How I got Four Promotions in One Year and Overcame Self Doubt
I began working when I was 18 years old. I started working right after my college graduation and had many valuable experiences. However, once I moved to New York, I felt I was at a disadvantage in terms of my age.
When I moved to New York I was 24 years old and for the first year all my work experience was freelance or internships; it was like starting all over again. It felt as though all those prior years of work in Colombia didn’t mean anything, but I was ok with that because I was starting in a new industry and a completely different work environment.
After my internships and freelance jobs, I started my first official job at DVF. At that point I was 25 and incredibly excited for the opportunity. Then that insecurity regarding age crept in. Most of the girls my age were already in management positions. I moved past that uncertainty, secure in the fact that my unique work history set me apart.
I started developing my skills in the field and soon learned my strengths.
Moving up to management and getting promotions wasn’t my priority in my early years at DVF. My focus was on learning and perfecting my role at the time. Soon enough, I started feeling that I needed more. I wanted to share my experience with my team and encourage them to do better. It was then that I started asking for more responsibility and for my first promotion, knowing that I deserved it. I was always a hard worker and proved it.
Furthermore, I knew a lot about the company and our business. I was ready for a new challenge.
At the time I had a manager that, to be quite honest, promoted a lot of self-doubt and never once did I see her encourage leadership in her team members. Luckily, her assistant was amazing and she was always open to teaching me what she knew on the side. With her guidance and my eagerness to grow, I quickly broaden my skill set further.
Life was fair, our old manager left and for a while were without one. So I stepped up and raised my voice. I continued giving my all into every single experience and opportunity that was presented to me and led by example. My drive propelled me to managing both flagship New York stores for Diane Von Furstenberg, leading both teams; all of it as a result of my experiences and dedication.
Now I can say I am a leader with strong execution and management skills. It is so important to be responsible and dedicated, but most importantly never give up. You never know who is watching you, recognizing your value and effort. Overcoming self-doubt is not easy, and there are always going to be people who doubt you and who don’t want to see you grow.
Nevertheless, as long as you stay true to yourself, commit and work hard, there will for sure be others that see your work, admire it and ultimately give you the opportunity to grow.
Ask for what you know you deserve, apply to the position you know you can manage and you will be surprised with how far you can go!