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America's Economic Confusion
Welcome back is Barada a podcast takes just ten minutes to get you smarter on the collision of tech business and politics. I'm Deborah MAC on today's show a big mystery and crypto land in a former Trump campaign advisor takes on axios. The first America's economic confusion. President Trump tonight will give his belated state of the union address during which he is almost certain to America's economic success under his watch jobs numbers and GDP and manufacturing data and holiday retail sales. It's cetera, etc. But he'll be patting himself on the back in front of a congress whose constituents both Republican and democrat are increasingly worried that the boom times of peaked small business owner confidence for example has fallen for four straight months. Consumer confidence is also down and Wall Street analysts keep lowering earnings expectations, particularly they realized that last year's sugar high from the tax cuts has largely worn off in short the statistics. And the sentiments aren't matching up and there's growing concern among the communists that America might essentially talk itself into a recession particularly through things like decree. Business and consumer spending again, not because of actual economic pain. But because it just kind of feels like there should be some it has been so long since we've had bad times. Now Trump obviously won't mention that divergence tonight, but he might have no choice come next year state of the union in fifteen seconds. We'll go deeper with axios markets editor Dion Rohan, but first this axiom chief technology correspondent Dana free shares. Breaking news and analysis on the most consequential companies in players in tech from the valley to DC subscribe to get smarter faster at sign up dot axios dot com and now back to the program a podcast. We're joined now by axios markets editor Dion Ribaut in. Is there? A concern that America or Americans, I guess are essentially talking themselves into a recession talking themselves into recession. I just had that's one way you could phrase it. The worry is just that these sentiment indicators have started to trend in a noticeably downward pattern. You know, you use the phrase threes a pattern, and we're getting strains of three and four in terms of confidence. I with a small business owner confidence consumer confidence Antilles fed surveys, showing Bank standards and lenders and all that. And you're seeing a consistent move lower and the reading we've got an consumer confidence. Then January was really really bad, particularly where to come down. I think it was the lowest in about ten years. The biggest drop in ten years month to month. I was at a conference last week and women in Jackie recess susa- senior executive square, the fintech company. She was talking about how from her perspective. A lot of these confidence numbers and lack of confidence. Numbers are almost like a function of time. Right. Like people have seen a bull market both in terms of stocks and labor center for so long. They just kind of feel things must be turning even though historically time has never actually been an indicator of what's going to happen with the economy not realistic thing. And it's actually something that some of the economists we spoke to have said to us, but the real danger here is that as people start to feel like things are bad. They start to not do things like make purchases they start to save more residents spend or put off investment the economy is driven by decisions that individual people make and so as individual people feel like things that whether they actually are not and as we've seen through the hard data in terms of just, you know, whether it'd be the government's jobs data, or you know, other surveys on hard numbers things are good. So regardless of that people do make decisions and the decisions that they make start the impact the readings and the economy. Let's talk about those readings because in the last forty eight hours we've been talking about how all the data has. Been strong. But correct last couple of days we've gotten some data. That's not quite as strong. Yeah. And it's not the most headline grabbing data, right? You see non ASM manufacturing today came in you know, a bit below expectations yesterday. We got some data that had been put off by the shutdown and that was not the best. It's been you actually saw pretty strong pullback in factory orders. And then you saw durable goods which had been actually negative the two months before come in. It was positive, but it missed the expectation by about half or about half as high as it was supposed to be you mentioned the government shutdown that obviously has delayed a bunch of stuff, including the Q foreign year end GDP numbers. What are we waiting for because of the shutdown from a numbers perspective that we should have already? The most important one is particularly when you mentioned which is Q for GDP fourth quarter last year. We're not really sure we'll get that. But the other big one is retail sales and retail sales the one that most. Economist and people really look at as being kind of the real barometer of the economy. What are people spending is the consumer healthy? And that's one that we haven't gotten yet that I think a lot of people have their eyes on and especially because it was delayed, and you did have the government shutdown, and you did have all these people out of work. You also did have a real change in sentiment around that same time. So how did that impact the amount of money that people were spending because as we know the consumer is more than two-thirds of the US economy, and and that's what really drives this ship. So that's the big one. I think to kind of political questions for you. The first is the fed and Jay Powell for those no, the expectation was the fed was