Today’s blog features Organized Woman, author, and career guru, Nacie Carson. Check out Nacie’s work at www.thelifeuncommon.net, as well as her new book, The Finch Effect available now! We are incredibly excited to host Nacie on June 19th at our monthly Spitfire: Survival of the Fittest: Dynamic Women and the Career You Envision. Here are the highlights from our interview with Nacie!
GLOW: How did you get the idea for THE FINCH EFFECT?
I felt called to write this book because of the frustration, anger, and fear that I observed in friends, family, and even myself in the years after the recession started. So many wonderful, intelligent and capable people seemed to stall after Lehman Brothers collapsed with little idea of what to do next. As a result, they sat and waited for things to change or get better, and lost precious time in the process. I realized that there had to be some people out there who were still finding success and moving their careers forward, and I wanted to find out who they were, what they were doing, and how they were doing it. I embarked on a 2 year journey interviewing people around the country in all kinds of industries and with all kinds of career backgrounds. And what I discovered is that those people who are moving their careers forward and thriving - like the finches - were all implementing a set of similar strategies which have become the foundation of The Finch Effect.
GLOW: What has your professional journey been like?
Exciting, and full of unexpected opportunity. I started out my career as a quality analyst for a financial software company. I got that job right out of school and learned pretty quickly that it didn't align with my strengths or passions, and decided to quit my corporate role to pursue what I saw as my highest and best use in this world: writing. It's hard to explain what gives you the gumption to make a change like that - for me, it was realizing that I couldn't spend every day of the rest of my life trading my talent and career satisfaction for security and stability. As a young professional, the rest of my career seemed to long to resign myself to that fate so early. My first full week as a full-time freelance writer was the week the stock market tanked, but ironically I found that I was less vulnerable than my corporate friends because I wasn't worried about losing my job or benefits...those things were on me anyways as a freelancer. Since then, it's been a great and interesting ride as I've really focused on professional development and working life satisfaction.
GLOW: Can you tell us what the "gig economy" is?
The gig economy is an approach to work where a professional pieces together multiple and unrelated projects, known as “gigs,” rather than working in a full-time position for just one employer. As opposed to the traditional, 9-5 full time work model, the gig economy provides professionals with a way they can expand their resume faster, earn more, and diversify their work base simultaneously. It is a core tenant of The Finch Effect - or, at least the ability to see yourself as someone who can flourish in this kind of work arrangement.
GLOW: In my experience with Boston GLOW, I see women constantly struggling with your second principle--IDENTIFY YOUR PROFESSIONAL VALUE. What advice would you give young women on how to both identify and believe in their unique skills?
A great question you can (and should) ask yourself is "Why you?" Why are you the best person for the job? Why should someone give you a raise or promotion over someone else? As professional women, we need to make sure we can confidently answer when someone asks us (implicitly or literally) why us - why are we special, worthy, or qualified for what they have to offer. I firmly believe that there are special skills or gifts that each one of us has, and no one else in the world can do those things like we can do them. It is important that we believe that about ourselves without shame or modesty - each of us has something valuable and necessary to offer, and as women we need to get over the idea that excessive humility is beauty and own that gift, whatever it is.
GLOW: What take away advice would you give young people as they shape their professional future (other than to buy your book, of course!)?
I would advise them to always remember how capable they are. We are all capable of change and adaptation, not just in our working lives but in our lives as a whole. Change is always such a scary proposition...most of us spend our lives trying to resist it in some form or another. But we are creatures of this earth, and as such we are able to do what all life does - adapt and thrive. And that is a very comforting thought.
To learn more, come join us on June 19th! http://bostonglowfincheffect.eventbrite.com/ and check out The Finch Effect!