For as long as I can remember I've never been one to enjoy the spotlight. I love to recognize and reward those around me, but If I'm being completely honest I get a little uncomfortable when I'm the one receiving the praise. Don’t get me wrong, I love when I can check the box after a task has been completed, but upon completion, I don’t need anyone to pat me on the back and say, "Good job Jacklyn." I've never taken the time to over-analyze why I'm like this, but it could be that someone telling me I've done well just isn't something I'm used to, so I've never quite figured out exactly how to handle it.
Anyway, this week something amazing happened when an industry colleague and fellow Chief Data Officer tagged me in a LinkedIn post detailing a list of the most powerful women in the field of data & analytics; not only was my colleague's name on the list, but so was mine! While I was extremely proud to be included, I was caught totally off guard because I knew absolutely nothing about it. That same evening several of the other honorees took to LinkedIn to share their achievement and after a bit of toing and froing, I decided to draft my own post and do the same; I mean why not right?
The next day when I was telling my husband, he remarked that he hadn't seen my post; he wasn’t referring to LinkedIn, he was referring to Facebook. Truth be told, I hadn’t considered posting my achievement on Facebook because I have a strong tendency to keep my personal and professional lives separate; I enjoy using Facebook to keep up with family and friends, but LinkedIn was somewhere I could maintain a degree of formality and be strictly professional. When I considered my husband's question, I initially wondered if my Facebook contacts would even care about the list, or more specifically, the fact I was on it.
A few day’s passed and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Being included on this list was something I'd worked extremely hard for, so I pushed away the self-doubt and decided to erase the imaginary line I'd drawn between my personal and professional lives by posting my success on Facebook for all to see.
Within minutes, people I hadn’t seen or talked to in years were not only "liking" my post, but leaving comments! Everything from congratulatory messages, to emojis, and even a few animated GIFs were appearing underneath my post; some of my friends went a step further and reached out to me through DM, text, and phone. I think I've managed to catch up with everyone to say thank-you because I was genuinely touched they took the time to reach out. There was something so liberating about sharing my success beyond my professional community by allowing my friends and family to be part of the celebration.
No matter what we may like to believe, we are all social creatures and everything is better when done with family and friends. When good things happen, go right ahead and shout it from the rooftops; take the time to celebrate and more importantly, allow others to celebrate with you. A wise man once said, the more the merrier.