Last Tuesday, Tania Habimana attended an intimate conversation with leading young women at the Atholl Place hotel in Johannesburg.
Here’s the lowdown on the top 5 lessons I learnt from these wonderful strong women.
1. “You must figure out who you are as a person and why you do the things you do, when you work for a large organisation it’s easy to get sucked in and lose yourself” Kabelo Matlala – Executive Business Manager at Standard Bank
Defining your brand – Knowing yourself, your motivations and values, not only allows you to move forward more boldly and confidently along your career but also makes you stand out from the rest. Look at it this way, would you rather get in the car with someone who knows where they are going or someone who simply knows how to drive?
2. “ If young African women can see that I did it, they also can think to themselves – I can do it too “ Viviane Onana – UN Youth Advisor & Community Consultant with Africa 2.0 Foundation
Never forget to look at the bigger picture. Is your younger sister not looking at you as a role model, is she not watching your moves? Are you not, within your job, participating in a bigger initiative? Don’t fall into the trap of seeing your role as limited to the task at hand, look at all that happens around you and be proud.
Imagine the operator with the flashlight at the airport, he may not feel as important, but can the plane take off without him?
3. “I’m a multi-potentialite – There’s many things I’m passionate about and can do, but I do however, know what I can’t do” Ninel Lara Musson, Entrepreneur & Director of African Leadership Network Foundation
Embrace who you are – but make sure to know your limits. We can’t all be good at everything, so pick a few skills and passions, develop them and stick to them.
4. “I raised my daughter as I was studying for varsity; it taught me that when you put your mind to something, anything can happen” Ana Brito Maneira, Diplomat at Ministry of Foreign Affairs Portugal
Find the inner strength to push forward despite everything. In fact, all the women present at this event, demonstrated that circumstances don’t predict your future.
5. “As a leader, as a mother, as a friend, I’m always the same person” Nomndeni Mdakhi – Founder of Edit Talks & Edit Communications
You don’t need to have a personality transplant every time you enter a new environment or position; authenticity is what will get you the farthest in your career. At the end of the day, the manager in front of you or the investor, is a person and wants to speak to a person. So be yourself. No filters, no excuses.
Happy women’s month to you all, embrace who you are, embrace your journey and share the love with those around you.