Throwing back to the days that I was still working in my previous company. As a big organization like that (over 45000 employees worldwide), we often had speaker sessions or townhall events where senior managers (directors) would share some updates or personal experiences with audience.
I was in IT department, as you know even until now there are very few females in IT, even fewer for females who made it to director level. As for Singapore office, there were only two. I often joined those speaker sessions, sometimes just to get away from work, sometimes to find out more about those senior managers.
Many times while these two female directors sitting at the “president seat” and sharing their journeys, my mind wandered to something else. Do I want to be like them in future? Being a director in a prestigious bank has its own status, but it comes with a lot of sacrifices too. A minimum of 12-15hr workday, late night calls sometimes, dealing with nasty things (sometimes colleagues), juggling between family and work… Ten years down the road, do I want to sit there one day to talk about my own journey? I could not see my future to be like them.
So I left. It didn’t seem like on the right path, it’s better to correct earlier than later. But, to where?
At the beginning of the year I had a small role with a startup (I saw it simply as a learning opportunity), since then I started to meet a lot more people outside of the financial industry. I had met more millionaires in 3 months than previous 30 years of my life; talked to so many people younger but more established than me; and of course a lot more entrepreneurs who are doing a ton of amazing things every day. Mind blowing! They might not graduate from the best universities in the world, they might not be coming from wealthy background, they shine anyway.
On a few occasions I met some young ladies who run their own initiatives / projects / companies; the way they speak about their passions, dreams and challenges inspired me. A lot! We don’t have to be someone special to do something great; as long as we are committed to what we do, we all can achieve something. Be a hustler who solves problems for others? Sounds like me!
I finally understood why role models are important. Having the right role models who already walked the paths that we choose helps us to see what our future might be. They might not be someone very established, sometimes someone just a few steps ahead of us are more useful than those who are already high up there. I’m glad to have found who I want to be through a few months of exploration!
If we want to achieve something, find someone who already achieves that to be our role model. Ask them their journeys, success tips, failures.. just by doing this could save us a lot of time and costly mistakes. Who say there’s no shortcut to success? May the force be with you 🙂