Strengths, Not Job Slots

I took the job in New York because I really love the people at my company and I believe in the mission. And because I felt a sense of belonging there, I knew it was the right place for me, and that I would somehow figure out how to do my job and keep up with my writing. Sure enough, my manager and teammates embraced the fact I was writing a book, and in time it felt completely natural to be doing both at the same time.

Further, I knew my strengths were perfectly aligned with the role I had accepted; or, more accurately, were well-suited to meet the challenges I was now facing. I knew I would be intrinsically excited about the projects I was asked to take on, which enabled me to tolerate the pressures of the job during the writing process.

On the book-writing front, I took Maggie’s advice and got some help. Sarah Bloomfield, whom I once managed at Google (she is a rising superstar in her own right), agreed to take on a role as my thought partner. She served, essentially, as my second brain, expanding my ideas in important ways; and her strengths complemented my own. I was also lucky that my best friend and roommate, Jenny Blake, had published her book the previous year. Jenny’s strength is her “big thinking,” and was key in helping me move my book from proposal to manuscript and then out to market. Who could complain about having a life coach as a roommate? As a team of one (i.e., a sole author on a book), I learned the importance of reaching out to my network ...

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