As a female baby boomer, I am proud that my generation of women has made many forward strides with women’s rights and workplace equity, but there’s still so much that needs to be done.
Gen Y Women – your combination of a clean slate, fresh insight on technology, and family values has the potential to change the world. It’s up to your generation now! To help you with this, I’m giving you a gift of the wisdom I’ve learned.
Take Charge of Your Life Today. Do you really know what you value, what your important roles are, and what YOUR PASSION is? Identifying any of these is the most important step you can take for yourself. Don’t just think about this – actually write down your values, roles, and passion. When you have identified what matters deeply, you can use these three insights to make decisions about how to live your life. Make sure you review them often, and make adjustments if circumstances in your life change.
Make it a Priority to Learn the Language of Your Organization. Whether you are a volunteer, an entrepreneur, or an employee with a Fortune 500 company, every organization has its own language, products, services, processes, and tools. You need to soak up all the knowledge you can. You don’t have to be an expert in everything; however, you need to be aware of what your organization does, how it does it, and how it goes to market. By knowing these, you will be able to participate in and contribute to conversations about various parts of the business – this increases your credibility.
Learn to Collaborate. This is not compromise, and it’s not cooperation. Collaboration is (1) both an outcome and a process (2) in which shared interest or conflict that cannot be addressed by any single individual (3) is addressed by the team members (4) in order to achieve what is best for the organization. Once you know how to collaborate, learn how to lead others to work together.
Create Your Own Personal Advisory Board (PAB). You’re never too young or too old to start building a personal advisory board. This is more than a network – it’s a small core of people who care about your success and assist you by providing their advice, contacts, and knowledge. They may end up saving you from yourself.
Have Friends of All Ages. Your generation does a better job than previous generations with diversity (thank goodness). Are you aware of the advantages of having friends of all ages? Friends of all ages bring different points-of-view, experience, different interests, and new ideas. I’m sure you know older people with young mindsets and young people with older mindsets.
Finally, Pay It Forward. When you are the recipient of a favor, do a favor for at least three other people. Even if you’re not the recipient of a favor today, you have been in the past. Pay It Forward is one of the greatest gifts you can give.
That’s what I’m doing right now.