Make the Most of an Extended Leave or Career Pause

January 6, 2022 / Mom &… Podcast Episode 52 / Guest: Linda Gardner of Your Next Career with Linda

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Show Summary

This episode covers finding career purpose, making a pivot, and maternity leave policies. We talk with Linda about what it was like to make a bit change in her own career, and how she now guides clients through their own shifts.

More About Linda Gardner

Linda Gardner is a mom and… career coach and founder of Your Next Career with Linda. She has 10-plus years of progressive experience in human resources and recruitment in tech and manufacturing. She successfully pivoted her career from a recruitment agency to corporate, and now, to career coach.

Topics From This Episode (Complete transcript is available below… scroll to the bottom!)

  • Purpose
  • Maternity Leave
  • Staying relative while on leave
  • Building Skills
  • Maintaining Skills
  • LinkedIn
  • Networking

Connect with Linda

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Musical Notes

Our delightfully happy intro and outro theme music, “We Will Get Through This” is performed by Young Presidents, and used under license from Shutterstock.

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Transcript* From This Episode

*Please note that this transcript is automatically generated through our editing software. Expect odd errors and misunderstood words. In fact, if you find a really funny one, send it to us, and we may feature it – and you – on our socials!

Susanne: [00:00:00] Welcome to the mom and podcast. I’m Susanne Kerns. I’m a mom and writer, LGBTQ and sex ed advocate. And today I am an Erma Bombeck writers’ workshop register registered. So in honor of Erma Bombeck, I’m showing my mug that I got 

last time.

It says, if you can’t make it better, you can laugh at it. So looking forward to that and why don’t we go? And Missy

Missy: March. Yeah. So, and I’m Missy Stevens mom and writer, foster care advocate. And I am also an Erma register-er today.

Susanne: Yay. 

and I’m apologizing.

If anybody can hear, uh, drilling in the background where, uh, getting some housework done. So if you hear some buzzing, that is it. 

Missy: Periodically. I hear like a little bang or a buzz. 

Susanne: Yeah.

it’s not the dogs this time. Usually it’s the dogs making noise. This is we’re paying people to make this noise right now. Uh, but yeah

Missy: And our guest today is Linda Gardner. She’s a mom coach [00:01:00] and founder of your next career with Linda. She has 10 plus years of progressive experience in human resources and recruitment in tech and manufacturing.

She successfully pivoted her career from a recruitment agency to corporate. And now as a career coach, welcome Linda.

Linda: Thank you. Thank 

Susanne: uh, 

Missy: absolutely. We’re so glad you’re here.

Susanne: yes, we have been enjoying watching your social media videos. You 

do such a nice job with those, for anyone who just needs a little tiny bites of coaching or inspiration on an, on

Missy: they’re so good. 

Susanne: Yeah.

Linda: Thank you. I’m flattered.

Susanne: Uh, highly

recommend following. 

Linda: advice, you know, add some humor to it, but it’s also adding value to my followers.

Susanne: exactly. And so while we just barely scratched the surface in our intro about you. So we would love to hear a little bit more about where your career started, how it’s progressed and all the things along the way that have impacted that you’ve made in those pivots.

Linda: Of course. , so that’s a really great intro. And, , so [00:02:00] as he’s mentioned that over 10 years, um, Built up abundant profile of being an HR and recruiting. And it was until late last year, , that I took an extended maternity leave and, was laid off from my recent employer. Obviously at the time it was devastated.

Didn’t know what I wanted to do. And here I am caring for up two daughters. 

Susanne: Yeah. 

Linda: and I decided . this is a perfect time for me to take a elite and be able to launch my business. So I always 

Missy: Mm. 

Linda: start my own and become an entrepreneur, but never had the guts or the courage to do it.

Because you think like, you know that whenever you start something new, right, exactly. Then imposter voice keeps kicking back in. So finally bite the bullet and. Here I am, a year after, into the business successfully helping a lot of women, getting unstuck in their career and help rebuilding their personal brand to leverage their personal brand, build successful careers out of it.

So it’s been so rewarding, [00:03:00] and loving it.

Susanne: Good. And how old are your daughters?

Linda: my youngest is two and a half and the oldest is five.

Susanne: Okay.

Linda: Yes.

Missy: you’re in Canada. So you got a nice maternity

Linda: Yeah. Yeah. It’s a little longer than you guys, but yeah, it’s, it’s very nice.

Susanne: How long is it there?

Linda: Um, you can take up to 18 months. Yes. So I took the full advantage 18 months and it was amazing. And don’t want to go back.

Missy: Right, right. Uh, so amazing.

love it. Well, we’re recording this in but by the time it releases, it’s going to be the new year. And I think a 

Linda: I said 

Missy: women are thinking about it’s new year. They’re looking at their careers or maybe the lack of a career at this moment, and really thinking about what to do next.

And so you talk a lot about alignment and purpose.

Linda: yes.

Missy: do you start aligning and finding purpose? Like what’s step one to figuring that out.[00:04:00] 

Linda: Well, how I basically threw out my content and one time when I have a coaching session with my clients, I have them assess the current situation they’re in. So whether they’re employed, but not happily employed or they’re unemployed, I want to look to the next step. So reevaluating the situation they’re in.

And essentially setting goals. So we’re not thinking of, you know, you want to be, you want to be millionaire, okay. Everybody wants to be able to get on here, but you want to be able to set realistic goals for yourself. And what I advise my clients is to always set mini goals in between. So you celebrate every single win along the way.

So then you don’t feel unmotivated. You know, one goals is not workout or your failed. As with failure, it’s a learning opportunity to keep chugging away. So you want to be able to set that goal. where you want to be, could be in a five-year spent time span. It could be in a year, however it is. And you want to be able to assess your situation and how you’re going to bridge the gap between where you are [00:05:00] and where you want to be.

