zig zag journey with peaks and valleys. Ultimately you will reach your personal peak, but there may be some plateaus in between as well. My personal career journey is filled with upwards, downwards, and sometimes sideways moves. Along the way I’ve learned some great lessons which help me to move away from the traditional “ladder” thinking when it comes to measuring my personal career success.

My 3 Ideas to Consider When Thinking About Your Next Career Move

#1 – Know What You Want & Develop Yourself

So, you’ve been in your current role for 3 years and think it’s time for a change. Do you know what type of change? More responsibility, new title? What if there was no title available, but there was an opportunity for different responsibilities? Would you take it on? Or are you flying blind? It’s critical in career progression to know what you want to achieve in the long run. Think about your end result and the skill set that you need to get there. Start taking on new projects and new responsibilities. That next role may not necessarily be a promotion, but an opportunity to learn a new skill set and ultimately help you grow in the long term.

#2 – Be Open Minded

I wrote in one of my first blogs for CA about my relocation to the UK with my husband and infant son. Why? Not for a promotion, it was actually a lateral move with a change in some of my responsibilities. At first I was nervous, as I only knew what I knew… my current roll. However, I knew what I wanted and knew this would help me in my journey.

What have I gained? New skills in understanding the local nuances in my regions, along with being able to bring new insight to my team and stakeholders. Not to mention…I have enjoyed the challenge along the way. Remember tip number 1. I knew I wanted a change, to learn more about the international marketplace, and to complete a new challenge while making an impact. Keeping an open mind has helped me to make the best decision for my family and for my career in the long run.

#3 – Say Yes

Now, don’t say yes to everything, but say yes to new opportunities to learn. Your manager asks you to be involved in a new project which will lead to further opportunities…say yes. Interested in developing a new campaign? Why not throw your hat in the ring? I’ll revert back to tip number 2 here, remember to be open minded to opportunities. It’s important to maintain your balance, but starting to think about your career progression from the lateral perspective will help you build your skillset and experience while also providing you growth opportunities in the long run.

Listen, I know we all have goals of growth and if you’re anything like me…ultimately running the world. There is no one rule book to follow, however, if I were to reference our CA DNA – being agile and resilient is extremely important not only to our customers, but also for our personal development and career growth. We’ll all get there in time – just remember career progression is about the journey, there will be ups and down, but as long as you remember these top three tips, you’ll reach your summit.

So, are you ready for your next move? Check out our open roles here and be sure to stay connected with us by joining our talent community.

 

Work-Life Balance… Is Having It All A Myth?

4 Tips for Creating Better Work-Life Balance

It’s a big scary world out there, and somehow, we’re tasked with managing the many peaks and valleys along our individual journeys. If you’re anything like me, balance is what you’re constantly striving for. It’s like the gold at the end of the rainbow, or finding Big Foot. Sometimes it seems too good to be true, or just not real. But it is. I promise you. It takes some time, some gumption, some patience, and trust.

We’ve all had times in our careers where the scales seem to tip and sometimes break, which is never a good thing. It can cause anxiety, delays in delivering your product, a drop in quality of work, and potential drop in confidence. Plus, you lose that thing called a life. Which, take it from me, is no good. So, how do you find balance? Here are some of the lessons and tips I’ve learned throughout my career which has helped me find my balance, think less about working so hard to find it, and focus on work-life integration:

Organisation is Key

Look, I get it. It’s not always easy to stay organised. I recently had some constructive feedback shared with me that highlighted sometimes when I’m stressed or my plate is too full, I can become slightly ‘crazed’ and disorganised. At first, I had a moment (in my head) not dissimilar to my two-year-old’s tantrums, but then I realised, you know what, they were right. Ask yourself when prepping for your next day at work: Have I written down and actioned my to-do’s? Am I as prepared as I can be for tomorrow? Do I have to follow up with anyone today? Have I laid out my clothes for tomorrow? These are really simple things, that can help you stay organised, save time, and provide you one piece of that oh-so-coveted balance.

