Week 17: Success by Affiliation – #AlphaFemaleFriday
“ WEEK 17 / 133 – 133 WEEKS TO SUCCESS ”
I’ve always been careful about who I choose to surround myself with. The people who I chose to spend time with, and vice versa, say a lot about a person’s character. If you want to know what a person is like, look at their friends. While my friends and associates all differ in age, ethnicity, career choice, and so on, they all have certain qualities in common: intelligent, resourceful, honest, and kind. I am honored and proud to be able to call these kinds of people my friends.
The industry that I’m in is all about people, and for a while, I didn’t think I’d go into the hospitality industry. To be frank, I thought I was “above it all”. I thought I was too smart to go into this industry. Growing up, I leaned towards the abstract (writing fanciful stories of big dreams and drawing artwork I wanted to share with the world). I leaned towards hard data; I loved biology and algebra. I was curious about people, and I enjoyed watching and observing them from afar. I considered people watching a sport.
Lo and behold, I went to college specifically to study hotel and restaurant management. For the first few years, I felt like a sellout. I thought it was the path of least resistance because of my inherited connections to the industry through people I knew and grew up with. I felt like I didn’t really earn my place.
Now that I’m on the other side of the table, and people are approaching me for career advice and asking me for intros and favors, I realize that I had it wrong all along. Knowing people will get you to the door, but it’s a whole other story for two reasons:
- Not everyone wants to walk through that door
- Not everyone can keep themselves inside that door
I’ve dealt with people who say they desperately want to make a move or a change. I make the intros and give them the necessary advice. Half of the time, they either don’t want to make the change because it’s not something they’re interested in or they’re too scared to make the change because they feel it’s out of their skill set because they don’t know anything about it.
I’ve also seen people who have all the necessary connections to get them to and through the door, but they don’t have the work ethic, drive, or plain interest to keep the momentum going. I’ve seen what happens when an executive’s own heir to the throne smokes a joint in Bryant Park when they should have been doing their job, a job that many would kill for, but they just don’t care. They feel entitled to it.
Now that I am where I am and know where I want to go, the only thing I’m really sure of is that I want to continue to surround myself with like-minded people. I know that the path that I’m paving for myself now is the same path that a future mentee of mine could take, so I’m doing my best now only for my own future, but for the future of someone who would want to be affiliated with me. Success by affiliation is not what I originally thought it was. It is a success that is earned, because these relationships are carefully crafted and tended to, like the finest flowers in a soil enriched garden. Here’s to growth!
@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.