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Mary Beth Ferrante is a mom of 2 and advocates for creating inclusive workplaces for parents.
She is the Founder of WRK/360, a community and leadership development platform for working parents and leaders that care with the goal of providing tools and resources to build and transform company culture to support the spectrum of care for employees.
She is a regular contributor to Forbes and most recently her out of the office email response went viral.
How she implements the Fair Play system in her house
Her experience working in the corporate strategy space and returning to work after her first maternity leave which led her to start building her own company on the side
Going from the breadwinner in the relationship to the uncertainty of a steady paycheck
Advice for things you look for in a company and ask for in an interview if you’re switching jobs or looking to go back to the workforce?
The story behind her viral out of office post
Advice for employers and leaders on how they can make change within, set boundaries and model behavior
Advice for moms if you’re going back into the workforce after having a large gap because you took time off to be a mom – how to add motherhood skills to your resume
Find more resources at https://wrk360.com/resources/
IG: @wrk360official // @mb_ferrante
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[00:00:00] Stephanie: Hi, and welcome back to mommy’s on a call today. I’m excited to bring to you Mary Beth Ferrante. Mary Beth is a mom of two and advocates for creating inclusive workplaces for parents. She’s the founder of WRK/360, a community of leadership development platform for working parents and leaders that care with the goal of providing tools and resources to build and transform company culture, to support the spectrum of care for employees.
She’s a regular contributor to Forbes and most recently her out of office email response went completely viral. Welcome Mary Beth.
[00:01:28] Mary Beth: Thank you so much. I’m happy to be here.
[00:01:30] Stephanie: I wanted to start off by asking, what is your biggest mom win of the week?
[00:01:34] Mary Beth: Oh, of the week, honestly, that they went to school this morning and I know that’s like.
You know, but this it’s been that kind of a crazy week. And my six and a half year old was having quite the emotional morning, did not want to go to school. Did not want to get out of bed and surprise, surprise, finally ate something and her whole attitude changed and she went off to school. So that was my big win.
I have a lot on my plate today and I did not want to have to deal with having to navigate her
[00:02:02] Stephanie: at home. Oh, wow. Yeah. So I guess to give the audience some context, what are the ages. Kids. And what is your family dynamic and structure look like? What are the roles that you and your
[00:02:13] Mary Beth: partner play? Awesome. So, um, my girls are four and six and a half and we’re both working parents.
So part of a dual career, couple, we both work full time. My husband is in the entertainment industry and outside of COVID travels, like fairly regularly. And then with my consulting and training and coaching organization, I also find myself typically traveling. A few times a quarter. So it’s always a bit of a juggle or we’re kind of navigating extra support and help, especially when we’re out of town.
But we practice Fairplay, which is a book in a system that we use in our family to really focus on how we can kind of own. All things. So we are always both kind of highly engaged in all the things that have to get done around that house and have to get done with our kids.
[00:03:03] Stephanie: So I was actually curious, cause I had Eve on the podcast and I like put two and two together that you were doing the Fair Play method.
How did you get involved with Fair Play? How did you kind of decide you wanted to do that system? And now you are actually like teaching people Fair Play.
[00:03:20] Mary Beth: I’m trying to remember. I met Eve in 2019, kind of through a community of consultants and coaches that are really focused on the care economy. And so I met her and heard her kind of speak for the first time immediately about the book.
You know, I think for me, what really resonated so much about fair play is that it gave real language and tools to kind of this idea of career and family integration. And it’s something that I had been talking about with my clients. I had been talking about with my husband. We felt like we were doing it really well, but Fair Play just took it that much further and giving us those really distinct roles and kind of taking a lot of the resentment or frustration out of the pseudo system we had before and really creating more structure.
So I, you know, I think especially I have a background in kind of organizational strategy and corporate strategy. And for me, this was like, oh, Hello, this totally makes sense. Like, I can bring those same ideas into my home.
[00:04:25] Stephanie: I’m curious. How many cards did your husband hold in the very beginning?
[00:04:29] Mary Beth: So what’s really funny. I mean, it was probably like 20 out of a hundred.
