What advice would you give your younger self?

Shabnam Bashir, Associate Director, Optimum Strategic Communications

“Not having a plan is actually okay, THE way! It allows for opportunities and experiences that you probably wouldn’t have imagined. Lead with your heart and listen to your intuition. “

Supriya Mathur, Director, Optimum Strategic Communications

“Looking back, I’d tell myself to worry less and always take chances. It’s the unexpected that brings new opportunities. Always remember that everyone has a different journey, and the only element you can control is YOU. Be positive, be optimistic, be considerate, and trust yourself to take risks!”

Susan Galbraith, SVP and Head of Oncology, IMED Biotech Unit, AstraZeneca

“Don’t self-limit your ambition. Be confident that what you don’t yet know you are capable of learning.”

Chiara Muston, Associate, Howard Kennedy LLP

“I would tell my younger self to dare and not to be afraid to fail. There is nothing wrong in failing but there is in regretting not having tried.”

Catherine Longworth, Senior Reporter, Informa Intelligence

“Don’t be afraid of failure or obsess over perfection. Try new things, take risks and enjoy the process.”

Ena Prosser, Partner, Fountain Healthcare Partners

“Don’t fear failure- take time to draw lessons from the experience. Those learning the best teacher for your next success. As Sam Beckett would said- “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.””

Evelyn Warner, Consultant, Navigant

“I would have saved myself a lot of trouble if I had been less afraid to recognize, accept it and stand up for myself if something wasn’t for me. There are so many expectations and prescriptions for women to perform in certain ways along certain axes, and life is hard if you’re part of the majority that doesn’t fit the mould. It’s easy to fall into the trap of seeing it as a failure and a negative reflection of self-worth, but it’s much more productive to go out and find your niche. It isn’t shameful to give up on some avenues in the process. So, listen to your gut – change might be less than graceful and coming up with options might require some creativity, but there is always a way forward.”

Maarit Merla, Head of Business Development, Forendo Pharma

“When people see great potential in you for a new, more demanding role – believe that you have it. You may look at the lack of skills or experience as boundaries, but have courage – you will never regret taking those next steps in your career.”

“Don’t expect other people to behave in the same way that you would behave in a given situation – we are all different. Early in my career as a team leader, I was completely surprised by these differences, as I was expecting something other that the resulting reaction or behaviour. In slightly other words: “Try to learn from the other perspective instead of focusing only on justifying your own view”.”

Tessa McCann, News Editor – Strategic Relationships, CNBC International

“First of all, I’d tell them to challenge themselves, to get outside of their comfort zone and to take risks, if there’s one thing I’ve learnt it’s that you’ll never know how something will pan out if you don’t at least try. That said, I would also say to be sure to look after yourself along the way, maintain a good and healthy work/life balance, and take the time to enjoy a life outside of the office with loved ones. You don’t want to miss key moments in your life always being at your desk. Above all else, it’s a simple mantra, but I would say, stress less! You’re capable of so much more than you think, don’t underestimate yourself and remember that everything happens for a reason, learn and grow from it, and don’t worry so much.”