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Challenges in Achieving Career Goals while living a Balanced Life

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(Speech by Dr. Madhu Fernando, at the CSSL – Women in ICT Forum 26th November 2013)

Success depends on how big our dreams are.  Whether we are men or women if we don’t dream big, we will not achieve anything bigger than what we achieve in our ordinary lives. From my early childhood days, I used to dream big. I saw successful people from my eyes as I used to read every book or every paper I could get hold of. The world was not the same those days. It was long three decades back. But I knew success is something we all can achieve.

As a child I have achieved many of my goals successfully. I worked hard to get through year 5 scholarship and pass all the Colombo School entry programs and was lucky to select Colombo Visakha Vidyalaya (College) for secondary education and to slowly move in to the big world I live today in the City. I don’t call having a luxury life is a success. Success is being able to live a balance life and while staying at the top of everything you do at work.

How do you achieve career goals while living a balanced life?

  • Set Clear Goals

Set clear goals to achieve your personal and work goals appreciating that both are equally important. Work success depends on how happy you are, as an individual. Happiness in the family is also influenced by how happy you are at work. Think ahead, and set goals for your life, drawing your very own mission statement.

  • Draft an Action Plan

When you know your goals, next step is to work on those goals you have set for yourself. Using techniques like Mind Mappingdraft an action plan on how to get there from where you are right now.

  • Live in the Present

Establishing your goals does not mean that you have to think about them every minute of the day. Knowing what your goals are and when you have an action plan to achieve your goals are the foundation for success. Don’t get stressed about the log journey you plan to walk. Just think about what you should be doing right now, to get there.

  • Be flexible with the Change

Don’t forget that change is inevitable in life and be flexible with the changes. Don’t forget your dreams with the challenges you face. Get back on your feet as soon as possible and start walking again. No one will be there to motivate you when you fail. Think about how successful people survived the worst in their lives, and re-start your life again. Set or adjust goals and enjoy success in every step you take.

Barriers in Achieving Goals for Women

A question was raised whether achieving career goals are more challenging for Women, with the observation that there were very few ladies at the top in the IT industry.

To promote ICT as a great career choice for women, CSSL Women in ICT was established recently, and still concerns were raised how to get more women in to the Board Room. One suggestion always come to the table in women’s forums, having a significant number of women at the top, just to encourage gender diversity in the board room; will never be a solution for a company who wants to achieve success in their business. If you are a successful company, whether you hire a man or a woman, that person has to be the best, to drive your organizations to the future. How women prove they are the best can be the only challenge they might face in this instance, compared to the men. Creating the awareness that women can balance their work and life will take them a long way, in achieving the corporate success, as the general observation is that they are unable to do it so, with the majority of women take family as a big obstacle they have in building a successful career.

Whether you are a man or woman, who want to achieve corporate success, managing perception is one big task, because it’s not what you really do get you to the top, and its how you do it what takes you there.

One Last thing: Education!

Specially in the ICT industry where things change in a blink of an eye, continuous learning will keep you at the top of the world. Acquire new knowledge; be familiar with what’s happening in the industry and around, if you are planning to take a step forward in your life.

Be alert, learn new, and keep moving.

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