[00:04:33] Stephanie: Oh, that’s pretty good. I think the average was something like nine.
[00:04:36] Mary Beth: Yeah, exactly. So he definitely helped me more than the average man, but there was a little too many cards that we both held and I think that is. You know, something where, you know, when I’ve really gotten into Fair Play, it’s not that you can’t trade off, back and forth that happens all the time, but when you’re both holding it at the same time, it doesn’t really make any sense. And then it just causes confusion and frustration.
You know, we both go to the grocery store and come home with the same items and be like, oh, I didn’t know you were going today. Right. It was just kind of that idea that we felt like we had this stack that we were like, oh, that’s why we’re always kind of annoyed at each other because we’re both doing all this stuff.
So I think that was the most eye-opening was really. Splitting that out and creating that ownership and also making sure that my husband had a lot of the daily cards.
So even though he held more cards, I think, than the average man, he held a lot of what I would say are more like project-based cards. You know, things like the taxes that come around annually as opposed to, you know, making lunches that happen daily. So that was a big shift for us too, was getting him to pick up some of those daily cards.
[00:05:46] Stephanie: What was the hardest card for you to give up?
[00:05:50] Mary Beth: I was still ready to get rid of all of them, but like literally I was like, fine. Take them all. I’m good. I think the hardest one that we do switch off on is just the morning routine and you know, I do think there’s a bias against moms that you are a reflection of how your children look in the morning.
And so I’m much more thoughtful about kind of what their outfits are and making sure that their hair looks kind of at least brushed a little bit. Right. And he is coming around to caring about those days. But I think initially it was just like, sure, whatever, they’re out, the door they’re closed, they’re clean, you know, and that gets into the idea of like, what’s that minimum standard of care and what do we agree upon?
So I think that was one of the harder ones for me to give up, but pretty much aside from that I’m ready to hand them all over. And I kind of have this mentality right now that he should be owning about 80 of the cards. And I should own 20 because I was doing it for six years first. So until he will do 80 for six years, we’re not even close to being to split these up.
So. We’re not actually doing that, but that’s how I, I’m kind of trying to, that’s funny.
[00:06:58] Stephanie: Sometimes I do that, like the tit for tat and I have to like step back and be like, okay, no, it’s okay. But so dual working parents, you have young kids, you have a four and a six-year-old before we step back and talk about kind of, you know, your pre mom life and career.
How do you manage the day-to-day right now? I mean, two young kids, two working parents, what is kind of your morning look like, you know, what time do you wake up? Like, how do you structure that in order for you guys to get to where you need to be?
[00:07:26] Mary Beth: Yeah, it’s really interesting. Cause I was working a lot in the early morning.
Um, I would often get up and work from six to seven and then kind of get the girls ready and kind of start our day. But. At the beginning of this year, kind of like midway through the fall. I really recognized that like my younger daughter was really struggling with that because she would wake up and I wasn’t around, I was kind of pulled up in my office and it became really emotional for her.
And so I actually changed things around and it’s been okay. And so now I only work really in the morning when I absolutely need to, and kind of give her that heads up, that that’s going to happen as opposed to it being a regular thing. So that I am there when she’s waking up, because she right now just needs that kind of time.
Yeah, exactly. So that’s been hard for me to actually give up, is that space to kind of bang out some emails and like, feel like I’ve gotten my day started. So now I really don’t sit down to, to work until about nine 15, which is. Challenging. Um, and I feel like I jumped right into it. And so that’s been really hard.
I think that the mornings are more getting into a system. My husband has the lunch card, which is amazing. So he makes the lunches. So he’s kind of responsible for making the lunches and packing the book bags. And then I’m responsible for like getting them up ready, dressed toothbrush food in their mouths, right?
Like that kind of thing and out the door. And then I do all the drop-offs in the morning. So it’s definitely chaotic. It’s never easy. It feels like a whirlwind every single day, but at least we have kind of our divide and conquer mentality and it’s working really well because we are both home right now, but I will say when we’re traveling, all bets are off, it’s just kind of pure chaos.
