Katherine Johnson, NASA Mathematician
Katherine Johnson talks about her early affinity for mathematics, a college professor who noticed her gift and pushed her to pursue advanced math courses and how she eventually became a NASA mathematician who calculated, among many other computations, the trajectory for the space flight of Alan Shepard, the first American in space.
Katherine Johnson, NASA Mathematician
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Lena Waithe, Writer & Actor
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KATHERINE JOHNSON: Math. It's just there. It has always been a part of whatever I was doing.
- All engines running.
KATHERINE JOHNSON: You're either right or you're wrong. That I liked about it.
They tell me I counted everything. Everybody studied at a big table, and after I finished mine, I helped them get theirs. And I was the youngest. I wound up ahead of my brother, maybe two grades. I don't remember how many. I entered college. I was 15. I was gonna be a math teacher because that was it. You could be a nurse or a teacher.
He said, you'd make a good research mathematician. I said, oh? What do they do? He said, you'll find out. So he had me take all the courses in the catalog. Sometimes I was the only person in the course. I said, where will I find a job? He said, you'll look till you find it. Took me seven years, but I found it.
He said, you're very lucky. Langley has a post for black mathematicians, just opened it up to women. They had a pool of women mathematicians. They just wanted somebody to do all the little stuff, while they did the thinking. We were called computers, women computers. I had been there less than a week, when this engineer came in and wanted two women computers, and Mrs. Vaughn sent me over to the flight branch. And we never went back.
- Today, a new moon is in the sky, placed in orbit by a Russian rocket.
KATHERINE JOHNSON: Oh, they felt terrible that, here we sat, and the Russians had a vehicle riding around, looking down on you. So we set out to send somebody up there and look down to. They'd called up a group of engineers and have a briefing as to what they were gonna have to do. And I asked, could I go? They said, women don't ever go to those. I said, is there a law against it? They said, no, well, let her go ahead. I wanted to know what it was they were looking for. So I wound up doing what it was they were trying to find out.
- Commander Alan B. Shepard was to become the first man sent into sub-orbital flight. The Mercury capsule is right on course.
KATHERINE JOHNSON: Our office computed every mission that went out at that time-- the height, the speed, and so on. It became a geometry problem.
- Ignition sequence start.
KATHERINE JOHNSON: I felt most proud of the success of the Apollo mission.
- Zero. All engines running--
KATHERINE JOHNSON: They were going to the moon.
- We have a lift off.
KATHERINE JOHNSON: I computed the path that would get you there. You determined where you were on Earth when you started out, and where the moon would be at a given time. We told them how fast they would be going, and the moon will be there by the time you got there.
- Beautiful, just beautiful.
KATHERINE JOHNSON: We were really concerned when they were leaving the moon, going back. He had two adjusters, we said. If he'd missed it by a degree, he doesn't get into orbit. I was looking at the television. I said, boy, I hope he's got that right.
And I was sitting there hoping I'm right, too.
John Glenn said, tell her. He knew that I was the only woman that worked on it. He said, if she comes up with the same answer that they have, then the computer's right. It took me a day and a half to compute what the computer had given them. Turned out to be the exact numbers that they had.
It was my job. And I did my job correctly and well.
LENA WAITHE: When you're an artist and you're making whatever it is you're making, I think the mission is to walk to it as vulnerable as possible, so that somebody will be able to connect to it.
LENA WAITHE: I grew up on the south side of Chicago. I was in a house full of women. It was my mother, my grandmother, my older sister, my aunt come by a lot. There was a similar thing that they all had, which was a lot of strength, a lot of pride, a lot of integrity, and a nice amount of sass and swag, too. I know a lot of kids watch television, but I really felt like I was immersed in it. I watched, like, "A Different World," "The Cosby Show," "Saved By the Bell," "The Fresh Prince." Even though they were multicam sitcom characters, they still felt very honest and real. And I just kind of got lost in all of those different kind of worlds.
LENA WAITHE: Getting a chance to work for all these talented black women, who were just sort of playing hacky sack with me for a couple years, just being the most excited person on set, and having a really great attitude and there being nothing that I would say no to doing, it was really the beginning of my life in scripted television.
