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Work can be frustrating. How can you get along with that maddening coworker? Figure out what your unapproachable boss really wants? Motivate your demoralized team? "Dear HBR:" is here to help. With empathy, experience, and humor, veteran Harvard Business Review editors and co-hosts Alison Beard and Dan McGinn explore solutions to your workplace dilemmas. Bolstered by insights from guests and academic research, they help you navigate thorny situations to find a better way forward.
20 Aug 2020 • 29 mins
Are you a working parent stressing over how to advance your career during the pandemic? Dan and Alison answer your questions with the help of Alyssa Westring, a professor at DePaul University’s Driehaus College of Business and coauthor of the book Parents Who Lead: The Leadership Approach You Need to Parent with Purpose, Fuel Your Career, and Create a Richer Life. They talk through what to do when you now want to quit your job to be a stay-at-home parent, your reduced salary and growth prospects are hurting your plans to have children, or a Covid-delayed job start date is tricky timing for your pregnancy. From Alison and Dan’s reading list: HBR: A Guide for Working (From Home) Parents by Avni Patel Thompson — “Accept that things are not going to run completely smoothly and we aren’t going to all be our 100% productive selves. But with tempered expectations, a flexible approach and resourcefulness, you’ll be amazed at how we can all adapt. With any luck, we’ll emerge from this crisis even stronger and more collaborative: a modern take on an age-old approach to parenting.” HBR: How Working Parents Can Prepare for Coronavirus Closures by Stewart D. Friedman and Alyssa F. Westring — “Relentlessly seek to comprehend your boss’s expectations, with follow-up questions about specifics. Remember that the goal is to find ways to make things work for everyone, not just you. These conversations should not launch with how your work must accommodate your family life. Such zero-sum thinking (good for me, bad for my boss) isn’t likely to get you the support you need in the short term or build a strong foundation for your on-going relationship.” HBR: When You’re Leaving Your Job Because of Your Kids by Daisy Wademan Dowling — “Many of my working-parent coachees are shocked, upon resigning, to find out how much their organizations value them – and are suddenly willing to provide new roles, more flexibility, even sabbatical leaves in a desperate bid to keep them. As firm as your intention to leave is, remain open to new options that are offered. You may find an unexpected solution that’s actually better than the one you’ve committed to. At the very least, it’s worth a conversation.” HBR: You’ve Been Furloughed. Now What? by Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic and Becky Frankiewicz — “Ask yourself if your job is worth waiting for. Do you want to return to your pre-crisis life? If there is any inkling of doubt in your mind, there is no downside to applying for something new, and seeing what could materialize as a different future.”