Melanie's win against self-doubts

May 08, 2017

Melanie L.|  27 | Global Product Lead in Tech| San Francisco | FR-American descent
Passion: Enjoys the outdoors
Melanie sailing Away

How do you define beauty? And Confidence? 

To me, Beauty is what pleases the eye and makes you smile when you see something or someone beautiful.
Confidence is believing in yourself, regardless of what the world might tell you.

What are the main challenge(s) you had to overcome to get where you are today? Would you do that again? 

When I first started, I was always questioning what differentiated me from others, always wondering why anyone would hire me over someone else. Over time, I realized that I had to put those doubts aside, because you can't change anyone but yourself.

What are the accomplishments or successes you’ve achieved that you’re particularly proud of? 

As a young professional, I never thought that people would trust me with a lot of responsibility so fast since there were so many seasoned and talented people around me. I am proud to say that for the last few years, I've created and executed the product strategy and commercialization for a $XB business. I felt a lot of self-doubts when I was offered the role, but now I realize that doubts are a waste of time and I couldn't have gotten over those doubts if it weren't for my friends and colleagues confirming that I in fact deserved the job and that I was excelling at it. Now I'm mentoring new team members and helping them grow into this role.

If you could look back and talk to your younger self, what advice would you give her? 

If you're not happy about something, don't dwell on it and do something about it. In my first job after college, I was happy with what I was doing, but I felt like I wasn't learning or being challenged as much as I wanted to be. I started a list of people who have interesting jobs and scheduled coffee with them to hear about the job and what they liked/ disliked about it. I was able to eliminate a few teams based on those conversations and am now in one of the teams I had initially been interested in joining. Being proactive about what I wanted to do made me feel like I was taking control of the situation and felt more rewarded when I did get the job I thought I wanted. My friends also appreciated that I wasn't complaining without putting actions to back-up my complaints!

What are the 3 top pieces of advice you would give any Unapology beauty out there to reach whatever goal she sets for herself? 

1) Now is always a great time, no matter how scary it is.
2) Ask for help, since others most likely have gone through the same path.
3) You are who you decide to be, and no one but yourself can define that.

Who are the women you look up to and why? What characteristics do/did they possess? 

My mom has been a strong role model throughout my life, guiding me and asking the tough questions I don't always dare ask. She always let me know when she didn't have the answer and made it very clear that help was always a good route.

What does Unapology mean to you? 

My definition of unapology is: No excuses, no regrets, no doubts. What's in the past can't be rewritten, and the only way forward is in the present and future.

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