Two years ago, my wife was at a crossroads in her career. With a post graduate degree in Ecology along with experience in environmental science and from having worked at the World Wildlife Fund she was eager to further her career in a green-city like Vancouver.
Deepti started out at as a Donor Engagement Officer at the Faculty of Forestry at the University of British Columbia (UBC). The role was different from her previous career. While it helped her develop valuable relationship management experience she wanted to be challenged differently.
I encouraged her to explore roles at the University in administration and alumni engagement as long as she was content. Through being mentored by leaders in my career I quickly realized all I was asking her to do was be happy by finding “something”. I went back to Deepti and started the conversation all over again. This time I asked her to think about what would truly make her happy and her response had academia, environment and community outreach written all over it. This clarity empowered her to leverage her network to proactively find a meaningful career role. This required follow-ups, meetings and collaborating with other leaders.
Looking back, taking the time to prioritize my wife’s career and her happiness was completely worth it! I can proudly say my wife today is engaged in her career as a Research Scientist at the Faculty of Forestry at UBC and is the most fulfilled I’ve seen her be in her career. She has since gone on to do amazing things such as develop the Future Delta 2.0 project which is an immersive gaming experience that mobilizes discussion around climate change with teachers and students at schools in British Columbia.
Steve Howe, US Chairman of Ernst and Young recently concluded his end of year LinkedIn post with this one question “In 2016, what will you do to help a woman you know realize her professional ambitions? Our response is incredibly important for everyone’s economic well-being, and certainly for all the women in our lives — wives, daughters, nieces, dear friends and their families.”