Written by: Kamladevi Sharma, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
Young professionals face a unique challenge. We’re often caught among our elders' guidance, expectations of society, our inner critic, and our heart’s desires. Additionally, the values, vision and leadership at companies in the Corporate world play a significant role in the successful debut of a University graduate’s career.
My story is not very different than any other young professional who did not know someone at the top to boycott the other levels. Fresh out of University and full of enthusiasm to apply my expertise, I was expected to start at the bottom of the hierarchy and climb my way up as everyone else did. It didn’t matter how long it took others. I was expected to endure the same. So, I started at the bottom but luckily for me, my boss found my qualifications impressive and appointed me the leader of a new project. With this, I was given space to do something different than the others and, I bloomed.
However, it didn’t come without a naysayer or two. I’d never forget overhearing a colleague tell another, “This little girl has made us all look stupid. She came a few days ago and has already made big changes. We’ve been here for years.”
For a highly sensitive introvert, it was a depressing experience for me. It dampened my spirit, and I couldn’t understand how someone could be so inauthentic- friendly and encouraging in my presence but threatened by my success. “This is life. That’s how people are. Don’t bother with them. They are jealous.” were the words an older colleague said to comfort me.
However, the experience was more than “life” for me. It was my driver for change.
Becoming a target for in-house competition and intuitively squashing the attempts to sabotage my work, I decided to defy expectations and change my experience to align with what I really wanted. In my heart, I knew that starting at the bottom, fighting unnecessary battles, and not knowing how long I’d be at the bottom or if there was any scope for growth, was not my ideal experience. So, I sought other opportunities and, I was given the highest leadership position at an institution. I kept growing thereon and as life happened, I adjusted to what was needed of me in the moment. Healed and revived from those challenges, here I am today- independent, super successful and, making a positive impact in people’s lives locally and internationally, with the support of an incredible family.
Consequently, for professionals aiming to stand out in the Corporate environment, I encourage the following:
1. Continue vision building
In our childhood, we dream of what we’d like to be when we grow up. Unconsciously, our likes and dislikes guide us in choosing the path that will lead us to realizing that dream. However, in our youthful years, we stop dreaming, and, we stop planning for the rest of our life. We get caught up with hormones and our changing roles. At this critical stage of our development, we must continue to build that vision of the rest of our life. Otherwise, the emotions, overwhelm and expectations lead our decision making and suppress our potential. We become the puppet who starts at the bottom and stays at the bottom for decades.
2. Get clear on your values and worthiness
What is important to you in a company’s way of doing things, or what are your beliefs of what is right and wrong? Knowing your values from the onset of job hunting will help you align with a company representing these values. This way, you’ll be empowered to grow into a better version of yourself rather than deal with everyday conflict or upset when things are done differently than you expect.
Further, knowing your worthiness, not from a domineering power stance but from a place of self-fulfillment and responsible decision making, can help you to communicate effectively with your boss and not low ball yourself in adding a satisfactory price tag to your time.
3. Build your confidence and resilience
Do not be deluded. You will not be everyone’s cup of tea. Focusing on “what others will think and say” can be a huge suppressant to your confidence and belief in yourself. Build your confidence by speaking positively to yourself every day, in front of a mirror if possible and, embrace challenges.
Developing your resilience towards challenges by accepting that the road to success is a bumpy ride that you are in full control over can help you to recover from rejection and disappointment faster. You have the power to recreate any of your experiences, so believe in yourself and unleash that power within.
4. Own your voice but remain open to learning
I am an introvert that has low tolerance for people disempowering others with their words and actions. When you step up and step into your power to express yourself freely and authentically, growth takes place. Knowing how to communicate your thoughts and feelings by leaving others feeling inspired and empowered, is also a major factor in being seen and heard by those who can help you in your journey. Further, remaining open to learning makes you coachable and approachable, helping you build meaningful long-term beneficial relationships.
5. Hone your intuition and pursue windows of opportunities
My intuition has never failed me, but I do not allow the guidance expressed to make me obsessive and isolated from reality. I work with it to help me think critically and problem solve in my most uncertain moments. I encourage young professionals to work on their intuitive abilities as well. This really helps you to be proactive more than reactive in life-changing situations. It also connects you to your magic within, which creates a magnetic pull for others to be interested in your gifts.
Additionally, instead of thinking "That's not my job" or "I'm not being paid to do that", pursue any opportunity that allows you to do something different than the rest and, weave your magic. This could be your stepping stone for standing out, like it was for mine.
As it is, the journey to standing out and showing up authentically is as difficult or as easy as you think and feel about it. You have a purpose to fulfill on this planet and only you can take inspired action to fulfill it with ease.
Kamladevi Sharma, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Kamladevi Sharma is an international speaker and teacher of work-life balance, a certified professional life coach and qualified business consultant. She helps entrepreneurs and people in management globally, including you, to eliminate burnout and, achieve balance in their personal and professional lives. Her dedication to achieving clarity, alignment and results for her clients, ensures that they can thrive and feel more fulfilled and successful in their life, career and/or business. Additionally, her expertise in mindset and personal development strategy has benefitted over 4000 professionals globally in personal growth and, over 250 businesses in jumping start a momentum for success in her signature momentum trainings at Revive. She has been featured on several podcast shows on various platforms like Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts and, the Guyana Times Sunday Magazine. Kamladevi holds a MBA in Business Administration from the University of Bradford, Bachelors in Social Psychology, Social Research and Business and, certificates in Professional Life Coaching and Counselling. Prior to co-founding Revive, she was magnificent in upper management positions in Guyana and lectured at several tertiary institutions there.