Susanne: So for, for some of those people that might be like Missy and I were, especially when we first started this podcast, we 

kind of were like, we don’t even know what we like. We don’t really even know what we want to do. We don’t even know what those goals. R. And so, and, and almost to the point where like, we don’t even know what to align with because we had not done the work of figuring out who we were, what our values of where.

So for someone who’s kind of more in a regressed state, 

as far as like, like, I don’t even know what I want before I said the goals up against it. do you have clients like that? Are we special cases?

Linda: Oh, no. Hey, I was at one point in my career too. And it, it starts with, I guess, we’d have to backtrack a little bit, I guess, finding that purpose , in your career, in your life, and you want to be able to work towards it. So whether I guess in my case, I was to use my case as an example.

, I know that I always want to help. [00:06:00] Who are dealing in a career crisis or in a situation? , it’s particularly my case, you know, being on mat leave and not knowing if I wanted to return back into my career or what, what the next step is. So finding you know, digging deep and figuring out what my goals are.

And be able to find steps way to achieve it. So in my case, I was able to build my business and I’m not an expert, you know, being an entrepreneur here. , but I was able to navigate and figure out things along the way. I met a lot of people. Uh, reconnect to my mentors, and thought leaders and those in those kinds of areas and just kind of be able to learn along the way it’s a learning journey.

Susanne: Now it’s 

interesting. You brought up, uh, the extended maternity leave and I’m 

sure probably the rules around this are different than United States versus in Canada. But one of the things I went on my maternity leave for four months. This was 

15 years ago, 16 years ago. Um, I went off for four months and then my husband did three [00:07:00] months maternity leave.

And even after that, the childcare that we had. Reserve back when I was only three months pregnant, still, there was no availability. 

And we ran into this issue of like, we had to make some decisions around. Okay. Am I going to become a stay at home mom now? And I was kind of leaning towards that. the whole reason my husband went on paternity leave was to kind of give me the, well, it was to buy some time to see if space freed up.


but it was also to, you know, cause I didn’t know what, I didn’t know. Like I didn’t know what it was like going back to work 

until I tried it. And once I tried it, yeah. Yeah. I don’t know. I don’t know if this is for me and I don’t think it was necessarily the going back to work. I think it was the work I was going back to wasn’t 

necessarily, um, compelling enough to make me want to not be with my daughter.

but I was really worried that there would be legal ramifications for that as far as like, okay, this company just covered my maternity leave for three months. I just had health insurance for three months. and now if I say after just a couple of months, oh, sorry. [00:08:00] I’m really quitting now. Um, so are there things that women should be thinking of?

I mean, I, I really do like the idea of trying, so you know, what you don’t know and maybe, if you’re on the fence trying to figure out if you can that with your partner to, , get your kids some extra coverage, especially in the U S when you are lucky. If you get three months, if you’re trying to get a six months coverage, it’s nice.

If each of you, um, can take a three month period that gives you a chance to figure it out. If you really would like to go back to work, you know, it might just be jumping in and be like, wow, this is just what I needed. It’s the perfect balance. Or you might be like, 

Nope. like I did. And 16 years later, I’m still like, oh, there’s no childcare.

Cause I can’t go back. 


Missy: mom care 

like any and someone to take care of me 

and help me figure out what to do.

Susanne: I know that’s, that’s what our podcast is, but yeah. So I’m just really curious. I’m sure, like I said, it’s probably different in Canada and the United States, but are there things that, future moms [00:09:00] should be thinking about around maternity leave that, , either legally or contractually 

Linda: Okay. 

Susanne: issues for whether they decide to go back or not?

Linda: Of course. so I think expecting moms or moms who plan to have a family, so it’s best to keep in mind that you want to be able to let the employer know that. Because employers from an HR standpoint, BNH ever over 10 years, I’ve always to have that conversation with anybody who’s going on maternity leave, you know, are you planning to come back and you want to have that conversation because helps the employer plan, whether they’re going to backfill your role or they going to it in for a contract or permanent role, but.

my suggestions do all the woman’s out there is to protect yourself and let them player know that you’re going to come back regardless. So you can, you always have the right to make a decision closer to the return date, 

Missy: Right. 

Linda: with the, um, the employer, in Canadian, under the Canadian law, you have a month.

So 30 days you need to meet on 30 days. You need to let the employer [00:10:00] know, you are returning or not, or other, you lose your position. Um, so it really depends on various states that like in terms of the legislation there’s and, uh, what they stayed at, also looking at the company policy, what they outlined it, because when you sign your employment contract, you signed a bunch of other policy.

Susanne: Yeah. 

Linda: able to review that what you agreed and what you bind to. It’s very important because that’s going to be able to, secure your positioned, when you come back.

Susanne: Yeah.

Linda: always letting them know, that you are going to be returning and then you can make a decision because you may come back sooner.

Could you might be fed up like, you know, being on mat leave for so long for a month 

Missy: All right. 

Linda: you want to return back in two months, or you may just stay home with your baby a little longer and you may not come back, but always protect yourself and educate yourself with the legislation as well as the current company policy, because those are going to protect you.

Susanne: Yeah.

Missy: I’m going to take us off track 

so slightly off topic, but I’m so curious as an [00:11:00] American who did not have this opportunity. If you take that 18 months. What, what do employers do with your role? Like, are there a lot of temporary gigs available because people come in and fill those spots for 18 months or do people in your company just absorb that for you?

Like how does that work?

Linda: It really depends on the employer. a lot of them just spread it over the among of T. on if they have the capacity to do 

Missy: Right, right. 

Linda: situation, um, they were to both build a contract. So, , the contract was 18 months and then eventually, you know, she fulfilled 18 months and that was done.

