The Workologist column of the New York Times (NYT)

Paula Brand was interviewed and quoted in the NYT Workologist column by Rob Walker about how much notice is needed and how to explain that you were fired in an interview.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Jenny Darmody, Careers Editor of the asked Paula Brand how to handle this question.

How Far Women’s Empowerment Has Come in the Workplace

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash


The disparity between men and women in the workforce still remains, albeit not as stark as previous centuries thanks to the emergence of more feminists and modern thinkers. Paula Brand previously noted that the salary margin between men and women is noticeable, but there are now more actionable ways to close this gap. The rise of women empowerment greatly contributes to this cause.

A slow, but sure change

It wasn’t until the industrial revolution that women gradually entered the workforce, though greatly underpaid and only had access to very limited job categories. Be Businessed recounts that a lot of political parties regarded women as weak and only had a place for the home, which is why the list for available positions was short. Women mainly held nursing, teaching, or secretarial roles. This didn’t change until the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which ended the segregation and discrimination in the workforce based on race, color, and sex.

Women in leadership roles

Although some people still question a woman’s capabilities in high management roles in big companies, there has been a growth in terms of women taking leadership roles. Statista reveals that 3% of women worldwide are CEOs as of March 2018. Though it’s not much and there’s still overestimation in most countries, it’s still a step in the right direction, especially considering that female CEOs were virtually non-existent decades ago. In the US in fact, only 0.4% of Fortune 500 CEOs in 2000 were women, but by 2014, that proportion grew to 4.8%.

What’s important for women is to empower themselves by staying true and continuously looking for ways to use their skills to the very best of their abilities. Menlo Coaching explains that being genuine allows you to influence others, because you are essentially setting a trend and not simply joining one. Smarts, empathy, and creative thinking are some of the strengths that women possess naturally. Using these to your advantage helps you become an effective leader in work, as well as in life.

Of course, self-motivation is best combined with external sources that increase the impact of female empowerment. Countless ads and brands show how powerful women can be, including #LikeAGirl campaign from Always and the Imagine the Possibilities campaign of Barbie. The media has done a good job in breaking barriers and creating a conversation among young women in unlocking their potential with what they can be when they grow up.

The present and future of women in the workforce

The aforementioned notion has helped shape the thinking of millennial women in the workforce today. Brands now target their ads to females as entrepreneurs, with the rise of #GirlBoss ideals and women being in control. Forbes detailed a recent study involving 400 million millennial women, and 83% expressed keen interest in starting their own company. This data is a great jump from even just five years ago, and destroys the stay-at-home female figure many generations have painted.

While it’s not quite there yet, females have come a long way in terms of proving how perfectly capable they are in all business fields. At the end of the day, the ultimate goal of women empowerment is not world domination by females, but rather, a world where equal pay, benefits, and opportunities are offered to both men and women.

This article was written by SheBoss_RJ as a guest blog post for PaulaBrand.Com


Calling all women: Earn your worth & help close the pay gap!

It’s well documented that there is a pay gap between men and women in the US.  One of the best ways for women to decrease that gap is to consistently negotiate a higher starting salary with each job offer, starting with the first.  This is important because a lower starting salary early in your career can have compounding effects over time, especially when employers base a job offer on your last salary, rather than the market rate for your qualifications.  According to Linda Babcock, author of Women Don’t Ask, by the age of 60 women could be short up to 2 million dollars for lack of negotiating over the course of their career. 

The truth is that most women don’t try to negotiate compensation.  According to a 2011 survey of 2000 people, 84% of employers expect candidates to negotiate a job offer.  However, most candidates don’t.  The findings revealed that while 46% of men always try to negotiate, only 30% of women do the same.  Furthermore, less than half of the men surveyed (39%) were apprehensive about negotiating, while more than half of the women (55%) were apprehensive about it. 

One of the best ways to lessen anxiety and improve performance is to be prepared. So, let’s discuss two important ways you can prepare for your next salary negotiation.

FIRST:  Identify your leverage

Leverage is a critical piece of any negotiation, especially when handling salary.  You must know what leverage you have and when to use it.  Many employers (and some candidates) want to talk about salary early on in the interviewing process but this is not in the candidate’s best interest.  You must hold off this discussion until you have the most leverage and that is when the employer has made you the job offer.  Before that point, you have very minimal leverage, so don’t be the first to bring it up.  If the employer brings it up too early, try to postpone the discussion until later.  This post give advice on delaying that initial conversation.

