Strategies to go from merely surviving to THRIVING for women in STEM
I hated it when my boss asked me “What do you want to be when you grow up?” as part of our conversation about my career. I had no idea what I wanted from my career in the long term. I kind of knew what I wanted to do next, but 10 years down the road was not visible to me.
What I’ve found to be most important is to understand what you are looking for in your career. What are your expectations around roles, responsibilities, location, hours, and culture? These are the questions that need to find the answers for in the present and near future, say 1 – 2 years. Things change as we grow and learn, so don’t think more than 5 years out unless you really have a driving vision for your career. Some people do.
As these answers become clear you will be able to see what your next step looks like. When you have no definition on what you want it’s easy to get stuck in place because there are too many options. Narrowing your...
When I think about career development, I find Dr. Seuss’s “Oh the Places You Will Go!” bouncing around in my head. I know, it's crazy! In particular:
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...”
The thing that draws me to this quote is the fact that Dr. Seuss made the reader responsible for where they will go. The same is true in creating a career path. We are the ones who are the driver of our careers. Sure, we will get help from mentors, managers and sponsors, yet it is up to us to pick a path, do the job and take the risks. We are also the ones who reap the rewards or suffer the consequences.
Your career is a journey; you will learn new things, find new paths and meet new people along the way. The path you first start down may not be where you end up at the end. My career started as a...