Life is a journey and it takes many twists and turns. My experiences have given me perspective on how to achieve results in my career and fulfillment in my life. As a woman in business, I have learned that it is important to be bold, confident, resourceful and authentic.
I started my career highly ambitious, with a maniacal focus on exceeding goals.
I didn’t think much about being a woman in the workplace, other than the strict fashion code of skirts and blouses with bow ties. But I did think a great deal about always being the best to ensure my status in the workplace.
This self-imposed standard of success resulted in taking on as much work as possible to prove my worth.
A new outlook
After the birth of my first child, I was faced with the challenge of an intense travel schedule and wanting to care for my child. My idea of success was always driven by my career accomplishments, and now I was challenged to find a way to define success in a different way.
I transitioned to another company to reduce my travel and after six months my boss told me that my communication style and strategy wasn’t effective, but offered no advice on how to improve things.
So, I did something that I wasn’t comfortable with — I asked for help. I worked with an executive coach and learned that it is a sign of strength to pull in resources when you need them.
Push your comfort zone
Fast forward a few years, I was balancing work and family when I was presented with an opportunity to lead a business unit at my company, which would be a big change for me.
I was planning to respectfully decline — why leave a good thing — when a co-worker wrote the word “complacent” on my white board. Did I want to leave my comfort zone? No! But I did and learned valuable lessons from the experience.
After many years of working at a large corporation, I wanted more. I had a resume filled with accomplishments, but needed to feel more fulfilled and more connected to a mission.
That’s when I found a unique company that is focused on a meaningful mission: To ensure that no patient will ever have to wait for the care that they need.
I knew it was the place for me during my interview when my soon-to-be boss asked what was most important to me. I took a risk and said being a good mother was most important to me. In the past, I would have shared a professional goal. But I felt secure enough to share what was really most important to me.
Through the years, I have learned that we are all unique individuals shaped by our gender, background, DNA and life experiences. I don’t ignore the fact that I am a woman in business. I embrace it and the unique experiences it has given to me.
Diane Watson is the COO of TeleTracking. Diane is responsible for TeleTracking’s services organization, which includes its client delivery team. She has a wealth of experience in consulting, information technology and general management. Her background includes the position of CIO at Medrad, a medical device manufacturer, as well as a long tenure at Andersen Consulting, currently Accenture.