Skip to main content
J. Margaret Weaver Journal

J. Margaret Weaver Journal

By KaLeena
Join KaLeena Thomas, founder of J. Margaret Weaver, for career advice, stories from other business leaders, and ideas to enhance your career.
Where to listen
Apple Podcasts Logo

Apple Podcasts

Spotify Logo

Spotify

A Peek Behind the Other Side of the (Interview) Desk with Fortune 26 Recruiter, Allison Dietz
Join Allison Dietz, veteran corporate and college recruiter, and J. Margaret Weaver as they spill the tea on acing the interview. What You'll Learn: How to network prior to applying for a job so you come in with a referral Little-known tips from a veteran recruiter on how the application and interview processes really work Common pitfalls and how to avoid them to help you land your dream job How the pandemic changed recruiting - and how you should respond
01:00:45
August 31, 2022
Laura Thomas on the Psychology of Mental Health, Motherhood, and Reinventing Her Career
To say "mental health" has been a buzzword the past two years may be a understatement.  There is so much that could be unpacked within this simple phrase, and probably just as many opinions about how to improve your mental health. Whether in your professional or personal sphere, I think that most, if not all people would say that talking more about our mental health is a positive.  To add flavor to this conversation, I asked Laura Thomas, a psychology instructor with a background in leadership development and counseling, to share some of the themes that she teaches as well as tips on when to seek help, how to better navigate conflict, and how she came back to the workforce after pausing to stay home with her three children.  Our conversation is interesting, thought-provoking, and science/research based from a psychology perspective.  She also debunks some of the common "pop psychology" that is out there that isn't based in the actual science or research of psychology - who knew?  Recommended Resources Mentioned in this Episode: Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb Psychology Today Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom StrengthsFinder / Living Your Strengths About Laura Thomas Laura Thomas is currently an instructor of Psychology at Central Washington University. She teaches Introduction to Psychology as well as Psychology of Adjustment. She is writing a textbook for her adjustment class this year. Laura was a Career Counselor at Texas State University and Southern Methodist University. She also taught leadership classes as the Assistant Director of the Leadership Center at Texas State University. Laura was raised all over the world as an army BRAT. The traveling helped create her love for people and learning from others. She married her high school sweetheart and they currently live in Sammamish, Washington with their three children. The family loves to spend their time visiting national parks, camping, hiking, anything outdoors. She received a Bachelor of Science at Kansas State University with a double major in Life Sciences and Psychology. Her Masters degree was from Texas State University with a focus on Counseling Psychology.
36:44
July 21, 2022
From Sketches to the Store: Where Your Favorite J. Margaret Weaver Pieces Come From
Did you know it can take a year or more to go from a croquis or quick sketch of a design to delivering the final production order? While I remember learning about fast fashion giants in business school that can consolidate this timeline down into about six weeks (an interesting, though different business model); small batch, independent designers like J. Margaret Weaver take a different approach. Right now, I'm toggling between real life where it's Summer 2022 and work life where I'm preparing as far ahead as Fall 2023.  Planning so far ahead can be disorienting; while I have to envision timelines and events and demand for Spring and Fall 2023, I'm also reminded that it's still June 2022 when I want to sign a check with the wrong year. Coming from the healthcare industry, I had no idea how detailed and labor-intensive it was to bring a design to life.  That said, the process is always fresh and fun because it brings together creativity, functionality and inspiration with user feedback.  For those of you who have completed a design survey or tried on a sample, your feedback has been invaluable toward bringing an initial idea to fruition. If you're like me and curious how an idea ultimately becomes a piece of clothing in a store, listen here for the 411.
22:22
June 23, 2022
Lisa Caras on Effective Decision Making, Balancing Career & Family, and Building Discipline
Join me as I talk to Lisa Caras, mom, wife, and marketing manager for her family-owned business - Jones Dairy Farm - about consulting, going back to business school, and keeping everything going at work, home, and in between.  Lisa holds a high degree of excellence and expectations for herself, and she shares advice and experiences she's had that have been instrumental in shaping her along the way.
49:35
May 19, 2022
Adam Trafton on his Debt-Free Journey, being Outrageously Generous, and Fatherhood Goals
A few months ago, I published a podcast episode that took a critical look at the saying and the philosophy that "your network is your net worth." This generated a lot of conversation and feedback, and I enjoyed hearing stories from people about their financial journeys, financial literacy, and sometimes the lack of education or transparency they had with respect to personal finances as they were growing up and some of the challenges this created later in life. One of my colleagues and friends, Adam Trafton, reached out and shared some of the details about his debt-free journey. It was such an inspiration to me, I asked if he would join me for an interview to share how and why he paid off his debt so quickly (he paid off $70,000 in five months!) as well as what he's learned about personal finances and some of the common pitfalls many people find themselves in. Finally, we wrap up with the fun that comes with building wealth and using that wealth to be outrageously generous with other people! We agreed that the best part of being financially secure was the ability to give to people and causes that are important to you without concern over whether or not you could afford to do so. Finally, I want to add a disclaimer that we are not giving any financial advice nor are we financial experts. Adam shares resources and a program that worked well for him, and encourages you to do the same. Everyone is at a different place in their financial journey, and this is an opportunity to hear how he changed his behaviors around spending and saving to reach specific financial goals. Your goals might be the same and they might be different, and I welcome productive, thoughtful dialogue and discussion.
