Earlier this year Jett and I went on a coffee date with another married couple whom Jett met at the gym. Everything was going well until they challenged me on my life and career choices, basically making me feel bad that I’ve chosen the corporate-slave path working towards building someone else’s dream. I understand that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but I work hard and am proud of where I am in my career! What pushed me over the edge was when we started talking about the books we were currently reading. I was proud to say that I was reading “Good to Great” by Jim Collins (which is such a good read that I highly recommend BTW), but explained that I alternate between fiction and non-fiction and started raving about Kevin Kwan’s “Crazy Rich Asians” that I had recently finished … until the wife completely shut me down making me feel guilty for reading something light and not “leadership” focused. I mean, a #bosslady needs some entertainment in her life too!
That experience really stuck with me because I too am guilty of judging people for not joining me on my corporate path. I clearly remember asking my friend who worked at a non-profit at the time something like “so what’s your long term plan though?” expecting her to do ‘more’ with her life. I also remember judging another friends for quitting a job because she couldn’t handle the stress. I feel absolutely terrible for these offenses and I would like to make an official public apology for judging and being pushy on my very own friends!
The bottom line is: YOU DO YOU. Be confident in your path and own it! A corporate lifestyle is fast-paced and stressful and not for everybody. To be an entrepreneur you have to be self-motivated and disciplined. You need so much patience and special magic in your personality to work with kids. We need boss ladies to run our nonprofits and academia. What I’m trying to say is that diversity is key and we have to embrace it.
When I attended the University of Calgary’s Alumni Weekend just last week, I was inspired by the Sticky Floors and Glass Ceilings discussion panel featuring Rebecca Sullivan (professor and coordinator of U Calgary’s Women’s Studies Program / founder and president of Diversity Leads), Dawn Farrell (president and chief executive officer of TransAlta Corporation / Director of TransAlta and the Chemours Company) and Manjit Minhas (co-founder and co-owner of the Minhas Breweries, Distilleries and Wineries / Dragon on CBC Dragons’ Den). They looked at each other with mutual respect and admiration even though they chose clearly different career paths. Like Rebecca, Dawn and Manjit we need to uplift each other and learn from each other instead of challenging each others’ choices or trying to recruit each other into specific lifestyles.
Even in today’s modern world, it is very rare to see women in leadership positions in most industries. So stay connected and stay supportive of your fellow boss ladies. And be confident in your path and own it!
If you have any opinions or have experienced judgement like I have, I’d love to hear from you so please leave a comment below. Thanks so much for stopping by. Stay strong and stay you.