Before leaders and achievers rise to the top or start living their dream, they encounter obstacles, make mistakes and let opportunities pass them by. So that up-and-comers might gain from their experience, workplace veterans in prominent or personally satisfying positions were asked to complete this sentence: I would have gotten here sooner if…
• ”...I focused on finding an organization with a culture that felt like home versus trying to contort myself to fit into organizations that didn’t work for me. When I have worked in companies for which I truly believed in the mission and felt like I could express my authentic self and full range of strengths, I flourished, grew, found new challenges, and realized my worth on an accelerated pace.” Julie Clow, head of learning and development, Two Sigma Investments, New York
• “…I had realized that the only star is not the one at the top of the ladder. Not everyone can be head of the department or CEO. Learn to appreciate your strengths and apply them where they can shine the most.” Christina Vuleta, founder, 40:20 Vision (a cross-generational mentoring site for women)
• “…I knew entrepreneurship was a viable career option. I though it was a pipe dream – something only wealthy older folks could do once they’d saved up enough money to step off the corporate ladder and onto their own platform. But it doesn’t take a lot of money or years of experience. What it does take is desire, drive, passion and a willingness to work harder than most.” Matt Cheuvront, owner, Proof branding firm, Nashville.
• “… I had realized that I work much better as part of team of people bouncing ideas off each other and that it’s not any nobler to go it alone. I spent a lot of my 30s invested in the dream of the solitary writer or producer. I wanted to freelance and follow my own nose because I thought that’s what people with good ideas did versus pursuing what an employer or editor tells them to. But I found that left to my own devices, I’m not as inspired.” Paula Mauro, digital media editor, American Health Information Management Association, Chicago.
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