and be interesting at the dinner table when you are a working woman.

Many women climbing the corporate ladder have enough in their baskets with managing career and home.  Linn in MI tells me, “I don’t remember the last time I read for enjoyment.  When I have downtime the books I read are on mutual funds and insurance policies to stay current at my job.”  Theresa in TX says, “I just don’t have time for politics, but it annoys me if I can’t add to those conversations.”  So how do you do it? How do you stay current on politics when there is already so much to juggle in your immediate world?

  1. Take advantage of radio and podcasts. When you are driving or in the shower, tune into NPR, BBC, SoundCloud, Fox whichever way you lean (I recommend a mix for variety and for you to be able to formulate more unbiased opinions by cross-checking the angle of news). Even getting ten minutes of the talk of the day and headlines is better than none.
  2. Set up news alerts on your phone. Most news apps offer up to date text message alerts for breaking news stories that carry some weight.  You can read the headline in a glance and swipe them at your will to come back to later.
  3. Subscribe to RSS feeds in your inbox. Set these up to go into a folder that you can read at your discretion.  While at work and checking email, take a glance once in a while.
  4. Read a current non-fiction or historical fiction book on something that interests you. In order to have substance, you need to have something worth talking about.  There are plenty of great historical novels out there that appeal to women such as Mademoiselle Chanel: A Novel or The Paris Wife.  Be prepared to start out conversations with, “Did you know that Coco Chanel was an orphan,” to create intrigue about the intellectual, fun you.
  5. Ask questions. If you find yourself at a dinner table in the midst of topics that you are not current about the worst thing you can do is check out.  Ask purposeful questions.  Show that you have an inquiring mind and perhaps flatter the person who gets to explain them to you.

People who are well-informed about politics make it a habit to be so.  They listen to the news in the background at work, talk to colleagues and friends about current issues, type in trending news topics on Twitter and follow news outlets and bloggers daily.  While at the soccer field or waiting for that last load of clothes to dry, instead of checking Facebook, why not check the headlines instead?

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