If you could give advice to your younger self, what would it be?

If you could go back and tell yourself one thing at the start of your career based on what you now know, what would that be? That’s the question Media Specialist Tania Yuki posted in summer 2011 on the Women 2.0 LinkedIn Group. Since then more than 230 group members have responded with their advice.

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That’s great, because, as Tania said, women may operate in more isolation than their male counterparts. By sharing what they have learned, women can mentor each other and save each other a lot of time and stress and perhaps even accelerate your progress and career.

This group includes more than 27,000 members and is a great place to learn what’s up with women in business as well as current technology issues. The answers ranged from ideas about financial security to faith in oneself, to understanding the politics of the situation, to planning and so much more.

There are enough good ideas to fill 17 articles, but I’m going to start with the suggestions from a dozen smart amazing women who talked about nurturing relationships with other women. They emphasized the importance of surrounding yourself with supportive people, who very often — not entirely by chance — happen to be other women.

Where to find supportive people? Get out more!

Xuan Tran stated it beautifully: “Put yourself in a place where opportunities can see you.

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“Honestly going to more conferences has helped,” said Justyna Surowiec. “I meet like-minded people that are passionate and taking action to make their goals realities and so many conferences are free they are win-win situations!”

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“It’s not all about working,” agreed Marcelle Farag. “It’s more about networking, meeting others, starting a discussion or even offering a cup of coffee to a new person… every day!”

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“Go to more networking events, socialize a bit more,” said Thyreast Pinckney. “I’m introverted, and tended to avoid large get-togethers because they can be energy drainers. I would tell myself to go get a chai tea latte and go rub elbows!”

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There you have the first installment of advice that members of Women 2.0 would like to give their younger selves. Stay tuned for more tips about trusting yourself, keeping faith, following your passion and much more.

Maggie Castrey for Womenspeak.com

Other Articles of Interest

Work With Other Women

“Reach out earlier to other people, especially women,”  wrote Mei Lin Fung. “A network of women is a force of nature.

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“I would make sure that I connected with as many amazing aligned women as possible–from day one,” said Maureen Simon, “to support them and to receive their  guidance. We grow by supporting each other.”

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“Don’t be afraid to speak up and say what’s on your mind,” said Katy Tafoya. “When good ideas get shared (especially by other women in a room full of men), speak up and ‘second’ that good idea.” Andra Keay modeled that process for us and took the idea even further. “I second Katy’s comment about ‘seconding’ other women’s good ideas. Too often I see a good idea go unheard when raised by a woman, especially a junior, only to be lauded later when repeated by a man, even a junior. It doesn’t hurt to arrange for seconding for your own ideas either.”

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“Keep talking with other women – especially like this,” said Sheila Bailey. “Help others – don’t put anyone down. Women have always had to cooperate since the days we were gatherers, whilst men were hunters.”

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“Find a trusted mentor,” advised Patricia Cunningham. “Build strong teams rather than trying to do everything yourself.” A great way to draw other people into your circle is to “Ask for help,” advised Sue Bock. “Co-active is more satisfying than going it alone.”

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In addition to being more fun, effective teamwork allows each person to focus on what they do best. “Know your strengths and spend a lot of time in activities that use them,” said Leanna Frederich. “Know your weaknesses and delegate those activities.”

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Krylyn Peters, MC, RTC talked about some fine points of support. “I would surround myself with truly supportive people. True support involves encouragement (not discouragement), gentle and loving nudges to help you see your blind spots, and helping you realize YOUR dreams (not theirs).”

 

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