You Can Be Yourself and Still Find Commonality with Others
One particular challenge that every person goes through in some shape or form is being comfortable with our own true self—especially as an immigrant woman of color who started her career in the tech industry, which is largely male dominated. Also, as someone who was doing improv and stand-up comedy on the side, I often found myself in rooms where I looked, spoke, and even expressed myself differently from others.
For many years, I tried hard to fit in with everyone else. However, over the course of time, and with the help of supportive peers and mentors, I realized that there is much value to be found in different perspectives and stories. There is no need to fit a template.
I worked on building my confidence to ultimately be comfortable in my own skin. Also, I learned that developing an ability to find commonality with others is the crux to building relationships, no matter how different the other person is. This became instrumental in how I connected with folks, whether talking to a group while doing stand-up or building trust with engineers on my team, even if they had completely different cultural backgrounds to me.