I just returned home from a brilliant women’s power luncheon at my Alma Mater, McGill University. It was a round table discussion with rotating mentors sharing advice on career, success and motherhood. Today I sat in as an invited guest, and not as a mentor. I wanted to pass on some simple words of advice that arose during the luncheon, and that truly resonated.
And then one that didn’t.
And then get your feedback.
On women missing out on opportunities that men simply do not
“As women, we often over-think and over-plan, and therefore often wipe out opportunities for ourselves. I’m a believer in Nike’s slogan “Just Do It.” I think we women have to over-think just a little less, and dive right in.”
On making decisions
“With time, as I’ve grown, I’ve learned to follow my instincts more. I make many big decisions in my life on instinct alone.”
On women doing the dirty work. Hint: It’s not such a bad thing
“I think it’s important for women to take on the tough mandates- the ones that others aren’t willing to take on. It’s how we grow.”
On career success
“Why do people always ask what the secret ingredient is to business success? It’s quite simple: You have to be willing to bust your ass. There’s no magic recipe… success takes a ridiculous amount of hard work, commitment and dedication, and over time, you will succeed. Not everyone wants to put in the work.”
I loved these little nuggets, and thought they were wise.
I also found myself sitting at my table, watching the women as they nodded in approval when one of the mentors said the following. While they laughed, I literally teared up and almost cried. It was a big AHA moment for me:
“As I was building my career, I travelled a lot. So much so, that my kids would kick the suitcase every time they saw it come out… which was a lot. But you know what, I didn’t do balance… I put my career first. I did very well in my job and it was something my kids just had to accept. Did they give me a hard time that I was barely around? Of course they did, but what don’t kids give you a hard time about? They didn’t understand it growing up, but they understand it today.”
And while people seemed to agree with this statement. While YOU may agree with this statement, I simply cannot. Careers are a very subjective and personal journey and I don’t want to preach. Believe me, I have had my share of kicked suitcases. But I don’t think you can put your career before you children and not do someone an injustice. Someone gets royally f’d when you do. If you read this blog, you know that I am a HUGE supporter and advocate of working moms, but there is a great cheesy quote that goes something like this: “You can have it all, just not at the same time.” And I believe this.
What do you think?