Name that Woman Trailblazer: A pioneer in women’s fashion, she can be credited with changing the way women dressed, functioned and lived in modern society. Creator of the mini-skirt and short shorts or hotpants, she gave a further choice to female style and paved the way for fashion to become a sexier form of self expression and empowerment.
WOMAN OF THE WEEK
Meet Sabrina Feldman 👋
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Q: How did you get into your current role/industry?
A: Once I had my son, I knew I wanted to move away from the private sector and move into the public school system for a few reasons.
At my previous job, I really felt zero support both during my pregnancy, my very short maternity leave, and transitioning back into work. It was really hard for me as a first-time mom coming back to a 40-hour work week, while still getting up multiple times a night, doing everything and anything for a tiny human, and just overall adjusting to my new normal.
That time was made even more difficult by having a boss who didn’t understand the realities of having an infant. When I had to suddenly take days off when my son was sick, or adjust my schedule when the daycare was closed, I felt like I was being judged. I knew eventually that I would want a schedule that lined up with my son’s so that I could actually spend time with him while he was growing up, instead of paying for someone else to do it. In addition, I wanted to feel like the time that I spent at work and away from him, was worth it.
Working in a high school and helping/connecting with students makes me feel much better than spending the day making someone else rich. I now have off all the same days as my children which is so helpful.
I absolutely love the decision I made (even though it came with a huge pay cut) because my boss and coworkers are so supportive. I work with people who understand the realities of life and ask how I am instead of getting upset when I miss a day of work. I’ve been here for over 6 years and I love coming to work.
Q: What’s something you do to help boost your productivity?
A: Keep 100 tabs open and drink all the coffee!
No really I think when you work for a great boss, it makes you want to work hard.
But on the day to day — getting up and getting outside for a few minutes or just taking a walk and getting away from the desk really gives you me the energy boost to keep going for the rest of the day.
Q: How do you find work-life balance?
A: I recently switched to a part time role and moved my hours so that I have 1 day off a week.
I know that’s not an option for everyone. Financially, we really weren’t taking a huge hit with the reduced hours because we were saving on childcare.
At my other jobs, making sure that you take the time to keep up with your hobbies. It’s easy to want to get home and just doom scroll and binge watch. But I think you really need to make sure to try to find something that you love and actually do it. Otherwise you’re just living to work.
Q: What’s the best piece of professional advice you’ve received so far?
A: “Sh** should run uphill.” One of my bosses said this to me in on of our 1st 1:1’s.
He preached accountability. If I made a mistake, he believed it’s because he wasn’t doing a good enough job as a boss. I really learned to own my mistakes and learn from them instead of stressing out and worrying about being fired.
It also helped me be a better leader when I am put in those types of situations — to let people know that honestly and owning your errors are the best path forward vs making excuses.
I think it’s been really refreshing to say “yes, my bad, and this is how I am going to fix it”.
Q: What’s your favorite software or app that helps with your workflow?
A: We don’t use a ton of cool apps in public schools but when COVID hit, being able to move everything online and utilize the G Suite has really helped alleviate a lot of my workload.
I was such an Excel nerd, so getting everyone on the Google Sheet bandwagon with some fancy formulas and conditional formatting has been a real high of my career here.
I also developed a lot of great forms that go out to parents and students and I think everyone has embraced the change to online vs. paper.
Q: What’s a book or podcast you’d recommend to a colleague?
A: I really enjoyed Dear Girls by Ali Wong.
The book is beyond hilarious, but she also gives a lot of great advice as a working mom and a woman in general. I actually got the audio book version because she reads it herself so it’s really fun hearing her tell her own story. It adds a lot to what’s being said. I would recommend that about any memoirs that are read by the people they’re about.
I’ve done that with a few books but Born a Crime by Trevor Noah and The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae are two that also really stand out.
Q: What do you like to do in your free time outside of work?
A: Keep my kids entertained!
I find it so much easier to get through the day by being out. My husband and I will scour websites, like Community Kangaroo, for all the weekend happenings and find something to takes the kids to. I love a good carnival.
Otherwise when I’m not being a mom, I like to read and learn new crafts. I try to sign up for a class every season to make sure I’m learning something new and keeping my brain active.
I’ve taken a glass fusing, basketmaking and embroidery class recently.
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BLESSINGS IN LESSONS
You are never going to find anyone that works as hard as you
In such a front-facing position as mine, you deal with all sorts of characters and have to keep it professional no matter what.
I remember at one point in my first job out of college, I was having a hard time with a coworker who was slacking off but reaping all the praise and benefits for the work being done.
The VP of HR sat me down and said, “You are never going to find anyone that works as hard as you — so you can’t hold it against them.”
Once we had that conversation, I realized that I need to let more stuff go, meet people where they are, and learn how to work with different types of personalities.
In any career you are going to have to work with all sorts of people — not all of them great — but at the end of the day, you still have to get the work done.
Figuring out how to embrace different personalities without them wearing you down and get the most out of them is really the key to being more productive as a team.
Looking back I think it really helped me both personally and in my career.
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