If you weren’t paying attention, you would have thought the major story this week@work was about the 800 folks who will retain positions at Carrier, a division of United Technologies. You might have missed the news that U.S. unemployment reached a nine year low @4.6%, adding 178,000 jobs in November.
In ‘departures’, newly crowned Formula One champion, Nico Rosberg announced his retirement and Starbuck chief, Howard Schultz, will be stepping down from his position next year. Seventy-six women scientists have embarked on an expedition to Antarctica to focus on climate change and women who work in the sciences.
“Data released on Friday showed a sharp drop in the unemployment rate from 4.9 percent the previous month, driven partly by the creation of new jobs and partly by people retiring and otherwise leaving the labor force.
A broader measure of unemployment, the U-6 rate, which includes those who have given up looking for work and part-time workers who would like to have full-time jobs, fell to 9.3 percent, the lowest reading since April 2008. The figure still remains elevated from average levels in the 2000s.”
“Nico Rosberg has stunned Formula One by announcing his retirement, just five days after the 31-year-old became the sport’s world champion…
He said he had “climbed my mountain”. Now he is going out at the peak.
Rosberg said he first started thinking about retiring when he won the Japanese Grand Prix in early October and realised the title was within his grasp. “From the moment when the destiny of the title was in my own hands, the big pressure started and I began to think about ending my racing career if I became world champion,” he wrote in a post on his Facebook page announcing his departure.”
At the other end of the career spectrum, the visionary leader of Starbucks, Howard Schultz announced he will be stepping away from his leadership position at the company he joined in 1982. Andrew Ross Sorkin reported on the change at the top for The New York Times.
“I wanted to build the company my father never got to work for,” he said.
At an all-hands employee meeting at the company’s headquarters on Thursday, Mr. Schultz was greeted with tears and a standing ovation. “For me, perhaps there are other things that are part of my destiny,” he told them.”
Mr. Schultz said he intends for Starbucks to “maintain our moral courage.” And he defended efforts like the company’s “Race Together” campaign to spur a conversation about race relations, saying that it “was not a failure. I’d do it again.” He said such campaigns are deeply embedded in the company’s brand of “challenging the status quo about the role of a public company.” He is excited by the question, “Since we have stores in every community in America, how can we use our scale for good?”
How do folks successfully transition from one phase of their work life to the next?
“Be a lifelong student. That doesn’t mean go enroll in a bunch of classes all the time. It’s a mind-set. It means continuing to push yourself to learn rather than saying, “I’ve got this degree in this, and that’s what I’m going to do.”
The other thing is not to become too comfortable in a role. Chances are that if you’re comfortable, you’re not learning, you’re not pushing the envelope and you’re probably going to get stagnated.”
The last story this week@work is an example of pushing the envelope, for the greater good.
On Thursday I received a tweet from BBC Australia about an expedition of women scientists traveling to Antarctica. The tag line of their sponsor, ‘Homeward Bound’, is “mother nature needs her daughters”.
From the BBC Australia story – “They call Ushuaia, a cold and windy port city in Argentina, the end of the world.
It’s from here that the largest ever all-female expedition to Antarctica will depart, with more than 70 women with backgrounds in science set to spend 20 days at sea.
The voyage is part of the Homeward Bound initiative, an Australian programme aimed at increasing the representation of women in top science jobs across the globe.
“We’re missing half the voice at the leadership table,” says Dr Jessica Melbourne-Thomas, who along with entrepreneur and management expert Fabian Dattner, came up with the idea.
The pair met during a leadership development course run by Dattner, and their frustration at the challenges faced by women in science quickly became a bold idea.
Two years later, the first of what is hoped to be several voyages is about to depart.”
We talk a lot about ‘dream jobs’ and whether ‘finding your passion’ is attainable. For those of you skeptics out there, I close with the closing paragraphs of Fabian Dattner‘s blog post, co-founder of Homeward Bound, who as I write is on her journey south.
“So, right now as I work with a group of leaders in my day job, my mind wanders effortlessly to what lies ahead – now only a few sleeps away – and I am finally lost for words, carried forward – as with all the people involved – on a deeply felt sense of rightness: right purpose, right time, right people, right outcome.
I know what ‘flow’ means now; I know what purpose, autonomy and freedom mean. I know what it means to lead and be led. And I know in my bones what is possible for humans, when leaders act on behalf of the greater good.
Stay with us on this journey. It’s for all of us.” @HomewardBound16
Photo credits: Antarctica expedition – Homeward Bound, Kevin Johnson/Howard Schultz -Starbucks Newsroom