While many of us try to navigate the ins and outs of career pivots, company restructures, and the challenge of re-prioritizing, what once would have been considered an everyday task can become daunting. Overwork and overwhelm are real. But don’t worry, successful women everywhere have got your back. Hang out with us while we unpack some nifty advice from _ incredible career-focused females.
1. “Be stubborn and thick-skinned. Because I think even if you’re passionate, and even if you’re really good at what you do, I think you are likely to be subject to preconceived notions of who can do what.”
Co-Founder and Director at Superflux, Anab Jain makes one of the most valid points for a career-minded woman. No matter what industry you’re pursuing your next steps in, anyone who is pivoted for growth needs to be certain to have certain defenses. If you take every little thing personally, even polite feedback can feel like an attack on who you are as a person, since your ideas and work reflect your innovative capabilities. All of the most notable people in history had to accept their responsibilities and let things slide off their backs at times. It’s an important lesson, but it’s not an easy one, and it can make or break your career. So boost your confidence, put on your thick skin, and move forward.
Here are some tips for developing thicker skin when it comes to working.
2. “We all come across roadblocks and major hazards–some of us more than others. But if you stick with it, if you keep moving forward, if you remain flexible and creative and dedicated, you will find your way.”
With over 30 years of experience leading organizations, Shellye Archambeau has taken massive strides for women – particularly women of color – in the tech space. The former CEO of MetricStream, a Silicon Valley-based software company, she has held many influential roles, including that of President for Blockbuster.com during the launch of their online presence. Shellye has won many prestigious awards, has been a board member for Arbitron, and currently serves on the boards for Verizon Communications, Roper Technologies, OKTA, and Nordstrom Inc.
What this quote proves is that being relentless sometimes has its perks. That thick skin we mentioned above can really help you thrive in any situation where you may be facing an obstacle. And, as many of us have observed in the past year alone, staying flexible and being able to pivot your work is an ideal trait for any career-minded human. It’s those that can adjust and think quickly through obstacles that are both ready for a challenge and see the lesson even during the struggles.
3. “I was once afraid of people saying ‘Who does she think she is?’ Now I have the courage to stand and say, ‘This is who I am.’”
Though I don’t find it particularly necessary to rattle off Oprah’s endless accolades – Is there anyone left on the planet that hasn’t heard her name before? – I do find that her presence in the public eye has been uplifting. This quote speaks volumes. Even though she is speaking from personal experience and wasn’t necessarily asked to provide advice, it comes as a bit of a guiding light for people who have been struggling with success or the idea of it. Someone with such a strong sense of self sharing such vulnerable moments from her past is already encouraging enough. Add that to the fact that one of the most successful women with one of the most iconic brands in the history of the world has also experienced some form of imposter syndrome before finding her confidence?
Maybe Oprah is more like you than you realized.
4. “We need to accept that we won’t always make the right decisions, that we’ll screw up royally sometimes — understanding that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success.”
Co-Founder of The Huffington Post and founder and CEO of Thrive Global, Arianna Huffington has moved mountains for women in media and advertising over the years. Her work has landed her on Time Magazine’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people and the Forbes Most Powerful Women list, and her influence seems to grow by the millisecond. (Just consult all of her incredible advice, including these tips on better sleep.)
What is very admirable about this particular quote is that she isn’t putting on airs. Acknowledging that everyone — including yourself — is susceptible to missteps is huge. And while many successful people undoubtedly go through times where things seem to go right for them around every turn, that doesn’t mean that running into an obstacle or two is the end of the road.
It goes back to the quotes above, addressing persistence and thick skin. Failure leads to lessons, which make your work ethic stronger and your success that much sweeter.
5. “Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve.”
I first heard this quote by the CEO and Founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics Mary Kay Ash in the aughts, and it stood out to me even then. You have to let your imagination run wild when it comes to your goals, career and otherwise. Dream big, develop the confidence around it, then scale it to size (or current ability). This is what got me into visualization techniques, and it is a core piece of advice to seeing the beauty in life and career.
Additionally, other people won’t believe in you if you don’t believe in yourself. Often, it takes other people believing in you for you to believe in yourself. You’re responsible for that initial acceptance. You’re the one who has to set that in motion, to love yourself so other people will too. This is just as true in social life as it is in your career and beyond.
6. “Recognize and embrace your uniqueness.”
As the Director of Product Management for Google (Youtube), Erin Teague has spoken about how she practices this in all aspects of her life. And while consultants are teaching empathy and perspective as a means to heal corporate issues and encourage growth, Teague — in no uncertain terms —establishes the importance of the unique perspective each person brings to the table. Your background, culture, hobby, affinity, or living situation can greatly affect your perspective. So never discount your opinions or thoughts, and use them as an advantage in your work environment.