I’ve realized how important it is to be positive in all aspects of my life. At the end of every day, I take time to reflect and appreciate things that had a positive impact on me, or on those around me. By writing down one positive thing that happened and placing it in a jar—whether it’s an accomplishment, or just a funny moment worth looking back on—I build the strength and personal armor that can help me get through tougher times.
While I have many strengths, there are also areas where I can still learn and grow. When we make a mistake, it’s easy to put pressure and blame on ourselves. Instead, I take what I need from it and move on, and more confidently face the next challenge. I refuse to let my fears rule me; I would never want to miss an opportunity as the result of hesitation or intimidation. I have also come to recognize that it’s acceptable to rely on others. I don’t have to be superwoman and do it all myself. I have been fortunate throughout my career to work with smart, inspiring people who have much insight to offer. We are stronger together, because we share the burden and rewards of the challenges we encounter.
I have always followed my passions, and based my career choices on them, rather than money or prestige. Although I worked for Fortune 500 companies early in my career, I have always been drawn to smaller organizations. I feel that I make the greatest impact at an organization where I can see the big picture from every angle. I have turned down positions with large, “prestigious” organizations for smaller, mission driven organizations and never looked back; I have found those experiences much more fulfilling, both personally and professionally.
My Most Valuable Career Advice
What would I tell a young woman just beginning her career? Dig deep and to do some honest soul searching to find your passion, and discover how you can incorporate that into your chosen career. When you truly enjoy what you are doing, you feel unstoppable. Do your research—find out what those in your field have done to be successful. Then, find a mentor and establish a network, surrounding yourself with positive and smart people who provide inspiration and drive. Success takes hard work—it also requires the support of others.
You also need to focus on the positive and learn to celebrate yourself and your wins. Be open to all types of feedback. Don’t take things personally but, rather, use what you hear constructively. Also, take risks and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. One of my favorite quotes is by Albert Einstein: “A person who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” View mistakes as growth opportunities.