[00:09:13] Stephanie: Yeah. And you had young kids when you probably were traveling because I mean, that was a few years ago when we actually could travel.
Did you have work 360 at the time? What was your life kind of when the kids were little and then when did you start your current company and where you work? Full-time somewhere beforehand.
[00:09:30] Mary Beth: Yeah. So I actually was, um, in a corporate role during the birth of my first child and came back, that’s really what was really the impetus of me leaving the corporate space was coming back from my first maternity leave and really hitting that kind of maternal wall, so to speak and feeling very unsupported and frustrated, but we did have full time help.
Well, yeah, full-time help in our home. So we had our nanny and when I first went back to work, I worked east coast hours. So our nanny came at seven 15, so she would be there very early and can take the babies so that my husband could still get ready for work and get out the door. So we needed that kind of third set of hands, really in our space all the time.
The good thing was, or the nice thing was at least that I was editing my day a little bit earlier. So, you know, I was able to kind of be around for the evening. Bathtime bedtime stuff, but I really didn’t miss out on a lot of the mornings. So that was really tough.
[00:10:26] Stephanie: I made you then I guess, change and leave the corporate
[00:10:28] Mary Beth: world.
So I laughed really after a few things, I always always want the caveat that I loved my job. I would have stuck it with it. Right. Like I. Just did not really care about corporate strategy anymore. Shockingly, after the birth of my child. So, you know, things were going well, I actually got promoted to SVP while I was on leave.
So, you know, it wasn’t about not having a trajectory or options, but I think what I found is I came back into a team of all men. My team was all about. Here’s my, uh, leaders and really no recognition that my whole life had changed. So, you know, I had a full slate of projects. State one was working in that first weekend and working weekends very quickly, no space or recognition that like I needed to be able to have time for my family.
And my senior executive that kind of ran our group. He had his second child did not tell anyone and honestly took, uh, like worked from home for a week. And that was it. And I was like, Okay. So clearly, like that’s how you expect people to show up is to not even recognize that they have a family. And that was really the push for me to say this isn’t going to be a team or organization that I want to be a part of anymore.
And so, you know, I decided to, to kind of start to build my own thing. Yeah. Was actually doing both for a while. So that was crazy. Cause I also had like a four month old and a six month, like Florida seven months where I was doing both things. And then, um, launched my first company live, work lead, which was really working one-on-one with individuals and women and kind of career coaching and, and.
And then that has quickly changed over the years to recognize that we need more structural support. We need to be supporting managers and leaders and giving them tools as well as giving individuals the tools and the resources that they need. And so we launched WRK/360 in August of 2019.
[00:12:32] Stephanie: How did you also like take that leap of okay, I have the steady paycheck. I have that steady job of then leaving in order to do your own thing. I know there’s a lot of moms out there who, you know, may have exited the workforce because of the pandemic and, or are still in that job. And now being, you know, told to go back to the office. Maybe it’s not a good alignment or fit, but are scared to leave and don’t know how to set themselves up, but they might want to do their own thing.
You know, their priorities have shifted. How did you go about doing that? How did you set yourself up?
[00:13:04] Mary Beth: Yeah. Like, I think it’s a really personal decision and it’s really challenging. I don’t want to say that it’s easy by any means. I was in a really privileged position where my husband had a full-time job had benefits.
Right. We could rely on his benefits. So just from like even having health care and insurance and those types of things. I was in a good space to be able to take the leap. You know, he had also, I had been the breadwinner in our relationship for the majority of the time. Um, pretty much for all of the time until really my second baby came along.
And so it was also a really important conversation of, okay, we’re going to make a switch here and we don’t know how much money I’m going to make. You know, I had been building it on the side. Before I actually made the leap, but I was not nearly making, you know, what I was in the corporate world. And to be honest, especially through the pandemic, really just in the last year and a half, have I kind of been at or surpassing that same level.
And so it was really challenging and there are many times in the first three years where I was like, I’m going to go back, I’m going to get a job, you know, and then something would change and then I’d be like, oh, I have a little more runway. Or I have a little more like emphasis and excitement around kind of what I was doing.
