Do you find yourself at times shaking your head at situations you encounter where you just want to say: “I thought we were out of the dark ages.” Well, it’s been one of those weeks for me. I just finished Gloria Steinem’s book: “Revolution from Within: a Book of Self-Esteem”. I ordered it after having seen a documentary on HBO on her, which totally reframed my opinion of the 2nd women’s movement in the 60’s. In full honesty, as much as the modern woman I am, I somewhat “disapproved” of the methods of this movement. In my mind, I thought that it was this “aggressive and women wanting to be men” type approach. And since the movement was before my time, I have to say that I formed this opinion through media, books and comments by the ladies in my family (who didn’t necessary value women’s education).

However, after seeing Ms. Steinem’s documentary and reading her book, I totally changed my opinion. How so? I realized the women needed to gain awareness to move other people out of the passivity that a lot of us find ourselves in. But their tactics weren’t these crazy aggressive moves that the media made them out to be (what a shock, huh?). You had strong women who weren’t afraid to assert themselves and bring light to issues such as reproductive rights, access to education and career opportunities, racial and social equity. Yes, they made headway for areas that we in the Gen X & Y generation take as a given. Yet, I still felt this sense of inner fury that I don’t think we’ve made all the progress we think.

Why do I say that? Well, I look at Corporate America, Politics and Media. How representative are women truly? I’ll use an example of what happened to me this week. I was sitting in a meeting as the only female with 5 men who were all 10-20 years older than me and member of the organization’s executive team. I’ve been encountering situations since I entered the “workforce” after college. And, quite frankly, while it bothered me somewhat I never put much emotion to it. However, this time around, I decided to take an observer role during the meeting and to rant to a friend afterward. Plus, my husband got an earful that evening with some f* bombs interlaced (definitely NOT the norm for me). My usual MO would have to been to just let it go. So, I had to ask myself: “Is this worth fighting for?”

The conclusion I came to was that it’s time to not just sit back, finally speak up, but also understand that I’m dealing with a very hierarchical and semi-militaristic organization. Plus, the rant with my friend helped me to see that women today are blazing their own path and leaving the male-dominated companies up for their own demise. So, if you’re sick and tired of trying to conform yourself to the standards of hierarchy and outdated Corporate America practices, here’s how you can blaze your own path:

Work for or start up a not-for-profit. I think non-profits are the underrated employment hubs. People often think that you work for a not-for-profit earning a measly salary. However, a friend of mine who has worked for the non-profit world most of his career has told me that most organizations do pay fair market value. Like Corporate America pays much better… So, if you have a strong sense that you truly want to do something for 40 hours a week that is really meaningful to you – explore what a career in this arena might look like for you!
Start your own biz. Yep, set your own standards and be your own boss. In this situation, you are fully responsible and accountable for the impact and success you have. Yes, your customers or clients might be Corporate America, but your own independence as the biz owner puts you into a different playing field. Plus, you always have choices in what the interactions will look like. Also, your own biz will provide the grounds to fully release your own prowess. That fire that burns in your belly can now be unleashed.
Get a job with a small and nimble company. What’s this mean? Smaller companies are more structured to allow for change and flexibility, i.e. they’re more nimble. They also tend to be less hierarchical and foster people who are willing to make significant contributions. When you’re seen for your value, gender differences are of little significance. However, keep in mind that you do have small companies who follow the dinosaur Corporate America model. So, the important part is also to do your homework upfront to see if the company culture supports you and will allow you to have the impact you want.

Blazing your own path for me is more than just taking on feminism principles. It’s all about true self care (upcoming teleseminar on Wednesday, September 14 at 8 pm EST – stay tuned…). I know that people say that you shouldn’t get your self-esteem or confidence from your job or career. To those people, I say that it’s not the job that is giving you that self-esteem, but the notion that you’re contributing and having an impact. Let’s look at it realistically – you spend more than 8 days in your “job” – might as well make them meaningful and release your own inner prowess.

Author's Bio: 

Marion Chamberlain helps women that are always "desperately seeking" something learn what it is and how to claim it. Visit her website for more information on her spiritual coaching program that allows you to experience freedom, connection, and independence.