Schedule ‘You’ Time & Unplug

Do you take a full hour lunch? Do you ever turn your devices off and focus on ‘the now’? Having some ‘you time’ built into your day can help clear your head, keep you organised (see tip 1), and overall give your brain a rest. It also helps you to focus your time on your family, friends, your special interests outside of work, and can actually HELP you to be creative and apply any of your ‘you time’ thoughts to your job. I actually schedule 15 minutes of ‘Think Time’ each day, where I’m away from my computer and phone and focus on the elements of my day that need the most focus. It allows me to take a step back and re-prioritise my day/to do’s/etc.

Just Breathe (Woosah)

Sometimes things just get so busy you don’t know what to do. Trust me, I’ve been there. Whether strategy and budget planning, a brand new project kicked off, or it’s the end of the year – it can get crazy. Remember, take a breath. Just do one thing at a time. It will all get done. You’re organised, you’ve taken your ‘You Time’ and have a plan of action and are geared for success. Meditation is not for everyone, but breathing is. Just remember to take a step back, think about your priorities, breathe and go. We have such an amazing and close-knit Talent Acquisition team who truly lives by the CA Mission and helps me to get back to my ‘Woosah’ place when its needed.

Forget Being Perfect

No one, I repeat, no one is perfect – so why should you be? Being perfect puts a lot of pressure on yourself, plus can take more time to deliver your work. Are you being efficient when trying to be perfect? Probably not. Are you stressing yourself out, spending more time at work, and less time on you?  Probably. I was recently doing a bit of research for this post and found this quote from a Forbes.com article,  “As you climb the ladder at work and as your family grows, your responsibilities mushroom. Perfectionism becomes out of reach, and if that habit is left unchecked, it can become destructive…”. And do I know that to be true. I wish I could do it all, and all at once. I tried it…it worked for all of 5 minutes, and then I crashed, burned and was completely burnt out. You can be great and you don’t need to be perfect to do so.

Finding your balance isn’t easy. I’ve started to integrate my life with my work in some areas such as sending my son to our Montessori Programme, which I wrote about in an earlier post. No one way is the magic key to solve the ever-so-tricky question of work-life balance, but you can find the key that works best for you and find your happy place.

 

 

 

 

5 Tips for Surviving Your Next Internship (Playlist included)!

I had an interesting conversation the other day with a family member who is a soon-to-be university graduate, looking for that “perfect internship.” “How did you get your start?” they asked…

…after a long pause, deep sigh and then an ‘ah hah’ moment, I had my response – I was a DJ at my university and my playlist helped me land my first two internships! Then, I proceeded to laugh out loud. I giggled because my time interning, as I’m sure many others have experienced, had me working on various projects and tasks, that were both challenging and fun, but I had NO idea where it would take me.

Thinking back on that time – I have to admit, it was pretty intense. Balancing classes, figuring out the next step in life, and sorting out what I wanted to do all seemed to be like a lot. However, in hindsight, my radio DJ gig helped me in more ways then just getting together with my friends to play the music that we liked. I knew I wanted to share my passion for promotion and marketing, and on the plus side I LOVED music. So, I created a playlist of my favourite songs of the year and sent it out as part of my resume for internships in the NY Tri-State area. I ended up landing two at the same time (which made for an interesting commute, not to mention, an interesting time balancing my school work). Working those two internships at ABC Radio and Universal Music Group in NYC was the best thing that could have prepared me for always being on my toes, being open to new opportunities, having flexibility, and most of all, adventure and positivity.

Me circa 2004 at my Universal Music Group Internship
Me circa 2004 at my Universal Music Group Internship
Me circa 2004 at my ABC Radio internship!
Me circa 2004 at my ABC Radio internship!

 

My 5 tips for surviving your next internship?

