Purse Shopping and Group Brainstorming

July 20, 2012 § Leave a comment

This is a post from our fabulous intern, Jennifer Reitz. Jennifer is finishing her doctorate degree and helping PEC develop this new project! We’re thrilled to have her expertise at the Empowerment Center.

We’ll seize an opportunity to shop for accessories, but what about leadership opportunities? (photo by Nancy Arseneault)

“Oh wow, I love your purse!” This compliment means a lot to a woman who has spent hours shopping for the right purse, and it definitely sweetened my day to hear it from a co-worker a few weeks ago. What was your last purse-shopping experience like? One of my childhood memories involved trudging through store after store on a Saturday afternoon with my Aunt Deb in search of “the one”- that special purse that meets as many criteria as possible on the purse “must have” list: the right size, color, material, strap length, number of pockets, a good price…and the list goes on. Some of us ladies are a bit more particular than others when it comes to purse-hunting, but we can readily apply this scenario to some other situations in our lives. Looking for the right house? Spouse? Daycare for your kids?

My most recent job search resembled purse-shopping in many ways. When I started searching for a new job after my husband’s out-of-state job transfer, I knew exactly what job I was looking for, and I was sure it’d be a piece of cake to snag it. My academic counselor had assured me that my advanced degree would make me an asset any organization and former employers had nothing but praise for work I had done in the past. Well, things sometimes don’t go as planned, do they? You might visit seven different stores to find the perfect purse, only to have to wait a month for it to go on sale. One important lesson I’ve learned is that there’s more to a job than meets the eye- you might love the paycheck, but hate the hours… or love the hours, but feel like you’ve wasted your education.

What drew me to PEC was the idea of working with others who have experienced the same “being stuck-ness” that I have, and helping those who are “stuck” back onto the right path. You could say that PEC wants to help you find the right purse! When we don’t have the resources to get “unstuck” sometimes we end up settling for something less than what we want or less than what we need, just for the sake of being done with the search. It’s kind of like buying the ugly purse on clearance because we were tired of looking, right?

Does this sound like you, a friend, or a family member? Awesome! Well, sort of…I say that because we need you (or them) on August 2 from 6:30 to 8pm for a Focus Group, or essentially a group brainstorming session. PEC is introducing an innovative experience-based leadership program starting late this fall, and we could really use your feedback to make it just what you and other ladies in our area need. If you’ve worked with PEC in the past, you know how important this is to our mission! We believe this type of program is exactly what many of could use to get “unstuck” and get just a little closer to our career goals, and we can only do it with your excellent insight. Check out our flier, and we really hope to see you there on August 2nd as we continue to guide ladies to their own “perfect purse!”

PEC focus group flier

For more information, email Jen at jennifer.m.reitz (at) gmail.com or call the PEC office at 410-799-1097!

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