Missy: Yeah, 

Linda: but 

Missy: right. 

Linda: it’s spread among the team just because for cost saving purposes, unfortunately all the other team member has to bear your workload. Um, but, 

Missy: But then it will be their turn someday for

somebody to take it. 

Linda: in that air in the, you know, and they want to have a family or if they’re yeah.

Um, otherwise have an 18 month contract with.[00:12:00] 

Susanne: That’s a 

really good question, Missy. Cause yeah, I mean, it 

seems really hard to even cover that three months. I mean, I felt 

like I spent the last six months of my pregnancy, like transitioning 

my stuff over and

Missy: Well, yeah. 

And I think, you know, the American sensibility, like everyone is just. This is the way we’ve always done it and there’s no possible way to do it. So I’m 

always curious when I talk to people who are doing things a different way, like how does it work? 

And you’ve made it work like Canada has made this work it’s possible.

So I just 

Susanne: Yeah. 

Missy: my curiosity knows no bounds about doing things different and better.

Susanne: Uh, but now since we do have an HR pro, , um,, are there other conversations that’s, expectant women should be having with their HR those months ahead of going on a maternity leave? Not to turn this into a full maternity leave episode, but I think 


Missy: really interesting and 

Susanne: it is 

Linda: is interesting. Yeah.

Susanne: making me think of all those things. Like I [00:13:00] didn’t, I 


review what my contract was. I didn’t, you know, think about what the state Paul’s. I was so busy just trying to actually transition my work over 

Linda: Yes. 

Susanne: my clients were taken care of I didn’t need. Really think about what the ramifications were until I finally gave my notice.

And then I started having all of this overwhelming guilt of like, I feel like I should have, you know, I should’ve told them months ago, even though I wasn’t sure. Months ago. And like, are, are they. I mean the payback, you know, all this insurance money or 

like, I, mean, I I was really nervous about it. And so, I mean, it sounds like you err, on the side of taking care of yourself and making 

Linda: Yes. 

Susanne: are protected.

Um, but I think part of that, I mean, is it worth having those open conversations with HR ahead of time? Or do you kind of hold your cards close to the chest as far as like, don’t want you to know that I might be thinking of not coming back or

Linda: Um, I, I, again, I always err on the cautious of protecting yourself because you [00:14:00] never know because, uh, even when you come back, what if the HR person leaves, what of your current hiring manager is gone? So the relationship might change with the person who’s subbing in for them, but it’s, it’s nice.

From an employer’s perspective. Of course, we want to know we want to be transparent with our employees, but I figured from an employee perspective, you want to protect yourself. Um, but yeah, I would be, um, be transparent when you’re comfortable doing so and starting off with your manager a. 

Susanne: Uh, 

Linda: be the first one to know. Cause you want to be able to build that trusting relationship with them even when you’re off. So they’re thinking of you when you’re off. Um, so you don’t want to be forgotten even if your leave is 

Missy: Right. 

Linda: months 18 months, for us, you can easily be forgotten.

Susanne: Yes. 

Do you still work here? 

Linda: keep those. Yeah, exactly. You’re still here. Well, even hobbling, I suggest, uh, women who are on extended mat leave to have like cook, couple of phone calls to your managers to be like, Hey, I’m still here.

I’m [00:15:00] still alive. I’m still want to come back in and you can always change your decision towards your return date.

Susanne: That makes sense. And are you seeing with your clients or just from people, you know, in the HR world, people who are coming back from extended maternity leave or even a short maternity leave? after the world of COVID looking for more flexibility and getting creative in the role, you know, it may not be the exact role that they left that they want to come back to.

And are you seeing the willingness for that or just a, more of a demand for it?

Linda: Well, I’m seeing a lot of, um, a lot of them having more extended leave or not returning and finding something else. Um, because pandemic has, has really shown us a lot. Like it really gives us a true color of our current employer. obviously there’s a huge demand for, you know, remote work especially with the young family.

Usually bears on the woman right on the mother, that case. So typically I see that a lot of my clients who are looking to [00:16:00] transition to a different career when they’re ready to come back in, then I case then they’re looking for something that’s more flexibility that can accommodate a young family, ideally working from home more than in the office.

Yeah. So there’s that transition that as women we have to deal with, because it falls on us, right.

Missy: Yeah, it 

does. I feel like women are rewriting the workplace. And a lot of ways 

we’re saying this is what we need to make it work for us. 

We’re a huge chunk of the population 

driving a lot of our economy

there’s it should work for us. And it kind of is something that we did want to talk about a little bit more is. If you’re thinking of going back to work and you’ve had a break, whether it’s been 16 years or 18 months or three months, whatever it is. and you want to start laying that groundwork, like how do you get a running start so that when you’re actually putting your resume out there, or actually starting a business, what can you do now?

Like Susanne always talk about how we wish we had known. [00:17:00] 

Or taking the time to figure out years ago, how to prepare ourselves for this now moment in our lives. Do you recommend anything special to your clients, books or


Linda: yes. Um, I’m a huge believer whether you intend to return to work, like you mentioned a year from now 15 years from now, however it is, you want to be able to not stay stagnant and keep learning. , and it comes down to, , even if you don’t exactly know when you’re going to return, w which kind of field, what kind of.

industry you want to return to, you keep your skills sharpen. So if you want it to. You know, take a bookkeeping course, if you wanted to take some other courses, volunteering is a great opportunity.

If you can squeeze it in your schedule somehow 

Missy: Right. 

Linda: of, and be able to sharpen those skills, , the key to look for transferable skills. So I have a lot of mom clients who are, you know, returning back into the workforce after set up period. And they’re like, you know, I know is how to take care of my kid and [00:18:00] that’s a hell of a job. You know, keeping that 

Missy: Yeah. 