  • Stay Focused – You’re going to have a lot thrown at you at once. It can be overwhelming. But remember to focus on the goal, utilise your other team members and remember – your focus is what could land you that permanent role.
  • Be Flexible – I know its not an easy thing to balance commuting, homework, finals, etc. but be open and flexible to the work you’ll be doing at your next internship. Sure, there may be a few “grunt” tasks ahead of you (I can tell you that I am the best T-shirt folder in the northeast!), but they’ll be some amazing opportunities for you to showcase your skills and shine.
  • Ask Questions – Having an internship is an opportunity for you to learn, so take the opportunity and ask as many questions as possible. Try not to be too overzealous and remember to know your audience, but its my belief that there are no bad questions.
  • Network, Network, Network – You will probably be working long hours alongside fellow interns, so make friends, trade ideas, and stay connected. You never know who can be a great resource for you in your future career. Also, finding a mentor can be extremely beneficial in helping you to continue your career progression as you grow within your internship.
  • Stay Positive – Sometimes internships can be intense, but staying positive, focused and ready to get the job done can be the key to landing your future job and growing your career.

My path was not a very traditional one, but it was one that I would not trade for the world as it allowed me to make new friends and mentors, have amazing life experiences, and also lead me to my passion. My days as a “Rocksteady Girls” DJ at Quinninipiac University in Connecticut helped me to format my career path and plan. But little did I know the peaks and valleys I would travel.  Today I am the Head of Marketing for our Talent Acquisition efforts for our International regions (EMEA, APAC, and India). Who knew my passion for music and marketing would lead me to my dream job in Talent Acquisition Marketing at CA Technologies.

If you would like to learn more about internship opportunities at CA Technologies check out our Intern & Associates page and stay connected with us by joining our Talent Community.

In case you’re interested – here is my short playlist (use when you’re prepping for finals, or getting through your commute to your next internship!).

  • Ordinary People – John Legend
  • You Don’t Know My Name – Alicia Keys
  • Brightside – The Killers
  • It’s My Life – No Doubt
  • Hollaback Girl – Gwen Stefani
  • Yea! – Usher featuring Lil’ Jon
  • Milkshake – Kelis
  • Hey Ya! – OutKast
  • Lean Back – Terror Squad
  • Dirt Off Your Shoulders – Jay-Z

Kristin Shulman

Kristin Shulman is the Head of Marketing for International (EMEA, APJ and India) at CA Technologies.  She’s also a passionate #workingmom with a love for travelling and is an expat living abroad in the UK continuing her work with the fantastic #lifeatca team. Find her on Twitter @krisd and Instagram @kjdshulmam.

 

 

 

Tags: internships, careers, CA Technologies, CA, careers, #LifeAtCA, tech jobs, tech careers

Stay Connected: 4 Reasons to Join a Talent Community

‘Be a part of our community’, ‘Join Our Network’, ‘Stay Connected.’ Sound familiar? Whether you’re browsing a company’s career site, checking out their page on LinkedIn, or simply shopping online, you may have seen these messages a time or two. But what is a ‘Talent Community’ and why should you join?

A Talent Community or Talent Network is typically a social media based a platform which you, a jobseeker aka future team member, can join to stay connected with a company you may be interested in for a career opportunity. Not sure why you should join? That’s simple. To gather information, connect directly with a recruiter, and/or to find your next dream gig with the organization you want to grow your career with. Whether you’re on the hunt or simply grazing the job market for your next big move, talent communities provide you, the ‘TalentSumer’, the opportunity to engage with companies you are interested in. Check out these 5 Reasons to join a Talent Community:

#1. Network directly with recruiters

Want to attend the next MeetUp? Is there an event in your area to meet team members from CA Technologies? Building your relationship with employers is a key benefit to joining a talent community. Not only do you not need to be actively looking, recruiters will also reach out to you directly with job information. Instead of spending all of your time on job boards, you will now be a part of a community where you’ll have the attention of the recruitment team.

#2. Gain access to insider knowledge

Learn about the next big product release, company news and more through engaging content tailored towards your personal profile. Get the latest news about your organization, including open positions available in your area. Having insider information about the company will come in handy during your interview!

