1. Tap into what you know.
Ann, like many of us, described herself as the perfect example of a college graduate with no career plan. After growing up in a traditional midwestern household, she received a degree in Literature, then earned a Ph.D in German Studies from Harvard University, followed by a tenured professorship at Wellesley College. Upon realizing that the ivory tower wasn’t the right fit, she made a hard decision to pursue urban education. This was a decision she was grateful to make early on, and points back to her passion for educational equity. This passion has driven her from early days working at a private school in Marin, to fundraising for an NGO in Berlin, to becoming a Development Director, to present day where she took action to make impact in communities all over the United States (both red and blue) after recognizing how polarized the nation had become.
2. A more equal future means honoring all types of work.
Ann believes that by broadening the definition of ‘work’ for both men and women, we can work towards a more equitable future. Raising a family, volunteering, caring for an aging parent — these are all forms of ‘work’ and we need to make it possible for people to step out of the traditional workforce, and re-enter it later on, even if it’s non-linear.
3. Keep a toe in.
For most of us, our career paths will be non-linear. During this time, some of us will choose to raise families and take time off from work to do so, and then want to re-enter the workforce. Ann did this and has zero regrets about doing so, but does advise to keep a toe in to make the re-entry process easier, should you choose to go back to work.
4. Mindfulness is Ann’s power piece.
Each time Ann has to present or go to a high stakes meeting, she finds a quiet space for herself and meditates for just 10 minutes. It allows her to focus on the task at hand, her breathing, and most importantly, herself. She feels more centered and able after this practice.