Having been in the industry for more than two decades, I’m constantly asked this question by young women, “What do you wish you knew when you were starting your career?“
Here are my top 5:
1. It is okay to be ambitious just back it up with results
We often see talented young women hold themselves back and stay within the confines they have set for themselves. While it is up to you to define your ambition, don’t let your gender, lack of a good support system or social or cultural norms define what you can accomplish. Believe in yourself so others can believe in you too. But, always keep in mind that merely being ambitious does not make you more successful than someone else. Work hard at it. Deliver results and maximise your performance; keep learning; leverage the resources around you; meet new people, etc. And if a job really isn’t matching your expectations or giving you opportunities to learn, find something new. This could be in your current company too.
2. Having a mentor is very
important It is always good if you seek the advice of people who hold seats you’d like to someday occupy . But, make it a point that you build genuine relationships, and not use it to gain career advice. Also, formalise the mentoring process: rather than taking off-hand advice, try to set expectations and establish a frequency of discussion. Good organisations offer mentoring opportunities to employees as part of their talent management programme.
3. Invest in yourself while rising in your career
Women often set unrealistic expectations for themselves both, personal and professional. Be kinder to yourself, invest time to think, take stock, deepen your faith, and equally importantly, to reflect on your accomplishments, strengths and learnings. These are very important in the journey towards self realisation and personal growth.Also, ask for help when you need it from family, friends or coworkers because it is okay to need others and let them help you. Those who truly want to help will actually appreciate the opportunity to contribute to your success. For those just starting their careers, keep your options open and develop yourself, whether through experiences or people you work with.You need to take ownership of your own development. Set your own objectives and take charge. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or seek expertise.
4. Effectively balance your work and life I work with women from different
cultures and ethnic groups, but one common theme that I see is the “fine balancing act“ that is at the back of each of our minds.
Yes, pursuing ambitious goals sometimes demands a woman to make choices that an average man may not have to worry about. For most female professionals who are wives and mothers, it is impossible to achieve “balance“. Instead, constantly hone your ability to “juggle“. It is important to constantly and actively prioritise, to not feel guilty about your choices and to recognise “you got this“ many fans are rooting for you from family, to friends, to coworkers, to the community, at large.
5. Stay competitive to be a powerful woman in tech
If you wish to make it big in a hightech company, learn early on in life that you need to stay competitive throughout your career.For instance, the semiconductor industry that I represent is one of the most advanced and fast-paced industries. To stay ahead of technology advancements, we need to constantly innovate; clearly, this is something we look for in our employees. Be agile and learn to manage through change effectively, continue learning and building on your knowledge.
WHILE BEING AMBITIOUS, IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT FOR WOMEN TO TREAD THEIR PROFESSIONAL GROWTH CAREFULLY AND WITH METICULOUSNESS