Linda: it’s a hell of a job, right? We all 

Missy: Yup., 

Linda: and that’s a lot of skills that we can be able to showcase. Um, the ability to a multitask, be able to do everything else , you know, that is something that we can definitely showcase on your resume, , keeping your resume update as possible.

you can reach out to, , career consultant, career coaches here, um, to help revamp your resume. And LinkedIn. So LinkedIn is a very powerful source right now. just because it’s a digital live resume on the net, then anybody can quickly search you up be able to keep that update. It’s also very.

And the same time, keeping yourself and keep your mind active, you know, , attending workshops, seminars, um, reading a lot of books. You mentioned podcasts, anything to keep yourself active and not staying stagnant. It’s very important when you are ready to enter the workforce. So you’re not coming in blindly from a, , you know, if you, were mat leave in the 1990s and coming [00:19:00] back 15 years later, you have an idea what’s going on.

So it just kinda helped you the future, you, even if you don’t fully get the punch to go back, at least give yourself up. So you’ve been you’re ready. it will be transition would be a lot easier.

Missy: Yeah, I love that recommendation for 

LinkedIn. I just, I 

resisted LinkedIn for a long time because I wasn’t working full time. I felt sort of like, I didn’t belong.

Linda: Um,

Missy: And I just love that advice to not only keep yourself current on there and talk about the things that you’re doing to keep your skills current, but it’s a great place to, for lack of a better word, stalk other people who are 

Linda: Oh, yeah. 

Missy: things 

and figure out what they know.

Susanne: Yes.

Linda: And it’s great way to, as a network, there’s a lot of moms on there who are all could be in the same boat and those little moms who were in the same shoes. So we’re able to connect with that. There’s a lot of different groups like the mom project, which I’m sure you’ve heard of. And even Facebook, I find this great community there.

A lot of mom entrepreneurs stay home moms, moms looking [00:20:00] to transition back to work, amazing community. There’s.

Susanne: Yeah. And so I’m kind of the nuts and bolts. Like I want to know, I need a list of five things that people should do with their LinkedIn right

now, but that literally like, okay, so I’m. I’m saying, I’m not me say, I’m someone else I’m staying 

Linda: Okay. 

Susanne: my kids. Or, you know, uh, maybe around kindergarten or whatever.

I don’t know quite what I’m going to be doing, but , eventually no, when to go back to work, what does my LinkedIn look like? what are the kinds of things I know they have the new stay at home, mom indicator. Do 

you recommend doing that for people who are staying at home? What level of outreach should you be doing, like sharing other people’s stuff or is it more, just a matter of just keeping your stuff current? Like what kind of level of activity do you recommend? People have their.

Linda: Um, on your LinkedIn, I would recommend, even if you’re starting out, I’m going to clean slate. I would, start with the baby. So basic couple things is have your picture, current picture, had your headline done just to, um, [00:21:00] so an idea of what, you know, even if you don’t hold a current job, just talk about like your skills, your interests, your passions, your case, Susanne, like things like that.

what are you doing on a side? and things like that, you can outline that that really is sort of like summary on your resumes. It really stands out when people look up to Sandra like, oh, she’s all of this amazing. I want to connect with her. and then you put all this hashtags and make it all fancy and all.

and a couple of things is I would even mentioned, , a couple of positions you’ve held, um, some passion projects, you’re working on volunteer opportunities, education, like all of that. And that way, when you are reaching out to other people in the community, they have a sense of who you are and what you have to offer.

there’s a lot of groups I mentioned you can join as well. even if you’re not even actively looking for a career, but just kind of, um, speak to other folks in your community who , have similar interests. and, yeah, I would say , those are pretty the basic of creating.

 also a [00:22:00] section for, um, about me section is like an elevator pitch. So , that’s your time to shine. Um, a mini cover letter is what I tell my clients though. That’s where you put all your, your, your stuff, your jazz up, and then your contact information for people to reach out to you.

So it’s a great way for people to get to know you a bit more, and then connect that way.

Missy: I think even as a writer, like I could write your about me section, but I feel like people might need to find someone a Linda to help them write their about me section guy. I know mine’s not quite where it needs to be, but I have the hardest time doing an elevator pitch for me. I could do an elevator pitch for you, but it’s really hard to do for yourself.

So I 

feel like that’s a great, like. Good use of coaching to say let’s craft who 

you are 

Linda: Yes. 

Missy: when you need somebody to see it from outside sometimes.

Linda: Yeah. And I completely agree. Like it’s, it’s easy to do for someone. doing it for yourself. So have a 

Missy: [00:23:00] Hmm. 

Linda: a family to kind of just, um, second pair of eyes. So have a look at it and get their thoughts on it. Or would they be interested in speaking 

Susanne: Yeah. 

Linda: on that profile?

Missy: Right.

Linda: I’m one who’s honest and give you like the, so the, the truth

Missy: Right.

Susanne: Oh, she’s gonna to go look at her LinkedIn now.

Missy: It’s not mine needs to be sharpened up.

Maybe that should be a 20, 22 goal.

Susanne: I know we’ll get there. We’ll get there. So now for people who are maybe looking at revving things up a little bit, you know, maybe the next year or so. They want to get back to work. Um, I know that, gosh, was it Carol fishermen cone, a few people have recommended Toastmasters 

and things like that for building up their networks.

and then, you know, just also getting more comfortable public speaking, or just getting out of the house 

Linda: oh 

Susanne: might be helpful. Um, so do you have any thoughts on Toastmasters or other organizations like that? That could be [00:24:00] networking opportunities while at the same time being skill-building.