just gonna kinda consistently keep raising interest rates, and then Trump got very upset about that publicly got very upset kind of unconventionally upset, and then Powell seems to have shrunk back and the argument on Powell has been well there are all these concerns about the economy slowing, but we did just get kind of his blockbuster jobs report. Give me a preview what happens with the fed. Rates. And what does that mean, it will pal and Trump just had dinner last night on Jay palce birthday, which was very nice. It seems like Trump is really doing giving them the all the Trump glad hand and saying, hey, you did. But I like let me take the industry. Good time for your birthday. I don't know if that's actually happening hopefully, a better meal than what he served the Clemson football players. The thing that really a lot of people in the market were saying was that Powell actually got with reality? I wasn't just Trump who was saying that how was going to fast that he had gone crazy or that the fed was going to cause recession. It was a lot of people in the markets a lot of chief investment visors, or you know, stock traders a lot of people really wanted to fed to pull back in stop what it was doing. And Jay Powell has a background in private equity. And I think more than Trump's could've bullying. It was that it was hearing from people he worked with because I heard from a lot of people that the fed was moving too quickly. And I think he was a lot closer to that. And as the chair he's much more sensitive to it. Final question for you state of the union is tonight. Give me one thing you're either looking for or you think Trump could say that would actually get consumer and business confidence back on a positive track. Wow. I don't know anything. He could say that we get them. Unless he announced the deal with China. I think the one thing that would get consumer and business confidence back really on track would be to say, hey, we're going to stop with all this tariff nonsense, president Xi of China, and I have a deal we've worked it out and everything is back to normal. So let's get back to business. Now, I have an image of Trump and Jay Powell, and and she like at Wendy's sharing food, Dan Ribaut and axios markets editor thank you so much for joining us my final two right after this axios gives you the news and analysis you need to get smarter faster on the most important topics in our unique smart, brevity format. We cover topics from politics to science and media to tech subscribe to get smarter faster at sign-up dot axios dot com and now back to the program to podcast. Now, it's for my final two and first up is a big mystery in Canada where the apparent death of crypto currency exchange founder has left customers unable to access around one hundred eighty million Canadian dollars. So the issue here is that the founder a guy named Gerald cotton kept the deposits in what's called eight cold storage device or hardware. That isn't connected to any network. The idea here is it makes it impossible to hack. The problem though, is the cotton was apparently the only one who knew the devices password leaving all of those customers completely out of luck. Maybe forever now this, of course, has led to lots of internet speculation that cotton isn't really dead. But either way it's a reminder of how there might sometimes be such a thing as to secure when it comes to our money and finally former Trump campaign adviser, Michael Caputo was on CNN complaining about the weekend leak of Trump's daily schedules to axios, we should figure out who this was we should find, you know, let's go back and Alexei Jonathan's emails. Two years. Look like Obama, did let's go through all their phone records. It's pull their Bank records. Let's pull their credit reports. Let's look at their parents emails. I Mike I obviously don't speak for all of axios. And I am also not an attorney. But no, no that that's not going to happen. And we're done. Thanks for listening and my producers, Adam Grassi and Tim show. Vers have eight great national shower with a friend day, and we'll be back tomorrow with another pro rata podcast.
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Dear H, B R is supported by first Republic Bank. Grad school is hard landing. A great job is hard refinancing. Your student loan debt. Doesn't have to be hard. First Republic makes it simple low fixed rates and exceptional service. It's as simple as that. Visit first Republic dot com slash S. L are today. Welcome to dear H Biard from Harvard Business Review. I'm Dan McGinn. And I'm Alison beard. Can be frustrating. But it doesn't have to be. We don't need to let the conflicts get us down. That's where deer Biard comes. We take your questions. Look at the research talk to the experts and help you move forward. Today. We're talking about working mothers with daisy Dowling, she's a career coach, and she also helps companies with their policies around working parents daisy. Thanks for coming in the show. Thank you so much for having me. Now, you have children yourself how much of this. Do you feel in your everyday life? Well, I I'm gonna be honest and say, I feel a lot of it. My kids are five and seven, and I'm living this every day when you think about company policies on this issue are things generally getting better getting worse. Staying the same. I think they're getting better. But getting better and patches. So the key trend that I see is a move towards increased or better paid more lengthy, parental leave spoke for men and for women. That's terrific. It's important we needed the only challenge there is that that leave even if you got it, even if it was incredibly valuable, and helpful to you that doesn't continue helping you throughout your working parenthood. How much can individuals really do when? When companies and societies aren't changing quickly enough. You still have control