“You only ever get in life things that you have the courage to ask for!”
I’ve talked a little about my new beginnings over the past week or so…well, the day is finally here!
Have you ever started something new and found it a little challenging to switch your mind to the new things you will be focusing on? This morning when I woke up I still had to get the kids ready and off for school, but the direction of my office, the things I need to accomplish, what I could wear, who I was going to meet with…all different. After 15 years working in the same office, doing essentially the same job, it had definitely become second nature..so what now?
Sometimes it’s easier to stay doing what we are familiar with rather than to take a risk, especially when you hear others around you questioning whether you can do it, or we may even start to question ourselves. When I was in High School in England I remember going to parent teacher conferences/career night – I believe I was around 14 years old. I met with my Biology teacher and my parents and at that time I had wanted to do something in the medical field. I loved the sciences and they seemed to come easy to me. As we sat there that teacher asked me what I was wanting to study in College and when I told her that I wanted to study Medicine or something like that she actually said to me “If I were you, I would set my sights lower”!
Wow! Can you imagine the self esteem of a 14 year old at that point. Well, here’s what happened, I decided to dig my heels in, I went to college, and worked my butt off to get my degree in Physiology with Microbiology. As I was studying I found that I liked to meet new people, embraced challenges and love to develop long term relationships built on trust. Consequently, when I was done with my degree I decided to apply for a job in Pharmaceutical sales. In England in the early 90’s there weren’t many women doing that job and even though I had multiple interviews I found that it was a very sexist environment. My self esteem took a beating again. I was told by one interviewer that if I wanted a job where I was going to meet with Doctors I would need to wear short skirts. The ironic thing about that is that the person telling me was actually a woman! I am not someone that likes to be backed into a corner, and at that age I was a lot more naive, so I told her NO! I would not do that. Needless to say I didn’t get the job.
After a couple of years trying unsuccessfully to get a job in pharmaceutical sales, I decided to move over to the US – where I thought I would have an easier time as a woman in a career. I got a job in Radio advertising sales so that I could gain some sales experience before I started applying for more sales jobs in the medical industry. After a few years in radio, I moved into TV and then onto cable, where I have been working for the past 15 years.
Whilst working in cable advertising sales I found that I was experiencing very similar things to those I experienced when I was back in England. I had to work twice as hard to get to the top, and I was the top. I had to overcome men that were intimidated by strong women and people that were put in positions of management certainly not because of their experiences or qualifications to do the job, but rather because they were part of the “good old boys club” or had a friend that put them there. What I realized is that I have NO control over what people say to me, how they treat me or whether things are “fair”. What I do have control over is whether I let that define who I am.
I developed many amazing relationships while I was in the media industry and I am extremely grateful for those relationships. I also refined my tenacity, my determination, my resilience and my confidence. I learned that I could rise to the top no matter how someone treated me. I learned that I am really good at what I do and now I have the opportunity to prove that to myself even more as I embark on a career that I get to control more.
I will be working with my husband that is a mindset and motivational coach, as well as working on my blog. I feel like both work really well together, and I am excited for what our future holds.
I would not change anything that has happened to guide me on the path that I am on in my life. I have learned a lot of what I am capable of and I have grown so much. I have learned to love myself and not just because I look a certain way or I am successful in my career. If I had placed too much emphasis on my career performance these past few years where I was challenged way more than anyone in a career should be, would have certainly diminished my self esteem. Instead, it fired me up, it made me want to make more of my life!
Taking risks and starting new things are sometimes easier said than done. It takes a lot of courage to walk away from something, but it can also be the most rewarding thing you have ever done. I realized that I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life wondering “what if” or thinking that I had settled. What about you? What risks are you willing to take to grow?