In today’s day and age, the idea that you are able to stay in one job for the entire period of your career has been shaken to it’s core. That just doesn’t happen anymore. It is expected that by the year 2020, more than 40% of all jobs are going to be project based overseen by professional temps.
In fact, the author Wendy Sachs, a master of the career pivot, details in her book, Fearless and Free: How Smart Women Pivot and Relaunch their Careers, exactly what does happen to many high-powered, and type A personality women throughout the decades of their professional life. What you come away with is that you need to be ready for anything. You need to think outside the box, and prepare yourself on many different levels, for many different kinds of careers. But most of all, you need to not let your ego, or the “good little girl image” get in the way of what you need to get done.
Sachs discusses the fact that women do function on a different level than men do in the professional world. She recounts stories of how ideas, topics, and resolutions to problems that women develop, are at times, attributed to their male colleagues. An interesting anecdote revolves around the Obama administration, and how the women who worked in the West Wing had to actually device a plan in order to get their work acknowledged as their work.
The author tells us that in order to be successful, women need to ditch the age-old expectation of the “good girl.” That women need to not be afraid to assert themselves, and not be afraid to be considered hard, mean, or unfeminine. She teaches us that to be successful women, need to not only come up with a new game plan, but what they really need to do is to change the rules of the game itself. And then she lets us know how several prominent women did exactly that.
Sachs explains to the reader, that it takes courage and forethought in order to turn your failures into something positive. The women who had developed new paths and new ideas, did so at the time out of necessity, but also out of the realization that they needed to diversify their incomes, their existence, and their future. That in today’s day and age, you cannot rely simply on one income, or one idea to see you through the world.
She specifically talks about the tech industry, where the average job length is a mere two years. Sachs explains that the point of any job is to garner as much knowledge as possible, something you can take with you. Build a resume. Build connections. Build a network. Then think what it might be like to be your own boss one day. Then go out, and do it.
Mostly though, I would attribute the success stories in these pages to something that has been socialized out of women: moxie…pushiness…chutzpah. Women need to learn to not care what others think so much, and take a forward-looking attitude like men. Think of the future you want to have, and build it to your own satisfaction.
“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”
― Maya Angelou