So I think there’s a lot of ups and downs and it’s not just an easy, like, oh, I’m off to the races. That that can happen. But I think it’s really important to realize that you have to be invested in your business and invested with your, the support of your family too, in a way that makes sense. And we’ve always kind of looked at it as the idea of only having one of us in a risk position and the other one kind of in more of a stable position and having the privilege of being in a partnership allows us to do that.
[00:14:51] Stephanie: I like that. And then there are a lot of people who then, you know, start their own thing, do the one-on-one coaching kind of bit. But you switched and then built almost like not an agency, but like you built this, this company out of that, that isn’t just, one-on-one, that’s working with corporations. How did that transition occur?
Like how old were your kids, you know, were you doing this with childcare at home? Like, I mean, that’s a big jump again, to scale something. What did that look like?
[00:15:17] Mary Beth: Yeah. Well, I think that’s a really important piece too, because when I left the corporate. We did scale back our childcare. Right? And so I did take on more in the home, which made it hard to also build a business.
Um, we retained some childcare, which was critical to me being able to take that time and invest in myself and in that business, but it was definitely last. And so I think we’ve kind of ebbed and flowed when their childcare situation. Um, so the girls were really little still. Two and four, I guess in 2019, when we launched WRK/360 and I think coming from a corporate background and having kind of spent time in training and development and leadership development programs while I was in my corporate term or life. I very quickly realized that I didn’t want to just focus on supporting individual women and individual moms because, well, I think we need to, and we continue to do that. And we have programs that are designed specifically for working moms. I wanted the employer to have a stake in it. And so even the programs that we run today are employer sponsored.
So when you get them, when we’re working with individuals, we’re getting their employer to pay for it. Because I think it’s important that they realize that there is a need to support our, to support men and women, but especially women kind of through these key transitions in their life.
[00:16:43] Stephanie: That’s really critical.
And I think I like that point because. It almost gets at the root of the cause. Like you can coach as many moms as you can, but it’s not going to change. It’s just going to change like how they deal with their current circumstances. But you got to get to the root, which is at the employer to make that cultural shift I wanted to ask is like looking at this and going forward, there are a lot of women.
I, you know, moms who’ve left the workforce. I mean, the stats, I forgot like how many millions. Didn’t 2020 and then 2021. I don’t even yesterday I accidentally told someone that it was 2021 and I’m like, oh my gosh, I guess the year just didn’t happen. It’s 20, 22. Like, what is going on? Is it already March?
So a lot of women left, stepped back, you know, had to assume the position of childcare and everything, and like running the household. But now the world is opening up. Everyone’s kind of going back to things, but they’re seeing it in a different light and they’re seeing it as, you know, a new opportunity and on the employer end, you know, things have gotten really competitive because so many people have left, but like, you need to have so many great benefits for people to want to go.
So as say a mom, looking to either switch careers or go back to the same career, what should they be advocating for? What is like. The standards and what are kind of like tips you can give them to make sure that they can get what they want, because I think two years ago that wasn’t the case three years ago, forget it, you know, this was like a novel new concept, but now, like, I feel like moms have the power or, you know, just employees have the powers.
So what do you see as things that they can kind of like ask for? Advocate for and what should they be looking for also?
[00:18:23] Mary Beth: Absolutely. I think we do, we have the power, um, we’re in a really tight talent market. And so I think you can be choosy, which is exciting and you really are in a place where you can advocate for yourself.
So the first thing is to just really take that step back to reflect on what is it that you really want, right. Do you want to be. Fully remote. Do you want to be in a hybrid environment? Are you good going back into an office? Right. What does that look like? Just from like the operational side of things then to also think about like, what are you looking for in terms of your career?
Right. So, you know, what is the day-to-day work that you’re doing? What’s the type of job that your whole day and kind of finding out what that role is, and then looking at. It’s a culture that I want to be a part of. And that’s always the hardest thing to decipher by a website or a job description or anything like that, or zoom interview, not interview, but I think that’s where it’s, it is changing in terms of the types of questions that you ask.
