I’m every woman

I’m every woman, it’s all in meeeeeeee!!! Don’t you love Chaka Khan?

Well, I feel that this should be our anthem this year, but not because I think we are every woman or that it is all in us. But because we are different and don’t have it all! Yes, I am telling you to stop trying to be so perfect.

On Tuesday I gave a workshop in Helmond and was confronted again by women trying to hold up as many balls as they can. Or trying to please and satisfy everybody but themselves. It is a recurring story when I train women. Always there for others never focusing on their own needs. Because of that behaviour we tend to feel insecure and out of touch with our innerself.

Listen, I am not saying you shouldn’t help others but how about helping yourself?

So these ladies I was training were working hard to make sure their team and managers are happy. And by doing this they stopped investing in their own development. And that is where things get pear shaped. Because women are working harder than ever. But if there is one thing I know…. my favorite lesson to share with you it is……Working harder will not guarantee you a successful career. Working smarter is much better!!

In fact my motto for 2018 is: Work less, Network More.

Because when you network you expand your business opportunities not only within the company you work at, but also externally. Also next to getting business leads you get a chance to learn from role models (perhaps even get a mentor).

McKinsey Global institute says that women’s lack of access to informal networks is a structural obstacle to their career advancement. M I N D B L O W I N G, right?

I had to write it in caps just to make sure you heard me. Investing in relationships has been the best investment I made since starting my company in 2011. And that is no joke!

Men know this. They go golfing with each other, have long lunches, go to football matches and constantly do business “outside” of work. If we want to keep our careers moving we gotta start networking. It’s the best way to make yourself visible.

Believe me!

Yesterday I received an email from Ine Stultjens (Auping) and Annemarie van Gerrevink (Lil’Amsterdam at Amsterdam CS), who had met each other last year at the BrandedU speakers dinner I organised. They had a nice chat back then and one year on they are now working together through the project Auping Lil’ Recharge Room. People that arrive at Central Station in Amsterdam can take a powernap on one of their beds!