By Deanna Kosaraju, Founder of Global Tech Women
Happy New Year amazing Global Tech Women! 2014 is going to be an unbelievable year filled with possibilities. As we start a brand new calendar with lots of open spaces which will quickly fill-up I would like to ask you to assess your own needs. Are you following your passion? Are you looking at the big picture or are you worried about cleaning out your inbox (or the kitty litter) after the holiday break? Read on...
Based on my experience working with technical women around the globe, here are the 5 things I recommend you consider:
1. What is your definition of success? Has it changed?
As we move through life our priorities change. If we are listening to that voice inside us our goals and objectives become more in-line with our true mission. We don't all aspire to be one thing -- imagine how boring life would be if this were the case! Don't listen to those outside sources that tell you there is only path and one way to get there. Not so! The most conventional thing about Global Tech Women is we are unconventional. I could bore you with my own personal trajectory here but I will spare you.
2. Look at the big picture. Be strategic, not tactical.
As Zig Ziglar says, "The chief cause of failure and unhappiness is trading what you want most for what you want right now". What are your big picture goals personally and professionally? This big picture thinking allows you to prioritize the tactical. By keeping an eye on the prize it gives you laser focus. When you are asked to do something that doesn't fit your long-term objective get rid of it, it isn't serving you. I understand this is easier said than done but it takes practice. At a minimum, you are making a conscious choice to delay your goals for this very important reason. Life happens. Just don't sign up for things without clearly understanding why you are doing it. If it is to please others, think twice.
3. Do you have the right tools to succeed?
I cannot tell you the number of women I have met who let their skills become antiquated and found themselves losing key projects, promotions, or even worse, their jobs. I know you are busy but only you can lookout for your future and this is part of that big picture thinking that must happen. Look at your resume or LinkedIn profile. Type into a job search site your most highly prized skills...is it RPG? In my zip code there are only two job openings for an RPG programmer (shocked there are two - if you weren't around in the 80's you probably don't know what RPG is - ignore). Python has 384 positions. Get a fresh perspective and ask a recruiter you trust their opinion of your current skill-set and experience given your goals. You need to know how relevant your skills now and in the long-term. Need speaking skills? Sign up for Toastmasters. Need project management certification, start now. You get the gist.
4. Ask for help.
Many women have a problem asking for help. They are trained as an egg to be Wonder Woman. Don't do this. Once you know where you are going and what you need --- ASK!!! This is why Global Tech Women exists. Our mission is to create a "global network of inspired, connected and self-actualized women". This means you. We can help. If we can't, we know someone who can. Join our Facebook group, sign-up for our newsletter, sign-up for the global virtual conference Voices, join our LinkedIn group or just email me. Our mission is to serve you.
5. Surround yourself with those who believe in you and your mission and will go to battle for you.
I learned this one very late in my life. I always thought I could survive in any climate -- but why??? You need to surround yourself with people you trust, respect and share the same values you do. That doesn't mean they will always agree with you, that isn't what I am saying. It needs to be someone who is willing to give you their opinion. They are willing to open their brains, hearts and connections to help you get there. If you are not around people like this you need to set a new path and find them. Life is too short to hangout with the wrong people. They should lift you up, not drag you down. Having the right people around will not only help you reach your goals but you will have much more fun getting there.
I hope this is useful. Did I miss something? What would you like to add from your personal experience? Tell us what your passion is. ASK FOR HELP! I look forward to sharing ideas and conversations with you in 2014.
Happy New Year Global Tech Women. I am so honored we are connected.