#women #career #digital #business #technology

Theresa Lankes

""You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete" R. Buckminster Fuller"

Agile Coach | SHARENOW

What means career for you?

Career means to me building a professional life that supports you financially while allowing you to grow skills, acquire knowledge and build mental stamina.

What inspires you?

My life motto inspires me to re-think our default reality. It aligns with Internal Family Systems, a model that regards the human psyche as having an authentic self and parts. Thinking about my thoughts and feelings as belonging to a group of parts that all want the best for me, but need to be guided by my Authentic Self is a very relaxing way to deal with life’s challenges.

What was your biggest professional challenge and how have you solved it?

My continuing professional challenge is finding the sweet spot where three venn diagrams overlap: the things I’m good at, the things I like doing and the things people pay me for. Every person is a complex being and our environment is constantly changing, too. Hence, these three diagrams constantly shift. As an agile coach I continuously inspect and adapt how I can improve doing things I enjoy in a good enough way so that people pay me for doing them.

What is the worst advice someone has ever said to you?

Women are expected to say sorry even for things we did not cause. Not long ago, I was told by a colleague to apologize to another colleague after making the latter uncomfortable with my personal perception of their action. I did not apologize and our work relationship worked out without me making myself small.
We need to get comfortable with making others uncomfortable if we want to be true to ourselves. If you use “I” instead of “one/we/people” and you state your perception in a friendly manner with a request for change, there is no need to apologize for stating your preferences. Let’s stand as tall as we are.

What importance have career networks for you in your professional career?

I’m very grateful to the women who have shared their knowledge, skills and contacts with me. Career networks like PANDA are great. Equally important has been building relationship to people who share my values and dreams outside of formalised networks. Don’t join a network if you do not like the people there. Join people who are where you want to grow or people who do things you want to learn doing.

What is the learning or advice you would like to share with other women?

Give yourself the luxury of moving forward through safe-to-fail experiments. I think this mainstream movie culture of “risking it all” is very dangerous, as is waiting for that perfect moment where you have understood or completed it all. Start before you feel ready, but start with small steps. For instance, ask earlier for a salary increase and ask again much earlier than you feel comfortable so that the two “no” bear less weight before you get a “yes” at the third attempt.

What are you passionate about?

Work-colleagues have called me passionate about many topics. I narrow it down to the Agile Mindset and Internal Family Systems. People with an agile mindset achieve success with greater ease because they take small steps, check for more feedback and adapt quicker to requirements. People who understand themselves as having one Authentic Self and many parts with contradictory opinions and feelings are more relaxed because they know their needs and preferences while making mature decisions that align with their Authentic Self. I’m very passionate about developing my agile mindset and leading my life from Self.

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