On this internationally-recognized day for women, I offer five tips for success. These tips helped me in my achievements thus far including:
- Breaking away from the norms and traditions for the role of women in Arabia in the 70s
- Pursuing higher education
- 15 years international work experience
- A recipient of a Fulbright scholarship
- An entrepreneur
I hope these tips can offer guidance in your journey of success.
Tip 1: Have Presence
Whatever field you are in, remember your technical knowledge can only get you so far. The secret to success is in the relationships you cultivate with those around you. People need to feel your presence, and pause to hear your voice.
Yet, commanding a room takes time, especially for women. We all know when women flex their muscles, they can be labeled bossy, arrogant and/or pushy to name a few. It takes time to balance between respect and friendliness; expertise and arrogance; discipline and flexibility. Women need to practice, observe, analyze, correct and repeat to master their presence.
Tip 2: Have Thick Skin
People will say all sorts of things, to your face (if you are lucky) or behind your back. Some positive, some negative. What you do next is up to you. You can let it affect you, crawl and hide in you shell hoping it will all go away. You may choose to brush it off, ignore the negativity and move on. Or, you can choose to face them.
Psychological bullies live among us; they can cause harm either intentionally or unintentionally. By facing them, we are educating them on what's acceptable and what's not. We are also preventing bad behavior from occurring to other women.
Tip 3: Opps ... Sorry
Admiral Grace Murray Hopper said: ”do, then ask for forgiveness, rather than wait for permission”! If you wait for permission to do something (within reason) you might wait forever. As long as we do not engage in unethical behavior, a misconduct, or risky actions, we should be ok.
People will let you know if you overstep. If you have overstepped, apologize, explain your intentions and thank people for their feedback.
Tip 4: Believe
Believe in yourself. Believe that you will be successful. If you fail, learn from the mistakes and do it all over again. Failure is not the worst thing that can happen, regret for not taking chances is.
Tip 5: Live Your Life!
Everyone else’s life is taken. You owe it to yourself to be happy, have fun while you progress in your goals. Be authentic to you.