2023 has been very fast, with many events that either went as planned or did not. We are at the end of the third quarter of this year. In a lot of organizations, they have started reflecting on the year and preparing for next year. Now is an excellent time to take stock and celebrate the progress you have made so far.
In this blog post, we will discuss three areas to reflect on as we review our goals. Check out some of my "Her Plan" posts to help you have a great year.
#1: Check in on how your goals have changed or evolved
2023 has definitely been an interesting year for a lot of us. Many of our lives have changed significantly three years after the global pandemic. At the start of the year, I intended to take the year slowly and pause more. I could not have imagined that on January 20, things would change drastically at work. By the end of the first quarter, I was sure that my goals for the year needed to be adjusted in order for me to make progress.
Questions to reflect on
#2: Check in on your relationships with goals
When people talk about goals, they either like setting goals or do not. Often, if they do not like setting goals, it is based on a negative experience that they have had, which is entirely understandable. Over the past five years, I have consistently set goals and worked towards them over the year. However, this year feels very different, and I have had to reassess my relationship with my goals. At one point, I felt disappointed when I looked at my goals, especially when things outside my control were happening. I then decided to adjust my plans to match the reality of my life at this time. This helped me feel better about reviewing my goals.
Questions to reflect on
#3: Check in on the progress you made this year
If I asked you what did not go well this year, you would have a long list of things. This time, we will consider the small and big things that worked out this year. Although my year turned out to be very different than I planned, I have had the opportunity to experience some incredible things. I wanted to create more memories with my family, and thankfully, I have been able to do that. My husband, son, and I have been able to spend time traveling and exploring together.
Questions to reflect on
We set goals as a guide through our year. At the same time, life happens, and our plans change. I hope you are being kind to yourself and acknowledging that you have progressed in different ways.
Over the last five years of writing this blog, I have written multiple posts about networking. A lot has changed since I wrote my previous posts on networking. The pandemic affected a lot of our networks drastically. The truth is that we still need our social and professional networks to thrive. As we gear up for the
In this blog post, we will examine our current networks with the help of three questions as we look to rebuild them.
#1: How have your networks looked in the past?
A great start to refreshing your networks is to think back to the past. Typically, your networks have played an essential role in your personal well-being and professional success. Thinking about the people in your networks, how you connected with them, and how helpful they were will help you derive insights. There are valuable lessons that can show you what you want to continue and the things you want to change.
Strategies to consider
#2: Who are the people in your professional and social network currently supporting you?
After we have looked at our networks in the past, it is an excellent time to take stock of your current reality. Thinking about your existing network will help you celebrate your work and identify where you might want to build something new.
Strategies to consider
#3: How do you plan to build your dream network?
Building your network is something you can influence fully. We all need great networks that inspire us, provide new perspectives, help us focus on our goals, develop our strengths, motivate us, and give us opportunities to give back to others. This is a great time to revive or make new connections.
Strategies to consider
Final Thoughts: MC's Story
After speaking at a conference, I realized how much my networks have changed in the last three years. In addition to the global pandemic, I had a baby in 2020, and my Reflecting on my networks helped me see that I am really missing some core elements that my network has provided me in the past.
For more tips and resources, check out my other blog posts on networking:
After 22 years of living abroad, my life has changed significantly. I still remember the day in August 2001 when I boarded a plane from Lagos, Nigeria, and headed to Frankfurt, Germany, to start my new life. Lately, there has been a lot of buzz on social media about people relocating to new countries. It has reminded me of all the experiences that started in Nigeria, then Germany, and where I am today in the US.
In this blog post, I will share the five things that have helped me succeed on my journey so far. Check out my other Her Relocation blog posts about my experiences living in Nigeria, Germany, and the US.
#1: Staying hopeful
In the last 22 years, I have experienced many ups and downs. Living in New counties and cities has tested me in different ways. I have had to choose to keep a positive outlook on life. It has not always been easy, but I keep reminding myself how great my life is and how far I have come. My positivity attracts the right people and opportunities in my life. Maintaining my smile is something that I have fought very hard for.