Linda: Um, yeah, that’s a great, , association to be part of because it really develops again, that, getting over that fear of public speaking, because you want to be able to. Especially if you were to lean in towards that area, that’s a way to build your skill and get over that fear. Um, like when I actually coach my clients, when I’m telling them to start networking, they’re like, my goodness, 

Missy: Oh, it’s my least favorite 


Linda: exactly right. But it doesn’t have to be that way. it’s just a matter of having conversation with almost complete strangers, but you just gotta be able to find a common ground between them. And I find that once you get over that fear and having just a conversation with a regular human on the other side about something you’re really driven, drives you or something you’re really passionate about, then that, that person, if they’re receptive and hopefully they are.

You know, used to build that chemistry and then it just kind of snowballs from there. So it was just a matter of [00:25:00] getting over that hump and just thinking that that person on the other side is just another human being and just wanting to have a conversation with you.

Susanne: And Missy, I think we need to start a revolution about this because we were just talking about this on the episode. Well, it just went live today. 

Linda: Oh, 

Susanne: Kristin Finan. And a friend of mine who runs this group called Carrying Hope that does hope packs for kids who are entering the foster care system. And I was in the PTA with her.

We had kids sit at the same school and it wasn’t until another event that my friend, uh, Erika did through a group called Austin allies that I realized that Kristin ran this amazing. Carrying hope group, even though I knew her from here, like we, I think we fall victim, just always having small talk about our kids, 

you know, and, you know, Missy was talking about how it took her a year to figure out that someone that she was always arranging, who’s going to be in charge of paper plates and forks with the class party.

Was this like amazing doctor they’d 

Missy: I mean, it was like, may [00:26:00] I was like, oh, you’re a doctor. I 

mean, I had no idea. I mean, that’s awful. All I knew is she was, you know, so-and-so’s mom, she’s like a little Timmy’s mom. 

Susanne: So, I don’t know 

if that’s an Austin phenomenon, but I don’t feel like anybody in Austin, which was kind of a blessing when I first moved here. Cause I didn’t have to tell anybody I hated being like, oh, I’m just a mom. Or I had a Ms. Day at 

home mom. So it was almost a blessing, but it’s also a curse because I feel like even though I don’t want people introducing and leading with what their job is, I love the idea of leading with like, what’s a really cool project or what are you excited about right now?

Or what’s something you’re interested in doing, instead of just talking about what your kids are doing. 

There are so many amazing other moms in the pickup lines and at the class parties. And 

like, instead of just leading with this conversation about, oh, what’s, what’s your kid going to bring for lunch to the field trip?

You know, instead of be like, Hey. Are you working on anything you’re really excited for, for next year? And you know, I don’t know. I just feel like we need to have a revolution of the standard of small talk we hold [00:27:00] ourselves to in this school pickup line. I don’t know, but yeah. cause networking doesn’t have to 

be at 

Linda: think as a mom, I think we’re 

Missy: Yeah, 

Linda: That’s just always talking about our kids that we don’t have the opportunity to talk about ourselves anymore. And then when we 

Missy: great. 

Linda: about herself, it’s just, oh gosh, she’s awkward.

Missy: It is. It’s so awkward and yeah, of 

course we love to talk about our kids. Like we’re so proud of them. 

Susanne: Yes, but no, I would love, and I actually had a friend. I had a blog way long ago called the 

dusty parachute. And I started that as an offshoot of a conversation I had with a friend and her kids were about 10 years ahead of mine. so I think it’s probably the same way that we look at. You know, people with littles, cause now we’re ready to talk about what we want to do in life.


she was at that point and she finally, we were at, you know, a little get together and all the way why night and everybody was talking about what their kids were up to and what sports our kids were going to do. And she was just like, stop. Tell me, what are you doing? I don’t want to hear about your kids.

And that was 

kind of her rule about [00:28:00] why nights and parties moving forward. She was like, your kids seem 

nice and whatever, but I am not here to party with them. Like I wanna,

Missy: Right. I want to talk to you.

Susanne: talk to you the 

grown up person in front of my face. so 


I think, I think the three of us were going to start a new revolution.

We’re going to.

Linda: And like that.

Missy: Yeah. And then we can learn to talk about ourselves. 

We were out of practice, like 

you said,

Susanne: Yes. Normalize talking about yourself. It’s okay. And not necessarily talking about yourself, like, oh, I’m so great. I did this. 

I did this. And I think maybe it isn’t, maybe that’s the thing it’s not talking about, like all your accomplishments, because I think that’s what you get uncomfortable about is 

talking about, like, I’ve done this and I’ve done this and I’ve done this and that.

And people don’t get very excited about that, but like, I’m really interested in learning. Stand up paddleboard, or I’m really interested about taking a class like this, if you’ve ever taken that class, have you ever did it? 

And so I think

Missy: Yeah. This is what lights me up. 

Susanne: Yeah. 

So that’s, that’s okay. We’re going to do a [00:29:00] manifesto 

and then we’re going to, we need a mission statement. Okay. That’s I keep on getting on soap boxes this week. Messy.

Missy: I have to, every time we’ve interviewed anybody, I be like, and another thing I got to 

Linda: you have a whole long running list.

Susanne: What do you do? We’re very motivated on behalf of other people, not 

ourselves so much, but we have a lot of great ideas for what other people should be doing.

Missy: Do, as we say, not as we do

Susanne: Oh, well, well, so I think we’re ready for the look, listen, learn. And just in case, this is anybody’s first visit to the podcast. Welcome. Thank you for joining us today. And , so the look, listen learns are a time for us to talk a little bit outside of the area of expertise, but just some stuff that you have been on your own free time watching or listening to, or looking at, , or learning about.

So we don’t usually like to put our guests right under the gun. So we’re going to start with Missy today so you can [00:30:00] check it out first. 

