Rediscovering your value is the first step in redesigning your career
By Sylvie Golod
I have been reflecting upon how I, as well as many of you, have changed and adapted during the past year. As a result of COVID-19, we are having to learn to maneuver within a more complex workforce, which is also grappling with new challenges.
How do we reimagine our present circumstances while maintaining a realistic vision? Chappelle B. Stevenson, Columbia Metropolitan Airport’s director of Human Resources & Diversity, ignited the attention of educators, workforce development professionals and business leaders when she said, “… women sometimes don’t acknowledge their value. Men will tell you how great they are and negotiate out the wazoo.” Stevenson has seen a shift in younger women becoming more adept in negotiating and promoting their values. However, for women over 45, it is still a challenge area that must be fought with curiosity, armed by courage and fired in commitment.
Her words resonated with me as a mature woman in the business world, and reaffirmed why rediscovering our value is the crucial first step to redesigning our career. Therefore, we must implement practical and confrontational skills to expose our worth. Below are some suggestions for beginning to realistically assess yourself through a wider lens.
Reflect on the specific lessons, skills, and values you’ve retained to this point in your life. Perform an accurate self-awareness of not only your strengths, but your weaknesses. Courageously handling your ignorance and limitations will empower your character, career and life vision.
Begin formulating your vision by affirming out loud the revelations of your journaling. “Don’t be afraid to sing your own praises and beat your own drum,” said Stevenson.
Research companies and entrepreneurial ventures that align with your vision. Read about and follow people online who have similar qualities and are thriving in their field. Analyze individual strategies, innovative business models and ask questions. Recruit mentors.
Everyone has connections and opportunities evolve through relationships. Get to know people; build rapport, be of service to them and the community. With your gifts of time, talent, and commitment, you will reap what you sow.
Self-education is imperative to you staying mentally healthy and not becoming a bore to yourself or others. Challenge and enhance your weaknesses. Technology is an area where we all can improve. Be curious. FREE options exist: Online courses, tutorials, virtual conferences and webinars. Listen to podcasts and read daily.
A woman who practices self-care exudes confidence. How is your mental and physical health? Employers like nothing more than to see a confident person walk in and demonstrate by their countenance the value they can bring to the organization, according to Stevenson.
Therefore, as we travel towards rediscovering our value and redesigning our career, we must follow the airline’s life-giving advice as we prepare for a flight: put your oxygen mask on yourself first. And so it should be in our lives. We must deeply breathe in our self-worth before we can influence anyone in the seat next to us.
Read other articles from our Silver Tones series for women aged 45+.