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  • 5 June 2019Confidence, Inspiration • Susan Rietano Davey

    You Are A Special Person

    At Roaring Brook Elementary School, in my little suburban Connecticut town, a major rite of passage for second graders is Special Persons Day. Each student chooses one special person in their life, draws a portrait of them, writes a tribute to them, presents this tribute to them on a stage, with a microphone. There are songs and laughs and lots of tears.

    As the mother of four RBS graduates and godmother of two, odds are that I would have been chosen for the honor by now. In fact, it is a bit of a joke among my neighbor-friends and my own kids that I – as special as I am 😉 – never have been.

    Until this year.

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  • 1 May 2019Career, Inspiration • Susan Rietano Davey

    Stop Talking Small!

    About 18 years ago, two of the major insurers in our part of Connecticut instituted massive layoffs. Many highly skilled, accomplished mid-level professionals were soon out on the street looking for work. At the time, I was partner at Flexible Resources, Inc., a flexible work consulting and staffing firm (and the original champions of the flexible workplace). 

    Our typical client was the “MBA Mom” looking return to (or pivot into) a part-time or flexible work arrangement. But during this period, I was seeing a steady stream of recently laid off men and women who may not have wanted a part-time gig, but were open to pretty much any type of work.

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  • 16 April 2019Career, Inspiration • Susan Rietano Davey

    What It Takes To Succeed As An Entrepreneur

    Kelley and I are serial entrepreneurs. Prepare to Launch U is not the first business start-up rodeo for either of us. Creating something and being our own bosses is just what we’re wired to do.

    Through Prepare to Launch U, and in our private practices, we meet many women who feel the same. Or at least they want the same. Or they think they want the same. After exploring options for a career-return or pivot, they decide they want to go the entrepreneurial route.

    The truth is, however, only a small percentage of them are well suited to entrepreneurship – and only a small percentage of that percentage will actually succeed.

    Starting and running your own business is hard.

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  • 3 April 2019Confidence, Inspiration • Kelley Biskupiak

    5 Steps to Communicate a Difficult Decision

    “Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing for you…are the same”

    There is such truth in this quote. Especially when it comes to making decisions that could change an aspect of your life and impact the lives of others. I see it so often in the clients we coach and the students we work with. Truth be told, I see it as a truth for myself.

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  • 27 March 2019Inspiration • Susan Rietano Davey

    The Importance of “Fluff”

    Kelley and I met in the summer of 2016 at a women’s conference where we were both keynote speakers. Up first, I shared colorful stories of career-returners meant to entertain and, most importantly, to inspire. Kelley followed, and led us in a powerful partner exercise on strengths. She knew her topic well and was an ebullient, engaging presenter.

    But I thought her content was “fluff”.

    A couple of weeks after the conference, Kelley called and suggested we meet for lunch. At the time, I was at a crossroads.

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  • 20 March 2019Confidence, Inspiration • Kimberly Howard

    Getting Along With A Little Help From New Friends

    For years I bragged that whenever I chose to, I could jump back into the workforce. Who wouldn’t want an experienced marketing communications exec? I knew enough about social media and SEO to wing it in the workplace. Plus, I’m a quick learner! With this mindset, last fall, I pulled together my resume and joined LinkedIn. Sure, I’d have to take a step back from where I was on the pay scale, but I didn’t have any doubt about my ability to land a position. I was relaunching! I was eager to return to the ranks of the working. What I soon learned, however, is that job hunting is completely different now than it was 20 years ago and I simply did not have the tools to navigate this new process on my own.

    Relaunching into the workforce after eighteen years as a stay at home mom did not turn out as I’d envisioned.

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  • 14 February 2019Inspiration • Kelley Biskupiak

    The Basics of Essential Self-Care

    “Putting myself last is right, honorable or just the way it has to be.”

    This mindset myth is killing the talent, the gifts, the creativity and the power of women on a daily basis. It is that clear-cut. I see it in the clients I work with, the students we teach at PTLU, at my speaking events and also in most conversations I have with women. Living with this mindset myth is a lie that women tell themselves. You see, when you live in a place of constant deprivation in sacrifice of everyone around you, you are giving the world a depleted, exhausted version of who you really are and everyone loses.

    Consider this, the speech they give you on an airline flight before you taxi down the runway, “Put on your oxygen mask first. Then, assist those around you.” The reason behind this safety procedure is that you are of no use to your children, your spouse, your elderly parents or your neighbors if you’re not breathing yourself.

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  • 6 February 2019Inspiration, Job Search Skills • Susan Rietano Davey

    Living Out Your Option B

    Published in 2017 and widely promoted last year, Sheryl Sanberg and Adam Grant’s book, Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy, has a pretty bold title. Heck, any one of those things in the tag line can be singularly daunting, and they think I can accomplish all three?!

    But that’s not really the point. The point is, and it’s a good one, that we have fuller, richer and, yes, more joyful lives if we can face our challenges head on and smiling.

    Of course, that’s easier said than done.

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  • 16 January 2019Inspiration, Work + Life Balance • Kelley Biskupiak

    Find Your Tribe

    When I launched my first business, Be You Bravely, after years of being a stay-at-home mom I was terrified. I was taking a leap of faith, pivoting from the world of education into an arena that was, well, not so defined. I knew what I had to offer had great value, life-changing value actually, but the success of growing a viable business was not certain and that uncertainty was terrifying. During those early days there were many moments when I said to myself, “Kelley why did you not just go back to education?” A job in education came with benefits, a steady paycheck and a predictable schedule. Educational consulting was an even better option with lucrative pay and plenty of client connections. This business I was launching came with none of that. The personal risk was also overwhelming. I was in an extremely defined role at home. I did just…

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  • 24 October 2018Inspiration, Work + Life Balance • Susan Rietano Davey

    Partners: a ‘must have’ for the working woman

    I began my career in Xerox Corporation’s executive training program, which, in the mid-80s, was reputed to be one of the top three executive training programs of the time. How I, an English major who never took a business course and didn’t know a balance sheet from a cookie sheet ended up there is another story for another blog post.

    Suffice it to say, I interviewed really well.

    There were about 15 or so trainees in my training class year – a collection of lively, confident, competitive achievers of which only a portion were expected to last beyond 12 months. On my first day, I met Sherrie Potenza. Nothing in Sherrie’s and my histories matched up. Being Connecticut natives and part of this training program was about all we had in common. But it was enough. Sherrie and I became fast friends, partners in crime. Ultimately, we became each other’s lifelines.

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