LENA WAITHE: I went to New York to talk story ideas with Allen and Aziz and some of the other writers. And in the midst of just having a conversation, Alan asked how I came out. And I proceeded to tell them not thinking it was that interesting. And I got back to my hotel, and they both called me and said, we want to do an episode about that. And Aziz was like, you have to help write it, because it's so specific. And it's your story, and I can't write that by myself.
DENISE: I'm gay.
- You what?
DENISE: I'm gay. I've always been gay, but I'm still the same person. I'm still your daughter.
LENA WAITHE: Telling the coming out story, I had to step in my mother's shoes as well. And I think it actually gave me a greater understanding of what it's like to be come out to. It was about telling an honest story about two people who are trying to figure something out. And I think that's what most coming out stories are. I really wanted people to see the love more than the fear or confusion, and I think they really got it.
LENA WAITHE: My LGBQTIA family, I see each and every one of you. The things that make us different, those are our superpowers. Every day when you walk out the door, put on your imaginary cape and go out there and conquer the world, because the world would not be as beautiful as it is if we weren't in it. I do think the things that make me different are my superpowers, because there is no "Thanksgiving" episode if I wasn't born black, gay, and female.
LENA WAITHE: "The Chi" is about being black and human on the south side of Chicago. It's not about drugs. Nobody's singing or rapping. I was more interested in the middle class, the working class community, because that's what I'm from. When you're a working class person with a dream, it's like a pressure cooker, because every day is a choice to fight the good fight, to chase the dream. I know we're not perfect, but we're not all bad either. There's always these demons that we're wrestling with, and I wanted to show that in a real way. So that way people start to care about these communities and these people that make them up.
I think there's a lot of storytellers that don't look like the storytellers of yesteryear. A lot of young, black, queer, different people that have never been a part of the culture in a mainstream way. That's the way I want to change the business is by helping to usher in new voices. There's still a lot of others who haven't been included yet. And so until everyone is in the room, I think we still have work to do.
SALLIE KRAWCHECK: Money is power. And ladies, it's time to level the playing field.
Hi, everyone. Welcome to "MAKERS Money." I'm Sallie Krawcheck, CEO of Ellevest, the investing platform for women.
Are you ready for a shocking number? The US has record retirement savings shortfall of $13 trillion. Not million, not billion-- trillion. And newsflash, ladies, this is a woman's crisis. That's because we live longer than men, and we retire with less money than they do. The good news? We can fix this for ourselves and live the badass lives we were meant to live.
So how much of the green stuff do you need to have when you retire? Your goal should be to save 8 to 10 times your annual salary. I know. I can hear you. I can hear you hyperventilating out there. But that's what you need if you want to spend 90% of your pre-retirement levels annually.
It's a bit more than you hear at the majority of investing firms, but we want you to retire like a boss-- more travel, more fun. And since we women live longer on average, it's better to have a bigger cushion. Yes, in this case, bigger is better.
There are two big steps you can take to increase the likelihood of having more money in retirement. The first is to invest intelligently. And that means a diversified investment portfolio that you steadily add to over time.
But Sallie, what if I prefer saving because it's safe, and investing just seems so risky and complicated. OK. But here's the problem. If you're saving 10% of your income for retirement annually and keeping it in cash, your chances of retiring like a badass is zero. It's 0%. So when it comes to planning for your financial future, playing it too safe is just about the most dangerous thing you can do.
The second step is one that few people talk about, which is to make sure you're getting paid what you're worth at work. Now, this is huge. It's huge, ladies, since on average we're paid 80% of what the guys, make 63% for women of color.
Now, I personally hated asking for a raise. After all, it's an awkward conversation, and it always caused my neck to break out in these big blotches. Well, what if I told you your gender pay gap is costing you hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of your career? Fixing that-- fixing that is worth some neck splotching. Buy a turtleneck.
This week, I'm delighted to be joined by Tanya Van Court, founder and CEO of Goalsetter, an online saving and gifting platform to help kids save for their dreams. Welcome, Tanya, and cheers.
