I recently read an article about what some women in marketing wish they’d heard earlier in their career and it boils down to giving yourself permission to work and behave as yourself – without needing permission from someone else.
When I think about working life today that seems ridiculous. The strong, take-no-prisoners business women I meet every day would never fret about such things. Sure, there are some timid women out there – but the ones who are rising and have risen to the top are fearless and hard charging. Weren’t they always?
Surprisingly, many were not. During my own career I’ve been called everything from formidable to fearless, and a few things best left to the imagination, but I didn’t enter the business world that way. In my first foray into advertising, I had the snot beat out of me. Not by men, by other women.
They were relentless and often unfair. Some meant well but were not good teachers, but some were just flat our competing and trying to keep me down. There were times when I thought they’d win, but somehow, I pressed on.
Whatever their intentions, they built a warrior.
Yes, I apologized too much, and fretted that I didn’t know everything – but not anymore. Those early scars built the foundation of someone to be reckoned with in a skirmish.
At Bozell, my partners and I have tried to build an organization where there is enough education and understanding to keep anyone from having to learn the hard way – but sadly, there’s no denying that a little bit of the hard way can get you there faster. It did for us.