Missy: a look listen and a learn today

Susanne: what show 

Missy: crazy. I know, I know it’s getting towards the end of the year as we’re recording this for the end of 2021, I’m out of look lists and learns for 2021 that I actually have three today, which is amazing. So my first one I’m getting a visual aid. Is this purse. I see Susanne in person 

Linda: Oh

Missy: would be shocked at how rare that is. Um, so, and we got to have coffee with a couple of our friends and they were all commenting on this bag. So I’m pulling it up. 

Linda: Oh, 

Missy: cute bag. And then it has, um, interchangeable straps. So you can wear it kind of like a cross body 

Susanne: The strap.

is super for people who cannot see it First of all, it’s just the cutest most perfect shape. amazing camel color, leather purse. But this strap is this gorgeous embroidered, almost like a guitar strap

Missy: it kind of looks like a good guitar strap. Yeah. And it’s like red and blue and, , you can change them out. You could change them for every outfit. [00:31:00] I do not, this is my strap, but, um, but it’s, I got it from social threads and it’s actually. Mother chic or mother chick. I don’t know how you should say, she’s a fashion influencer and this is her collaboration with social threads.

So I will link to the actual bag. Um, But, and there’s a bigger version of it as well. And then they sell a couple other bags on social threads that can also use these straps. so that is my, I don’t know is that my look, I guess that’s my look. 

Susanne: looking at it 

now. It’s my look. 

Missy: This week for my listen is I have been going back into the vault and listening to all the Taylor swift stuff that she just rereleased as her own, you know, she bought back her rights.

and I just remember, like, there’s a reason Taylor swift is Taylor swift. Like she’s great. Her songs are so good. So I’ve had some time this week where nobody’s at home, my husband works from home and so we’re always. At home together,

[00:32:00] but he’s actually, yeah. Oh and he’s, but he’s been busy this week and he said some things out of the house.

So like I haven’t been cranking up some T swift and enjoying myself, like getting my chores done and dancing around the house and so fun. So that’s my listen. 

Susanne: gosh. I love it. 

Missy: And then, um, my learn is, well, there’s nothing I can really link to or point to, but I thought I would share that, by the time you’re listening to this, it will have been a couple months ago, but, I had to get a biopsy, a breast biopsy after my mammogram this year.

And so I think we all think about breast health in October breast cancer awareness month, but I want you to think about it in months that are not October. And I was so thankful through this whole process that I do get my mammograms. If for some reason you are 40 or older and your doctor is not ordering them, you need to talk to your doctor and go get them.

Because even though I was a little bit terrified, like the reason I had my biopsy was because of something, they call an architectural distortion. which sounds really not [00:33:00] breasts like at all, but it’s just the tissue had. Pull to a point in a place where it shouldn’t have, apparently a lot of those are super high percentage of those turn out to be malignant.

So I was a little bit afraid, but I knew that I get my mammogram every year. And so if it was something I knew, we had found it quickly and early and that comforted me through the whole thing. And I’m very fortunate that it, it was not malignant. It was benign. My biopsy results are back and I’m now just healing from a biopsy.

But yeah. It’s just something I wanted to make sure we talk about. I’ll probably talk about it again on the podcast. , the generations before us, I think it was just sort of like a hush hush thing, but go get your boobs squished. Do it every year. Check them yourself. I didn’t feel anything. There was nothing there to feel, but I know two women who have been diagnosed in the last couple of months, who they felt something in teeny tiny things, they felt them, and they’re getting care now and, you know, have long roads ahead of [00:34:00] them, but they will also cure themselves of this disease because they found it early.


that’s my. 

Linda: feel, so when you do feel those teeny tiny bumps are 

Missy: That my friends who did, did not had no pain, they just felt something that wasn’t supposed to be there. I have heard people say that they have painful places. Um, 

Susanne: I think it’s so individualized because I’ve had friends who have said it was just a spot that like or even the skin just felt rough. It felt like kind of like a orange peel kind of, and you know, our skin starts to feel pretty weird in our fifties. But, I mean, so even just a texture change, it may just be the fun of aging, but you know, it’s, it’s worth getting checked out, 

Missy: I talked a lot to the women while, while I was getting my biopsy and it was a long process, the kind of biopsy I had with. The simple, quick thing. so my hope for you is if you do have to have one, you don’t have to have a stereotactic biopsy, not an enjoyable experience, but so we had a ton of time together.

[00:35:00] And so we were talking and they were saying it’s just vastly different. What people find, what it looks like, how it feels, how they react to it. It’s just different for everybody. And that’s, they were hammering home. Spend some time with your breasts, like look at them, know what they feel like, and know if anything changes.

It very likely could be nothing because our bodies do change so much as we age. Um, and weird stuff happens. I mean, Susanne and I are both pushing her fifties and which it happens every day. 

Susanne: That’s right. 

Missy: So it really could just be some strange thing. but it might not be, it might, it might be something a little more sinister and the faster you feel.

There are, I mean, medicine and science are incredible. Now they can do a lot so go take care of it. Don’t be scared. It’s scary, but don’t be scared to look and feel and go call the doctor. 

Susanne: Yes. Such a good, reminder. And we’re all so glad that that is how the tests. [00:36:00] You said elsewhere? Yes. 

Missy: So huge relief, but I know not everybody gets that relief. So just also reach out to your people in your life who maybe had a different result from their biopsy because they, they need a hand to hold for sure. It’s scary.

Susanne: yes. Oh, my gosh. We’re going to make Linda follow that. Sorry, Linda. 

Linda: no, well, it’s good to know. 

Susanne: I can’t follow it with my salad spinner. So I’m going to make 

Missy: Oh, totally. You can. Let’s go. It’s time to talk about something fun, right?

Linda: All right. Um, my thought is interesting as yours, Missy. but I I’m just started actually reading a book called are a badass, how to stop doubting your greatness and start living an awesome life. 

Susanne: Yes. 

