As we round out 2018 and a wonderful year profiling and learning from women for our Wednesdays for Women series, we are looking back on some of the ‘best of’ advice from the Q&A interviews we conducted this year. There is a lot of wisdom woven into these stories, and we have enjoyed sharing them with you,  learning so much ourselves, in the process!

We wish you a safe, successful end of 2018, and an exciting year ahead. Thanks for reading throughout 2018. We hope you continue to learn from these stories in 2019. Happy New Year!

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

JoAnn Martin: Respect is earned not granted.  My mom provided me with this advice and I have really applied it to all I have done.  She instilled in me the concept that a title doesn’t entitle and that being a leader takes ethics, requires a strong point-of-view and fortitude to go after what I wanted.

Nicole Phillips: Lower your bar, because I have high expectations of myself and others. For me to just make sure my expectations are in check and aligned with the goal. Also, one of my first bosses taught me a valuable lesson with some feedback she gave me. She had asked me for a store performance report and when I gave it to her she said it was missing the point. She asked, “Why did we need this report? Did you do it for the sake of doing it, just to cross it off your list?”  It might sound like a small thing, but her asking that taught me to consider the intention behind my work, and what I want the outcome to be, versus just doing it for the sake of doing it.

SriLaxmi Kotwal: Learn to differentiate the music from the noise.  My mom always said, “You should have a career of your own. You should be an individual who has your own goals and life path. Be independent.  There will be people around you who will give their opinion or judge you for the decisions you make, but don’t be bothered with all that. Stay focused and listen to yourself.” That advice will always stay with me.

Rachel Hinkes: You can learn something from everyone you meet. From some, you will learn what you want to be like and from others you’ll learn the opposite. Both are valuable lessons. I’ve taken this advice with me throughout the years, which has helped me reflect on and learn from good and difficult situations alike.

What advice do you have for young women seeking a career in technology?

Sarah Barnes, Let’s Talk Supply Chain: Learn as much as you can. And keep learning. Take risks. I am a big believer in everything happens for a reason. And, if it is taking a lot more time than you want it to, you need to follow the signs that the universe provides, because there are little signs everywhere telling you if you are on the right path.

Roya Javadpour: Just the advice that I got through experience – nothing is impossible. If you believe in the ability that you can do anything – you can!  Just make sure that you do something that you are passionate about, that you believe in and can be excited about. It is that passion that can drive things forward. it is not a job anymore. It is something you are excited about doing. If you have that, the rest is easy.

Kranthi Remala: Be as ambitious as ever. You need to have a plan and adapt quickly.  Capture your goals, determine your vision, then formulate your plans and network to help you advance swiftly. Work for the position of your dreams virtuously because it can just take a day to dive into the world of mediocrity.

What do you wish you knew when you were starting out that you know now?

Rayann Anderson: I wish I knew that not everything I did had to be perfect. When I first started off, I would spend hours and days making everything perfect. It is the law of diminishing return! You can do things well and with care, but you have to know when it’s time to move on to the next task and not overthink or overwork too much, because it doesn’t get you a better result, it wastes time and causes stress.

Sharon McGowan: Don’t take yourself too seriously when you’re younger, or put yourself under pressure. Don’t feel that you must be at certain stages of your career at certain ages. Everyone develops differently and at different speeds; you’ll get to where you need to be at the pace that is right for you. Opportunities come along when the time is right; Don’t feel you need to rush into things because it can lead to a wrong decision. Take time to make the major decisions in life.