So one is being, you know, if you’re working with a recruiter, especially internal. Is to ask for information upfront, you know, ask about their benefits, right? From the get go ask for kind of what is their, their mission and vision for the organization. Don’t wait until round three or having an offer, which is what we used to recommend, because you’ve never wanted to put yourself out there as being demanding, but guess what we get to be demanding now.
And so asking for salary information, or at least that range up front, and those benefits of breastfeeding are really important. The other thing that I would suggest is asking about their response to the pandemic.
How did they support their employees? How did they particularly support caregivers and how are they continuing to manage disruptions?
We are not going to have that end. Right. Whether it’s COVID or otherwise there’s always going to be disruptions, especially as parents, we feel that all the time, days off school closures, sick kids, whatever. So how do they navigate and help support employees with those daily disruption?
[00:20:33] Stephanie: Oh, I like that question a lot, which leads me to your viral posts.
Also, what inspired you to create that out of office and like give a little bit of context about what it was all about and then how that sparked basically of movement of moms. I mean, I think the movement right before that was, you know, put motherhood on your resume because. Which is another question I had about, but like, I also want to talk about your out of office.
Cause I feel like, you know, anytime you have to do something for your kids, it’s almost like a secret, like I remember at my job, I’d have to just like take time off and like, not say much, like God forbid you were to take your kid to the doctor in the middle of the day or you needed to stay home because, you know, XYZ or even like after maternity leave, you were just having a meltdown because you just couldn’t handle looking back. Like you just kind of put on a, put on a blank face and you suck it up.
[00:21:21] Mary Beth: And I think, you know, what’s really interesting about that is I was sitting in a leadership conference. Like just after I had my first or right around there, I might’ve been pregnant.
And one of the very senior leaders, very senior female leaders in our organization actually said out loud in that conference, like, I’m sorry, I’m sorry that I haven’t talked about being a mom throughout my career. And I have hidden it at every step of the way as I’ve grown in my career because I felt it was necessary.
And I believe that. Secrecy has really caused us to be stagnant. And, you know, yes, there are things that are definitely better than 20 years ago. But if you really look at the scheme of things, it’s not much different, right? 20% of us employees have access to leave, which means 80% don’t. And we haven’t had that, that progress that I think many of us expected to have had in the last few decades.
And I do believe that’s a lot because we have been so secret and not felt comfortable modeling behavior and modeling the fact that we’re parents and caregivers to the employees that are underneath us. So I think that’s a huge aspect of it.
So with this viral post, it really came out of necessity. Right.
It was January of 2022, which I think we all thought was going to be like, okay, We’re ready to go. 20 22, like end, end of November, early December, like cases were down. We were feeling good going into the holidays and then everything blew up with Omicron and we delayed start to school. And you know, my younger one had two days of like zoom in school and all this stuff.
They finally get her back to school and she gets sent home day one with the ready. And I was like, come on, like, how are we supposed to do this right now? And I just was hearing these stories from my friends, from my clients, from everyone that they were just feeling so overwhelmed and so frustrated, like they couldn’t get 20, 22 off the ground.
And in that moment of like having to go pick her up, I just was like, you know what? I’m not going to be answering emails today. I don’t even know if I’m going to be answering about. For the rest of the week. And so I just wrote this post that was kind of this out of office that basically was really open and honest and just said exactly that like I’m navigating this juggle, I’m navigating daily disruptions and people, you know, my kids being out of school.
I don’t know how long it’s gonna last. And so please be patient with me was the request, please be patient with my response. And then I think because of the work that I do, I added to my out of office to just please be patient with yourself and with your teammates as well.
Cause I know for me. I was feeling overwhelmed. I was feeling anxious. I was feeling like I wasn’t doing enough. And I’m a business owner. I don’t have someone, you know, over my head saying like, why aren’t you getting this done? It’s I mean, sometimes my clients, but the most me and my head being like, why am I not getting this done? And so I wanted to just express that empathy and extend it to others around me.
And I think that’s what. So powerful. And, you know, I had the wherewithal, I think, in the moment to be like, oh, I might also put this on LinkedIn because I feel like other people should know. And then that’s where it just like went crazy and people. Okay.
