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Focus on the Solution, Identify the Problem

Updated: Feb 25

A few weeks ago I had a heartbreaking conversation: a fellow women in technology has been dealing with being undermined and undervalued for years. Recently she had become the object of bigotry at work.


She shared how difficult building her career had been due to generational judgement and health challenges in her family. When she finally landed a solid position with a well-known company, she was so grateful and excited that she dove right in.

Now, over a decade later, she had been promoted once. In the last three years, her manager had refused to invest in her growth. Her raises were minimal (and that’s if I am generous). Two new colleagues were making fun of her accent and her (gorgeous) last name. Comments about her home country were negative and often crossed into bigotry. Her HR rep and her manager didn’t see an issue.

At some point she had decided that if she just WORKED hard enough for LONG enough “they” would see her value.

She was so utterly focused on what others thought and felt that she was convinced she was “doing well.”

Spoiler: she was not doing well. When we spoke, she was exhausted, worn, and questioning her own value.

Her worth. Her skills. Her personality. Her name. Her culture. Nearly her own humanity.

The first step was to physically look in the mirror and claim back it all back. In her own language and then English. This step towards weeks of practice and, quite frankly pain, but it was necessary to even consider career coaching.

Now she is working towards turning her attention from the problem, which she can never control, and onto the solution, which she absolutely can. This will be a long journey of growth and discomfort. And, to quote her, “I already know this will be worth it.”

Please, whatever it is, take time to identify the actual problem holding you back. Because the solution is there if you shift your perspective.

Be well. And believe in yourself.

*I was given permission to share this story.

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