What some of NYC's  'Women of Influence' would tell their younger selves

Blog Post created by kmillspaugh on Oct 24, 2016

Robin Dupre posed the question:
"If you could, what one piece of career advice would you give your 20-something self?"


Here is what some of NYC's  'Women of Influence' would tell their younger selves  from New York Business Journal


Ever thought about what advice you would give to your younger version of yourself now that you are five, 10, 15, 25 or 40 years beyond the start of your career, and with that much more experience responding to the crazy curve balls of life, family, and work?


It's a question we asked our last Women of Influence class, and one that we're sure to pose to the next group of female business leaders in the New York City area who innovate, succeed and "pay it forward" by mentoring others.


Do something that terrifies you every day. — Lisa Utzschneider, chief revenue officer, Yahoo


Don't do what everyone else is doing or what others directly around you define as "prestigious." Go hang out with people not in your field or expertise. Spend more time making. Read more. Put yourself in strange situations. Travel more. Don't compare yourself to anybody – you don't know half of what's going on in someone else's life, and they don't know what's going on in yours. Try to get to know a smaller group of people with your full heart and mind. And put a poster of Grace Hopper, Tina Fey and Julie Andrews (oh, and your old poster of Koko the Gorilla) up on your dorm wall instead of a poster of some random woman who you wish you looked like. — Anna Ly, senior manager, Sesame Workshop


Stop talking and listen. — Lauren Leader-Chivee, co-founder and CEO, All In Together


Hire better sooner. — Julie Levi, president and founder, Progressive Promotions, Inc.


Use college as a time to get exceptionally good at meeting people and networking. It's hard to find any other single place where you have as many intelligent, interesting and diverse people, so you should meet and learn from as many as possible. Establishing relationships early will also help later in life. — Motor Mile champion Julia Landauer, CEO, Julia Landauer Racing LLC


Take more risks. Say yes to the job in another country, always raise your hand and even go on the date you're not so sure about! — Christina Bechhold, co-founder, managing director, Empire Angels


Stop trying to fit your “square peg” skill set into the “round-hole” job market. Believe in your ideas and surround yourself with those that encourage – rather than those who discourage – your entrepreneurial spirit. — Rachel Wilkins Blum, founder and CEO, Conception Events LLC


Travel more and travel far (literally and figuratively.) — Lauren Coape-Arnold, vice president, corporate social responsibility, Guggenheim Partners


Don't worry so much about what people think about you. Be more confident and make the decisions that are right for you. Stop explaining yourself and your choices to everyone. — Adrienne Garland, founder, Womancon


Discover what makes you happy, and use it to lead your choices in life. — Alexandra Sandra Poe, partner, Reed Smith

Take risks while you're young so you can learn from them. Remember you don’t know as much as you think you do or as much as you might. Ask more questions. Listen well. Breathe. — Sharna Goldseker, executive director, 21/64


Chill out, have fun and relax. It’s all going to happen and be bigger and better than you can ever imagine. Enjoy the ride, take the scenic route and take the top down – all while keeping your foot on the gas. — Carrie Hammer, founder, Carrie Hammer Custom Apparel


Don’t worry so much! Life has a way of working itself out. — Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, former CEO now adviser, Glamsquad


Never burn bridges. — Joanne Wilson, owner, co-founder, Gotham Gal Ventures, Women's Entrepreneurship Festival


Trust your instinct and don’t be afraid to act on it. When building a career and developing leadership skills, it’s easy to rely too often on others to influence your decisions rather than trusting your gut. I’ve found that most of the time, it’s best to follow your own instincts. — Clare Hart, CEO, Sterlingbackcheck


The advice that I would give my younger self is that you are wonderfully made. Life will always be tough, but you were built to handle "tough" and no matter how much hate or hurt you see in the world, be the light and love you want to see in the world. — Laura Hinds, chairman, Women's Luxury Guild


Worry less, laugh more. Your grades matter, just not as much as you think. When it doubt, stay out the extra hour because when you're a grown up you get tired. — Kim Kaupe, co-founder, ZinePak

Don’t be afraid to take risks. Get out of your comfort zone. Say yes to every opportunity to try something new at work. — Colleen Mcintosh, SVP, corporate secretary, assistant general counsel, CVS Health Corp.


Love yourself more. — Mary Nittolo, president, The Studio, a design, animation and visual effects company in Manhattan.


I would tell my younger self to take more chances and to explore more, in life and in work. I would have traveled more when I had more time and kept up with my foreign languages, such as Spanish and Japanese, which I studied.— Carin Pai, executive vice president, Fiduciary Trust Company International


What other people think of you is none of your business. Don't take it personally. — Georgette Pascale, CEO, Pascale Communications


Enjoy downtime. It is easy to worry in this business. When we are too busy at work, we worry about not having enough time for our families; when we are not busy enough at work, we worry about where the next deal will come from. We should all remember that it is OK to go home early on the off chance we are having a slow day (or week), and to ENJOY that time away from the office. Things will be busy again soon enough (and we will be wondering why we didn’t take advantage of the downtime). If my younger self had worried a little less, she would have worked just as hard and achieved just as much, but would have been a little happier while doing it.— Michele Penzer, partner, Latham & Watkins LLP


Learn to have more balance in your life. — Joanne Podell, vice chairman, Cushman & Wakefield


Hold on to your dreams. — Sarina Prabasi, CEO, WaterAid America


I would tell my younger self that it’s okay to say no. Finding the right balance of being open and flexible but also firm and willing to walk away took some development for me. — Jennifer Rhodes, agent, Ideal Properties Group


Practice patience. Everything will happen in due time, trust me. — Lorey Flick Roberts, principal, ADS Engineers

I have always had a passion for food so I would tell my younger self to follow my passion. — Viktoria Sater, president, Viktoria's Gourmet Foods


Be yourself and be proud of who you are. — Josephine Savastano, regional vice president and senior vice president, Wells Fargo


There is something unique that only you can offer. Believe and act on that.— Mona Scott-Young, founder and CEO, Monami Entertainment LLC


Stop being so hard on yourself in regards to always striving to be the best. The work ethic has been set and will never leave you. — Leslie Short, CEO and president, K.I.M. Media LLC


My younger self lived life to the fullest. If I could turn back time, I may have had my child earlier in life so that he could have enjoyed the company of his grandparents longer. — Monique Skruzny, founding partner, MBS Value Partners


I would tell her to set long-term goals and think of her career more strategically. I'm so detail-oriented that big picture thinking is my weak spot! — Leigh Stein, author, co-president, Out of the Binders Inc.


The same advice I give to all my mentees: Follow your heart. Embrace opportunities and challenges. Don’t be afraid to take a big jump. Ask for advice. And embrace failure. — Karen van Bergen, CEO and senior partner, Porter Novelli


Smile! Because I tend to be serious by nature, it used to irk me when older folks commanded me to smile. What I now realize is that a smile is a great communication tool. It lifts spirits all around and reverses the effects of gravity on one’s countenance. — Jill Vitiello, founder and president, Vitiello Communications Group


I would tell myself that time is the most precious thing in the world. It is equally distributed to everyone, and can’t be bought or sold or transferred to others. So don’t waste it yearning for the future or thinking about the past, but you should cherish the present. — Pelli Wang, venture director, SeedInvest