We know everyone out there in the education world went back to school on Tuesday, but since we’ve been hitting the books all summer, we decided to give our Organized Women one extra day of vacay before kicking our Spitfire series back into high gear.
Our September Spitfire topic, “How To Burn Bright Without Burning Out: Women, Careers, and Life” hit particularly close to home with the Board of Directors, as all of four of us are well-versed in the art of *ahem* burning the candle at both ends. In the modern architectural playhouse that is Hostelling International, Nacie Carson, Author of career-evolution Bible The Finch Effect and Founder/Blogger of thelifeuncommon.net, moderated a lively panel discussion that featured three female dynamos from diverse backgrounds. On the docket for discussion were varied topics such as the challenge of achieving balance in leadership, career empowerment, and the pink elephant in the attic of many a female mind: the concept of “having it all.”
Lucky for us, we had Amanda Mills, Founder and CEO of EnterTEENment, Katie Donovan, Women’s Equal Pay Consultant and Blogger/Founder of equalpaynegotiations.com, and Sahra Kuper, Owner and Career Consultant of Off Centre Careers in the house to inspire, empower, and remind us to calm the freak-out down. These fierce, fabulous women were a strong reminder of what GLOW is all about: creating opportunities for ourselves and others around us. Each panelist spoke about her individual journey towards her successful career, the importance of developing an appetite for risk, and tips on honing the hutzpah necessary for great achievements. The night was filled with more one-liners than Mrs. Obama’s DNC speech as stirring, stimulating discourse took place between the panelists and the audience, and continued well into the night over bottles full of fizzy IZZE gourmet soda.
Of all the insights shared last night, however, perhaps the most novel thought put forth by the collective panel was this: you don’t have to have it all (and in fact, you probably never will.) The important thing is not being perfect, but being perfectly you, and shaping for yourself a career that is aligned with who you are internally. Work hard, yes, do your personal best, yes, but love yourself despite your flaws, and choose a career that you love as well. It might be a rockier road, but it’s probably going to be a lot more fun.