TANYA VAN COURT: Thank you. Cheers, Sallie.
SALLIE KRAWCHECK: Cheers, a little happy hour.
TANYA VAN COURT: Thank you for having me.
SALLIE KRAWCHECK: Glad to have you here. Now, we're talking about raises. You've worked at Nickelodeon. You've got your startup. You've asked for raises, and you've given raises. What's your advice for all of us?
TANYA VAN COURT: The thing about raises is that there is a set pool that is put aside for raises to all employees. So if you're an average employee, the likelihood is that you will get an average raise. If you want a big raise, a real raise, on an annual basis, you have to be exemplary. You have to be indispensable.
SALLIE KRAWCHECK: What I found when I used to be in a position to give raises is that the guys were always telling me how much they wanted to make, and the women never would. And even though I would try my hardest not to let that impact how much I paid them, if you knew someone wanted to make this, it was really hard to pay them that.
TANYA VAN COURT: So women need to have those conversations, to your great point, about how much they want to make. But not only how much they want to make-- what the clear expectations are that will get them to that point of being deemed successful.
SALLIE KRAWCHECK: I completely agree. Now, you left Nickelodeon. You've started this amazing new business. How has that changed how you're saving for and investing for retirement?
TANYA VAN COURT: Well, you know, when you're working at a really big company, you typically have a 401(k), and so it's really easy to say I'm going to set aside this amount every paycheck towards my retirement fund, and my employer will match that or contribute something towards my retirement fund as well. When you're working for yourself, you don't have the benefit of a retirement fund early on. So what I think about now is that every extra dollar that I have needs to go to my retirement.
SALLIE KRAWCHECK: OK. Now, I have a question to embarrass you a little bit, and let you brag a little bit. What is the dumbest thing you've ever done with money, and what's the smartest thing you ever did with your money?
TANYA VAN COURT: So the dumbest thing that I've ever done with my money caused me to start this company, quite frankly. I had more than a million dollars in stock. And in 2001, when the big Silicon Valley bubble burst, that more than a million dollars became not much more than $100 in a matter of a day. And that was because I hadn't diversified my money. I didn't know what diversification was.
SALLIE KRAWCHECK: It can be devastating.
TANYA VAN COURT: That's exactly right.
SALLIE KRAWCHECK: What's the smartest thing you've done with your money?
TANYA VAN COURT: The smartest thing I've ever done with my money is changed financial advisors and found someone who I was really comfortable with.
SALLIE KRAWCHECK: Right.
TANYA VAN COURT: Money can be such a scary topic for people to talk about. And we don't want to-- particularly, I think, as women-- ask stupid questions about our money. That's why I so love what you're doing at Ellevest, because you give all of the women out there that safe space to talk about money in a way that doesn't feel judgmental.
SALLIE KRAWCHECK: I love to hear that. Thank you so much for being here with us.
TANYA VAN COURT: Absolutely.
SALLIE KRAWCHECK: What a pleasure to have you. Thank you.
TANYA VAN COURT: Thank you. Thank you for having me.
SALLIE KRAWCHECK: Now, I want to get to some great questions from all of you. So the first one in this week-- Sallie, I'm at my first corporate job and I'm wondering what I should do with my money. Should I be in the 401(k) plan that has a 25% match on the first 5% of my salary? Or should I invest in stocks and bonds on my own?
OK. First of all, no on the stocks and bonds on your own. It is tough for even professionals to pick the right stocks and bonds. For you as an individual trying to do in your spare time, forget it. Just forget it. A 401(k) plan at work should typically provide you with the opportunity to invest in target date funds or mutual funds, which will manage the investments for you.
Second, you do not want to miss out on the opportunity on that 401(k) match. That's because a 401(k) match is free money-- free money. You don't have to work any harder to get it. You just need to contribute to your 401(k). So bottom line, if you can get a 25% company match, you want to do that every single time.
Second question asked-- what's a Roth IRA, and should I be investing in one? An IRA stands for Individual Retirement Account, and anyone who earns money can have one. You may hear about a traditional IRA or a Roth IRA. The Roth IRA, contributions are made with money after you've paid your income taxes. And then when you withdraw the money later, after it grows tax-deferred, you don't owe any more taxes. So generally speaking, that's a good thing.
