Excerpt of my book, Be a woman and act like one. Succeeding in Business and life.
The stories of women taking jobs they never wanted, living commitments they would have never expected, and being in positions they really don’t like are endless. But don’t get misled by images of failure and frustration. Instead, let us look at how you can do what you love and love what you do.
First of all, I want to remind you that you are the composer of your life. There is no excuse for a false note. Beethoven would not have been granted recognition for a symphony that was painful to our ears. He was responsible for every single tone, and so are you. There is no time for making excuses; when things go wrong, take responsibility for your actions. Having said this, I want to invite you to take a closer look at your life. If there is any false note, go ahead and correct it. If there is a problem with rhythm, you must change it. A life’s symphony is like an unfinished piece of art. You have the chance to refine it every single minute of your life until you are happy with it. Maybe a few years later you recognize something else you were not ready to see before. It does not matter as long as you work on it once you realize what is missing. This sounds all very metaphorical, but once you translate it into your life, you will find that if you live your life like the composer of a symphony, you feel empowered, creative, and happy.
Every young woman that enters the job market will find it hard to hit the ground running. It can be a very frustrating process to go from interview to interview and find out that you did not get the job. Don’t give up, and don’t compromise too much. If you are looking for a certain position, shoot for it. Prepare yourself, convince yourself that you can do it, and work on the arguments that convince the interviewer that you are the right fit for the job. Learn from the rejections, and make it better the next time. I strongly believe that if you really want something, you can get it. If you are deeply motivated to get a certain position, you will finally get it. Yes, there might be a transition phase where you have to become an assistant before you become a manager, but as long as whatever you do leads into the desired direction, it is the right way to go.
When I applied for my first job as an account manager in the advertising industry and they offered me a secretary position, I refused the offer. This was not leading in the right direction. If they had offered me the junior account manager position, I would have taken it as the first step in the right direction. You have got to be careful that you don’t get lost in a transition phase. Try to avoid sidetracks; instead, stay on your path in the direction you want to go. If it does not work out the first try, don’t be afraid to move on. There are more job opportunities waiting for you.
There are also cases where managers are deeply unhappy within their position in a company. They complain, they are frustrated, and finally they lose their motivation. It seems like they have given up, and they feel that they do not even have a voice anymore. This is the worst scenario I can think of: total defeat with no way out! They usually keep the job, because they feel dependent and committed to the obligations. But their life turns into a waste—a life not worth living. I have a lot of compassion for these people. At the same time, I feel like I want to shake them and yell at them to wake up and get back into the driver’s seat. How can anybody waste a precious life like that? We have no second chance for another life, and therefore we must take the opportunities that we have. Even within an unhappy job situation, you have choices other than suffering—the choice to leave, the choice to change, or the choice to grow. What do I mean by that? If you are not happy with the rules of a game, you cannot simply break them without taking the consequences. You have the choice to drop out of the game, but a smarter choice is to first learn the rules. The better you know them, the better you can use them to your own advantage. Simply fighting rules is useless and does not bring you the desired effect. Instead, becoming the master of the rules gives you the knowledge to play with them the way you want to.
It is time for you to stop lamenting about the company, the boss, and the boring meetings and fight with the weapons invented by the opponents. Don’t show defeat, but be assertive and stand up for what you think is right and needs to be done. Become active and outgoing and leave the state of thinking you are a victim. You always have the choice to leave the company, but before you decide to withdraw, you first have to make sure you played as hard as you could. You will be surprised about the newly developed energy that will be driving you—others will be surprised too. In the end you will either improve the situation you are in, or you will find out that you want to leave the battleground. In both scenarios you are doing it because you want to. You are no longer a victim; you are empowered by the choices you made.
If you feel stuck in your career or in life in general, Be a woman and act like one. Succeeding in Business and Life is a powerful book that will help you to find the womanly way to success and happiness. Order online now through Amazon or visit the Wheatmark Bookstore.