My Summer Reading (and Viewing and Listening) List

Bookcase with plant in Maggie's office

I”m not gonna lie. Been feeling a little restless since I started this social media fast.

On the plus side, I’ve had more time for reading, viewing, and listening on other platforms, and I thought I’d share the ones that are (mostly) career-related.

  • Salary Negotiation – The title says it all: How to Be an Ace Salary Negotiator (Even When You Hate Conflict). One of my favorite lines, “negotiation should be a conversation, not a confrontation.” I also appreciate that gender is addressed in this article, which brings me back to a video from the archives that continues to surprise me no matter how many times I watch it. One final note about the ace negotiator article: it comes from the Smarter Living section in the New York Times, which is one of the few blogs I subscribe to and read faithfully.  Another recent fav covered FOBO (Fear of Better Options, which I see often in my practice).
  • Networking – A new-to-me artcile about shaking up the traditional paradigm around making connections for the sake of exploring a career and/or finding a job. It’s called The Best Networking Advice: Stop Asking People to Coffee. Bottomline: don’t be formulaic.
  • Prototyping Career ShiftsPivot Planet is an organization that allows you to talk to someone in a specific field and get the real truth of what it’s like. There’s a fee for time with these folks, but it takes the awkward ask out of the equation that shuts many people down. So, if you’re curious about being a wine importer, professional speaker, shipbuilder, animation film producer, or another esoteric or mundane professional, this is fun site to explore.
  • Job CraftingHidden Brain, one of my favorite podcasts, just rebroadcast an episode on Dream Jobs, which is wonderful because I missed it when it first aired. The episode covers meaning and purpose at work, adding credence to my latest motto: seek purpose to build passion.
  • Finding Meaning and Purpose – The article called Want to Love Your Job? Read this Article offers more insight along the theme of meaning. Notable line: Your work may not change the world. But your approach to it makes a meaningful difference in how you and those your work with, and serve, feel.
  • Multipotentialites – Emilie Wapnick’s TED talk called Why Some of Us Don’t Have One True Calling isn’t new to me. Delivered in 2015, it’s becoming a classic in the career world, but I include it on this list because I’m talked to so many clients these past few months who haven’t heard it and who feel validated and affirmed by Emilie’s message.

It would be a stretch to call these other favorites career-related, but they’re just so darn good, I’m compelled to add to my list. I hope you’ll indulge me.

  • Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette special on Netflix – Part standup routine, part advocacy talk. It was absolutely stunning to witness how masterfully she delivered such a powerful message. She’s someone who has clearly done intense personal work, and what I really, really love about her talk is that she serves as an amazing role model for women being angry in an effective and meaningful way. Simply exquisite work.
  • Sarah Blondin’s guided meditation – My sis suggested I listen to this particular meditation called Loving and Listening to Yourself. 12 minutes of pure affirmation and nourishment.
  • Rachel Simmons’ book Enough As She Is – The modern version of Reviving Ophelia, covering social media, perfectionism, and academic pressure and how it tends to affect girls. Vital for parents of teen and college-age girls and also a great glimpse into social pressures on girls and women.
  • Tara Brach’s talk – I’ve been searching for a way to articulate to myself and my clients the difference between acceptance and resignation, the difference between greeting what’s here and resisting and wrestling with what’s already happened, the difference between turning toward and turning away from our experience, and Tara Brach’s talk called Saying ‘Yes” – Meeting Your Edge and Softening comes as close I’ve ever heard.

I love hearing what others are watching and listening to, so send me your suggestions.


I’m Starting a Social Media Fast

My 20-year-old decided to erase all of his social media accounts. It took him days because he was determined to remove the tags that linked him to photos that other people (okay, mostly me) had posted.

I admired his commitment to his principles (“Facebook isn’t going to make money on my data!”), his discipline (don’t worry – he’s still a typical 20-year-old, plugged into Netflix and listening to music), and his insights (“Mom, you know when you post a photo of Audrey, even though she doesn’t have an account on Facebook yet, Facebook is still tracking it – she has a shadow account on there, you know?” Um…no, I did not know that).