Here's the bottom line. The cost of waiting to invest is higher than you think. If you're making, let's say, $85,000 a year, putting 20% in the bank, and waiting to invest, and waiting, and waiting, as so many women do, and you wait 10 years. Do you know how much that costs you, on average historically, a day? $100. $100 a day by not investing-- I like to say, if that money was falling out of your pocketbook, you wouldn't wait many days to fix your pocketbook.
Want to be equal with men? Well, we're not getting there until we are financially equal with men. And they're investing, and we're not. Boom.
Thanks to Tanya for joining us. Ladies, we want to hear from you. So tweet to us at @makerswomen, and use the hashtag #makersmoney. Or send your questions to me at makers.com. Until next time, remember-- more money, more power.
SALLIE KRAWCHECK: Money is power. And ladies, it's time to level the playing field.
Hi everyone. Welcome to Makers Money. I'm Sally Krawcheck, CEO of Ellevest, the top-rated investing platform for women. We're here in New York, we're drinking a little wine, and we're talking money. And today, ladies, let's get paid. Huge part of the gender pay gap, right? The one where we women are paid 80% of what men are for doing the same jobs and even less if you're a woman of color. Don't think it affects you? It does. Somewhere in the unwritten rules of success that have been passed down for decades, the guys learned to negotiate their salaries. And they negotiate it every time they get a job offer and every performance review. And unfortunately, for a whole bunch of different reasons, we women, we do so at significantly lower rates.
But here's some encouraging news. Women who asked for raises tend to get them. According to a study done by Ellevate network, 75% of professional women in that community who asked for a raise last year got it.
Now exactly how many of those women do you think received a salary decrease? Zero. That's right, zero. 75% got a raise and zero got a decrease. So the lesson here is ask. But how do you go about doing that? Well, I've got three steps for you. Step number one. Important. Figure out how much you're worth. What's the average salary for your job, in your industry, in your geography? The more specific you can be, the better. And you don't know? Well, sites like Comparably, GetRaised, Glassdoor, they're all good starting points.
Step number two. Set the stage for the raise with your boss. And that means having the "what does success mean for me" conversation. And it should include, if I'm successful, this is how much money I should be making. And this needs to happen well before it's time to dole out raises. As in it needs to happen this month.
Step three. You've got to come to that meeting prepared. Show up with clear ideas of what success in your job looks like. And the more you can quantify it, the more numbers you can put to it, the better. And the more this feeds into your company's success-- and pro tip, your boss's success-- the better. Agree with your boss on what those milestones look like, write them down, write them down, and then go kill it. Come review time there's not going to be a lot of room for misunderstanding.
Joining us today is Sally Thornton, founder of Forshay, an executive recruiting firm. Welcome, Sally.
SALLY THORNTON: Thank you.
SALLIE KRAWCHECK: And cheers. I'm so glad to have you join me.
SALLY THORNTON: Cheers. Thank you for having me.
SALLIE KRAWCHECK: So you've spent your career helping women live their fullest life in the workplace. What's your advice to everybody to be at their best?
SALLY THORNTON: Two things. One is actually embracing the fact that we're human. So it's, are we providing psychological safety? Are we giving people work places with curiosity, generosity, empathy? Like, these are things we actually really need to do our best work. The other thing I would say is if we can move forward professionally without taking a step backwards at home, that allows us to flourish.
SALLIE KRAWCHECK: So we want to get more women into positions of leadership. What advice would you give to women who are looking for that raise and for that promotion?
SALLY THORNTON: Explicitly go for it. But go for it with data, right? So if we have knowledge, the science actually shows we negotiate better than men. And also figure out the win-win, right? Because when we're asking for something, we want to be on the same side of the table saying, how does this benefit the company so it doesn't feel zero-sum?
SALLIE KRAWCHECK: Yeah. OK, I hate to ask this, but I have to. What are the biggest mistakes you see women make at work? I'll take a sip.
SALLY THORNTON: Yeah.
