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The Energizer Blog

  • Writer's pictureEileen McDargh

Guest Post: Lean In Advice from Jenna Lombardo, Former Marine

Women can have it all, but first YOU need to figure out what “IT” is that you want!  Just remember, allow your goals to change over time. You will change and your priorities and ambitions will change and sometimes plans don’t always work out as we intend.  Being flexible will help you stay on track and understand that sometimes, you are going to fail. Failure is a part of growth.  It allows you to learn from your mistakes and makes you stronger as you face difficult challenges.

What we need to understand as women is that there will be many obstacles to achieving your goals. Our reality is that we are in a male-dominated world, but I believe women will rise as we continue to reveal our value.  So often, women leave the workforce because of the difficulty with balancing personal and professional lives.

Being in the corner office, Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps or Female Infantry Officer may not be for everyone. No matter what you decide, there is no right or wrong answer and I certainly don’t have all the answers.  Serving in the military taught me a number of skills that have been essential to my success since I reentered the civilian world -- and contain valuable lessons for other women. In order to be successful in whatever you decide, below are a few tips that I would like to share with you that have helped me. Be Confident Women tend to look at things differently than men and often we second-guess ourselves. We don’t give credit to ourselves when credit is due. You deserve your success. Create ownership of success and understand your own success.

Believe in yourself! Don’t just talk about it, be about it! Your ideas and concepts are valuable. Speak up. Sometimes you will have good ideas and other times you will not. Keep your hand up! You will never know what opportunities can come to you if you do not get out of your comfort zone. Create a level playing field. Juggling home and work is difficult. Choose a partner who will support your ambitions and will do their part with the kids. Often women are the ones sacrificing for their partner.  Making equal contributions is key to a successful relationship, family life and career. Develop emotional intelligence We probably all know people, either at work or in our personal lives, who are really good listeners. No matter what kind of situation we're in, they always seem to know just what to say – and how to say it – so that we're not offended or upset. They're caring and considerate, and even if we don't find a solution to our problem, we usually leave feeling more hopeful and optimistic. We probably also know people who are masters at managing their emotions. They don't get angry in stressful situations. Instead, they have the ability to look at a problem and calmly find a solution. They're excellent decision makers, and they know when to trust their intuition. Regardless of their strengths, however, they're usually willing to look at themselves honestly. They take criticism well, and they know when to use it to improve their performance. People like this have a high degree of emotional intelligence, or EI.

They know themselves very well, and they're also able to sense the emotional needs of others. As this journey continues, I am looking forward to sharing my obstacles and experiences with you to assist with your growth and opportunity! You can reach Jenna at:   Lady Leatherneck and Twitter: @jenna_lombardo1

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