In my career, I learned to ask myself, What do I want to achieve? What experiences do I want to gain? Part of that planning involves cultivating a personal brand and defining who you are, who you want to be and what you can contribute to both work and life along the way.
When I was young and setting out in my career, I realized planning was essential. Not only did I lay out how I wanted to advance in my career, but I thought about what I could learn and experience along the way. When I started at PwC, I was the epitome of a team player – I took on projects that stretched beyond my experience at the time. As I advanced, I began to think about what experiences I wanted to have and what made me excited about coming to work every day. I encour age young professionals to have the confidence and courage to take opportunities presented to them. Too often women say no to things because they are worried they do not have enough or the right experi ence, or women opt out before even having the opportunity presented to them. Know that you can take on the challenge and do it well. Do not underestimate your potential.
Work hard to build your credibility and a foundation of support from your employer. There were times in my career where I needed the support and encouragement of my leaders and partners to deal with personal chal lenges. I am very fortunate to have a wealth of personal and professional support at PwC. There will be times when personal life becomes most important. I tell our women at PwC that my experience will be different than theirs. Talk to your partners and your coach about what is important to them and what is important to you – both at work and in life – as both parties need to know what suc cess looks like. Worklife flexibility is not so much a dichotomy – it is about how work and life fit together. The people in your career will be there for you and will help you navi gate the challenges that arise.
Follow your passion. That is my philosophy. When you choose your career path and plan where you want to go and what you want to experi ence, you need to feel excited about getting up each day to do it. Each experience in your career and life will build up to a longer term goal. If you are not excited about the journey, you are not following your passion.