Ever wish you could pick the brain of top female executives to get their takes on everything from corporate culture to dealing with self-doubt?
Apres’ new podcast series, “The After Show,” does just that. In each 30-minute segment, airing every other week, co-founder Jennifer Gefsky talks to influencers, authors, entrepreneurs, company executives and those with a good story to tell to get at what drives them and how they found success in the workplace.
“We try and offer our listeners insight into a company’s culture — its programs and policies and how the company is trying to be different, for example,” says Gefsky. “Sometimes the take-away might be inspiration to keep looking for that perfect job when you hear how much rejection someone else faced. “
But it’s not all business. “When I interview women, I always like to hear their personal story. It’s good for other women to know they are not alone when they experience self-doubt, failure, or a lack of confidence. We all do. So, it’s especially nice to hear from women who are really successful but who experience those same emotions.”
Gefsky’s first guest has an especially compelling story. Susan Noyes, a former Sidley Austin attorney and mother of 6, switched gears after years of staying at home. In 2007, Susan launched Make It Better Media, an organization that has grown to encompass a print magazine, blog, social network, and events for people interested in making a social impact.
“I loved hearing about how Susan started with basically no experience and just worked, worked and worked to build MIB into what it is today,” says Gefsky. “I hear so many women talk about their fear of having ‘rusty’ skills or not knowing the path back into the workforce, but Susan just put all of those concerns to the side and literally made it happen — even when people were telling her that she would fail. It’s really an inspiring story.”
In the podcast, Noyes talks about the impetus for starting MIB when she had already established a legal career.
Susan claims to have started Make It Better, because her kids were growing up and she realized that she needed a ‘what’s next’ in her life.
She also stresses looking at the skills gained during one’s time at home and identifying which are translatable to the paid workforce. “Own your strengths” when you are re-entering the workforce.
Gefsky says she and co-founder Niccole Kroll landed on the podcast format because they enable busy women to consume content without being tethered to a screen.
“So many of our Après members are on-the-go all day,” she says, “so it’s nice to have something to listen to instead of read.”
“The After Show” also allows Gefsky to pull out from her subjects more personal anecdotes since it is more relaxed in nature.
“You can really get into a conversation and you never know where the interview will go,” she says. “It was surprising to learn that many people told Susan not to start Make It Better because she would surely fail, but she ignored the naysayers. As an outsider, you look at the Make It Better platform and think, this is amazing! It must have been so fun to create this! But in reality, Susan faced failure and self-doubt, just like the rest of us. She even considered stopping all together after one particular failure. So to some, that might be surprising to hear. For me, Susan’s story inspired me to know that I’m not alone when I have particularly hard days at work.”