SALLIE KRAWCHECK: Because I'm sure I've made them all.
SALLY THORNTON: We all have. That's part of learning, right? I would say it's the-- it's the lack of confidence. So-- so I feel as if now we are having an awakening of, how do we stick together and how do we support each other. I think sometimes, too, we think of negotiation and women thriving as that someone else is not thriving.
SALLIE KRAWCHECK: Yup.
SALLY THORNTON: It's not true.
SALLIE KRAWCHECK: Well, and I think that's changing. It used to be there was only one seat at the table for the woman.
SALLY THORNTON: Yeah.
SALLIE KRAWCHECK: And I think, you know, the me-to moment, the time's-up moment is really changing that, where we're recognizing the more the better.
SALLY THORNTON: That's exactly right.
SALLIE KRAWCHECK: Right? Diversity is better. OK. We asked this question of everybody who joins us.
SALLY THORNTON: OK.
SALLIE KRAWCHECK: Again, you might need to take a sip of wine for this one. What is the stupidest thing you've ever done with your money?
SALLY THORNTON: Mm.
SALLIE KRAWCHECK: Big sip.
SALLY THORNTON: Yeah. OK. Gym memberships. I hate recurring expenses that are guilt ridden. So I thought by signing up for a gym, like, that would guilt me into going. It does not.
SALLIE KRAWCHECK: No.
SALLY THORNTON: No.
SALLIE KRAWCHECK: No. What's the smartest thing you've ever done with your money?
SALLY THORNTON: I started early when I moved to New York and I made $0.00, maybe a little bit more. I had to think about where every dollar went. So I actually had something that was like a Sharp calculator and I would track every dollar. It became for me a gaming mindset. How do I know where everything goes, so that I can essentially save as much as possible? And I wanted to-- I had a goal. I wanted to pay for my own wedding. And so when I had a game mindset and a goal, I could do it.
SALLIE KRAWCHECK: And you do that today?
SALLY THORNTON: Absolutely.
SALLIE KRAWCHECK: You are so great to join us here. Thank you so much.
SALLY THORNTON: Thank you.
SALLIE KRAWCHECK: All right, now my favorite part. Let's get to questions from all of you. The first one, I was just passed over for a promotion and a male colleague got it instead. His performance hasn't been nearly as good as mine. What should I do? Well, first of all, I'm sorry. That is so tough. Ugh. Now the first thing you're going to do is you're going to go in your manager's office and you're going to ask him or her for feedback. What could you have done differently to have gotten the job?
If it's that your performance needs to improve in a certain area, great, fantastic. Because now you know what to work on. On the other hand, you hear, well, you just wasn't the right fit, you're not ready for it, or you need more marketing experience, but they never give it to you, or anything having to do with gender or age, not cool. Let's not go all the way there. But at some point if we have to go all the way there, then it may be time to have a conversation with HR, or even look for another place to take your talents.
Onto our second question. I've been with my company for two years and haven't gotten a raise yet. I'm going to ask for one. What do I do in that meeting if the answer is no? Well, I would take the opportunity to go in there not with just the ask for the raise, but 37 other things that you want. And don't leave that meeting with your boss without getting a yes on one of them.
OK, like what other things? Some examples. To take a coding class, to take an executive MBA course paid for by the company, maybe ask for an overseas assignment. Notice none of these things are money but all of them can turn into money later. So they're all valuable. You should definitely also ask to have your pay re-evaluated next quarter. And honestly, if you can't get a yes to that or any of your 37 other things, that's a signal, because then it's time, my friend, to look for a new job.
Look, asking is hard. And it seems to be especially so for us women. I've been in the not-so-glamorous compensation discussion myself, the one where you're vomiting up all over yourself verbally and your neck is splotching. So I promise you, I get it. But making an ask is like anything else. It just takes practice. If it helps, start with smaller asks and work your way up to the big leagues. The truth is no one is ever going to care as much about your career as you will, so advocating for yourself is non-negotiable. We want to hear from you. Tweet to us at @makerswomen and use the hashtag #makersmoney or send your questions to me at makers.com. Thanks so much to Sally Thornton for joining us. And until next time, remember, more money, more power.