over a fair amount. How you enlist help from family and friends and other caregivers. A how you manager calendar? What you do on the weekends? No. It's the world isn't perfect and companies may not be as a tune to some of these issues as they should be. But Nevertheless, I think it's really important for each of us to take as much as we can into her own hands and make things better. The first question. Dear HP are. I'm a lawyer working in a large corporate firm in Australia. I've been with the company since two thousand twelve and my current team since two thousand fourteen we work on construction and major projects it's consistently. A very busy practiced I'm currently on maternity leave with my second child. I was recently promoted to senior associate and we'll be starting back in that role soon. I'm feeling conflicted. When I returned to work after my first child was born it was a huge adjustment. I found it very difficult to manage. I was making many more mistakes and missing more deadlines than I did before going on leave. I think it was a combination of taking on greater responsibility working part time and sleep deprivation, simply not having the hours and energy to get everything. Right. My husband does shift work. So a lot of the home responsibilities. Fall on me. My boss is quite understanding. But he's also impossible. Busy, his ability to assistance, a port me is limited. I think that by strengths lay more on the people side of the business like dealing with clients in managing junior staff. I was never the best technical specialist, but I used to be able to make up for it with extra effort and persistence now with two children to care for a Maury that I can't do that anymore. That will continue to make mistakes, I'm concerned about damaging my reputation in my cities, very tight-knit legal community. Of course, I have good reasons to stay in my current role. I like my boss and my team the work is stimulating and the pay and benefits are good. But it seems like this job is just not a great fit for me at this time of my life and given the requirement for billable hours. There's only so much job crafting, I can do should I just hang in there. While my kids are little or should I seriously consider moving to a less demanding role. Maybe as an house counselor in government. I've had many unsolicited job offers. I could easily make a move like that what do you think? So. So the the first thing I think is that. I I wish I were here to give the writer of you know, a big hug she talks about feeling conflicted worry about making mistakes. She clearly feels boxed in and a little bit as if her hand is being forced in terms of making some kind of big decision here. And she's not sure which decision to make her what to do. So I sympathize with that first of all is it possible that that's all in her own mind. It's possible. But I think she's dealing with something that's very common for working parents, which is that when you become a mother or father, and all of a sudden, you have this additional layer of stress and responsibility put onto what might be an already very demanding life and career that additional responsibility. Having kids takes everything that might have been an issue or concern in your career already, and it puts it into much much more stark relief. But at the same time, it's harder to see clearly and. Make level-headed judgments about because you're trying to manage towards two different things. And I think that's where she's caught when I started reading this letter. My first impulse was oh, this is a job crafting problem. She sort of cut us off at the pass there. She says there's really no way to job craft my way out of the solution. It seems like she's really thought deeply about the potential solutions to this. And the idea that she can find tune her job isn't going to make this go away. It's interesting. I asked a friend who was a corporate lawyer and went through the same crisis. Really? And she said, actually, I think that she could go to our firm, and maybe stay in a client facing role, but find some work arounds, you know, she could ask if there's a particular client that has an affinity for her. And that she really likes working could she work exclusively for that client. She basically said you need to go in and present a case that's in the business interest of the firm. So she might be able to job crafted, even if she can't really see. That solution on the table in front of her. I think it's hard to see it. I think you've really touched on two important things there. The first is that she's not thinking broadly enough about how she could redraft her job. And that might be by actually switching jobs. She might stay with the firm, but switched jobs instead of sort of redrawing the outlines of her current job. And the second thing is she's trying to come up with the ultimate definitive answer to this alone. And I think that deprives her of the ability to see some of the other opportunities or or tweaks that she might be able to make one of the tensions that lies at the root of this is she sees herself as not a good technical specialist. And I think that's great because the higher you go up the hierarchy the less technical skills matter and the more that her client facing skills and her people management skills will be matter. So she really has the potential to move up. It's just can she see her way through this valley. I. She's in a slightly different situation than than what you've just laid out. I think it's a little bit more of a looming decision. She has to make she's a corporate attorney. So when you think about why do people pay top dollar for terrific corporate attorney, it's because they want somebody who's a brilliant expert and technical specialist in what they do and on call and on call all the time, and those two things are the things that are the biggest points of tension for her and she