To assess your leverage, try to find out answers to these questions:

How long has the position been vacant? (the longer it’s been open, the more leverage you have)

How hard is it to fill this type of position? (the more difficult to fill, the more leverage you have)

Do you possess unique qualifications that make it hard to find candidates?  (the more unique your skills, the more leverage you have)

Is this position critical to operations? (the more critical the position, the more leverage you have)

How fast do they need to fill the job? (the faster they have to hire, the more leverage you have)

How well do they know you and your abilities? (the better they know you and your abilities, the more leverage you have)


SECOND: Determine the market rate

Another point of information that is extremely important for your salary negotiation is the market rate. You need to research the answer to this question:  What do others with similar experience and education get paid in your geographic location?  There are many sources of data points to discover. 

  • Industry leaders and professional associations conduct periodic and annual salary surveys. Some access may be limited by membership status and some may charge a fee.  For those that are expensive, see if your local library carries them.
  • For a nonprofit in the US, you can look up the 990 form or public tax return to see the salaries for the top five positions in the organization. This may not reveal the pay for your role but knowing the top five salaries should give some insight into their pay ranges.  
  • Don’t forget to ask colleagues you know and trust. You must do this tactfully and carefully, but it’s a great source of information.
  • Job postings are not so useful for actually landing a job, but they can be very useful for gathering salary information. Whenever you see this data for your profession, make a note of it.
  • Online you can find many salary websites, such as:  (a great website with tons of information and global salary data). (mainly US and Canada data offering free and paid reports) (this is a newer feature, so the data set is limited) (this Department of Labor website offers national salary data and by state)


More tips to help you prepare:

  • Know what you want. Determine your ideal salary along with what you can accept while still making your financial commitments.  This will give you a range to keep in mind as you negotiate.
  • Create scripts and practice them. Predict push back and objections and know your reply ahead of time.  Have a few answers ready if the employer asks you to state a number first.  Deflect as much as possible and if they press hard, give a broad range.
  • Find ways to respond to their questions without sharing your past salary information. You can say something like “That’s personal information that I don’t share” and then ask a question related to the job to change the subject.
  • There are many others items you could navigate if annual salary is not negotiable. Consider discussing benefits such as health insurance costs, vacation time or professional development opportunities.  In addition, consider asking for a sign on bonus, for a different title, a different start date or the option to work remotely.
  • Keep timing in mind. Don’t forget that you have the most leverage when they offer you the job. 

It is my hope that by reading this article, you will try to negotiate your next job offer.  Even if you haven’t been doing it so far in your career, it’s not too late to start now.  The more you try it, the more comfortable you will feel doing it (although it will almost always be something you’d rather not do) and that will make you more likely to try!




There is a lot of advice out there on managing your career.  I can boil it down to the seven most important tips.  No matter what your occupation, these actions (or lack thereof) can make or break your career.

1) Set goals for yourself.  Ask yourself where you want to be in 2, 5, 7 years from now.  Then make a plan to get there.  Write down your goals and post them someplace visible.

2) Always network.  This means always work to build relationships, not only when you are in job search.  Even when you are working, still make time for networking.

3) Do what you say.  Build a reputation of standing by your word and getting things done.  If you do this your reputation will build itself.

4) Understand yourself.  Take some assessments or just take some time to reflect but you must know your strengths and areas of improvement.  The better you know what your value is, the more likely you find a good fit in the workplace.

5) Be valuable to others.  Remember that you want to give more than you receive.  I believe it will come back to you in some way.  I’ve seen it time and time again.

6) Keep an open mind.  You can plan very well but then something unpredictable may happen to change the equation.  Don’t be so set in your plan that you miss surprising opportunities.

7) Seek out a mentor.  Find someone in your field (or the field you want to be in) who is well respected and ask them if they might take you under their wing to offer advice and guidance.


The Essential Guide to Career Certifications: 3rd Edition released

I’m happy to announce the release of the 3rd Edition of The Essential Guide to Career Certifications.  The original release was in 2013 and listed 35 credentials in the career field.  In 2015, it was updated with 40+.  Now the latest edition has 50+ certifications, including the five new certifications created by the National Career Development Association (NCDA) to replace their previous designations.  It continues to be a labor of love!

Are you a career practitioner providing services such as career counseling, career coaching, résumé writing or job search assistance?  Do you like to learn new techniques to help your clients even more?  If so, this electronic publication is for you.  It will save you hours and hours of time because I have spent A LOT of time researching the information. 

Finding certification programs can be overwhelming right from the start.  Besides the fact that so many certifications exist in the areas of career development and job search, there are also a variety of training providers of varied size and reputation.   The Guide provides the facts to help you sort out your options and make an informed decision. 

