…….I have failed. I need a new direction.
These were the words inscribed on Mtandao’s season 3 poster. Ok, I apologize for starting this in the wrong way – Let me try again. I will try to be as normal as possible.
For longtime magic was confined into a cocoon. Real magic – not the stuff of movies. But over time, it grew inside the confines of the cocoon and expanded. Soon, it burst out. This magic was (ok and still is) women. Over the last couple of years, women have been on the receiving end of rigorous empowerment. They have been pushed to come from their traditional cocoons into which they had been confined for so long. When the cocoon popped, creativity, color, and a life filled the world.
There have been many platforms organized by various groups for this purpose of unyoking yoked women. Among these platforms is Mtandao. Mtandao is an impactful women’s come-together where women converge to tell stories of their experiences – especially in their workplaces.
Mtandao influences women to be active in their spaces. In intimate discussions, ladies share their diverse life experiences and exchange ideas about how each one of them dealt with the challenges that they encountered or continue to encounter. Women who come to Mtandao leave knowing that they stand equal opportunities as their male counterparts. It is also through Mtandao, I have had the privilege of hearing the inspiring story of Loise Mboo, the Founder of Adira Life Her story (which I shall share with you in another post) continues to inspire me to be BOLD.
The thing that makes Mtandao different is that we engage in ‘deliberate conversations’. I guess now you’re asking yourself what ‘deliberate conversations’ are. Worry not, I have the answer. We appreciate that women have been attending empowerment talks for a long time, but have we really been living in this empowerment? Do we actually feel empowered in our environment?
The challenge that most women have is finding a balance between their profession and their family. This circumstance demands that they play multiple roles simultaneously – being a mother, daughter, sister, wife and a serial coworker in her place of work. There is this lady who quit her job just so that she can be a stay-at-home mom. Currently, she is torn between going back to her profession (office life) or having and taking care of her 4th child. I found it brave of her to admit that she is not good at running a business.
Another lady whose story I related with brought up the issue of having no time for other interests. I remember this is something that I personally struggled with at the beginning of my career life, and I had to quit in order for me to go back to school.
At some point in your career, you’re likely to feel like you’re in a rut. Maybe you took a job for the money thinking and a few years down the line, you’re still there. Sometimes, it is the position that you signed up for only for you to realize you’re wearing a thousand hats and none of them inspires you. At time a career stuck could be as a result of the Organisation’s culture, process…… What motivates you? If what you do no longer gladdens your heart, then it is about time you reconsidered.
However, if you’re looking to transition; ask for help during the transition. When asked why, and if you don’t have the answer yet, go think about it. Be specific on what you want and what you can do for the organization. Describe then define it.
Just like all in Hollywood, the direction our life takes is normally aligned to a predetermined script. We focus on the things we have been exposed to, rarely coming out of the box to see what lies out there. Mtandao has taught me that that should not always be the case. You can spread your wings and fly to unknown spaces. That is where discovery is.
Among the many lessons, some of my key takeaways from Mtandao are;
– Listen to what people tell that you’re good at and ride on that. But have a purpose
– Get your networks and build on them.
– Don’t worry about the things you can’t change.
– If you haven’t; Activate your network outside your industry.
– Be deliberate about how you conduct yourself.
– Be ready to have authentic conversations.
– Stop over-functioning. Trust others.
I think it is about time women live in empowerment.