probably has two three four years left before a decision around whether or not she's going to become a partner, and that decision is going to assume in order for her to become a partner, she's going to have to be a very very strong technical specialist and mistakes she's making if that becomes a pattern that's going to immediately disqualify her. So she I think she needs to look down look down the pike here a little bit and say, okay, do I really wanna stick it out in this job? And she says, you know. Should I really hang in there? When my kids are little if she hangs in there is she gonna make it to the next level. And that's something that it's an extra layer of stress for working parents who are in jobs where you have this one really critical career point where it's yes or no. And you have to figure out if you're going to try and get to that point. And then how you're going to get past that point. I actually think she needs to think about moving jobs and doing something a little bit different. So I agree with you that I think she needs to take a step back. She should step out of the sort of the stress of being a mom and now a mom of two. You know, the recent study showed that the chronic stress levels of mothers with two kids working fulltime is forty percent higher than women without children working fulltime. It's only eighteen percent higher for women with one kid. So there's a there's a huge leap that. She's just made in her life moving from one child to to. And I don't think it's the right time to to make a decision. About what she wants to her career long-term because things are crazy right now. And she's figuring out the new normal. I think she should take that step back that you've been talking about daisy. And I really think the best way to do it is by starting to talk to people. Yeah. One of the things I ask my coaches to do is to come up with a list of their career assets. She's at a large corporate firm, if it's a large firm, she's not the first working mother to have grappled with these issues, and she won't be the last. They're going to be other people who have had these conversations before maybe work through them in different ways that she could learn from that she could get advice from and then she also says her boss is very supportive. So that's somebody you should probably enlist as you're going through this. I know it might be difficult for her to put her cards out on the table. But that could be a constructive conversation. And just as you say to she's got unsolicited job offers. So I think in some ways her life is not easy. She's got a decis. To make. But she's got a lot. That's good. And I want to see her leverage that Moore when she raises the idea of going to accompany as an in-house counsel or into government work. I I'm a little concerned by those ideas, it seems like those two places would perhaps demand more on her weak points and offer less for her strengths. So I like the idea of her, you know, sort of starting over and thinking much more broadly talking to a lot of people and really trying to imagine possibilities instead of maybe just answering the phone and seeing what job offer she gets organically just thinking those are her only options. Yeah. I think I think you're exactly right. She just doesn't have the data about what some of those jobs are -tunities potentials could be and if she doesn't go out and solicit she'll end up having decisions that happened to her as opposed to ones that she's made really proactively for herself. So I. I would suggest to her that she think about using some of her remaining leave to kick this off like a project and to say, I'm going to spend two months three months in research phase and doing nothing but talking to people about what what else is out there. What what are some of the possibilities? How could I tweak this job, or how could I maybe find another that would really fit where I'm in my life right now and would fit my skills. But as she does that to think about what's going to work for her long-term today's I'm gonna push back a little bit think back to when you had a toddler on a newborn, do you really think you could embark on a big thoughtful research project? I think it's hard. I know I think it's hard. But I think it's easier than having a toddler and a baby, and you were three weeks or three months back into the job leaves in the rear view mirror and your clients need, you and senior people need you. And you're returning emails at ten thirty at night. It's the. Window. She has it's the window. She has you have to deal with the cards that you're dealt. Yeah. And right now, what she's being dealt is a career decision a complex one at a time when she would prefer not to be making it probably. Yeah. But again, I don't think life is going to get less. Busier stressful. So Alison, what's our advice? So we think that she needs to step back and reevaluate what she really wants from her career. This is a stressful point in her life. We suggest that she seek counsel from others on how they're managing work and family on the different paths that they've taken and how to achieve success while also being a mum we advisor to think about some tactical ways in which she can make work easier. Reduce her errors. We don't think. She should discount job crafting so quickly if she can talk to her boss and prove a business case for shifting her responsibilities toward her strengths. It could be successful tactic. Dear Biard is supported by first Republic Bank thinking about refinancing your student loans. First Republic has fixed rates that are among the lowest in the country, which means you could lower your monthly payments or shorten the time. It takes to pay off your debt, and dedicated first Republic banker will be there to help you plan for whatever financial milestone may come next. Learn more today at first Republic dot com slash S. L are. Dear HBO, I'm