"You can do anything as long as you have the passion, the drive, the focus, and the support." - Sabrina Bryan
When anyone talks about succeeding, you will always hear mention of the importance of being passionate about what you do, keeping a clear vision for what you aim to accomplish, and never quitting. These are all vital ingredients for success, but there's one ingredient missing. One ingredient that, if forgotten, will leave your aspirations half-baked and disappointing.
Support is the foundation for success. You can build the most breathtaking house in the world with all the bells and whistles and award-winning design, but if its foundation is weak or nonexistent, your masterpiece will crumble before you can even move in and enjoy it. Success in the workplace works the same way.
Women in the workplace need support before they even begin their career. Between the gender gap, income inequalities, and an overall lack of ambition among professional women, it's no wonder that women can often feel alone surrounded by their colleagues. This is one of the main reasons I started 4word. No one, especially professional women, can expect to achieve their goals without having a support system in place to see them through.
Are you at a stage in your life where you feel a lack of support or the need to find better support? Consider some of these ideas.
Seek out a mentor or sponsor.
I believe having a mentor or sponsor is a key step in securing long-term and meaningful support for your future. I've been privileged to have many mentors in my life over the years. They have come alongside me during times of transition and inspiration and offered me the support I needed at that time as I decided my next step or two.
Mentorship is one of the pillars of 4word and our mission to impact the lives of professional Christian women across the country. No matter your industry, position, or duties, having a mentor in your corner will always be one of the best investments you will ever make in your career. The 4word: Mentor Program has perfected partnering women with mentors that will not only guide them through the process of identifying and pursuing goals for work and life but also provide a source of encouragement and genuine community beyond their time together.
The 4word: Mentor Program requires 10 weeks of your life, but this small investment of time will earn you an invaluable advocate that has nothing but your best interests at heart. If this sounds like a career step you're ready to take, click here to submit your application for the upcoming 4word: Mentor Program session.
And don't just take my word for it. A growing body of research shows that having a sponsor or sponsors at work directly impacts future professional success. Check out this study by Catalyst; or my sponsorship article in Leader to Leader for more on how it can make a critical difference.
Connect with a group of like-minded women.
Who doesn't like having a friend you can call up and ask to meet for coffee to discuss a hard day at the office? Or maybe you're someone who thrives on group discussions of present-day topics and issues that women in the workplace face. Since we were in grade school, having that core group of allies was something that helped us thrive in our environment and have a positive outlook.
This same idea holds true now as adults. If you think your support system should include women in your area, make it your new goal to introduce yourself to fellow female co-workers, either at or outside your company. Professional women all experience similar struggles in the workplace, so an opportunity to combat them together is one that I think anyone would relish!
4word: Local Groups were established to fit this exact need: connect local women and provide them with facilitated community and conversation. There are multiple cities across the country meeting every month, with more cities being added as interest is expressed. Check to see if your city has a 4word: Local Group and register for an upcoming event. Our 4word: Local Group leaders all share a passion to connect and support the professional women in their cities, and will welcome you and provide you with an instant support group.
Join a more meaningful social network.
We all spend a good portion of our days online with most of that time spent browsing our various social network accounts. The digital age in which we live is not going anywhere, and an increasing number of companies and experiences are realizing that an online presence is becoming more popular each year and are adapting their interaction with their customers to meet this expectation.
I saw this digital age as an opportunity to impact women not just in the US but across the world. Taking the focused and driven approaches of the 4word: Mentor Program and 4word: Local Groups, we at 4word launched the 4word Membership Program. This exclusive online meeting place for professionals is a portal of resources, content, and career opportunities that supports and enriches the lives of our 4word: Member Insiders.
This is a unique and valuable tool that is available 24/7 to fit your schedule and needs whenever you need it. The 4word: Member Insider content is meant to be used as a supportive resource for women seeking advice on leadership, business, and other pertinent topics.
You can never have too much support.
Support is a critical piece of your overall career puzzle, but its shape will be different for everyone. Some of you might benefit from having a more personal, scaled-down support system like a mentor or sponsor. Others might thrive with a group of colleagues or like-minded women from their community. And then there might be some of you who desire to have all of the above. There is no "support standard" that everyone should meet. Consider what your goals are for yourself, both at work and at home, and determine the support system needed to help you succeed. Do not neglect your foundation, or you'll find yourself watching all of your efforts at achieving success crumble at your feet.
Sign Up NOW For Upcoming Session of the 4word: Mentor Program!
The upcoming session of the 4word: Mentor Program is accepting applications through Friday, September 1. By dedicating 10 hours of your time to one session of the 4word: Mentor Program, you will gain an advocate in your career corner for years to come. Don't miss this opportunity; sign up TODAY!
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