Last week, I was in conversation with two accomplished women entrepreneurs who run a mentoring and coaching enterprise, Mentoring Matters, for my podcast. We were discussing the need for and importance of mentoring and coaching women. During the discussion, one of them said, “anytime and every time is a good time for women to seek a mentor.” She is so damn right!
During that conversation, a couple of things struck me:
- If you do not stay invested in your career, who will?
- Women need to stop being over critical of themselves. Credit yourself equally
- Women must seek outside support
Self-care of one’s career is essential. If we do not invest time, effort, and money to shape our career, we are likely to be seen as less risk-takers. While women know to prioritise and manage tasks as though they are projects, few put themselves high on their priority list and manage their careers as though that is an important project. If we do not make this investment in our career, who will? If one’s life starts with them and ends with them, then how is their career different? Gender should not discriminate here. Human beings, both women and men, are responsible for everything in their life, including career. Period.
Being self-critical is okay. Being ruthless with self is not. Focus on self-improvement, betterment, being humble, rooted in reality, all come in the way of giving that self-pat and basking in glory when necessary. One spends much time assessing failures, owning up the responsibility and correcting it. Yes, these are absolutely necessary. At the same time, when successful, share the spoils.
Yes, indeed, there is no way we can get it all done alone. Family, colleagues, and other stakeholders have contributed and helped. We must acknowledge it. We must also take that opportunity to self-congratulate and accept the compliments coming our way, guilt-free! It does not naturally come for women to take that little time to savour the moment of glory on an achievement.
Seek Outside Support
My podcasts guests pointed out that being visible, building a personal brand, seeking the support of a mentor or a coach does not come naturally for women. They consciously need to make extra efforts in this direction. However, these are essential when you have set professional goals for yourself. These help you build confidence, be persistent and take on new challenges.
A significant majority of women leaders who have had successful career credit their mentors and coach for their success. They say mentoring, and coaching helped them get to where they are today. One easy way to start the mentoring process is to establish a relationship with senior women leaders in one’s organisation. Get to know them, and they can end up being an excellent sounding board. Keep all bias and prejudices aside during this process.
Taking decisive action for our career is our responsibility. The onus is on us. Women need to start treating their career as their top priority. They should set targets and hold themselves accountable for results. If we overlook our career, we cannot blame others for not creating a meaningful and successful career path for us.
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