Sunday, July 30, 2006

InStep Consulting Founder to Teach BizAcademy for NYC Youth

Beginning Monday July 31, I'll be teaching BizAcademy to high school students from Opening Doors and Building Bridges Youth Development & After School Program. Sponsored by, BizAcademy offers offers students from underserved urban school districts an opportunity they might not otherwise receive – the chance to run their own business.

In this ten-day entrepreneurial workshop, high school students will gain hands-on experience while learning business basics. Teams will be responsible for managing all phases of their businesses including prototyping ideas, pitching to investors, manufacturing, marketing and selling office-related products. Participants will use’s on-demand CRM solution to track revenues and expenses and to manage contacts.

I'm excited to help these youth gain fundamental business skills and discover their competent advantageTM!

Stay tuned for more posts about their accomplishments -- including a “Sales Bazaar” at the West Side YMCA on Thursday, August 10th.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Ladies, Do You Know What You're Worth?

According to Linda Babcock, Carnegie Mellon University economics professor, many women sacrific more than $500,000 over their professional lives by not negotiating their salaries. She surveyed 2002 and 2003 MBA graduates and found that 52% of the men had negotiated their salaries, while only 12% of the women had done the same.

Babcock, author of Women Don't Ask, found those who negotiated received 7% to 8% more than they were initially offered. So, what holds us back?

We've discussed this topic previously in this community. In fact, Nina pointed us to another Babcock 2003 Harvard Business School study that described three key factors:
  1. Socialization: being taught that it's not appropriate to ask for what we want
  2. Penalization: being reprimanded or denied opportunities because we are seen as being "pushy" when negotiating
  3. Frustration: leaving the situation instead of using our skills as leverage points for growth

In the spirit of career portabilityTM, I'd suggest that we must resist the socialization trends and make the ask. Try to minimize penalization by being conscious of your communication style and attempting to adapt your communication techniques based on your target audience.

And, most of all, don't let frustration cause you to leave something on the table! Be prepared -- know what you have accomplished in your current (and previous) roles. Know the average salary ranges for your industry and position.

Ladies (and gents), I'd love to hear from you. Do you have success stories to share? Lessons that you've learned? Advice that you'd like to pass along?

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Meet Komal Gulzar -- Intern with InStep Consulting

As I mentioned in my last post, InStep Consulting has an intern from Brooklyn College. I asked Komal to share some initial thoughts on her internship experience. Read on ... I think we ALL can gain some career tips from Komal!

CE: Why did you decide to do an internship this summer?
KG: I wanted to explore a new field in business management and learn about what this industry has to offer me once I graduate with a bachelor’s degree. I had the opportunity to get insight into the accounting and finance fields last year. So, I chose Business Consulting this summer. I was curious about what role a consultant plays and how he/she helps businesses. So far, I have learned that a consultant helps the employer and the employees bond to improve communication and effectiveness on both sides.

CE: What do you hope to gain from your internship?
KG: In the end, it’s all about the experience. Experience helps us make better choices and decide which career to pick. Why would we choose one career and not the other? It all depends on the quality of experience we have.
In my opinion, there are two types of internship experiences: one where we just "kill time" to fulfill the program requirements. We play a passive role and just expect the internship to be a good experience.
The second type makes all the difference. This is when we really put a lot of effort into it. We’re curious and ask a lot of questions. We want to know every little detail about every thing at the host site. We not only ask how something is done, but also why not do it some other way. Even if we’re not really interested in this field, we take it as a challenge and try to meet our goals.

CE: What advice would you give your fellow JFEW interns? (Jewish Foundation for the Education of Women)
KG: In short, we should treat our internships as if they were our first jobs. We should clarify that what we do in an internship is not for the supervisor or somebody else, but for ourselves.
Yes, we do help the company in the process; but the goal is to learn. And, if we don’t put our hearts into it, we’re not helping anybody, but wasting everybody’s time. Think of it as if it were for your own business or company. Wear what you do.

CE: Tell us what YOU think!
KG: Your answers to these questions might be different – maybe you want to explore a new field or to discover something new about an industry you’re already interested in. Don't take my word for it; experience it for yourself and then share your thoughts with the rest of us. We would love to hear from you!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

InStep Consulting has a Summer Intern!

I'm excited to report that my company, InStep Consulting, is benefiting from a young woman who is taking advantage of the summer to develop her skills and advance her career.

Komal Gulzar, a senior at Brooklyn College, is helping out with market research and business development activities. She comes to InStep via the College's Magner Center for Career Development and Internships. It's been great working with her and sharing some insight into the world of consulting.

I've invited her to share her perspective on the internship and her career goals with this community. So, keep an eye out for her postings over the next few weeks!