Research results include a wealth of credentials that can be earned to build expertise and increase credibility as a career professional.  For each entry, you’ll discover the name of the certification and the credentialing organization along with eligibility criteria and costs involved (application fees, required training and renewal fees).   The electronic format provides URL links with easy access to webpages for more information.

To learn more about what you might consider before starting any certification program, please visit this article on the site of the National Career Development Association (NCDA):  Grow Professionally by Earning Career Certifications by Paula Brand originally appeared in NCDA’s web magazine, Career Convergence at  Copyright ©March 2015.


To purchase, go to:

Spring sale offers 30% off so you pay only $17.47!

To learn more:

Press release:

Ways to Improve Your Profile Picture and Career Management Tips for Women

Hello Everyone.

Unbelievably, it’s already March. Have you started working on some of your career goals for the year? If not, start this month and you can still make great strides in 2017.

As you may know, March celebrates International Women’s Day (March 8th). Because of this, I’ve filled this issue with links, resources and articles related to women in the workplace and I share some websites specific for working women. I hope you enjoy them.

Working with women in career management has always moved and motivated me. One of my major career / business goals is to start working with more women and women’s groups, and finding new ways to engage women with their careers. If you have any ideas for me in this regard, please feel free to share them.

Best wishes,


P.S. I only want to send things to those who want to receive them. If you want to unsubscribe at any time, please follow the instructions at the bottom of this message.



Improve Your LinkedIn Profile Picture:   You don’t have to hire a professional photographer for a LinkedIn profile picture; however, make sure you ask someone who is capable of taking a good shot. Selfies have no place here. Below are three tips to help ensure a good profile picture.

  1. The picture should show YOU.   This may sound obvious, yet I’ve seen enough examples to the contrary. Your profile picture should only be of you – no family members, no friends and no animals (unless you are a Veterinarian). Also, don’t use a picture with others and then crop them out.
  2. Focus on your neck up.   This was always true, but even more so now. With the new profile picture showing up as a circle and not a square, you lose the surrounding space, so it’s best to make your face the main focus of the picture. Also, remember that your profile picture appears in many places on LinkedIn, and usually in a miniature view (which makes it hard to see you). The biggest version will be on your profile page but everywhere else, for example, next to your comments, your picture is much smaller.
  3. Your look.   Be sure to smile and look approachable. You want others to be drawn to your profile, and looking friendly is one easy way to do that. Also, make sure your photo is in focus and up-to-date. Using an older picture that no longer looks like you is not recommended. If a new person wouldn’t recognize you in a Starbucks based on your profile picture, you need a new one.



The posts below offer advice to women on various aspects of career management, to increase their rate of success in the workplace. Consider how you can apply these bits of wisdom to your own situation.

Megan Della-Camina offers good advice and interesting thoughts on why women should seek out a mentor and how to do it.

One of my favorite reinvention and branding experts, Dorie Clark ( is quoted in this article by Nneka Orji on (a career resource for professional women), about challenging some perceptions of professional women as you brand and reinvent yourself.

This longer LinkedIn post is actually an excerpt from Joann Lublin’s book Earning It: Hard-on Lessons from Trailblazing Women at the Top of the Business World. It illustrates how leaping off of the “glass cliff” may end up helping your career.

I was honored to recently guest blog for (a site tailored for professional women on careers, fashion, travel and shopping). Please check out my February post about loving your career. If you wouldn’t mind sharing it, liking it, etc. there are links on the original post to Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and LinkedIn on the bottom of the page. If it’s helpful to know, my Twitter handle is @brandcareermgmt, my Facebook business page is, and click here for this post on LinkedIn.

If you’re not familiar with Sheryl Sandberg, she wrote Lean In, and has started a website to help women succeed at work. Look for a group of support in your local area, or start a Lean In circle near you.



Over the coming months, I will be spreading the word about the major LinkedIn overhaul and how to best manage these changes, in a presentation titled ”What’s New, What’s Gone and What You Need to Know.”

Tuesday, March 28 at 4 pm (closed to the public)

at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland.

Monday, May 15 at 7 pm (free and open to the public)

at the Broadneck Branch of the Anne Arundel County Public Library (AACPL). You can R.S.V.P. starting on May 1.

As mentioned last issue, I’m really interested in speaking to women’s groups focused on mid-career professionals between 40 and 60 years of age. If you know of any groups that match this criteria, please let me know. Three popular topics I can address are: Assessing and Marketing Your Strengths, Proactively Changing Careers, and Managing Your Career for Success.


5 Ways to Keep the Spark Alive and 5 Ways to Reignite a Burned-Out Flame

It’s important to keep up with your career management. As a woman, this is even more critical in order to fully realize your true potential and earn what you are worth. With glass ceilings, unequal pay, and minimal representation in leadership roles, who needs to add “unhappy worker” to the list of issues facing women in the workplace?

