My friend, Wendy Bohling, invited me to join a women's networking group that she started last fall. The group, aptly named, "Coolest Women We Know," draws from accomplished women in high-tech, ranging from C-levels in telecom companies to software entrepreneurs to heads of non-profits aimed at increasing the number of girls pursuing engineering degrees to partners in law firms servicing mergers and acquisitions. The group expands by members inviting the "coolest women they know" to join.
At my first meeting last week, Wendy started off with this question:
"What one piece of advice would you give someone struggling with their career?"
As we went around the room, I murmured my agreement with each golden nugget. It all resonated, because these were words spoken from experience, from failures and successes, from having lived the lesson. The collective wisdom of this group left me in awe. A few of my favorite pieces of advice:
- Don't take no for an answer. No is only a position from which to negotiate. It's the first step to yes.
- Look for the new, interesting thing to start.
- You are not your job.
- Feedback is a gift.
- Understand where the center of power is to be successful. (It's not always where you think it is.)
- Don't take yourself too seriously.
- Keep asking yourself what will matter a 1000 years from now.
- Every relationship counts.
My advice? Well, I gave two pieces. Give yourself permission to play and find good allies.
What one piece of advice would you give? Provide your comments below.
Thanks, Wendy, for including me in this group of very special women.