51:52
April 21, 2022
Caitlin Poling on Working on Capitol Hill, Career Pivots, and the Value of Over-Preparing
I met Caitlin the summer before my freshman year of college on a long bus ride from Ashland, OH to Knoxville, TN.  She was on the University's cheer team, I was on the dance team, and we were headed to our respective cheer/dance camps at University of Tennessee.  While we didn't have time to get to know each other during the hectic, four-day schedule; as luck would have it, we were also both in the honors program and had been automatically enrolled in Heuristic Problem Solving together on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We bonded over logic problems, economic models, and a love of fashion.  Over the years, Caitlin has not only been a loyal friend she's also been a source of inspiration for me thanks to her incredible work ethic, high standards, and intellect.  She can tackle any obstacle or problem, make the best of a less-than-ideal situation, and positions herself for success through over-preparation. On this podcast episode, I interviewed Caitlin to learn more about how she started her career in politics and government, how she pivoted to a new role when her husband was posted overseas, and why she now relentlessly over-prepares for everything. Disclaimer: views expressed here are Caitlin's own and are not representative of the State Department or U.S. Government.
01:01:19
March 23, 2022
The Art of Intentionality: What I Learned from a 30-Day Social Media Fast
Around the beginning of 2022, I saw posts from a few friends and “social media influencers” stating that they were going to take a 30-day hiatus from Instagram.  After a busy first holiday season with J. Margaret Weaver and the sense that I was spending way too much time passively scrolling, I decided to follow suit and take a 30-day break from all of my personal social media. I planned to post to my business accounts, but to spend less time on it and to eliminate, as much as possible, mindless scrolling.
18:26
February 21, 2022
What Do 92% of People Think Would Help Them at Work?
Feedback. Most everyone says feedback is important.  But what do we really mean when we say this?  Do we really want to hear about all the things we need to fix about ourselves? Are we willing to have tough conversations with people about something they could do better? Or are we more often soliciting positive comments and compliments under the guise of asking for feedback? Listen to my take, including research on feedback and ideas on how to better share or receive feedback.
26:53
January 25, 2022
KaLeena Thomas: Sharing my Perspective on Career Growth, Determination, and the Importance of Feedback
At the suggestion of a few colleagues, I put myself in the “hot seat” and switched my role on the podcast from the interviewer to the interviewee.  Michelle McClay, my longtime colleague and friend who joined me for the first episode, was kind enough to act as the host and guided me through questions on how I approached my career planning, tools and habits I have found to be game-changers for performance, and techniques I have used to address low points of challenging situations in my life.
48:36
January 24, 2022
Dr. Elizabeth Piontek on "Finding her path, personal branding, and the business of medicine"
I had the pleasure of spending a Saturday morning with Dr. Piontek, (who goes by Libby) a friend of mine in Kansas City to talk to her about her career, how she developed a personal brand, and what she has learned about the business side of medicine.  While her experience is focused on practicing medicine, her recommendations are applicable to young professionals across industries and professions.
40:20
January 24, 2022
Dr. Megan Gerhardt on "Gentelligence, Leadership, and the Truth about Millennials"
A few years ago, I was preparing for a recruiting trip at my alma mater, Miami University (Ohio), and had the opportunity to connect with Dr. Megan Gerhardt, one of the leadership professors in the business school.  After exchanging emails, we met in person and had the first of many conversations about leadership, navigating generational differences in the workforce, and why Millennials have gotten such a bad reputation.  She has also provided leadership training to a number of my colleagues through her consultancy, The Gerhardt Group, and I always learn a lot when I talk to her.  Today, we dive into a lot, including what it means to be “Gentelligent” - a movement that Megan started, how different generations view leadership, the positive side of Millennials, and what Generation Z has in store for us.
51:15
January 24, 2022
Why Are 23% of Women Looking to Leave the Workforce?
A recent article in the Wall Street Journal highlighted that 23% of women with children are considering quitting their jobs this year compared to 13% of men with children.  Today, we talk about the drivers of this trend that are noted in the article and the tactics that women can take themselves to solve for these challenges.
18:32
January 24, 2022
Fact or Fiction: Is Your Network is Your Net Worth?
Today, we dive into the myth behind the popular saying "your network is your net worth".  Why has this saying become so popular, is it true, and is it just a play on words or is there a worldview associated with it that could impact how we steward our time and money?
34:37
January 10, 2022