Linda: And it’s recommended to me by another coach.

Have you ladies read it?

Susanne: Oh Yes, I do. And yeah. 

Missy: on our wishlist, our guests wishlist.

Susanne: That’s Jen Sincero, right? 


Linda: Yeah. 

 Very excited about it. I’ve only read a couple pages in, but, um, it was recommended by another coach and [00:37:00] I know another, a few people who read it, so, yes, that’s awesome. If you’re going to have it on your show, I’ll 

Susanne: Oh, no, no, she’s our she’s on our wishlist. 

She’s yeah. 

Missy: hopefully we will.

Linda: well, hopefully she hears this podcast.

Susanne: We’ll tag her on it. 

Linda: Yes, for sure. Um, learn is sign language. So I’m actually taking a class in sign language.

Missy: that’s awesome. 

Linda: very interesting. Yes. , and the reason I wanted to learn this because, , my daughter has special needs. , and I’m trying to learn American sign language so I can teach to her and she can learn the alphabet in like one session I taught and I’m still trying to learn just the letters again.

but yeah, things like that, like she’s picking up so quickly, so she just keeps me going. 

Missy: Yes. 

Linda: so yeah, it’s definitely, um, amazing. 

Susanne: That’s so cool. My daughter and I did a ASL class. We have the Texas school for the deaf here, um, and in [00:38:00] Austin, which is an incredible school and their, , lessons are full immersion. So I think they were like, gosh, two hours, I think once a week. And we would go and you are not allowed to say a word.

Um, and it is, it’s a really. Amazing way to learn it, to force you to, because 

I think that, yeah, cause you default to just like either, you know, if you can’t say it, you get frustrated and you say it and you, you are not allowed to say anything. And even to the point where, 

sometimes my daughter and I would get in the car to go home and we like for 20 minutes, we still have. It was very interesting and it brought up all kinds of different questions because, you know, even as we were driving home, like I was eating something and I was driving. And so it was like, how would you talk right now? 

Missy: Oh,

Susanne: If you needed to do sign. And I know, you know, you know, we kind of asked the teacher once and they do kind of casual versions of sign where you can get away with it with one hand. And, um, it’s so it’s [00:39:00] just, it’s very interesting. Just like anything else people adapt and they figure out ways . But, , but it was just very interesting. to think about the little, in and outs of how you go about your life and how it can be impacted based on, , different physical, , or any kind of needs that you might have. So that’s amazing. You’re doing that.

Linda: Yes. And, um, it’s really just, again, like I mentioned, back to valuing like kind of being the present because when I take these classes, It’s 

important to kind of be in the present and absorb it all and just, know, appreciate the culture, the deaf culture. 

Missy: Yeah. 

Linda: yeah, it’s very interesting and just amazing. I’m like, I don’t know if I can ever learn how to sign that, but it keeps you going, 

Susanne: yeah. 

Linda: you going because you’re like, okay.

But at least built a couple of sentences and, you know, have conversation than 

Susanne: Yeah. 

Linda: you know, broken, broken language, I guess you could call it.

Susanne: Yes. And I just think it’s as an adult, it’s been so long since so many of us have been in a situation where we have to like take a test or [00:40:00] perform or do a quiz or whatever. And it was very, you know, my daughter and I got pretty competitive there for our final test. And Missy, I know you just had, Missy just took her big test for her master gardener 

Linda: Oh, wow. 

Susanne: thing, anything that makes you kind of go into a different area that. You know, as almost 50 year old woman, it’s been a long time since I had to take a test or, 

Missy: Yeah, It’d been a long time since I studied like that. I 

Susanne: And it comes back to you 


Missy: Make my notes and re it was, it has come right back and it felt really good to do it, which it doesn’t always feel good when you’re in the midst of like being a full-time student. But, um, now as an old lady, I love doing it.

It’s kind of fun.

Susanne: And then my daughter kicked my butt at the test. So that was not the fun. part. 

Missy: That’s just our young elastic 

Susanne: I know 

Linda: Yeah. 

Susanne: Um, okay. so my look, listen, learns are not quite as meaningful as yours bolts of yours. Okay. I’ve been [00:41:00] meaning to talk about this salad spinner for awhile, I guess, is this my learn? I don’t know what it is.

I look at it a lot because somehow even though my daughter. 16 year old and she’s has spent like the previous, however many years she’s been going to school, making her own lunches, packing her bag, getting whatever. And out before I even know it, for some reason this year, her junior year of high school, it started with a couple of texts.

Like, Hey, I’m running a little late. Can you start my salad? Or like, Oh, Hey, can I, can you start my teas now? For some reason, I am like this fully catered lunch program for her. And it has just become our thing that we meet in the 

Missy: got your number. 

Susanne: Yeah. We made in the kitchen at eight 30 and she gets her breakfast and we just kind of chat and I make her lunch.

And so, but I bought this thing a few years ago because I got really tired of. I used to wash lettuce and then just kind of like slap it. like to get 

Missy: Dry it and towels and 

Susanne: and or, or I’d waste a bunch of paper towels, which, and our other towels are just nasty. So this [00:42:00] tiny little cell has been, or is just it’s perfect for one, or we can, I can make salads for up to four people in here.

It’s kind of crammed. I don’t know how much it cleans, but then, you know, she has like berries and all kinds of stuff. So I just put it all in here. It’s got the little spinner and it gets rid of all the water, sorry for anybody who’s listening to that. 

Missy: Yeah.

Susanne: so Um,

we will have links to this and a picture of it, um, 

Missy: Yeah, it is so cute for people who 

Susanne: yeah, 

Missy: it. Like, it’s probably 

Susanne: four. caps, five cups, maybe 

Missy: It’s small. It’s really cute. 