SALLIE KRAWCHECK: Money is power. And ladies, it's time to level the playing field.
Hi, everyone. Welcome to Makers Money. I'm Sallie Krawcheck, CEO of Elevest, the investing platform for women. Grab yourself a beverage because we're going to dig into something exciting that I hope is going to change the way you think about your future.
We need to talk about building your dream career. Yes, the one that lights you up because you're doing something you love. The one that means you're living your most badass life. It's never going to happen in a vacuum. You have to pursue your dream career strategically and with intention.
Start by looking yourself in the mirror. I want you to ask yourself three questions. Number one-- what does my dream career look like? You need to schedule some thinking time for this. Close your eyes and think hard about your ideal work. What kind of impact do you see yourself making?
Are you being analytical? Are you being creative? Are you being persuasive? Are you leading a cause? Are you working on your own? Are you leading people? What makes your heart race faster?
Now once you know what's important to you, the next step is to ask yourself what you're good at. This can be tough for some of us, because after all, ladies don't brag. But sometimes we also don't give ourselves enough credit for the things we're good at because they come so naturally to us. So ask for feedback from people who know you well.
Number two-- I want you to assess what experience you need for your dream role. Chances are that dream career-- it could be a few steps from where you are today. So think about what skills you'll need for that next job. If it means getting better at marketing, ask the boss for a marking project. Spring for the coding class you've been thinking about or start the blog you've been dreaming of. Whatever it is, building out your skill set is going to make you a way stronger candidate for your next role.
Finally, ask yourself, am I in a position of strength? When you're financially stable, you just make better decisions. Example-- you've got three to six months of your salary saved in an emergency fund. You've been listening to that [BLEEP] old boss of yours pitch great ideas as if they're his own for months, then you've got the freedom to decide. You are done with that [BLEEP]. And find a better team to work with.
Joining us today is Carla Harris, Vice Chairman, Wealth Management, Managing Director and Senior Client Advisor-- you have a few titles-- at Morgan Stanley. In August 2013, she was appointed by President Obama to chair the National Women's Business Council. Carla, welcome. I'm so glad you can be here to see you again.
CARLA HARRIS: Thank you very much, Sallie.
SALLIE KRAWCHECK: It's great to have you. You have been so successful in an industry that doesn't just have guys in it, it's dominated by men. How have you managed to be so successful and navigate those environments?
CARLA HARRIS: I'll tell you, Sallie, I think it's three things. Number one, as I made mistakes, really being focused and understanding how I got there what was the mistake and what I could have done differently. The second is, frankly, having the tenacity to get back on the horse again and try it again, as opposed to saying, oh, this is now career limiting. And the third is prayer.
SALLIE KRAWCHECK: I think we, as women, the research tells us that we're really embarrassed by our mistakes-- more than the guys are. And what do you do? Just power through it?
CARLA HARRIS: Yeah, the key is to learn from the mistake. What was the lesson here? Why did the universe bring this issue to me and what was I supposed to learn? Get that and move on. Don't create baggage because baggage is heavy, and it will create a competitive disadvantage as you lug it around.
SALLIE KRAWCHECK: And I tell you, also, admit the mistake.
CARLA HARRIS: Absolutely.
SALLIE KRAWCHECK: What always makes me not trust someone in a business setting is when they pretend like the mistake didn't happen or wasn't their fault.
CARLA HARRIS: I can't agree with you more. Not only admit the mistake, own that thing, but also own the narrative. Never let anybody else tell your story.
SALLIE KRAWCHECK: Outstanding point. OK, so if you could go back in time and see yourself at 25, what are the three pieces of advice you'd give yourself?
CARLA HARRIS: First thing I would tell my 25-year old self is own your power. We have a lot of power, and we so easily and unconsciously give it away. The second thing I would tell myself is take risks and play it big. If you're going to bother to play it all, play it big. You know what no looks like, so why not play for yes?
SALLIE KRAWCHECK: If I go back to 25, I'd say, divorce that man. Divorce that man-- I mean, where do you get your confidence from?