twenty five and got married last summer. This may graduate with my master's degree and beginning a search for fulltime work my first grownup job. Here's the issue. My husband, and I have known for a while that we want to start a family sooner rather than later, but I have no idea how to navigate that conversation while beginning a professional career. I'm worried that employers won't be eager to hire me if they know that I plan to have children within the next year or two I'm worried that if I show up to a job interview and invisibly pregnant, I won't get the job. I'm worried that by choosing to be a mom earlier a lose out on work opportunities and have fewer benefits like health care and maternity leave. Do you have advice for someone trying to start a career and a family at more or less the same time? Is that even possible I feel like it would be easier. If I wanted one more than the other, but I care about both. So there are a lot of questions here. The first thing I wanna do. Do is salute the person asking them for raising them. Because when do I have kids how many kids do I have what what's the timing? What does this look like how do I expand my family, those are incredibly personal questions, but they really bump up against people's career emissions what they wanna do whether or not they want to go work at were stay at a certain employer, and those conversations never happen there. Taboo, people are embarrassed to ask these questions people hold themselves. Back managers or leaders who get these questions don't know how to respond to them. They're worried about offending their word about saying the wrong thing or about liability. So the conversation just stops. So I'm excited that we're going to provide some answers and some thinking to this twenty five year old is she right that there are really big risks to being a young mom while also trying to start a career. There are some risks to being a young mom as there are some risks to being. A medium young mom, and some risks to being an older mom to there is no perfect time to have kids, and I would just advise her anybody going through the same thought process. Just to know practically speaking, you're not under any obligation to tell him players if you wanna start a family, and you're going to job interview for a job, you are really really excited about you. Certainly don't have to raise the interest in starting a family in that set of interviews. So this concern that somehow discrimination is going to rear its head immediately. I that can be avoided pretty quickly by you know, just sort of stepping back a little bit being a little bit more, discreet and doing some of your own research on how the company or how the organization has treated other and supported other working parents in the past felt really strongly on that point. I don't know why anybody would bring up when she's probably still a couple of years away from having a baby that she might want to have a baby. I mean, you know, if. You're a married woman in your twenties and thirties that always probably going to be a possibility. Right. I agree with you to some extent. Certainly I think that if it's one or two years out that won't be a problem at all. I think that if she starts job and three months later is pregnant and six months later needs to tell everyone that she's pregnant you could see a hiring manager resenting that a little bit. You know? I don't think that's the way the world should be. But I think it's a reality. You know, here's where I'm going to put my human resources head on. So I spent fifteen years in HR departments working very closely with bright aspiring ambitious people. And I can tell you from the other side of this conversation that yeah, I can see I can understand her concerns. But honestly, it's not news to people that young married. Couples often wanna start families. That's an assumption. It's not a shock and nine times out of ten when somebody would have a conversation. Like this people would say, oh, that's terrific or congratulations or great. Okay. You'll be out on leave for this amount of time. But let's talk about when you come back. It's just it's not as dramatic as it seems. It's it's almost like you think it's a greater calamity for the business than than they do everybody thinks they're replaceable, and, you know, especially for three or three or six months, we're all replaceable. Although this woman is just starting you know, she doesn't have a track record. She doesn't have a reputation, but I think she can gain a sense of control over that while being completely above board by focusing on our timing. I think once she has the offer in hand if she wants to be completely up front with this conversation. She goes to the hiring manager or to the HR person says I'm thrilled to have the offer. Thank you so much. I'm excited about working at this workstation. There's one thing I wanted to raise the spirit of full disclosure, which is and it will probably be no surprise. I'm a young. I'm recently, married. And at some point exactly went on clear. But at some point my husband, and I are going to want to start a family. Is there any reason given that that I shouldn't continue in this process and accept this offer? But all right. Let me stop there. If somebody said, yes to that question, couldn't they instantly be sued. How could someone say, yes? To that. I think what you're looking for here is for the person to reassure you in a more detailed way companies that are supportive of working. Parents would say, oh, yeah. Okay. Well, we have a, you know, a maternity leave that this long. We have a maternity face BAC program. We have lactation facilities. We have all these other things that we set up so that parents can succeed here. So it's not the yes, or no, it's the more open ended piece of at that. You're looking for. Yeah. Exactly. Exactly. It's due diligence question. It's it