Our intern, Karlee, gave Jackie Goldman-Schatell's questionnaire a first read when it came in. Her first response? "This lady sounds awesome."
I couldn't agree more. Jackie is truly living the dream: She has become what she always wanted to be, has the ability to make enough time for both work and family and has some excellent advice for the next generation of women in business.
So here, meet Jackie. And a brief warning: You may be inspired to take some drastic, career-altering action.
Name: Jackie Goldman-Schatell
Business: The Alternative Press of Livingston and The Alternative Press of West Orange
Position: Co-owner, Assignment Editor, Reporter and Head of Sales
Previous job: Chief Marketing Officer, Nutrient Rich Life
Where did you go to school, what was your major? George Washington University, Wash., DC, English major – B.A. 199O
Family: Husband Scott, son Dylan, 8
What were the attitudes toward women in your industry when you first started? I got my first job in 1990 after graduating college. Women definitely had strength in the workplace, but it was less common for women to push through the glass ceiling than it is today! There were also far more men in top positions than there are today.
What has been your worst experience as a woman at work? I did marketing at a law firm, and the male attorneys actually screamed and yelled at each other and employees. It was very unprofessional and a bleak place to work.
And your best experience? The job I have now. I have always wanted the perfect mom job, and now I have it! I am my own boss, and I work hard. I also have flexible hours, write about what I like and I get to meet people daily, learn from them and make new friends regularly! --( this article explains it best http://thealternativepress.com/articles/jackie-schatell-livingston-licensee-the-altern)
What mistakes do women often make at the workplace? Tell co-workers too much personal information. They can also become disenfranchised and complain to one another, rather than find a way to make improvements and make a difference.
What's the best advice you ever got? Never work at a place that you hate to get up and go to every day. Yes, work can be "just a job," but for those who are lucky, it can be much more. You only live once, so don't hate what you do. Work is 8-plus hours of your day — make those hours matter and make sure you are happy with how you are spending your time.
What advice would you like to give young working women? Love what you do. If you do it well, even if it isn't in a high paying field, there are always ways to make a difference and stand out. If you do that, the money will follow. It may not be at the exact job you have now, but if people at work notice you, others will too. When you shine, good things can happen. Doors can open. Smile at everyone and always be friendly. Don't complain to strangers. You never know who you will meet. I once got a job by meeting a CEO's chauffer. We hit it off while I was waiting on a car repair. He told the CEO about me, and I got the job!
Also, this is advice that is very dear to my heart: Don't just pick a job or career. Consider location and lifestyle, too. I had corporate jobs and jobs for small companies. But, in the back of my mind, once I had my son—I wanted a "mom job." I wanted a job with flexibility, where I could be class mom, be home if my son was sick, be able to go to his games and take him to appointments and play dates. I wanted a job where I was productive, with good earning potential, but a job where I didn't have to feel bad about taking a sick day or leaving early. I also only wanted a job that was no more than 10 minutes away from home. It took me 25 years, but I found one! Bottom line: Make parameters and keep searching within them. Take other jobs if you have to, but keep looking until you are happy with your work-life and home-life balance. Don't settle.
What advice would you give a woman in college? Don't take the first job you find. Do a lot of informational interviews. Talk to your parents' and older siblings' friends and get information on many types of careers. Consider the lifestyle you will want in the future, not just now, and the type of work you enjoy before committing to a job offer. Of course, early on you will bounce around a little bit (after at least remaining in a position for at least a year) but before you know it, you will be locked into a career path. Make sure it is the right career trajectory. It is hard to start over and take a pay cut in say your mid-30s, and beyond, when you finally decide "what you want to be when you grow up." Even though you don't have kids and a family now, you probably will. Make sure you choose a career path that will fit with your future lifestyle, too. Make sure it is in the state you want to live in and is where you want to raise your family.
Also, don't think a job will come knocking on your door. You have to look a lot! And, you have to look creatively. Network! Use social media — Facebook and LinkedIn. (Learn how to master using LinkedIn). Do not just look at posted jobs on job sites and in the newspaper. Write directly to people who you want to work for and tell them why. Invite them to an informational lunch to learn about them. They may not have "the job" open now, but they may have one down the road. If you presented yourself well at the informational interview and wrote a good follow up thank you letter, they might just remember you when the time is right! In addition, to keep your name fresh in their mind, write to them from time to time and keep them abreast of what you are up to. Send holiday greetings, etc.
What's one thing about you that most of your co-workers would be surprised to hear? I have to make myself stop working every day or I would never sleep. I am a night owl and a really hard worker. Now that I work for myself, I tend to work into the wee hours of the morning.
What did you want to be when you were 8 years old? A writer. I had some poems published as a kid and always loved writing poetry and creative writing.
What's one item you can't live without, and why?
My iPhone. It is attached to me.