[00:24:42] Stephanie: And I know you got a lot of positive response. I’m curious.
Did anyone give you negative response? And if so, why?
[00:24:48] Mary Beth: Yeah, so I did get mostly positive responses even ended up in like a sermon on the other side of the country, which I was like, wow, that was sent to me. So that was, that was like, The most exciting part of it.
The negative was mostly people saying you are lucky to be able to post this. And I don’t feel safe. I don’t have the privilege. I don’t have the capacity to post something like this. And I think that. You know, it wasn’t negative or pushing back on me so much as it just made me sad. And it made me realize that we just have so much more work to do and that space is there. Right.
They feel like they could lose their job or they’re going to get retaliated against, or at least their boss is just not going to understand or respect them. And so, um, that was the part that. It was really hard, I guess.
[00:25:41] Stephanie: Do you have any advice for them say that person who did write that? And I mean, there are a lot of people encountering that even like, I mean, even, yeah.
It’s like, for example, the other day, my husband said, whatever you do, chase cannot come into the room between four and five. Like, I have a very important zoom call. I’m sorry. Dude, they might be screaming. Like, I don’t know. He’s like, you need to do everything to make sure there’s like, no sound. I’m like, come on.
Like, we’ve been in this for so long now. Like the person should understand, but the person on the other end of the screen was not exactly of the same, you know, didn’t have young kids, they might’ve been older. Like, it was just a different demographic. And I was like, okay, like, you know, don’t worry, we won’t be home, but still it’s like, okay.
So he’s feeling that like, imagine a mom, like any advice for them on how to approach that.
[00:26:26] Mary Beth: Yeah, I think, you know, it really depends on the unique situation and in some cases they do think you need to make a change, right? Like, and especially now where there is a little bit more agency and more demand. If you’re in an environment or a culture that is unwilling to listen to you as I’m willing to change or to help support you, you know, maybe this time to make a pivot to another organization.
But I also know that that’s a privileged position and time consuming and we all have kids, which is a whole other job on itself. Right? So if you can’t do that, I think the piece is to have really open and honest dialogues with the people that you’d feel comfortable with. So if it’s not your direct manager, is there someone in your organization that you feel you can go to that can be a mentor or a sponsor?
Is there someone that you can at least collaborate with and say, how can we make this? Not just about me, but. It being bigger than me and at sometimes that’s easier. Right. Instead of asking for time off for you specifically, it’s more, how can we think make things more flexible for everyone? And how can we kind of demonstrate these stories as a way to tell, um, leadership, why we need to take a different look at this it’s really difficult to do.
Um, and I, and I recognize that, you know, so I think it’s like power in numbers and. Those other people around you who are kind of willing to advocate alongside you.
[00:27:52] Stephanie: I think that’s also good advice for people going back to work, because number godless, I know you gave advice for people who are looking for say a new job or like a new career.
It’s easier to advocate like, oh, I want this, this and this, but when you’re going back to your same role, the expectations are there. So I think that open communication is great.
Now on the flip side though, companies, so it’s really hard. Like now we have all of these people demanding things. Say you’re a business owner, it costs money.
A lot of these things are expensive. And so how do you go about that from the business owner point of view or the corporation say you are a boss, even though, you know, you may not be the owner of the company, you are someone else’s and they’re asking you, how do you then become an effective leader in something like this when it’s costing so much money, you may have heard he lost a lot of money because of the pandemic.
Like there’s all of these things, there’s turnover. And so you’re stressed. How can leaders. The step forward in this space.
[00:28:48] Mary Beth: I think that’s such a great point. And I think the hardest thing for leaders I have found is for them to take the long view and to really recognize the investment that they’re making in their people and to not be so shortsighted.
And so I think that’s the first step is to really look at how do I want to see this in six months in a year from now? Do I want this person to still be here? The answer is yes. Right. Then you really do need to work with them. And just as much as we’re telling everyone, listening to advocate for themselves, managers also need to set clear expectations too.
