Category: Knowledge

How You Can Stop Discrediting Your Accomplishments

Accomplished_WomanI recently spoke with a woman who has two engineering degrees from a well recognized institution, is currently working on her MBA and has a solid software engineering background. She’s desiring to transition into a product manager role, but is hesitant because of her lack of experience, and concerned about her competition.

In reviewing her resume and hearing her speak about the key positions she’s held at two leading Fortune 500 companies (not to mention — she’s building a mobile app in her spare time), I didn’t expect her to be so unsure about her future career goals. She completely disregarded her achievements by focusing on the “half empty glass,” and as result, she failed to see the leverage she had in moving her career forward.

I’d be lying if I said I couldn’t relate. I too used to downplay everything. I would talk myself out of something before the thought or idea even materialized. I remember being a new member on a development team that was going up for an internal award. Although I busted my ass from day one and contributed as if I had been a long-term member, it was difficult for me to recognize the importance of the role I played.

Why do women struggle with recognizing their achievements and contributions? Men are so comfortable with showboating what they’ve done. They will gloat on for days with no guilt.

Thanks to my mentor, who told me to stop “brushing” off my skills, I was able to accept the great feedback I received from the team.

If this sounds all too familiar, here are five things you can do to become comfortable enough with your accomplishments to discuss them openly and not feel guilty about it.

1. Write down what you’re proud of and reflect on it until you have it memorized

Often times you don’t know all that you’ve accomplished until it’s shown to you. With 50 million other things going on in your life, its hard to remember all the things that you’ve achieved.

You delivered a project on time. You committed to your gym schedule for three months. You taught your little one to tie their shoes. You finally finished that DIY project that’s been lingering. No matter how big or small, be proud of what you accomplished and begin to take note.

Take 30 minutes to write down all of your accomplishments, no matter how small they are. Really appreciate all that you’ve done. Look at the past 3, 6, 12 and 18 months. Don’t neglect the grand scale of things.

Once written, take a picture and keep it on your phone, and look at that picture frequently. Absorb it. Memorize it. Feel happy in knowing that it was you who did all of it.

2. Celebrate every accomplishment (no matter how small)

It’s funny how, as women, we’re quick to celebrate everyone else’s achievements but our own. Make it a habit to do something special for yourself when you do something that you’re proud of.

Yes, you will probably feel guilty at first. This is normal. Things that we’re not used to doing cause us to feel uncomfortable in the beginning. But as the saying goes, “practice makes better.” The more you begin to celebrate your accomplishments, even the smallest one (e.g. completing one thing on your to-do list), the better you’ll feel about your achievements.

3. Counteract every negative thought with a positive one

Pay attention to what takes place between your ears. It’s amazing how we shut ourselves down with negative thinking. Did you know that how we view ourselves manifests itself in our day-to-day lives? I coach so many women who rule themselves out before they even begin, just through their thoughts alone.

Take time to hear what you’re saying to yourself.  You’ll be amazed at how critical you are.

You may have overlooked a misspelled word, or forgot to send a signed paper to school with your kids. So what? The world can get over it.

When these self-defeating thoughts pop up into your head, be prepared to counteract them with a positive thought. It will be annoying at first. But as you become more skilled at it, you’ll immediately know what to do when that nagging voice begins to speak.

4. Focus less on what you’ve done wrong and more on what you’ve done right

It’s so easy to pick apart why we failed at something. We often think, “if only I could’ve…”, not focusing on all the things that we got right.

Don’t be so quick to look at the negative. There’s a positive in everything no matter how bad it may seem.  Start giving yourself credit for what you’ve done right. If you busted your ass to meet an aggressive deadline and you missed it, don’t hone in on missing it. What about the other 99% you completely nailed?

Remember to congratulate yourself on all that you did right. Imagine how much happier life would be if you saw the good in everything, including yourself!

5. Accept compliments from others

The next time someone says good job, say “Thank you.” Acknowledge and appreciate the compliment. Add it to your bank of accomplishments. Don’t be so quick to share your spotlight with someone else or negate the role you had.

You busted your butt to get it done. Now sit back and bask in your personal glory.

By brushing off compliments, you’re automatically discrediting yourself and losing sight of your personal value. We’re so busy pampering others — let someone tell you how good you are for a change.

I challenge you to take the next 21 days to write out your accomplishments, pay attention to your thoughts and focus on all the good you do. I can guarantee you’ll be surprised to see the woman you find!

Women Can Have and ‘DO’ It All

Super_WomanWhen I was younger I used to wonder how do women find the time to do it all. Balancing life and work. Is this something you learn? Or does it come naturally?

I’m a developer and career coach by day and consultant by night.

I’m a mother to a 6 and 9 year old. Both have their own personalities and needs and they require a lot of time.

