The 4 C’s of Having it All
- Working Women
- 31 Aug 2015
In today’s ever-changing and fast-paced world, both men and women have to balance multiple priorities. With some experience behind me – both personal and professional - I am going to try to share some advice for women looking to tap into their inner beliefs and make it big in the corporate world. I like to call them the ‘4 C’s of having it all’.
Belief in oneself is the anchor that keeps you focused towards your final purpose, and, with conviction, there is very little that you cannot achieve. This mantra has worked for me time & time again. Any success, professional or personal, is never a hundred meter sprint; it is in fact a marathon, where one needs to pace oneself out, plan how to spend your energy, and most importantly, stay focused on the finish line.
Having said this, sometimes flexing your path, taking a detour, especially in changed circumstances may be the right call as long as it is tied to your larger purpose.
Don’t be afraid to take risks since you can’t always plan for every twist & turn in the journey. Conviction is the key to not only achieving your ultimate goal but is also the path to self- discovery. My advice is to keep fueling your conviction from time to time by strengthening your ideas and beliefs to ensure that you are on the right path.
Sometimes women in corporate roles give up their careers mid-way due to a change in their priorities, and rightfully so.
It is at times like these that organizations need to step up to support women by giving them much-needed confidence to help them make that leap of faith to continue. Women shouldn’t shy away from taking on the next big responsibility. My advice for women in this dilemma is to pause for a while before making a decision. Flexible work options, few months of career-break, etc., are all possible. An understanding partner who can appreciate, adjust, and give equal status to his wife’s career is also a key force. In the end, strive to bring your convictions and aspirations together and always keep your eye on the BIG picture.
"It is never about what we can do by ourselves- it's about how one leverages the internal and external environment to add value and give something back in return" -Anuranjita Kumar, Author 'Can I have it All?'
When we make a choice, there is joy in having chosen something, as well as the anxiety of giving up something else in the process. Career-breaks are never easy but they are a choice that have clear motivators behind them. A homemaker’s choice to remain at home and care for their family members should be respected. Their choice should not be taken for granted and this deserves gratitude. Women are often torn between choices, due to a lack of support, or going by what they have seen during their own childhood. They feel there is no recourse as it is a family tradition to stay at home and that the choice is not theirs to make. Others feel compelled to work due to economic reasons. They need the money to meet certain financial needs of the family. Many organizations are now rising up to the challenge and are committed to the sensitization journey by providing flexibility to women.
Our choices reflect the kind of person we are. Ultimately it is not about being right or wrong but what you want and what gives you a sense of fulfillment and achievement, driven completely by your priorities.
Without fear of failure, just evaluate what you treasure and take the plunge.
En route the proverbial ‘corporate ladder’, one will soon discover that there is less space at the top equally for men and women. Research by Dan Goleman on Emotional Intelligence (E.I) tells us that women are usually better placed when it comes to demand for soft skills. In positions like sales, teams, and leadership, high E.I is a competitive advantage and women rank better in that scale. Women should find the inner courage to deal with conflicts head on.
A male team member may often have a view on women depending on the values he grew up with and his views about a woman’s capabilities in general. This requires the woman to confront her team member on his conduct in a straightforward way.
Women sometimes get constrained by their need to be inclusive and avoid being confrontational. It is important to make an objective sense of the situation and take on issues appropriately but directly. When you like something and you are fully committed to it, then you are able to overcome any hardships that stand in your way. Your passion for life, family and work makes your resolve to win even stronger. During a serious illness I went through and even after that, there were many friends, relatives, and my parents who advised me to take a break or take it easy upon returning to good-health. But would you ever stop living for the fear of dying? My illness taught me to look after myself by eating properly, exercising, and having a lot of me-time; but, it also taught me that life is short and one needs to speed up and persist on the overall leadership journey. Let your faith be larger than your fears, is my advice!
"If you don't speak then you are not heard, and if you are not heard then you don't really exist"- Anuranjita Kumar, Author 'Can I have it all?'
Similar to moving from the shallows of a river to the depths of an ocean, a new office environment, at times, may feel intimidating. This is especially true when talking about organizational politics. Women need to seek a fine balance between managing a harmonious relationship and ensuring your self-respect is intact.
Office politics are part and parcel of navigating the route to leadership. Women should tackle this by acknowledging its existence and then seek to manage human dynamics properly.
Managing stakeholder feedback constructively and sensitively is critical in driving people’s behaviour towards you. In my experience, I have often seen how women struggle to ask for the money or promotion they deserve. Women have to get over this by means of a simple, objective discussion, by stating the value they bring to the table and request to be compensated for it.
Let go of your guilt and fears that your children need your physical presence all the time. Letting go of this will permit you to leverage other support systems and family members to contribute with what they bring best to the upbringing of your children. Believe in it and you can, you will make it happen!
If you’re looking to start your career, or for new and exciting roles to showcase the skills you’ve gained along your professional and personal journey, you can find them at www.JobsForHer.com. Create your profile, upload your resume and start job-hunting today!