I have the luxury of working in the tech industry. Because of that, I am proud of breaking the stereotype that engineering cannot be for girls. I code. And, no matter where I am at in my career, I will always be that girl who started her career coding.
One thing, I as an Asian techie professional have grown to accept is a lesson I wish to pass to all alike regardless of gender, race, or origin is to lean in.
When I became a mother, it is true I had to walk past some opportunities. It is true when opportunities came my way, I wondered if I would be able to do justice to the opportunity because being a good and available mother was important to me. Today when those thoughts enter my mind, I scold myself.
This process is called underselling yourself.
When you are capable and you let go of these opportunities and settle for less, frustration builds in when you feel you could do more with your career. Frustration also hurts when others in position you passed are less experienced and potentially less capable but they stood up for themselves. And, you ask yourself did you undersell yourself? Let go the fear, my friend, and embrace your capabilities freely.
I have learnt to not undersell myself because frustration is more costly than the work life balance we all have to do, singles, couples, and parents. Work life is not my issue alone. The world is engaged in that affair. And if they can, I sure can too no matter my background.
So, I say to me fellow women and men professionals alike, do not undersell yourself. Reach for the stars.