Dreams are lovely but they are just dreams. Fleeting, ephemeral, pretty. But dreams do not come true just because you dream them. It's hard work that makes things happen. It's hard work that creates change.
Shonda Rhimes - American Television Producer and Screenwriter
Every career women need to work harder to achieve their dreams. But sometimes we need a break to take a breath and review our purpose. Being career women is not easy. There are obstacles that force us to quit and give up. But behind every success women, there are failures. The point is not how many time we fail. But how many times we get up and try again.
To support career women to keep pursue our dreams, Dara Nasution working as Head of Engagement & Advocacy Obviously Sustainable give us some tips when days get tough and how to celebrate our achievements. Here’s our interview with her.
Hi Dara, please tell us a little bit about yourself!
Hi Stellar Women! Thanks for having me here. I’m Dara Nasution – I currently work as Head Engagement & Advocacy at Obviously Sustainable, a social enterprise firm championing impact programming and sustainability services. I also provide digital campaign consultancy in which I leverage the power of technology and social media to engage, mobilize, and connect with voters on a deeper level. I previously worked at Meta Platforms, Inc (Facebook’s parent company) as Politics and Government Outreach Manager. I was formally trained at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford.
When work gets tough, what unique methods do you use to reignite your passion?
I’d like to take a step back and try to see the bigger picture. Sometimes, we are too consumed in the plethora of technical, daily problems and forget why we choose this particular career path in the first place. We are the one who chose to be where we are, after all. Reflecting on my long-term goals and the impact I want to make helps me rekindle the passion for my work.
What steps do you take to constantly keep growing in your profession, even when it seems like you've hit a ceiling?
Seek Mentorship: I actively seek out mentors, both within and outside my organization, who have achieved success in areas I aspire to. Their guidance and insights provide valuable perspectives on navigating challenges and finding new opportunities for growth.
Attend Industry Events: I make a point of attending conferences, seminars, and networking events related to my field. Engaging with industry peers and experts exposes me to the latest trends, innovations, and best practices.
Take on Stretch Projects: I actively seek out projects or assignments that push me beyond my comfort zone. These "stretch" opportunities challenge me to learn new skills and showcase my potential to higher-ups.
How do you navigate professional growth during times of uncertainty or change?
Do not suffer in silence! Oftentimes, we feel embarrassed to share about the unpleasant news because everyone around us seems to always have it together. However, when you reach out and be open, you will be surprised at how many people are willing to help. When I was affected by Meta’s mass layoffs, the most helpful thing that I did was sharing the news through LinkedIn. It led to so many collaborations and opportunities that I would not have otherwise.
Another useful tip is to embrace agility – recognizing that the landscape may shift rapidly. Being willing to adjust my plans and strategies as needed enables me to stay on top of emerging opportunities.
How do you celebrate or acknowledge your professional achievements?
I take time to reflect on my journey and express gratitude for the opportunities and support that have contributed to my achievements. Acknowledging the role of others, mentors, and colleagues helps me appreciate the collaborative nature of success.
And also giving back! Celebrating my achievements often makes me think of the support I received along the way. I find ways to give back to my community or support others in their professional journeys, creating a positive cycle of support and encouragement.
Can you share a piece of advice you wish you had known when you started your career? How do you tackle professional setbacks without losing your spirit?
One piece of advice I wish I had known when I started my career is the importance of advocating for myself and being confident in my abilities. Early in my career, I sometimes hesitated to speak up or promote my achievements, assuming that my work would speak for itself. However, I learned that actively advocating for oneself is crucial in a competitive workplace.
To accompany your journey, you need a support system, where you can share the burden and get the right direction. Join us on career workshop and mentorship Stellar Women Rise Career Booster. You will get the support you need to achieve your career goals. Register now at Stellar Women Rise Career Booster!