Managing your career well means loving what you do, or finding out what you would love to do and going for it. Maybe you are already in love with your career. Are you often excited to start your work day? Are you using your strongest skills on a daily basis? Do you work in an environment that complements your personality? Do you work for a company that reflects your values? If you answered yes to these questions, you are likely already in a job or career that you enjoy. Congratulations for finding your way!

Here are five ways to keep the flame alive:

  • Be accountable to yourself.Give yourself an annual career audit. Are you exactly where you want to be right now? If not, what’s not happening? Where do you want to be in a few years? Do you need to implement changes to your role, your title, or your career path to get where you are going?
  • Don’t forget to think ahead.Even when things are going well, you should think about where you want to be in three to five years, and what it will take to get you there. There are always actions you can take now that can lay a foundation for your next steps.
  • Keep things fresh.It’s important to stay up-to-date in your field. Some of the best ways to do this are attending conferences, joining a professional association, reading up on trends, and finding places to engage with like-minded professionals (for example, an industry group on LinkedIn or Facebook).
  • Network, network, network. No one gets far in their career by going it alone.Implementing a consistent practice of networking allows you to build a group of supporters, reach out to industry experts, and enhance your credibility. People often think about networking only when they need a new job, but it’s best to make networking a regular activity to increase the chances that you will have a support system in place when you need it.
  • Build your online presence and authority.In today’s world of work, an online presence is a necessity. At the most basic level, make sure your online profiles are complete and up-to-date, and that they convey the right message. If you want to take it a step further, actively create and share content about your area of expertise for online consumption.

It’s great if you are happy in your job, but not everyone loves their career. Sometimes it takes a little time and a few experiences to find the best match for your interests, personality, values, and strengths. If you don’t love what you are doing right now, here are some steps to get you moving in the right direction.

  • Ask yourself why you feel the way you do.Take some time for reflection to understand what’s working and what’s not working. Is it your job, your boss, the workplace, or the field? You may need to address one or more of these issues. Have you become bored, or is your stress level rising to an unmanageable level? Find the real root of the problem before taking corrective action.
  • Look for a better place.If your boss, the workplace, or the employer is the issue, your best option may be to get out of that situation. However, it’s always wise to have your next position in place before leaving your current one. Brush up your résumé, begin catching up with your contacts, and start planning your exit strategy and researching new opportunities.
  • Take initiative to discover your true self. If the issue isn’t just your boss or workplace, you likely need to take a step back and evaluate your strengths, values, personality, interests, and skills to move your career in a new and positive direction. Hiring a career coach and taking some  assessments, like StrengthsFinder 2.0, may help, or you can read some books to determine a good career fit. Two excellent books for this are What Color Is Your Parachute? by Richard Bolles, and Do What You Are by Paul Tieger, Barbara Barron, and Kelly Tieger.
  • Find ways to have fun outside of work.It is important not to let a bad job taint your attitude about the rest of your life. After all, it is just a job. There is so much more to life than work.  Purposefully plan time for fun activities with people who are positive and supportive.
  • Record your past successes.Write down stories of proud accomplishments from your life. They can be from experiences other than work, such as volunteer roles or passion projects. Look for themes within the stories to discover what you do well consistently over time. These records will help in any future career change or job search, and they will also give you an emotional boost because they remind you of what you are capable of accomplishing.

Advancing in a career you love or finding a new one might take effort, but it’s worth it. Life is too short, and too many hours are spent at work to be miserable. Following these tips will help you ignite, and maintain, your passion for your career.

This article was originally published on at

More on LinkedIn Changes and Ways to Give Your Career Some Love

Hello Everyone

Welcome to February, which bring us Valentine’s Day and the theme of romance. In that regard, this issue will share some ideas to give your career some love. I always say that nobody will ever care about your career as much as you, so it’s up to you to keep the flame alive. That might mean getting a new job or finding ways to add challenge to your current role. It could involve making time to grow professionally, or it could mean starting the process of changing careers. Whatever it means to you, I encourage you to find a way to give your career some love this month (and in the coming months). It doesn’t magically happen on its own. If you don’t do it, who will?

Best wishes,


P.S. I only want to send things to those who want to receive them. If you want to unsubscribe at any time, please follow the instructions at the bottom of this message.



Warning, Changes are Still Underway:  As mentioned in the last issue, LinkedIn is in the midst of rolling out major changes in the design of the home and profile pages. I’ve heard that it will take until May for the entire roll out to be completed; however, your profile could change any day between now and then (mine still hasn’t changed but I’m prepared for it). I found a new post / video by UK LinkedIn Expert Mark Williams, that shares a good work-around to compensate for the loss of the advanced search feature.

