Women Leading Beautifully is a new series that will showcase women who are making major moves in their careers. Despite the hurdles that have come their way, these women continue to make BIG strides towards growing their careers beyond their current job title—all while doing so with style, charisma, and grace.
My name is Uzoma F. Obidike and I am educator, with a background in higher education. I am also a Certified Career Advisor™ and founder of She Leads Beautifully™. Through this platform, I help professional women overcome mid-career stagnation, by equipping them with the tools and strategies they need to FINALLY reach the next level in their careers.
March is a very meaningful month for me due to a few reasons. It's my birthday month (and my Dad's), Women's History Month, and it's the month when I began the creation of She Leads Beautifully back in 2017!
This platform originally started as a hobby and passion project while I was working a traditional “9 to 5” job. I actually came up with the idea for this series about a year and a half ago, but the timing just wasn’t right. However, on this second anniversary of the founding of She Leads Beautifully, I am ready to share this with you!
Before we dive in, I want to share a bit more about my background and why I felt driven to share these women’s stories. In my various past leadership roles, I found myself mentoring a number of peer and junior colleagues; most of them were women. The one thing I observed was that they were feeling unfulfilled in their careers.
They attained their degrees, reached the career milestones they had previously set and felt accomplished. However, after many years passed by, these women were beginning to wonder "What's next?! I am comfortable in my current job, I make a reasonable salary, but I know that I could be doing so much more". I could absolutely relate because I had once been in their shoes.
During my professional journey, numerous next-level career opportunities came my way! I was faced with applying for a regional director position overseeing four campus locations—then seven, beginning a Ph.D. program, holding a leadership position in a community organization, writing a chapter in a book, applying to speak at a national conference, establishing this platform, starting a business, etc. Even though I went for each of these opportunities, I had LOTS of reservations about making the move towards each one. Here’s why:
Fear - I experienced fear of the unknown. I feared the challenges ahead that awaited me. I had a major fear of putting myself out there. What if I failed? How would others perceive me?
Impostor Phenomenon - I also experienced the feeling of not being smart or experienced enough. Was I too young to be acquiring these roles? Did I have enough experience to be doing this work? Oh, there must have been a mistake when they chose me for this role or opportunity. Am I really capable? Can I really do this?
Roadblocks - Then of course, there were those other obstacles like the feeling of not having enough time, money, or guidance. I'm too busy to take on something new or bigger. How will I be able to balance school, work, and a family? Is this new endeavor going to cost me a lot of money? Honestly, I have no idea where to start. I'm stuck and I need help.
Upon reflection of these very real feelings, I had to be honest with myself. I made A LOT of excuses. I procrastinated because I got in my own way. However, each time, I acknowledged those feelings and found ways around the obstacles. I prayed. I utilized my network and gained the support and guidance from mentors, sponsors, and other key individuals. It wasn't until I figured out my strategy, and put forth the effort to get ahead, that I began to see all of my career goals come to fruition. It surely wasn’t easy and some of my career goals are still in progress, but I'm taking consistent steps to move me forward.
I created the Women Leading Beautifully series as a way to place a focus on the real stories of professional women who are thriving in their careers. Each interview will showcase their accomplishments and current projects while also acknowledging the various types of obstacles that may have slowed them down, but didn’t stop them!
My goal is that this series will serve as motivation and inspiration for those women whose careers have stalled because they no longer feel fulfilled in their work. It’s for those women who just need that extra push to get unstuck so that they can finally take their careers to the next level, whether this is by moving up at work, moving on to pursue their passions, or a having a blend of both! Our careers are multifaceted, ever-changing, and we can absolutely be MORE than a job title.
Is this woman is YOU? If yes, I welcome you to sign up for my mailing list so you will be notified when each story is published!
Do you know someone who should be featured?! Click here to submit your recommendation.