When is ok to put yourself first?

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Well let me just say if you don’t then be prepared to lag behind. So many people today are using the excuse that they can’t take time off for their self-development because they are just soooooo busy. I know that when I ran my Exec Search business several years ago and would go to presentations, conferences and networking events they were often attended by mainly men. Not because there were no women, or the men left them behind to do the work (I know what you are thinking) and it wasn’t because they were any less busy than their female counterparts, it was because they didn’t feel guilty to take the time.

My big message to women is that you need to take the time for your self-development. Recently we had someone tell us that they had been approved for senior membership, but they didn’t think they should take it as they don’t have the time. Under senior membership you are paired with an Advocate who is more senior than you to meet with you once per quarter in a structured process. Why wouldn’t you make the time? Not only is your Advocate going to help you with your issues about being so busy you can’t take time for yourself, you are also increasing your network. Even if you think you have a network you can always add more.

We have been told that companies who were running IWD events had several no shows. Not only is it rude to rsvp to an event and not show up, but you also run the risk of damaging your brand. Why did you feel so guilty that you couldn’t make an event that your company invited you to? Maybe it is a time management issue. Here are my top five tips for putting yourself first.

  1. You will never not be busy, so quit putting off self-development – find a way
  2. If you are booked into an event never do a no show, make sure to manage your work around it.
  3. If you want to go to a conference or event but the company won’t fund it, ask the organiser for a monthly payment plan, most will accommodate.
  4. Stop feeling guilty about taking time for self-development, it helps you and the company.
  5. Be mindful of the example you are setting for your team – if you are not self-developing, your team will think they can’t take the time either.


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