Take Precautions:  Don’t forget to give your LinkedIn account some love and protection. If you didn’t do it yet, please back up your LinkedIn contacts before your profile view changes. Once that happens, you will not be able to follow this guidance anymore. Again, take Jim Peacock’s step-by-step advice and back up your LinkedIn data TODAY.



One great way to give your career love is to attend a conference. I highly suggest attending at least one professional conference a year. I usually attend more than one annually. Last year I didn’t attend any and I truly missed the experience. Going to conferences gives you a great way to network with people who have a common interest, and it keeps you up-to-date on trends in your field. However, we all have a limited amount of time and money, so you need to be selective. Harvard Business Review columnist Dorie Clark shares some great conference advice in the

Are you searching for a new job? Jeff Kauflin at Forbes offers job search advice, intermingled with a list of ten job hunt related sites to help your job search.

If you’ve succeeded in securing an interview, congratulations! Here are a few tips to give your interview some love: shares advice (infographic style) to help you make a great first impression and excel during the interview.

Kate Lopaze of The Job Network offers tips specifically to help you with group and panel interviews.



Over the coming months, I will be spreading the word about the major LinkedIn overhaul and how to best manage these changes.

Tuesday, February 28 at 5 pm (closed to the public)

at St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland.

Tuesday, March 28 at 4 pm (closed to the public)

at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland.

Monday, May 15 at 7 pm (free and open to the public)

at the Broadneck Branch of the Anne Arundel County Public Library (AACPL). You can R.S.V.P. starting on May 1.

I’m really interested in speaking to women’s groups focused on mid-career professionals between 40 – 60 years of age. If you know of any groups that match this criteria, please let me know. Three popular topics I can address are: Assessing and Marketing your Strengths, Proactively Changing Careers, and Managing your Career for Success.

Major LinkedIn Changes, Managing Your Career and Setting Goals for 2017

Happy New Year!

Here’s to hoping each of you had a very happy holiday season. Welcome to the New Year!

This issue of the MTS offers some resources for planning the year ahead in your career and life. What will you accomplish for your career management in 2017? Take time now to set some goals for yourself, while you still have 11 more months to make them happen. As for the LinkedIn Tip of the Month, this issue has an update about a major change coming to your LinkedIn Profile plus two tips.

Best wishes for your career success in 2017!


P.S. I only want to send things to those who want to receive them. If you want to unsubscribe at any time, please follow the instructions at the bottom of this message.



New Year = New Look:  In December, LinkedIn starting rolling out a major overhaul of their user interface. If the look of your profile hasn’t changed yet, it should soon (I still see my older profile version). Some things are gone, like the ability to tag contacts and the advanced search feature, which will be sorely missed by those who used it. The design is different (new layouts for the profile and home pages) and aligns with the look and feel of their mobile app.

LinkedIn Expert Viveka Von Rosen gave a great summary of the changes in a December post. The embedded 12-minute video is a great visual tool, as she walks you through the new and old displays, side by side.

Back Up Your LinkedIn Data:  My colleague, Jim Peacock of Peak Careers, shared useful advice and instructions on backing up your LinkedIn data. Upon reading his post, I followed Jim’s advice and backed up my profile and contacts.

Set a 2017 Goal for LinkedIn – IDEA:  Increase your virtual network by 10% in 2017! Break your annual goal down by week or month and commit to it. I have about 1500 contacts so my goal is to increase by 150, almost three a week. I’ll report in December how I did.



This resource from Ora Shtull and William Arruda of Career Blast offers a great career management audit tool that you can put to use right now. It’s a downloadable e-book after sharing your email. Complete the questionnaire to see how well you are “fueling your career.” Use your responses to challenge yourself. In 2017, set realistic goals to address a few of the areas needing development.

In case you didn’t get time to reflect in December, this resource is for you. Executive Coach Michele Woodward offers an engaging and holistic way to assess your past year of life and to set goals for the year ahead. Use this link or go to the very bottom of her home page and click on Download the 2017 Personal Planning Tool.

Also, creative giant Charlie Gilkey has an array of free planning resources (among paid options). I find the Individual Project Planner useful.



Tuesday, February 28 at 5 pm (closed to the public)

I will be speaking about LinkedIn at St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland.

Monday, May 15 at 7 pm (free and open to the public)

I have also saved a date with the Anne Arundel County Public Library (AACPL) Broadneck Branch, for a workshop on LinkedIn Profiles. More details to come in the next issue.