#3. Learn about company culture

Get the inside scoop on what its really like to work for an organization. If you’re considering joining an organization, you may also want to know “what’s the culture like?”  Companies utilize talent communities as a platform to drive cultural initiatives. Being a member of a talent community allows you to gain insight to their core values, benefits, work-life balance and more.

#4. Get Career Advice

Want to learn tips on optimizing your LinkedIn profile?  Heading to that next interview and want some quick tips? Recruitment teams utilize talent communities as a platform to share content. As a member of a talent community you are connected directly with recruiters who can give you that inside information on how to nail your job interview to land your dream job.

Want to check out the benefits of being in our CA Technologies talent community? Join Today!

KristinKristin Shulman head of marketing and employer brand for International at CA Technologies. Find her on Twitter and Instagram @krisd.

Welcome to (Working) Motherhood

working mother

4am on a Monday morning:

I look over at the monitor on my dresser where I can see my 9-month-old son “C” standing in his crib awaiting his morning cuddle. Brilliant, I’ve managed to get a full 6 hours of sleep! Maybe I can swing another hour or so before I need to get ready for work.

7am:

Time for the morning routine, my childcare provider (aka g-ma) has arrived and I am still trying to find clothes appropriate for work. Husband is hustling out the door, I’m throwing on my dress (l should really start to lay out my outfits the night before), grab my mommy, ahem, I mean WORK bag, kiss the boy, get into the car, get back out of the car, grab my ID Card, kiss my husband and I’m off to the train by 7:20am. I think I have everything…

8am:

Get to work, settle in, get my tea, start the day…shoot…time to pump. Wait. Is the nursing room available? (I’m SO happy CA Technologies locations have wellness rooms for nursing mothers).  Do I have everything I need? What time is my next call? I can swing it. I have my mobile on me anyway, phew!

Fellow moms – does this scenario sound about right? Cue my intro –  “Hello. My name is Kristin and I am a working mom.” My biggest challenge?  Trying to do it all, while maintaining sanity and balance. Is it easy? Nope. Is it achievable? Absolutely – especially with the right support system in place both at work and at home.

As far back as I can remember I always wanted to be a businesswoman. I used to fantasize about the trips I would take, the deals I would seal, and the force I would be. I also knew I would have a family one-day and that everything would be fantastic…and a breeze. Well, I learned that balancing work and home could quickly turn into a challenge. My first day back to work, I had slept about 4 hours, I may have had a slight tear in the eye from my drive away from the house, and certainly was overwhelmed by all of the changes that had occurred during my maternity leave.

Beth Conway, our VP of HR in North America has given me some great personal advice for my transition back to work and has also stated “Creating a diverse workplace that considers its employees’ work-life balance is the foundation of our corporate culture. We have an environment that fosters collaboration, flexibility and opportunity. Our employees, specifically working moms, know that they have the flexibility to be there for their families. That translates into happy and loyal employees—and ultimately smart business.”

Our team member, Andrea Dooley, recently wrote about flexibility in the workplace, and have I benefited! I have been lucky to have my mom watch “C” everyday, and on the days that I am able to work from home, he is in the house with his mom and “g-ma.” When my family and I move later this summer to the UK, “C” will be enrolled in one of CA’s on-site Montessori School Programs. Talk about flexibility right? No wonder CA Technologies has been named one of Working Mother’s Magazines best places to work, multiple times.

Each new mom has her own unique experience. Whether they decide to go back to work, stay home, nurse or formula feed – there are a million-and-a-half new things we find ourselves worrying about. Thankfully, my experience transitioning back to work was a smooth one, met with support and understanding. The flexible culture at CA Technologies allows its employees to thrive in a flexible environment. I am still a work in progress in my journey to find balance, but CA is allowing me to rewrite my career in a way that allows me to achieve my professional goals and be the best parent and partner I can be.

KristinKristin Shulman is the head of marketing and employer brand for EMEA, APJ and India at CA Technologies. She is passionate about social media and new mommyhood. Find her on Twitter and Instagram @krisd @kjdshulmam.