just lets you get more information. I think company policies and HR infrastructure and all that super important. But I I think in my experience at least it's really come down to the attitude of the personnel reporting to the bosses super super important and all this kind of thing. And it might just be does that person have a family. Do they bring their family up in the interview? Process. Are they you know, casually talking about their life outside of work. You can kind of get a vibe for person on whether work life balances, something they think about there might be ways to sort of more subtly get a sense of how your day to day supervisors you're gonna feel about this without sort of putting all your cards on the table. Yeah. I think a big part of the advice that we wanna give her is that she needs to do her research about what their policies are. And also what the culture is like she needs to if she can talk to people who've been parents the organization for a long time. She needs to interview her boss in the same way her bosses interviewing her. Yeah. She needs to do one more thing to Alison, and I'm going to sound maybe a little harsher. I think she needs to perform. Yeah. Absolutely. And I think nine months can be enough time. If you really knock it out of the park. Absolutely. I it's just so hard to find really really good people. And if somebody is just crushing it. At work. And then comes in and says, well, you know, I'm expectant I just have a hard time imagining bosses saying, well, you know, the boy what a letdown. They're gonna want to try and keep her. They're going to want to try and set, you know, her career her job rounders up. So that she can keep delivering for them in the way that she has been let's circle back to one of the very specific fear. She raises in the letter I'm worried that if I show up to a job, interview and visibly pregnant, I won't get the job is that a valid fear. I did run across the study from rice in two thousand thirteen that found that pregnant job applicants were subjected to more interpersonal hostility such as interviewers cutting them off bad body language. So, you know, obviously, it's a legal in the United States to discriminate against someone who's pregnant, but I think in practice it probably does happen yet. There's there's a lot of complex law and in other jurisdictions outside the United States. I think things may be more nuanced and shaded in diff-. Ways. But, but here's what I would say there is and I'm not gonna shock anybody. When I say there is bias in the world. There are people. Yes. As much as we don't want to be there are people who will presume there are people who will make decisions that they shouldn't were that aren't the right ones based on things that aren't relevant if she is going to commit to starting a family this year before she starts her job interview process. She is going to have to accept that reality and say, it was my decision to you know, to start an a family now as opposed to eighteen months from now. And as I go through the interview process what I'm going to need to do or two things number one to have a very clear story about the fact that yes, I m expectant as you can easily see, but here's how I'm going to be committed to the job and the career into this function into this organism mission for the long term. So I think she wants to bring that forward in her interviews even more so than she would normally and number two she's going to be willing have to be willing to. Potentially be on the other end of some of that bias, you know, I feel like that's not the right thing to say. But it's the honest thing to say, so maybe her job search strategy might be a little bit different in the sense that she needs sort of a larger funnel. She might need to do some more interviewing to make sure that she's finding enough people that she'll fund unbiased ones. Yeah. An on the upside to that. And this is a very powerful thing that she should find reassuring that if she is pregnant if it is obvious, and she does go through interviews while that's the case. And she gets great job offers out of it, then she should take enormous confidence in how that organization sees her and sees her long term potential sees her commitment. It's funny. I hadn't thought about this before. But it brought me back to when I was interviewing here. I'd flown from London with my daughter who I was nursing at the time and went through a full day of interviews. And I talked about it with the people because I just thought if they don't respect the fact that I just took an international. Flight with this baby to interview for this job. Then I shouldn't work for the organization. Yeah. I actually had somewhat the same situation I interviewed when I was eight months pregnant and looked like a caricature of a pregnant and interviewed with an organization that was known for having for people doing very long hours and for being an intense place to work. And and I I thought the best I'm going to get out of the set of conversations is a great dinner party story about how they reacted to me when I walled in for the interview. Right. And you know, I ended up getting a great job there work there found it to be a very supportive place. And you know, there was a happy ending. So it's possible. So Dan, what are we telling her first week commend her for thinking about these really hard issues? There's a case to be made that you don't necessarily have to put your cards on the table in the first interview, this is not something you need to feel guilty. If you decide to keep it to yourself. If you do bring it up, you probably wanna wait until they offer as on the table and use it to try to suss out how the company reacts what their policies are how they feel about it. Second point do some research figuring out what the maternity policy for this company is what the daycare kind of situation is what are the