And so kind of really having that direct communication. Um, what are the key priorities? What actually needs to happen? What are the deadlines like? How many times do you get an email from a manager asking you to do something with no concept or no context around the time frame. Right.
And so we get into this cycle of feeling like everything has to be done immediately, but even just being able to say, Hey, this is, you know, whatever the assignment is or the debt, but this is actually the deadline. This is what I need to see it, or review it as opposed to always being in a 24-hour set or response mode all the time.
I think the other thing is when you do set boundaries within your team and have those conversations, And then you actually need to live them and model them yourself. Right. And that is also difficult, but there are some really great features like away messages and send delays on your email where you can start to model that behavior so that your employees feel supported as well.
So I think that’s a really big piece of this is recognizing that a lot of times the leaders of these teams are feeling really squeezed because they’re getting the pressure from the top. There also. You know, generally kind of mid-career, mid-life also may have other responsibilities, whether it’s kids or elderly parents or both.
Um, and so there is that pressure from both sides. So I think being empathetic and open with your employees and your team, and also your leaders is really the only way to solve this is through clear communication.
[00:30:52] Stephanie: And I love that you said boundaries because I think that’s so important. I mean, in your family life yet alone work life, and you made a good point about that.
Like sending emails later, I had an event planning company and I worked with a lot of brides and it was a luxury wedding planning company. And so if I sent an email at 11, they would like expect an email back. And so I started doing the send delays because to set boundaries of like, I’m not on 24 7. And I think now, like employees feel like they’re.
The phone because they always need to respond like during dinner like that, I need to respond to this email. And like, do you really, like, what’s 30 more minutes? Like, is it, is something gonna like, is someone going to die? Is the world going to burn down? Like, what is so important? So I love the setting, the boundaries, and
[00:31:34] Mary Beth: it’s recognizing that there are emergency sometimes.
So let’s be set up with the tools. Or that, and the communication, the language for that. So that when I see something that actually is marked urgent, or I get a text message instead of an email, like I know that that’s actually more critical. And so I’m going to take a look at it instead of feeling like everything, is there.
[00:31:55] Stephanie: So from the career perspective, I wanted to ask also, but going back to, I know you have like mother on your LinkedIn and we put motherhood on the resume. There’s a lot of, you know, moms, we left the workforce, so maybe December 20, 20, or before, and are coming back, but have that gap year. And I know everyone kind of has excuses like, oh, there was a pandemic, but there’s some people who might’ve had a bigger gap here.
Like I had my first kid in 2015 and I ended up leaving the corporate world in 2016. The thought. Sending a resume right now in 20 22, 6 years later, even though like I did my own thing and built it, I’m like, oh my goodness, like that’s a six year gap. Like, what do I do? Like, right. Like how as a mom, like how can we go back into the workforce now with strength and like any suggestions on how to kind of beef up what we’ve been doing?
Because honestly, I think. A better manager than someone who’s put out. Kids who have been there the whole time for six years.
[00:32:48] Mary Beth: Um, and that’s, and that’s, I think number one is to recognize that you probably would be a better manager, right? There’s there’s skills that you learn in caregiving and parenting, empathy, adaptability, resilience, being able to problem-solve all the frigging time, right?
Like all of this. They just become organic. So when you’re thinking about kind of putting yourself back out there, I actually recommend that one is you write all of the skills that you feel like you actually do have put it out on paper in front of you, um, and then tie them to certain stories. So where have you used them in the last few years?
Especially if you’re doing something like building a business on the side, that should absolutely be on your resume. And then to also ask other. How do your friends, your family, how did they perceive your strengths and what you do well, um, whether that’s volunteering, whether that’s simply keeping your kids alive, it all matters.
Like if you even think about something like sleep, train, Right. So you did research, you made a plan, you executed that plan. You project managed your husband to make sure that he didn’t fill in when the baby was crying or whatever was happening. Use these skills that you use in an office or in a work environment, you know, day in and day out in your home. And so I think the first is to recognize that and to be able to translate that for yourself.
