It’s been a week since our historic midterm election (and it’s still not over), but this is not about politics. This is about all the positive things we have learned as a result of recent events.
We can all agree that it’s been an intense, overwhelming, extremely passionate, often confusing and contentious, and very empowering time in our history. Wherever you fall on the politically active spectrum, and regardless of your political affiliation, there are key lessons we can all apply to our lives and to our careers.
Here are the 5 “F’s” of the Midterm Election…FAST, FIRST, FOCUSED, FEARLESS, and FIGHT.
Women have responded at lightning speed to run for office, to get out and vote, and to get engaged in the political process. Instead of overthinking or overanalyzing the situation and its myriad of potential outcomes, women have adopted the “strike while the iron is hot” type of attitude. Resist the urge to wait or to self-sabotage. If there is an opportunity, a conversation, or a stretch goal in front of you…Act FAST! There is no time to wait.
There is always someone who is “first,” and this midterm celebrates a historic number of firsts. The first African-American women were elected to Congress from MA and CT, the first Native American women were elected to Congress, the youngest woman was elected to Congress from NY, and the list goes on and on. It takes courage, heart, support, and strength to be the first, but it’s worth it. Be the first woman in your boardroom or c-suite, be the first to create an initiative to help women within your organization, and be the first to pave the way, in any way, for other women to be more and to do more.
Managing your career and/or the job search process, like running a political campaign, is a marathon, not a sprint. There are distractions, competing priorities, and unforeseen challenges along the way all strategically designed to test your commitment and your conviction. It’s not going to be easy, and it’s not meant to be easy. Remember your big “why” and keep your eye on the prize.
Fear is a powerful deterrent…fear of failure and fear of success. Fear holds us back, keeps us still, and limits our true potential. Fear shows up, especially when the outcome is uncertain. There are no guarantees when it comes to running for office or going for a big promotion. Just because you don’t have 100% of the qualifications of the new job description, don’t let fear creep in and keep you from applying. Being fearless is not the absence of fear…it’s feeling the fear, buy doing it anyway.
Embrace the FIGHT
Anything worth having is worth fighting for. Putting yourself out there, either in the political arena or your workplace arena, is all about strengthening your resilience muscle. There’s always going to be competition, other co-workers being considered for the same promotion, or bosses who don’t support your career path. Develop a thicker skin and don’t allow anyone, or anything, to stop you from achieving your goals.
Whether you’re running for office or running your own career like a boss, these five “F’s” will help set you up for success…and, ultimately, Woman UP!