I recently heard this quote from Gloria Steinem again. The first time I heard it, I mulled it over and basically accepted it at face value … but this time was different. As I complete more years of schooling and get closer to beginning a career in my chosen field I often contemplate where I want to be in 1 year, 5 years, 10 years. I would love to say that I see myself accomplishing all my goals and succeeding at everything I put my mind to … but let’s be honest, I have my doubts. But who wouldn’t have doubts? Women in business have a full plate – aspiring careers, varied interests, families, and much more.
So after hearing this quote again I started thinking – what does it mean that I can have it all, but I can’t do it all? Many of my goals and interests are self-driven: promotions at work, awards at school, pursuing personal interests – if I can’t do it all, how will it ever happen?
But what I came to realize was that while I am great at expanding my personal and professional networks, I am really bad at using them. I am so fortunate to get the opportunity to meet and interact with so many amazing business women and while I regularly keep in contact with them, I rarely use them as a resource for myself. And why is that? Does it make the accomplishment any less real if someone helped you get there? Definitely not, you hear stories of Olympians who had entire families and villages supporting their success. Are there women in my network who will support me and give me guidance? Most definitely yes.
I want to have it all – and now more than ever I am determined to use all of the resources at my disposal to get there. I challenge everyone to do two things: (1) Ask someone in your network to help you achieve one of your goals; and (2) Offer to do the same for someone else. Women in business is a network that is growing each and every day and we have the resources and skills to help each other succeed – there is no good reason not to use them.
University of Toronto