Susanne: because yeah, I used to have a salad spinner and like how, when do I ever need, this can make enough salad for our family of four, like when do you ever need this giant one? 

Missy: I’m not sure I have one anymore because I was always annoyed by it. And it’s a big, bulky thing to keep in clean and then store and,


Susanne: this thing, 

Missy: I love 

Susanne: love. 

Linda: portion control too.

Susanne: Exactly. Yeah, If only I put cake in there. 

Linda: Oh, yum.

Missy: That’d be a lot of cake though.[00:43:00] 

Linda: A whole birthday cake.

Susanne: Let’s see, and my look and kind of listen is we’re going to Hamilton as a family this weekend. And my son who is 12, we’ve gone to a couple of plays like when we were in New York, but this is the first one that he’s going to our season tickets of our. 

Missy: yeah. 

Susanne: and Austin and I, and he’s always like now, which one’s Hamilton again.

And I was like, no, you are not going to be in the middle of Hamilton being like, wait, we just went to George Washington. So I said, okay, we are going to, cause I know from going there, it’s kind of a little echoey 

Missy: It is. I don’t love to see shows 

Susanne: a Yeah. And It’s so it’s kinda hard to hear the words. So we are forcibly making him watch The Disney version, their recorded Hamilton performance. and we’re doing it with subtitles because even when they’re doing it, they’re sometimes they’re so fast. or I don’t catch it all. So we’re doing it with the subtitle so we can really know who’s who, and what’s what, and at the end of every scene, he’s like clapping.

So he’s super into it. and [00:44:00] we’ve been listening to it. I I’m giving my husband a brief break from the Christmas music that I immediately turn on. As soon as. Thanksgiving dinner. Um, so we’ve been listening to Hamilton, just so I feel like that. Make it a little more interesting when we go see it and he’ll be able to, even if he misses a line or, you know, if something’s kind of hard to hear, he’ll know what’s going on.

Um, so we’ve been looking and listen to that, and I’ve also been listening to I’ve run into a real tragedy with my reading in that. Um, I am an audio book listener and I had finished the book of the invisible life of Addie LaRue and then rent almost immediately into the book Malibu rising. And it’s the same narrator. 

Missy: Oh, that’s confusing. 

Susanne: it’s also the same narrator who did the like eight husbands of Evelyn, Hugo, or

Missy: Oh

Susanne: uh, 

Missy: seven . 

Susanne: 700. I don’t know. She had a lot of husbands 

Missy: Yeah. All those has been said. 

Susanne: coincidentally that’s the same author of Malibu rising. I was [00:45:00] like there, cause they started talking about Evelyn Hugo in Malibu rising. And I was like, wait a minute.

So all my worlds were crossing, but it’s super confusing because the voice that had.

been the week before, like Satan is now just some surfer and it’s really disturbing me. So now I have to plan my reading. Like giving myself a break between narrators. I don’t know. 

Missy: Hey, like normally you wouldn’t think about that. It’s now you have a satanic surfer in your head. 

Susanne: St. Janick surfer, it was really distracting.

I didn’t have to kind of get myself through it, but Yeah. So I’ve been listening to those kind of listening and then getting distracted by my this name, but yeah, 


Missy: on all my books.

Susanne: I have been cruising. Cause all I, it was my turn to choose the selection of books for book club. And I got so excited about all five of them. that I’ve been just like, I think I’ve been through like three or four of them in the past week and a half.

So that’s a nice thing about audio books is you can just [00:46:00] like cruise through them like nobody’s business, but that sometimes you get your narrator who is crossing over your worlds and 

Missy: Yeah. I just made myself a note, like don’t listen to these. Back-to-back. 

Susanne: Yeah, Don’t listen to this back to back. Or she did the Evelyn Hugo, and I feel like there was another one that she was the narrator for.

I’m like, yeah, I really, and she’s really good. So I can see what she gets hired for all these gigs, but I’m like, no. But 

Missy: the worst. When you get a book, that’s a good book, but you kind of can’t handle the narrator. 

Susanne: yeah. Now that she’s, she’s amazing. Yeah, her, her man sound is so similar that her man Satan is very much the man server. 

Missy: That’s so funny. 

Susanne: yes, 

Missy: or is it a server? We don’t know. 

Susanne: but anyway. Yes. So that is what I’ve been. Look, listen, learn and Yeah.

Oh, my gosh, Linda, we’re so excited to have a chance to chat with you. And I’m sorry, we’ve been having a little bit of audio difficulties 

 We want to make sure that people are.

able [00:47:00] to follow up with you. Watch your amazing fun videos on Dick dock and Instagram. So where is the best place for people to reach out to you or to follow you online? 

Linda: Of course. So you’ve mentioned it. , I’m on, , of course, LinkedIn TikTok Instagram. you can also reach me on my website as well. It’s www your next career with Linda. there’s lots of services that I offer around career coaching. , I , predominantly. One-on-one career coaching.

. That’s why I started my business. Be able to help women who are, , feeling stuck and, , want to be able to get out of whatever we’re dealing with now and transitioning back into workforce.

It’s also an area I’m going to help that I’m continuing to help women with.

Susanne: Wonderful. our favorite things, 

Missy: Yes.

Love women 

Susanne: and getting back into the workforce. Yeah. 

Linda: Yes. 

Missy: Yeah. 

Susanne: Oh, well, we’re so glad we finally got a chance to meet you encourage everybody to go check out your website and follow your videos and learn more about you. So thank you so much for your time. [00:48:00] 

Linda: Thank you both for having me, it’s been a pleasure and I’ve had lots of fun. Like 

Susanne: Okay. 

Linda: of the most fun podcasts ever been. So thank you for 

Susanne: Yay. All right. Thank you so much. 

Missy: have a great day.

Linda: boat. Take care. Bye.

Missy: Bye.