When Jessica asked me to join Leading Ladies in the early days I lept at the opportunity. I knew I’d meet successful and inspiring women to learn from. I knew it would help my career and open my mind to other perspectives. But I had no idea how important this group of wonderful women would become.
Little did I know that I was about to face the most challenging time of my career. A time that nearly broke my confidence and self-belief. And right in the midst of this chaos I would be faced with a decision that was as exciting, as it was terrifying.
Through the support of the group had the courage to do something crazy… quit my job to travel for 5 months.
No plans, no security, no income.
Just the dream of exploring, learning and recharging.
Sounds fantastic right? Well actually to me it was terrifying. My profession is ingrained into my personality and identity. I’d worked in marketing since I was 19 years old. I worried that 5 months overseas would have a disastrous effect on my networks and career path. I was part of a vibrant tech and marketing community in Wellington. A lot changes in 5 months!
The Leading Ladies gave me the courage to embrace this once in a lifetime opportunity. They also gave me the support to see that was an awesome chance, and not an escape path. They reminded me of my own skills and employability when I had forgotten. When I was the most nervous about leaving, they were always the most excited for me.
The great part of this story is the Leading Ladies support network extends beyond timezones and countries. While I’ve missed my in person catch ups, through social media and this website coming to life, I’ve still been connected with these amazing ladies. Through celebrating their successes (like our own innovation hero Toni!) and hard work (go Jessica for putting this site together), I’ve felt a little closer to home.
Our internal critics can be our toughest opponents. That voice in your head that tells you it’s all your fault. You could’ve done more, worked harder, been better. We all know that one...
It’s. A. Bitch.
Peer mentoring is incredibly valuable for overcoming self-doubt. You get to talk honestly, and openly with other successful women. You quickly realise that we all have that voice inside. By supporting each other, we can learn to shut it up. And eventually it stops having the power it once had.
It turns out, my fears about travelling were unfounded. It’s been a life-changing experience, opening my eyes beyond New Zealand while also confirming my love of Wellington, marketing and tech. I’ve had the time to work on my passion projects, a tech marketing podcast and advising tech start-ups.
Leading Ladies is a supportive and safe environment to discuss what scares you and get advice from your peers. Whether it’s changing careers, taking time off or negotiating a pay rise. Sometimes saying it out loud is half the battle!