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Career Retrospect

Updated: Feb 6

Young women in their 20s laughing in a field of sunflowers

Today, we live in very isolating and challenging times due to COVID-19. It has never been more important to cherish and ensure the relationships in your life are cared for, from your business network to your girlfriends. If you are lucky like me, those two circles cross over.

I have always valued the friends in my life and consciously worked on building a solid network of women professionally and personally. The relationships needed to be altruistic, fun-loving, non-judgmental, and supportive. Believing you get what you give, I have always tried to be trustworthy, inspiring, and uplifting to those I meet. I find most women are lonely and concerned about not being enough, so as women, we need to resist temptations to judge and approach new and existing engagements with an open mind and heart.

Career Retrospect

Your 20's can be such an uncertain time, I was insecure and self-consumed, looking for the next good time and trying to find some sense of self-worth. During this time, I had the great fortune of meeting a core group of college girlfriends who have been lifelong friends. These girlfriends are the ones who know I'm not perfect but accept me anyway, ones who stand by me and pick me up after bad breakups or failed relationships. These are women that keep your early indis·cre·tions private, ones that I might only see every 3-4 months, but when we get together, it seems like it was just yesterday, and they provide unconditional love.

The '30s are quite a delight. In my 30s, life was full of optimism and hope of achieving the storybook life - the dream of having two kids, a dog, a loving husband, and living in a beautiful house with a white picket fence and street-lined sidewalks. I married at 30, had my first child at 34, and my second at 36. Don't let anyone tell you how it should be done - it's your life. We all have our journey and timing.

The '40s are fabulous. In my 40s, life seemed to get more comfortable in some ways and more complex in others. I had had my own business for many years, and I was the boss. No one ever told me how hard it would be to have a business. I worked around the clock doing 2 a.m. calls with contractors in India and early and mid-afternoon calls with clients, always hustling to grow my business and get new clients while volunteering as much as I could at the kids' school and being there for them when they got home and jumping back and forth in and out of mommy mode. Deciding it was time to see how the other half lived, I pivoted and took a job at Intel, met a new group of women who welcomed and inspired me to look at life differently, and I am eternally grateful.

I'm early into my 50s, and I think I'm the most confident I've ever been. I'm in a good place in my career. I feel my job is challenging, there is an opportunity for growth, and my work is valued. I love that I've got the 2B Bolder Podcast to make my mark and help others.

I am truly blessed to have girlfriends from every decade of my life who have weathered the test of time. I'm not going to lie; friendships and building your network of women take effort - the old saying you get out of it what you put into it is so true. Small gestures go a long way - a handwritten note, an email, a phone call, or a text with words of encouragement and acknowledging your friend or co-worker's successes and supporting their passions can mean a lot. We, as women, need to encourage and lift each other. Be kind to one another.

You have one life to live. Take responsibility and own everything you do, including your choices and mistakes. Don't look back; only look forward, and strive to make the most of every God-given day you are gifted. Continue to set goals and go after them. Dream big, and be kind to yourself!

With love,

Mary Thompson-Killelea


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