I blissfully returned to my usual pattern. I like Facebook. I like Insta. I’m finally figuring out Twitter thanks for my renewed determination to be politically active. #NewToHashtags. I like scrolling through my newsfeed in these spots and catching up with people who are dear to me, with people who I want to know more deeply, with people who I see as ahead of me on journeys that matter to me. It’s entertaining. It’s connecting. It’s enlightening (I’ve read some great, insightful, informative, paradigm-shifting articles and blogs because friends posted them). It’s mind candy (those goofy memes and videos get me), and it’s inspiring (who doesn’t love a riveting video?).

Then, I watched The Daily Show‘s skit about Facebook and that was hard to ignore. Not super hard since it ran months ago.

Since I still think about that clip, I decided I want to take a hiatus from FB (#DelayedReaction).

“Couldn’t I just move over to Instagram?” I whined to my son.

“Mom, Instagram IS Facebook! Facebook owns Instagram. Why do you think you can push your Insta posts to FB?”


Yeah, I knew that.

I’m not as decisive as my son. I’m keeping my accounts. I simply want to prototype (a la Designing Your Life!) my life without the big players. LinkedIn is an exception since I use it professionally so often (#rationalization), and my LinkedIn account pushes to Twitter, so anything I post there will show up on Twitter, but I’m not going to Twitter, FB, or Insta to read anymore. For a while anyway.

While I’m playing with this social media fast, I’m committing to posting more often here on my blog (not hard – it’s woefully neglected!).

As my favorite self-care article of all time reminds me:

Self-care is often a very unbeautiful thing. It is making a spreadsheet of your debt and enforcing a morning routine and cooking yourself healthy meals and no longer just running from your problems and calling the distraction a solution. It is often doing the ugliest thing that you have to do…

And, yes, I did, in fact, just go to FB and find that quote. #Irony

I’d love for you to stay connected with me here on my blog. And the truth is, I don’t go and read other people’s blogs (*hangs head in despair*), so if you’re in the same boat (who has TIME for that?!), here’s Plan B: subscribe to my email list. I set up a separate list for people who want to receive a monthly email with links to the blogs I write here. Know that subscribing to that email list is a temporary thing. I’ve wiping that list if/when I return to the big social media players, so if you want to be on my real email list in addition to my temporary, stay-in-touch-with-me, temporary deal, click here.

Manifestos Galore!

I’m a big Brene Brown fan, and I’ve downloaded some of her manifestos from her website. (Grab your copies here!) Then, one of my mentors offered a course in writing manifestos. I patted myself on the back for resisting enrolling in yet another online class, but I caught the bug when several friends and colleagues jumped on the manifesto bandwagon, and I started writing. Last year. Yep, you read that correctly. I started writing last year, and now I’m done polishing my creations.

Here’s the world premiere of my Self-Help Junkies’ Liberation Manifesto.

I’ve also written My Brilliant Intentional Career Manifesto, which is on my Resources page along with a bunch of other free resources. Just add your name to my sadly neglected newsletter list, and you’ll get access.

Here’s what I learned about manifestos from my yearlong adventure with them (okay, I exaggerate, I let my writings go dormant for many, many months, so it didn’t take THAT long):

  • The Unibomber no longer owns the term “manifesto.” Terrorists don’t get to usurp words that still serve us all. I’m done with ceding power to people I don’t agree with politically.
  • My sense of intimidation in claiming what matters deeply to me about a topic comes more from my internal self-talk (which I can attend to and redirect) than from external forces (which are much harder to redirect!).
  • Everything’s a work in progress. My son’s high school art teacher used to quote Leonardo Da Vinci: Art is never finished, only abandoned. Sometimes, it’s just about moving on rather than polishing to perfection.

May you abandon your own creations for the sake of them getting out into the world for others to witness.