There was a popular feminist slogan in the early days of “the movement” that went something like, women need men as much as a fish needs a bicycle.
Thankfully, we have moved past the radical nature of early feminist’s beliefs to a middle ground, though you’d never know it if you looked at the courses and syllabuses in Women’s Studies departments at colleges.
But, most men and women, especially moms and dads, understand that equality doesn’t mean we’re the same. We all tend to agree that equal pay for equal work is the way it should be, but in other areas our gender needs are just different. We are built differently, so get over it.
A recent e-mail from my oldest friend, a college professor, stimulated me to reflect on how we search and find work, as well as in small business how we promote and sell ourselves. On this subject, I’ve observed my teen son’s failed efforts to find a summer job. And, finally, I’ve thought about my own recent efforts in designing and launching my own website (www.brucesallan.com). For me, throughout my life, there was only one thing that worked and it was persistence. I believe, especially in our present economic times, persistence is the primary thing that works.
My old friend the professor had a whole list of very sharp suggestions on how I could better brand (contemporary slang for identifying yourself or your company, as with Nike’s swoosh) my site, my work, and myself. They ranged from hiring a consultant to doing informational interviewing, as well as developing an “elevator speech” (means exactly what you’d expect—a short enough description of your work that could be told in an elevator ride), and much more. As I read and digested his suggestions, I was struck by the fact that my initial reaction was “this is just too much work” and “I like my style better.”