hours how flexible our bosses look at your individual supervisor or your potential supervisor does he or she seemed like somebody that's going to be very accommodating to. They seem to have a good work family balance in their own lives. The third thing is when you get into this job, you need to get in there and perform bosses wanna keep that person. They want to bend over backwards to make life easier for that person. So when you do get into the job, make sure that your performance turns you into the kind of person that they want to keep. Dear HP are is supported by first Republic Bank. They make refinancing your student loans. Simple. So you can focus on your next chapter like growing your business starting a family or buying a home. First Republic offers fixed rates that are among the lowest in the country. Plus, a dedicated banker will be available to you by phone or Email whenever you need them. Why wait? Visit first Republic dot com slash S. L are today. First Republic Bank, equal housing lender. All right. Let's get to the last question. Dear HP are I've worked in IT for my organization for two and a half years, including a three month maternity leave. I've been considering taking a break to be a stay at home. Mom. My kids are two and a half and fifteen months up until this point my view was that I could make it work as long as the job was professionally rewarding yet flexible enough to let me take care of my children at all stages of their lives. I'm fulfilled by and interested in what I do. And my schedule is predictable for the moment. I have an incredibly supportive boss, and as an established employees, I could ask for even more flexibility. However for the past two budget cycles, we've had layoffs cuts to benefits and morale issues. My boss is the division manager and I joined the group to work with him. But he recently asked me to be a reference for him for an out of state position. He's since decided to stay largely due to family reasons. I have good relationships with the execs above him. To. But that doesn't mean it'll be protected from further layoffs. My husband, and I feel very fortunate for the life we have but there are seasons. When it seems like leaving my job to stay home. Might relieve the stress and business of work and parenting. I'd have more time with the kids and to keep up with household tasks, we'd save money on daycare, and it would be easier to have more children on the concert. I need to figure out a new way of spending my days, we'd have only one salary and insurance plan, and there's obviously the potential for career stuck nation overall as we consider expanding our family having a third child feels like a turning point among our family and friends when both parents work, we haven't seen many who have more than two kids precisely because of the career and financial considerations. What should I do? I'm gonna put my answer straight up front here and say, I don't hear anything in this letter that convinces me that this writer should become a stay at home. Mom when she talks about her job. She says I'm fulfiled in interested in what I do. And when she talks about the other hand what she could do if she were a stay at home. Mom. She says it would be easier to keep up with household tasks and what jumps out at me. And what really grabs me about. This letter is fulfilled and interested versus keeping the dishes out of the sink. Yeah. I I wanna be careful that we're not coming to this question with our bias. I have made a decision. Not to be a stay at home. Mom. You have also made that decision daisy. But maybe she could find the same fulfillment at home. Maybe she could. But it's just that. I'm not hearing her say that she really wants to be at home. Yeah. If she had written. And said, you know, my kids are two and a half in fifteen months, and those are little and that's precious time if she had said, I want to be with my kids when they're small I really want that extra time with them. I don't know if it's forever. If she were talking about it in those terms, we would really be having a different conversation about this one of the things that I sometimes do with clients sometimes because this can be testy area is encourage them to stink if they were of the other gender what they might do. So this doesn't really come out in her letter. But she talks about you know, the kids are small the job is sort of. It's good for me personally. But the organization is troubled and people are telling me that it's hard to have three kids. So okay. Maybe I should be a stay stay at home. Mom, is that a decision a male might make or conclusion that a man might come to. That's a very fraught question. But it's just a way to sort of put a spin a tweak on some of the thinking that really resonates with me. Yeah. I mean another way to spin the situation is to say, what would you do if you didn't have kids take the kids out of the equation, and your highly respected IT professional who's in an organization that's a bit of a mess and your wonderful bosses. You know has one foot out the door. What would you do? And the answer to that question. Probably would be quite different. It would be, you know, talk to head hunters. I see what else is out there. Ask the boss of here. She could take me with them to their new organization. You know, there's all different pathways that you know, that those answers might point towards the line that I focused on was when she wrote and as an established employees I could ask for even more flexibility if she's going to quit a job that she likes. I'd love to know that she exhausted every possible alternative, and I think she should just try to stretch that flexibility and just see how far she can go. You know, more time at home. Maybe it's more remote work. Maybe it's less than a fulltime schedule as someone who has pushed for that flexibility and really enjoys it. I completely agree