When speaking to Brenda Jones, an Academic Support Coordinator at a university, on my "Empowering Women in Educational Leadership" September 20th episode, she said that during her journey in education as a first-generation, non-traditional student, and now an advisor at a university, she realized that she needed to listen to herself and focus on her needs and “build her own fences” and “stop defining yourself by your job title”. Stop worrying about the pathway someone else is taking, forget about the self-exposed stress you place on yourself to do more than needed while at work, and be sure to include balance in your life. You determine your path, your journey, and focus in your life. Let me elaborate a bit more.
In today’s hyper-connected world, it’s easy to get lost in the hustle of 9-to-5 jobs, titles, and societal expectations. Especially for women, who have for decades been striving to carve out their rightful place in traditionally male-dominated professions. But what happens when that job title is no longer a part of your identity? What would you want to be if you couldn’t work anymore?
The first step towards determining your own destiny is to redefine success. For many, success is closely tied to their job title or the prestige of their profession. However, true success lies in personal contentment and the impact you leave behind. Remember, success is subjective, and it's okay for its definition to change over time.
Every woman is a multifaceted gem, not just a ‘CEO,’ ‘engineer,’ or ‘teacher’. If work were to no longer define you, think of the many roles you inherently embrace - a creator, a mentor, a lifelong learner, or a community builder. Your job might be a part of who you are, but it's not the sum total of your identity.
Change is inevitable, but growth through change is a choice. When the familiar path ends, it’s a golden opportunity to pave a new one. Embracing change allows you to reinvent yourself, learn, and explore untouched territories of your life and personality.
Build Your Own Fences
Instead of being boxed in by societal expectations, build your own fences. These are not boundaries that confine but safe spaces where you flourish. Determine what values, passions, and aspirations are important to you, and let them shape your path forward.
Empowerment often stems from community. By sharing stories, mentoring the next generation, or simply being there for another, women create a ripple effect. The work you do in building and uplifting your community often leaves a more lasting impact than any job title ever could.
The journey to self-discovery and redefinition isn’t always straightforward. There will be challenges and moments of doubt. But every woman carries within her an inherent resilience. By tapping into this strength and constantly reminding yourself of your worth outside of work, you become unstoppable.
It's a powerful realization to understand that while our jobs may influence us, they don't define us. Every woman has the right to determine her destiny, to shape her path, and to celebrate her multifaceted identity. Whether it's by building your own business, taking up a new hobby, volunteering, traveling, or simply taking a moment to breathe and reflect, remember, you are more than your job title. Build your own fences and let your spirit soar beyond them.
I encourage you to embrace the idea that you are not defined by your job title. For guidance along your journey to build your own fences, reach out to me for a free consultation at www.drstephanieduguid.com. Find your story on your terms!
To hear the full radio episode with Brenda Jones, click here: https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/146639/women-in-educational-leadership-removing-barriers