#2: Having my people and support community
The people I have encountered on this journey have played a significant role. I wish I could go back and tell every single person how much they contributed to my life. Something that has surprised me is how I met new people and built strong bonds with them. I have been fortunate to have people in my life who have been supporters, cheerleaders, companions, teachers, and friends. A friend once talked about how, as immigrants, we meet friends who are our chosen family.
#3: Learning and adjusting to my new countries
Moving to Germany, knowing a few words of German and not knowing much about the culture, I knew it was pivotal for me to learn about my new home. Years later, when I moved to the US, thankfully, there was no language barrier. However, I had to learn about the professional environment here, which differed from Germany. It was clear that what had made me successful in Germany differed from what I needed to have a successful career in the US. There is still a lot to learn, and I look forward to all the new experiences.
#4: Evolving in my cultural identity
My cultural identity has been a topic I have thought about a lot, given how I grew up. I was born in Germany, grew up in Nigeria, moved back to Germany, and then moved to the US. There has always been a question about my cultural identity. I have learned that I get to evolve my identity by picking and choosing elements that I enjoy in the places I live. Nigeria and Germany have influenced my professional and personal identities in significant ways.
#5: Enjoying my journey
The first seven years of living in Germany were challenging. I never thought that 22 years later, I would be enjoying my life this much. There were very intentional choices that I needed to make to be happy. I know there will always be trying times, but time has shown that I am resilient and have what it takes to go through those times. In addition, I believe that the happy times will outweigh the difficult times.
I am very privileged to have lived in so many beautiful cities, met incredible people, experienced many different things, and gotten to travel to beautiful countries in 22 years. It's an interesting question when people ask what's next for me. I am slowly getting the itch to live in another country soon. Keep following my story to see what I get up to next.
This past Tuesday, I was honored to speak as part of a Women in Tech Power Panel at the Google Cloud Next 2023 Conference. There were so many emotions and thoughts going through my mind in the days leading up to the event, during the discussion and afterward. It felt like a huge accomplishment and celebration of how far I had come on my journey. I had just celebrated my fifth anniversary of working at Google.
In this blog post, I will share my feelings and process as I prepared for the panel discussion.
#1: Dealing with being rejected previously
In 2020, before the pandemic hit, the Cloud Next team sought panelists for the Women in Tech panel at the upcoming conference. I raised my hands to speak on the panel and was turned down. It was not easy for me to raise my hands. The rejection hit me very hard because I felt my identity was being questioned. As someone with a degree in Business Information systems and a tech Program Manager for many years, I could not imagine that someone felt I was not qualified to be on a Women in Tech Panel.
#2: Being offered the opportunity, saying yes and getting ready
Three years later, the conference was back live in San Francisco, which was a big deal, and to top it up, I was asked to be on the Women Leaders in Tech Power Panel. Interestingly, when I received the email, I thought the request was for me to recommend someone. I was very excited when I realized that the invitation was for me. The only person I shared the opportunity with was my manager, who was very supportive. One of my team members found out I was speaking on the panel and shared it with the rest of my team. I felt very encouraged by my team as I prepared for the panel.
#3: Speaking on the Panel
As I was driving to the location of the conference, tears started welling in my eyes. My first thought was to call my biggest cheerleader and supporter my twin sister. She knew the right jokes to tell and ways to distract me while reminding me of how proud she was of me. I got to the venue and got my microphone. Everything felt real, and I was ready to share and connect with people. This was the first time since the pandemic that I was speaking at such a large event, and I had forgotten how energized I felt when I had live interactions with so many people. Being on the panel with three exceptional leaders made the event even more special.
I am beyond grateful to everyone who made it possible for me to be on this amazing panel. It took three years to go from rejection to speaking on the panel. Every moment of the process has made the wait worth it.
I am looking forward to many more opportunities to speak and meet people.