Lean In Canada’s Toronto chapter celebrated yet another sold out event at the Spoke Club for May’s “Breaking Invisible Rules of Business That Trip Women Up.” The event featured speakers Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk who challenged audience members to shake things up in order to move farther in their careers. The talk was based on their best-selling HarperCollins book Darling You Can’t Do Both (And Other Noise to Ignore On Your Way Up).
Janet and Nancy are award winning creatives – they are the team behind the famous Dove evolution video. Together, they’ve channeled their tremendous talent to create Swim, a creative leadership lab. Their creative savviness has taught them that rules are meant to be broken, and their talk busted prevalent business myths while providing solid career advice.
Avoid Death by Yes
Janet and Nancy advised against committing yesicide – the pesky side effect to saying yes all of the time. They reinforced the importance of the word no. No is all about moderation. Yes can feel good sometimes. It’s like sugar in that it provides a fantastic rush, but too much causes terrible consequences for your health.
Don’t fall into the yes trap. Instead, learn to say no to those things that do not serve you. Before you utter the word yes, always paint a clear picture of the consequences of it. Then decide whether it’s the best option.
Say Bye to Nice
Janet and Nancy remind us that, as women, we are hardwired to be people pleasers. They ask that we keep this instinct in check. Why? It’s a one-way street to burnout. The choices you’re making to please others are often not those that are best for you and this can negatively impact your personal and professional life. As it’s often said, you can’t please them all. Don’t let your fire diminish trying to fan the flame of others.
Deconstructing the “nice girl” myth is not just about letting go of being a serial pleaser. It’s also about learning to get in people’s face from time to time. Your brilliance might go unseen without some self-advocacy. Be you own advocate. Make your ambition and your excellence visible to others. Good things don’t come for those who wait.
Embrace Real Networking
Another issue addressed was that women often dislike networking because it feels unnatural. Janet and Nancy invite us to reconsider networking and see it as an act of generosity. Networking is career-making practice. It’s a must. Need to shake off the nerves? They recommend taking an improv class to get over stage fright.
Once you get comfortable with the idea of networking – get to work. tiny“Shoot high and ask small”: don’t be afraid to network with senior individuals and to search for mentors as you navigate your career milestones. Prepare for events and coffee dates. Do your research. Think of questions. Review your resume. Be ready to start the conversation. Don’t let silly rules get in your way.
A special thank you goes out to our sponsors, Ivey Business School, TD Canada, 108 Ideaspace, Crowe Soberman, and Secret Deodorant. And as always, thank you to everyone who attended!
Check out event photos on our Facebook page and please feel free to tag yourself. We’d like to thank Farah Ghazal of Farah Ghazal Photography for the wonderful photos.