Week 10: Naivety as a Strength – #AlphaFemaleFriday
“ WEEK 10 / 133 – 133 WEEKS TO SUCCESS ”
One of my favorite quotes also happens to be synonymous with Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. As a disclaimer, I do not have firsthand experience with these gatherings. Nevertheless, the actual quotes comes from the Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr, and begins and such:
God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
wisdom to know the difference.
I find that this quote can easily apply to our everyday lives, and specifically how we approach choices in our careers. As we begin our careers, we lack wisdom due to our lack of experience. We begin our careers with a passionate albeit emblazoned naivety. This allows us to appear approachable, attracting mentors who see us as driven, but in need of someone who can show us the way to a more professional and experienced path. As we get older, this naivety becomes less cute and more aggravating. The seasoned professional’s naivety swiftly underscores what remains of their professional prowess.
I begin my career recognizing that there are certain circumstances out of my control. For example, I am staying in the city at a hotel three nights in a row this week due to a major winter storm. If I were a more seasoned professional with wonderful perks such as a hefty expense report budget or the ability to work from home, I’d wave off this storm with a defiant hand saying, “not my problem.” Alas, I don’t have these perks. So, I make do with this obstacle before me and recognize that the show must go on, and I have been fortunate enough to be able to save money aside in situations such as this where I may not make it home in time but still have to go to work the next day.
I am courageous enough to recognize that while weather may be outside of my sphere of influence, I know that there are things I can change. I have made it clear that I would like VPN access from home on a rare occasion such as intermittent weather, and our IT department has done what they can to allow this privilege. I believe in being proactive, dressing and bundling up for the worst case scenario, and reserving a shelter for the night—AKA a hotel room—if I cannot make it home.
Most importantly, we must all know the difference between what we can control and what we cannot as we go about our days. For example, we can control what time I leave the house, but we cannot control traffic, so we can leave the house about half an hour earlier than it actually takes to get to work to account for terrible traffic. There is nothing wrong with being naïve, as we are all inexperience in way one or another at some point, but it is wrong if we do not recognize we are being naïve. The most intelligent people I know are not the ones who act like they know everything; they are the ones who recognize they do not know most things, and that they are always ready and willing to change, adapt, and learn something new. Everyone has something to teach someone, but only the wise realize that they can learn from everyone.
@AlphaFemSociety tweets by @KellyRGonzales
Each week, I take a tip from Lois P. Frankel’s book, Nice Girls Still Don’t Get the Corner Office, and explore how each of these tips affect myself and other women in similar positions on the road to becoming the women we want to be. There are far and few between who are a few steps behind me, and many more who are far advanced. I found that Lois P. Frankel’s advice applied to novice, intermediates, and experts alike. It helped me see that I was already doing right, served as a reminder to keep on doing what I was doing and how to keep that momentum going. The book also showed me areas where I could improve, and gave realistic tips to jump on board. There are a total of 133 tips, and explore one tip per week in a program I call: 133 Weeks to Success.
Join the movement using the hashtag #133WeeksToSuccess with posts which are posted every #AlphaFemaleFriday.