Something for the weekend: the year of good career intentions


This weekend’s issue begins with a note from Isabel Berwick, host and editor of the FT’s Working It. podcast and newsletter. She has organized a special series for us over the next two weeks.

I know from my own failed promises that New Year’s resolutions often don’t work out.

So, from my Instagram feed, I’m noticing a lot of people “setting their intentions” for 2023 instead, and I love this change. Setting workplace and career intentions for the next year is vague, cooler, and frankly more achievable than binding resolutions. My intentions for both my work and life are to embrace humility (after all, I may not always be right) and be a better listener.

As a workplace professional, I also like to start the new year by reading something that reminds me of how far women and minority groups have come in corporate life in recent decades.

This year is a new book called The rise of corporate feminism By Alison Elias on the evolving secretary role. In the early 1960s, his boss found out that it was perfectly fine for an overweight secretary to give him six months to “lose weight or face dismissal.”

Things are (thank God) much better, but many women are still navigating workplaces and organizations that weren’t made for us. is rapid, but you shouldn’t hold yourself accountable for making the change. Only structural change will ensure that all workers have the right to fair wages, affordable childcare and flexible working arrangements.

Still, it’s still important for women to plan and direct their career paths as best they can. It can help you consider what you’re not working on and figure out how to make changes that improve your outlook, purpose, or pay. .

That might be taking a cue from a female CEO or founder, refusing to do “office chores” that don’t lead to a promotion, or considering a career change.

FT Edit’s Working It series kicks off Monday, featuring an article on women’s career inspiration each day for two weeks.

I hope you enjoy it. If there’s anything you’d like to see covered in the FT’s Working It podcast in 2023, please contact me (workingit@ft.com).

our favorite work

• Here’s a confession. For the first time in my life, no one gave me a book for Christmas. So, in the first week of the new year, I was especially pleased to read an article picking out the books our reviewers are looking forward to in the months ahead. I have a lot of space on my bookshelf.
Malcolm Moore (@Malcolm More)
Editor, FT Editing

• Housing — lack of housing, prices, political circumstances — is a nearly endless source of anxiety in much of the West. This captivating production from his BBC presenter Kirsty Lang, who moved to Vienna last summer, offers a tantalizing vision of a different approach. Does this sober, no-nonsense city have a radical answer to our housing crisis?
hannah lock
Associate Editor, FT Edit (@HannahRockFT)

Our favorite facts of the week. ..

Japanese parents are being offered 1 million yen ($7,600 equivalent) per child to leave Tokyo. The Japanese government wants a policy to revive rural towns that have seen a large exodus of working-age population to the big cities.

what to hear

work — The world of work was defined by a talent war last year, with many companies finding places where flexible working fits into the world of work. The Working It podcast asks if these trends will continue.

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Behind the Money — The financial crisis of 300 years ago may not seem particularly relevant today, but a trip through time in Behind the Money reveals more similarities than you might think.

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Roughman Review — It’s been almost a year since Putin launched his invasion of Ukraine. Gideon Rahman sees what has changed in Russia since then.

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what to see

The Indian Premier League, which runs the cricket league in India, has helped make men’s cricket a money-making jackpot. Can women’s cricket do the same?

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