I learned the most important lesson of my life from my first boss during first few months of my first job and that was art of networking and the places it could take you. Before I got acquainted with the benefits and practical usability (other than getting varied companions for drinks on weekdays) of networking in professional arena, I used to think the only way to go up is just do your job well. But I was mistaken…you need to do your job well but you also need to be at the right place at the right time and fellas that’s not luck…that’s networking. And I am so glad I learned this lesson so early on in my professional life. The same point was reiterated during the panel discussion with career services personal and few women alumni of INSEAD. I must say that INSEAD did a good job at attracting few good women candidates to the school through this small session. The few takeaways from this session are:
- Networking is important – and its equally important for women and men.
- Since normally women are in lesser percentages than men in the corporate world, it tends to get intimidating for them to reach out and network. However, once you break the ice and yes you woman will have to make the effort and take the first step, it gets pretty easy.
- There are lots of studies that show that women are paid lesser than men (yes..for similar jobs too) and an interesting perspective that came out was that women don’t ask for more money. They either accept whatever offer or if they really don’t like it, they simply reject it. NEGOTIATE woman!!! NEGOTIATE!!! If you are good, you deserve that money and if you are not, well, asking for more money doesn’t hurt 🙂
- Look out for mentors and look out for mentors who are pretty senior in age and status. You will not only benefit from their wisdom but also not threaten their status.
- Networking is important not just to get the job but also to understand more about that industry or that organization or simple that role you have been eyeing for. In that sense networking takes a broader role than getting that job.
And some subtle takeaways/observations for me from this event are:
- As I said earlier, INSEAD did a good job in attracting some good women to their program.
- The gathering was truly representative of what INSEAD stands for – Diversity. There were women from all walks of life and from all parts of the world. I liked that.
- The gathering at event also was a good representative of the expat community in Singapore – prettty interesting ,I must say!
- The session reinforced my interest in INSEAD.
So all you women out there…go out and get that job you wanted and ask for lot of money for it. Meanwhile, I should get back to my essays.