We’ve know all about relationship goals and squad goals, but do you have career goals? In this age of social media, we are bombarded with images of people living lives anyone would envy. Whether its trips abroad, fancy meals or the latest red bottom shoes, there’s enough out there to either motivate you or depress you, depending on your disposition. I for one aren’t phased by it, we all have our races to run and there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye. But it got me thinking..
Are we as women pushing each other to get to the next level in our careers? Do your closest friends even know what your dreams and career goals are so they can keep you accountable?
We’re quick to share what we did on the weekend, how our new exercise regime is going and how hectic that shade Bonang threw at Somizi was, but does your friend working at the IDC know you’re looking to start a business? Are you referring your local business owner to your friend who’s started her own tax advisory firm for SMME’s, or introducing your friend to that mentor you have a connection in common with? Are we having the kind of conversations that uplift, empower and encourage us around the dinner table?
“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”
I know it’s not easy, and it certainly isn’t second nature for me. However we need to work harder at getting ourselves talking about the things that really matter; about family, our careers, social development, networking and mentorship. If we don’t take each other under our wings, then we’ll all be struggling to get ahead when help is a mere phone call, introduction or connection away.
I do have to note that this isn’t necessarily about us not wanting to see each other progress in our different fields by sharing our successes and pitfalls, but rather about how women have been taught to makes themselves small for fear of being seen as arrogant and pompous, whereas a man would be seen as confident, ambitious and self-assured for doing the exact same thing. We hold ourselves back from growth and investing in ourselves, and wonder why we aren’t where we thought we would be. Most leadership positions are held by men, so women don’t expect to achieve the same success, and therefore end up living those self-fulfilling prophecies.
“She explained that many people, but especially women, feel fraudulent when they are praised for their accomplishments. Instead of feeling worthy of recognition, they feel undeserving and guilty, as if a mistake has been made. Despite being high achievers, even experts in their fields, women can’t seem to shake the sense that it is only a matter of time until they are found out for who they really are impostors with limited skills or abilities.”
― Sheryl Sandberg, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead
Well not anymore. The next time you see me, let me know what your career goals and dreams are, which projects you’re starting or working on, who you would love to connect with and where you see yourself going in the next few years. If it is in my power to help you in anyway I can (even through this platform), I will. And if I can’t, I’m pretty sure there’s a woman out there who will.
PS: If you need a little inspiration, check out 50 Ted Talks by beautiful black women about every subject and vocation under the sun. I quite enjoyed no 18, Ola Orekunrin at TedxBerlinSalon, touching on the strength of women in business and “Womenomics”.