And then, you know, then it’s translating that to a piece of paper and. It depends on kind of the situation and like what type of company you’re going into. Do you need to be more formal? Can you be a little bit looser, um, on kind of how you should demonstrate that on a resume, but then definitely to use connections.
I, I hate to say it, but even for those of us that have, you know, no gaps have perfect resumes, like applying online. Oh, it’s the worst hell about who, you know, it’s all about who, you know, you know, so it’s like starting to make those connections again, reaching back out to people, going to old coworkers, letting them know that you’re looking to get back into the workforce and what exactly it is that you’re looking for.
When you go to someone and say help, I want to go back in the workforce. Okay, how am I supposed to help you? But if you go back in and say, Hey, I’m looking for a role in sales leadership in the apparel space, and I’m looking for mid-size companies, right? Like that’s so much more specific and gives people actual guidance on what you’re looking for.
And you can ask for them to either give you advice, maybe make an introduction. Or if it just so happens, they have an opening actually consider you for that role. But any of those things are great things to walk away with from any conversation you’re having.
[00:35:27] Stephanie: Wow. You have so many great resources and like tools and stuff.
Is there anywhere where we can find like more resources on. And what kind of resources do you have available?
[00:35:36] Mary Beth: Yeah, so, um, we are of course like mid migration, which is typical, but on our work 360, which is Wurk three, six, zero.com. Uh, we have a resources page and we also have under working parents are on demand, demand, micro courses, which are short, two to five minute videos or downloads or articles to read nothing long on all of these types of topics. So you can just find kind of what it is that you need information on and grab the information that you need.
[00:36:07] Stephanie: Okay, perfect. I will link that in the show notes. Well, to wrap things up and thank you so much, all of this is like I was curious about so many different things, so thank you for answering all answering all of those.
I have. Once you became a mom, what do you think is your superpower that you gained once you became a mom that makes you better in either business or life?
[00:36:26] Mary Beth: Yeah, I think adaptability, I very much was a planner at least professionally, right? Like I was always a little looser on the personal side, but professionally I was very type a and very had my goals set and was really just do 1, 2, 3 all the way down.
And I think being adaptable has. Billing game-changer for me as a business leader, as a mom, even with my clients, you know, recognizing that we all are juggling so many different priorities and goals, and we have to be adaptable to changing environments. And I know we’ve all lived through the pandemic and, and, and been forced to be adaptable.
But I think that can really be that superpower, that skill that you can bring along anywhere because in this world and this. Future phase of work, it’s just going to continue to change. And so having that ability to shift
[00:37:20] Stephanie: is important. Yeah. Well, speaking of the future and your crystal ball, what do you see as the biggest thing that’s going to be happening?
Like change in the workforce in the next, like, I don’t know, five to 10 years, what should we be on the lookout for? Uh,
[00:37:33] Mary Beth: probably.
[00:37:35] Stephanie: I don’t want a robot doing my
[00:37:36] Mary Beth: job. It’s just, it’s, it’s even just the spaces, right? The whole meta verse and all of these things that I just don’t want to learn. Um, because I’m tired and I, you know, as a mom, I think we all like have our capacity level.
I feel like my cup is pretty full, but I do think that the good thing is it’s really changed the way we interact. And I do think that we will see new ways to interact with each other, with brands. With other organizations and it will give some freedom and flexibility, but it’s going to be even more important to have your personal boundaries, to communicate them and to be actually hold them.
And I think that’s going to be the piece that’s going to continue to get pushed and pushed and pushed
[00:38:20] Stephanie: and well, thank you. So much for joining today. I know you give your website, but give it again. Where can we find you online?
[00:38:26] Mary Beth: Yeah, work 360 w RK three six zero.com. And on Instagram at work 360 official or B underscore Ferrante.
Um, you can find me there as well. And of course on LinkedIn too. Well, thank
[00:38:41] Stephanie: you so much for joining today. I appreciate it. Thank you.
[00:38:45] Mary Beth: Thank
[00:38:45] Stephanie: you so much for listening to this episode of mommy’s on a call. Your support means the absolute world. To me. You can find the show notes for this episode and other goodies over at mommy’s on a call.com.
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