I’m a wife. In addition to taking care of my babies, I have to care for my big baby too. I swear his needs exceeds those of our little ones at times.

There are days I look at my calendar filled with gymnastics, soccer, karate, networking events, personal time, Girl Scouts, PTA and wonder how in the hell am I going to make this work.

Then like a plane on autopilot it just happens. It all miraculously comes together.

Now don’t get me wrong, with my ADD some stuff gets lost in translation but I manage. I amaze myself at all I can do without skipping a beat. And to be proud of it at the end of the day is the icing on the cake.

It’s as if being still is a violation to my mind.

If I listen to what the media tells me, I would surmise to believe I can’t be all of these things and be successful. I would have to let one area go lacking in order to get where I want to be in the industry.

Thd media outlets do a good job of telling what I can’t do and how I can’t do it but not a good job at answering the question ‘Why Can’t I’?

Why should I sacrifice some things in order for other things to thrive? I don’t have to. Why? Because I’m a woman. I can have and do it all.

You see as I evolved into being ‘this’ woman I realized that we were designed to be and do all things in one. Looking at the women around me showed me this.

I realized women came into this world as doctors, psychologists, counselors, ministers, teachers, caregivers, excellent orchestrators, artists and grand thinkers. We do this all in our day to day lives. We possess many skills and talents. Some we have yet to uncover.
Does this sound like you? You’re on an after hours conference call, cooking dinner, doctoring on a kid’s ‘boo-boo’ and checking homework all at the same time, aware of every event that is happening.

We as women naturally have super powers. With minimal thought we can find the good in the most difficult situation.

We have the ability to birth life. Have you ever felt life growing inside of you? Words cannot explain it. And dammit, any being that can do that deserves to be worshipped. And quite honestly, shouldn’t be afraid to have such expectation.

You see, we have a special connection to the universe. One that is unique to each of us. One that gives us the authority to walk with a special “umph” in our step.

You are not the weak woman the media portrays you to be. Especially my women in tech. You don’t have to accept that you’re being judged by your gender. You don’t have to accept that you will be paid less than your male counterpart. You don’t have to accept that its okay for a company to tell you they will pay for you to delay starting a family by freezing your eggs.

Women are the best. We’re not just good. We’re damn good at EVERYTHING we do. They downplay us because they fear our ability. There’s nothing more superior than a woman that knows and executes her value and worth. Don’t let them tell you otherwise.

Start viewing yourself with the abilities you possess. Not just as a person, but as a woman. Think back to all the women in your life who survived when the odds were against them. Think about how you have made things in your life and in your families life just happen. You have a natural gift.

Now go put on your heels, your favorite lipstick and walk with a pep in your step. Why? Because you are woman. You are creator. You are a conqueror. You are a warrior. You can have it all.

Send me an email to schedule a complimentary coaching session where we will discuss the steps it will take to take your career to the next level.

‘CAP’ing Your Way To The Top

Often I am asked how am I  able to find jobs and get hired so quickly. I have had quite a few.  Not just a mediocre job, but tech jobs with reputable companies, paying quite well.  I’d like to attribute it to my good looks but I know that’s only a fraction of the equation.

My peers have labeled me  as “The Interview Strategist”.  A title I have learned to embrace but not without self resistance.

There are three core principles that my clients and I have used to be successful at interviewing. I refer to it as ‘CAP’ing your knowledge. Know what you know and own it.  Here’s how you can ensure success in your next interview.

Be ‘Confident ‘in what you know

‘Confident’ is often overused, but its a key factor that must be considered when you have to speak before someone who is measuring you up.  In every interview go in with a strong poker face.  Even if you don’t  know the answer to the question, don’t let them see you sweat.  How can you be more confident when interviewing? Ensure you’re fully prepared.  Know the details of the position and how your skills and experience will bring immediate value to the team.

​Don’t be afraid to ‘Assert’ what you know

Some say don’t be too cocky.  I agree to a certain degree.  Asserting what you know is not being afraid to speak it. You can have all the confidence in the world but if you’re afraid to let it show, the interviewer will never know how great you are.   If you’re asked about a project that you’ve worked on in the past, be passionate about it. Take it and own it.  Be proud of your contribution.  No one else can toot your horn louder than  you.  And let’s admit it, we feel good when we’re able to talk about ourselves.  It’s the best form of flattery.

Develop your ‘Personality’ to compliment what you know

​Now that you have all of this confidence and are comfortable with assertiveness, you have to be careful not to be viewed as being an ass.   You must balance the two by killing them with personality.  You know the saying, “it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it”.  Find your unique style and work it!  A smile here.  A question about the interviewer there.  It’s all about making the interviewer feel comfortable and having the sense that you’re engaged.

As you go for your next interview, remember to “C.A.P.”  your knowledge.  With these three things I’m sure you’ll walk away a winner.

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