CARLA HARRIS: Well, I will say that my confidence has come through my experience, it's also come through my faith, and it also comes from having really strong women around me as I grew up.
SALLIE KRAWCHECK: Right. What are you telling women in their 20s about how to position themselves for the next big opportunity?
CARLA HARRIS: Too often we focus on the performance because we think that performance is the objective thing. You can't debate the performance. But we have to invest in the relationships, because as you know, as you get more senior, it's not the performance that makes a difference-- it's whether or not somebody knows you well enough to speak up for you behind closed doors for that critical assignment, that big bonus, running a department.
SALLIE KRAWCHECK: Even when you work in a big company?
CARLA HARRIS: Absolutely.
SALLIE KRAWCHECK: Right? What are the big mistakes you've made in your career?
CARLA HARRIS: (Laughing) Where shall we start?
SALLIE KRAWCHECK: Well, we don't have that much time, Carla.
CARLA HARRIS: I know, right? There are lots of them. But here's the one that I really want to leave you with-- is when you're trying to decide on that next thing to do, make sure that you understand, again, that it is your responsibility to figure that out. Big mistake that I made-- I was ready to move on to something else. I went to someone who was very powerful who could make it happen. And I said, so-and-so, I'm ready to move. It's time to do something different.
And he said, so what would you like to do, Carla? And I said, I-- I-- I--
SALLIE KRAWCHECK: You weren't expecting that question.
CARLA HARRIS: Yes, right in that moment, I realized that I had lost an opportunity. His job was to make it happen, not to help me figure it out.
SALLIE KRAWCHECK: What's the stupidest thing you've ever done with your money? What's the smartest thing you've ever done with your money?
CARLA HARRIS: Stupidest thing I've ever done with my money was invested with somebody, who was a friend, who I thought would take good counsel. And if I had looked at this situation objectively and done my due diligence, the answer would have been no. So that was the stupidest thing I ever did.
SALLIE KRAWCHECK: Smartest thing you did with your money?
CARLA HARRIS: Smartest thing I did was invest in startups.
SALLIE KRAWCHECK: Are you getting a return on those?
CARLA HARRIS: Absolutely.
SALLIE KRAWCHECK: Or is it just for the fun? Really?
CARLA HARRIS: Absolutely.
SALLIE KRAWCHECK: Well, you are so great to be here with us.
CARLA HARRIS: Well, thank you for having me.
SALLIE KRAWCHECK: To this evening. What great advice. Thank you.
CARLA HARRIS: Thank you very much.
SALLIE KRAWCHECK: OK, now it's time to answer some of the questions that you've sent in. The first question-- I'm a year and a half into what I thought was my dream job during college. Now I dread going into the office every morning. What do I do?
I get it. I totally get it-- totally get it because my 20s-- disaster. I hated every job I held, one more than next. What I did, though, is I was careful to note what I did like and what I was good at along the way. And then when I was facing old age, 29 years and 11 months, it hit me one day-- an insight that I like to say so many young women have at that age-- I should be an equity research analyst.
OK, that might not be your personal passion, but it-- believe it or not-- was mine. And once I knew that, my career took off. And I was at the top of my industry in a few years. The lesson here is this-- it's OK not to love your first job or your second or your third, as long as you keep pushing yourself to figure out where your passion convergences with your talent and ability.
Question number two-- all right. I'm thinking about making a career change but it looks like I'll have to step back into a more junior role. Should I stay where I am or take a lower salary to do what I want to do? Let me ask you a question-- is it a job you think you'll love? Then go.
And instead of thinking about just that near-term salary, look at the earnings of the highest achievers in that field have, and girl, plan to be right there with them. So here's the deal-- figure out what makes your heart race at work, and align that with what you're good at. That's how you'll build a career that brings you satisfaction, and importantly, makes a meaningful impact on the world.
Huge thanks to the hugely talented Carla Harris for joining us. And ladies, we want to hear from you. So tweet at us at @MakersWomen and use the hashtag #Makersmoney. Or send us questions at Makers.com/makersmoney. Until next time, remember-- more money, more power.