with that. But the situation on her company is really bad right now, you know, layoffs budget cuts, etc. So how? Does she someone that goes in asking for more at such a tough time? Well, let's think about this creatively, if they're laying people off, and she hasn't been laid off that suggests that they value hers performer. That's your number two. If one of these accommodations becomes oh. By the way, I'd like to work part time that is a financial help to the company at a time when they have budget issues. So some of this could be a win win. I think we have a tendency to think of these things is to adversary oil when some sometimes the company comes out better off for it. She says she's got a great boss and the boss's coming to her and talking about, you know, his own career next step. So she's clearly a confidant and has a great relationship with him. But I don't know that she's had the reverse conversation with him and said, hey, let's talk about what I need. And you know, what some of your ideas might be for me. And I don't think it's a terrible time for her to think what might be available outside the organization. Her boss is doing it. That was gonna be my next question. Do either of you think that she should be? Exploring opportunities. Elsewhere, even though she has a great reputation the opportunity for more flexibility and very supportive boss where she is the boss may not stay at the ball seems to have one foot out the door. So if I were I wouldn't make decisions based around that person. She says that the organization has had you know, layoffs and cutbacks and so forth, but she's working in IT. I, you know, in most organizations finding terrific IT people is really really hard. And I wonder if her skill set might be well placed in an organization, that's growing that's thriving. Maybe she goes into a different industry, but she you know, she keeps his functional role. But she just applies it in a different in a different environment. That doesn't mean she has to change jobs, which is always a stressful thing to do. But I think the grass might be greener. That'll make sense to me, it seems like a lot of her concern is about the turmoil inside the company, but it also seems predicated on the idea that there. Some probability we're going to go and have a third child and that that's just going to up the complexity and the demands even more trying to get further down that decision pathway presumably with her husband about whether they're going to have a third kit or not might help bring some clarity to what kind of career she wants going forward. Whether it's at this company or another company, and I think that's a decision that you need to make for about what's right for your family. I think it's really does our family feel complete with two or do we need one more? And then you talk about okay? How is this going to work with my career? Do I need to change my career because of it? I agree completely with that. You have two children. I have three children dumb jobs are temporary your family is forever. Yeah. If she does do a lot of this reflection and decide that actually she'd like to try being a stay at home. Mom, how does she do that in a way that helps her avoid that career stagnation that she talks about? So if if she does some deep introspection and decides that being a stay at home mom is the right thing. She needs to start planning right now before she even thinks of leaving this job before she steps out how she's going to step back in how long might she want to be out of the workforce. And given whatever that period of time is when is she gonna wanna start putting feelers out about going back in? So she can plan the two years or five years or ten years that she does want to be at home. What will she do to keep her network fresh while she is not working fulltime? How will she remain on the receiving end of jogging Crees and industry, knowledge and. Technological innovation. She works IT where things work really, really fast. How she gonna keep up on all those fronts while she's at home. Those things are all really solvable. Right. You can figure out in in a couple of hours a week or even less how to do those things and how to set yourself up for success. But if you become a stay at home parent without a plan, and then let some period of time pass. Then I think you do tend to find yourself on your back foot in terms of wanting to go back in show, and what are we telling her? So we think she should ask yourself. If the stress that she's feeling is stemming from the turmoil in the organization or this struggle of balancing work and family, if she still loves the work stepping away might not be the right thing for her. She should ask whether she can make it work by requesting more flexibility, perhaps doing some job crafting. We also think that she should explore opportunities. Elsewhere where she can find a more stable organization just as supportive of. Us and equally flexible work. If after the soul searching, she really thinks that she wants to stay home with the kids for a certain period of time. She should absolutely do it. But then start prepping for re entry from the beginning. If she maintains her network and keeps up her skills the on ramp will be ready and waiting for her. Daisy. Thanks so much for joining us. Thank you so much for having me. Let's daisy Dowling she's a career coach founder of the consulting company. Work parent. Thanks to the listeners who wrote us with their questions. Now, we wanna know your questions send us an Email with your workplace challenge and how we can help the Email addresses. Dear H, B R at HP are dot org. On our next episode. We're talking about critical feedback with Ben dot ner. It's often as much about the feedback giver as it is about the feedback receiver to get that automatically, please. Subscribe. I'm Dan McGinn and Malsin beard. Thanks for listening to deer h VR.